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Bek Smith // Fine Art Wedding Photography ~ Behind the Magic

Bek Smith, fine art wedding photographer, has been chasing love stories and capturing timeless, light drenched photographs across the globe for over 10 years. Her images draw you in by capturing the intimate moments and genuine emotions; each frame is packed with anticipation, joy and each couple’s unique magic.

Bek’s background in fashion photography amplifies her work. It filters through in her compositions, the way she works with natural light and her ability to position herself to capture the undulating moments of each wedding, like the poetic motion of a dress swept away in the breeze.

During our Creative Master Class, we sat down with Bek to chat about business and its challenges, finding work-life balance, and her mentoring services aimed at budding wedding photographers. Scroll below for more insights from Bek and we have a full recap of the CMC coming soon!

Tell us a little bit about your journey getting into Wedding Photography? Where you started and what you have built your brand into.

I started getting interested in Photography at School and studied at Uni for a Bachelor in Design and Photography (after a few years of finding my way). I didn’t actually start my own company until I was in my thirties and I have never looked back. Starting up, I shadowed other photographers I admired and shot weddings for friends and family to get some practice. I have since built my brand into a company I am proud of and now have an amazing team of Associate Photographers who work for my brand.

How important is having your own brand aesthetic?

It is SO important to have your own brand aesthetic and to stick to it. It took me a good few years to get it right, but when you do, you know. I learnt over the years to stop obsessing over other Photographers work and trying to get the same look and ideas as everyone else.

Once you find your aesthetic, stick to it and be proud of it. I now look to so many other sources of inspiration, instead of studying other wedding photographers. Be inspired by your surroundings, fashion, art etc. Whatever makes you weak at the knees.

What have been some of your biggest challenges as a business owner?

Definitely being your own boss. Navigating your way through the ups and downs and finding a work/life balance with a family. As a business owner, you need to seem like you have it all under control. No one is ever always under control and that’s not such a bad thing. Some of my biggest challenges and hurdles have made me a stronger business woman and I have become much more resilient and calmer in times of stress.

What have been some of your biggest successes as a business owner?

I would say my biggest success to date for me would be the fact that I have the opportunity to travel to amazing places in the world (not so much at the moment due to covid). It was always my goal to be a destination photographer and I have definitely fulfilled that dream already.

I have itchy feet just talking about it. Also meeting some of my idols in Photography and getting to mentor and pass on my knowledge and experiences to others.

As a Mother of two beautiful little ones, how do you manage your family work life balance, any tips for those entrepreneurs who are searching for that balance?

It definitely hasn’t been easy, but I think always making time for family is so important. Set aside two mornings that you only send emails or an hour each day that you spend on Marketing or editing. Chipping away at things is easier on your stress levels than leaving everything clumped into one whilst looking after little ones. They will remember the good times, not time you spent editing. We also try to make a family trip out of some of my destination weddings, so that everyone is involved and my children get to see the world. Always ask for help, you can’t do it all alone, all of the time.

Lets jump into a very big question, how have you dealt with the craziness of 2020 and COVID, has this had a massive impact on your business this year?

Straight answer, YES. It has been hard on everyone involved (couples, vendors etc). It has certainly hit hard on the bank balance. It’s a crazy time in the world but the only thing you can do is take one day at a time and turn your attention to other parts of your business that may have been neglected in the past. Form e, that is spending time on marketing.

A positive for me is that I have gotten to spend quality time with my kids instead of working every other weekend. I am fortunate to still have a business but it is definitely not going to be the same again for a while.

What keeps you inspired in these hard times?

My Husband is also creative and inspires me every day. My children inspire me of course and I am a book FREAK. My favourite thing to do is look through my book collection and get new ideas, whether it be for business or pleasure. I also get inspired through art and

what people are creating in isolation.

Tell us a little about your Mentoring services and do you have any advice for those wanting to get into the Wedding Photography?

Mentoring is a highlight for me. I think offering your wisdom and experiences is something we should all do. No Wedding Photographer is ever exactly the same; someone is always going to take something different away from a session.

I give advice on everything from starting off, directing a couple, Creating a wedding day shot list and staying creative among other things. I also give portfolio and website reviews and advice.

If you are starting out in the wedding industry, it is so important to get to know what you love. What are you passionate about? Seek advice from others and find your own niche.

Success is about finding your passion, taking advice and growing constantly.

If you’d like to see more of Bek’s work, check out Kasia and Cameron’s real wedding feature here, and to get in touch with Bek, head over to her website. You can also follow Bek on Instagram at @beksmithimages.



    Browse through our recommended selection of story tellers, handpicked on our beautifully curated Vendor Directory.

    Anya OstapenkoChaos & Harmony

    Anya Ostapenko is the unrelenting force and face behind the contemporary Australian bridal label, L'eto Bridal. L'eto has one central focus when it comes to reshaping the bridal world; to make love cool again.

    Cool the L'eto bride is, with careful and considered play between textures, silk weights and design- there is something for everyone. Each collection is an ode to a specific love for Anya; country, era and aesthetic- all collections speak of a time and style that Anya believes should exist in the bridal world. The result? L'eto brides have been adorning aisles (or catwalks) everywhere with these incredible new bridal gowns.

    Self-taught in every way, Anya Ostapenko is a name that the fashion and bridal world alike need to look out for, because as much as she has transformed the world of bridal, she is only getting started.



    Beks AndersonChaos & Harmony

    Over 10 years ago, Chaos & Harmony’s Creative Director and Founder, Beks Anderson and her husband sold everything they owned and moved to Italy so Beks could learn to design shoes at the Instituo Europeo di Design in Rome. She was taught by tutors who’d worked at Valentino and Fendi, among others, and learned how to infuse her lifelong love of texture, materials and leathers into comfortable, high-quality, hand-made shoes.

    Twelve months later they returned to Mount Maunganui and created Chaos & Harmony - a market-leading, boutique shoe company.Β The name Chaos & Harmony reflects our love of textures to create depth – it brings about a curious contradiction. It also subtly sums up a woman’s world!

    @chaosandharmonyshoes @beks_anderson


    Cameron ThorpChasewild

    Cameron is the co-founder of Chasewild Photography - an adventurous and emotive wedding photography company based in New Zealand. Beyond shooting weddings and elopements, Chasewild equips and enables photographers to upskill themselves and grow their businesses through their workshops, editing presets and one-on-one mentoring sessions. Cameron believes that photography and creative business exist to 'turn your heart' on and is passionate about artists discovering their unique take on how they do that for the world. As easy-going as they come, Cameron is only particular about a few things in life: the grind size of his morning coffee, access to regular golf games and the campari ratio of a light night negroni.



    Greta KenyonTogether Journal

    Greta is the Editor, Founder & Publisher of Together Journal - a publication celebrating creative and authentic real weddings, celebrations and love from all over the world. Greta studied photography, graphic design and marketing, and worked in the fashion industry for eight years before having her three children. While on maternity leave, she started shooting weddings for friends, as well as editorial content for magazines and blogs. Her photography business grew rapidly - within a couple of years she was shooting weddings all over New Zealand, Australia, the Pacific Island, Indonesia and the USA. Eventually, Greta noticed a distinct lack of modern wedding media on a global scale - so with the help of others in the wedding community, Together Journal was born!

    @greatanzΒ @togetherjournalΒ 


    Kath MackenzieOne Fine Day

    Kath is the owner and creative behind wedding brand, One Fine Day. Her genuine passion for the industry, combined with her impeccable eye and knowledge, has seen Kath and her One Fine Day team produce unforgettable weddings for over a decade. What started from humble beginnings as a one-man-band venture, has now seen One Fine Day grow into a vibrant A-team of 11 event professionals. Kath describes herself as a perfectionist, problem solver, creative, master of common sense and lover of a good challenge. She’s also a travel lover, wife and mum to three gorgeous children living in Queenstown, New Zealand, where One Fine Day is based.



    Michelle FowlerHalf Light Studio

    Michelle is the creative behind Half light Studio, a multidisciplinary design and business strategy studio dedicated to helping small businesses and creatives level-up and create conscious and sustainable brands. Michelle is an experienced designer, developer and business mentor who has a wealth of expertise working for and alongside small-to-medium businesses across a variety of industries. Her approach to brand growth centres on supporting clients to gain clarity on their values, streamlining and organising their systems, and elevating their thought processes to create conscious business models filled with nourishment and purpose.



    Samantha GerardWild Hearts

    Lover of all things wild, Samantha founded Wild Hearts in 2015 alongside a group of local creatives. With a passion for dreaming big and a vision to create a community of like-minded industry leaders, Samantha has grown Wild Hearts into the well-known brand it is today. A stylist by trade, she is also the creative-soul behind all of our Wild Hearts campaigns and you will find her work featured in some of our favourite places including Together journal, Hello May, The Lane, and our own Wild Hearts Magazine.




    Sara + JeanTwelve Tables

    Twelve Tables directors Sara and Jean started their journey in 2015 in the midst of planning their own wedding. A love for creativity and details (and of course, each other) led the journey of sourcing and crafting unique items for their wedding. Four years and 150+ celebrations later, Twelve Tables is New Zealand’s tailored event expert, offering a luxury and completely customised marquee venue for clients throughout New Zealand.



    Si MooreBayly & Moore

    One half of Aotearoa-based photography duo Bayly & Moore, Si brings a decade’s worth of experience traversing the globe shooting people in love with every analog gadget he can find. A Rangefinder-NYC awarded photographer he has been recognised with numerous accolades from around the globe and has presented at key industry conferences and workshops in Europe, the US, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. Constantly dealing with the strong South Pacific sun has given him an enduring obsession with heavy shadow lines, directional light, and how human stories fit into all of that in the boldest way.

    IG: @baylymoore @sasmoore

    Web: baylymoore.com sasmoore.com