10 years. I started in 2007 and I'm as obsessed with weddings now as I was then!
My experience means I know how to adapt to any lighting condition, style of venue, weather, family dynamics... It means I know when and how to tread carefully, and when and how far I can push. I’ve learned the art of being invisible and still getting the shot. I’ve developed the intuition to predict what’s going to happen, both the iconic moments and the unexpected ones, and where to be to capture them.
I don’t know everything though and I'm always learning, which keeps me on my toes for surprises!
I followed a typically academic path to university, graduated in Business Studies and then fell into marketing. I climbed the proverbial career ladder for around ten years and then one day, out of nowhere, my job was made redundant. With the luxury of some spare time, I went on a course to learn how to use an SLR camera. I’ve always loved taking photos but had never got into the technical side of it. I loved it and decided to change career and give photography a go. I love a wedding so the genre was an easy decision.
I was struck by three things when I started researching and this is where I wanted to make a difference:
- I thought there was a gap for wedding photography that had feeling as well as being classic
- I didn’t see why couples couldn’t have great posed wedding photos as well as great documentary wedding photography. I think it’s important for a wedding photographer to be skilled at both
- I felt there was a lack of quality service
I’m now running one of the most respected wedding photography companies in the UK and those three things are still a big influence on the service I provide.
Yes. It always has been. The level of service I offer means that one wedding is around two weeks work, so being full-time and limiting the number of weddings I take on to 20, is the only way I can be totally committed to each and every client.
My office, The Coach House, is a converted barn on a farm in Lamport in Northamptonshire; a pretty village with sandstone cottages and views over rolling countryside. It’s located half-way between Northampton and Market Harborough. It’s probably the tiniest village you’ve never heard of but is famous for being where garden gnomes were invented!
Oh yes! I love a road trip! I’ll go wherever your wedding is. The Maldives, anyone?
Travel costs are included for weddings where I can reasonably travel there and back in a day. It depends on your wedding day timings as much as the location. If you’re getting married outside of Northamptonshire please tell me when you enquire and I’ll let you know if there will be any mileage or hotel costs.
My eyes! My equipment is a means to an end. I think what you see and how you see it is more important than what kit you use.
But, if you want to know about the geeky stuff, I'm a Nikon girl. My team of second photographers use Nikon, Canon, Fuji and Sony. And Marko makes sure everything matches in post-production (he gets the best jobs!).
I shoot with two cameras at the same time, one camera with a wide angle lens on it and the second with a close up lens. That means I don’t miss a shot or lose time while changing lenses. I use ‘zoom’ lenses which allow me to get a good variety of shots, even when I can’t move. I’ve also got specialist lenses for things like large group photos and close up details of rings.
The most important thing to know about my (and my team's) cameras is that they hold two memory cards, so there’s an instant back-up as soon as a photo has been taken. And I’ve got enough memory cards to open a memory card shop, so there’s no worry of ever running out!
I tend to avoid using flash because it can be distracting but I’ve got a full kit of lighting equipment in case I need it in dark venues, during the winter or to create something dramatic.
I’ve got back-up equipment too. This usually just sits sadly in the car but it’s there in case anything breaks.
Lastly, my team uses the same kit for video because it’s discreet and most people think they’re being photographed not filmed!
Yes. I’ve got public liability insurance to cover the work I do for you or accidents I might cause. I’ve never needed to make a claim but it’s there just in case.
Stately homes and private estates often require people working in their venue to have insurance – please ask if you need a copy of my certificate to send to them.
The humble dryer!
Thank you, thank you.
I usually do my pre-wedding shoots in early Spring; the weather is getting warmer then and it means I can get them done in time to focus 100% on weddings when they come around. But they’re available all year round so if you’d like to shoot on a lavender farm, in the autumn leaves or spur of the moment in the snow we can do it!
My advice is to plan it for at least 8 weeks before your wedding though so there’s time to get the photos retouched and for you to give me some feedback on them in plenty of time before your wedding.
Please do; the earlier the better. It’s quite a useful part of an initial consultation to make sure we’re on the same page and that my style of work is a match for what you have in mind.
But then trust your decision and leave it alone.
An open mind is important and you’ll get the best out of my work when I'm left to capture things spontaneously as I see and experience them on the day. The location, backgrounds, lighting, people… are different every time so it’s best not to have anything too specific in mind, even with the formal photos. That way I can create personal, meaningful photos that could only be yours.
This is why I have no friends.
I love a list! I have lists of lists! There’s just one list I need for your wedding though and that’s of the group photos you’d like. It’s really important to be organised about those to make sure they run swimmingly on the day and that nothing gets missed.
It’s important for me to know all your timings for the day too, so that I'm in the best place at the right time to capture everything. And it’s useful to know what décor you’ve got planned so that I can allocate enough time to show due diligence to photographing the details.
For everything else I use my eyes and ears to get a feel for your wedding and capture it as I experience it. The best thing about having over ten years of experience is that I can let go and follow my intuition. I’ll also have spent time before your wedding getting to know what’s important to you, so I’ll be able to work spontaneously on the day to create personal photos of the moments, people and things that make your day yours.
It really depends on your wedding and what you want from your photos. Generally, I tend to shoot alone for smaller weddings as I find this is more discreet and suited to the vibe of a more intimate wedding. But I think two photographers is a really great idea for weddings over 100 people. We can talk more about what might be best for your wedding when we meet.
I'm more about quality than quantity but to give you an idea it’s usually around 300-500 photos.
The number varies a lot and is influenced by things like whether you have one or two photographers, whether I have permission from the officiant to photograph the ceremony, how long your speeches take and how many guests you have.
There’s no limit though and I’ll give you everything except test shots, duplicates, blinks and all the unflattering ones you wouldn’t thank me for!
No, it’s totally up to you.
I highly recommend it though because it can help you feel more relaxed about being photographed on your wedding day. Having had a chance to try out different poses and get your feedback, I’ll be able to get straight on with what I know you’ll like on the day, which means you can get back to the party quicker!
Lots of couples have used the photos from their pre-wedding shoot for guest books, signing boards and gifts for their parents, which are nice ways to use them.
Digital images are jpg format computer files that you can use to make your own prints and put on Facebook or Instagram, for example. At the moment I'm providing them on USBs but as technology moves on that may change at any time. You’ll get the original (albeit retouched) full-size photos and these aren’t watermarked.
They come with one important piece of advice: please make at least one back-up!
As soon as you’ve set your date and booked your venue. I only photograph 20 weddings a year to make sure I have time to give you a really great experience. So it’s not just about your wedding date being free; it’s about how the year is looking overall. I get booked up quite quickly so don’t dilly dally!
To book me, there’s a booking form to complete, a contract to sign and the booking fee is £500. Once I’ve got those three things I’ll put your wedding in my diary and we’re all yours.
I can’t hold a date without those things so you need to send them quickly if you’d like me.
30 days before your wedding. And I’ll send an invoice a month before that so you don’t have to remember.
Yes, I’d love that!
Having a photographer around on an emotional day can be very intimate so there’s a huge amount of trust involved. You need to feel comfortable around me because without a strong rapport it’s difficult to create the incredibly personal photos that I'm known for. So this is your chance to make sure we’ll get on.
It’s also the only way to see the finished quality of my work, printing and albums.
It isn't a must-have though. Many clients just email or call with a few questions and book from there.
Being a wedding photographer isn’t something I take lightly. I know how important it is. I will do anything and everything to shoot your wedding. I’ve shot weddings under some horrible circumstances. This just isn’t a job where your personal life can come first.
I haven’t missed a wedding in over 10 years and I'll do everything I can to get to yours. But if something did stop me, I’ll give you a solution not a problem. I have a strong network of photographer friends, whose work and professionalism I trust, that I can call on to help.
As a wedding photographer, there isn’t much opportunity to take a break and eat. BUT I have hangry tendencies and do need to be on top form to do my best work! If I’ve been travelling for a couple of hours and then working a 12 hour day, even with the best will in the world, I won’t be the best version of myself and neither will my work.
So I start the day with a big breakfast and keep drinks and snacks in my camera bag to keep me going during the day. Coconut water and protein bars for the win!
Then when you sit down to eat, I take a break. I would be immensely grateful for something to eat at that point. I’ll sit somewhere quiet away from your guests so that I can spread my gear out, recharge batteries, download and check everything shot far, photograph anything there wasn’t time for earlier like views of the venue or your stationery and generally chill out for a bit. Then I’ll be back on it again after your meal.
Czech in, of course!
I get secretly excited! The rain brings a whole extra layer of story to your day and can make for some really unique photos. While you’re outside I’ll wedge an umbrella under my arm and carry on. And I’ll find sheltered spots or a room inside for your portraits and group photos. The only thing you’ll need to be flexible about is any larger groups; some venues only have space for smaller groups.
No sweat! I don’t charge by the hour. My jam is to tell the story of the day so I'm there for as long as it takes. It might mean that I need to take an extra break or pop out to get some food because there comes a point where I can’t hold the camera straight! But there’s no need to worry about overtime or extra payments if something is delayed.
Usually 2 weeks after your wedding.
From what I’ve heard, this is fast by wedding industry standards and it’s something that’s really important to me. I know as a client myself how excited I am to see my photos once they’ve been taken. But there’s quite a lot of post-production involved so Marko helps to make it happen.
I'll give you an exact date at your planning meeting, so you’ll know before your wedding when they’ll be ready.