- interview -

a minute with

dan blumenthal, blumenthal photography


Blumenthal Photography comes with a reputation, known for capturing their timeless images that reflect their simple, natural and beautiful motto. 

We get to know a little more about photographing one of the most important days in a couple's life. Dan Blumenthal gives us a little insight into his world behind the lens and why the passion still exists some 20+ years later. 


“It’s one thing to get one beautiful shot but shooting the whole day and creating a story of the day with beautiful shots - that really comes down to experience.”

Why wedding photography? Where did it begin? 

I started my career in photo journalism working for a newspaper in South Africa during the apartheid.  

Shortly after I realised I was inspired by shooting subjects and moved into fashion photography.

But it was while I was a guest at a wedding I noticed the photographer setting up lighting and getting the couples posing - it all looked very awkward. All I thought was there are so many moments that are happening around you and you are missing them! I realised that the skills I had learnt from working in photo journalism combined with the fashion work was a difference I could bring to capturing a weddding day. Candid, beautiful images but working with all the natural elements and moments of the day. 

Telling the story of the day through beautiful photos - and that is the style we carry to this day. My favourite shots are always the ones they didn’t know were being taken.

A year before leaving South Africa I was asked to shoot Nelson Mandela’s grand daughters' wedding. This proved to be
a large and very historic wedding. Following this weddingI found myself with a reputation and quite a following - this reputation helped me when I moved to Australia in 1996 and started Blumenthal Photography, from my home.

What do you see as your point of difference?
Definitely experience! What people don’t realise is the wedding day only happens once and it happens quickly. You can’t control the timing and conditions, you have to be able to capture beautiful photos and deal with all the elements of
a wedding day - eg: weather changes and time constraints. 

Today Blumenthal is not just me, it consists of a number of photographers who have been integral to the reputation we have built - so it doesn’t matter if it's me or one of the team - we all have the same style in the way we capture the day that is true to our brand. Particularly using natural light which is both flattering and soft, rather than harsh and flat.

I feel the definition or interpretation of ‘natural’ photography has been distorted over time - setting up natural shots is one thing but capturing a natural shot is very different. What you get is the feeling and emotion you could never reflect had you not been ready to shoot it. 

Your top 3 pieces of advice for a couple when they considering their photography?

1 | Don’t just choose via social media go in and see the complete wedding from beginning to end. 

2 | Make sure the style of photography reflects how your day is - eg. classic formal, natural beachy...  

3 | Meet your actual photographer - it's so important you like them! You are going to spend the day together.



How would you describe your style?
Natural and classic something that never dates and is timeless. 

Do you collect anything?
Old cameras and watches! I think the watches thing came from always watching time at a wedding.

Do you have artists, photographers or designers that inspires you?

Mario Testino - The Princess Diana portraits - those shots you could sense the natural emotion and the use of natural light.

Music on your playlist?
Anything latin! 

When there is down time where’s your favourite place?
Anywhere with trees and is out of the city.

What don’t you leave home without?
Phone charger and water (oh and of course the phone)

Favourite cafe or restuarant?
The Italian Bondi, Sydney.

Favourite location for a photoshoot with couples?
That's easy - anywhere with nature and soft lighting - we love movement and photos that are shot through
a field or forest are quite amazing. 

With all the weddings you’ve seen what's one story that makes you laugh?
I had a bride who wore the most incredible 9 inch heels and while shooting her next to the pool her heel broke and well you can guess where she ended up... yes she fell in the pool!

Travel - your favourite haunt and what is a must do?
Thailand in particular Koh Samui - the people are so friendly and spiritual. 

On your wish list right now?
I want to take my family to Africa and experience the Safari and animals in their natural habitat. 


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