Meet in-demand Ibiza wedding photographer Ana Lui. Having lived and worked on the white isle for over six years, Ana began shooting weddings in 2007, at a friend’s insistence and quickly discovered her natural aptitude and love for the role. Wedding photography has been her specialty ever since and today she boasts a full production studio and expert team on hand to capture all your Ibiza wedding memories…
How did you first get into wedding photography?
By accident! My first ever wedding was when I was assisting another photographer in Plymouth, a navy wedding! I was getting 50 pounds plus a meal so it was a great way of getting extra cash as a student. I was so nervous! At the time I didn’t know anything about the traditions or etiquette that wedding planners in England expected, like girls on the left, guys on the right… I really felt uncomfortable with telling people what to do!
So how did you go from being nervous to being one of Ibiza’s most in-demand wedding snappers?
I started assisting Gypsy Westwood and some other island wedding photographers. I also did a lot of big editorial/fashion productions working as an assistant or location manager. Then it just kind of ‘happened’! I think I developed my reputation via word of mouth, through White Ibiza and I have also had quite a lot of press, in Style Me Pretty, Vogue Novias, Cosmo Bride, You and Your Wedding and Perfect Wedding Magazine. A lot of this year’s couples are friends from last year’s couples and we’re even doing destination weddings now through recommendations from Ibiza clients – Dubai, South Africa, south of Spain, France, England…
How do you describe your style?
Fun, relaxed and experimental – it’s definitely not very traditional, I prefer to let people do whatever they want to do. A lot of my wedding couples are very independent, though some of the Spanish clients remain traditional. We always meet beforehand to establish what they want – I never do things just because ‘you should’. It’s much more natural and candid and I think the type of people who get married in Ibiza like that.
You’re already booked out for 2012 – when does someone need to get in touch to book you as their wedding photographer?
About a year in advance, especially if they have a June date in mind as that is always the busiest month.
You also work with a team – can you tell us a bit about them?
Photographer Eva Kruiper is on the Ana Lui Studio team, as a second option if I am booked out – though she’s pretty amazing so her dates are also getting booked out quickly! Then Giacomo Gex is our videographer – videos are an additional service – in keeping with the Ana Lui Studio style, they’re not traditional videos, more like a feature film of highlights from the day. He still has some dates available… but it’s looking like we’ll need to get another photographer on our team soon to keep up with the demand! Soon we will also have two full-time editors on board for a faster turnaround on wedding photos and albums.
What was it that drew you to the island in the first place?
You know, I always wanted to live here. I came here when I was 15 and I just fell in love with the island. I just knew this was where I wanted to live, it was instant, I don’t know exactly why – maybe it’s the energy here. I just love Ibiza.
What has been your favourite wedding so far?
I actually love most of the weddings I do – they’re fun, the people are fun and each one has a different energy. One that I really loved was a Jewish wedding last year at Atzaro, the vibe was really amazing.
How do you keep it interesting?
Some people say every wedding is the same, but really, it’s not. Sure it’s a routine for the photographer, you have to shoot the rings, and the dress an the first dance or whatever, but each wedding is unique, each bride, each dress, even when it’s the same venue the décor is always different. I never get tired of it. I wouldn’t enjoy it if I did.
How do you cope with stressed out brides or help people relax in front of the camera?
I usually just try and talk to the brides if they are feeling insecure, show them my pictures as I’m taking them, give them advice on how to pose…It’s great when she finally says, ‘Oh my god I look like a model!’ If they don’t enjoy the day you can really see it in the pictures. I’ve done low budget weddings where the dress or the location might not have been the best ever, but the photos are amazing, then I’ve done a wedding that cost around half a million euros and everything was perfect but the bride was so stressed you can see it in the photos!
What advice would you give to couples considering Ibiza as their wedding location?
To research a lot! Come and visit the island and see a lot of venues before picking one. A lot of the really nice weddings we shoot are in private villas and it’s such a great atmosphere, people seem to relax more.
What’s the most challenging thing about shooting weddings in Ibiza?
The hardest thing for me personally is the heat! But it’s just how it is – only the very brave would get married in August!
What’s your favourite part of the job?
I like the fact that couples let me into their lives for one day, and it’s such an important day for them, that they trust me to capture their memories. Afterwards they’ll get in touch when a baby is on the way, and sometimes we even end up doing a shoot with the baby. It’s nice to keep in touch and be a part of their lives.
Do the weddings you attend inspire you to get married in Ibiza?
Well… maybe I’d get married in Ibiza or maybe I’d have an express wedding in Vegas. I will let my other half decide!