Interview: Richard Murgatroyd Photography
We go behind the lens and chat to Richard Murgatroyd, a wedding photographer based in London.
How long have you been photographing weddings for and how did you get into it?
I’ve been a photographer all of my life, but I started being an annoying guest photographer as my friends started getting married from 2008 onwards. It was only when I got married in 2011 that I saw that wedding photography didn’t have to be stuffy, formal and with all the life squeezed out about it.
This inspired me and the following year I shot my first few weddings as an assistant to a high-end wedding photographer shooting weddings for the rich and famous. It was great experience. I set up my business in 2013 and have never looked back.
What do you particularly like about photographing weddings?
Weddings have all the perfect preconditions for incredible documentary photography. A strong main story (love!), lots of secondary narratives and mini stories, emotion, action, laughter, intention but also a large dollop of spontaneity and chaos. This energy is perfect and infectious.
What is your favourite part of the day?
Every wedding has its own unique dynamic but generally it’s the quiet buzz and anticipation during the preparations, then the huge emotional release of the party that can often be the most enjoyable to photograph.
How would you describe your style and approach?
For the most part documentary – this means candid and observant in nature. Even when I take my couples for some much-needed time out and portraits, I try and create an environment where they can relax and enjoy each other’s company from which I can then retreat and capture more natural images of them together.
Who, or what inspires you?
The biggest inspiration has to be the couples and the people that surround me. I love feeding off their energy, group dynamics and everyone’s personalities.
In terms of influences then I follow a small pool of street, documentary, conflict and editorial photographers who have an amazing ability to photograph their subjects with impact and empathy.
What advice would you give to couples looking for a wedding photographer?
Find a style, then find the person that puts you totally at ease in their presence and can’t seemingly do enough for you.
What tips would you share with couples to help their day go more smoothly?
Surround yourself with your A-team of people who know you intimately and can get the best out of you. This includes your photographer as we are there throughout the day from any pre-wedding nerves in prep to the dance floor.
Give yourself time and space to enjoy the day. Good timings are everything. As soon as you are rushing you are no longer in the moment. Good photographers and planners will always work with your best interests at heart and will always be able to help
If there was one place in the world you would love to capture a wedding where would it be and why?
With any wedding the people are always more important than the setting. That said I would LOVE to photograph a wedding in the Himalayas. I’ve spent a lot of time in the Napali and Indian Himalayas and not only would the pictures of a mountain-top ceremony be epic, documenting the journey with my couple would be a fantastic and personal experience!
Finally… Whats the best moment you’ve had as a wedding photographer?
Aside from the wedding cake its always the hugs at the end of a wedding. I’ve photographed celebrity weddings, destination weddings from Mexico to Australia. But the best moment is still the first wedding I shot for my business. The insane nerves in the build-up followed by the buzz of the day then the realisation that this is what I want to spend my life doing… I was buzzing for weeks afterwards.