Where I’ve been…

Even as a small child, I was pretty creative. Never content to just look at drawings, or listen to music, I wanted to make the stuff myself. I remember spending most of my time listening to my Mothers record collection and trying to figure out how to play all this wonderful music on her piano. My Grandmother tried to teach me to play from the notated music but I was way too stubborn for that. I wanted to figure it out with my ears. When I wasn’t doing that or drawing pictures (mostly trying to perfect the Metallica logo freehand in mathematics at school), I was making forts in trees, camping on the river or playing sport with my brothers. I think the freedom in my childhood to explore everything my own way has made me who I am.

At the end of high school, I was awarded a pretty substantial scholarship to explore photography in the Summer break before University. During that time, I spent a lot of time on my own, learning how to shoot colour and black & white negative film and how to print it too. I’ll never forget how important this time was for me. I figured a lot of it out myself through a few small triumphs and a lot of epic mistakes. Even though I was soon to begin my design degree and ended up becoming a tertiary level educator for over 12 years, photography was always there, simmering just below the surface of whatever it was I had going on.

Everything changed in 2012 when my friend Richard asked me would I pretty please shoot his wedding. Initially, I couldn’t think of anything more crazy than shooting a whole wedding. I already had a great job, I was earning a nice living and had my weekends free for playing in bands and hanging out with my growing family. But, he is such a great friend and I wanted to help him out. I still remember the exact moment that I knew this was what I wanted to do. Richard was helping his young son put his tie on in a quiet room, attached to the back of the church, away from everyone. There was some light coming in the room from a few windows, gently falling on them like something from a movie scene. Capturing what was going on between them as they got ready together was pretty special. I got such a buzz out of being there to document that exactly the way it happened. That experience shaped how I shoot immensely.

It wasn’t long after his wedding that some other friends saw the pictures and asked me to shoot their weddings as well. Before long, I had 30 weddings booked in my calendar and I started the transition from lecturing into full time wedding photography. Five years later, here I am. I still sometimes wonder how any of this has happened at all!

Where I’m at…

I’m Megan’s husband and Lily, James and Sascha’s father. They’re number one. Wedding photography can be a bit tough on a growing family, especially on weekends when I’m just not around. I’m so incredibly lucky to have all the support and understanding in the world from the guys that matter most to me. They hang in there when I am gone and we make the most of the time when I’m home. The main reason I can do what I do is because they support and love me and I never take that for granted.

Capturing wedding stories is the primary focus of my work, something I am super-passionate about. It’s truly brilliant to be always discovering new places, new people and new stories. Weddings are something that I feel very connected to. From the very first wedding I ever photographed, I felt like I belonged. I love being right in the thick of such an amazing day, documenting a story that means so much to so many.

To keep my brain from turning into spaghetti, I do some other stuff too…

I’m a film shooter. Whilst I’m predominately a digital shooter, I shoot a ton of film when I have the chance to explore my personal work and it helps me get back to the fundamentals that have served me so well so far. I love to get down and dirty with chemicals, processing my own negatives and messing around with instant film too. You can check that stuff out here if you like.

I’m a golfer. I’ve been playing golf my whole life on and off. I reached a scratch handicap last year for the first time the day after my birthday. It’s definitely one of the coolest things I have ever achieved in my whole life and I can’t explain just what a commitment it was to make it happen. Getting to +1 soon after was icing on the cake. Still can’t believe that happened. There’s no shortcuts in that sport. To me, playing golf at a high level is the ultimate challenge. It’s a physical and mental war.

I’m a cyclist. I ride both road and mountain and try to get a good chunk of miles in per week. Nothing like getting out there, challenging yourself and breathing in some crisp open air.

I’m a musician. So far, I’ve made friends with the piano & alto saxophone but the guitar is my best friend by far. Since I was 14 years old I’ve been infatuated with the guitar and a large portion of my waking life has been spent studying it, teaching it & performing in various bands. Even when I had a scholarship to study the saxophone, I was secretly trying to learn Hendrix guitar parts in secret. I have a pretty damn serious collection of guitars & amps. I might do a blog post about that one day…

Where I’m going…

The 64 thousand dollar question! My highest priority is to be the best dad and husband I can be. As far as photography is concerned, I just want to explore, learn and grow as an artist. I want to continue to give the couples that trust me to tell their wedding story everything I’ve got. I’d also love to write more, blog more, share more of who I am and the way I see the world.

Wedding photography challenges me in a way that is different to anything I have ever done. Directly affecting peoples lives in a positive way through my creativity is something I feel super lucky to have the opportunity to do. If I can continue to provide for my family doing this, I’m a happy camper.

For my personal work, shooting way more film in old clunky cameras and traveling to new crazy places to do that sounds pretty good to me too.

As far as golf is concerned, +2 sounds nice…

Thank you!

Thank you for taking the time to visit my little part of the web. If you would like to enquire about my availability, pricing or just to have a general chat about your wedding, don’t hesitate to get in touch no matter where you are. I’ll go anywhere in the name of a good love story.

You can follow me on facebook, instagram and twitter or simply send an email to me here – mail [at] lukechisholm.com.au

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