Interview: Bob Owen – Reportage Wedding Photographer
How long have you been photographing weddings for and how did you get into it?
I’ve been photographing wedding for about four years now, the last 3 being full time. I’ve had a 25 year career as a photographer within the MOD and Home Office and found that my street photography personal work, combined with a need to get away from conflict were leading me in a certain direction. People think that photographing weddings can be stressful. Believe me, with the right amount of planning and preparation, they’re not at all. I’ve found that spending time with people who at a very positive time of their lives to be life affirming and invigorating.
What do you particularly like about photographing weddings?
I’d reiterate what I’d said before really. It’s being around the positivity and new beginnings. No cynicism or negativity, just hope and expectation for the future. It’s what we could all do with a daily dose of.
How would you describe your style and approach?
Essentially I have a reportage or photojournalistic approach, but I’ll still do some relaxed portraiture and formal group shots. I think folk get too tied to labels and it’s really just marketing if it gets too prescriptive, because every client is different and has different expectations.
What advice would you give to couples looking for a wedding photographer?
Try and meet the photographers whose work you like most. Even if that’s by Skype, but do more than speak via email. You need to get on with them and like their attitude. Are they wholly devoted to your wedding, or squeezing you in between a day job? A full time photographer will give you the customer service that is vital, and you can always get hold of them. Above all else, just look at their images. Words on a website are well and good, but the only things that really count, are the images.
What tips would you share with couples to help their day go more smoothly?
Delegate, delegate, delegate. Bridesmaids and ushers there there for a reason. Get them to be your organisers and “go to” people. Make them work for the honour!
Finally… Whats the best moment you’ve had as a wedding photographer?
All the cliches of couples seeing their album for the first time or mums and dads compliments are good tales to tell, but there’s no one moment really. It’s as I said in the beginning, it’s being around people at the most positive life affirming time of their lives and feeling completely fed and watered by that.