This year, 2017, I celebrate 15 years since I started out as a photographer. I have come a long way from that first wedding back in 2002, and have met some very lovely people and photographed in some wonderful locations along the way.
If I had to say what's at the forefront of my mind on the morning of every wedding I am entrusted to cover photographically, it is to imagine you both in the years to come looking back on the day you are about to have through the pictures. Primarily I want to move you with your photographs and that whenever you look at them down the years, memories and emotions will be triggered instantly transporting you back to the magic of that day. If I have documented the love and tenderness between you, the relationships between you and your family and guests, the drama, ritual, beauty, humour, quirkiness even of your day, and produced flattering and moving results I know I have done my job well.
But the fact is choosing the right photographer and person for this very special day in your lives is not always easy. So, as well as giving you some information here about my approach and skills and what I aim to bring to every wedding I am commissioned for, I have pinpointed for you what I think are important factors in choosing the right photographer. Yes, obviously I hope that person will be me, but I'm always happy to share my knowledge and experience, whether you select me as your photographer or not, so please get in touch if you would simply like to have an informal chat.
Apart from being free for your wedding date, and fitting with your budget (see info & pricing), I would say there are 5 crucial questions you need to ask yourself and your potential wedding photographer.
Firstly, do you love the work you are seeing on their website? You should be able to view highlights and whole wedding stories.
To get a sense of my work, please browse the images on these links - portfolio , wedding stories , weddings on my blog or contact me and I'll be happy to give you access to whole wedding edits online.
Regarding style, I have positively resisted the idea having a particularly recognisable style or look to my work. I have never wanted to restrict my progress or box myself in preferring to continue to broaden my learning and photographic repertoire year on year. With photography the learning never ends and there are always new ways of seeing, capturing and creating in both image capture and digital post production. To me the secret is to remain fresh, adaptable and responsive. It is important to me to start each new commission with the specfic client and commission in mind not my own agenda. And I have found that once I begin to get a feel for you as a couple, your tastes and the kind of day you are planning, then the creativity and approach comes about naturally with results that are perfectly right for you and your wedding.
Broadly speaking in photography there are images that are captured, and those that are constructed. You will find a complete mix of captured and more constructed images in my work. However, on your wedding day I strongly believe that there should be as little as possible direction of interference in the proceedings from your photographer. Therefore, if you commission me to shoot your wedding, you can expect that for the majority of the day I will quietly and unobtrusively observe and capture photographs rather than construct them. This is commonly known as reportage or documentary, but all you need to know is that I will document the day as a pictorial storyteller as it unfolds with natural but sylish and beautiful imagery.
Secondly, how experienced is this photographer in shooting weddings?
This is important. I am lucky to have had many years of experince having shot many wonderful weddings in numerous venues, in all seasons and in all weather and lighting conditions. I have a diploma in Professional Photographic Practice and attended many courses and workshops over the years to share and learn and to keep abreast of new technologies etc. But it couldn't be more true than with wedding photography - which is truly one of the most skilled and demanding comissions any professional photographer can take on - that the best learning comes simply from shooting a whole variety of weddings - and lots of them! It is this - and my skills in post production built up and honed over years - that gives me the confidence to assure you of great results.
Thirdly, how will this photographer behave on my wedding day?
It's really important that you establish how your photographer will behave on your wedding day. Apart from being likeable, great with people, flexible and respectful - find out how much time they plan to direct you and/or your guests on the day. If you are happy to be taken off by the photographer for an hour's portrait session on your wedding day and you are comfortable with them directing you into poses and locations, then that's fine. But if, like most couples, you want to spend the majority of those precious hours with your family and guests, then make sure that your photographer is really going to respect this on the day.
On average on a wedding day, and if you agree to it, I spend 15/20 mins with the wedding party taking pre-planned and therefore swift group photographs, and another 15/20 mins with you both for some first portraits togehter. Most couples actually love this idea to give them a little breather away from the crowd, and we can work this into your schedule, but crucially for not too long. You can opt to have more or less time with me, or none at all. it is entirely up to you but it will be an important part of my time spent with you before the day to establish exactly how you want things to be.
Fourthly, what post-production skills does this photographer have, and how much time are they going to give to this important part of the digital photographic process?
When I started out in photography in 2002, I learned everything in a very pureist and classical way - using fim cameras and developing my images in the traditional darkroom or working with lab technicians. I am one of those photographers whose career has spanned these huge changes in digitial technology. The principles remain the same and I still operate my high end digital cameras largely on their manual settings even in the fast-moving pace of a wedding but digital photography has brought huge benefits to both photographer and client and the scope for wonderful results is endless.
It is very important however to find out from your photographer how much time and care they intend to take on the edit and post production work after your wedding day. For me this involves a number of key processes that I undertake with the raw images I've shot as I work towards pulling together the story of your day in pictures. And both my skills and creativity continue to play a part at this stage. Again experience counts for a lot. I have literally spent years assessing pictures and have a highly honed eye in preparing images for print, albums, frames and other display options.
Make sure that your photographer isn't going to skimp on this process or bulk process your images. A good professional wedding photographer will give as much, if not more, time to your wedding pictures in post-production as on the day and you can be assured with me that I will personally hand edit and retouch every image that makes my final edit.
Fifthly, do I like this person and are they really enthusiastic and interested in my wedding?
Even though I am very experienced and confident when it comes to wedding work now, I do not every take this most important and special day in your lives lightly. The truth is that I absolutely love photographing weddings and I love to be around people observing and challenging myself with every wedding I shoot.
An important part of my preparation for your wedding is to meet you at least once before your day. Having a photographer who takes a real interest in your wedding, is ready to listen and share and guide you - whether it is about logistics, approach, style or talking through album and display options - will make the whole experience enjoyable and without stress for you from start to finish.
From my first contact with you to you receiving your final finished results, my promise is to give you the very best of my creativity, energy and care. It will be a privilege to be asked and an honour to be entrusted with your wedding photography.
Getting in touch with me
I am based in Teddington in the London Borough of Richmond, but each year I cover weddings locally, in Central London, the home counties and further afield. I am happy to travel anywhere in the UK or abroad for your wedding. To find out about my availability, have an initital chat or get a date into our diaries to meet, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me on 07811242266.