What attracted you to wedding photography?
I’ve always been fascinated with culture and rituals, why we have an urge to represent who we are in a visual way in front of other people. Weddings provide sincere moments of joy as well as traditions that go back centuries. I love photographing how each couple makes their wedding different and what they keep the same; how they at once depart from tradition and firmly place themselves within it. It is a heart warming thing to document a once in a lifetime moment, and to provide artefacts for memories and emotions, so that in 50 years someone could look at a photography from that day and remember the smell of the freshly cut grass, or taste the icing on the wedding cake, or re-feel the unbridled happiness and love that they did that day. I preserve memories and emotion, and it is a privilege to be invited into such an intimate and special day.
And what is it about your job that you love?
Creating memories for couples. I don’t want to construct or fake emotions or smiles; I want the real things, the smile when the groom sees the bride for the first time, or the excitement on the faces of the guests as they join the dance floor after an emotional father daughter dance. I catalogue experience, and at the same time I’m in that experience too as my style forces me to get close to be within not without.
How would you describe your style of wedding photography?
Personal and non-traditional. And yet, what draws my eye is the very traditions of the photographic masters: black & white, photojournalism, getting close. My wedding photography style comes from me, who I am and what I look for; what are the moments that resonate with me; who I am as a person shapes what I see. And if a moment resonates with me, then I hope it connects with others as well. I am completely myself when I’m photographing, I enjoy engaging with the guests, I do not want to be on the periphery with a long telephoto lens. I want to be close, in the action because that’s where the moments are happening.
What is the feedback like from your clients?
One of the happiest moments is handing the clients a print from their wedding; you can see the emotional memory start to come back. The fact that they are able to hold it and touch it is an important aspect in connecting with the photographs; there is something tangible, permanent, and concrete. They know that this photograph exists and displays meaning and gives their marriage a validation that digital prints on Facebook do not. Being trusted to shoot other weddings due to recommendations is also a proud moment.
Are there any weddings that you’ve shot that stand out?
Each wedding stands out because each wedding is unique; and, yes, that is a cliche, but a wedding is more than an exchange of rings or an ‘I do’ or even a first dance, a wedding is made by the people who are there. The couple and their quests inhabit the traditional aspects of a wedding and make the day their own. I love listening to a couples vows or the readings they chose in a non-religious wedding. Each couple is different, and it’s my job, not to document any wedding, but to tell their story.
Where would be your dream location to shoot?
I’d love to do a Lake District wedding in winter. I’ve gone on holidays there since I was born and it holds a very special place in my heart. The scenery in the snow would be perfect. Other than that, making ordinary look extra-ordinary is fun too; finding the beauty in the simplicity can often be more interesting that epic landscape vistas or grand stately homes. That being said, it is a dream to photography a wedding ceremony from a different culture, perhaps a Buddhist ceremony in the foothills of the Himalayas.
Is there a specific part of a wedding day that you enjoy most?
A wedding is an eclectic mix of styles and techniques, each requiring something different to the last. Although I do enjoy shooting all aspects, I am particularly fond of the Reception, especially just after the 1st dance. Often I find the energy of the dance floor particularly stimulating to shoot; no doubt this is from my experience shoot live bands. I also love when impromptu moments happen, for instance at a recent wedding there was a short set by a singer songwriter after the meal before the speeches – it was only supposed to be short but the bride enjoyed it so much that she asked him to keep playing. The energy of the dancing and the connection between the quests and the happy couple was fantastic to shoot, and provided memories that would otherwise have been lost if they had stuck to the schedule.
What is most important for couples trying to decide on a photographer?
Style is important, really connecting with the photographs: being able to see themselves in them. A photographer is not for everyone. If a couple want predominantly formal shots in colour then I won’t be the right fit for them. But if a couple want an alternative to the formalised clean photography often available in wedding photography, something with character and energy in a predominantly photojournalistic black and white style then I’m a better fit. Trying to get the energy right is important as well; I like high energy environments and shooting active scenes of people enjoying themselves and I want a couple that enjoy that too. That’s certainly not all I shoot, there’s nothing wrong with quiet, understated moments, where the photographs whisper the emotion – in fact, those weddings are often brilliant.
So style and understanding each other. Price is important, but is always third to those two. If you like a photographer’s style and can see them shooting your wedding then price can always been discussed; it might mean you won’t be able to have everything in a package, but I will always prefer a couple who want me to shoot their wedding over ja couple ust wanting a wedding photographer.
What can couples who book you expect on the day?
My high energy and focus. As I’ve said, the best I can do is just be myself and throw myself into the middle of your special day. I want to immerse myself into the moments, not re-create or stage photographs. Therefore, I don’t want the attention to be on me. I use small discrete all black cameras; I don’t want to be noticed but I want to be there ready to capture the moments from within..
What is your photography package?
It’s best to email or call regarding packages. I have a number of packages depending on a couple’s individual needs. But it’s best to discuss what a couple what they want and seek advice and guidance on how best to proceed. Often packages can be tailored due to bespoke circumstances. I’d love to talk to you about your upcoming special day, and see what it is I can do to help tell your story.