Life can lead you down aisles you’re not quite expecting and in my case professionally that became quite literal. Prior to photographing these great family gatherings, I think I’d only attended three or four as a guest!
Can wedding photography to be vocational? It’s become so for me yes. I began photographing weddings over a decade ago by accident in many respects, though reasonably quickly it became the focus of my work and understanding. I am known to be one of the country’s more prolific wedding shooters, commissioned to photograph up to eighty weddings each year.
But why hire a dedicated wedding photographer over a well meaning photo-literate friend or professional from other discipline? I guess it comes down to what value you attach to family legacy? I know weddings. I’ve shot over six hundred of them; I know what to look for and how people will emotionally connect with their day. Put another way, I can drive a car, but Lewis Hamilton can drive one skilfully fast. I can sear steak, but Marcus Wareing would know how to make it taste a hundred pounds. Professional wedding photographers know their subject and that’s the true difference between a photographer and friend with camera. Owning a camera doesn’t make you a photographer, it simply makes you a (Canon) owner.
The professional fee understandably dictates most initial discussions. I prefer to work to the junctions of a day such as speeches, or dancing. Weddings by their nature are bespoke events, though as a guide, coverage collections start at £1,800 inclusive of VAT, which includes a perpetual licence to use and print images from a USB provided of retouched pictures.
The pictures in my galleries describe a favoured style; observant, narrative, natural. I’ll observe, follow, study and be your eyes for the day. I don’t promote clients step outside their comfort zones, that wouldn’t be natural. Leaping bridal parties and brides held aloft by the boys are not my bag; I prefer people to connect in a far more instinctive and genuine manner.
Predominantly my coverage is documentary in flavour, though I appreciate these are great family events so a select number of family group portraits will be planned prior to the wedding, meaning that on the day this element can run smoothly and subtly.
I like to travel. Variety being the spice of life, I’m more than happy to drive cross country to shoot weddings, or indeed jump aboard a jet. I’ve shot weddings for clients in Europe and destinations such as South Africa.
Asked about multiple photographers, I promote shooting solo as a distinct advantage. As such, I don’t automatically employ second photographers, unless the size or logistics of a wedding dictate otherwise. Couples commission me because they desire a discreet photography coverage. Discretion is tough to achieve when guests feel they’re being ‘papped’ from all sides.