Proud fathers

Ever since I found out I was shooting Jackie and Stephanie’s wedding in Thailand, my Australian family and friends went ga-ga. Jackie’s father, in case you didn’t know, is Jimmy Barnes, one of the most popular and best-selling Australian music artists of all time. Being Swedish, I’ve never really listened to Jimmy or Cold Chisel. Nor had I heard of Jackie or the group he performed in growing up, the Tin Lids.

I met Jackie and Stephanie at Jimmy’s house in Sydney and I think that was the first time I started to realize these people were famous. There were roadies and PR people walking around the house while I chatted to Stephanie about their upcoming wedding.

Forward to October and I arrive in Bangkok. A driver picks me up and drives me two hours south to the coastal town of Hua Hin. It’s hot and humid. Very, very humid. At this stage we didn’t know Thailand would soon be facing catastrophic floods, we only noticed the weather was relatively shitty.

I met up with Stephanie and Jackie and their families and it felt like any other wedding to be honest. Excited family members, friends and relatives all happy to see each other again.

On the day of the wedding I thought about the fact that there were many celebrities around, but nothing was different compared to other weddings. The fact that one of Jackie’s mates used to be the captain of the Australian National Rugby team made no difference at all. In hindsight it’s pretty funny, because again, I had no clue at all who he was. To me he was just a friend of Jackie’s hanging around, having a laugh and a beer. When I got home my family told me who he was. And Johnny Diesel? He’s uncle Mark to me.

I took a few images of Jimmy that day, partly because the magazine who’d bought the rights to the images asked me to, but mainly because he was the father of the groom. Throughout the day you could see the smile on his face, looking at his son and new daughter-in-law with love in his eyes. The same love I saw when I looked at Stephanie’s dad – proud fathers surrounded by friends and family, sharing a very special day with their kids.

Because at the end of the day, at that very moment, that’s all they were.

Proud fathers.

Sharing a special day with their kids.

And that’s what I set out to capture.

Nothing else matters.


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  1. I really look forward to reading your stuff. It’s a given that your photos are incredible, but I really must say it’s the your writing style, and what you have to say I enjoy the most.

  2. Your photographic and editing style has such a rawness to it which is what I think constantly draws me to this site 2,3 or 10 times a week. That rawness has matched perfectly with the tale of this family because it gets past the glitz and glamour to the raw human soul that inhabits us all. And I don’t think Jimmy, and as such his family, is a glitz and glamour kind of guy. They made a suitable choice when they came to you to document this day and you haven’t let them down.

  3. Your writing style is awesome. Really drills down the wedding to what really matters during the day. The simple moments that pass by so quickly–weddings bring everyone together and makes them equals.

  4. I had not recognised Jimmy Barnes too, but the song I remember very well – it brought me back to my teen years listening to my favourite radio station – RAAF Radio Butterworth, the Royal Australian Air Force radio station based in Butterworth, Malaysia. :-)

  5. I love this wedding! I think it has that wonderful mix of cultures and every image shows great love and strength of family. Even after all they have been through…wonderful images!

  6. My initial reaction to your photos was “you can just see how proud that dad is, the smile on his face is almost as big as the brides'”…. it was only after looking for a while I realised… I love your philosophy on weddings Jonas, our thoughts are aligned – weddings should ooze love, not money. Beautiful!


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