I have a deep respect for photographers who will go an extra mile to make their clients happy. Australian photographer James Day did exactly this for a couple whose wedding he recently captured. Along with videographers Shaun and TJ of Lemon Tree Film House, James photographed the wedding of Steph and Rob. Unfortunately, Steph is completely blind, but James had a special multi-sensory album made for her so she can remember her big day. He shared with us some details of the wedding day and how he and his team made it more memorable for the bride, but also for everyone else.
Steph has Cone-Rod Dystrophy, an inherited eye disorder that completely took away her eyesight shortly before she met Rob. Her mother Linda is also blind, so the multi-sensory wedding album meant a lot to her as well. The couple got married in November, and James told DIYP that it was by far the most emotionally overwhelming wedding for him, Shaun and TL to be a part of.
There was one question constantly repeating in their heads: “How do we produce a film, and create an experience, that can be enjoyed by someone with no sight as much as those with sight?” And in my opinion, they did a marvelous job!
Even though James, Shaun, and TJ are visual artists, they consider audio to be just as important as the visuals. However, this time it was even more important. So, they captured as much narrative as possible. During the wedding day, the team and James would describe every little detail to Steph as much as possible: the direction of the sun, the landscape, expressions on loved ones’ faces, how beautiful Steph looked in her dress, and so on. But the sensory journey through memories of the wedding day goes even further.
Steph and her mom were presented with 10 pieces of fabric throughout the day, and each of them was infused with a different essential oil. The idea was that the feel of those fabrics and the scent of those oils bring back the precious moments of the day into their memories.
The day after the wedding, James, Shaun, and TJ created a short clip about the wedding. They showed it to the guests, but everyone was wearing blindfolds while listening to Steph’s and Rob’s vows. This way, the guests could have experienced the event from Steph’s perspective. And a month after the wedding, there was a special surprise for the newlyweds. The Private Sony Cinema who offered their facility to screen their wedding film for the first time. And James explains, this is so much more than ‘a wedding film’: “It tells their incredible story; their stories as individuals and their story since becoming a couple.”
As a gift to the couple, James got textured prints from Vision Art Australia. He had them arranged in a tactile wedding photo album so that Steph and her mom Linda could run their hands over the photos. Although they couldn’t see the colors, they could have imagined the colors and scenes as they felt raised outlines and shaded areas. But other than the sense of touch, the team behind Vision Art created this album so that it included the senses of sound and smell, too.
Remember those 10 pieces of fabric with essential oils? They were also included in the album, along with 10 crystal bottles containing the corresponding scents. There were James’ photos that matched each of the scenes, as well as audio snippets captured during those moments of the day. All this combined helped Steph and her mom to be transported back to the wedding day in every possible way, but I believe that Rob enjoyed this unique album as well.
As I said, I have huge respect for photographers who go an extra mile to do something special for their clients. And in this case, I think that James and his team went extra few miles, so to say. They aren’t only dedicated professionals, but they are also caring human beings: and I definitely respect both of these traits.