In our interview feature today where we cant to the people behind the lens, we catch up with Falmouth, Cornwall wedding photographer Chris Symonds.
How long have you been photographing weddings for and how did you get into it?
I shot my first wedding as the main photographer just over a year ago and have been very fortunate in undertaking multiple weddings since after my initial work was well received. Wedding photography has always been something that I wanted to partake in but I didn’t rush into it. I waited until I felt I was 100% confident to be trusted to deliver a stunning collection of images for my clients.
What do you particularly like about photographing weddings?
I love the anticipation that the day brings, the unknown, the next possible image could be my new favourite picture. There are so many opportunity’s for stunning imagery throughout a wedding day, it strives me to keep making work that excites me through creativity.
What is your favourite part of the day?
I really enjoy documenting the bride’s make-up/hair preparations and putting the dress on for the first reveal. This is a time of great delight and pure emotion from all involved close to the bride. I always feel very privileged to witness and be so close to the moment that every girl has dreamt about, wearing her dream wedding dress.
How would you describe your style and approach?
My style is photojournalistic in that I disappear into the background and watch events unfold naturally. For requested group shots and couple shots I really try not to direct and overpower the situation. I have a real battle mentally with staging and truthfulness in photography.
Who, or what inspires you?
So many photography practitioners and genres inspire me. I think to be a really great wedding photographer you need to be competent in so many styles of photography, landscapes, still life, portraiture, fashion to name a few. I have recently enjoyed success of having a portrait I took of a young Muslim girl included in the British Journal of Photography UK Portrait of Britain photography exhibition. Keeping up with contemporary trends in the arts is also at the back of my mind constantly. That’s not to say you can really deliver a cake cutting image with an avant-garde twist but adding creativity to compositions and looking to achieve something different is something I am constantly striving to achieve in my work.
What advice would you give to couples looking for a wedding photographer?
I think the best advice is to meet your photographer before the day and see if your personality’s match. To gauge an opinion of the photographers overall character is as important as the portfolio on the
table. Can you imagine having this person around you all day on the biggest day of your life? A good photographer will have the social skills to make the couple and guests relax and enjoy the day without really acknowledging the photographer is there.
What tips would you share with couples to help their day go more smoothly?
The cliché is to relax, but it’s so true. Try not to worry and over complicate the day in your mind. What will be will be, enjoy every second of it with all the people that love you and hopefully me the photographer.
If there was one place in the world you would love to capture a wedding where would it be and why?
I have been lucky enough to have already shot a couple of stunning destination weddings but If I had the chance to shoot the northern lights with a wedding couple I think It would be safe to say I had hit the jackpot.
Finally… What’s the best moment you’ve had as a wedding photographer?
Photographing my beautiful 3-year-old daughter as a flower girl at a family wedding recently was really special for me. Also being best man and photographer for a different wedding was also pretty exceptional.
Apart from those personal highlights I love being a part of such a momentous occasion for all wedding couples armed with my camera and a smile.