What is your most memorable wedding?
A very small one in a house where the bride's mother was terminally ill.
Describe your style in 5 adjectives.
Stylish, reportage, traditional, quirky, unobtrusive
What about your business are you most proud of?
I'm proud of having my own studio and shop so that clients can come to a bricks and mortar business to see my work and chat about their needs, rather than just being a website of someone who works from home.
What is your No. 1 wedding planning tip for couples?
Take time with your photographer. Get to know him/her and let him/her get to know you. Make a list of "must have" shots, such as you with your favourite relatives or friends.
What is your favourite personal touch you have seen at a wedding?
The groom sending the bride flowers, timed to arrive whilst she is getting ready. It often has the brides in tears! (I'll bet the makeup artists hate this one!)
Describe your typical process with a couple.
We meet for a relaxed chat either in my studio or in their home. We get to know one another and I get to understand the couple's preferences. I find out if there are any relatives coming from afar. I find out about the family background. E.g. it is common these days for a bride or groom's mum and dad to both be there, but not be on speaking terms due to divorce, etc. So I find out if I have to tread carefully! We discuss the plan for the day as to what happens when with timings. When I have to be at the bride's house for preparation shots, when I need to go to the venue to get the groom and best man before the bride arrives, etc. We agree a list of "must have" photos and put them into a contract, but the list can be modified up to the day of the wedding, although I try to discourage last minute changes as it can cause confusion on the day if significant changes are made. We both sign a contract and I take a deposit to secure the day. I explain to the couple that I am working for them on the day, so they simply need to ask for any specific shots that they or their guests think of on the day and I'll do my best to accommodate them in addition to the "must have" list.
What is the No. 1 photo that you think every couple should take?
The kiss! Both during the ceremony (may be restricted if in church) and staged afterwards with a suitable location to produce a great photo.
What is the most original photo you’ve been asked to take at a wedding?
I was once asked to take a photo of the bride's garter, not by her lifting her dress to reveal it on her leg, but by me lying on the floor whilst she stood astride me!
What do you recommend for a rainy day wedding?
I always carry some white brollies in the car for the bride and groom and many of the better venues provide them too. You can actually get some good fun photos in wet weather, for example I've taken photos of brides wearing wellies under their dresses! I will always have a backup plan. Depending on the size of the venue and number of guests, we can often take photos indoors if the rain really is heavy and I always have some portable lighting gear with me for such occasions. Alternatively, if the venue isn't suitable, then other venues can be used. For example, I have taken some great photos in an indoor shopping centre for one couple and lots of the shoppers stopped to watch!
Describe how you got into photography.
At the age of 12, we were on a holiday trip to London and my dad bought a Russian 35mm camera to replace his 1920's folding camera. The Russian camera manual had us in fits of laughter i Hyde Park. The manual seemed to have been translated word by word using a Russian to English dictionary. We were playing with the camera and I saw a commotion going on. I grabbed dad's camera and ran over to Hyde Park corner just in time to grab a shot of Princess Margaret and Tony Armstrong-Jones driving away in an Aston Martin. I was hooked from then on and bought my first 35mm SLR camera as soon as I started work at the age of 18.