Jonas Peterson Brisbane, Australia jonaspeterson.com
My mantra in life is ‘keep it simple,’” says Jonas Peterson. It’s a lesson he learned before he ever picked up a camera, from, of all things, the poetry of Charles Bukowski. “I realized that simple words can produce strong emotions,” he says. “I’ve taken that simplicity with me into my photography.” Peterson discovered his affinity for wedding photography after being asked to shoot a friend’s ceremony and reception. He soon started filling his weekends with wedding work, eventually abandoning his career as an advertising copywriter to work with his camera full-time. Peterson attributes the distinctive look of his work to his reluctance to categorize what wedding photos should look like. “I started shooting without looking at other wedding photos,” he says. “I just went in thinking, ‘this is how I’d like to do it.’” For Peterson that means keeping things technically simple, using mostly prime lenses and available light. He takes a minimalist approach to setting up portraits and framing shots and is unafraid to break classical rules of composition to achieve his spare, contemplative style. Which doesn’t mean he couldn’t follow the rules if he wanted to. “I know what a ‘good’ photograph should be,” he says. “I know you shouldn’t cut off heads. What I do is a bit of a rebellion against conventions.” We’d like to think Mr. Bukowski would approve.