Meet Alex Szczesniak, founder of local photography business Boutique Blinks. Alex is true people-person with a passion for sharing the most joyful moments of your life with you. Alex’s guiding philosophy is that having an amazing time with his clients comes first and the photography follows; “it’s all about the people. I love people and relating to them, the photography kind of comes second to me.” Alex explains that too often he sees photographers who purely focus on “the technical side of photography, the gear and the toys, and they forget about the people.” However, it’s clear that this people-first mindset hasn’t stopped Alex from capturing some seriously amazing and heart-warming shots.
He admits that he initially “literally had no interest in photography at all” until a friend of his taught him the basics and sparked his interest. Alex says “I used to look at people with cameras and think ‘aw man, you’re missing out on experiencing the moment!’, but really when you get into it you realise how much more you can cherish a moment.” After a couple of attempts at various uni degrees, he decided to focus solely on his newfound passion. He explains that once he made this decision, doors began to open. “It just freed me up.” Practically everything about Boutique Blinks is done by Alex himself, from web design, to marketing, promotions and branding, this is a guy who pours himself into his business.
Alex has worked with some big names across Australia. He cites well-known Sydney photographer James Day as a mentor, who developed into a good friend. “He’s super humble and I definitely connected with that.” A photography course led by James in Sydney helped Alex to refine his style and further develop his photography techniques – “if you saw the photos I shot early last year compared to post-workshop, it’s unreal. There’s a crazy difference.”
Alex also collaborated with celebrated South Australian violinist Niki Vasilakis. “We got to go to St. Peter’s Cathedral and shoot in there for the whole day – that was probably the first really big project I did with someone, my artwork is all over her album cover.” Perhaps most impressive is the fact that Alex was contacted by Jona Weinhofen (this name will immediately resonate with metalcore fans, but for those of you out of the loop Jona was previously a member of massively popular Bring Me The Horizon, and is currently the lead guitarist in I Killed The Prom Queen). Jona and his wife were married over in the States, but because certain members of Jona’s family couldn’t be present the couple decided to have a new set of wedding photos shot by Alex. “I was stoked. We went up to Morialta, took the family photos and hit it off.”
Alex’s specialty is weddings, which is where he really exhibits his fun-loving, super-friendly side. “There’s a huge responsibility as a wedding photographer, but I don’t let that get in the way of having a good time.”
Alex loves to play games with the bridal parties, including one that he dubs the ‘batshit crazy’ game which he explains to me while laughing - he counts slowly from 1-10 and “every time I get to the next number you gotta get a bit crazier. You can do handstands, you can do cartwheels, you can take your clothes off.” He’ll also instruct the groom to draw pictures on his bride’s neck using his nose (“9 times out of 10 he draws a penis on her neck and they just lose it”), but he also is aware of the need for tender moments. “I’ll say things like ‘alright, groom, what were you thinking when she was walking down the aisle? I want you to tell her’ and I’ll just take photos of whatever happens. I want them to be able to look back on the photos and remember exactly what was said to each other in that moment.” One of Alex’s favourite photos he's taken (pictured below) was at a wedding on a family farm just outside of Mt. Gambier – “I think it just captures the happiness and also the community feel of that wedding. They were so happy.”
Alex has big dreams for his future – he’s taken on his first ‘destination’ wedding for later on this year in Bali, and would like to travel with his photography while still establishing himself locally in Adelaide. “I’ve set myself a goal for this year, I’m aiming to shoot 25 weddings. I’ve got 15 already so I’m going alright!” He’d also like to collaborate with other like-minded photographers in “a warehouse building or small studio and just bounce ideas off each other.”
Alex loves to work with adventurous and easy going individuals, and while he acknowledges that his unique style may not be the right fit for everyone, you can get in touch with Alex via his website, Instagram and Facebook.
All images via Alex Szczesniak / Boutique Blinks