Island Encounters Photography is a personalised boutique business fuelled by the vision and artistic talent of photographer Laura Pittman. Laura is passionate about telling your love story in the form of timeless, artistic images. She loves interacting with people and having fun with them on their wedding day – capturing natural moments, stolen glances, laughter and love. An ocean-lover, she also specialises in Drown the Gown sessions, both above and below the water.
Q&A WITH LAURA FROM ISLAND ENCOUNTERS PHOTOGRAPHY
Tell us a little about your background?
I am an expat who has lived in and loved Fiji for more than 15 years. I have three beautiful daughters, Eden, Elani and Isla, all born in Fiji. My husband and I direct a non-profit in Fiji that reaches out to meet the needs of the underprivileged through education and sustainable agriculture. The photography business helps to support the non-profit, enabling our clients to leave a legacy of love to the people of these beautiful islands.
How did you begin your business?
My husband and I initially came to Fiji as volunteers, but having obtained our citizenship we were able to start a small business and make money to help our vision for the non-profit come alive. I have always loved photography, and after shooting a number of friends’ weddings and second-shooting for others, I decided it was time to start my own business, and Island Encounters Photography was born! Since then I have grown by leaps and bounds in my confidence and ability, and I have top-of-the-line gear to match. The great thing about photography is there’s always room to push boundaries, get creative, and keep climbing higher.
What do you enjoy the most about what you do?
I am constantly in awe that I get paid to do what I am passionate about. I get to create beautiful images, travel the Fiji Islands, meet amazing people and stand witness to the love between them. It is truly an honour to join with a couple on their wedding day. Beautifully capturing their love is not a job I take for granted. I enjoy it all—from sharing in and capturing those special moments from the beginning of the day up until the end, and then re-living it all again as I’m editing the photos at my desk (you should see my silly grins and sometimes even tears when I go through the photos later!).
I also ADORE Drown the Gown shoots the day after the wedding because everyone is relaxed and just having fun. We get such great images in the water. The ocean makes me happy. As a former lifeguard and biologist, it’s a fun way to combine my love of the sea with my love of wedding photography!
Favourite location in Fiji to shoot at?
Somewhere new! Experiencing it all for the first time is magical. I love shooting at the Coral Coast, Savusavu and Taveuni since I used to live in those places, and I really enjoy the beautiful beaches and turquoise water at Vomo, Mana, Malolo and any of the Yasawas.
Your favourite wedding/ trash the dress session you have shot so far and why?
Please don’t make me choose! I’ve loved all of my weddings. I have a soft spot for elopements and intimate sand bank weddings, but I also am energized by the dynamics of a big group of friends and family celebrating together.
Favorite place to visit in Fiji?
3 things you can’t live without?
1. My Faith
Top tip for Bride & Grooms on their day?
ENJOY THE JOURNEY. Be organised prior to your wedding day, then let it all go the day of the wedding and just embrace each moment. The most important thing is that you’re about to marry your best friend. This life-long commitment is what the day is about so don’t sweat the small stuff!