What is your most memorable wedding?
I photographed a wedding in Tours, France. It wasn't a destination wedding in the traditional sense - two brits getting married abroad. Oh no - two French people getting married in France, with an English photographer. They discovered me on Facebook and asked if I'd be interested in doing it - how could I refuse? I had a lovely translator (my French is much better now) and totally loved it. The traditions were very different and we finished at 3am with Chinese Lanterns - the couple then drove off in a vintage Citroen 2cv... how French is that??? Oh yeah, there was an airshow blasting away directly above us as we exited la mairie! Amazing experience and I've been back a few times shooting their friend's weddings. Does that mean I'm global now?
Describe your style in 5 adjectives.
Not about me, about you.
What about your business are you most proud of?
Well, I don't try to be too business like actually - I'm an "I" not a "we", unless I have a second photographer for the day of course. I guess my moto would be, human being first, photographer second. Being professorial is really important, but being personal is HUGE! I'm happy to put this at the centre of my business.
What is your No. 1 wedding planning tip for couples?
Commit to not getting stressed about it right from the moment you get engaged. Your wedding will feel like it's for everyone else at times, but remember - it's an expression of you as a couple. Don't let the day become bigger than you.
What is your favourite personal touch you have seen at a wedding?
I think it's pretty cool when couples write their own vows - a minute or two when someone opens the lid on their real feelings in front of all their friends and family. It's probably the only time they have ever done/will ever do this... if it doesn't choke them, it chokes everyone else! Also happens in the speeches sometimes.
Describe your typical process with a couple.
Initial contact is usually made online, which is great for covering items such as availability and services. However, I usually recommend scheduling a phone call so that we can dive a little deeper into exactly how things are done. Once a couple wishes to commit to a booking, I guide them through a very simple procedure of signing the terms of agreement and placing a deposit (which is 25% of the total fee). Once a couple is booked in, we can then turn out attention to the fun stuff - including a visit to the venue(s) and plenty of tea & coffee whilst discussing you and your wedding plans. The wedding photos will be culled and edited over a couple of weeks after the wedding, then made available to view and download from an interactive online gallery. If an album has been ordered, the couple can select the images they'd like featured from their online gallery. There will then be opportunities to make amendments afterwards.
What is the No. 1 photo that you think every couple should take?
Yes, I defiantly think you should take the No. 1 photo... and the number 2, 3, 4, 5... I think the priority should be to capture stuff as it happens and not get bogged down with some sort of "the" shot. That way, you'll always end up with "the" shot. Having said that, I love taking that last photo before I go! I usually arrange something creative and original outside in the dark and test it on one of the guests. I can then ask the couple to pop outside for a minute and get something really special... very quickly. That's always worth doing!
What is the most original photo you’ve been asked to take at a wedding?
I was asked by the Father of the bride to take a photo of him punching through a watermelon. He was based in hong-kong and trained MMA fighters for a living... he spent 45 minutes driving around Portsmouth looking for a fruit and veg shop. Sadly we never found one... we had to settle for him twisting an apple in half :-(
What do you recommend for a rainy day wedding?
Embrace it! Reflections, halo lighting effects, puddle portraits, umbrella shots, rain on window photos... see it as an opportunity to do something that you can only do on a rain day. I brief all my couples on "what if it rains". Look out for a rain photo at night in my gallery - you can't do that if it's nice ;-)
Describe how you got into photography.
My parents took my younger brother and I to Venice when I was 6, my Dad let me shoot a roll of slide film in St. Mark's Square with his Olympus OM10. I didn't know what I was doing, but I remember being totally blown away when my Mum projected my photos onto our living room wall when we retuned. I've been addicted ever since!