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We came across Jacqui McSweeney's Instagram when she shared an image of a Queensberry album. We liked her feed so much we asked her to tell us more about herself…

Why do I love photography? I love how organic it is in that I can have an idea for an image but from that idea to looking through the viewfinder to pressing the shutter everything can change.

I love how excited it makes me, and how I can share that excitement with the people I am photographing, and the people viewing my images.

I love thinking about the colours of an image or the beautiful tones of a black and white. I love that beauty can be both captured and created. 

I think what's most important to me is not how we get to an image, but what the image ends up being. 

I have been a photographer for twenty years and a wedding photographer for fifteen of those. Before that I trained as a photographic printer, and ran darkrooms in a couple of pro labs, as well as for photographers. I don’t think I could have had a better start in photography.

Printing means you are looking at every aspect of an image: the colours, the tones, the framing, and what makes an image work. Working for so many years with film was invaluable too.

When I first shot weddings I had three rolls of 120 to capture the colour images and 2-3 rolls in the 35mm to capture the black and white. So that would be about 150 images from a whole wedding.  I think I still shoot with the final image in my mind, thinking of telling the story with a finite number of frames rather than shooting thousands and hoping for the best. However I do love sitting down to edit my images in Lightroom now. I have so much control over how I want it all to look. I guess it brings me back to my darkroom days. 

I think the look I go for is crisp and clear and sharp. Mostly I like to fill my frames, crop tightly. I try to stand way back and shoot wide scenes but I always seem to be drawn back to shooting close to my subjects. I think that’s where the fun, love and honesty are.

You can find Jacqui on Instagram at @jacquimcsweeneyphotography, or on her own website.

We'd love to discover you on Instagram. Use #queensberryalbums on any of your proudest Instagram pictures for the chance to be featured. And do follow @queensberrynz on Instagram to see more of the things we love.

Alexandria x 

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