What is your most memorable wedding?
There have been to so many weddings (I really daren't think how many!) and so many different and wonderful couples that I can't pick one out as more special than the others. Every wedding I shoot whether it is a big wedding or a small intimate celebration is just as important to me. This is the couples very special day, hopefully one they will cherish for the rest of their lives and I have a very important job to capture it for them and to help make it the best it can be for them.
It is a responsibility I take very seriously though that doesn't mean we can't have fun doing it!
Describe your style in 5 adjectives.
Professional, relaxed, contemporary, fun, reportage
What about your business are you most proud of?
That a lot of my business comes from recommendations from past clients and fellow professionals in the wedding industry.
What is your No. 1 wedding planning tip for couples?
Communicate with each other and remember it is your special day, by all means listen to your family & friends and then make the decision that it right for you.
What is your favourite personal touch you have seen at a wedding?
I like it when a couple have added thoughtful touches to their day that mean something to them and their family & friends.
It may be a grandmas favourite flower in the bouquet, special sweets on the sweet trolly because the grooms dad is addicted to them, a lighted candle in remembrance of those who can't be there, flip flops and blankets for later in the evening when feet get sore and it starts to get chilly. One couple who were mad on Disney & lego had little lego figures made to look like their guests which they put on the table settings for their guests. I even got one complete with camera! (I still have it on my desk)
Describe your typical process with a couple.
I like to have a chat, get to know a little bit about you. Ask you how you want your day to go and what is important to you. A lot of my couples don't always know what style of photography they want so we discuss this a little to give them some ideas and look at possibilities. We discuss your budget and your requirements and work out an individual package for you.
Once a booking has been made and the booking fee paid I clear their date in my diary and that date is then exclusively yours. I only shoot one wedding per day.
A couple of months before the wedding I will visit all the venues involved in the wedding so that I can look at light and photo possibilities. I will arrange to talk to the wedding co-ordinator at the venue so that we can work as a team and make things run smoothly on the day. I will check the logistics of any travel and check if there are any events nearby which may impact on this. (for instance If I have to pass a football ground on a saturday about an hour before kick off then the roads will be busy and I will need to either plan another route or leave extra time to get to my bride)
After this visit I will meet with you to go over the fine details and the shoot list so that you get what you want. My visit to the venues will have given me ideas which I can discuss with you along with the ideas you have. The shoot list is a starting point for me and the couple will get lots of reportage shots of the day as well. I say to my couples "If it happens I will shoot it" (unless for example you are having a crafty cigarette and your mum doesn't know that you smoke - she probably does, cos mums know everything!- but I don't shoot anything that will embarrass our couple or their family)
We talk about plan B incase plan A goes a bit askew (usually weather) then hopefully we are all set ready for the big day.
I arrive on the day and get to work. Because I have done the pre planning beforehand the couple can relax and enjoy their day. I know what they want, what should be happening and when and I just get on with it. Of course I am also reactive to events that occur during the day that haven't been pre planned.
After the wedding I edit the images and upload them onto the couples password protected web site. They will have an individual password so that they will see their images first before the album is available for pre selected family & friends to view. The couple are then invited to chose the images they would like in their printed album.
I then design their album for them and present the design to ensure they are happy with it before it goes to print. If the couple make their choices quickly they can have their wedding album four weeks after their wedding.
If they have chosen a no album package their images will usually be ready on a USB stick within two weeks of the wedding.
We do offer extras such as parents albums, reprints wall art, thank you cards etc should the couple require them.
What is the No. 1 photo that you think every couple should take?
The one that means something to them and that they would be disappointed if they didn't get.
Each couple is different so the answer to that question will change for every couple that is asked.
What is the most original photo you’ve been asked to take at a wedding?
The couple who asked for a shot at the top of a haystack was a bit different. The hay stack was made of the big round bales (they were natural straw, they weren't covered in the plastic covering)and the farmer had arranged them to look like a big wedding cake. The bride and groom where on the top tier and the family and guests were arranged along the other lower tiers.We got the farmer to lift the couple up on his tractor to save the bride from clambering up in her wedding dress. Farmer then took me up in the fork lift of his tractor to get the shots.
I did get the couple to sign a disclaimer for this and their guests as I didn't think my public liability insurance would cover me if anyone fell off! It was safe as long as no one started messing about, and it did produce a very different picture, which they had asked for.
It was only later when I was editing the pictures that I noticed that there were a couple of fallow deer in the field at the back of the haystack. Probably wondering what all these mad people were doing clambering up a haystack that looked like a giant wedding cake! It was a fun part of the day and the couple were very happy with the pictures.
What do you recommend for a rainy day wedding?
A smile from the bride!
If the bride lets the weather ruin her wedding day it will.
If the bride says "its not quite what I planned but hey its still my wedding day, I'm marrying the person I love let's go to Plan B " then we will sort it. The pictures may be a little different but you can get some great shots in the rain you've just got to have a happy bride.
In the twenty years I've been a wedding photographer I have only shot two weddings where it rained ALL day, so you just have to be a little flexible in what you shoot and when you do it. That is one of the reasons I only do one wedding a day, so that I have the flexibility to stay on if needed.
Describe how you got into photography.
I went to the college to enrol for a business course and thought I would try an "easy course" first (its not!) to test out my brain. Half way through the entry level photography course my tutor took me to one side and said "you are good at this you should take it further" he advised me to go and enrol on a degree course at the University. I took his advice and never looked back. After my degree course they asked me to stay on and teach photography which I did for a couple of years, then I worked in creative arts with community and public art installations and events. While at the same time starting my own photography business. I now work for myself specialising in family and wedding photography.