Meet Lara Hotz: an Australian photographer who has established herself as a highly influential figure in the industry. She is a firm favourite of wedding magazines, blogs and, let’s be honest, the whole of social media due to her distinctive images featuring dramatic confetti and smoke bombs, as well as the occasional celebrity bride. This creative lady is never without a camera and uses it to document life every step of the way. Intrigued? Well read on, as we learn more about her journey into photography and share in her expert knowledge.
Where it all began
Lara’s involvement in the wedding industry began when she would assist in designing albums for a local wedding photographer whilst at high school. Although she was intrigued by the creativity of the photos and was fascinated by telling the story of a day through photographs, she still had no plans to be a photographer until she went on to study fine art at university, where she realised that her passion for her camera was stronger than her passion for her paintbrush. She initially started shooting small events and birthdays and working for different commercial, fashion, portrait and wedding photographers until she decided that wedding photography was the style of photography she was most passionate about. “I love the way that wedding photography is a combination of so many different types of photography all in one day and the way it lends itself to a mix of photo journalistic documentation, portrait photography, food and styling photography. I love the challenges it provides with the constant changing light, moods, locations, people and cultures and that each wedding is completely different from the next.”
Describing herself as a ‘Visual storyteller’, Lara draws inspiration from the love, laughter, characters and atmosphere of the day. “I believe that photography is about capturing moments and finding beauty in unlikely places, and at its best when underscored by truth”, she told us. Depending on the couple’s preference, Lara is willing to be present from sunrise until late into the night. “I love to capture as much as possible to piece together the story of the day, and I always ensure enough time has been allocated to have a moment with the couple so they can have some time together to really take in everything and to create some beautiful portraits for them.”
Above all, though, Lara places great emphasis on getting to know her clients and making sure that they feel comfortable by always remaining open and honest. This creates a great deal of trust between them, allowing her to deliver images that portray their story perfectly. “It’s their story after all and each one is so unique and different, so it’s important that they feel comfortable around me and let me into their worlds for a day.”
We couldn’t miss out on the opportunity to ask Lara to share some of her inside knowledge with us so that you can make sure that your wedding photographs perfectly document your day. Firstly, Lara told us about the importance of finding the right photographer to suit your personality and style, since there are so many different ways to approach wedding photography. Lara told Zankyou, “Make sure that you find a photographer whose work and style resonates with you and then trust in them.”
And for those who want photographs that truly reflect who you are, Lara has some wonderful advice to offer: “Have a think about the essence of the two of you as a couple. What means the most to you, your passions, your favourite colours, things you love or sentimental places and then try to incorporate these into your wedding day. The more personal elements that are incorporated into your wedding day, the more unique your photographs will be.” She admits that she loves it when a couple has a theme to their wedding day or when they request a certain dress code from their guests, since visually interesting elements make the day even more exciting.
Last but not least, we were intrigued to find out whether there was a particular moment from a wedding that Lara has photographed which will stay with her forever and she told us that it’s rather the collection of all of the tiny magical moments that stay with her. “Photography is an art of observation and interpretation, so constantly being on your toes and ready to document all the connections and relationships between the couple, their family and friends is what it’s all about. My favourite images and the most memorable moments for me are always the most unexpected ones.”