What is your most memorable wedding?
It's not all about the glitz and glamour. My most memorable wedding was a very small intimate event. The ceremony was in the local register office and the reception in a local restaurant, then pub. There were only 25 guests, but they were all extremely close friends and family of the couple, which made the day very intimate and emotional.
Describe your style in 5 adjectives.
natural, colourful, realistic, vibrant, fun
What about your business are you most proud of?
Customer service is extremely important to me and something I'm very proud of. I like to keep in touch with my couples right through the planning process, and go above and beyond to help them make their special day one to remember for the rest of their lives.
What is your No. 1 wedding planning tip for couples?
Set a realistic budget that you can afford and stick to it. It's so easy to get carried away with all these lovely ideas that you see on-line, and before you know it the budget has been well and truly blown. So prioritise the main, must have items, (venue, dress, suits, photographer, DJ etc.), and spend what you need to on these to get what you want. Then if there is anything left in the pot you can look at other little finishing touches. Many of these extras can be made by you or friends to save money. eg. Instead of an expensive sweet cart you can buy bags of sweets, pretty jars and arrange it on a table or counter in the venue.
What is your favourite personal touch you have seen at a wedding?
At one wedding the groom was a fire fighter. He thought his brother-in-law was driving him to the venue, but his bride had booked a vintage fire engine to take him as a surprise.
Describe your typical process with a couple.
I like to meet with the couple prior to booking where possible to make sure we are a good match, (where this isn't possible I will hold the meeting on skype / video chat). Then once they have decided that they wish to proceed, I require a small retainer to hold the date along with a signed contract. And that's the booking confirmed. The couple are welcome to get in touch anytime between then and the wedding if they have any queries, and I will often send them any bargains, offers or tips that I come across and think they will appreciate. 2-3 weeks before the big day we will have a pre-wedding meeting to finalise timeline, shot list etc. It is at this meeting that the balance payment is due.
After the day I aim to get a handful of pictures edited and back to you with in a day or so, so that you can share them on social media. The remainder of the pictures will be ready within 4 weeks. You'll receive your pictures on a boxed USB, and also have a password protected on-line gallery to share them with friends and family.
What is the No. 1 photo that you think every couple should take?
Portraits later in the evening. Couples are so often tied up in partying and less keen to take time out for more photos later in the evening. However this is such a shame. In the middle of summer it is light until quite late, so by heading out for photos late in the evening we can get some absolutely beautiful light at golden hour, and portraits against the sunset. In the winter when it gets dark early, then heading outside after dark can allow us to create some stunning pictures with creative lighting effects. Additionally the venue is often beautifully lit, so it often looks even nicer after dark than during the day.
What is the most original photo you’ve been asked to take at a wedding?
The most unusual picture I had requested has to be the groom and groomsmen dropping their trousers wearing matching boxers.
What do you recommend for a rainy day wedding?
Rainy day wedding can be fantastic for pictures. It is useful if there is somewhere indoors that we can use for the group photos so that elderly, or very young relatives in particular don't get really cold and wet. However if you are up for braving the weather, rain can lead to some spectacular couple portraits. Having a selection of umbrellas available can make all the difference. Clear or white are the best from a photographic point of view as they don't cast dark shadows or strange coloured light on the people under them. I always have a handful of nice umbrellas with me for the photos of the couple and wedding party.
Describe how you got into photography.
I've been taking pictures since I was given a cheap film camera and roll of black and white film as a child.
I'm a keen mountaineer, and so landscapes have, not surprisingly, always formed a large part of my personal photography.
However, after having children, and being asked to take some portfolio pictures for a local model, I found that I love photographing people even more. Which lead to me working extensively in portrait and fashion photography. Photography definitely started to become a obsession rather than just a hobby.
People often ask what made you want to photograph weddings and events? At my daughters final prize giving evening as she left school, one of the teachers put on a slideshow of the children's time at the school. Pictures from school trips, rehearsals for school productions, school shows etc. Now these weren't technically amazing pictures in a photographic sense, being mostly snapshots taken on a phone. But most of the children were in tears as they re-lived those memories, and most of us parents were in a similar state seeing what great times they'd had at the school. This experience really confirmed to me what a powerful medium photography can be, and I knew at that moment, that what I wanted to do, was to photograph those milestone moments in people's lives, and capture those precious memories and emotions within my pictures.