Delightfully Dapper “I Do’s” by Joshua Mikhaiel [RF Wedding of the Week]

By // June 24, 2015 // Posted in Photography, Wedding, Wedding of the Week

I was actually eyeing a totally different wedding on Joshua Mikhaiel‘s portfolio to feature here before the Australia-based photographer pointed me to this elegant country nuptial, one he says was “truthfully, probably the highlight of my working year.”

I was definitely intrigued.

Hailee&Jarryd (2 of 1055)Hailee&Jarryd (10 of 1055)This charmer took place on a berry farm in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales, an absolutely idyllic backdrop for an outdoor wedding.

“I could tell from the very first meeting with Hailee and Jarad that they were going to be a perfect fit for my style,” Mikhaiel says. “I place a huge emphasis on connecting with my couples and making sure I really connect with the story I’m telling, and as they shared their story and talked about what they were planning, I was already getting super excited for their wedding.”

Hailee&Jarryd (81 of 1055)Hailee&Jarryd (178 of 1055)Hailee&Jarryd (174 of 1055)Hailee&Jarryd (203 of 1055)Hailee&Jarryd (549 of 1055)Hailee&Jarryd (573 of 1055)Hailee&Jarryd (254 of 1055)Hailee&Jarryd (266 of 1055)Hailee&Jarryd (279 of 1055)Hailee&Jarryd (321 of 1055)This wedding remains one of the most memorable for Mikhaiel largely because of the people. “The joy that was just so evident in what was happening and the raw and honest way the couple interacted throughout the day was just beautiful,” the photographer says, and of all the wonderfully beautiful details throughout the wedding, he loved “how they involved the children and included them into the proceedings as the two families became one.”

Hailee&Jarryd (300 of 1055)Hailee&Jarryd (312 of 1055)Hailee&Jarryd (332 of 1055)Hailee&Jarryd (346 of 1055)Hailee&Jarryd (399 of 1055)Hailee&Jarryd (404 of 1055)Hailee&Jarryd (377 of 1055)Hailee&Jarryd (386 of 1055)As a journalism and graphic design student four years ago, Mikhaiel bought his first camera and fell into wedding photography “completely by accident,” he says, initially wanting to take his camera abroad to become a war correspondent.

Hailee&Jarryd (492 of 1055)Hailee&Jarryd (506 of 1055)Hailee&Jarryd (564 of 1055)Hailee&Jarryd (520 of 1055)Hailee&Jarryd (562 of 1055)Hailee&Jarryd (543 of 1055)Hailee&Jarryd (617 of 1055)Hailee&Jarryd (425 of 1055)“My flatmate at the time was getting married and was broke so he said, ‘Hey, you’re creative, and now you have a camera. You can take our wedding pictures, right?’ And as a young clueless guy I thought, ‘Yeah, sure! How hard could it be?'” Mikhaiel recounts. “At that first wedding, I just fell in love with telling stories with a camera instead of with a keyboard, and the freedom I suddenly had to get right inside the story I was telling.”

Hailee&Jarryd (667 of 1055)Hailee&Jarryd (661 of 1055)Hailee&Jarryd (805 of 1055)Hailee&Jarryd (849 of 1055)Hailee&Jarryd (863 of 1055)Hailee&Jarryd (925 of 1055)Hailee&Jarryd (937 of 1055)“The reception speeches were pretty fantastic as well,” Mikhaiel says. “I love a great speech and I’ve always enjoyed shooting crowd reactions almost more than any other part of the day because it’s completely candid and unscripted.”

He made sure to capture the most emotionally significant moments, including one off-script moment in particular: when Hailee’s son got up to make “an impromptu speech accepting Jarad to be his Dad,” he says. “I mean, that stuff just makes me melt and cry at weddings. I love it.”

Hailee&Jarryd (876 of 1055)Hailee&Jarryd (866 of 1055)Hailee&Jarryd (884 of 1055)Hailee&Jarryd (900 of 1055)Hailee&Jarryd (890 of 1055)As is the case at most weddings, Mikhaiel did encounter some obstacles to tackle along the way, one of which was the rather dark reception hall as the sun set out of sight. “It creates a beautiful mood for the whole room, but it can be a photographer’s worst enemy at times,” he says.

“I hate using flash if I can ever get away without it, so I really had to work hard to make sure I was hitting my focus points and managing the increasing noise my camera was putting out as the night went on,” he explains. “It was so dark at one point my camera and f/1.2 lenses just really didn’t want to co-habitate willingly, so I switched to shooting live view and manual focusing during the speeches and on the dance floor to make sure I got everything nice and sharp. I would always rather have noisy photos that really make you feel like you were there in the dimly lit room than bounce a flash and distort the way things actually looked on the day.”

Hailee&Jarryd (953 of 1055)Hailee&Jarryd (1005 of 1055)Hailee&Jarryd (959 of 1055)Hailee&Jarryd (1040 of 1055)Hailee&Jarryd (1044 of 1055)Hailee&Jarryd (1021 of 1055)Hailee&Jarryd (1055 of 1055)Hailee&Jarryd (811 of 1055)

In Joshua Mikhaiel’s Gear Bag

CAMERAS: 2 Canon 5D Mark III bodies // LENSES: Canon 35mm f/1.4 L (his “go-to lens all day”), 45mm f/2.8 TS, 50mm f/1.2 L, 135mm f/2 L // LIGHTING: Canon Speedlite // OTHER: Holdfast Gear leather camera straps, “to keep everything balanced and my back in shape as well.”

Check out more RF Weddings of the Week, and email Jacquie Tobin or Libby Peterson with submissions.

Share This Article:

Libby Peterson

Libby Peterson

Libby Peterson is the Features Editor of Rangefinder. A Minneapolis native, she moved to New York after graduating from Indiana University’s School of Journalism in 2013, starting off as the magazine's editorial intern.

Previously from Libby Peterson:

1 Comment