We’re 2 guys – yes, we lost a nut – who love photography, and the world we get to do it in! We’ve done the whole gamut of Commercial, Industrial, Wedding, Travel, and Resort photography in Fiji and the South Pacific, plus a little bit of Australia, and about half of Germany! Rob Rickman is Three Loose Coconuts lead wedding photographer, and lives in Fiji. Peter Henning is the lead commercial photographer, and lives in Australia. Together, under the Three Loose Coconuts banner, they have produced over 20 photographic books in Fiji, Germany and Australia.
Q&A WITH THREE LOOSE COCONUTS PHOTOGRAPHER ROB RICKMAN
Tell us a little about your background?
I’m born and bred in Fiji, and have lived here all my life. I’ve travelled extensively, but would not live anywhere else. My background is in graphic design and I’ve been an active photographer for about 20 years. I utilise my experience gained in travel and resort photography to produce emotive, yet natural hero images for my couple’s. Peter is originally from Germany, and has been a photographer for most of his working life. Much of his time is spent working on future book projects.
How did you begin your business?
The idea for Three Loose Coconuts was hatched in early 2002 at Peter’s studio in Pender Street, Suva. The other loose nut was Glenbo Craig, an Australian photographer who was a regular visitor to the studio. We were all sick of the grind, and were at a point in our lives where we had to work on projects that were personally fulfilling. We went on to produce some amazing work as a trio, but after 6 years, Glenbo needed to simplify his life even more, so he left the company to become a beekeeper!
What do you enjoy the most about what you do?
I love travelling, and we’re fortunate that our work gives us that opportunity. Also, it’s pretty awesome that at any given moment, my “desk” could be at some amazing location in Fiji, or anywhere else in the world for that matter!
Favourite location in Fiji to shoot at?
Fiji has some amazing locations that have been largely undiscovered by the wedding community, and travellers to Fiji in general. While I don’t have a favourite location per se, in terms of light, any resort that has a somewhat south or north facing beach with a clear view down the beach of the sunset and the horizon, would tick the boxes for me. Because pretty much every wedding is in the afternoon, usually about 3-4pm when the light is particularly harsh, any beach weddings on a north or south facing beach, ie. one that runs east/west, would still have nice blue water as a backdrop (assuming you have fine weather). West facing beaches on the other hand, would have a fair amount of glare coming off the water.
Your favourite wedding/ engagement session/ e-session you have shot so far and why?
So hard to say! I absolutely love elopements because you get a much closer connection to the couple – its just me and them! We take our time, and we have a great shoot. Having said that, the weddings that stand out for me have all been where the bridal couple have been particularly special people who touched the lives of their friends and family in some way. Some have even had to go through recent hardships. The resulting raw emotion and sense of loyalty, pride, protectiveness and love that you get from that circle of friends and family, directed to the couple is an incredible privilege to be witness to.
Favourite place to visit in Fiji?
My favourite place right now is a waterfall in Ra called Savulelele. Its an absolute magical place. You can only get there by visiting Nabalasere village and getting permission to see it. Although its on the mainland, it takes about 5 hours to get to if you’re coming from Nadi.. and then you’re faced with a 25 minute uphill trek! But its definitely worth it. For me, the place is almost spiritual. We’re never there long… an hour, maybe 1.5 hours at the most, before we’re led back down to the village. It’s almost as if we’re given a glimpse of Eden, and then the curtain comes down again.. I love it!
Favourite Love Song?
Turn Your Lights Down Low by Bob Marley. I’m a long time Marley fan, and that one never fails to get me singing (quietly, in my mind because I can’t sing to save my life!)
3 things you can’t live without?
Air, water and food! In that order! Seriously though, in terms of work, I’d say a connection to the Internet! I don’t have a mobile, so email and social media is pretty much how 99% of people get in touch with me!
Second one would be batteries… they’re absolutely essential! They power everything I use – and I’m happy to say, I am 100% rechargeable.
Third would be an assistant! Camera gear is heavy, and carrying it around in the hot sun, while trying to keep your mind focussed on the shot, just doesn’t make sense at all.
Your favourite Cocktail?
I tend to stay away from Cocktails, but if I had to mix a drink, it’d have to be something simple – I fall over if things are too complex! JD and Pops Cola tastes great – better than regular Coke. Fiji Rum and Bu (fresh coconut water) is a great combo too.. big glass, lots of ice!
Top tip for Bride & Grooms on their day?
Always keep in mind that Fiji can be warm, and big, heavy dresses can potentially make you feel very uncomfortable. Hot and bothered isn’t the best of looks on your wedding day! Also, if you plan on hitting the dance floor all night long at the reception, consider changing into a dress suitable for that, even if you change into it after you get the first dance shots out of the way…