A WEDDING PHOTOJOURNALIST
I approach weddings with the aim of recording what’s in front of me: no constant set-up shots or interventions by the photographer. My photography is a reflection of your day, not an imposition upon it.
My background is in national newspapers and magazines. I worked as a press photographer at The Times, who I joined immediately after completing my Postgraduate studies in Photojournalism at the London College of Communication (then the LCP). I learned the hard way. On that job, there are no second chances, no opportunities to recreate the news events unfolding in front of you, to get the right images for edition.
SO WHY SHOOT IN A PHOTOJOURNALISM STYLE?
For me, the buzz of stills photography is searching out and capturing moments. Freezing them in time – whatever the subject.
That is the power of photography and reportage. It’s the thrill of the chase, seeking out striking and timeless images and fixing them for posterity. Being a wedding photojournalist gives me this in abundance.
Working at a national newspaper, every day was different. From shooting backstage at a Royal Ballet performance, to covering the aftermath of a devastating bomb on a London street, on the same day. From portraits of the Prime Minister at No 10 Downing Street, to extraordinary days documenting rare paeolithic engravings in a remote Portuguese canyon. From capturing a beekeeper at work on the rooftop of the Opera House in Paris, to dodging flying bricks and petrol bombs in a London street riot.
Being given the freedom to shoot weddings in this storytelling manner is what attracted me to such special occasions. Weddings have it all: the characters, the emotions, the atmosphere, the details, the moments. It’s a dramatic storyboard there in front of me, ready to be recorded – to watch, observe, anticipate and then compose images that mean so much to my clients. Merging into the background with the camera. The photography reflects the day, rather than impose upon it with lengthy portrait sessions or traditional setups.
A good wedding photojournalist won’t give you lots of dull, static group shots or overly photoshopped mock fashion shoots. What you’ll get is a series of timeless images that form a valuable record of the moments you want to cherish.
AWARD-WINNING WEDDING PHOTOJOURNALISM
In recent years I’ve won the title of Professional Photographer of the Year 2012, with the image above (awarded in 2013).
I have also twice been named as the winner of the Wedding Photographer of the Year (London & the South-East), in the regional finals of The Wedding Industry Awards (TWIA) 2015 and 2016. This award, in the largest regional category, is based both upon client votes and reviews, and on the photography judged as a body of work over the year, not just one image.
Also in both 2015 and 2016, I was awarded the Highly Commended prize in the Wedding Photographer of the Year category in the national finals – in effect, the silver medal (awarded when the decision is close).
“Brilliant images and total consistency, in both shooting and edit. Great work. Some of the best storytelling photography I’ve had the pleasure to see.” – TWIA judge
“You are a great storyteller. Love your processing. Nice to see proper black and whites, not muddy grey and white! You don’t look for the standard images and you are clearly not just going through the motions. You have a fantastic eye.” – TWIA judge
“Fantastic images from a world-class wedding photographer.” – TWIA judge
“Beautifully observed images, perfectly processed. I love looking through your work.” – TWIA judge
I am a member of the Wedding Photojournalist Association (WPJA) and the International Society of Professional Wedding Photographers (ISPWP) – gaining a 1st place in both the 2014 and 2019 awards. I was also one of four judges, from around the world, in the Summer 2016 contest of the International Society of Professional Wedding Photographers (ISPWP) – judging over 5000 entries from wedding photographers from across the globe.
At the end of the day, though, it’s images, not awards, that have to do the talking. It’s what makes each photographer different. Their way of seeing, their vision. If you think my ‘eye’, and my documentary wedding photography approach, would fit your wedding day – please do get in touch.
Born near Manchester. (My ancestors were blacksmiths in Shropshire, it seems).
My family moved south when I was nine. Still got a few flat vowels though – castle not carstle, bath not barth. It amuses my London-born children.
I live in West Sussex. Married (my wife is a writer), three children and a dog (labrador/whippet cross).
I studied art history at Manchester University, though spent most of my time in the community darkroom in Manchester. Followed by an intensive photojournalism course at The London College of Printing.
I started shooting for The Times after a week’s work experience there, days after finishing the course – my first job.
Training in the deep end! If you think there is pressure photographing a wedding...! ;-)
My work has appeared in publications such as Time magazine, The Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, The Independent, The Daily Telegraph, The Observer, Barron’s magazine, and Institutional Investor, amongst others.
I also work for a variety of corporate and design clients. Both reportage and portraiture.
I have always been a photographer. The only job I’ve had or wanted – it's about observing life and capturing it.
Like most of my clients, I'm not overly keen on posing for setup photos – so no grinning portrait of me here, but ...
Here is a much younger version of me, in action, when I made the front page of The Guardian. (Or maybe the picture was about the bloke in the suit?) I had more hair back then ...