Published by Sam, Editor - October 11, 2011

In our series of interviews with some of the best Wedding Photographers in the UK, today we catch up with Adrian Bell of Bellmedia.

How long have you been photographing weddings for and how did you get into it?
Around 20-25 years…though I had  a break for some 5 years due to bad health – I broke my back, and found it impossible… however, during that period of illness I studied IT, went to Uni on a computing degree  -which has helped me enormously  – I originally got into it with my obsession with photography…I read every mag, learned every style, very heavy into Landscape originally, spent hours in the darkroom, then asked to photograph a friend’s wedding (it was either that or be the best man – no contest!)  – loved it!!!! Digital is such a godsend now…so many less worries!!

What do you particularly like about photographing weddings?
The freshness of the day….every one is different, you never know what will happen – and a major point – you will be the only one there with the experience – and you ‘drive’ the day…a real high!!
The chance to be so creative…and the people are (usually) in great moods…if a little/very nervous. And of course the privilege to take part in their special day!

How would you describe your style and approach?
Planning, planning, planning – I have to be very specific and methodical in my initial approach – getting the first ones ‘in-the-bag’ is so pivotal. From there I follow the day, and forging the day, take ALL opportunities (they never return) – crowd control at times, but nice with it…have some one-liners to relax the couple & guests… they are then open to many many differing shots. Practice the poses yourself at home – borrow your wife?

My fave respective saying- “Failure to prepare, then prepare to fail” – never be cocky in your approach….and – be ready for equipment failure  -cos it does happen, and ALWAYS when you expect it least, and at the most important points of the day…

What advice would you give to couples looking for a wedding photographer?

  • Don’t go for cheap and cheerful….the results may well be the poor results of false economy
  • Look to speak to the photographer, and see if he/she has passion in their work
  • DON’T book without seeing samples – but allow ‘start-ups’ the benefit of the doubt
  • Judge the confidence of the photographer – he/she will be in a position to help you through the day, make sure they have the bottle to do so
  • Look for end flexibility – i.e. – can you opt no album to start with, then choose one after
  • Listen to word of mouth – many good photographers don’t advertise –they don’t need to

What tips would you share with couples to help their day go more smoothly?

  • Trust the photographer during your day
  • Give your photographer the time he needs – but don’t let him run away with it!
  • Plan some shots you would really like, and discuss with the photographer – prior to the day
  • Be aware of the time!!! I’ve covered a few where the bride is still getting ready when the cars ready for the off!!
  • Glass of champagne works wonders when you’re getting ready to ease the stress and take the edge off – fun follows
  • It’s YOUR day – and a day to enjoy…so enjoy

Finally… Whats the best moment you’ve had as a wedding photographer?
Seeing the laughter in the faces as both my wife and I pose for the couple (mirror) – of course we do it tongue in cheek – but VERY effective. And puts a true high on the day – and this moment happens at EVERY wedding now – we love it…and cannot wait to do it again!

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