"The smaller the plane, the bigger the adventure" I shot this Wedding video on the other big island of Fiji, Vanua Levu, it had all the adventure you could hope for when filming weddings. Before we even landed Van Middleton the photographer and i had already scouted a small island to shoot on as we flew over it in a very small plane.
When Belinda first contacted me and explained that her and her partner Eddie were looking to elope on an outer island in Fiji, my first thought was honestly, why? I asked her what led to this decision and i immediately heard the pain in her voice.
"We've had a really hard year, my mum died a bit over 6 months ago. We want to do something for just us without the stress of having a big wedding"
Anyone could now understand why they chose to elope.
We spoke a bit more and i sensed that Belinda And Eddie really respected the art of storytelling. Why else would they choose Van and myself, two guys they have never met to come hang out with them in their most personal and private moments before, during and after they said "I Do" to each other. We would be trusted in telling their story of how they got married and creating the vision that they will later share with their family and also their future children.
There were nice little touches throughout the stay, from the flower arrangements from friends that kept arriving to the hand painted cards sent my text. Belinda brought the two little white owl statues that were on her mothers bedside when she passed, as a remembrance to her mum. Eddie was reminded of his brother Hugh when he saw a street sign of the same name and made sure we stopped for a photo under it. The church they were supposed to be married in was being used by the local village for a funeral, so they were shifted to the oldest church on the island. It was the one Belinda had been hoping for from photos she had seen from doing her research on the island.
I have to thank our driver Ratnesh who is a local and was able to take us anywhere that our hair-brain ideas thought of, he opened up a few local spots for our shoots. Our Air BnB host Mario who was like Mr Wolf from Pulp Fiction, you needed something, he could get it done, from ordering pizza's to hiring a local fisherman to take us to that island we spotted from the plane.
This shoot will stay firm in my memory for me. When you don't feel as though you're working, and you can just soak it in and create a story with the couple and the locals, for me, that is true creative freedom, something we as artists are constantly searching for.
Thank you Ed and Bel, I'm honoured to have spent time with you during one of the most important moments in your life.
Here's their story.....AK