“I sort of fell into the world of weddings by mistake,” says photographer Jillian Mitchell. “I had been living in a small town in Mexico and was working for a non-profit when a couple asked the director of the program if she knew a photographer for their wedding. They basically wanted their own mini Burning Man-style wedding. There were handmade costumes and fire sculptures along with fire dancers. After that I didn’t look back.”
Although she’s still based in Mexico, Mitchell now travels the world photographing couples on their big day. We spoke to the destination wedding pro, who mainly shoots with film, to get the behind-the-scenes story on some of her favorite captures.
This stunning black and white image “was done on a Holga, a plastic toy camera, which gives the image its ethereal, dreamy quality. We were at a private resort in Baja California Sur in a little field of cacti.”
“With this bride’s pin-up hair and makeup and the old school styling of the upstate New York farmhouse, it feels like it could be out of the ’70s. Since the majority of my clients tend to be creatives, Polaroid film is the perfect medium.”
“A quiet moment at Wave Hill in the Bronx, a hidden oasis in the concrete jungle.”
“These ruins were just down the dirt road from me in San Pancho, Mexico, but have since been torn down. The simple beauty of this photo and the quiet solitude that it displays gets me every time.”
“Shooting guests is one of my favorite things.The light was falling perfectly in Brooklyn, and I don’t think I could have planned this image any better.”
“This was an elopement at this little chapel in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, Hacienda San Angel. They got ready together and the groom had just asked the bride to place a white rose in his pocket.”
“This was taken at a recent wedding in Montego Bay, Jamaica. I’m not averse to a little blur.”
“This image was taken in Sayulita, Mexico, the town just south of me where I started off my wedding career. Cemeteries in Mexico are beautiful, full of bright colors and flowers, and the one in Sayulita is on a path that takes you to a quiet beach, where my clients had their ceremony.
“Sometimes I put my clients in crazy places just to see what would happen.”
“And last but not least, the fiesta. Quite possibly my favorite part of the day—I will always shoot the shit out of a good party.”