This morning we catch up with Alexis Jaworski, a Reading based wedding photographer in our interview series chatting with the people behind the camera.
So firstly how long have you been photographing weddings for and how did you get into in?
I have been involved in photography for many years starting with commercial photography, portraits and then finally weddings. I have been shooting weddings as my main area of the focus mainly for the last 2 years or so, although I still undertake some portraits and very select commercial commissions. Wedding photography came from my portrait work and after many requests to shoot weddings I decided to go for it! I undertook training and also mentoring for almost a year before working on my own commissions as I take the responsibility of this role very seriously. It is not only about being creative but to have the ability to deal with the many issues that come up at each wedding. It is also about knowing the equipment inside out to be able to react to changes in light for example.
What do you particularly like about photographing weddings?
Weddings are a landmark in a persons life. They are an important ritual that symbolises the acceptances and union of two people and often of two families. These occasions are mixed with a lot of emotions. Excitement, apprehension, nervousness, joy, elation to name a few and are great moments to be involved in. It is a joyous occasion and I feel privileged to be able to capture images that will truly last a lifetime. I love the variety that wedding work provides, each wedding is different because the people involved are different, each one of them withe their own unique story.
How would you describe your style and approach?
I am a reportage wedding photographer which means that I do not set up shots and I focus instead in capturing the real moments and emotions of the day by “being part” of the day, and being “tuned in” by what is happening around me. I fully understand that people will want to have some groups and posed shots and I am happy to undertake those on request.
What advice would you give to couples looking for a wedding photographer?
In my opinion there are three key things to consider: photography style, personal style and budget.
Photographic style: The couple need to decide whether they will want traditional images, fashion images or reportage style images. Traditional and fashion images can be very good and require a different type of skill to mine, however the main difference with those styles is that the photographer will tend to direct and set up a lot of the shots which takes a lot of time. The photographer will also be very visible during the day. In some case all the drinks reception time may be taken by group shots and posed shots. Reportage style will suit more people who want to spend the day with their friends and family while getting a large variety of considered candid images and may be a short posed session. Reportage wedding photographers are generally discrete and unobtrusive blending in with your guests
Personal Style: Do you get on with the photographer? Will the photographer blend in with your guests? Will the photographer deliver what he/she promised? Will the photographer manage your expectations, be timely on e-mail and telephone communications, etc. This is very important too also, and should be considered. I always suggest to at least have a telephone conversation with your chosen photographer and if possible a meet up to assess their personalities.
Budget: The couple need to be able to afford the wedding photographer. There are exceptions to this, but generally speaking, high budget photographers will provide better quality of images and professionalism and therefore couples should aim to work with the best photographer they can afford. If the budget is tight, I also recommend looking at what else can be reduced in order to increase the photography budget. Of course everything is important, from flowers to favours to the musician playing during the ceremony, however after the day is gone, the wine has been drunk and the flowers have faded, the only tangible product that remains are your wedding photographs and therefore you should ensure that a professional is capturing those for you.
What tips would you share with couples to help their day go more smoothly?
Be realistic of what you would like to happen on the day. Sometimes less is more…. By trying to pack too much onto the day, it may feel a bit overwhelming at times. Of course, planning is also important and having a schedule for the day will help you relax during the day and everyone else involved (photographers, caterers, band, etc… ) will be prepared for the activities planned.Good preparation and communication will ensure your day goes easily. Also, make use of the best men and bridesmaids and delegate to them if possible.
Finally… whats the best moment you’ve had as a wedding photographer?
There are many moments that I cherish as a wedding photographer. However from a personal view point, it makes me quite proud when couples choose to view their slideshow for the first time with me and I can really read their emotions and they are genuinely thrilled and thankful for the way I covered their day. When I receive spontaneous feedback from family members and the couple, it makes it worthwhile to do what I do.
Thanks to Alexis for chatting with us, you can tweet him at @alexis_jaworski, or finally find out more on his profile page here on Your Perfect Wedding Photographer.