Today I am pleased to introduce Keith Appleby, principal photographer at Keith Appleby Photography, and Wedding Photographer of the Year 2008.
Keith has been photographing timeless moments since he first picked up a camera at 13. His instinct for capturing people off-guard makes a unique and unforgettable documentation of your day. Keith works to capture the personalities of everyone present so intuitively that you will barely notice his presence, yet the pictures will show that somehow he was everywhere, not missing a single moment.
Here's what Keith had to say.......
What first interested you in photography?
My father was a Dentist and I used to develop his X-rays in the darkroom as a boy - this led to taking & developing my own photographs.
What was your inspiration for setting up your business?
I have always been interested in candid & street photography and when wedding photography became more naturalistic I realised that this could be the perfect marriage (excuse the pun) for my observational skills.
What did you do prior to this?
I was a partner and photographic director of a catalogue production company employing 150 staff. We had the largest photographic studio space in Europe, except IKEA! We designed, photographed and printed catalogues and marketing material for Argos, Littlewoods, B&Q, Harrods, Sony etc.
What do you consider to be your USP?
I aim to fit in as a 'guest with a camera' rather than an outsider, which in turn allows guests to feel completely at ease in front of the camera. My images portray the soul of the wedding whilst capturing the personalities of everyone present.
How would you describe your photographic style?
I am a documentary wedding photographer who specialises in discreetly capturing the magical, passionate moments from the wedding day with emphasis on beauty, style and the glamour of the day.
What do you do to relax in your spare time?
Walking, Golf, and believe or not.... Photography!
What are the current wedding photography trends?
The big trend is for 'reportage' photography. This sounds a bit like going into a war zone (actually weddings are a bit like a friendly war zone). In fact reportage photography is about 'reporting' or 'documenting' what's in front of the camera. This is often done with wide angle lenses which gives a very graphic feel to the images. I would advise couples to be diligent when choosing their reportage photographer and make sure that they can also shoot beautiful shots of the couple together, their guests, and any family group shots that might be required.
What are your top three tips to a bride and groom when choosing a photographer?
Do you feel real emotion when you look at the photographer's work? Do the pictures move you? Are you nearly shedding a tear when you look at his (or her) images? If so then you're on the right track. It's all about emotion. You also need to ensure that you are happy with your photographer's personality and that his manner and appearance will fit in with your guests, as this is so important.
There are literally hundreds of run-of-the-mill wedding photographers and you could look at all of their websites and not me moved by a single image. Their photographs might be technically proficient but what's missing is the emotion and passion. There's no second chance with wedding photography.
Describe the best wedding you've ever worked on?
There is no 'single wedding' that I could call the 'best' because each wedding can have many wonderful & moving moments. I have covered a wedding which had Enrique Iglesias as the 'entertainer' in Cairo, with 3,500 guests, which of course was special, and many others with some wonderful touches. My ideal wedding is when the bride & groom (and guests) are not self-conscious and are having such a great time that they hardly know I'm there. This gives me the opportunity to take photographs of people uninhibitedly enjoying themselves and makes for some great images.
Have you ever had a disaster on a job? What did you do to fix it?
I've never has a disaster and take great care to ensure that this will never happen. As a professional wedding photographer I always carry spare equipment as a back up. The most stress is caused by actually getting to the venue. If I get caught in a motorway traffic jam for 3 or 4 hours then I could be scuppered. So I always leave plenty of time to get to my venue - as it would really be a disaster if I never arrived!
Have you worked with wedding planners and if so how do you consider they change a wedding?
Yes, many times. It's not so much that they 'change' a wedding rather they ensure that the bride and groom have a totally stress free day because everything is taken care of by the wedding planner.
To find out more information visit the Keith Appleby Photography website.