Jules Bower is a widely known Italian and destination wedding photographer with a unique approach to capturing magical moments. Aiming to tell each couple's story with timeless elegance, Jules' work portrays luxury authenticity, where every image can stand on its own as a work of art. Living in Italy has given Jules expertise in capturing beauty that exists around the world exactly as it is. Using colour to enhance this, Jules' work highlights the rich and romantic tones home to Italy.
An elopement in Tuscany
Jules’ shoot ‘An elopement in Tuscany’ explores the intimate romance and luxury that couples experience on their wedding day. Quintessential romance is captured within the shoot, where light is used to achieve cinematic beauty and consistency.
The renowned destination used for the elopement is off of the coast of Tuscany, where scenes from the James Bond film ‘Quantum of Solace’ were filmed, adding to the opulence of the final images.
Jules' aim for the shoot was to highlight the exclusivity and privacy of a romantic elopement in a remote location, aiming to “capture emotion and intimacy between the couple and use the location and all it has to offer to add some drama to the images created”.
Shooting on location requires photographic flexibility and the ability to deal with unpredictable conditions. Adaptation as a photographer is crucial to achieving the perfect shot, and Jules knows this from experience as its “often better to change and adapt to what is happening around” rather than having a set plan.
“Shooting on location is all about one thing – Adaptability. Location scouting can give you a good feel for a shoot and what is required, but so often there are other elements that can unexpectedly change your game plan. Location shooting and weddings are identical from this point of view. Many times, a wedding is planned to perfection for months and then on the day the things that you were hoping would never happen do.
A location shoot can offer a great deal of variety to the photographer or artistic director as they can decide to do things anywhere. So, you can take the easy route or the challenging one – whatever decision you want. As a photographer, you have control of the shoot and therefore have creative freedom too.”
Location shoots also demand flexibility in lighting due to the changing nature of the weather and photographic subject. Over time, Jules has also grown to understand the importance of light creation to handle the fact that "more often than not, light can be quite difficult to work with," which is why the Profoto B2 is used to help achieve a "beautiful light" that is reliable and adaptable.
“I can’t predict the weather, wind, sunset, and other elements, so as much as I think having a clear idea from the start is a great approach, I am only aware that I may well have to throw plan A out the window and improvise a plan B on the spur of the moment.
When shooting against the sun I have a choice to either overexpose the background whilst correctly exposing the foreground/subject or to use my Profoto B2s to compensate and fill in the underlit foreground, therefore correctly exposing the background. I often find myself in situations where the quality of natural light is poor and so I can improve the quality of light by using the B2.
In these photos, I used the B2s in this way and by correctly exposing the background I was able to keep the colours of the sky and sea as they are in real life – wonderful!”
Encapsulating characteristic details
To add to the authenticity of his photography, Jules produces creative fine art pictures of luxury wedding details using light to create definition, which give an insight into a couple's character and personality. This creates images that are both unique and personal to the individual, whilst helping to uniquely differentiate one couple's wedding to another.
“Weddings are often similar as at the end of the day, it is two people getting married, and so there are certain traditions and procedures during the day that everyone does as part of a wedding. I find that couples that care about their photos are often clients that also care about the details. They choose their stationery, clothes, jewellery and accessories, and often use it to make a little statement about themselves.
It is in the details where a couple can often inject their own personalities and create a wedding that reflects their characters and who they are. By photographing the details, I try to pick up on their theme or style and see if the rest of the event is also styled in a similar way.”
Capturing details from light to dusk
Characteristic details are also captured throughout the day of the wedding into the evening where light shaping allows for photographic consistency and reliability.
“When shooting in high contrast lighting situations I have used the B2s to overpower the sun. For instance, when I was in Santorini I wanted to create images that captured the deep blue skies and intense whites and blues of the architecture. With the high sun in the sky, the B2 allows me to fill in some dark shadows on the subjects.”
Alongside photographing in the midday sun using lighting to achieve a perfectly balanced image, sunset provides the opportunity to capture romantic scenery and rich colours to create stunning images.
“Towards a sunset, I use the B2s to expose the image in a way that maintains the incredible colours of the sunset but allows the subject to be in a similar dynamic range. I have a selection of softboxes, umbrellas, reflectors and grids that all give me different results. I love the fact that Profoto has a huge range of different light shaping tools."
"The Profoto light modifiers make it easy to control and shape the light, affording photographers even more creativity in their image making."
Light modifiers make it easy to control and shape light in darker conditions, particulalry at weddings where low lit conditions are often inevitable. In the evening of the elopement in Tuscany, Jules utilises his B2 to create powerful yet elegant images that otherwise would be difficult to photograph.
“The Profoto B2 gives me the ability to choose how I want to shoot a wedding. A natural light shooter will photograph with the light that is available, but I can choose to either work with the natural light or ‘augment’ the light. By having the Profoto lights to turn to, in poor lighting situations I know I can still produce great photos. “
Increased choice, flexibility and creativity
“Profoto equipment is easily the best quality light I have seen from any strobe or continuous light source. The light has a purity and quality that is hard to describe. The ability to control the power of the light in precise increments and modify the shape and characteristics allows me to be more creative. In bad or poor lighting situations, I can always produce a high-quality image. The build quality is fantastic and the battery life exceptional.”