When my wife, Becky, and I were looking for a wedding photographer, we swiftly found that we were inundated with suggestions. When shopping around, it seems everybody knows a photographer and naturally they all come highly recommended. We were spoilt for choice - we had a very kind offer from a friend for her husband to take on the responsibility (as he was looking to dip his toe back into the water of wedding photography) and we'd also won a competition for a half price photographer. We passed them both up.
While they may have been fantastic, we didn't want to take the risk on our big day. If somebody was a little rusty then we would have lost out. Similarly, if somebody is offering half price on their services, it's indicative of somebody trying to build a portfolio, and maybe wouldn;t yet be as good as a seasoned pro. We weren't going to take any risks.
With a budget in mind, we looked at the available options and shortlisted about three. The photos of a friend's wedding stood out as being particularly good in capturing the atmosphere and aesthetic of their day without being intrusive or posed. After a quick chat over FaceTime with the photographer, it was clear that Mark would tick all of the boxes, and we decided to go with Evolve Photography.
Wanting to prove himself beyond any shadow of a doubt for our peace of mind, Mark met us one afternoon in a classic old cinema in Wellington, where we had an engagement shoot. With film being a hobby that both of us share, he ably showed that he could capture exactly what we wanted and put both of us at ease. In fact, most of the photos were so natural that he waited until we were talking. Before we knew it, we were done with the shoot and he presented us with a series of snaps that showcased his professionalism and attention to detail. The lighting, the framing, types of shot - all were exemplary.
Leading up to the big day, we knew that we didn't have to worry about anything with regards to photography. That's a HUGE positive when it's a couple of weeks before you tie the knot and you know that that's a significant part of the day that's more than taken care of when everything else is stressing you out. All we had to do was arrange where and when we needed him.
When the day arrived, Mark even brought in his colleague Tristan to capture the preparation of myself and my groomsmen while he headed to the house to photograph Becky and her bridesmaids, and my mother-in-law getting ready. This was an incredible free gift from Mark, for which we're very grateful. We never even asked, he just did it for us.
At the church, Mark and Tristan stationed themselves from two viewpoints to capture the day and did so with aplomb. Following the ceremony, Tristan hopped in the wedding car (VW Campervan) with us while Mark got us arriving at the reception. From there, we had the obligatory staged shots done with friends and family before the two of us headed off to wander the grounds and have photos of the two of us taken, surrounded by the rolling hills of Devon.
Back inside, Mark and Tristan were practically invisible as they seamlessly manoeuvred through the event capturing the festivities. We were taken outside again for some further photos, one in particular being the standout shot of the wedding. After the first dance, Mark was back to blending in and capturing all of the day's happiness. It was perfect. Seriously.
After the wedding, Mark checked in with us and ensured we were happy with everything. After processing the thousands of images, he presented them in an ornate wooden box, adorned with a Lego Batman figure - presumably having seen the collection of Lego on display in our house.
This was a prime example of Mark's work ethic and a metaphor for how he goes about his business. He intuitively knows what his clients want and uses his initiative and know-how. Rather than firing questions all the time, he went beyond what was required and let us be surprised by the results. He is the utmost professional and you get the best of both worlds - the personal touch as well as discretion in terms of blending in. The result is an unobtrusively shot, beautiful set of images that easily capture the wedding.
As most will tell you, your wedding day whizzes past in the blink of an eye and you'll wish you could relive it. Having Mark as your photographer and providing his craft is the next best thing. We really cannot recommend or thank him and Tristan enough. Thank you both from the bottom of our hearts.