Ashane Bernard, the curator of ‘Ashane Bernard Portraiture’ and a prominent figure in the world of wedding photography, is our esteemed topic of the day. A well-known and humble individual who’d never fail to acknowledge another and perhaps engage in some pleasantries, steps out of his Mercedes as I acknowledge him. Suffering from fatigue he smiles and adjusts his equipment possibly to set-up for an outdoor pre-shoot.
He says he’s come to capture the bride and groom as they go on their merry way, then smiles a tad and says “it was nice seeing you again” as I walk towards FLOW, deeply engrossed in his work, waiting for the couple like a tiger waiting to prowl on its prey.
Ironically, Ashane does have a nickname of a ferocious animal but it’s more of a minute carnivorous type that loves honey as opposed to meat and we’re not quite sure how it stuck. Well, those of you who want to know what it is the movie Jungle Book might give you a clue or two. This renaissance individual is also a talented musician, if you happen to follow him on instagram, you’d see his duet with Umaria Sinhawansa.
Intrigued by his style of photography I inquired what captivated him to venture into the world of photography. He answered chronologically giving insights into his childhood passion, which he subsequently turned into a profession.
“I used to love collecting images and rearranging family photo albums when I was a kid. Eventually, my mum surprised me with my very first camera and I started taking pictures of my family and friends; whether it be on road trips or at parties. I got plenty of positive feedback which gave me the confidence to even think about perusing a career in photography.”
Q: What made you take up photography as a profession?
Photography and music are easily my two favourite things in the world and it just seem to come to me naturally. I guess it’s been pure luck where I actually get paid to do what I love. It really is a blessing.
Q: Music or Photography, what are you better at?
I get asked this often and I don’t really know the answer. I’d rather leave it up to my audience to decide. Music has been a part of my life since the day I was born and I just happened to stumble upon a camera, which I figured out quite effortlessly. I don’t think it’s a case of “Jack of all trades, Master of none” either. I think I give equal amounts of attention to both forms of art so this question I really can’t answer.
Q: Which aspect of photography, would you consider yourself following, portraits, people or emotions?
I think as a wedding photographer you should be able to consider all three of these elements. There’s really no one without the other. Capturing real people, feeling real emotions. Just catching all those raw moments in an image between two people who are vowing to go through the rest of their lives together. You can’t fake those emotions. This is why I love wedding photography.”
Q: How do you manage your social life with work?
I’m answering this during quarantine right now but pre-quarantine my life was all work work work. Its either weddings or music. Don’t really have too much of a social life. I have a small group of friends who are busy themselves so, when we can get together, we do go for a dinner or a movie, we’re all very low key. It’s so important to have understanding people around especially when you can’t always make a dinner or a function because of work commitments.
Q: What type of equipment do you use?
I really like the quality and feel of Sony at the moment. I personally choose natural light whenever possible. Give me sunlight any time of the day.
Q: Are you a detail-oriented person?
Oh, absolutely. Whether it be photography to music, interior design to food and clothing I am very particular. The lighting the sound the positioning the symmetry the balance – they all have to be in place. I won’t stop until it’s perfect but I’m not a control freak either. I do everything quite calmly hehehe.
Q: Ashane Bernard Portraiture combines unique hues & shades what inspires the final outcome?
I’ve inherited my colour pallet from my grandpa, he loved his grey’s, whites and browns and that’s something I’ve applied to my style of photography.
Q: How would you classify those styles?
I don’t know if you could box it into a specific style but I’d describe it as a modern take on vintage – perhaps moody, bohemian.
Q: Whom would you classify as your greatest idols?
My parents and grandparents. My grandpa got me my first piano and my mom got me my first camera and they’ve been my greatest inspiration since I was little.
Q: If you could only carry one lens, which would it be?
50mm, I could pretty much shoot an entire wedding with it. It has the right amount of ‘bokeh’ and wide enough to capture landscapes behind your subject.
Q: What makes the great pictures stand out from the rest?
Framing and lighting.
Q: What does it take to keep a client in one place till you’re done?
To be honest, I much rather have them not stay in one place. I love capturing movement.
Q: What are you working on currently?
Something that has absolutely nothing to do with photography or music.
Q: Where would you prefer to travel the most and why?
I love heading over to the US and Europe. Why? Because every time I go, I’m inspired by the art, the architecture, the people and the food!
Q: Have you partaken in any international shoots?
Yes, Canada, Australia, France and the United Kingdom.
Q: What sort of dedication is required to run your own business?
The ability to stay inspired and committed.
Q: Which brand of cameras do you prefer and why?
SONY and CANON.
Q: What is the most rewarding part of being a photographer?
The fact that I get to be a part of someone’s biggest day and I get to put my creativity in documenting it. Also, the post-process of working on the photos can be very exciting and rewarding. Positive feedback from clients is probably the most rewarding.
Q: If you were to give some quick-tips on capturing the perfect photo, what would you impart?
Personally, it’s all about exposure, framing and how you use available light. It depends on each individual, some prefer brighter photos others may prefer slightly darker photos.
Q: What advice could you pass on to our readers?
Whether it be photography, music or any business, you have a responsibility to yourself and your clients to keep being inspired and focus on always being ahead of the game so as to keep evolving and building your brand to be better so you can give better every single time.
Ashane Bernard is the founder and owner of Ashane Bernard Portraiture, an esteemed wedding photography agency that specializes in capturing blissful moments.
You may follow his work on Instagram at ‘Ashane_Bernard_Portraiture’.
Article by: Lev Suriyaaratchy
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