In our wedding photographer interview series this week we chat to Cornwall Wedding Photographer, Tom Frost as we go behind the lens.
How long have you been photographing weddings for and how did you get into it?
I have always been a photographer. I lived in the Rocky Mountains in the States for a year and travelled the world for another year as a travel photographer. I only got into weddings in 2007. It was my sister’s wedding in Devon and she asked me to take the photographs!
I was used to travelling on lorries, capturing wild landscapes and the local culture but I had never shot a wedding. To say that I was nervous is an understatement. As it was my first wedding, and my only sister’s, the adrenalin was high and my eyes glazed over from time to time. However, that was it: I was hooked. Now, nearly ten years on, I have captured hundreds of weddings and still the adrenalin runs high.
What do you particularly like about photographing weddings?
I like the intimacy that I am privileged to witness. I am an unobtrusive photographer that allows the day to progress naturally. This means that I get to see people being themselves: tears, laughter, hugs and holding hands.
My aim is to produce images that move people. Photographing weddings is the perfect situation for this. Capturing the fleeting moments that dissolve away in a blink of an eye, like the first look between the bride and groom or the father of the bride giving away his daughter. It’s a huge occasion that celebrates two people and their love. What’s not to like?!
What is your favourite part of the day?
For me, it’s the speeches. I see them as the epitome of the wedding.
You have the groom, his chance to declare his love, praise the bride and thank the guests; the father of the bride to reminisce on the past and the couple; and then the best man to raise the roof and shine a light on the couple.
Yes, there have been weddings where the speeches may have not met their full potential but it can move me when the stories make me cry or the jokes make my cheeks hurt. When everyone is captivated by the speeches you can get the best images. Laughter and tears by the bucket-load!
How would you describe your style and approach?
My approach to the day is natural and relaxed. I document the day as it happens in a reportage style. I like to blend into the crowd and capture the moments that happen quickly and which are to never be repeated. This is 90% of my style during the day. Of course, the formals, which I like to do quickly and efficiently, can not be done in this way but I always ensure these are done with the minimum of fuss.
I also like to shoot the couple in a natural way – no posing like placing of hands or tilting of chins. I like to move the couple from one space to another and allow them to find their natural positions. This is the time for them to relax with one another. They have just become married and this is the perfect time for them to relive the ceremony. I really like to chat with couples about what they want. We share Pinterest boards to share ideas and plan shots if they are after anything more unique. I love getting creative and trying new techniques.
Who, or what inspires you?
I am inspired by by a variety of great wedding photographers from across the world. I watch a lot of UK talent. We are very lucky to be living in a time when there are so many great wedding photographers that are sharing their skills. All you have to do is look on Instagram and be inspired by the variety out there.
What advice would you give to couples looking for a wedding photographer?
Meet them! You will be spending all day with them. It’s important that you trust them and that they know you. This is only achieved my meeting as much as you can.
What tips would you share with couples to help their day go more smoothly?
Planning is always good. Make sure there is a plan for the formals as it helps speed them up and allows you more time to enjoy the day. Additionally, make sure there is a wet weather plan a long with a good weather plan.
If there was one place in the world you would love to capture a wedding where would it be and why?
I would love to capture a wedding in Greenland. You could have so much fun with the landscape. You could really create some stunning images.
Finally… What’s the best moment you’ve had as a wedding photographer?
That’s a tricky one. I am torn. I have been moved by some of the greatest speeches. To witness some of the most honest, open and loving people share their thoughts have been a privilege and to capture them doing this is my honour.
However, I have recently also been lucky enough to cover an elopement in Cornwall. This was special as it was just me, the bride and groom, two witnesses who owned the venue, and the registrars. That was it. I felt like I was witnessing something that you could only whisper about or it would disappear. I then whisked the couple along the coast getting some of my most recent favourite shots.