Which photography style is going to be the hit of 2018 and which should you tear out from your wedding scrapbook? We found out the answers to all the above and more when we spoke to uber-talented wedding photographer Steve Bridgwood. Pour a cuppa and prepare to be inspired.
What’s hot this year in the world of wedding photography?
For me, this year more than ever, the couples that I work with are really looking for a far more relaxed approach for their wedding photography. And that suits my style perfectly, my aim is to capture the day as it happens, no set poses, no forced smiles, just two people and their loved ones having a great time. I also love to work with natural light where possible and I’ve found that this is something that my clients want too. While this style of more informal photography has been around for a while now, the couples that book me seem to have really embraced it.
I’ve also found that while there is still a want for some group shots, couples now want far less. Their approach to these is different too, rather than the more traditional line up, there is a desire for a more informal style, which to me makes these type of photos more quirky and fun.
Couples have got far braver with their portrait shots too. Never have brides and grooms been more up for doing something just that little bit different, whether that be running through a city for a shoot, posing in a derelict room or being photographed amongst a field of elephant grass… And I absolutely love it, as my couples are really putting their confidence in me and my creative vision for their photography. It’s always great to get some really cool night time portraits shots too, which give a different type of vibe and it’s great for me to get to play around with off-camera flash and lighting.
What’s not? Is there anything couples should avoid?
So that couples can get that relaxed and informal feel from their photography, this really needs to be reflected in the day itself. I do think couples benefit when they are more chilled out with their timelines, making sure that they leave plenty of time to just enjoy their day. If they keep the day simple and stay true to themselves and what they want for the theme and feel, this will then really reflect in their photography.
Is there one mistake that most couples make when choosing a wedding photographer?
They shouldn’t just base the decision on price, couples should consider the type of look that they want for their photographs. All photographers will have their own style, colour palettes and energy, so they need to spend time finding photographers whose portfolio reflects what they love. They should always ask to see lots of examples of different weddings that the photographer has photographed from beginning to end, don’t book someone on just a few killer shots.
What are the basic styles of wedding photography couples can choose from?
There really is a style out there for everyone, but the main three types I guess are traditional, a more contemporary documentary style and alternative photography. They all sit along a spectrum and for any photographer, it’s actually about finding your place along that, while having the belief in developing your own style and brand.
Are there certain standard wedding photo packages?
Nowadays most wedding packages will include all of the edited digital images being made available so that a couple can use them however they wish, whether that’s to share them on social media or to print them, turn them into art, however they want to use them. I try and keep things simple by having one package that couples can add to if they want with added extras such as albums and couple shoots.
What’s your top tip for finding the right photographer?
Let’s face it there’s a lot of us! So it’s worth spending the time finding the right photographer. Do look around but ultimately they should choose someone whose images resonate with them and make them feel some real emotion.
You must have been around lots of weddings, what is the best wedding day advice for brides?
Just roll with the day that you’ve spent so long planning, trust in the professionals around you that they’ll look after everything to make your day amazing. It’s a cliché but your wedding day will pass by so quickly, so enjoy each an every moment. And of course you’ll be able to relive it again and again through your wedding photography – so pick the right photographer for you!
When’s the last time you took a ‘selfie’?
I think it’s an occupational hazard that there’s far more pictures that I take of my family and friends that never include me! But the last selfie I took would have been me having a great time with my two amazing kids.
What’s the best/most original idea you’ve ever seen at a wedding?
It has to be at the wedding of a couple who also work within the wedding industry, which probably influenced them to do something pretty different. Not only did they have a fake ceremony with a very comical vicar, as unbeknown to the guests they had already tied the knot in secret. But they also served their guests a traditional English fry up for their wedding breakfast.
A close second would have to be from a wedding that I recently photographed, where instead of the traditional speeches, the bride and groom hosted a pub style quiz based around movie soundtracks. Such a great unique idea which everyone had a great time having a go at. As a bit of a movie buff myself that was right up my street!
What’s the worst thing you’ve seen at a wedding?
This is a difficult one to answer as every wedding that I photograph is so different and every couple wants something that is right for them not anyone else, but I do think it’s a shame when a couple gets too stressed about the details to be able to really enjoy their day.
Spending all day looking and talking about weddings sounds like a dream, so what’s the best part about your job?
To me the most amazing thing about doing what I do, is not that I’m a wedding photographer, but that I get to be a photographer at a wedding, where I get to capture people, incredible venues, love, life, laughter, play with light, be creative and get to be part of a day that is so special to everyone there. I really do love what I do.
You can tell us, we won’t tell a soul, honest… What’s the worst song you’ve heard played for the first dance/walking down the aisle/other?
Anything by Ed Sheeran, sorry he’s just not my thing!
Any final parting words of bridal wisdom?
Yes, it is of course a hugely important and significant day for every couple, but don’t get overwhelmed and don’t lose sight of what it’s all really about – two people in love. Spend time on your planning, then enjoy every second of your once in a lifetime, never to be forgotten wedding day.