What is your most memorable wedding?
I recently shot a pirate themed wedding on a boat. All the guests were dressed as pirates, so it would have been rude for me not to join in. It was a wonderfully fun day.
Describe your style in 5 adjectives.
documentary, candid, discreet, genuine, natural
What about your business are you most proud of?
I should probably bleat on about the awards I have won, but my business is an extention of myself, I would like to think that I bring a warmth and level of caring to a wedding. So I am most proud of the fact I am creating a genuine " moment of history" for a couple to keep forevermore.
What is your No. 1 wedding planning tip for couples?
From a photographers point of view, I would say that sufficient budget should be allowed for photography. Couples are lucky right now that there is so much choice but they should pick their photographer based on style or personality, not price. It really will be the only tangible thing left after the day is over. Oh, and tip 1a [ I'm guessing I'm not allowed 2] get your wedding pictures made into a book. It will be something to pass on to generations to come - long after the DVD or hard drive is lying obsolete in the back of a cupboard.
What is your favourite personal touch you have seen at a wedding?
There have been so many - it is often the things that have been made personally for the couple by a relative or friend that move me. I once saw a cake that had been made by the bride's sister - it terms of professional finish it was not great, but th elove and effort that had gone into the cake was very clear.
Describe your typical process with a couple.
Many couples, especially from out of area, book without having actually met me, although I do make fantastic coffee and a visit to my studio is always welcomed. The intial process will often be a meeting to run through the timetable of the day, so I can be sure I am in the right place at the right time. I also discuss the " VIP's" so I know who are the people most important to the couple - it helps me look for shots that empahise those relationships. The timings and amounts of any group shots are also discussed and planned in advance so I can just crack on with those at the alloted time - this saves a lot of discussion/time on the actual day. If the couple have booked a pre wedding shoot, I will usually have this meeting in a cafe/pub after the shoot. I am more than happy to shoot a wedding where I have never actually met the couple, but I do like to have a chat either by telephone or by Skype as the time spent preparing here means the day can flow more freely. During the wedding day, I literally follow the action and record what I see. As a documentary style photographer I am not interested in forcing groups of people to leap in the air and click their heels for no apparent reason - of course, if they should chose to do that I would record it, but I work in a very hands off way, letting the events take their natural course. After the wedding I provide a password protected on line gallery for friend and family to see the images. All couple receive a set of my finished edited files and an initial layout for their book where one has been ordered.
What is the No. 1 photo that you think every couple should take?
I don't really work to a formula of pre conceived shot ideas, so for me each wedding will produce different shots. They will of course all contain the people that are important to the bride and groom. So whilst there will be several areas of the day that render the usual type of shot - siging on register, cutting of cake, first dance etc, my style is more about a set of images that tell a story. I want people looking at my images to feel as if they were part of that story.
What is the most original photo you’ve been asked to take at a wedding?
Apart from the various pirate shots [ see above], I was once hauled backwards up a climbing wall in a harness so that I could take a shot of a bride and groom halfway up the wall from above. That was obviously a set up shot and I am happy to do most things [ within reason and the law] for a shot, but I would much prefer to capture a beautiful moment between the bride and her elderly grandfather than anything contrived.
What do you recommend for a rainy day wedding?
Some brollies, maybe some wedding wellies but more importantly wear a smile. This is England it rains a lot - even in August. So let the weather spoil your day - if you analyse a typical wedding day the vast majority of it [ preps, ceremony, wedding breakfast, dancing] all happens indoors anyway. It it my philosophy that there is no point worrying about something over which you have no control - you will be no less married if it rains and that, surely, is the whole point of the day.
Describe how you got into photography.
My fascination with photographs and images of people came from when, as a small boy, I was taken to visit my nan. I would ask her to get her photo's out, and I would sit ont he sofa beside her while she told me stories about the people contained in the images. Grandad bought me my first camera when I was about 12 and I set about making my own stories