Today we chat with Jean-Marie Salmacis in our wedding photography interview series, a wedding photographer based in Manchester.
So firstly how long have you been photographing weddings and how did you get into it?
I photographed my first wedding in 2010; however, I started shooting with film SLR since the age of 14.
Photography classes were available as an extra curriculum at school, which I joined by curiosity. By the age of 16, I was developing my own films at the school dark room.
What do you particularly like about photographing weddings?
The people; I’m always interested meeting new people from different background and culture.
Wedding photography has taken me to some really nice places and also given me opportunities to meet and photograph people from different countries: Russia, Brazil, Jamaica and Mauritius to name a few.
How would you describe your style and approach?
You hear a lot about documentary style, photo journalistic and reportage wedding photography these days. It seems to be the trend and there is a demand for it purely because couples don’t want their wedding pictures to look like the ones in their parents or gran parents’ wedding albums.
My approach is to talk to the couple and find out what they like and don’t like in wedding photos, perhaps with reference to my previous work, and take it from there.
On the day, I try and see what nobody else sees, I attempt to capture the little quirks of personality of the people there – it might be a child looking at the camera when everyone else is looking at something else, or a friend sneaking a glass of champagne. Little moments that can make a bride and groom look back and say ‘Ahh yes, that’s what they’re like, that reminds us of our day’.
I find that people not realising I’m there means they act more naturally, rather than adopt formal, stiff ‘wedding day’ poses. Though if a couple want formal, stiff wedding day poses – I can do that as well.
What advice would you give to couples looking for a wedding photographer?
Spend time looking for a wedding photographer and once you have a shortlist, don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Go through the contract thoroughly for any hidden fees like travel costs, accommodation etc… Clarify the image copyright details with your photographer.
If what you want is not included in the package, ask if you can work out a customized package to suit your needs.
Finally, it may sound cliché but in wedding photography, you get what you pay for, so don’t think that you are getting a good deal by paying £250 for your wedding photographer because you might be disappointed with the results.
Other than your memories, the photos from the wedding will be what you have left, so it is worth to stretch the budget a little.
What tips would you share with couples to help their day go more smoothly?
Relax, enjoy your day and trust your photographer.
Finally… what’s the best moment you’ve had as a wedding photographer?
As a photographer, I will always remember receiving an email from the Daily Telegraph Editor asking if their online edition could use one of my images. That was at the very beginning of my photography career, so it meant a lot to me.
As a wedding photographer, there is no particular moment that stands out. Every wedding I have documented so far has been enjoyable and rewarding.
Thanks for Jean for chatting with us, you see find out more and view more of his work at www.msalmacis.com.
If you would like to be featured then do get in touch.