Interview with Soven Amatya
In our behind the lens feature, we chat with professional wedding photographer Soven Amatya, a multi-award-winning Surrey Wedding Photographer.
How long have you been photographing weddings for and how did you get into it?
I photographed my first wedding in 2013 at the beautiful Winters Barns near Canterbury, Kent. I had been shadowing and second shooting for some photographers before the wedding at Winters Barns.
I had an incredibly good career in IT before photography. My first job was with a small specialist company in Blackburn and used to be a jam factory. I worked for progressively larger companies such as Barclays Bank, IBM, and JP Morgan Cazenove.
I enjoyed working with a close bunch of work friends, and the technical challenges of creating systems were challenging and fulfilling. Towards the end of my career in IT, most of the creative tasks had been outsourced, leaving me feeling creatively unchallenged.
I find photographing weddings creatively challenging, to make photographs of not just how the wedding looked, but also how it also felt.
What do you particularly like about photographing weddings?
Everything. Well, almost everything. I love listening to couples telling me their story, how they met, the key moments in their lives and the moment they realised they wanted to spend the rest of their lives together.
What is your favourite part of the day?
I’m lucky to have photographed diverse cultural weddings such as traditional UK weddings, Indian and Sikh weddings, Jewish weddings, Muslim weddings, African weddings and destination weddings outside the UK, and more.
With such diversity, it’s impossible to have a favourite part of the day. Every couple is different, so every wedding is different. My approach is to capture the genuine and real moments and emotions of the wedding.
Before every wedding, I always chat with my couples about their wedding plans and what is important to them. It’s never any part of the day. It’s usually always the friends and family attending and capturing the authenticity of the relationships through their interactions.
How would you describe your style and approach?
I take a natural and relaxed approach to photographing the wedding celebrations in an unobtrusive style, capturing the story of the wedding as it unfolds. I want the couple to remember how they felt during their wedding day. This also extends to the couple portraits where they can be themselves.
Who, or what inspires you?
I’m inspired by movies and TV that has gorgeous cinematography and storytelling. I look at street and editorial photographers too. I’m drawn to visual, impactful photographs.
What advice would you give to couples looking for a wedding photographer?
Find the style of wedding photography that excites you the most, whether that’s documentary, editorial, or more traditional, and then find photographers who photograph like this. Your photographer will be the person who will spend the most time with you on your wedding day, so make sure you feel comfortable with them.
What tips would you share with couples to help their day go more smoothly?
Through planning and having other people you trust to delegate tasks. Your photographer will be familiar with planning the wedding day and can guide you to ensure you enjoy your wedding celebrations.
Relaxing and not worrying too much when unexpected things happen. You will definitely enjoy your wedding more if you are present and in the moment, and not worrying about other things. These are the tasks you have delegated.
If there was one place in the world you would love to capture a wedding where would it be and why?
Photographing a wedding in Antarctica. It would be completely unique, and I’d love the guests to dress up in dress suits and resemble the penguins. That would be a very cook photograph.
However, it’s the couple and their guests who make the wedding, and I’m happy to be there to document it.
Finally… Whats the best moment you’ve had as a wedding photographer?
I’ve been fortunate to have photographed a wedding in French Polynesia (Tahiti and Moorea) in the South Pacific Ocean. For many people, the islands of French Polynesia represent an idyllic paradise, whether it’s for a wedding or a holiday. After the traditional wedding ceremony in a civic town hall in Tahiti, we made our way to the island of Moorea.
The Tahitian wedding ceremony and reception took place on a small beach, on a small island owned by the bride’s family.
My love for capturing couple and my wanderlust coming together. I journeyed to Tahiti via Singapore and Sydney (Australia), and it gave me a chance to meet old University friends (Singapore) and my cousin and his family (Sydney).