In our behind the lens series where we cant to wedding photographers, it is the turn of Charlotte Bryer-Ash, a Dorset And London based Wedding Photographer.
How long have you been photographing weddings for and how did you get into it?
My very first solo wedding was in 2011! I absolutely loved every second of it, so much so that when I got home my face ached from smiling all day! I had second shot a couple of weddings in the year leading up to my first wedding, and I just knew this was the career for me. Ever since my first wedding, I have loved my job more and more and never looked back.
Photography wasn’t something I always knew I wanted to do, but I knew that I wanted to be involved in the wedding industry in some way. I have genuinely had a love for flicking through wedding magazines and seeing such beautiful ideas coming together for a wedding day for many years before I even picked up my camera. I never studied photography at school or at university, so my first year was very much a learning year, but I loved every moment! Now in my 5th year of business I am so grateful and honoured when I couple asks me to capture their day.
What do you particularly like about photographing weddings?
Call me a softy, a romantic but there is something truly special about a wedding day. A big life event, a very special moment for a couple. Each couple I meet lets me document their relationship, invites me to capture their special moment – I don’t take that role for granted. Capturing a wedding day through my eyes, how your day unfolds, the natural and romantic moments, the parts of the day you will remember, the parts that you didn’t even know where happening, I love that about what I do!
What is your favourite part of the day?
My favourite part of the day is the couple photographs. That moment the three of us disappear from the drinks reception, just for 15, 20 minutes or so – to capture your ‘OMG we’re married’ moment, your first moment just together. It’s the perfect opportunity to get some natural, intimate and romantic portraits of you together.
How would you describe your style and approach?
I would describe my photography style as natural, stylish, romantic and heart-warming. I approach each wedding as a documentary photographer, capturing the moments that are naturally happening. I love to observe people, so I will document your day in this way and capture your day as it truly happens. I do offer some direction if needed during the family formal photographs if you want them.
Who, or what inspires you?
Wow, I mean there are so many things that inspire me daily! But when it comes to wedding photography it is definitely down to the environment that I am in, as well as the couple I am working with. I want to showcase your relationship as it is and how you are – not how I think you might be!
What advice would you give to couples looking for a wedding photographer?
As a photographer, I am around with my couples for the majority of the day! I like to get to know my couples beforehand, so we get on, have things to chat about and that most importantly that you feel comfortable around me. So no matter which photographer you decide to choose when you are looking, make sure you choose someone who’s work you really love (both of you!) and that you like and get on with them! Make sure you arrange to meet them before you book!
What tips would you share with couples to help their day go more smoothly?
A timeline, I find, is really invaluable for a day running super smoothly. It’s just a rough guideline, very rarely do weddings completely run to schedule, but it makes sure the day flows and everyone knows what is going on.
Also, don’t worry! Don’t worry on the day, everything has been arranged and planned, it will run much smoother if you feel more relaxed, nothing can be changed that last minute on the day, so don’t worry about it! Maybe have a few backup plans for certain things like weather. But the day will run better if you aren’t stressed!
If there was one place in the world you would love to capture a wedding where would it be and why?
I can’t choose one!! I have too many on my list. But my absolutely top 2… I have dreams of capturing a wedding in the South of France and also photographing a beach wedding, I am talking barefoot, beach wave hair, boho dress!
Finally… Whats the best moment you’ve had as a wedding photographer?
Oh that’s another tricky one as I have so many favourite moments over my years as being a photographer. I think my favourite was photographing a beautiful coastal wedding where the couples had written their own vows (I would love to see couples do this more!) Hearing their story, their promise to each other, it brought people and myself, to laughter, smiles and even shedding a tear. I feel so grateful and honoured to be in that moment to hear a person declare their love and words to another.