Please tell us more about yourself, Misha?

I’m an enthusiast of romance, weddings and red wine. I’ve been a full-time wedding photographer for most of my twenties and I’ve treasured every second of it. The wild rides, the chock-a-block busyness and the slow seasons. It’s an incredible, pinch-worthy honour to witness life’s most gushy, raw moments. Sunny Durban, KwaZulu-Natal is my home base but travelling all over South Africa to shoot weddings is my favourite job perk! On free weekends, you will find me road-tripping, or spending quality home time with my hubby, cat and my two dozen pot plants.

As each couple is unique. How do you capture their story?

No love story is ever the same. I adore observing how uniquely each couple expresses and receives love. There is not one size, or approach, that fits all. Taking the time to read your couple, or asking them well-thought-out questions to gauge their personalities is the best thing you can do. Listening and applying emotional intelligence will always be your secret superpower.

From contacting a client to delivering the final product, what is your favourite part?

Absolutely the wedding day! Give me all the sweet joy, adrenaline and happy tears. It’s fairly addictive, to say the least.

How do you help couples feel comfortable capturing their spontaneous moments?

So this definitely leads on from my answer to question two: listening and gauging should always be your first step. With that said, it’s crucial to give your couple time to warm up to you. Don’t come in guns blazing, expecting them to run across flower fields if they’re more reserved. Take the first five minutes of your session (without a camera in hand) to connect and start chatting. Start slow with easy cuddles, play the music they love, and compliment them sincerely along the way.

How do you play with composition to enhance your photography?

I draw a lot of inspiration from art history, modern design and watching beautifully shot filmography. Composition, done right, will always amplify the feeling of your scene. For example, I adore Wes Anderson’s symmetry and centric placement in his films. Symmetry and centric placement are a fantastic, easy go-to for clean compositions. For example, here is a snap of my Wes Anderson-inspired styled shoot. Centric placement, alongside the aesthetically pleasing, symmetrical architecture, draws the eye into the fun and action.

What tips do you have for photographers who travel often? 

Always make sure you have enough time to get to your destination. Arrive a day early for the sake of your own nerves. Creatively speaking, it allows you to be inspired by the new space you’re in. Don’t freak out trying to find the most “impressive” Instagram location. Beautiful ideas will come to you if you intentionally have an open, inspired mindset.

Do you have an interesting BTS story to share with us?

Every wedding photographer has a spicy BTS story, haha. My favourite has to be an outdoor ceremony I shot in the middle of a thunderstorm. We were all getting poured on but the energy of the couple and their guests was so palpable! It was my first wedding after a lockdown and it just felt so good to be back. The crazy weather just made it feel extra wild. It is definitely one of my favourites.

What equipment and photo editing software do you use? 

I shoot with a Sony Alpha a7 III camera, which has been so faithful to me! My go-to lens is the 24-70mm, aka, my lazy girl lens. My favourite flashes are my Godox V1 Speedlight, as well as my Godox LED lighting panels (perfect for receptions). I have a little Polaroid that I bring along for some sweet nostalgic keepsakes. For editing, I start at Photomechanic for culling, which has been one of the best time-savers for me. Then I jump between Lightroom for my bulk and then Photoshop for finer touches.

Is there anything else that you would like to add?

The secret to taking better photos is not fancy gear, filters or fabulous locations. It’s about listening better. As a creative, your greatest strength will always be your insatiable desire to be inspired, to observe and tap into the story you’re already telling. Always come back to the reason why you started taking photos in the first place. Nourishing your passion will always push you forward.

Connect with Misha on her Instagram, Facebook or website.