Q&A: Polly Alexandre, photographer

Polly Alexandre Fine Wedding Photography

When it comes to capturing the moments, memories and magic of an Ibiza wedding, there is no greater eye (and lens) than that of professional Ibiza wedding photographer Polly Alexandre, lover of love, love stories and happily ever afters. With a true passion for her art, Polly chooses to shoot predominantly on film and accepts a very limited number of weddings per year, allowing her to be truly ‘in the moment’ while working and giving her ample time to connect with each unique couple…

How did you first get into wedding photography?
I have been shooting weddings for five years but photographing for 18 years. I discovered photography whilst studying Art A Level, and after immediate competition success, I made my first prints in the darkroom, which I found a wonderful process. My first commissions were actually covering club nights and bands. When I decided to ditch the suit and commute for a life behind the lens I got asked to shoot a wedding for a friend of a friend. It went so well that I decided to set up a wedding photography business and it has been more engaging and rewarding than I ever imagined and also led me to new and exciting avenues…

How do you describe your style?
Natural, elegant, beautiful, soft, artistic, timeless, luminous…

Why Ibiza? What drew you to the island in the first place?
It’s my favourite place in the world! I have been coming to Ibiza for 15 years, since I fell in love with its amazing atmosphere and energy on my very first visit. I had never been anywhere like it and I was blown away by how incredible it was. Returning many times over the years, I decided to put down roots and buy my own home here and have been splitting my time between London and Ibiza for the last couple of years. I love the mix of people, the openness, the beauty of the landscape, the sunshine and soft light, the creativity here and the relaxed atmosphere.

What makes the island such an amazing wedding location?
The beautiful landscape, the amazing hedonistic atmosphere, the great music and incredible energy of the island. Lots of my clients want to recreate the amazing times they have spent on holidays out here and share their connection with the island with friends and family.

Polly Alexandre Fine Wedding Photography

What has been your favourite wedding so far?
Too many great jobs to have one favourite! It’s always great to have good light and time to create ‘wow’ bride and groom shots, and I love it when clients trust me to capture their wedding in my own vision. The most memorable Ibiza wedding I have shot was in 2010, for an Italian-American couple who held a three-day celebration with themes for different days. Pacha dancers were draped across daybeds, Barbara Tucker sang for their first dance, and they drove themselves from the reception in a vintage Mustang. The guests all totally got into the themes and looked amazing.

How do you make each wedding appear differently on camera?
I approach each wedding as a one off and take time to get to know my clients, to understand their relationship, and what they like. I don’t use any set templates for what I am going to do, and respond to each job in an intuitive and creative way.

Do you feel pressure, to capture the memories of what is said to be ‘the most important day’ of people’s lives?
By being sensitive to the situation, intuitive and warm. Any nerves I may have beforehand just feed into my focus and enthusiasm for the shoot.

What’s the most challenging thing about shooting weddings in Ibiza?
It can be very bright with all the sunshine which can be a technical challenge, so I am always looking for the best light and the best angle to shoot from. Weddings tend to happen later in the day and there can be a small window when the light is right for the best portraits so it can be necessary to work quickly at this time. Otherwise it’s the same as a wedding anywhere – each one is different and I thrive on this variety!

Polly Alexandre Fine Wedding Photography