Interview: Robert Marriott
Today we chat and catch up with Kent wedding photographer Robert Marriott who is based in Margate.
So firstly how long have you been photographing weddings for and how did you get into in?
My first wedding was around 6 years ago. I originally started off photography as a hobby, mainly working at car shows and working with models on building up their portfolios. The first paid wedding I ever photographed was a surprise, booked for the bride and groom by a friend of mine. Of course I was nervous as I had never covered a wedding before and its such a big event but this definitely encouraged me to start to move across into weddings and build up my business specialising in wedding photography.
What do you particularly like about photographing weddings?
I love the environment and atmosphere at weddings. There is a chance to be creative and work with the couple on achieving images they pictured when planning their wedding and whats great is every wedding is different. Such a variety of locations, people, themes and I enjoy mingling with the guests. You get a real opportunity to chat with everyone, get some great candid shots and actually enjoy a day at the office.
How would you describe your style and approach?
Within the past year, I have relocated to Margate, Kent. My approach and style has definitely changed for the better, as there is a real love of vintage and retro style weddings down here. I have always preferred natural, candid images but couples do always want a certain amount of the traditional posed shots. I try to mix things up a bit, giving them a variety of images and making sure that I follow their brief as I always discuss with each individual couple at the wedding consultation what image style they are after. So in all I would say i’m very relaxed in my photography, aiming for a vintage/retro twist on modern candid shots.
What advice would you give to couples looking for a wedding photographer?
Spend time looking around at local photographers. If you chose a local photographer, you can meet up with them prior to the wedding to discuss all those important little details and put a face to the name. Make sure the photographer has enough experience and photography knowledge to produce the quality images you are after. Remember cheap does not always mean better, I like to offer a Budget style package as weddings are definitely an expensive event but often speak to couples who have chosen a family member, friend with limited photography experience to photograph the most important day of your life, just because they offer their time for free. Its great having guests taking extra shots throughout the day, we all love the drunken photos of dad dancing but I recommend always having a professional photographer on hand to get those images that you are going to treasure for years to come. It seems crazy couples spending often over £14,000 on their wedding day to opt for a free, inexperienced photographer.
What tips would you share with couples to help their day go more smoothly?
Always have a pre-wedding consultation with your photographer. Its a chance for you to discuss the style and theme of your wedding, what images you require i.e requests of photos with particular guests or in set locations and to ask all the questions on your mind. The idea is to build up an idea in the photographers mind as to what you want your wedding album to look like. Make sure they have spare equipment in place incase anything goes wrong i.e camera battery issues, camera not working etc. The bride and groom should feel relaxed on their big day, not worrying about things going wrong so make sure that your mind is at ease. But the best advice I can give is have fun! Plan every detail so that on the big day, you are enjoying the experience together and making sure that the photographer really does capture the happiness and emotion throughout your day.
I think looking back over the images taken on the day is definitely one of my favourite moments with every wedding i’ve photographed. Seeing everyone happy, smiling and enjoying themselves is always a great feeling and knowing that you have managed to capture those special moments on film. My favourite moment at a wedding was recently in The Peak District, it was an unusual wedding. Both avid climbers so the ceremony took place outdoors in an area very special to them. It was a very emotional ceremony, with everyone wiping away a few tears. It really felt very heartfelt and meaningful. It was a fairly small wedding party but this seemed to add to the atmosphere even more as there definitely wasn’t a dry eye in the place.
I would also like to thank my fiancee and assistant Claire Button, who without her and her support, I would not be where I am today. She has helped and supported me throughout, helping me achieve more and aim higher than I thought I could reach.