I hope you enjoyed my blog post earlier today featuring Ryan and Paula’s wedding last October.
As promised, here’s a Q&A with the very talented wedding photographer, Juliet McKee, who captured their wedding.
What inspired you to become a photographer?
I can’t remember when I wasn’t a photographer, seriously. I was given a Haminex 110 complete with a box of flash cubes for my 8th birthday.
OK that shows my age, and so does the fact that I had to wait three days to collect my film from Boots. I got some interesting results but still, those early portraits of Sammy the hamster were a sign of things to come!
Through the eighties and nineties I continued to shoot with enthusiasm, basically anything and everything I could and had a decent SLR despite a nurse’s salary.
I particularly loved experimenting with Ilford black and white film and its deep contrasting tones. It was all pre Photoshop.
In 2000, I bought my first digital camera to photograph my babies, and at this point my addiction to photography went through the roof. I discovered I could achieve great results and other mums started asking me to photograph their kids too.
By 2007, I had quit a twenty year career in nursing and midwifery and started my own family portrait business. It’s seems an almighty leap but that creative streak and a desire for change made becoming a professional photographer an easy decision.
When did you become a wedding photographer?
In 2008, I was asked to shoot a wedding for a friend’s brother. I had never done it before and I hadn’t even shadowed or second shot a wedding for another photographer.
I did some research, chatted to the couple about their specific requirements and just got on and did it.
A few months later a friend of theirs asked me to shoot her wedding as well and that was it really.
Since then I’ve shot many more weddings and I still kick myself each time because I can’t believe I’ve ended up doing my perfect job!
What is it about wedding photography that you love?
When shooting a wedding I try to capture every little detail the bride and groom have chosen as well as the emotions I see played out before me in one off moments.
There are so many of these amazing moments to capture and not only will they view the results but also so will future generations. That is a thrill!
I love creating beautiful images of flowers, frocks, table design and all the details, but it’s also so much about the emotive images I am there to record.
It’s fantastic to be able to hand a couple a photographic memory of their day with all the colours and emotions!
Where are you based and what areas of the UK do you cover?
I’m based in Camberley in Surrey and cover England and Wales.
How would you describe your style?
Relaxed, vibrant and contemporary.
What is your favourite wedding moment to capture on camera?
It has to be the fabulous moment when the groom turns to see his bride for the first time and that look of love, excitement and pride. I usually find I’m also beaming from behind my camera at the same time. How lucky am I to be so close to that!
What advice would you give to couples to help them to get the best from their wedding photography?
First decide how important the photography of your day is to you and allocate an appropriate proportion of your budget. Then look at as many real weddings as possible to decide on the style you like. Blogs are a great source.
Shortlist and aim to see at least three photographers. There is a huge choice out there but that means that with careful research you will find the right one for you.
A photographer’s online portfolio will show you exactly the type of couple they love to work with and the type of weddings that suits their style. A photographer who displays a large number of structured group photographs may not do your relaxed and unobtrusive requirements justice.
Get as much information about them before you meet, such as the price of their packages, where they are based, will there be travel expenses etc.
I have had couples ask me about my fees after an hour’s meeting when the information was sent to them beforehand. It’s a sticky situation to find yourself in!
It’s important that you feel you can connect and get along with your photographer. So if you’re not feeling it, then don’t be afraid to see others.
When the right couple find the right photographer they get the results they wished for and a happy creatively fulfilled photographer.
(Image : Juliet McKee)