2011 – a year fantastic

I was a broken man at the end of 2010. I had an amazing year, but as with so many other people, I got caught up in my own drive to excel. When I finished up that year with a beautiful wedding in NYC, I was emotionally drained. It was my 65th wedding of 2010. It’s by no means impossible to shoot that many weddings and stay focused, but I found that I was becoming a wedding machine. Giving my everything to my clients left little time to myself. I stopped doing the things *I* enjoyed to do, I never took photos for the joy of it, I hardly read books and I even stopped listening to music. All I did was work.

Jacqui and I decided to cut back a little bit 2011, but once we reached that decision we already had over 35 weddings booked, many of them interstate and international.

I shot some weddings in Australia before we both traveled together to The Bahamas and Waverly and David’s wedding on Harbour Island. In many ways that wedding was perfect for us. We managed to take some time off and recharge our soul batteries and the wedding and the people we met there were fantastic. From the Bahamas we traveled to Las Vegas for WPPI where I met an overwhelming amount of people. I also shot my friends’ wedding/vow renewal out there and when we flew back to Australia I was pumped for the wedding season to come.

On my way to shoot two of my best friends’ wedding, I received an email from American Photo Magazine. They had named me one of the top ten wedding photographers in the world 2011. In many ways that was actually hard to deal with. What I do, how I approach my weddings and the couples I meet, is so basic, no frills, nothing…special. A “Top Ten In The frrrrrigging WORLD” hat didn’t fit too well with that approach. At least not at first. I soon realised I had to keep doing what I do and not worry about hats. Of any kind.

I kept working and shot some truly wonderful weddings around Australia before Jacqui, Noah, Joel and I packed our bags to go to Europe for the summer there. We started in Italy and there we met Mitra and Fabio. Their wedding and the week we spent with them around Italy will always stay in my heart. I shot more weddings in Europe, some I still haven’t had time to share here, before we said goodbye to my family and traveled back to Australia. We shot Craig and Nina’s wedding in Bali (coming soon) before we took some time off in Ubud. As soon as we got back I had to leave again, this time for a workshop in San Fransisco and later a wedding in New Hampshire.

In a way it’s funny. I’ve hosted a number of workshops and seminars this year and every time I’m done, I see things clearer, I walk away knowing where I want my work to go.

Finally meeting Rachel and Jeff after months and months of communicating was liberating. If you’ve followed me, you already know what shooting their wedding meant to me.

Since then the months have flown past. I’ve had an amazing spring here in Australia and the other day I shot my last wedding of the year – number 48. I also hosted a workshop with my friend Sean. I think we both want to do that again.

I’m tired, but not as emotionally drained as I was last year. I’m already looking forward to 2012. It’s going to be another year of traveling, but that’s something I’ve realised I *need* as much as I enjoy it. Traveling recharges me in so many ways. I’m going to share a wedding or two before the end of the year, but after I’m done with my editing I’m going to enjoy some time off.

My love for weddings and what I do is stronger than ever.


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  1. Kathie I love Lisa Mathewson’s work Wow Of course she had befuuiatl subjects to work with. The children are growing up so fast and absolutely gorgeous You have a lot to be thankful for this year, but I am sure I don’t have to tell you!

  2. what a journey indeed. it is so inspiring to get to follow you along on your adventure. you push the rest of to be better. Congratulations on the engagement!

  3. Wow, what an unbelievable year for you. Congrats on all your photography achievements, and double congrats on your engagement to Jacqui! Happy 2012!

    And of course, Inspiring work, as always!

  4. You definitely deserve all the amazing things said about you. You do what no one else does, go where no one else goes and push limits when everyone else doesn’t. Bravo and congrats on the engagement.

  5. Ditto to the above. I know everyone’s said it but you really are an amazing photographer and you inspire me to do more, to keep pushing, and go go go!
    I can’t wait to see what next year brings…

  6. you totally deserve top 10 in the world. these (and all your) photos are jawdropping. i’m an aspiring photographer and your mixed use of processing is so inspiring. i sometimes feel like i’m supposed to just use one kind of processing which is my signature but these images are all so different and unique it just goes to show that i’m totally wrong! well done and congratulations!

  7. Jonas, I know it may not feel like it but you’re nothing short of an inspiration in so many ways. Not a “that’s cool, I want to be just like that” inspiration, but the kind of inspiration that shows that if you really dig deep and work hard, anything is possible. I can’t wait to see what you do with 2012.

  8. Hi Jonas,

    Some great photos. To be honest, I would leave some of them out. Never the less, very interesting style, very story-telling like.


  9. Jag vet inte vad jag ska skriva. Ord liksom blir för fattiga för dina bilder. Du gör det, om och om och om igen. Hänförd. Magi!

  10. For me your best post this year was definately Rachel and Jeff. I would’ve commented on it but by the time I realised you already had 240 comments, so I didn’t. When you first started putting previews up I didn’t pay too much attention. Initially I thought the editing was just a bit too different for me. Now i think it will be one of my all time favourites which I just keep returning to. Like Nick and Surya’s. The simplicity and rawness of those images are heart-wrenching. A great example of what can happen when the right couple is combined with the right photographer. Pure majic.

    Looking forward to more mind-blowing goodness next year Jonas!

  11. I KNOW you are an amazing, out of this world photographer, and you make me die every time. Jonas, you will go down in history as one of the greatest photographers of our time, mark my words. You capture that fleeting moment forever, which we all try to do. It’s just that you actually DO it. I toast you an awesome forever as the worlds most empathetic photographer.

  12. Jonas,
    I hadn’t looked at your work in a little over a year, and I’m wondering what could possibly have kept me away from your stories for so long. The gift you give to couples and families is astounding. You clearly come to each wedding day with an open heart and wide open eyes. It’s so deeply inspiring. Thank you.

  13. I’m sitting here speechless. your photos are captivating, life giving, inspiring. cheers to you for using your gift + doing it to the best of your abilities.

  14. It’s been since the last wrap up that I have been following your work, and it’s hard to believe it’s been a year already. Thank you for doing what you’re doing. Simply being exposed to such awesomeness has improved my vision tenfold in the past year.

  15. CONGRATS!!!! You really deserve being in the top 10. Keep doing what you are doing & producing the beautiful images that are true to you. It is so refreshing to see your beautiful photos that are free of the plastic retouched looking images that are all over the media. Your work is art, and it captures real moments with real people. You inspire me as a photographer, especially now when people have criticized my work for not being retouched enough!

  16. Wow, Jonas, you are an inspiration to a whole generation of photographers across the globe. You have defined a look which defies classification and which consistently pushes the boundaries.
    Over the years there has been so much hyperbole written about so many wedding photographers but there have been so few photographers that have touched so many in the way that your work has.
    Stay strong Jonas.
    Re-charge your batteries.
    Enjoy your Christmas.
    And come out in 2012 bigger and better than ever.
    There is no question that whatever you will deliver will always be head and shoulders above what anyone else in your field is capable of producing. I love you man.

  17. Wow!!!! Unbelievable photos Jonas! I had no idea I was meeting such a brilliant team when we met this summer in Italy! A truly inspiring story & talent! I wish you both continued success & send all my love to the entire family! ;-)

  18. i’ve been waiting for this post. you are a great inspiration — i love the way you write and your photos defy analysis or discussion. i am not a pro, but you are a favorite of mine and i take your advice and attitude to heart. keep up the great work and thank you for all that you share with us.

  19. Hi,

    Beautiful, Amazing…..jattefina , roliga ……. Orden spelar ingen roll nar bilderna ar som dina.

    Min web site ar inte lika snygg som din men den ar enkel och fungerar.

    Ha ett bra ar…


  20. Det största grattiset till ett fantastiskt år Jonas! Du är så bra att jag inte finner ord till det. Ha en underbar ledighet med familjen. Ser väldigt mycket fram emot nästa års bilder.

  21. Wow…

    I´ve been following your journey for the last six year and its a truly beautiful and inspiring journey. To say the least.

  22. What can i say? Impressing, very impressing!! Congratulation to a fantastic 2011, keep up the spirit and the amazing work you do Jonas.

  23. You are easily one of the most inspirational wedding photographers of this time, Jonas. So excited to see what 2012 brings!

  24. if i could only choose one word – it would be ‘dakshina’ which translates as offering, gift and thanks in sanskrit….the way you see the world, the imagery, the storytelling, i never tire of your work, it is endless inspiration. thank you from another who loves seeing the world through a lens, namaste, freedom.

  25. Congratulations to an amazing year Jonas. Your work is pure magic and I hope you’ll continue to share it with us for long to come. Keep it up and enjoy the well deserved break with your family.

  26. Love your work Jonas…thanks for all the visual gifts this year via your blog, your amazingly generous time on formspring and swpb…not to mention your awesome music finds:) Merry christmas!

  27. I always enjoy your posts, spoken with such meaning and heart. Love your work, and hope to someday get to be a photographer with half the skill that you have.

    Best of luck next year and happy holidays!

  28. Jonas, my husband and I adore your photography! We were at the library with our son and our parents last week. My father handed me that American Photo Magazine and I felt so proud for you that you made top 10!!!!! I was actually expecting it to be 10 really commercialized looking photographers. I don’t even know you, but I felt like a proud mom or something!!!!!

  29. Fantastic. Love your world tour! You also have top ten skies, bodies of water and trees in the bag. And my heart smiles when I see the bride descending stairs image. Congratulations on enjoying this magnificent year!

  30. Dude, your journey has been (and will continue to be) incredible. Not only have you found where you want to go with this, but you have inspired so many people along the way and have helped them find what they have been looking for as well. Thank you so much my friend. Keep up the awesome. – Patel

  31. Underbart! Att se dina bilder får mig alltid le, inåt som utåt. Kommer på mig själv med att nicka & småfnissa lite för mig själv när jag läser orden mitt i natten. Ser fram emot MER! Tack för din passion, och allt du delar med dig av, och för all inspiration du ger Jonas! / Isabelle

  32. Dude you’ve nailed some truly amazing shots this year! Congratulations. Thanks for the steady stream of inspiration and eye candy you’ve provided!!!

  33. Jonas, thank you for sharing your amazing work… i get goose bumps looking at your work each month and truly hope I can produce stunning images like yours in my own quirky way and style in my future.. I am 10 months into my business and loving it.. only 6 weddings down but hope to find amazing couple in 2012… thanks for the inspiration you give me…

  34. You’re photography is like a good book that you just can’t put down. It pulls at the heartstrings. Beautiful.

  35. What an awesome year you’ve had Jonas! Must have been amazing to look back and realise just how much you’ve been through! Here’s to 2012 being even more epic!

  36. how do i sum it all up, thank you for always inspiring Jonas. thank you for sharing a part of your life thru your images.

  37. Brilliant, Jonas. Beautiful work all year. I completely understand how you feel after workshops. I just finished FIND in Miami and am more excited to be a photographer than I have ever been. Enjoy your time off, it’s well deserved.


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