May 13, 2020

Wedding Pros: Interview with Photographer Manon Pauffin

My interview series with inspirational wedding professionals continues today with the wonderful Manon Pauffin – a wedding and portrait photographer whose company and work always lifts my spirits. She’s super talented, and has a golden heart to match! I’m so delighted to introduce her to you today, and hope you enjoy this little behind-the-scenes tour of her world of wedding photography.

Wedding Photographer Manon Pauffin
The lovely Manon!

Welcome to the blog, Manon! Could you tell me a little bit more about you and your wonderful style?

First off – I’m so excited to be here! It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Valentina’s work so it’s a real honour to be featured on her blog. (Thank you lovely!)

I’m Manon: documentary wedding photographer and lively Argentine living in Brighton. I work with relaxed, creative couples to create a connection so I can capture meaningful photos that reflect and honour their love story, not just their wedding day.

For me, weddings are so much more than just one day: they’re the sum of the highs and lows, the happy days and the much more difficult ones. I believe wedding photos should tell that story and radiate love.

Why? Because the wedding day is just the wrapping, what matters is what’s inside. The moment your dad hugged you so tight you couldn’t breathe, that gentle smile from your mum, laughter with your friends, all the moments you’ve shared up until this point and most importantly, all the adventures you’ll be experiencing together in the future.

Wedding Photography by Manon Pauffin
Photography by Manon Pauffin

Can you tell me a little bit more about your creative process?

The easiest way for me to capture meaningful memories is by getting to know you. From the moment you get in touch with me I want you to feel that you’re not just another engaged couple: you’re unique and so is your story. 

There are two main things that differentiate my process from most other wedding photographers. Firstly, I only do custom pricing. Couples have different priorities so it stands to reason their wedding days would be different too. Having set packages felt like I was trying to make everyone fit in a box which is the opposite of what I stand for.

The next big difference is that all my prices include what I like to call a “surrender session” (that is, a couple portrait session!). Having a stranger turn up to photograph one of the most important, personal days of your life seems really weird to me. This is a chance to build a relationship and get comfortable around each other because your wedding photographer is going to be with you all day on your wedding, and real close too. It also means you get beautiful photos of you two hanging out together that you can share with your guests to get them excited about the wedding. Win-win!

Wedding Photographer Manon Pauffin
Photography by Manon Pauffin
Wedding Photography by Manon Pauffin
Photography by Manon Pauffin

Do you have any advice for couples currently looking for their wedding or elopement photographer?

Planning a wedding and choosing a wedding photographer is a one time thing for most of us which means there’s no reason for you to know what you’re doing. Choosing the right suppliers can make the difference between having the best day ever and wishing you’d done things differently. When it comes to your photographer the difficulty lies in finding the right combo: you should love their work and also get along with their personality. 

You’ll usually be able to tell if a wedding photographer is the right fit for you during the consultation meeting or initial phone call. If you’re chatting like you’re old time friends and don’t run out of conversation, that’s a good sign! From my side, during the meeting I also look for signs that we share similar values like being open minded, a love for traveling, appreciating relaxed photos over posed ones, striving for equality and putting kindness above all else. So if you’re meeting with a photographer, or any other supplier for that matter, you can try and watch out for those too. When you really struggle to establish a connection during the meeting and don’t have anything in common, it might be a sign that you’re not a good fit. 

Struggling to find common ground could mean I can’t give you the photos you’re after, and if I think that’s really the case I would tell you because chances are, you’ll be better off with a different photographer! Truth be told, that’s never happened to me so far because I think it’s pretty clear on my website what type of photos I do and what my personality is like – which means I tend to connect with couples with whom I get along really well!

Wedding Photographer Manon Pauffin
Photography by Manon Pauffin
Wedding Photography by Manon Pauffin
Photography by Manon Pauffin

What tips would you give couples who are worried about their wedding photographs?

If I had a penny for every couple that comes to me and says “we’re camera shy”, “we’re so awkward” or “we’re not photogenic” I would be mega rich by now! Here’s the secret: choose a photographer you trust, someone who feels like a friend and whose photos you love. Because the key to looking good in photos is feeling comfortable and that’s your wedding photographer’s job, to create a space where you’re comfortable and you can be yourselves.

Most couples have never had their photos professionally taken: don’t think you’re going to look the same in your wedding photos as you did in that awkward photo your mum took while you were on holiday! You know, the one where the light is unflattering, your feet are cropped and the horizon isn’t straight…

Observing is what I do for a living, making people feel comfortable is my job and selecting photos full of joy where you look effortlessly beautiful because you’re having a good time is my thing. Your only job is to be yourself!

My other advice for getting the best wedding photos is to work on your timeline together with your wedding photographer and your planner. I always say “your wedding, your way” and I wholeheartedly stand by that but I also think it’s important to give my professional advice on how things will work best or how to make the most of the light. Thinking about these things is part of my job and at the end of the day that’s what you’re booking me for. This is one of the many reasons why wedding photography is so much more than just picking up a camera and pressing the shutter.

Wedding Photographer Manon Pauffin
Photography by Manon Pauffin
Wedding Photography by Manon Pauffin
Photography by Manon Pauffin

Do you do destination weddings? If so, what is your dream location to work in?

Yes! Destination weddings came to be a part of my work in a very organic way. As traveling is such a big part of my life, it seemed only natural to start photographing weddings abroad as well as Brighton and London ones. I love discovering new places and new traditions!

Wherever you’ll have me, I’ll go! Capturing a wedding or an elopement in Iceland is very high up on my list but there are many places on my wishlist. Mallorca is one of them as my grandma used to have a house there and it’s an island that holds a special place in my heart. I’m also always up for capturing a love story in my home country, Argentina. And my craziest dream is to photograph an elopement in Antarctica. So if you’re game, be sure to drop me an email!

Wedding Photographer Manon Pauffin
Photography by Manon Pauffin
Wedding Photography by Manon Pauffin
Photography by Manon Pauffin

What are your favourite sources of inspiration for your work?

When it comes to inspiration, as cheesy as it sounds, the biggest source for me are the light and the sea. 

As a self confessed daydreamer, I could spend hours watching and listening to the waves, it’s a form of meditation that I never get bored of. Always changing and yet always familiar, welcoming. The sea feels like home to me. 

Wedding Photography by Manon Pauffin
Photography by Manon Pauffin

It’s probably true of most photographers but I genuinely feel awe whenever I observe sunbeams falling in a particular way and highlighting a specific feature of the world. Like when you can see the dust particles floating in the air on a hot summer afternoon or the steam coming up from your cup of coffee in the morning light.

So to sum up, my mind is filled with two things: images of waves relentlessly glistening and rolling away + sunrays flickering and dancing in the dust. Add a chilled mojito in my hand and we’re set, right?

Wedding Photographer Manon Pauffin
Photography by Manon Pauffin
Wedding Photography by Manon Pauffin
Photography by Manon Pauffin

I really hope you enjoyed getting to know the lovely Manon, and learning more about the way she works. I really admire her commitment to getting to know her couples, delivering her best work, and to being completely authentic and real when it comes to her style and messaging. Plus, her photographs are stunning – huge fan over here!

To get in touch with her about your wedding or elopement, head over to her contact page – do make sure you follow her on Instagram to keep up to date with her adventures! And if you would like any support planning your celebrations, do come say hello.

Yours,

Valentina