Ahhhh I’ve been so looking forward to sharing this one. Such a lovely interview that made me even more excited about Emma photographing at our wedding…as well as just being able to hang out with her! Enjoy…
How did you get into wedding photography?
Photography has always been a hobby of mine, but when I received a super-cool-bottom-of-the-range DSLR for my 18th birthday I began to create a portfolio. I started off by doing a lot of portrait and creative shoots with friends or anyone who would let me, and I did a lot of free work. But then, one day a wonderful couple contacted me about photographing their wedding. I was completely shocked! I had never really considered weddings before and I was only 18, I didn’t think I was ready. But I trusted that this was an God-given opportunity for me to take. Despite assuring the couple a million times that it was my first time and I had zero experience with weddings, they had complete and utter faith in me to do the job successfully. I owe a lot to my first couple, they saw my potential, something I couldn’t even see, and since then I’ve been blessed to have more and more bookings and be able to set up my own business alongside University.
Why do you do what you do?
I think there is something so special and underrated about weddings that has lost it’s importance over time. Yes, a venue, flowers, THEE dress, the favours, the candles, the decorations, the 6-foot-tall cupcake stand are all wonderful touches which emphasise the beauty of the day. But for me, witnessing the union between two people who are crazy about each other being formed in the presence of loved ones is why I do what I do. Most of my couples are complete strangers, but come their wedding day, my heart is filled to the brim with joy for them as they enter into a life of ups and downs, highs and lows, but with the magnificent assurance that they’ll be by each others side until their last breath. This joy is addictive, and it keeps me coming back for more.
What is your favourite part about working in the wedding industry?
I absolutely love getting to meet new couples from here, there and everywhere! Hearing their stories, how they met, their plans for the future is so lovely, and it’s a privilege to be able to make new friends with them. Quite a few of my first couples have now had babies, so it’s a super-exciting stage to see how they are moving on! In a very, very small way, I feel like I have been part of their journey.
What one thing would you change about the industry?
As previously alluded to, I feel the wedding industry is becoming more and more focused around making a couple feel like they have to have the most ‘perfectly styled wedding’ as opposed to the most ‘perfectly happy wedding.’ I think the rising popularity of wedding blogs, Pinterest and other social media have made brides and grooms, mainly brides, stress out and worry too much about what their day will look like to other people or online. Over the years, I’ve seen more and more couples who are increasingly creative and hard-working, making sure their day is as perfect as it can be. I absolutely adore this quality in them, but part of me wonders, is the wedding industry putting more and more pressure on couples in this way? Is that why weddings 10 years ago were much more simple and, in my opinion, just as perfect? As mentioned above, I feel the true importance of a wedding has begin to be blurred in the eyes of the industry.
What makes a ‘good’ wedding?
Smiles. Lots and lots and lots of them.
Worst nightmare for a wedding photographer?
Oh! I dare not even think! Hmm. Probably having all my gear stolen, with memory cards. I can’t bear to think of any more!
What should couples look for when choosing for a photographer?
I think it’s so important to be able to view your photographer as someone who you would be friends with. Having a good relationship with your photographer means for a more relaxed you on the day, which I feel results in more natural photographs. Also, I feel it’s great to choose a photographer who shares your values, not just about weddings or photography, but about life. It’s great to be on the same wavelength. I don’t believe you should choose a photographer solely on how cheap they are, or because they did a friend’s weddings. Every single couple is amazingly unique, and it’s worth searching for the right photographer for YOU!
Any tips for being at ease in front of the camera?
Typical answer, but it’s so true: be yourself! A wedding day should be the happiest day of your life, and a wonderful celebration of you both as a couple. Your friends and family love you just the way you are, and are there to share in your happiness, so I don’t think you need to put on a mask in front of the camera. I love getting my couples to pretend as if I am not there, and when I want them to do something or look at me I will tell them. Being yourself is the key to the perfect photographs for you. There is no right or wrong way to do things, just be you!
Finally, how can brides and grooms make your job easier/your day better?
Ooh this is a tough one! Good time management, making sure there is enough time for things on the day, would make any photographers job a little easier. Especially coming into the winter months, when it gets dark very quickly. On the wedding day, you always spend more time doing things than you hadn’t planned for, it happens at nearly every wedding. Good time management, sticking to a rough schedule and allowing a good amount of time for group/couple shots means even more time chilling and chatting with your guests after, and most importantly, enjoying your day!
// Previous Bride Blog posts.