IT’S being called one of the most epic wedding photos of all time and it’s helping to put former Warrnambool man Eric Ronald on the map.
The Melbourne-based wedding photographer took this snap of Belinda and Campbell Stuart’s wedding in Wanaka, New Zealand, a few months ago.
While he realised he’d captured something very special, Ronald said he had no idea it would go viral.
“After you take a shot like that you do think, that’s it, I’ve peaked,” he laughed.
“It’s definitely the most epic wedding photo I’ve taken. My photography mates have given me the nickname Epic Ronald.
“These are the kind of shots I love to take, where you’re incorporating the couples into the landscapes, whether it’s on a mountain or next to a willow tree.
“So it is typical of my work but on that shot everything came together.”
Ronald posted some of the snaps on his blog, where it was picked up by art and design blog My Modern Met.
After that, “it just went mental”, Ronald said, with the story picked up by the Daily Mail as well as a number of viral and trending aggregator sites, such as Cube Breaker, Viral Nova and Viralcy.
He said he’d also had interest from Good Morning America, The Weather Channel and The Huffington Post.
As a result, he’s picked up a few more jobs and enjoyed a rise in traffic on his site. But aside from the belated spin-offs, Ronald said it was a memorably enjoyable job on its own.
He was flown by the Stuarts — who live in Melbourne — to New Zealand and taken to their former home town of Wanaka to photograph their wedding, where the bride had arranged for a couple of helicopters to take them up into the mountains for the post-ceremony shoot, unbeknownst to the groom.
“It was pretty awesome. I’m pretty lucky to be able to do that sort of thing,” Ronald said.
“It was a nice day but really windy — during the ceremony it was blowing a gale.
“I was talking to Belinda and she said she didn’t know if it was going to happen because of the wind. After the ceremony we walked down to the woolshed where the reception was going to be and people were having a few drinks and canapes and then these choppers come over the horizon.
“There was the bride and groom and the bridal party and me — two chopper-loads of people — and it was funny for me because it was my first time in a chopper.
“Then we literally landed on top of the mountain in a space that was a couple of metres square. There was just enough room for the chopper.
“A portrait session after people have just been married is a special moment at the best of times.
“Landing on a mountain to do a portrait session was incredible. It all just came together.”