Jonathan David Photography


Led by passion and a heart for capturing memorable photos, Jonathan David’s budding career in photography emerged from taking to the books to discover all about his craft. Through complete immersion into the field, and having a dedicated mentor to guide him in his journey, Jonathan found the courage and drive to pursue his passion full-time, venturing out into his own business. Here he shares the ins and outs of living creatively.

When did you fall in love with photography?

My dad was a wedding photographer in Cairo, Egypt and the studio there still exists to this day and continues to be a family-run business. I remember being surrounded by cameras growing up and very curious about photos of the studio (I was born here in Sydney). I think all little boys are awe-struck by what their dad’s do and think they are the greatest—I was no different. That curiosity about what my dad did led to me giving it a try, and because I’m a perfectionist by nature, I just found myself engrossed and pushing myself to take better and better photos.

How did you go about becoming a photographer?

It was pretty much passion-led learning. In the beginning, I read anything I could get my hands on: technical theory books, portraiture, books on how to draw out emotion, how to make best use of natural light … I just poured over book after book, article after article. I studied what I liked and didn’t like about specific photos. I tried to emulate established photographers to see if I could create similar looks and then took a step back and found my own style. I keep up-to-date and inspired by attending conferences and workshops these days—I’ve got some unbelievably talented peers out there!

What was the first shoot you did?

My first ever shoot was the wedding of a close friend, which I did for free. Looking back, I don’t know how or why she would have trusted me with something so important, but I’m so grateful she did because it led to the creation of Jonathan David Photography and the freedom of becoming my own boss. My first professional, paid shoot was shortly after and slightly embarrassing to recall. It was a 30th birthday party in Kings Cross, Sydney. I wasn’t of age yet and had heard stories about “The Cross” so I arranged to have a chaperone. Luckily, the chaperone was my high school mentor, who became a huge influence on the direction my life and the course my business would take.

What do you love about photographing weddings?

I’m going to sound like a big sap, but I actually like imagining how my photos will be passed down through generations. One day the young couple I’m taking photos of today will have children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren that they will open up and share their wedding album with. Some of my photos may even end up staying in the same spot on their walls for decades. I like the idea of the longevity of my work. I also love figuring out how to best capture the relationship in front of me. No two couples are the same and my approach to photographing a wedding is never the same. I don’t have checklists; I prefer to work off the emotions around me. This is the biggest day in someone’s life and they have entrusted me with their memories. That’s a lot of faith and I take that seriously.

What do you bring to your photography?

I hope couples can feel how genuine I am and how dedicated I am to making sure they really enjoy their day. I tell my couples that no matter how hard I try, I can’t Photoshop stress—so I bring a Zen-like calm to the wedding day and ultimately to my photos too. My aim is to capture raw and honest moments and the only way I can do that is by allowing my couples to feel comfortable enough to be themselves.

What’s next for you?

Well, I’m getting married this year, so that’s a big “next” for me. I can’t wait. I’m a pretty sentimental guy so I actually get emotional thinking about it. I have been photographing other people’s weddings for so long that I can’t believe I’ll be experiencing the other side of it. I somehow also managed to convince the sweetest, strongest, most out-of-my-league girl I’ve ever met to stay by my side for life, so I kind of feel like I’m getting away with something pretty big.


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