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A Moment With 'Raquel Pires Photography'

ABIA discovers the artistic secrets of this Sydney-based wedding photographer.


Images courtesy Raquel Pires Photography

Creating a relaxed and friendly vibe on a couple’s wedding day is key to Raquel Pires’ stunning wedding photography.

“When couples relax you can expect more than beautiful, natural, stylish pictures, but also a soulful storytelling,” says Raquel.

 The highly-skilled photographer considers herself the guardian of people’s memories and prides herself on capturing them with her light, bright and sophisticated signature style.

Raquel took some time to chat to ABIA about editing, connecting with her couples, and growing up surrounded by photographs.


Tell us about your wedding photography service.

I’m about making more than photos, I’m about creating joyful memories! My aim is to make sure that when a couple revisits their photos years later, they bring back all the good feelings — warm hugs, loud laughs and cheeky smiles — of their wedding day, as if it happened yesterday.

How did you get started in the wedding industry?

I started my career as a newborn photographer while still living in my homeland of Brazil. When I moved to Australia, I started working with a very talented wedding photographer and I fell in love with the intimate style of wedding photography over here.

Where are you based and what locations do you service?

I’m based in Sydney, New South Wales, but I travel all around Australia and the globe. I often still spend a few months of each year in Brazil, and in Europe photographing weddings in Spain, Italy and France.



What got you interested in photography? 

The memories of my own family, our albums and a shoebox full of film and photos. Growing up before digital photography, and as the youngest of six children, I used to spread the printed photos out on the floor and loved the idea of surrounding myself in my family story, revisiting places, and even hearing stories from a time when I wasn’t even born. Photos are more than beautiful images, they are a family legacy.

Where do you get your creative inspiration? And your ideas for shots and locations?

I get my inspiration everywhere — books, movies, magazines, travelling — but my photographs tend to be inspired by understanding the unique story and style of the couples I am serving. A wedding’s colour palette and theme often influence the way I capture it, and I send my couples a questionnaire beforehand, so that I can understand their preferences.

If they’re going with a beachy-style I might include an element, like a shell, to compose details, or maybe choose some background vegetation for a more tropical feel. Or, if my clients are more contemporary, I might choose urban locations with a historical background.


Do you offer packages? What are the inclusions?

I offer a two-hour Elopement Package, a six-hour Half-Day Package and a 10-hour Full-Day Package. However, couples can always tailor the packages to add extra hours.

All packages include a digital wedding guidebook (to help couples plan their timing to make the most of lighting and photography), a sneak peek within three days, an online gallery of 700-1000 edited images in high and low resolution, a treasure box including five fine art prints, a USB and a meaningful gift. I also include travel fees, within one hour of Sydney’s CBD, and offer albums as an optional extra. 

What are your favourite photographic locations? And what do you do when it rains?

I love natural daylight photography, so anywhere openair with a beautiful background — beaches, greenery, country, historical places — is where I prefer to work my magic. If it rains I take my lead from the couple, and will either do something crazy outside with umbrellas, or go for an indoor location — a museum, art gallery or inside the venue — if that’s their preference.



How do you suggest couples go about looking for a photographer?

First, I recommend couples create a mood board of their wedding and write out some words that define their wedding style, like ‘classic’, ‘natural’, ‘warm’, ‘beach’ or ‘romantic’. Then I suggest they use those words to search for images and photographers that resonate with those references. 

Once they have three favourite photographers they should book a video call, send them the mood board and get a feel for whether their personality is a match. Personality is super important when you’re spending the most important day of your life with them.

What are some of the challenges of being a wedding photographer?

It can be tricky when couples book a photographer without really knowing what photographic style they are after, then send references that have no connection with the photographer’s style of work. 

What makes your service unique?

I believe my warm personality, my multicultural background and my experience working with different cultures around the world, make my service stand out. 

I also think my style of photography and editing is quite distinct. I like to deliver stylish, natural images, with a sophisticated colour tone and a discrete Fuji-film twist, and I also pride myself on my black-and-white classic shots. I know which shots are meant to be black-and-white even before the editing process!

I also have a friendly approach, and my aim is to create a comfortable, joyful and relaxed atmosphere that results in beautiful memories.



What was your favourite wedding?

The first one I shot in Australia was very special to me, it was intimate, relaxed and simply beautiful. It was at a fish and chip shop on the Central Coast of New South Wales, but was super stylish. They had a vintage car, really good taste and a great vibe with just their close friends and family.

How would you describe the couples you connect with the most?

They are an international mix. They're easy-going, relaxed, and they love photos but are not crazy about spending too much time on posing. Mostly, they want memories.

What do you love most about your profession?

Connecting with people from everywhere in the world and being a part of their happiest day. I feel like a guardian of their memories, and that means a lot to me.


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