Trade clvii | Month 21 | Autumn
Lentil & Matt
For years I avoided photographing weddings because I understood the interference photographers brought was far to influential to a wedding, both for the guests and the lovers. I strongly believe a wedding shouldn’t be impacted in any way by how a photographer is capturing the story, in fact it should be at the bottom of our old friend Mr. importance ladder. I want to become part of weddings as a friend who tells all the stories that go uninterrupted not a gestapo who has any control during the day whatsoever.
One of the most unique discoveries in The Pixel Trade is the ability to photograph multiple days rather than just the wedding day on its own. This extends the story into a whole new realm as well as providing an opportunity to become part of the circle of friends and not ‘the photographer’.
Lentil & Matt’s wedding is like nothing I’ve experienced before and if everyone treated their celebrations like these two, I think I’d happily shoot only weddings for the rest of my life.
It started 2 days before the wedding day. Lentil & Matt left the task to a small group of their closest friends, who didn’t really know each other, to setup and organise everything. We would not see the two of them until the wedding day. What unfolded was two days of story telling that brought everyone to farting in front of each other closeness. Come the wedding day Lentil and Matt had nothing to think about other than to celebrate their butts off. They made their own traditions and didn’t blink an eye towards what others thought a wedding should be.
| note: if the images don't fit on your screen, don't be frightened to click on them |
Interview with Lentil & Matt
Describe your most memorable adventure as a child.
You know what. I don’t know. All the “adventures” I can think of from my childhood, in hindsight, are really simple things. Like walking down through the cane fields with my cousin to the creek, catching turtles and having “boat” races with leaves. Or making cubby houses in between the palm trees (I grew up on a palm farm) and pretending we were fairies. I think I did more pretending that I was on a big adventure, rather than actually being on one.
That's really hard. So many camping trips with family friends damming rivers, canoeing rapids, swimming in waterholes, stealing aged tokay from the oldies, burning things, throwing knives at trees, traipsing deserted creek beds and screaming like banshees at the trees. Young Ryan McGrath and I used to raise a peaceful hell out there in the bush!
Tell me the story that brought the two of you together?
I had just moved to Melbourne, I knew hardly anyone and had a whole $20 to my name. I moved in to a share house with a few people I didn’t know and went “out out” with them on the first night that we were housing together. Out on the town I met a man, his name was Adam. He worked and lived on a winery (I thought yeah, righto) … A few weeks (maybe less?) later I was invited to a party he was having. So I got the cheapest bottle of wine I could find (I didn’t want to turn up with nothing) and drove up to the winery.
I arrived and knew 1 person, I was introduced to a man named Matt, who I was told lived here too and his family owned the winery. Most people were busy mingling, so I drank my wine (awkwardly and mainly alone), then realised I was too drunk to drive home, so fell asleep on the couch hoping that later I may be ready to drive. I think about here in the story, Matt would include that “I was staring at him all day”, but I don’t remember that part of the story.
I woke up, and met this Matt man properly. We got chatting and played “Roxanne”. And I never drove home.
Lents just showed up at my door. It's funny you know, all it takes is a bit of patience for all the good things in life. That and a hell of a lot of luck! I was living out on the winery just starting out down this whole gardening path and remaining fairly isolated from the world. Dear friend Adam had also taken up residence with me in the cottage though and when Australia day swung around he wanted to party. Lents was only newly down from Brisbane and just happened to be living with one of Adams old friends in North Fitzroy at the time so tagged along. She showed up to the winery with a $5 bottle of wine - classic - and found the company so boring, after a couple of hours I knew that she was going to leave. Luckily for us her boredom had resulted in the consumption of a whole bottle and she was over the limit and deciding to have a kip on the couch instead. Except for a quick introduction we hadn't even met yet. I think fate is amazing. Adam wasn't even meant to be in the country. He'd just chased a girl he'd met in Laos all the way to London only to be knocked back by UK immigration and sent home. The whole fiasco had eaten all the funds he'd saved for a year of adventuring and had forced him to return home some 8 months early. When Lentil awoke from her slumber that day, we finally got a chance to meet and the rest is history. We've not spent hardly an hour apart since that moment all because of a $5 bottle of wine and an arsehole immigration officer.
What’s a habit the other half often does?
Scrape his plate REALLY clean. And do my washing, because he is amazing and I never do. Sorry Matt.
Makes tea but doesn't drink it. Bizarre. Just making a cup of chamomile sends her to sleep.
What feeling does growing your own food and flowers evoke?
Happiness. Obvious I know, but its pure, simple, happiness.
Satisfaction. Joy. Contentedness. Oneness.
If you could teach children one thing, what would it be?
Feeling vs. thoughts… I.e. to trust and learn to listen to their “feelings” ..learning “what feels right”.
If today was the last day on this planet, what would you do?
Eat all of the delicious preserves and pickles in our cupboard and kill Matt and Pepper with love, so they could come with me too.
And send all my loved ones some seeds.
Hold hands with my wife. And carry on.
What is one of the most dangerous times of your life?
Not the world wide web is ready for the answer to that question.
I once started a street brawl 5km from the Syrian border in Turkey. There were some old fella's trying to rip me off for a taxi ride across the border and some younger fella's offering a cheaper ride. It was obviously an old rivalry but when the crowbars came out I wasn't hanging around to see how everyone felt about MY role in the whole situation and legged it several blocks, asking some random bloke with a motorbike for a lift. He didn't even want to be paid and I couldn't help thinking "Idiot, why didn't you just ask THIS guy before!"
Describe your most memorable adventure as an adult.
Geez these questions are hard. Ha.
I’m not sure. But I think mainly they are all times when I have travelled somewhere alone. I don’t think they are the most memorable because they were the most “fun”, but probably because they were the most self-reflective and challenging.
And most days of our life really. Every day is different .
Life IS an adventure these days. It would be remiss of me not to mention my overland journey from Saigon to Tel Aviv then through Europe, East Africa, India and Nepal from which the above story and countless others played out many moons ago but in all honesty it all pales in significance compared to the here and now. These days I feel perpetually IN the most memorable adventure of my life. Our life together, the garden, our home, our friends, little Pepper - this is it. So lucky.
If you had to recommend a favourite music album, what would it be?
LentilLCD Soundsystem – This is happening. As Matt would say “classic Lentil”.
I am so out of touch these days but the April Maze's TWO will forever remain incredibly significant. It was the soundtrack to the year leading up to our wedding and without fail makes me cry and smile because of that.
DAY FOUR (IN 4 PHOTOGRAPHS)