What is your most memorable wedding?
I think most wedding photographers remember their first wedding and I'm no exception! I wanted to begin my career with a competition, and the couple who won couldn't have been more deserving! They weren't having a big lavish wedding but instead had just planned something small with close family. They had just had their second child and had been together for many years, finally tying the knot and completing their little family unit. Despite it being February and therefore pretty cold and damp, it was a lovely small ceremony and family dinner afterwards - the perfect first wedding for a lovely couple!
Describe your style in 5 adjectives.
Creative, Natural, Authentic, Documentary, Modern
What about your business are you most proud of?
As a photographer you have the foresight of knowing quite a lot about the entire wedding journey. While some may be happy to just play one small part in the process, I love to share my knowledge and experience with my couples. Planning a wedding is stressful and it's great to be able to help where I can. I go the extra mile for those who book me and am always on hand to offer advice where possible. Be it recommending other suppliers or providing tips on colour schemes, hair styles and timings for the day. As a photographer we tend to become the wedding planner too, especially as we tend to be there for a large part of the day, so having a hand in other aspects really helps make the day flow more smoothly.
What is your No. 1 wedding planning tip for couples?
Don't ask others what they paid for each part of their wedding. It has no bearing at all on what you think is important, only on what is important to them. Ultimately you have to decide what value you place in certain aspects and apply an appropriate part of your budget to each one. If photography is important to you, then spend a larger portion of your budget on it, rather than think because others spent less that you should too. It just means it wasn't as important for them as it may be for you.
What is your favourite personal touch you have seen at a wedding?
Honestly, far too many to count! Cake toppers depicting realistic brides and grooms are always great fun to photograph as they show off so much character and mannerisms of the couple getting married. Lots of table details and names with references to the relationship of the couple, details remembering close family members and lovely anecdotes and stories during the speeches. Weddings are a great way of putting across your personality, so make it your own!
Describe your typical process with a couple.
I always love meeting a couple in person after their initial enquiry to get a real sense of what they want on their wedding and to answer any questions. After booking I send over a welcome pack and recommend some useful websites and blogs on planning a wedding. If the couple would like a pre-wedding session this is a great way for them to see me in action and get used to my working style before the big day, and they get some gorgeous photos too! Soon before the wedding we have a final planning meeting to go over timings for the day and finalise any details. On the wedding day I always arrive in good time to set up and begin my coverage, usually during the bridal prep, before the day kicks off in earnest. I have a great blend of documentary and traditional photography to capture lots of natural, candid style photos of guests and the action, as well as more posed photographs of family and friends and of the couple themselves. Into the evening I am there for the speeches, cake cut and of course some action on the dance floor, where I may even stay till late if you have opted for my longer collection. After the wedding I try to email some sneak peeks and keep the couple updated on the editing process, before setting up their online gallery and posting their USB (with some extra goodies too!) If they wish to order an album or prints/wall art, then I design and organise this all myself before getting final approval and ordering. I quality check every product before sending it on to the couple.
What is the No. 1 photo that you think every couple should take?
It's a tricky one as every wedding and couple is unique, and they may have a specific request for a 'must have' photo. I'm quite an environmental photographer, so it's always great to include both the newlyweds and some unique or significant aspect of their wedding venue as well. These sort of photos really stand out and have that 'wow' factor that looks great in an album or on the wall. Something really romantic and special, perhaps at sunset. Or dramatic and creative, something at night with colours and a pop of light behind them. The options are endless!
What is the most original photo you’ve been asked to take at a wedding?
I think it really depends on the venue as some can offer really quirky opportunities for some creative photos! Most of the time it's me coming up with these ideas but one of my couples in 2017 wanted a photo centred around the bar at their reception, with the bride powering through another drink while the groom and groomsmen were slumped on the floor defeated. That was great fun and as you can imagine a pretty lively and enjoyable wedding.
What do you recommend for a rainy day wedding?
Sadly in the UK you can't always guarantee the weather, but that doesn't mean it's not still a great wedding. It can present a few unique challenges for a wedding photographer, but it's a great opportunity to do something a little different and creative. Wedding photos in the rain can be really special and unique, something you don't always see done well, but will definitely stand out in an album. So embrace the weather and enjoy yourself! Plus, they say if you tie the knot on a rainy day that the bonds of marriage are harder to break - that's got to count for something!
Describe how you got into photography.
Photography has always been a keen interest of mine even from a young age. In 2014 some friends of mine asked if I wanted to take some photos of them together as a couple before their wedding (they had already booked another company to do their wedding photography as they wanted me to enjoy the day as a guest!) I enjoyed the experience so much that, with their encouragement, I set up my own photography business soon after. The rest, as they say, is history.