Here's something to consider when you're hiring your wedding photographer; you may spend anywhere up to 10 hours of your big day with them and around 8 hours with your new husband or wife. Yep - crazy to think about, huh?
So your wedding photographer has the potential to make a MAJOR impact, not only in the reliving your wedding through the longevity of their art, but also on how relaxed you feel on the day itself. In my opinion, you not only need to be looking for a photographer whose work you enjoy on an aesthetic level, but you need to like how they work and appreciate just being around them in general. Do you get on easily and laugh at the same things? Do you have similar values?
For me, Dan Evans of Dan Evans Photography is just a pleasure to be around - just like an old (or quite young!) friend. There is no pretence with him and he's also very passionate about what he does. We sat down for a coffee at The Edge Deli Brighton, just down the road from his studio, to chat about how to make your wedding photos fun and relaxed which in turn, translates into an awesome end result.
How long have you been doing this?
“It’s been around 10 years since I picked up my first DSLR and I am currently in my 6th season as a professional wedding photographer. If I am honest about how I started out, I sort of fell into the industry after a string of unfortunate incidents (laughs). But it has probably worked out much better than if I had taken my initial career path."
"I had always wanted to be an architect, and after moving from the UK to Australia after completing all of my A-Level course work, I had around 5 months in which to complete year 12 and apply for university. I worked incredibly hard to get into my course and apply only to be told that I would be classed as an international student which would mean huge upfront course costs. I consequently left a little confused at what to do next and began taking on work as a photographer."
"It all just blossomed from there and now I am lucky enough to travel all over the world plying my trade. I think I have been extremely lucky on my path into the industry, things have somewhat conveniently fallen into place along the way. I know it can be an incredibly hard industry to break into so I am very grateful to all those who stood behind me and encouraged me at the beginning, right up to those still supporting me today.”
What kinds of photography do you specialise in?
“I have always really enjoyed photographing people. I’ve always loved meeting new people and getting to know them. Weddings have offered me the perfect outlet, really. I know it may sound a little over-sentimental and saccharine coming from a guy in his mid-twenties, but I can’t think of a better way to spend my workdays than surrounding myself with beautiful people while enjoying and absorbing every drop of happiness, from what is arguably, the best day in their lives. I love creating, always have, especially when I know what I do will remain with someone for the rest of their lives.”
When should couples look to book their wedding photographer?
“Perhaps I am biased, but for me it would be one of the first things to book in, but it really depends on the photographer. Most popular photographers can be booked out years in advance, particularly during the busy months of October/November & March/April. I have had people book as far in advance as 4 years to secure dates, but you should really look to leave it no later than 12-18 months to avoid disappointment.”
What should they look for in a photographer?
“Obviously the first thing to look out for is their style, to make sure it sits well with you as a couple. This will usually be apparent straight away and really will be the most important thing. Make sure they have a number of wedding portfolios on their website and not just a handful of nice photos; you really want to make sure that they are consistent and show a clear and accurate representation of their work overall. You need make sure you are 100% happy with the style of photography. Probably the worst thing you could do is book a photographer, then give him or her a long list of photos you want them to replicate that are completely out of their realm of style. Trying to micro-manage the day and asking your photographer to shoot like someone else is never a great idea. A shot by shot list will take the spontaneity out of the day and doesn't allow your photographer's creativity to flow naturally."
"Secondly, you need to feel relaxed in their company. If possible, I would highly recommend catching up and having a face to face meeting to ensure that there’s that chemistry between you. You will usually know pretty early on as to whether you're going to be a great match.”
Seen any new/emerging trends in photography that you'd like to share?
“The industry has vastly improved over the last 10 or so years that I have been following it. I think the days of stiff and contrived photography have fallen by the wayside as digital photography has taken over. There are so many excellent photographers showcasing a range of different styles all over the world. Documentary or photojournalistic style photography is very popular at the moment and there are a bunch of innovative ways that photographers are interpreting that style. I have seen more people asking about having some of their day documented on (analogue) film, going back to the roots of photography, which is something that I really like. There’s something about an image captured on film that you simply cannot replicate with digital.”
If you could dispel the most common misunderstanding about your profession, what would it be?
“One thing that I sometimes hear is how people think that the "location shots" between the ceremony and reception have to be a big, laborious task. I often encourage my clients to bring along a few drinks and some food so that people aren't getting hungry, and try and break it up with decent conversation and a few laughs. If you're relaxed and enjoying yourselves, it always shows in the photos.”
What do you want couples to know?
“I would certainly encourage people to ask more questions. I'm a huge asker of questions as I like to know everything! (laughs) Asking your photographer’s opinion on light, locations etc. can really improve your day. Ask them what they think of the timing of your ceremony. Try not to plan it in outside in the middle of the day when the sunlight is as its harshest, not just for your photographer, but also consider the wellbeing of your guests sweltering on a hot summers day.”
“Also, rules are made to be broken. Don’t feel you have to conform to tradition or adhere to what everyone else tells you to do. Make the day your own. Some of the best weddings I have had the pleasure of shooting have been really cool and alternative and as a photographer, it's always great to see something new and innovative.”
Dan Evans Photography