Recently we were nominated by one of our lovely couples for The Wedding Industry Awards, which are one of the biggest and most comprehensive in the UK, that led to many more voting for us, and nicely we have been chosen as one of the finalists for later in the year.
Below is the TWIA questionnaire we filled out after our nomination. It was an excellent exercise to answer their well thought out questions and we thought it would be a good idea for prospective and past wedding couples to read about our approach and philosophy for what we do and love.
Here’s our answers in full:
What Is Your Company ethos?
Very simply, as a couple we wanted the best for OUR special day, so we feel it is only fair that we give our very best for YOUR special day. The fact that we love what we do is just a bonus!
What makes you different from your competitors?
We are a couple who work on the basis of striving to give as good or better than we had on our special day. It’s only fair and we love it! We believe we have above average dramatic flair. We analyse every wedding to see where we have done well, and where we could improve, and this process has never stopped for us. It’s our definition of photographer’s ‘integrity’.
Choosing only one, what is the most valuable aspect of the service you offer to wedding clients?
Truly listening to people. We know that we can do a great job for people, but by listening to what they value the most, it allows us not just to meet all their expectations of us, but to actively exceed them.
What was the most valuable thing you learned in your last year of business?
The importance of remaining open minded. You can never know everything, no matter how experienced you are. It’s a joy to keep learning and pushing yourself. Learning from someone who has only just began their photography journey as well as the masters. If you are open minded you can continue to absorb, learn and grow. Anything less is probably naive.
How do you manage the client journey from booking to the wedding day?
Communication is key. So from the minute someone books with us we keep in regular contact, even if it’s just to touch base. This allows us to build a relationship over time and really get a sense of what makes that couple tick and what they value. All our collections include a pre wedding shoot, so a proven great way to further develop that relationship and get an ever clearer picture of our combined approach for the wedding day. A week and a half beforehand we have either a face to face meeting again or a Skype call to go through the timeline and the plan one last time in detail. On the day itself we always arrive a little earlier than expected so that we have a an extra chance of having everyone super relaxed and happy before we start shooting.
Describe your approach to the wedding itself. What, when, how and why do you do what you do when shooting a wedding?
Our approach starts with the mind set of: “what can I do or not do, to make the images the best we can create on the day” that means where to ‘step back’ and where to gently ‘step in’ to direct a situation.
The day starts with arriving earlier than planned to look at the light in and around the venue, because this will affect our photographic choices later. Next, looking for establishing shots and any other details we can get earlier rather than later, so our focus can primarily be on people and the chemistry between them.
Next we literally breath in the atmosphere of who and where we are to begin our coverage. We introduce ourselves according to the personalities and people we are photographing and then start to shoot.
We have a mental checklist of must have shots and requests as a framework to give structure, but are constantly looking for those unstructured magic moments too, and opportunities to create something a little different from the usual.
Again knowing when to step back and observe, or gently step in is critical.
If it’s a wedding with both of us, we are looking to maximise our workload and time management. So we will take up different vantage points for both ceremony, drinks reception, wedding breakfast, speeches and evening celebrations.
If David is doing some couple portraits then generally Joanna will be roaming the drinks reception, photographing details and wedding breakfast rooms etc. David will pitch in with this and then move to photograph any family and friends groups a couple have requested.
Because we have planned extensively beforehand we can concentrate on being ‘in the zone’ for our couple and their guests.
We often joke between ourselves that a wedding day is the only time we are ever truly single minded. We literally cannot think about anything else and we believe that shows in what we ultimately produce.
Wasn’t sure how much detail to go into on this question!
What is the single most important thing that is required to be an excellent wedding photographer?
Adaptability. Looking at that it is actually two words, adapt and ability. Adapt to the light, the situation, the people and personalities around you, the weather and opportunities that arise. Put that with ability and it becomes a win win combination.
Describe your style and approach to being a wedding photographer.
We would describe it as creative documentary. That means ‘taking’ as well as ‘making’ the most memorable shots possible. During the day it means total concentration to be ‘in the zone’ so that no opportunity or angle is missed in the purely documentary side of coverage. It also means if the chance arises “fighting for the shot”, which is simply if you see a chance for something dramatic or different to make that couples memories even more special, then go for it. But of course only if the couple or guests are happy and it fits their personalities!
How Many Weddings Do You Supply Each Calendar Year On Average?
How many clients whose weddings you photographed this year have seen their finished product (eg: prints or album included in their package or ordered after their wedding)?
All of them
You can also find out more about us on the website here: David and Joanna