Walking into the top floor Crown Street office of Inlighten Photography is as much of an experience as those captured and hung on the walls in ornate frames.
“Every client receives a glass of champagne as soon as they walk through the door,” Inlighten founder Dean tells me as I take a seat on a lounge straight out of Vogue Living, “we work really hard on the whole package, not just the photos. We are selling a whole experience.”
The Inlighten Photography experience has earned husband and wife business duo Dean and Rachael the reputation as one of Sydney’s premium wedding and event photography studios.
“I was coming home from school one day and I found a box of rubbish someone was throwing out. There was a camera lens in there and it just sparked my interest,” says Dean, who has been a professional photographer for twenty-five years now.
Rachael’s background is in marketing and accounting, and together with Dean’s photography skills and passion for people, Inlighten has expanded to a team of four full time photographers and ten freelancers, some of which have been working with them for fourteen years.
“Everyone in the team is incredibly personable. You have to love weddings particularly, in fact you sort of have to be an expert in weddings as well as photography.”
“I carry a sewing kit in my camera bag in case the bride or bridesmaid’s dress rips,” explains Dean, expert trouble-shooter on both sides of the lens, “at a wedding we shot last week I dressed the bride myself because all the bridesmaids had long fingernails and couldn’t do the buttons up.”
I couldn’t help but ask about the wedding of the man who has shot around one thousand weddings in his time.
“We had it at the old mortuary train station in Redfern,” recalls Dean, “all the guests played Conga drums while we danced the Bridal Waltz in the middle. It was a bit out there. We wanted something different yet elegant.”
As well as wedding, portrait and event photography, Inlighten’s business side branch Social Media Photos (socialmediaphotos.com.au) is aimed local businesses that are after affordable and professional social media-targeted photography and videography.
“There’s such a hub of creative businesses in Surry Hills. We want to be really involved, work together creatively and help each other.”