In our behind the lens interview series we chat to wedding photographer Kitty Wheeler Shaw.
How long have you been photographing weddings for and how did you get into it?
Wedding photography is a somewhat new venture for me, having been a photographer in many guises over the past 5 years (theatre, fashion and food). I had always been told by fellow photographers that “wedding photography was too much pressure” and “they’d never do it” and I took them at their word and wrote it off as something not to try. A friend asked me shoot their wedding so I thought I’d give it a go. I never would have thought it would lead me down the wedding rabbit hole. Thank you Suzanne, this is all your fault really!
What do you particularly like about photographing weddings?
There is such a wide range of emotions on a wedding day which not only makes for great photographs but is such a lovely thing to witness. Plus every always looks great!
What is your favourite part of the day?
I love every aspect of the day but there is something very special about that moment just after the ceremony when all the nerves of the couple just melt away. It’s as if they’ve been holding their breath through months and months of organising and this is the moment they finally get to exhale and enjoy celebrating the day and each other.
How would you describe your style and approach?
I produce my best work when I feel a personal connection to my subject so I approach each wedding as if it is my best friend getting married. I find the most important thing is to let yourself get immersed in the day and the emotions. If you’re on the outside looking in the photos will reflect that.
It’s always hard to describe your own style as it’s something that’s developed over time but if I had to pick a few words I would say: candid, personal, fun and fresh.
Who, or what inspires you?
The rebels and the rule breakers. There are a ton of incredible wedding photographers out there that, when I first started looking in to wedding photography, made me realise that there really are no rules and you can have the best fun and create the best work when you go against the grain.
The people who, in a world of “grass is always greener” are brave enough to stand up in front of everyone and say “I choose you”.
What advice would you give to couples looking for a wedding photographer?
Research, research, research. Find someone who’s work you love and shoots similar weddings to the one you’re planning. Exchange a few emails or better yet talk on the phone. There are so many talented people to choose from, you need to make sure you’re picking someone who you feel comfortable with and who will get what you’re about.
What tips would you share with couples to help their day go more smoothly?
Plan everything to the most minute detail and then forget about it all on the day. Your work is done, it’s time to relax and enjoy, laugh, dance and celebrate with the people you care about most in the world.
If there was one place in the world you would love to capture a wedding where would it be and why?
The Druidstone Hotel on the Pembrokeshire coast, Wales. My family have been going there each year since I was a child. It is the most beautiful place run by the most friendly and welcoming people and my spiritual home. A wedding there could not fail to be beautiful in every sense.
Finally… Whats the best moment you’ve had as a wedding photographer?
I shot a wedding in Kew Gardens which was pretty special, beautiful couple, beautiful venue and a goose and her goslings came to join in the wedding reception!
And the best moments as a photographer are when you know you’ve captured a special moment that the couple will be able to relive through your photographs.