Something I often discuss on social media and on my blog is just how strongly I believe in the community aspect of the wedding industry. I love getting to know other wedding professionals, their whys, their passions, and their behind-the-scenes processes too – as a wedding planner, I truly feel that the most complete way of supporting my couples and my suppliers is by building this inside knowledge and open trust within the team. We’re all in it together to to tell stories and have the most awesome time while we do it.
Today on the blog we have the wonderful, award-winning Emma-Jane Photography telling us a little bit more about her brand, and sharing her thoughts and tips for enjoying and making the most of your wedding photography. We worked together on a stunning project at Aynhoe Park last autumn (soon to be featured on Love My Dress!), and I’m so delighted to introduce her to you.
Hello Emma, and welcome to the blog! Could you tell me a little bit more about you, your style of photography, and how you found that style?
My name is Emma-Jane and I am a fashion inspired wedding photographer. I’ve been a photographer for 8 years now, originally starting in fashion and moving more into wedding photography in Devon. I moved to London 6 years ago, to push the work further, and started blending my fashion style into my wedding approach to create more unique, stylised images. I enjoy focussing a lot on details, and giving my couples direction to achieve that dream-like composition.
Can you describe that moment (experience, emotion, and so on) when you knew that photography was what you wanted to do?
I actually dabbled in the photography world a bit before picking up a camera for the first time. I knew I loved the creativity side of it, but didn’t really know my place within a set. I did a bit of modelling, and even explored being a makeup artist – but I felt like it didn’t allow me to create and own my vision. As soon as I picked up a camera, I discovered the joy of going from concept to styling to controlling the final editing, and knew I had found the creative freedom I was looking for. I’ve never looked back since!
How do you approach making your photography candid? How do you make a connection with people?
I’ve been told I’m very relaxed on the wedding day, often becoming a problem solver, and even knowing what will happen before it does! It tends to give couples peace of mind. I often receive the feedback that the time spent on couple shots actually allowed them to feel completely relaxed, away from guests, lost in their own little moment. I am there of course, but I do my best not to make couples feel pressured or on the spot. I offer suggestions and tweaks to poses as I feel this often helps, especially the more camera shy – but my style is never heavily posed or awkward. Being a London wedding photographer, you can get easily swept up in the hustle and bustle of the city, so its good for me to remember my country roots and the more laid back personality approach!
What music do you listen to / shows do you watch when you’re editing?
When I’m in the zone, I find it quite relaxing to have Netflix on in the background – usually re-runs of Walking Dead or Greys Anatomy!
How would you describe your shooting process at a wedding?
I would say structured but relaxed. I work with couples on their schedule, but if timings have to change then I chat openly with the couple about what might need to be dropped or shifted, so they can make informed decisions about their photography. I never pressure them to rush anything or cram it all in, if they choose not to, but of course am always trying to make sure I deliver what’s important to them and to achieve the goals we had discussed in our first meeting.
What recommendations would you give camera-shy couples who are worried about being in front of the camera at their wedding?
For the more camera-shy, I would say it can be really nice to schedule an engagement shoot before the weding day itself. This way we can look at building that confidence up over the session, seeing what angels work best, and also getting to know and trust one another. This can really work wonders for the wedding day itself, as couples will know what to expect – I always notice that increased confidence and trust developing after engagement shoots. Often couples look to me for guidance on a lot of things, not just photography, so I do become a sort of confidant. Whats’a also great about pre-wedding shoots is that you can think of them as practice or “testers”, without the pressure of getting all the perfect shots. Generally, the more you relax the better the shots will be! Just go with the flow, and look to take guidance from the photographer.
What are some things couples can look out for when choosing their venue, in terms of photography opportunities or limitations?
I would say some venues have amazing outdoor locations but are very limited when it comes to indoor space, both in terms of size and photogenic backdrops. If couples are having a UK wedding, it can be very unpredictable for a purely outdoor day. As a Cotswold wedding photographer, I see some beautiful stately houses that are large enough to have a wet weather plan indoors if needed. I have loved photographing rustic outdoor weddings in the countryside, but sometimes couples have not had a back up plan, which means that in the case of rain there isn’t really anywhere for guests to be or for group photos to be taken. It is a bit risky, so I would say, when visiting venues, do think about whether they offer a back-up wet weather plan to avoid added stress on the wedding day itself.
What tips would you give couples looking for their wedding photographer?
Make sure you pick someone you really gel with, whose portfolio you love, and with packages that are right for you. Of course you need to be mindful of your budget – but I would say try not to put a photographer in a strict price bracket that you’ve read in a magazine, as a good wedding photographer will charge for their time, experience, and creativity. They are skilled in the wedding day and getting the best shots in limited time, and sometimes this is something you compromise by choosing the cheapest option, as they may not have been trading as long or know all the tricks. Flowers will die, memories will fade, so the photography truly is what will remain with you to allow you and your loved ones to relive the day.
What is your favourite part of the wedding to capture?
I adore the couple shots! It’s a moment when I can be really creative, and capture the couple madly in love on their wedding day. I really enjoy mixing stunning compositions of the venue and landscapes with the couples’ personality and outfits.
How do you choose which images you share with the bride and groom?
I actually give my couples choice on this. I feel that fashion photography is generally very end-goal driven with a commercial viewpoint, whereas a wedding is very personal. I start with a cull through of images that don’t make the cut and then create samples for the couple to see. I then give them a choice on what they take forward for editing. It can be a scary process showing un-edited images, and I know that a lot of photographers don’t like doing that at all! I’m confident enough in my work and my technical ability, and would rather do it this way, so the couples have full choice and my process ends up being very transparent.
What is your dream location to shoot a wedding?
I have quite a few things on my wish list!
- An engagement shoot in Dungeness, in Kent
- An underwater engagement shoot
- A wedding ceremony on the beach – and bonus points for something exotic, like Mexico, Bali, Maldives….!
- A Stonehenge wedding (I’ve done engagement photos here but if your nuptials are here you will get a big thumbs up!)
- A wedding in Iceland
- A 1920’s Gatsby themed wedding
- A ceremony in the forest
- Intimate elopements around the world, just the couple and a handful of guests
- A full-on circus themed wedding
- A Disneyland Paris engagement or wedding
- A wedding in a zoo
If you could shoot any celebrity wedding (past, present, or future), who would be the lucky couple?
Hmm, oh that’s a quite tough one! I’m a bit of a sucker for the glitz and glamour so I would be happy to shoot any celebrity! I do love the idea of Angelina and Brad Pitt’s wedding, as that would have been an incredible wedding for my portfolio and such an interesting experience as they were an amazing power couple at the time!
What are your favourite sources of inspiration for your work?
I still do use Pinterest a lot, but I mostly get lots of inspiration from fashion trends, concepts, and poses.
Thank you so much, Emma, for all your thoughts and tips – I really appreciate your time!
I hope this interview has been fun to read and has maybe informed some of your thoughts and brainstorms on your wedding photography. If you’d like to have a chat, or would like some help with planning your wedding, don’t hesitate to get in touch!