Interview: Rob Dodsworth Photography
How long have you been photographing weddings for and how did you get into it?
My Dad gave me my first camera, an old Pentax SLR to take away on a school trip when I was maybe 10, or, 11 years old but I won’t lie to you, this was not the start of a life long love affair. The strap was old leather, it fell from my neck after shooting half a roll of film and the resulting images didn’t inspire me to continue with this hobby. The next time I picked up a camera was maybe a year, or, so later and fascinated to know more about it’s inner workings, I opened the back of the camera, exposing the film to the light and ruining a number of our family holiday snaps! Another camera related disaster behind me, it wasn’t until quite some time later when I joined a Photography Club with a friend and took my photography a little more seriously, later developing my own black and white images. But photography at the time was an enjoyable hobby; I had no designs on turning it into a career. The turning point came in 2007 when I responded to a last minute request to assist at a wedding with another photographer. I absolutely loved the pace and energy of the wedding day and continued to work with the same photographer for several more year as an assistant. In 2011, shortly before the birth of my daughter and facing redundancy from my job at the time, I made what seemed like a crazy decision to strike out on my own and invest money, I didn’t have, into a business idea, I couldn’t be sure would work. Fortunately, I haven’t looked back and this year is set to be my busiest yet!!!
What do you particularly like about photographing weddings?
They are quite possibly one of the most inspirational and motivating assignments I have the privilege to be part of as a photographer. It’s clichéd but I really do get a buzz capturing those special moments, such as the first look between a bride and her groom, or, mum wiping a tear from her eye.
How would you describe your style and approach?
I love working with couples that want to relax and enjoy their wedding day and not have to pose for photo after photo. I like to keep my photography as true to reflecting the day, as it is possible to do. I’m not a purist documentary photographer but more and more I am adopting this approach and it continues to influence my style of photography. However, a few quiet moments together, away from the wedding guests, can be a great opportunity to take some candid portraits.
What advice would you give to couples looking for a wedding photographer?
You have to get along with your photographer, so where it’s possible to, meet in person before the big day. I’ll always aim to meet with a couple over a cup of coffee to find out more about them and their plans and what they are looking for in their photography. Find a photographer whose style and approach appeals to you, as much as their personality. This will help you to be more relaxed on the day and much more likely to get a great set of images by which to remember your day. An engagement shoot can be another great opportunity to do this and will help you feel more comfortable with being in front of the camera on your wedding day.
What tips would you share with couples to help their day go more smoothly?
Relax – it’s hard to do that sometimes but it always comes together in the end and even if there are bumps in the road, there’s usually someone else on hand to sort it out. It goes by so very quickly – enjoy it!
Finally… Whats the best moment you’ve had as a wedding photographer?
Simple, the one thing that really makes the job for me is seeing a couple relive their wedding day through my images that after all is what it’s all about.