I hope you enjoyed seeing my blog post earlier today of Oscar and Jess’s wedding in Richmond. Now, I’m delighted to feature an interview with the very talented photographer who captured their special day, Fiona Kelly.
What inspired you to become a photographer?
My first foray into photography was at school. I was lucky enough to have a dark room at my school, so started learning about photography when I was doing my A-Level Art. Back then, I used my dad’s old fully manual film camera. So, I learned all about processing film and developing my own prints. It all seemed really magical! I’ve always been a bit of a science geek as well as a creative person, so think the combo of image being a visual and chemistry thing really appealed.
Fast forward a few years and after completing a Graphic Design degree, I ended up working in retail as a designer and photographic art director. I was responsible for creating the concepts behind shoots for top high street brands, organising photo-shoots and directing the photographers and team. I did this job for 14 years and was lucky enough to travel the world doing it.
Around the time of my own wedding, I was getting a little disheartened with the job I was doing. The thrill was disappearing and I was no longer finding it a challenge. I bought myself a digital SLR camera to take away on my honeymoon and the passion for photography came back on that trip. Without really realising it, I’d learnt an enormous amount from being immersed in the work of fashion, interiors and lifestyle brands as an art director. I knew the kind of style of photography I liked and it felt so natural to do it myself.
When did you become a wedding photographer?
Getting married myself was the final link in the chain to making the move into photography as a career, and wedding photography particularly. We got married in Las Vegas and ended up with a fairly standard photographer, who came with the chapel we got married at. I was lucky enough to have a friend at the wedding who used to be a photographer and took a load of candid photos of the day. These are the ones I love and the ones we have framed at home. This was a bit of a eureka moment. An ‘I could do this’ moment!
The thing was, how to do it. I did a couple of courses about the business side of wedding photography and running the business. I ended up photographing the weddings of a couple of friends and loved it so much. I hadn’t ever photographed a wedding before, but trusted my instincts and thought about the kind of photography and images that I would like. It was amazing. I really felt like I had found a perfect job.
What is it about wedding photography that you love?
It’s a perfect combination of wonderful and happy people, creativity and the joy of every wedding being unique and special.
As a wedding photographer, you have to be good at so many types of photography in order to properly capture the day in full. I love this variety. But more than anything, it’s being a part of such a special day.
Being able to capture images which will bring back memories of that one amazing day for years to come is such an honour. It blows my mind a little to think that someone’s grandchildren and great grandchildren will look at the photos I took and be able to see their grandparents’ wedding day.
Where are you based and what areas of the UK do you cover?
I’m based in South London and cover the whole of the UK and a small number of wedding abroad each year.
How would you describe your style?
Natural, relaxed, friendly and modern. It’s a combination of candid, creative photography to tell the story of the day, with beautiful, natural portraits that capture the couple. I like to create an atmosphere of fun on the day and to go with the flow as much as possible.
What is your favourite wedding moment to capture on camera?
I really enjoy photographing the morning of the wedding, with all the anticipation, nerves and fun of the getting ready bit. It’s also great having time with the couple on their own for some photos. This is generally the only alone time they have all day and it’s so wonderful to be a part of this. I love to capture the excitement and happiness as it sinks in that they’ve just got married.
The very favourite bit would have to be just before and as the bride walks down the aisle. This sums up the whole day, every feeling and the intensity of emotion.
What advice would you give to couples to help them to get the best from their wedding photography?
Choose a photographer who you want to hang out with and will understand what you want and what’s important to you. Of course it’s important to budget for what you can reasonably afford, but make sure you love the person’s work and feel comfy with them.
Your wedding day will fly by so quickly. So make sure that there’s plenty of time to get the photos you want. Don’t rush the bit between the ceremony and the meal as this is one chance to relax, chat to your guests and the opportunity for lots of lovely candid photos. This is also the time for any group photos, the chance for the two of you to have some photos of you alone, as well as getting images of your table details. There’s a lot to do in a short time, so don’t rush it and enjoy the moment.
When it comes to the day, just relax and trust your photographer to do their stuff.
Thank you so much to Fiona for all her help with today’s blog posts. We’ve met on several occasions, at events and shows. And I absolutely adore her work. If you’d like to see more of Fiona’s stunning photographs, please do take a look at the Fiona Kelly Photography website.
To keep up-to-date with Fiona’s news, here’s where you can find her on social media:
(Image : Fiona Kelly)