What is your most memorable wedding?
I've had lots! I have shot in a lighthouse twice! Climbing to the top for some pictures was epic! The one wedding that stands out for me is quite a funny story. The couple and I headed out at about 11pm one cold December night to capture some nighttime shots in a ruined Abbey. The Nightwatchman at first was very reluctant to let us in as he thought we were doggers! After some silky-smooth talking, I got him to unlock the gates and let us in. It was pitch-black dark, and totally freezing, and we had to navigate the abbey with a mobile phone torch. After finding a magnificent ruined arch and setting up, I shot a few images that were just totally stunning. I could see them on the back of my camera, and with each shot, I started to exclaim and moan - I just couldn't help myself! The couple thought it was hilarious! Then, from out of the darkness over my shoulder came the Nightwatchman's voice: "I knew you were doggers!" He exclaimed! It was one of the most surreal, awesome and wonderfully funny wedding moment ever.
Describe your style in 5 adjectives.
Fun, Relaxed, Candid, Dramatic, Epic
What about your business are you most proud of?
I should be saying the images I create, but I'm most proud of the comments I get from couples and guests. I make lots of friends at weddings and absolutely love meeting, chatting, and having fun and laughter with everyone on the day. I'm also immensely proud that the work I produce stays with a couple for life, and is cherished. There's no greater feeling than that.
What is your No. 1 wedding planning tip for couples?
Don't stress the small stuff! Things like the weather, favours and place names, seem to stress a lot of brides and grooms out. Try to remember the real reason why you're going through all this trouble - it's to marry the one you love surrounded by friends and family. You don't need everything to be perfect - the perfection comes when you look into your partner's eyes and say "I do". Nothing else really matters.
What is your favourite personal touch you have seen at a wedding?
That's a tough one! I've seen lots of personal touches over the years. My favourites always revolve around lost loved ones or people that are missing, and include photograph memorials, a chair reserved at the ceremony or top table, and including mums and dads in family photographs after the big day. A wedding is an extremely important day and one of our biggest regrets is that some of the people we love cannot be there with us. These types of touches remind us of the frailty of life and the importance of keeping our loved ones close - very apt for a wedding, I think.
Describe your typical process with a couple.
This is easier as a list!
1. Initial contact by email, messenger or a phone call.
2. Arrange to meet, usually at their venue.
3. Actually meet! have coffee and cake and talk about all things wedding. Walk around the venue together getting ideas flowing.
4. Send out electronic quote, contract, payment schedules and wedding questionnaires.
5. Take deposit, book-in the date in the diary!
6. Meet at venue again, if possible, nearer the big day to finalise plans.
7. Turn up with my second shooter and capture the big day!
8. Produce a wedding story highlight album on FB (usually within 2 weeks).
9. Upload all beautifully edited pictures to an online album (usually within 4-6 weeks).
10. Send out USB.
11. Make albums (if ordered!)
What is the No. 1 photo that you think every couple should take?
Ah that's tough! There's loads of must haves! The things that most photographers never miss are the biggies like the aisle walk, ring exchange and first kiss. One of my all-time favourites, that I recommend all of my couple's try, is the nighttime confetti shot. It's tough to capture, as you need some special flash equipment and a bit of creativity, but nothing beats the drama of a back-lit couple in the darkness with the confetti all around them. Epic!
What is the most original photo you’ve been asked to take at a wedding?
For me, it's all about nighttime work! I just love shooting in the dark using creative off-camera flash. It adds dynamism, beauty and drama to any wedding collection, so I do it an awful lot (nearly every wedding!). A lot of my couples as me to "Do something cool in the dark!", so I'm always looking for an interesting tree, statue, fountain, gate or doorway to use creatively at night. Nighttime confetti shots are very original, as confetti shots tend to be done during daylight hours, so we don't see too many of them!
What do you recommend for a rainy day wedding?
Easy! 3 things: 1. Don't worry! 2. Make sure your photographer knows how to deal with it! 3. Just go for it! Living in Northumberland, I see a fair few rainy weddings. The real trick is to just embrace it - go and have a romantic snog with your partner in the rain! Some of the best shots I have ever captured are in the rain, especially at night. I always show these to prospective clients and some are secretly hoping for rain so they can have something similar!
Describe how you got into photography.
I got into photography by quitting smoking! I really needed something to keep my hands occupied, so I bought a camera and a photography book to keep my mind (and fingers!) away from the smokes. I really got hooked and started taking my camera everywhere to shoot landscapes. Then, as is the case for many photographers, a friend asked me to shoot her wedding. After first refusing, I reluctantly agreed and although a little stressful, it was the best day ever. I was from that point on completely hooked, and haven't looked back since!