What is your most memorable wedding?
Eeeshh!! There are soooo many good ones, but one that really sticks in my mind is the wedding of a couple who were obsessed with zoos. They travelled all over the world and in each country they visited, they went to the local zoo. They were so obsessed that they decided to get married in one! It was a first for the zoo in question but they did accommodate it! The couple got married in their local church and then we went to the zoo where a huge marquee had been set up in the grounds. I got to travel into the enclosure with the bride and groom on the back of a jeep and they fed the giraffes while I took photographs. It was an absolutely amazing day. One I will never forget!
Describe your style in 5 adjectives.
Fun. Relaxed. Natural. Artistic. Storytelling.
What about your business are you most proud of?
All of it. I built this business from the ground up as an escape from a career that was making me ill. I knew I had to take everything I had in terms of money and emotional energy and put it into this to make it work. It was a tough choice to make as it was between a well paid and stable career and a creative business with an unstable income. But once I'd made that leap, it was a no brainer. The second I started booking regular weddings I was obsessed. I absolutely love what I do and so far, all of my couples have loved it too. That makes me super proud.
What is your No. 1 wedding planning tip for couples?
Your wedding is about YOU and YOU only. I'm amazed by how many couples feel governed by other people when it comes to planning their big day. If you want to have a traditional day, have one! If you want to throw the itinerary out of the window and have a bucking bronco, a carousel and some llamas, do THAT (I would soooo be there with you if you did that). The point is, this is YOUR special day, and whether you are footing the bill or not, you should choose to have the day that YOU want. No-one else.
What is your favourite personal touch you have seen at a wedding?
Ooooh, again, there have been so many.... I think it would have to be the wedding where the bride commissioned a singer-song-writer to write a song about her and her new husband and sing it during the speeches. It was absolutely brilliant. There were happy tears and poignant moments too. I would highly recommend that.
Describe your typical process with a couple.
First of all the couple will contact me, usually through email. I would then let them know whether I'm available on there date and suggest either a phonecall or if local enough, a cuppa (or a pint) somewhere between our locations. Then for me it's all about getting to know each other a little and seeing what kind of ideas the couple have for their day. At this point I think it's important to establish whether we all click too! A lot of people don't consider that the photographer will spend more time with you than ANYONE ELSE on the most important day of their lives! What happens if you don't get on?! Luckily, I've never had this (touch wood), but I know it has been an issue for some people! After this I let the couple go home and look at their options. Then, if they decide to book me, they email me and I send out an invoice for 25% of the package fee which is the deposit and is due at that point. They will also receive a contract which both parties need to sign and return. Once I have both of those, they are firmly in the book and I close that date to any other couple. I will then arrange a reccy of the venue if I haven't shot there before and will schedule in our next meetup which will normally be around a month before the date, just to go over the itinerary and any questions the couple might have. The day before the wedding I will check in with them just to see how excited they are and whether any last minute changes have been made.
THEN IT'S THEIR WEDDING DAY!!!! I rock up early with my second-shooter, we split to our positions then shoot the whole day long!!
I will check in with the couple within the next few days after the wedding and will provide an image for thank you cards (if they want one) and also a social media sneak peek (if they want one). Then they get the link to their private gallery 4-6 weeks later and we talk about any wall-art or albums they need to order.
It's all pretty exciting really!
What is the No. 1 photo that you think every couple should take?
Oh my gosh. This is a hard one.
I think it is SUPER important to try and break away from everyone for a little while and I always encourage my couples to do this just after the ceremony and group shots (if they're having any). I will have scoped out the best areas and backdrops to shoot against at their venue beforehand so waste no time taking them there. Then I think to get a handful of shots that are just the two of them together, having a moment in all the madness is probably the most important shot of all. After all, their wedding day is all about THEM.
What is the most original photo you’ve been asked to take at a wedding?
This one is EASY. I had a couple who were Star Wars buffs. They wanted something which incorporate that. So I took them into the forest and took a photo of them standing against the trees in a particular way. Then I did a composite piece where I Photoshopped lightsabres into their hands and super-imposed an entire rebellion fight scene in the forest in front of them. It was hard work and time-consuming but oh-so-worth-it!!!
What do you recommend for a rainy day wedding?
Clear umbrellas, colourful wellies, waterproof make-up and a sense of humour!!
Describe how you got into photography.
As part of my previous career in PR and Communications, I did all the photography of site projects and incorporated them into company glossy magazines. It was a pretty boring subject matter so when I left to have children I started photographing them, then other people's children, then families and weddings. When I found families and weddings, I was set for life.