This bank holiday Monday we catch up with Dorset Wedding Photographer, Linus Moran.
Hi Linus, so firstly how long have you been photographing weddings for and how did you get into it?
I’ve been a pro for the last 18 years working within the editorial market and Fleet Street titles, but I am a relative newbie to the Wedding industry. I see my ‘freshness’ as an asset. It has rekindled my love affair with photography which at one time had been under threat in journalism.
My background within the print media has been invaluable having to constantly deliver winning images no matter the circumstance and I apply this approach to every job I undertake although I can now enjoy the opportunity of being more creative in my narrative and presentation. There is an old Fleet Street adage “you are only as good as your last image” which holds true and is a good maxim for any photographer. As a freelancer you have no security, no contract, no protection – if you mess up, you’re out and the phone stops ringing!
I relocated to Bulgaria for three years where I ran my own picture agency, but come 2009 I felt the need for a new challenge and change in direction. I returned to the UK and settled in Dorset. I wanted to get back to basics and discover something new within photography so I looked again at wedding photography and could see how digital advances had brought a wealth of talented individuals to the forefront of the profession. These individuals were capturing the spontaneity and life of a wedding that can only be termed as what we know as Documentary Wedding Photography. The proceeding decade, everything was Hasselblad, tripods and posed – not me at all!
What do you particularly like about photographing weddings?
Working as a Wedding Photographer has bought me to an understanding of what professionalism is all about. I studied photography at college, and had a successful career within editorial photography but then changed direction to create an insatiable appetite and desire to learn more about technique, presentation, marketing and sales. There are many attributes a modern wedding photographer needs to embrace in order to keep him ahead of the competition and these intern will lead to a very fulfilling path of commercial & personal development. Post production work is a fun novelty, not done since my days of working in darkrooms, but now I can take it further by producing a finished product of a book and framed artwork.
Its true that the photographic market is over saturated and over competitive, but if you know what the odds are and you are prepared to go the extra distance you can take advantage of all the wonderful products out there and project a strong vibrant brand that really makes you stand out from the crowd.
I am drawn to weddings for the endless opportunities to get cracking images. I love photographing people, I don’t think I can photograph anything else . I have tried landscapes several times and failed terribly, but put someone in the landscape and it works for me!
Weddings have familiar patterns or routines but within this framework there are countless opportunities to make and take great images. Some you realise are great as soon as you release the shutter, others just knock you over on the edit,but string them together and you create a narrative – that’s when you truly have something special.
A bride and groom have to be a photographer’s ideal client. They invite you to document their day, to share in their experience, to encapsulate it. You edit, process and present it back to them to relive the day and have the memories come flooding back. Not only are we paid to do this but we are complimented on our work and are privileged to have clients who develop that relationship into one of friendship.
How would you describe your style and approach?
My style, in case you didn’t guess, has to be as a documentary or photojournalist Wedding Photographer, it is the way I work and the way I see things. I do take a small amount of composed portraits on the wedding day, but on the whole I try to steer away from too much photographer involvement or direction.
There are some great photographers out there who do some amazing stuff, but I think anything too involved, which necessitates the bride and groom being away from the bridal party for too long is in poor taste. Any wonderful images which may be achieved by doing so are outweighed by leaving the bride and groom to circulate and enjoy their guests. Weddings are ALL about family, not photographers.
What advice would you give to couples looking for a wedding photographer?
My advice to couples looking for a Wedding Photographer – find the best you can and don’t be tempted to cut corners due to budget.
When you hire a wedding photographer you are handing over the responsibility of capturing one of life’s most precious memories and for that photographer to be able to deliver them back to you. The album is a vital document as it is testament to the day and to the times in which we live, holding all the most vital memories of people and friends assembled for that moment in time.
Research your photographer, view actual real weddings and not just their ‘best of” folio, talk to them, meet with them and make sure they are ‘your’ type of person. Groundwork is always worthwhile and never a waste of time. If you are holding a wedding at a venue which has a preferred suppliers list, do read this article, The double edged sword of being a Venue ‘preferred’ Wedding Photographer. It is worth being aware of such procedures which luckily only happen at a small number of wedding venues.
What tips would you share with couples to help their day go more smoothly?
A wedding day should never be a stressful environment, everything will happen in its own good time. Well that is what a bride wants to hear, isn’t it? There really is one answer; employ professionals to supply the wedding day you have been dreaming of. That way you can focus on the experience of your big day and the pleasure of the company of family and friends.
You should not need to check, orchestrate or become stressed over anything. A professional photographer will just do it, anticipate and have it in the bag before you even think of it. This is the service you get and expect by using a pro, whether they are a photographer, florist, musician, entertainer or wedding planner. Sourcing professionals to supply your day really does make the difference.
Finally… What is the best moment you’ve had as a wedding photographer?
Best moment I’ve had as a wedding photographer, well that’s a tough one to answer. I think every wedding has its own magic and charm but what has really struck me recently has been one of last years brides sharing her news of expecting a baby and wanting me to capture some new images and record her ‘bump’. It’s a privilege and an unexpected joy to have clients come back and request that you record other key moments in their lives. It also illustrates perfectly the point that when you photograph a couple’s wedding day, it really is the start of a relationship between client and photographer which could last many years. So each time you raise the camera to your eye and take an image for someone other than yourself, it is worth remembering that the experience you offer them is everything. They may like your work, but it’s the way you are and the way you make them feel that will bring them back time and again.
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