Because of his Passion and Experience
Passion – after 25 years in the business, I still get a kick out of every assignment I do, whether it’s a big wedding in Hampshire, a corporate assignment in Lagos or documenting the building of the Jerwood Museum in Hastings. As I say to my students, there’s no point in trying to be a freelance photographer if you don’t love – really love – taking photographs. I really can’t imagine wedding photography as just a day job. When I no longer love taking photos, I’ll stop working as a photographer.
Shooting a wedding is a HUGE responsibility, and to be honest, I still get the slightest bit of stage fright before every shoot — which is certainly not a bad thing, as it helps to keep me alert and sharp. But I really do enjoy the responsibility (maybe it’s the Leo in me?). Interestingly, when I talk with other photographers about weddings, they say, “John, how do you do it? I can’t imagine taking the responsibility for shooting something so important, a one-off event with no chance of a re-shoot if something goes wrong. I just couldn’t bear the responsibility …”
Which leads to Experience. With years of experience taking photographs of everything from boxers in gritty Manhattan gyms to Princess Diana, from Romanian coal miners to a wedding in a Marrakech fortress with traditional warriors riding camels, I bring a huge bag of skills and knowledge to every wedding. Along with the technical and lighting skills I’ve acquired over the years, I’m continually honing my creative skills, never satisfied with the ‘easy’ shot, forever looking for fresh ways to capture something so traditional.
But perhaps equally valuable are the intangible, non-photography skills I bring to every wedding I do. As a part-time lecturer in photojournalism at LCC and a qualified Life Coach (Distinction, Life Coaching Academy, 2001), I have an understanding and empathy for the emotional needs of my clients. Make no mistake; a wedding is a very emotional occasion. At times certain situations need to be handled with the greatest understanding, patience and empathy.
Your wedding is a very special day and you need a very special photographer to cover it. There are a lot of fledging professionals and very keen amateurs out there with fancy digi cameras who will offer to shoot your wedding for very little money. But do you really want to trust the photography of this most important day to someone who might not have the experience and the dedication to the job?
Please don’t be beguiled by all the techno bells and whistles of digital photography. These are never a substitute for years of experience, married to the ability to work under pressure with quiet joy and endless patience, while capturing the natural, relaxed and spontaneous photographs on your most wonderful wedding day.