What is your most memorable wedding?
My most memorable wedding was the first one that I shot - it was my Dad's second marriage, so no pressure! Fortunately, my Dad was a pretty chilled out client and the biggest challenge I had was getting him to relax in front of the camera, because he is usually the one taking the photos. After that, the wedding that sticks most in my mind was of Jenny and Andrew, for so many reasons including Andrew arriving at the church in his truck, Jenny being 'supported' by the groomsmen to climb up into the truck to drive to the reception and most of all, the hilarity and general shenanigans that went on throughout the day. It was a really joyful day, with lots and lots of laughter and fun, where I felt as much a part of the day as the other guests.
Describe your style in 5 adjectives.
Candid, relaxed, quirky, flexible, stylish
What about your business are you most proud of?
As a sole photographer, I am particularly proud of the fact that I take my clients through the whole process, from initial enquiry through to the presentation of the final images. This is really important to me because it absolutely ensures that clients are getting a genuinely personal and customised service from me.
What is your No. 1 wedding planning tip for couples?
Plan your day based around what you want, not what other people may tell you you should do. I got married in a purple dress, wearing my motorbike boots underneath, with my 9 year old son giving me away and I made a speech. It's so important for your wedding to reflect who you both are and what you both want, so that when you look back on your photos, it triggers all of the right memories with absolutely thoughts of "I wish we had ..."
What is your favourite personal touch you have seen at a wedding?
At a recent wedding, the groom had made his own Limoncello, bottled and labelled with a personal message for all of the guests, which I thought was such a lovely touch. I love the details that make the wedding really reflect the couple, whether that's quirky details, handmade table favours or twists on the traditional.
Describe your typical process with a couple.
When a couple enquires about my services, I will respond usually with an email and ask if I can have a chat - I prefer to get a sense of what people are looking for and also to give them a chance to see whether we connect when we speak. I will then build a flexible quote that allows my clients to either choose from 3 standard packages or to build a package with additional features. Once a quote has been accepted, a 25% deposit secures the date, at which point that date is completely blocked out in my diary - I never split my time on any particular day.
I'll arrange at least one face to face meeting with my clients, but usually I will meet up a few times to chat, have coffee and cake and really build a picture of what they want in order to shape the photography plan for the day. Depending on the package, one of these meetings will also include a pre-wedding photo session.
A week before the wedding I'll be in touch to check final details and any adjustments needed.
On the day, I am fully focused on my couple and essentially adopting a fairly ninja-like approach to capturing relaxed, candid shots of the couple and guests, as well as any formal or group shots. I also encourage the couple to build in at least 20-30 minutes of time to go for a walk or spend some time together, with me taking photos either from a distance or posed depending on how stylised they want their images to be.
Following the wedding I can never resist going straight home and getting them onto my computer and I will pick out a small number to edit and share privately with the couple as a 'sneak peak' which they can share online or keep to themselves.
Within 4-6 weeks of the wedding, a private online gallery will be shared with the couple where they can download images and, if they have chosen add ons such as albums or prints, they can choose the images that they wish to have included. These will then be produced and handed over within 10 weeks of their final selections.
What is the No. 1 photo that you think every couple should take?
The photo I love most from my own wedding was taken at the moment where we were told we were officially 'husband and wife' - I think this is such a poignant moment as suddenly it's real and its true. It's the moment where the couple both visibly relax and settle into the rest of the day - capturing the reactions at this point is one of my favourite things!
What is the most original photo you’ve been asked to take at a wedding?
To climb onto the flat bed at the back of the groom's lorry, which he had decorated with graffiti declaring his love for his wife, to take photos of them. It was just so absolutely "them"
What do you recommend for a rainy day wedding?
Wherever possible I visit the venue before the wedding in order to assess the different indoor and outdoor locations. On rainy days, I am led by the couple in terms of whether they prefer to stay indoors or whether they want to make use of the weather with creative shots. I have a stash of white umbrellas which can be used (with the help of willing volunteers!) to protect the couple from the elements but also to add something different and creative to the photos. The most important thing is to remember that you and your guests will enjoy your day no matter what the weather and as your photographer, I'll have plenty of alternative plans up my sleeve just in case.
Describe how you got into photography.
I started getting into photography in my teens, partly so I could be on the other side of the camera, after years of being my Dad's test subject for his photography. I figured that asking him to teach me would mean he would stop asking me to sit for him! It worked.
I learned using an Olympus OM10 SLR camera, well before the days of digital and autofocus, so I developed a sound understanding of the 'rules' of photography, before I started breaking them. After a few years of taking only family snaps with a little compact digital camera I bought my first 'proper' digital camera with interchangeable lenses and I started a daily photoblog on a website called Blipfoto. I maintained this for 10 years, accumulating over 3500 journal entries, which documented life and my experimentation with different styles of photography. In 2011 a close friend asked me to shoot her wedding and it was at that point that I absolutely fell in love with this aspect of photography. It was the moment that started me on my journey.
Over the past few years, I have been the primary photographer for a number of weddings and have also worked with other photographers as their second shooter. All this, whilst working a full time teaching job! In 2019, I decided to take the plunge and make photography my full time career, because I absolutely love the opportunities it brings to be creative, to meet lots of lovely people and also to bring joy to couples when they see the images captured from their wedding day.