20 Years as a Professional Wedding Photographer
Gareth Gates and Will Young were duelling it out in the charts. 'Spiderman' and 'Eight Legged Freaks' were spinning celluloid magic at the box office. Finn Wolfhard and Jena Ortaga were born while Spike Milligan and the Queen Mum passed. Meanwhile, I left university with a BA Hons in Film Making and set myself up in business as a Freelance Photographer. Feeling old now!!
Early Adventures, 1999
I remember this being the first wedding photo I was a little bit proud of, even though it is a touch blurry! It was taken on a mechanical Nikon FM with manual focus, so quite a challenge to capture a moving subject. Jethro taught me Art History at school and asked if I'd like to photograph his wedding to Amy in Geneva. I'd just turned 18 and this was the second wedding I'd photographed so I was very nervous. Both their families welcomed me into their bosom and I shall be forever grateful. Sadly, Jethro passed away in 2020. A lovely man and a very special teacher.
Film Making Years
From a young age, I found myself alternating between filmmaking and photography. I specialised in Directing but always loved looking through the viewfinder.
Quiet Time, 2003
Like most beginners my picture success rate gradually improved as I gained experience and confidence. Back in the days of film I shot the couple time on medium format so every shot had a price tag. I was a bit shy about posing couples but Richard and Rowan were very patient with me. It was the first time I got a little time with the couple away from their guests and I've always tried to have at least 10 minutes since. So many newlyweds mention afterwards how nice it was to have some quiet time with each other after the wedding ceremony hullabaloo.
End of the Roll, 2005
As a film maker, I was a careful planner. I'd storyboard every shot and block every movement to save precious shooting time and help me convey to the actors and crew what I was trying to achieve. When it came to photography I noticed my favourite images were always the unscripted reportage photographs taken to use up the end of a roll of film.
Low Light Delights, 2005
With the advent of digital, the 'cost per click' vanished. It was so liberating not needing to ration your film allowance and constantly monitoring the counter for the next roll change. Fewer moments missed and new opportunities for low light photography without high speed film!
Wide & Close, 2007
I love shooting wide but close, usually with a 35mm or wider. It forces a wedding photographer to move around rather than sit on the side of the pitch with a telephoto lens. My first professional Nikon DSLR camera had a comparatively noisy shutter so I'd have to wait for wedding chaos to take over. Then I'd have opportunities to get in undetected and steal some magic! Since 2018 I've been shooting in silence thanks to the latest Sony 'mirrorless' camera systems. It's totally revolutionised when I take photographs and how close I can get without being intrusive.
A Long Time Coming, 2007
Jack & Ian married at the Old Marylebone Hall in January 2007. My first gay wedding and ever so special. Growing up, I never thought it would be possible for me to get married and it was high time things changed. Civil Partnerships took off in December 2005 until...
Marriage Upgrade, 2014
...Same Sex Marriage landed 8 years later in March 2014! My friends Henry & Antonio blazed that trail on their sunny wedding day in Suffolk. They've been the first of many men and women who had also grown up not knowing if they ever could.
An Old Favourite, 2011
Occasionally I'm asked to hold back during the service by the Celebrant. This can be a challenge but I'll try to get some discrete pictures during the hymns or judge the right moment to sneak a shot of the ring exchange. In this instance, I'd stayed low and managed to get away without being noticed... or so I'd thought.
My First Fearless Award, 2013
In 2010, I joined the Wedding Photojournalists Association and then Fearless Photographers a few years later. I've become a regular attendee at the inspirational Elevate conference. Social get togethers through Nine Dots and This Is Reportage have been a hoot but they've also given me valuable insight into how other photographers professionalise their services. Paying better attention to my peers and getting a little more competitive has also given me a sense of belonging. Wedding and Event Photographers sink or swim by their people skills. The encouragement and generosity of this community has been a lifeline over the last couple of years. We really were all in it together!
New Toys, 2018
Having used Nikon gear for all my professional career, I decided to start from scratch and make the big switch to Sony's Mirrorless system. It's been one of the best creative decisions of my career. The unparalleled focus accuracy and silence while capturing images at speed has unleashed so many reportage possibilities.
Back to Life, 2021
Many of the marriages that went ahead last year happened to be between professionals working on the front line through the pandemic. Wedding emotions always run high but there's no doubt the friend & family reunions of 2020 and 2021 have been even more so.
It's been special to dust off my suit and get back behind the camera again.
Harry At Work
A fly on the wall. A little gentle co-ordination.
Videography B Roll from London venues including The ICA, and around the UK!
(Don't Get Me Started on James Bond or horror Movies!)
Nerd with a Camera
Many congratulations on your engagement!
If at all possible, let's skip Skype and meet for a coffee or a beer after work. I really value the chance to properly engage with engaged couples so they can make an informed choice about engaging me!
Please do send me an email or drop me a line. If I'm otherwise engaged, I'll come back to you at the earliest opportunity.