Alexander Smith managed to secure the latest cover of Destiny Magazine with a gorgeous photo of Dr Bahle Zondo and Nomfundo Mcoyi at their wedding, taken on the Fujifilm X-T5. We chatted to him about the shot, the performance of the X-T5 and his dream destination.
Great image for Destiny Magazine, congrats! Can you tell us more about how the cover came about?
Getting the cover of Destiny Magazine came about as a pretty fortunate series of events. I was given the tremendous opportunity to shoot the incredible wedding in Bali for two of the kindest humans you’ll meet – Dr Bahle Zondo and Nomfundo Mcoyi. This wedding was off the charts impressive and it showcased the amazing beauty and talent of the Balinese island and her people.
While capturing this five-day wedding we made sure that the guests from around the world received content in the form of edited photos and videos to post on their own social media platforms. This caused the wedding to start trending back home in South Africa and quick-footed producers and magazines were able to pick it up.
It was an image that happened on the fly during the wedding night. As the couple had just finished their thank-you speech, they were standing and waiting for the cake to come. I noticed how well the arches of the background framed – I seized the moment using the available lighting, grabbed a candid shot and then got them to look towards me for the winner.
Back home I met with the owner of Destiny Magazine to go through the footage and photos to see if we had an image that encapsulates the event as well as the couple. From our short list, this was the image that went to print. The Fujifilm X-T5 captured it perfectly, ideal for print on a national magazine cover nogal!
Tell us about your experience working with the Fujifilm X-T5?
When the X-T5 came out I was very excited about the new sensor and update on focus tracking. That said, I was concerned about the fact that I couldn’t add a battery grip – essential to the way I shoot a wedding – but surprisingly I didn’t miss it as much as I thought. In Bali, the camera handled the cold aircon rooms, then the sweltering humid outdoors, then the rain. It was a real champ, a totally reliable tool for me to craft art from – I loved it!
Would you recommend Bali as a country for a destination wedding? Where do you still want to shoot?
Bali was incredible and I would definitely recommend it for a destination wedding with so much natural and traditional beauty. But it’s a bit far from SA if you’re planning on having any guests from home. One place I’ve always wanted to shoot a wedding was Italy, in the Lake Como Region – I think it’ll be a most profound experience.
How long have you been shooting weddings and how did you get started?
When my first child was born in 2008 I picked up a little Fujifilm FinePix to grab some pics of my new-born. I was hooked and started taking pictures of pretty much everything. Then one day a friend asked me to shoot their tiny wedding. I’d never done something like that before so I borrowed a camera and spent some time on the university of YouTube. That day, shooting my first wedding I knew that this was what I was made to do – I was woven a spun in my mother’s womb for this purpose. I’ve never looked back and have shot about 1100 glorious nuptials to date.
Where can people find your work?