Happy 1st June and we are starting the month by opening up The Study to the super talented Anaïs Stoelen, fine art wedding photographer France. It is nearly four years ago now since I planned the first fine art wedding styled shoot for French Wedding Style, and since that day, fine art photographer holds a special place in my heart.
Anaïs is based in Deurne (Antwerpen) but works across Belgium, France and Italy, sharing her artistic vision filled with fashion flair and beautiful stories, for destination weddings to capture the unique and precious moments of a wedding day.
So wait no longer and come and meet Anaïs!
When I was studying languages I suddenly hit me that I was developing a new passion I wanted to explore through the lens of my father’s camera. Together with my grand father (may he rest in peace) and my father, we could talk about photography for hours. Years later, after working at the office, I quit my job to follow my path that would lead me towards where I am now. Art school made me develop my own eye, combined with reading fashion magazines, books, seeing a lot of inspiring movies and all kinds of things that mused my soul. I developed my unique style and I knew I wanted to specialize in fine art wedding photography.
What skills do you think that it takes to be a fabulous photographer to accurately record someones day?
I believe that in order to make great images that provoke emotions, many skills have to be trained and this comes by years of practice and always pushing forward. Capturing a wedding is a great honor and a privilege for me and I take it very seriously. I spent a lot of time in getting to know my couple’s wedding ideas, to achieve a deeper comprehension into their personalities and of their style choices and who their wedding vendors are and their contribution, so to benefit the outcome of their photography and make it ever more personal and unique.
Our visions have to align beautifully as I set the bar high and I want every image to be a piece of art that you want to keep looking at. A fabulous photographer is someone who is there far more than just on the couple’s wedding day, a fabulous photographer knows that building a good relationship with the couple and everyone involved is of great importance.
A fabulous photographer is someone who has a heart for people, someone who is trustworthy, discreet, fast-moving, open-minded, well-dressed and well-behaved, enthusiastic, passionate, helpful, someone who takes initiative to make the sure the coverage time is well benefited. A fabulous photographer is a skilled professional and he/she ’s a necessary person to have at your wedding and capture that one special day and exceeds your expectations.
What type and style do your brides often have?
My brides often choose to have an elegant countryside or chateau wedding with attention to all the details with the help of their handpicked team of wedding professionals to make it all happen in style. She’s a sophisticated, highly intellectual and romantic bride and she knows exactly what she wants.. she dreams of that unforgettable day with him and their beloved company, a day to cherish far beyond and she appreciates the value of having refined and timeless photography to hold on to.
How does working with a destination couple differ from a domestic couple planning a wedding in France?
ASP services to domestic couples and destination couples. Every step of the way the couple, no matter from where they are, can be sure that I follow up with them on the progress of their wedding planning and photography through Skype meetings. This is continued after the day with open communication and online tools to access photo gallery’s and keep communication smooth into after service.
What is your favourite part of the photography process for a couple getting married in France?
My favorite part of the photography process for a couple getting married in France would be the planning of and the actual couple session on the wedding day. I love scheduling an intimate session with them, in beautiful surroundings, preferably with the most amazing soft golden sunlight in the South.
Whether it be a fragrant and opulent lavender field, a gorgeous chateau or a garden overlooking the French Rivièra or a park in Paris, there are in fact so many beautiful places to hold a couple session in France and it’s so much fun to find just the place you love. So while we’re there, I’m sure you’ll enjoy having a few relaxed moments between the two to let this significant day sink in, while I frame these romantic moments for you.
What is the funniest story about being a photographer
Wedding days are always special days, filled with beautiful genuine moments and yes I do laugh (or cry) during speeches, and feel tears bubbling up when she comes down the aisle and the moment they kiss.. I have a heart for people and I love a good ambiance. I always leave with stories of love and friendship. And yes the little anecdotes stick always stick with me.
What is the best thing about being a photographer?
The best thing, well, there are many good reasons why I love what I do, but the best thing is the significance of the work of body I’m creating to share with the world, the stories I’m able to tell through photography. While my story telling may or may not matter to everybody, for some people it’s inspiring, unique and it can bring out lot’s of feelings. I can’t tell how grateful and honored I am to be part of people’s lives in his way.
What 5 things are little known facts about you?
1 My name has it origin in the Provence. After spending many holidays there my parents decided to name me after one of the popular names from the Provence, Anaïs.
2 Fashion has always fascinated me. I grew up drawing dresses and shoes when I was a little girl and this passion has not left me at all, ever so, it lives prominent through the editorial aesthetic and in the characteristics of the subjects in my photography portfolio.
3 I’m a romantic.. Guilty! I’m romantic from the way I like to dress, my lipstick colours, to the interior of our home an impromptu weekend in Paris and picnics with my partner make me melt. I believe in the beauty of the daily life and celebrating it! #lejoiedevivre every day!
4 Roses are my favorite flowers. I’m guilty of buying fresh roses for the house, almost every week and I stare at how brilliant the petals form into gorgeous roses. Have you tried rose petal confiture? Yes, that’s right, are you looking at me funny? The flavor of a rose petal is so delicate.. you have to try it! It’s delicious in Champagne or on a piece of baguette. So yes I wear their fragrance in my perfume, I indulge in their delicacy, I love their romantic touch in the interior and O I almost forgot, I cleanse my face with rose water.
5 I’ve got a thing for black and white movies and old hollywood cinéma! Audrey Hepburn is my favorite actress and I admit to have seen her best work over and over. Is it even possible to get over Roman Holiday or Breakfast at Tiffany’s? A good black and white movie such as Some like it Hot, a comedy with Marylin Monroe makes a rainy Sunday in silk pajamas, well spent (with a side of merangue or tarte framboise and kisses).
Tell us about the services of Anais Stoelen
ASP specializes in fine art wedding photography in France, Belgium, Italy and Worldwide, with a blissful, romantic and timeless imagery that is refined. My work is inspired by the French and Italian culture, with weddings taking place mostly alfresco in rustic chic style (venues in the countryside and chateaus) and black tie style.
Wedding photography starts at 7 hours of coverage, pricing is offered with different packages and à la carte add-ons so you as a couple can decide upon the a package that speaks to you according to your photography wishes. I also offer an engagement session or a pre/post wedding sessions and bridal boudoir sessions. These can be booked as an add-on or separately. All photography portrait sessions and wedding coverages include an online client gallery and a beautiful linen box filled with gorgeous fine art prints. The wedding coverage is always delivered on a glass & golden USB drive.