How long have you been a photographer?
Honestly, as long as I can remember. I’ve always had a camera in my hand! My dad gave me my first camera when I was very little and it spiraled from there really. I remember taking portraits from around 7/8 years old! I have been a photographer professionally though, since about 2009.
Did you study photography?
No, not in a school. I am a self-taught photographer predominantly. I have mostly learned trough my own experiences- trial and error, reading books and researching online tutorials. I have also attended seminars and workshops, photography is always evolving and its important to keep growing and learning.
How did you get started with wedding photography?
In the beginning of my professional journey I came across all sorts of different enquires and one day there it was! A wedding job. Having worked in lots of other events, it just felt natural to take that next step into a new industry. A friend of mine knew the couple getting married and had recommended me. They were lovely, and although I did not have anything wedding related to show them but one picture I had taken for a friend many years earlier, they hired me!
Tell us about your first wedding job
Oh I was so nervous! There is something about weddings that makes your stomach butterflies go wild! You want to do an amazing job. It is such an important day, and everything happens really quickly, you don’t want to miss a thing.
As I said earlier, my first wedding job I had an amazing couple, they were so sweet and humble. Their family and friends were such great fun, I don’t think I could have asked for a better first wedding couple!
The ceremony was held in a small little church, it was very dark and no flash was allowed to be used. It was a real challenge photographically but the images of the whole day turned out great and the couple were so pleased.
Describe your photography style in 6 adjectives
Ethereal, Timeless, Intimate, Minimalistic, Captivating and Delicate.
What’s your most memorable wedding job?
Every wedding has a special element to remember. Whether it be the intense emotional look of pride from a parent as they see their daughter for the first time or seeing the bride, who by the end of the evening has let her hair down, taken her shoes off and is just enjoying herself to the fullest. Emotional speeches from those close to the newly wed and the small mementos of those no longer with us on display so they could be a part of the special day.
On one of my weddings, after we had shot the bridal portraits, we were on our way back to the venue, and a cat came out of nowhere and started following us. It was almost dark, but the curious cat kept a close distance to the bride until we reached the venue. A little while later I found out the mother of the bride had passed away some time before the wedding and that she was a real cat lady! Maybe she was there in spirit in shape of the cat who had followed us. It was truly a touching moment.
What do you find most challenging about wedding photography?
The most challenging aspect is probably keeping to the timeline. As much as you plan and time the day, It never quite goes to plan and when there are delays it all needs to be reconstructed on the spot. This often means I have minimal time for the bridal portraits.
I love shooting the bridal portraits, in fact they are probably my favourite element photographically . The more time set aside for this the better and more relaxed the images are going to be. I have done weddings were I have had literally 5 minutes alone with the couple, this can be really challenging.
Another challenge can be the family portraits. There might be members of the family that just don’t want to be in the portraits at all but feel like they have to be and this usually shows in their faces!
A wedding is normally a crazy day full of challenges but also so much fun and happiness so it’s always worth it!
Can you share two tips for brides looking to find their perfect wedding photographer?
The most important thing would be the energy between the bride and the photographer. If the energy feels good from the beginning, normally any issues can be easily addressed and solved. I think it is really important to feel you trust your photographer. It is a very busy day and as a bride you probably want control over everything, wanting it to be perfect. It is quite impossible to have this control over the day. By working with suppliers that you trust and feel are capable of doing there job to the highest standard, will make your day much more joyful and stress free.
Another thing to decide on is really how important are the wedding photographs to you? What budget have you put aside for this? What style of photography are you looking for ? Do you want somebody that specializes in a specific type of wedding photographer? If you know this it is easier to search for one that fits your expectations and needs.
And two things to look out for?
Again energy. If it isn’t feeling right, it probably isn’t.
Communication. Are they responding to you? Although photographers can be in high demand it is important to expect a response withing a reasonable time period. I try to answer all queries at the latest within 3 days.
Can you show us your current favourite image?
Ah that’s a tough one! I have so many favourites!
Here are three favourites from 2017.
You can view more of Ann Charlotte’s Work here