What is your most memorable wedding?
Every wedding we cover is memorable for different reasons. Whether it's the weather (good or bad!), those unplanned moments on the day that make the best photos, or having fun with the older generation of grandparents and great grandparents, who are always up for a laugh, and ready to tell stories, trying to get a word in edgeways with the bridesmaids, or simply capturing the unique connection between the bride & groom. Telling the story of the day is what makes it memorable. From preparations in the morning, to the first dance, we're there every step of the way. And it's especially memorable when the wedding party really invite us in to be a part of their celebrations, as it really does wonders for the photos. The first dance is always our favourite moment to get those beautiful shots of two people in love. We've never left a wedding without a smile on our faces, and beautiful shots to bring home ready for the edit.
Describe your style in 5 adjectives.
Emotional. Joyous. Fun. Colourful. Unique.
What about your business are you most proud of?
We're really proud to be able to capture the real, raw joy at a wedding time and time again in the cinematic, sometimes stylised style we've become well-known for. Sure, the group posed shots are all well and good, but for us, it's about capturing the kind of photos of people that are not cheesy, but timeless, that last a lifetime, and that really hold in them the colour, joy and emotion of that moment.
What is your No. 1 wedding planning tip for couples?
Of course we're biased, but our advice would be to really put as much love and care as you can into finding a photographer that will really capture the love, the emotion and the feelings between you both on the day. It's so important. Second to that, try and ensure your venue is as full of natural light as possible, as this makes for the best photos, and ensures you're both seen in the best light, so to speak!
What is your favourite personal touch you have seen at a wedding?
We always find the bond between the bride and her father so touching. Some of the speeches the dads make are real tear-jerkers, that make you laugh and cry all at the same time. Which resonates with us, since that's something we've always believed in capturing in our photos and films. We're always amazed too at just how much attention to detail the brides go to - often making up their own bouquets in the morning, or ensuring all the table decorations are just-so.
Describe your typical process with a couple.
We will start off by having a good old chat (either on the phone, skype or in person) about what they're after, and what kind of photography they like in terms of style. We cater for pretty much every style, but we're always happy to guide couples who aren't quite sure. Often we'll get a feeling for a couple very quickly, and this will shape the kind of photos we suggest be taken. Once we have a style sorted, then we'll talk about a package based on their budget and their schedule of the day. We always try and work as closely to our couples' budgets as possible if we can. In many of our packages, we also offer a free engagement shoot, which is a great way for the couple to get used to having us taking their photo and to feel comfortable in front of the camera. And of course for us to get a feel for what works with this couple, and what doesn't. It makes the day a lot more comfortable, relaxed, and fun, as it feels like we already really know each other. The engagement shoot is also a great way for couples to tease their guests about what's to come on the day, and a great way to tell the story of their love.
What is the No. 1 photo that you think every couple should take?
We always aim to capture pure emotion and joy, so we'd always aim to get those shots that really show the intimate love and connection between the bride and groom. Nice close-ups of eyes, smiles, hands cupping and stroking faces, they could be really subtle, but taking the time to do this, we think is really important. Also, getting photos of all the older generation, grandparents and great grandparents and so on, is always a winner. Wrinkles and laughter lines and glistening eyes as they tell stories always look great on film.
What is the most original photo you’ve been asked to take at a wedding?
We don't really get asked, only because we're trusted to bring our own originality to the pics. One photo we did was of a same-sex couple, two brides wearing full-on traditional wedding dresses, sat side-by-side next to an old lady at a bus stop, waiting for a bus.
What do you recommend for a rainy day wedding?
Lots of brollies and wellies obviously. And a positive mental attitude that ensures making the most of a dull / wet / windy day. We've had some corkers of days, but it's about adapting the style of shots to the day. Often we end up with better photos than we could have ever imagined. Windswept brides with blowing hair, flying veils, and dancing in the rain. It's all about embracing the day and capturing the fun and love.
Describe how you got into photography.
Our founder and creative director also runs a creative design and branding business. So photography was always part and parcel of that offering. He's written for press, tv, radio and online advertising, but always had a huge passion for capturing emotion in a visual / photographic form as well. That's where the love of capturing people and emotions came from. That's where Smitten was born, as weddings are a hub for all that!