Award winning journalist, photographer, and videographer Tamara Saadé is well-known within the Lomography community, previously being featured for her vast body of work as well as even sharing her fantastic writing with our magazine at one point. The NYC and Beirut-based photographer is back with us today to share her touching and magical wedding shots, all taken on our color negative film!
Hi Tamara, welcome back to Lomography Magazine! Can you fill us in on what you've been up to since your last feature?
Hello Lomo team! It’s always a pleasure to be here. I’m happy to say that since the last time I was here, I’ve been quite busy with assignments, projects, and exhibitions. If you’re a photographer yourself, you know that work and inspiration come in waves, where some months go by without a single day of work, whereas during others you can’t stop shooting. I’m very grateful that I’ve had a busy few years, and hope that I’ll have more of those in the future.
Most of your work is in journalism, what made you decide to start shooting weddings?
While I do still work in journalism and photography, I decided to adventure myself in wedding photography. Few know this, but when I was younger I wanted to become a
wedding planner. My type A organization skills and love for love and planning events wanted to dive into that wedding planning. But my passion for writing and photography eventually took over. After realizing how much I loved shooting my friends’ weddings, I thought to myself, why not give wedding photography a go. On another note, and I think we should be more transparent about this, but journalism and photography are not the most financially rewarding careers, so I’m trying to complement my income with wedding
Why shoot weddings on film rather than digital?
As someone who shoots film and digital, I don’t see both as opposites, rather than complementing each other. For now, I’m focusing on film photography for weddings, since the grain, feeling, and render of it all is unmatchable. I also love the surprise—and risk!—that come with receiving the scan, and just reliving the moments of the wedding, later on. I also shoot a limited amount of films per wedding, which forces me to choose the shots carefully, and make sure I have the best composition possible.
How does Lomography film compliment your wedding photography?
When I started the business, actually when I was only thinking of starting the wedding photography on film business, it was an evidence for me to use Lomo film. The vibrancy
of the film, the colors, and the fine yet present grain, just make the pictures so much more exciting. I mainly shoot Lomo 400 and 800, because I know I can be guaranteed
the best result and consistency, which is necessary for such a venture. But I’m excited for a couple to want to experiment more and go for Lomo Purple or Turquoise even. I’m
always open to playing around with new films, different color palettes, to really fit the mood of a wedding.
Do you have a favorite photo that you've taken during your wedding shoots?
I don’t have a favorite photo (yet) at least, but all of them just make my heart full. I do have a soft spot for first of the rolls, specially when the burnt film complements a moment I captured. I really love seeing each wedding as a whole, as a project of itself kind of. I also don’t have a favorite wedding that I shot so far, but just love all of them. I love that they take me to new places, to meet new faces, and immortalize so much love, all in one place.
Weddings are fast-paced events, do you have any tips or tricks for keeping up while shooting at them?
I think my background as a photojournalist really helped me with weddings, since I’m used to being alert, and always ready to seize the moment. I think with weddings the only additional skill would be to know how to direct a bit, to be able to have the gorgeous spontaneous shot, but also some more cinematic moments. I think my biggest tip would be to be organized with your gear and time, and go through the events and timeline of the wedding on the day of, or before the wedding. It’s important to know in advance what to expect, and also be ready to catch any spontaneous moment or surprises.
Can you describe what the shift between photojournalism to wedding photography is like? Are there any major differences that you've had to get used to?
There are many more similarities between photojournalism and wedding photography than people think. Obviously the biggest difference for me comes from an ethical point
of view, where in photojournalism I absolutely do not intervene in the scene I photograph. Nor do I retouch it, or edit it in a way that alters the meaning, context, or story behind the photograph. In wedding photography, I do feel more comfortable intervening in the photographs, asking people to move out of the frame, or pose in a certain way. When it comes to editing, I’m naturally not inclined to retouch much, I like an all natural, rather raw look, no matter my subject.
Do you have any upcoming projects or shoots that you can share?
I’m always working —or trying to work— on photo projects and articles on my own. Right now, I’m planning an exhibition with Brooklyn Film Camera for October. It’s quite different from the work you’re used to seeing from me, but I’m really excited about it. So if you’re in New York in October, make sure to stop by Brooklyn Film Camera!
Anything else you'd like to share?
I just really want to thank Lomography for being what it is, a constant support to the film community, not only by still creating film, and film cameras. But also by giving a platform to film photographers, and photographers in general. So thank you for keeping the craft alive, and making this journey always more exciting!