So, I’ve been meaning to update this page for a year or 2 now, as it previously felt a little too clichéd and patronising, but when I first sat down to write the copy, I was in my second full year of being a wedding photographer, and if I’m being honest, I’d probably got my marketing hat on, trying to squeeze in all the trendy keywords that a bride or groom would want to hear. 3 years down the line, and 150 weddings later, I feel I’m in a much better and confident position to talk honestly and openly about how I approach weddings, and what makes me tick during the day.
A non-labelled style;
Sometimes photographers define themselves as documentary and reportage, fine art, creative or natural light. Personally, I find it really difficult to pigeonhole myself into a particular style or genre, that’s not to say I have anything against photographers who do label themselves, far from it, but for me, there are elements of each one of those tags that could apply to my work. I see my photography as an artistic collaboration, a collaboration between myself and my couples, and a relationship that means far more than just being a wedding photographer.
Dominic, who married Beth at Hedsor House, recently left me a review, and a snippet of that review really stood out whilst I was re-writing this page, and he said: “So many of our guests commented on your style; mingling without obtrusion to capture the vibe of the day. It was the same for Beth and I – it was like being photographed by a friend.” – I take huge pride, not only in the work I produce, but by the means in which I go about producing it. I never take for granted that decision couples make before booking me, and ultimately, the trust they place in me to produce their images.
Constantly and creatively documenting;
From the second I step out of my car on the morning of a wedding, right through to the moment I get back in at the end of the night, I don’t stop making creative decisions. Sometimes during the ceremony and reception, these decisions come thick and fast, it’s relentless, and I love it! One thing’s for sure, I never stop, I continually push myself to find the next image, even if that’s at 11pm on a messy dance floor, and my feet are saying sit down!!! That next image might be an obvious one; the bride and groom sharing a kiss, the father of the bride seeing his daughter in her dress for the first time, but it might equally be a child doing a knee slide on the grass whilst mum screams “STOP”!!! **when I get said image, insert it here** I’m always hunting those moments, the in-between moments, the ordinary interactions between people, the little things that happen before or after the obvious, the people around you, the people in the background, and sometimes the people who try to hide from me!! Yes, people do try and hide!!
The No-Posing Portraits!!
So I suppose this is the bit that separates me from being a pure-documentary wedding photographer?! And it might also be the part that surprises most fellow photographers!! I often get asked for hints and tips on posing techniques, but do you know what, I don’t really pose people!! The available and natural light always drives my portraits, and I might go so far to suggest where a couple go and stand, but I’m a big believer in just allowing couples to be themselves on the wedding day, I want my images to reflect them, their personalities and the landscape around us. Telling someone where to position his or her arm, or how to stand just feels like a complete contradiction to me. In fact, the portrait side of the day is much more relaxed than I think most of my couples perceive, it’s about taking a quiet moment away, going for a walk and reflecting on what the hell just happened!!! Some couples laugh and joke about which guests might be “hooking up” later that night, or which family members aren’t seeing eye to eye, but some just cherish a little peace and quiet. Couple portraits usually take place over 2 windows, no more than 10-15 minutes long, like who needs longer?!
How I shoot the dance-floor;
I use selective flash, because for the bulk of the day, I’m using ambient and daylight to create my images, you’ll never see me with a flashgun during the family photo’s, that’s for sure!! But when it comes to the wild craziness of the dancefloor, I have a couple of setups that allow me to document the action in incredibly low light without it feeling like you’re stood in the middle of a photography studio!! Flashguns, used on low power settings, play an important role in how I document the shapes thrown by guests on the dancefloor! One thing is for sure, I’m absolutely not one of those photographers who has the engine running 10 minutes after the first dance!! I bloody love the dancefloor, and I’m not afraid to document it….. as Hannah would be able to testify!!
The Family Photo’s;
The dreaded family photographs, this one comes up a lot!!!! And I totally get why. So, from day one, I’ve always shot weddings in the way I’d like mine to be shot, and the family photo’s are important, but I don’t want to spend 45 minutes stood in the same spot whilst a conveyer belt of people stand beside me and my wife, that’s really not my idea of fun!!! And I doubt that if you’ve read this far, neither is it yours!! If you want 20 different configurations of posed family photographs, then I’m probably not the guy for your wedding! That said, if you want some quick pictures with your folks and siblings, nan and grandad, and the bridal party, then I think we’ll be ok!! You’ll also be pleased to hear that I shoot them in a bit more of a relaxed way, I don’t whip out a measuring tape to line people up, and if you want to put your hands in your pockets, you put your hands in your pockets!! So long as the people you want are in the shot, and looking in my direction, we won’t be messing around.
So that’s it, I’m there to interpret and document the day, and to build a body of images that when you sit down in a year, two years time, or even 20, it feels like you’re there. I want my images to feel honest and genuine, not staged or heavily stylized. I want my couples to have complete trust in me to do an awesome job.
That creative process and documenting of the unknown, I suppose it’s like a drug, I get to spend a day with great people, having the time of their lives, and with complete creative control. And at the end of it all, I get to present my couples with an incredible set of images to remember their day by, it doesn’t get much better, does it?!
If you’re a fellow photographer and want to know more about how I approach and shoot weddings, you can check out my workshop page for more information and upcoming workshops.
Finally, if you’re getting married and would like to check availability, just contact me and we can start chatting!