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Wedding Photographer Devon Luna Photography shoots a wedding at Kingston Country Courtyard, United Kingdom

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Wedding Photographer : Luna Photography  
Couple : Natalie + John
Wedding Photographer Devon
Ceremony Location : Kingston Country Courtyard
Reception : Kingston Country Courtyard
Wedding Date : October 2014

Tell us a little about yourself??

I'm 33 (only just!) and I live on a farm in Devon with my partner and 3 year old son, and our cats.

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How do you think or would like people to describe you?

I'm pretty quiet and easy-going generally.

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Tell us a little bit about the wedding day?

Natalie and John's day was gorgeous, they are such an easy-going couple and they gave me total artistic reign whilst they enjoyed their day. I love that their families talents were incorporated into the day, Natalie's father is an artist so he did a lot of the decorations, her brother is a singer and played during the register signing, then later in the evening. Johns father is also a singer, he sang just before the first dance and one of my favourite pictures of the day is him framed whist John kissed Natalie's head, a lucky moment!

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How did you get into wedding photography?

I have always been the group photographer growing up, unofficially of course, I was just always the one with a camera! It seemed a natural progression really.

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How long have you been a wedding photographer?

A friend asked me to photograph her wedding, I think i was 18 at the time and very nervous, at that time I had no aspiration to become a wedding photographer and was still using my film camera, it ended up costing me an absolute fortune as I shot a lot of film then had them all processed in colour and black and white - I'd offered to do the wedding for free! I enjoyed the wedding despite the nerves and feeling the pressure and so I took the photos along to a local wedding photographer, I did a bit of second shooting and a few more friends/friends of friends weddings and it all went from there really! I've been shooting full time since 2006.

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Can you share how you've made your wedding photography business a success? Any mistakes you made along the way?

I'm always learning, I don't think you can ever stop because then you can become complacent, when I'd been shooting 4 years or so I thought I knew it all, looking back I was so ignorant. I realised after a while my work had hit a plateau so I signed up for a workshop with David Pullum which was one of the best decisions of my career so far as it really made me look at my work and enhanced my knowledge, changed my perspective. I think my business has improved since then, my work definitely has, although I stay true to my style which is hopefully why I continue to get bookings. I also met some great people. As regards mistakes, probably allowing my confidence to hold me back at times as i'm not a naturally gregarious or confident person. Also comparing my work to other photographers, we can't all shoot the same.

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What do you think a bride or groom should be looking for and not looking for in terms of wedding photography packages?

It must be so difficult! Clients need to really believe in a photographers work and not get caught up in wedding photography trends or the physical products offered, its the content thats important.

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How do you advertise yourself and what for you has really worked?

I don't really advertise too much, I never have I guess I have been very fortunate to gain 80% of my bookings from referrals, I often get to photograph a whole group of friends, or 3 sisters weddings etc, its awesome as you get to know people really well. Facebook has also turned out to be a good place to show your work too.

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Why do you think people hire you?

I'm very honest with my enquiries, if they're deciding on a bunch of photographers I tell them to go away and look carefully through as much work as possible then come back to me later. I want them to be 100% sold on my work because I want them to love it, I offer total simplicity with my packages for this reason too. I've possibly lost a few bookings that way but I always have clients who believe in what I do.

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How many weddings do you average per year?

I used to shoot crazy amounts like 80-odd a year, but then I had a family and now I average around 35 and thats perfect for me.

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Whose wedding would you love to shoot?

Hmmm. Anyone who has some crazy ideas, rides in on a horse and has an animal as a ring-bearer. Or anyone who is getting married in Madagascar!

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If you were asked to shoot a destination wedding, where would you hope it would be?

I think I just answered that one! Madagascar, or South America, somewhere wild. I'm shooting in Antigua in November so I'm looking forward to that.

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What equipment do you have for a typical wedding day?

I have 2 canon 5D3's, and I always shoot with a Canon 35 1.4L and 85 1.2L, I rarely take these off my camera but when I need to go wider I shoot 24, plus back up cameras and various lenses, 2 flashguns, pocket wizards and a switchtronix video light. I use a hold-fast as I find it really easy to work with.

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What is the most challenging thing about a wedding.

Small spaces and unrealistic timescales.

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Do you have an approach to a wedding?

I guess so, I like to be close up and in the action, but as discreetly as possible! I'm not a standing back with a long lens type of photographer! I don't give a lot of direction, I'd rather document whats real than tell people what to do, I fit in around the wedding.

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Who or what inspires you?

My clients inspire me, I wouldn't be doing this job without them and its all of their efforts and choices which lead to the photos I take. Also I think for any photographer the most inspiring thing is light, I go crazy for good light!

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Best & Worst marketing idea so far?

I don't think I've had a best other than word of mouth! Worst I'd say magazine, definitely that didn't work for me.

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If you weren't a photographer, what would you be?

If I wasn't a photographer I'd be working with animals somehow.

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Share your favourite image of the day and why?

I was hanging out of a tree above a pond at the time! I just like it because its not too literal, and its simple, these guys were so lovely to work with, they had such amazing chemistry in front of the camera.

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Do you have any goals for the future photography related or otherwise?

Yes, to continue to hone my craft, and to work in Madagascar, of course!

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What do you think is key to being a successful wedding photographer?

Keep learning, and remember its a wedding, theres a balance between building your portfolio and getting everything thats important to the client, but still be firm. If someone loves your work then they give you a massive list of details and group shots you need to know when and how to tactfully explain that you won't be doing what you do best if you're shooting to order.

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Are there any other wedding photographers whose work inspires you, can be a well know photographer or somebody you've stumbled across?

I've been on David Pullum and Davina and Daniels workshops, they are both hugely inspiring and have helped me see differently so without either I would not have achieved some of my favourite images.

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Proudest moment so far. Photography related or otherwise?

Professionally - It sounds like a cliche but every time I get an overwhelmed message from a client about their images, it never gets old and I thrive on it. Personally, every day with my little boy, he's hilarious and always makes me proud.

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