What is your most memorable wedding?
Hard to say, really. There have been so many brilliant ones over the years. Two that will stick in my head forever more though - one we had the fife and drums and a guard of honour of the Coldstream Guards at the church, and another where the Red Arrows did a fly-past just after I'd taken a photo of the happy couple in front of a rainbow. But there's so many that are memorable for so many reasons - the food (Michelin starred), the location (sunset on a private beach anyone?), bidesmaid's zip breaking, a fire alarm whilst the bride is getting ready, or just a stunning shot that I'm thrilled to be able to present to the happy couple.
Describe your style in 5 adjectives.
Classy, romantic, observational, refined, human.
What about your business are you most proud of?
That's a very strange question and I have to answer it in two parts. First I'm proud that I actually have a business - so many close down in a short space of time and here I am still going. I must be doing something right! Honestly the thing I'm *most* proud of is that future generations will be looking at the photos of people that I created and admiring them, chatting about their "great grandmother" or "great grandfather" and saying "ooooh, you've got his nose/chin/ears" (insert body part of significance to the discussion). I'm creating not just photos for the happy couple but actually I'm creating family heirlooms that I know from personal experience will be genuinely treasured by future generations.
What is your No. 1 wedding planning tip for couples?
Don't try to cram too much in. The day goes so fast. If you have a hundred ideas it will feel rushed. Take your time to enjoy it.
What is your favourite personal touch you have seen at a wedding?
I think my favourite is something I've seen twice now. Both weddings involving Scottish family on the groom's side - the bride formally welcomed into the clan and given a tartan sash, then a drink of whisky from a small "bowl".
There was also a wedding where the groom carved a ring holder in the shape of a heart - very fine carving it was too. I loved that.
Oh and a small wedding (six people) where the groom read out "The Owl And The Pussycat" to the bride - and she (an opera singer) filled the room with an Irish ballad for him.
As I said in answering "what's the most memorable wedding" it's so hard to choose when you've been doing this for a while!
Describe your typical process with a couple.
I like couples to come and meet me. They get to see lots of my images but more importantly we get to know one another. It's important for them (and for me) that we "get" one another. That way they get the best images for their day. When they're happy we can sort out contracts. On the day I'm there (usually) from preparations to well into the dancing. A few days after I offer to do a sneak-peek on Facebook/my blog. When they're back from honeymoon I have couples around to visit me to see their photos and we take it from there.
What is the No. 1 photo that you think every couple should take?
Ha ha. Every couple should *take*? They shouldn't take any! They should have me do that.
Honestly whilst many couples come to me saying that "they don't want posed photos" and "they don't want group photos" the one image that I really think they need to have is with their parents. If the situation with parents is tricky (e.g. divorces/re-marraiges) it's best to separate those out. Oh and if grandparents are there it's a must that you have a photo with the grandparents too.
What is the most original photo you’ve been asked to take at a wedding?
A bride being lifeted up by a bunch of balloons and her bridal party hanging on to her - all in front of a red double decker bus. It took some work but we managed it.
What do you recommend for a rainy day wedding?
An umbrella. A decent sized one. One with no logos or writing on it. Black or White. But simple.
The simple answer is simply to go with the flow. As Vivian Greene said “Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass…it's about learning how to dance in the rain!”
There's always a Plan B and I discuss that with each couple as their plan be, at their venue may be very different to another couple even at the same venue. Sometimes we drop some groups and do smaller groups inside. Sometimes they had ideas for romantic shots in a garden and we still do them - just with an umbrella. Sometimes we hold off the groups and wait for a break in the weather. Or we do all the groups on the dance floor.
Rain shouldn't stop play. Ever.
Describe how you got into photography.
Ah, this is where I say "I've always loved photography" or "I've always had a camera in my hand", isn't it?
Well that's not really true.
In my early teens I had an opportunity, at school, to do photography as a course. I was hooked the moment the first image came out in front of me in the developing dish. I did it for years until work and life got in the way.
I picked my camera up again after being ill for a while and started to do landscape and nature photography, selling walks to magazines and artwork for people's homes. Then one day my wife told me to try weddings. I thought she was mad, but she said I would like them.
As usual my wife was right.
Once I tried wedding photography nothing else quite grabbed me as much. I now look at beautiful landscapes wondering where the person is in the image!
So how did I get into *wedding* photography - well that's my wife's doing. ;)