Ethical, transparent, affordable wedding photographer who hates the wedding industry as much as you do!
My background is in photojournalism and documentary work. And I have a day job working for a human rights NGO. So things like equality and fairness really matter to me.
And I reflect these values in my wedding photography. I don’t want to profiteer from being a photographer. I charge about half of what many other pro photographers charge.
It also means I don’t photograph brides as if they’re fairytale princesses or represent grooms as if they’re in one of those pretentious black and white eau de toilette ads. I just try to represent couples as equal partners, very much in love, and having a blast with their family and friends.
And I aim to bring other ethical dimensions to my work too.
I’m sure you’ve learned by now that your wedding is swirling in the vortex of the ‘wedding-industrial complex’, where there’s a ‘reassuringly expensive’ mark-up on everything. This includes a lot of so-so wedding photographers stridently stating on their websites that “wedding photography prices start at £1,795”.
Something else I do is divert part of my fee to charity. So for full day bookings I reduce my fee by £50 if you give a £25 donation to one of my favourite charities – Bliss, WaterAid, the Trussell Trust or the Disasters Emergency Committee. In any given year, this raises well over £1,000 for charity.
I hold an MA (Distinction) in Photojournalism and Documentary Photography from the London College of Communication. As well as photographing weddings I also still occasionally work with charities to tell stories about social issues.
How would you describe your style?
One of my clients described my photos as 'soulful', which was a lovely compliment! I also like to try and capture quirky moments and interactions, not just the happy/smiley ones. And something that is really important to me, as I've mentioned above, is to photograph the two of you in a natural affectionate real way, rather than trying to create contrived fairytale-meets-aftershave-ad images.
Overall, I would say I'm not influenced by other wedding photographers' style, but often by cinema. I'm not claiming that my images are 'cinematic' but nonetheless, the aesthetics of my photography are influenced more by movies than wedding photography. So, a few of my favourite films in terms of their cinematography would be Buffalo 66, The Grand Budapest Hotel (although I must say, I didn't much care for the movie itself), Blue Velvet, Monsoon Wedding, Morvern Callar, Badlands, Fitzcarraldo, the first two Godfather films, The Hustler, and literally any of Andrei Tarkovsky's or Krzysztof Kieślowski's films.
What do you love about weddings?
I get to be part of an amazing, jubilant day in people's lives and do what I love most - take pictures. What's not to love about that?!
Advice for couples planning their wedding?
- Some photographers offer 'reassuringly expensive' prices. But trust your instincts. Are their photos really THAT good? In a few cases, I would say yes - in most cases I think they're just exploiting couples' natural desire and anxiety about getting a pro. But a pro really doesn't have to cost the best part of two grand!
- Ask photographers if you can see full wedding galleries (and that doesn't mean just a highlight of 50-100 images from a wedding, which is what many display - ask if you can see the full 400-500 images they would normally give to their clients!)
-Ask them if they use 'prime lens'. Without getting all geeky, prime lenses are fixed-focal length lenses i.e. the ones that aren't zoom lenses. While zooms give photographers flexibility, the image quality is noticeably inferior, and zooms are normally nowhere as good in low light as prime lenses. That doesn't mean that zooms are never good. But you should just ask photographers how good their lenses are in low light and if they end up having to resort to using flash (which should generally be avoided).
Your Travel policy?