How grieving dad became top wedding photographer
HERVEY BAY photographer Brendan Bufi never got the chance to capture memories of his own son.
At age 31, the father of three experienced a stillborn birth when the family lost a baby at 27 weeks.
The loss of his baby boy became Brendan's driving force for dedicating his life to capturing special moments for families on the Fraser Coast.
The now 37-year-old has been voted as the best wedding photographer on the Fraser Coast after a Chronicle shout-out on Facebook.
Brendan said his photography journey began when he was a teenager.
"The whole process of capturing memories has always been embedded in me,” he said.
But the decision to take photography up professionally was after the loss of his son.
"He was only 27 weeks when he died of heart disease ... taking photos was like my medication to get through the grieving process,” Brendan said.
Brendan was working away at the mines at the time, so he quit his job to support his family, taking photos as a relief.
"My driving force was to give families photos I missed out on,” he said.
Brendan's professional career started with photographs for family and friends before he worked a stint as a news photographer at the Fraser Coast Chronicle and now his love has grown into a predominately wedding-focussed home-based business called Pixel-Bug Photography.
When the passionate father takes photographs, he doesn't always follow the rules.
"I make my own rules, it's more about the people and creating a connection,” Brendan said.
"It's never been about the money, I'm out there to help people and listening to the bride is key,” he said.
Brendan is working to break any stigma around wedding photography.
"You hear horror stories about brides not being happy or not getting their photos straight away ... I'm breaking the stigma one photo shoot at a time,” he said.
BRENDAN'S TOP TIPS
1. Think outside the square, it's not so much about what you do with the camera, but more about creativity.
2. People skills. You've got to have a good, strong connection with the person you're photographing to get the most out of them and to create the best photo.
3. Don't be afraid to break the mould. Everyone has a horror story about photography.