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A Moment With 'Simon Bills Photography'

ABIA gets behind the lens with this highly-regarded wedding photographer from Adelaide, South Australia.


Simon Bills understands that not everyone is comfortable in front of a camera, but that’s never stopped him from capturing amazing wedding photographs.

“I've got plenty of tricks up my sleeve to create some magical moments,” he says.

It’s easy to believe that Simon’s couples have good reason to relax — the seasoned professional has been shooting wedding photography full-time, in Australia and internationally, for well over a decade.

ABIA sat down with the experienced wedding photographer for a ‘candid’ chat about locations, logistics and tricks of the trade.




Tell us a bit about yourself.

I'm from Adelaide, but I spent about seven years living overseas in my twenties. I shot my first wedding while living in London in 2008 and have been shooting weddings full-time since 2012. Before that, I was an accountant, and those skills come in handy for the organisational side of my business.  

Who, or what, got you into wedding photography?

I fell in love with photography while living overseas. After spending a few years honing my skills I decided to see if I could make some money out of my passion and thought weddings might be a good place to start. Straight away, I loved it! The thrill of combining all types of photography — portraits, candid, street, landscape, food, still-life — into one shoot was amazing. And getting to be part of an incredible party was an added bonus!





What areas do you service?

Most of my weddings are in Adelaide and the surrounding wine regions, but I absolutely love leaving town for country weddings, and even heading interstate and overseas. I've been fortunate to shoot weddings in Sydney, Melbourne, the Yarra Valley, Darwin, Fiji, Borneo and the United Kingdom, as well as every corner of South Australia.

Can you describe your style of photography?

Fun, natural, vibrant and happy! I take photos that capture people having the absolute time of their lives!

Which of your wedding photographs are you most proud of?

One of my favourite photos was taken during a wedding’s first dance. I noticed Nanna watching on proudly, so I focused on her and used the out-of-focus couple to frame her smiling face. It wasn't until I got home that I realised there was another couple in the photo, they were making-out behind Nanna. I love multi-layered images, like that, where a collection of stories is being told in the one photo.





Where do you find ideas for your photography?

I rarely go into a wedding with a pre-conceived idea of what I want to shoot. All couples are different, and trying to force a specific type of photograph often ends up feeling a bit awkward  —  I like to gauge the vibe of the couple, and the wedding party, and come up with ideas on the fly.

Any hot tips for couples planning their wedding?

Book the big things early, like the venue, the photographer, and anything crucial that runs the risk of booking out.

What are your favourite places to capture weddings and couples in love?

I adore shooting weddings at wineries, estates and outdoors on private properties — be it a backyard or a paddock.




How do you manage to get relaxed photos of camera-shy couples?

I spend a good amount of time with each couple, and their bridesmaids or groomsmen, while they’re getting ready. This helps us get to know one another, and by the time we get to the wedding ceremony it's like we're old friends.

The wedding party can also help lighten the mood. They know the couple, and what to say to get them laughing, which makes for magical, joyful photos.

I also take a lot of photos, so I end up with a huge collection of split-second smiles, laughs, looks and reactions that really reflect the whole day. Most of the time I blend into the background with my camera on silent-mode — no one is camera-shy when they don't know their photo is being taken!


Where is the best place to see more of your work?

The highlights are posted to Instagram, but I also prepare a comprehensive blog post on my website after every wedding, which includes a slideshow. I think this is the most magical way for couples to first see their photos online — a curated collection of the best images of the day, thoughtfully arranged to tell the story of how it all unfolded.



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