In a nutshell.
I live with my wife Jo in South London, and work out of Wimbledon Art Studios. I try to befriend most animals I meet and consider myself to be a pretty decent squirrel-whisperer. I have a persistent travel itch, which has seen Jo and me witness a volcanic eruption, be roadside for the final stage of a Tour de France (highly recommended), and embark on a 3-hour study of a pillar from £1 restricted view seats at the Budapest Opera. Needless to say one of my cameras is invariably to hand on these travels (that pillar can consider itself well documented!).
I am a proud uncle to seven nephews and I try to see them as often as I can.
What experience do I have?
I recently attempted to tally up all the weddings I have photographed as a professional and got as far as 38 – with only two of those being as a ‘second shooter’. I have covered secular, Christian, Humanist, Hindu, Nigerian and French ceremonies, and they have ranged in size from intimate gatherings of close friends and family, to vast events with several hundred guests. As a result of this experience I am very adept at anticipating photography opportunities at weddings and tend to be in the right place at the right time – whether it’s the obvious cake-cutting and first kiss moments, or that time when Aunt Judith teaches little Jake to merengue.
What’s my photographic style?
On the day I try to remain unobtrusive, though give friendly directions when required. On arrival I make a beeline for someone in the ‘inner sanctum’ (thank you, buttonholes) who can point out the couple’s closest family members so I know who to focus my attention on. I have a very good memory for faces and can invariably get photographs of each and every guest. Outside of formals, the extent of my direction tends to be ‘try to stick together whilst you mingle for the next 3 minutes’ during which I do some stealth-tography. Even the most camera-shy couples appreciate this light-touch approach and the resulting photos always go down well.
Are ethical business practices important to me?
Hugely so. I strive to run my business in as green a manner as possible and I carry out regular ethical audits of my practices. All my albums are sourced from UK suppliers who use sustainable materials, I run a nearly 100% paperless office, I re-use delivery packaging whenever possible, and I travel to commissions on public transport whenever I can. I also recently stopped eating beef* to offset the aforementioned travel bug.
*Apart from my Mum’s roast and ‘Valentines Day Steak’ (please don’t tell Jo that’s not a thing)
Do I check out the venue in advance?
I always endeavour to carry out a recce of the wedding venue/s prior to the big day, particularly if I haven’t photographed them previously. On the rare occasions when this hasn’t been possible due to geographic or time constraints, I have arrived about an hour earlier than required on the wedding day to give me ample opportunity to ascertain suitable locations for group shots etc.
Do I photograph weddings abroad?
Yes, I do. In fact I think myself particularly well-suited to destination wedding coverage given I speak fairly fluent French (‘bonjour’), half-decent Spanish (‘hola’) and can just about get by in Italian (‘Roberto Baggio’ *thumbs up*).
What if I’m ill?
I’m happy to say I’ve never been ill for a wedding. I lead a healthy lifestyle and am rarely unwell. Through my time being a professional photographer I have developed an excellent network of like-minded photographers with styles similar to my own and am extremely confident I’d be able to arrange a capable deputy if required.