Thursday, January 20, 2011

Choosing the photographer

When helping couples select their wedding suppliers, our philosophy is simple.  We always put forward those we believe to be outstanding in their field and those who have great personalities that add something to the day.  Miserable, clockwatching, wedding-weary types don't ever make it to our shortlist!

So, with this in mind, we thought it would be nice to introduce you to some of our favourites in a series of blog interviews. 

First up are photographers, Lord and Leverett (Mark Lord and Tristan Leverett).  As if to prove just why they always deserve to make our shortlist, they managed to take time out to chat with us, as well as move both home and office.  How's that for fabulous?!  They also kindly shared with us five of their favourite Lord and Leverett pics of 2010 which we have dotted throughout this post.

We love them for their style, their sense of fun and their attitude.  See what you think...

How did you become photographers?

Mark and I came to wedding photography from different directions and that has been of great benefit for us both as we bring different experiences to our business.

Mark worked hard at Uni and received a B A Hons Degree in photography, then went on to train  with a pro. social photographer in Cornwall before going on to get a job as a contemporary portrait photographer in Marlow, Buckinghamshire.  I (Tristan) studied photography and graphics at college before working my way up to a being a photographer after starting my photography career in a camera shop.

Mark and I went on to work together as employed photographers for a portrait company, where after a couple of years we felt it was time to do something different and decided to launch Lord & Leverett.

What fascinates you most about your work?

We are very lucky to do the job we love so much.  We enjoy working at different weddings and I guess the thing that fascinates us the most is how every wedding is so individual.  That makes our job great fun as we always have a different challenge to tackle.

Who or what is the inspiration for your work?

Having studied the greats of photography, we both have a list of famous photographers we love.  Many are photojournalists and some portrait photographers.

We both love films and get some great inspiration from them too.

How do you get your ideas?

We find ideas come organically on the wedding day.  Often we start out with certain ideas, but then we see something and the old grey cells get working and new ideas flow.  At every wedding a new idea usually comes.

Who else do you admire in your field of work and why?

There are a couple of wedding photographers whose work we admire, but we both love the work of the portrait photographer Harry Borden - his work is just brilliant.

How do you think photography styles have changed at weddings over the years?

Wedding photography today is almost unrecognisable to the style around just twenty years ago.  We would like to think it has improved exponentially and continues to do so as more and more clients want something different from their wedding photos.

There's such a huge choice of photographers out there. How should couples go about choosing the right photographer and style that's right for them?

Well, the photography you want for your wedding is a personal decision.  Not only do you have to like the photographer who will be at your wedding, but you also need to decide on a style that works for you on your wedding day.

For instance, do you want a formal/traditional approach with lots of photographer input and lots of group shots or would you prefer a more unobtrusive approach where a photographer will capture the story of the wedding day without directing the wedding day. It is always worth seeing at least two photographers before you make a final decision.

Once couples have chosen their photographer, what sort of process should they expect from initially meeting you to seeing you on the day?

Well, we usually have a couple of meetings with our clients before their weddings -  one initial meeting and a further one closer to the wedding date to discuss all the timings and small details.  We also do a pre-wedding shoot which is a good way for us to get to know our clients better and a great way for our clients to get a feel for how we will work with them on the wedding day.

We will also speak to our clients on the week of their wedding to chat about any final details or changes to the day's schedule.

Are there any current trends in wedding photography?

Well, trends in photography can sometimes be a bad idea.  We would hate the thought of someone looking through one of our albums in twenty years time and just thinking it’s full of gimmicky photography effects that were en vogue at the time, so we always like to keep our photography true to classic values:  good colour pictures, good black and white pictures that are well composed with a great use of light.

Having said that, the industry is really jumping both feet into a vintage feel at the moment and that suits us fine as we both love photographing the vintage inspired wedding dresses that are available at the moment.

Photography vs videography - discuss!

This is always a hot potato subject among the photography industry, the truth of it is photographers and videographers are both trying to do a very important job.  Problems can arise though, as they are both trying to occupy the same space on the day to get the best shots and this can sometimes lead towards friction for both parties.

Now we are not saying that problems are inevitable and nine times out of ten photographers and videographers work together very well, but it should be a consideration for anyone thinking of having both at their wedding.  You should at least discuss it with both parties before the wedding and don’t just spring it on them on the actual wedding day.

We personally prefer it if there isn’t a video team at the wedding because as we work as a duo we think adding another couple of people to the wedding with cameras can be a bit much, but we understand it is a personal choice of the clients, so if they want a videographer at their wedding we would do our utmost to work well with them.

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