Another lovely day and in our final wedding photography interview of the month we catch up with Rachel Mullins, a wedding photographer based in Hungerford.
So firstly how long have you been photographing weddings and how did you get into it?
When I set up Rachel Mullins Photography in 2008 after completing my studies in Graphic Design and Photography at London College of Communications, weddings were not a key dimension, as, at that time, I had never photographed one. However, everything changed after my first wedding shoot in 2010. Call me a closet romantic perhaps, but I couldn’t believe the great sense of personal and professional satisfaction I felt from the success of my first wedding, and the very real pleasure (as well as the responsibility), of producing dynamic, creative, contemporary images of the happy couple for those oh so special ‘happy ever after’ memories. I hadn’t thought I would feel that way about wedding photography.
What do you particularly like about photographing weddings?
I love the challenge of truly reflecting the non-verbal story of each couple on their wedding day, of being able to create beautiful images of brave couples making lifetime commitments to each other. The fact that my images are loved and appreciated by both the brides and the grooms as well the families on both sides, makes me realise how much I enjoy, not just photographing each couple and the main wedding events to the best results possible, but also the challenge of the greater dimension of creatively recording the story of each couple’s individual wedding day.
How would you describe your style and approach?
I am a naturally positive, outgoing person and, if possible, I like to meet and get to know the bride and groom before the wedding so that I get a sense of their personalities (and they of mine), and their specific requirements for the day. Ideally I like to do a pre-wedding shoot with them, as this gets them used to me and the camera and helps them lose a lot of tension and nervousness before the day. The most important element in any client relationship is trust and it’s really great going through this ‘getting to know’ stage with each couple and building that trust, knowing that both bride and groom will feel relaxed, confident and happy about the photography on the day.
What advice would you give to couples looking for a wedding photographer?
Couples should look for a photographer who is professional, who communicates well, who has energy, imagination and flair and who takes the time and interest to get to know them and listens to their concerns and requirements for the day. It should feel like a team working together.
What tips would you share with couples to help their day go more smoothly?
If possible, book a pre-wedding shoot. It’s relaxed and fun and the feel-good experience makes all the difference to how the couple react to the photography on the day. Brief the photographer well on all key aspects of the day’s events and appoint a trusted usher/maid of honour/member of the wedding party, who has also been briefed, to liaise with him/her throughout the day for any guidance needed.
Finally… what’s the best moment you’ve had as a wedding photographer?
The best moment as a wedding photographer…well that’s a tough one as there have been so many touching and funny moments, but I will share an amusing episode with you from one of my weddings last year, where I was trying my best to be as unobtrusive as possible, hiding behind lecterns, standing atop brick walls and peaking around floral arrangements to capture the best natural moments of the occasion, those spontaneous moments that the untrained or inexperienced eye is likely to miss, when I came quite unexpectedly eye to eye with a little girl in the wedding party! She gave me such a funny, almost conspiratorial look as I crouched and peered around the grooms party at her that I could hardly photograph her for laughing, but it turned into a perfect image. Having mentioned the extremes I tend to go through to get ‘the perfect wedding shots’, to a recent bride and her bridesmaids, it made it all the more amusing for them seeing me peering around through their floral bouquet and around the church lectern to get the images I wanted, making them giggle to become completely relaxed and in turn allowing me to capture some truly stunning natural moments. These are the moments I love, the ones that tell the story of the day, reflecting the unique atmosphere of each wedding and the happy chemistry between the guests.
To me, this is what a wedding is all about – the anticipation, tinged with initial nervousness, the love that keeps it all together, some tears and, finally, the laughter, as everyone relaxes in the magic of a perfect day. It is a privilege and responsibility I really love to be able to capture for each and every one of my lovely wedding clients – beautiful and happy images that reflect their unique wedding story for them to treasure and look back on and smile over in all the years to come.
If you would like to be featured then do get in touch.