We catch up and chat with London wedding photographer Kristian Leven in our latest interview.
How long have you been photographing weddings for and how did you get into it?
I started about six years ago, after taking my camera to a friend’s wedding and capturing the day as a guest. Before that I mainly focused on documentary travel photography, capturing the lives of the people I met along the way, so the transition to documentary wedding photography seemed quite seamless, and enjoyable!
What do you particularly like about photographing weddings?
I think the best thing has to be capturing *those* moments – the heartfelt ones where you feel the emotion and love as you’re taking the picture. It’s quite incredible being a part of it, and an even better feeling giving those images to the happy couple, knowing they’ll be treasured by them and their family.
What is your favourite part of the day?
I do really enjoy the beginning part, when you arrive and photograph the Bride getting ready – the whole day is in front of you, and just like the Bride, you have no idea how it will pan out. There’s a real sense of excitement, and that follows me in to when I see the Groom for the first time and capture the rest of the day.
How would you describe your style and approach?
Very natural and emotive – I don’t like to manufacture shots at all. I just spend a lot of time observing and waiting for moments, whilst capturing little stories throughout the day that the Bride and Groom may have missed or forgotten about.
Who, or what inspires you?
I look at a lot of non-wedding photography for inspiration. A photographer who’s had a massive influence on my work has been Alex Webb – such an incredible photographer, who captured images 30 years ago that photographers now are trying to replicate.
What advice would you give to couples looking for a wedding photographer?
Have a good look through their portfolio and make sure their style really does resonate with you. I’m not portrait heavy, for example, so I only show a few portraits to reflect that we only spend about 15minutes on them.
What tips would you share with couples to help their day go more smoothly?
That’s one thing I’ve noticed – even the best laid plans haven’t prevented things from not always going to plan, so I think the best way to approach it is to go with the flow! Things won’t always run smoothly, but as long as the guests are having fun, and they can see you’re having fun, then that really is all that matters. I’ve heard this time and time again from past Bride’s: “Don’t sweat the small stuff!”
If there was one place in the world you would love to capture a wedding where would it be and why?
There is, and, not wanting to sound like a show-off, I’m shooting there this year! The Amalfi Coast in Italy – always wanted to go there so am properly excited about it.