“How do you photograph a wedding where the bride has absolutely no eyesight?”
This was the question Sydney-based wedding photographer James Day pondered for a year before photographing Steph Agnew and Rob Campbell’s wedding in 2018.
Steph hasn’t been able to see for four years because of Cone-Rod Distrophy, a genetic condition in which the cells in your retina slowly deteriorate and die. At first, the 31-year-old’s vision started getting blurry, but today, she describes what she sees as like watching static on a TV screen.
“The way I explain the way I see now is it’s like an old TV you’re trying to tune in and you get the fuzziness of the black, white and grey. That’s what I see, complete and utter fuzz,” she previously told Mamamia.
Because of her condition, Steph didn’t think it would be possible for her to fully experience the fairy tale wedding she’d been imagining since she was a little girl. Wedding photographs are traditionally such an important part of any wedding – how could she treasure the small, stolen moments from her day without being able to see them?
But then, Day had a crazy idea.
From helping Steph and her mum Linda, who lives with the same condition, document finding her wedding dress to the unique way guests at the couple's wedding were able to experience Rob's vows through Steph's ears, Day along with videographers Toni-Jo and Shaun from Lemon Tree Film House collaborated to create a fully tactile, immersive wedding album of sorts.
Which brings us back to the first question... how can a bride who is blind see her wedding photographs or watch her wedding video?
As shown in the viral video from Lemon Tree Film House below, Day worked with experts in their fields to create a completely unique wedding album that incorporates all the motifs and tactile elements from Steph and Rob's wedding. Combined, these help Steph paint a mental picture of her day.