What is your most memorable wedding?
A young madly in love couple, she was 19, delicate and willowsome, he just adored her, she was 4 months pregnant, just showing .. they had a total budget of £500 (?!) and yet this wedding remains a fond favourite.. she bought her beautiful ( silk) ivory empire line wedding dress from ebay for £25 (!!) ..wore cute flat shoes, all the girls from college went round to mum’s the night before and they dug in making oversized cupcakes to fill a cupcake tower which was to be her tiered wedding cake, they were married in the City Temple Swansea, with guitars and lots of clapping and hugs, and the ladies of the church put on a tea (the old fashioned way), everyone doing their bit . I waited for the bride to arrive, she was running a little bit late, but no worries, the clapped out camper van with her mum driving came over the hill, it really was the vision you are now imagining and I may have laughed outloud, the one working wiper going and the faulty lightbulb was flashing..the bride looked so sweet with her natural flowers and white fur bolero..full of confidence she marched straight in barely time for photo’s.. leaving her mother with me..asking for 2 minutes whilst she flicked her long wavy blonde hair out of the way whilst fishing for and putting on an erstwhile stocking and with her spare hand expertly applying her cerise pink lipstick at the same time. the mother is a best friend of mine, I contributed the photography and everyone else did the same in one way or another..their favourite coffee shop by the sea, The Junction, hosted the reception..the dad brought a tin bath full of ice and champagne bottles and set up on the lawn outside, and as the afternoon speeches went on with the sun setting in the background, the sound of the calypso band beckoned from inside for a night of dancing, goodwill and laughter ...
Describe your style in 5 adjectives.
moody, strong, grainy, intuitive , observational
What about your business are you most proud of?
That 17 yrs down the line I am still here, and because I have never followed trends that my images from back then are still relevant today ..and I do not advertise, that all my clients are recommendations, the greatest joy seeing where I have become their family photographer, the go to for every important occasion AND that 4 babies now have the name Jai because of my time with their parents .. I know ! humbling or what ! p.s if we work together it is NOT part of the contract that you do the same, you really can give your child any name you like .. honestly
What is your No. 1 wedding planning tip for couples?
Do not rely on a price guide to be the measure of the quality of your supplier, if it is a heartfelt service they are supplying they are probably putting a bit of themselves in there ..so your photographer, florist, dressmaker, baker, room stager ..meet them .. just say hello and have a coffee .. how we get on with someone and a shared vision matters so much more than being over the finish line of choice because of a few pounds less ... that really is just money and that can be sorted out , go for who you trust with your vision and who has experience to be relied on no matter what obstacles can pop up ... follow your heart.... xx
What is your favourite personal touch you have seen at a wedding?
An uncle hand carved from a solid block of dark walnut a ... dark walnut .. the outside was smooth and polished, it was the size of an acorn, and with a little twist it came away in two halves and inside were held their matching polished steel wedding bands ... I had an entire photoshoot with that little acorn, the groom was searching for his missing matching sock at the time so I was n’t missed ... there is a picture on the gallery ..
Describe your typical process with a couple.
We meet for a coffee , I love to know your plans, a casual chat, where you can ask me absolutely anything, I can get a feel for what you need , which sometimes actually is n’t me..I know imagine me saying that .. but I am not intending to be everyone’s cup of tea, however I run photographer’s group so I could easily link you up with people I think would be ideal , if however you are pleased, we would also go through pricing options, I am a photographer for hire, and you book me for what you need, so if it is a special 2 hours or a whole day you will be in control of that, I literally have an hourly rate, simple, I have no minimum criteria, I am just as thrilled over a small session as well as a full one, before the day I will have gone for a look and a plan, and after the day a sneak peek usually puts the clients on until the big reveal , my prices are all inclusive, so there is no choosing, just enjoy the journey and enjoy the collection.
What is the No. 1 photo that you think every couple should take?
Mm well you will never be that young and gorgeous again .. so be carefree, let it go, do whatever your full heart and a glass of Prosecco would have you do ...
What is the most original photo you’ve been asked to take at a wedding?
I have never actually had that request, my clients just know to leave me to it , it is not for them to even be aware of photo’s really, it is about the emotion and joy of the day, be in the moment after all that planning , plus if it is a really quirky request you can rely on the best man to whip out his Apple phone quick as a flash..
What do you recommend for a rainy day wedding?
A sense of humour and a devil make care attitude .. embrace the rain..
make it work.. it was good enough for the Notebook film.. (how romantic) ?! ..the bridesmaids can put you back together later xx p.s. and grin when you see the photographer shooting through a plastic carrier bag .. she has to protect her Nikon somehow ;)
Describe how you got into photography.
I was designing and making silver and gemstone jewellery and showing at the large tradeshows, which needed therefore very high end brouchures and therefore great images ..so point and shoot would n’t work, those moonstones needed very careful treatment to remotely look good, so I took a manual photography course, I would talk away to the visitors..until one year a lady asked if I had ever considered photographing children .. I might have actually pulled a face, however she offered me a JOB ! and for the next TEN years as a school photographer I photographed 250 children a day with every hilarious mishap you can imagine .. now that is an apprenticeship .. I earned my stripes ..eventually I had to go alone, because digital was in and the images I was having to delete at home before sending off for print were the ones I knew the parents would absolutely love but were not in the remit of school photography .. I know ! heartbreaking ! ..however my vintage colourful studio in the heart of Swansea valley thrived for 7 years, causing great distress to the locals when I had to move on because I had outgrown it ..the theatrical windows are still talked about .. but now I am fully storytelling in any location and setting needed , from a Sunday morning at someone’s house to a baby coming into the world to a special occasion and ceremony ... after all those school years there is nothing I actually can’t handle .. nope ..can’t think of anything .. well maybe the embarrassing tears ..