I’m a lanky Englishman that takes a lot of photos at strangers’ weddings. I was born and bred in England, but fell in love with a girl from Michigan so moved here in 2015, where I’ve been since. I’m the manager and assistant to the manager of Jack Hoyle Photography.
My mum is a really good photography enthusiast, so she encouraged it by buying me and my brothers a disposable camera every summer so that was the early spark. I then got handed down her 80s Pentax film camera in my early teens, which I loved and still have to this day. I was terrible at drawing and painting, but desperately wanted to do art. Luckily the high school I went to had an art teacher who was into film photography so that’s where I cut my teeth and learnt about dark room processes, composition and familiarizing myself with how a camera works. I then went to university where I studied photography and film. The rest is history!
It’s about the people in front of the lens. Capturing the connection between the people you’re working for, while at the same time creating a piece of art that they’ll look back on for the rest of their lives. At least that’s the intention. What drew you to this specific area in photography?
Photographing people who are really into each other and feel completely relaxed one another is always a pleasure. Couples who don’t mind goofing around and aren’t afraid of taking a little risk or getting a little dirty are my favourite kind of people.
I feel like I’ve been very fortunate I’ve photographed two weddings in India now, which were both incredible. I lived in London for a couple of years, so photographing in such a history drenched city was always a treat. Michigan is home right now, which has so many gorgeous venues all over the State. Detroit is a beautiful rough diamond that I will never tire of.
Oh, gosh so many… Photography wise; the early work of Martin Parr and Andreas Gursky. Don McCullin taught me the power that a single image can have. I’m energized by the music of David Bowie, The National, Bon Iver. There are also so many good photographers in the field I work in such as The Crawleys and Lukas Piatek. The movies of Werner Herzog and of course Wes Anderson have shaped how I frame a shot.
Study other photographers. Look at books, Instagram, whatever it takes. Learn what aesthetic you’re attracted to and try and recreate it. Don’t stop taking photos. Understand how your camera works. Photography is light, so try to understand the relationship between light, exposure and aperture. It sounds obvious, but I feel like there’s a lot of people who get frustrated because they’re not getting instant results. It’s a skill, it takes time. I’m still learning. In terms of business, being a good human goes a long way. Reply to emails, deliver your product on time. Don’t undercut others. Remember it’s not about you. If you mess up, make amends.
Ha! I’ve seen a lot of funny, odd, beautiful and crazy things… I fear that someone might recognize themselves in the crazy stories so I wouldn’t want to embarrass anyone. I’ll happily tell you in private. As a wedding photographer you see the whole range of human emotions, often in the space of 10 hours.
Being your best self goes a long way. People feel more relaxed therefore you will take natural, better looking images. Always strive to improve. It’s hard, but try not to keep comparing yourself to others. Help one another. Always have spare batteries and memory cards and back everything up!