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Wedding Photographer London Jay Rowden shoots a wedding at Chateau La Durantie, Dordogne, France, United Kingdom

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Wedding Photographer : Jay Rowden  
Couple : Jo Cannon & Adam Lynch
Wedding Photographer London
Ceremony Location : Chateau La Durantie, Dordogne, France
Reception : Chateau La Durantie, Dordogne, France
Wedding Date : 28 September 2013

Tell us a little about yourself??

Happily married to Sam, father of three beautiful kids. Most weekends I can be found shooting weddings!

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

Gregarious, fun, laid back, a little bit left field!

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Tell us a little bit about the wedding day?

Pretty relaxed affair at one of my all time favourite wedding venues.

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How did you get into wedding photography?

I sent an email to everyone I knew explaining that I was leaving my job to become a wedding photographer and that I was looking to photograph as many weddings as possible for free. My In Box quickly became flooded with emails and within a week I had 30+ weddings lined up to shoot that year.

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How long have you been a wedding photographer?

Almost five years.

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

Any mistakes you made along the way? Good question. I set out to try and create an upmarket niche in the market. I became fed up looking around and seeing the same boring cookie cutter approach to wedding photography. The more I looked around, the more I noticed that the market seemed to be flooded with mediocrity. So I thought I would have a go at trying something a bit different and did everything I could to avoid the clichés. I completely immersed myself in fashion and editorial photography and assisted a top fashion photographer in London called Elisabeth Hoff. In time I found my own wedding photography work began to take on an editorial style, highly influenced by the world of fashion and film. Yes I made mistakes in the early days by spending a small fortune on advertising. Advertising did not work for me. Waste of money. What took my business to the next level was word of mouth. Referrals are the cornerstone of my business.

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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?

There is a truism in life which is ‘you pay peanuts, you get monkeys’ and wedding photography is no different. Ultimately you get what you pay for. Paying out for a wedding photographer is an important investment and as a rule of thumb you should allow 5-10% of your wedding budget to cover your wedding photography.

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

I don’t advertise. Waste of money.

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Why do you think people hire you?

Most people are uncomfortable in front of the camera and yet I seem to capture people at their best without them really realizing it.

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How many weddings do you average per year?

40+

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Whose wedding would you love to shoot?

Audrey Hepburn & Andrea Dotti’s wedding.

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

The Seychelles

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What equipment do you have for a typical wedding day?

2 x Canon 5D MKIII, 1 x Canon 5D MKIII, Canon 24L f1.4, Canon 35L f1.4, Canon 45 T/S f2.8, Canon 50L f1.2, Canon 85L f1.2, Canon 135L f2, 2 x Canon Speedlight 600 EX/RT

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What is the most challenging thing about a wedding.

Group shots

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Do you have an approach to a wedding?

My approach is informal. I just do my best to blend in. I dress like a guest. I behave like a guest. When I chat to guests at a wedding, they always assume I am a friend. It’s just that I happen to have a couple of cameras hanging round my neck. That way, I am always ready to capture the natural moments as they happen.

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Who or what inspires you?

My kids continue to inspire me on a daily basis. Their creative freedom is beautiful. They are never worried about being wrong or right or creating something weird and wonderful. It’s creative expression in its purest form. There are a few photographers who inspire me including the work of Saul Leiter, Trent Parke, Vivenne Mayer, Guy Bourdin, Albert Watson, Martin Parr to name but a few.

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Best & Worst marketing idea so far?

Advertising in a glossy brochure to be displayed at an upmarket wedding venue. Terrible mistake!

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

Psychotherapist

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Share your favourite image of the day and why?

This photograph would have to be one of my all time favourite images. It’s also the only time I ever witnessed a groom giving his bride a piggyback. I thought it was such a gallant act and yet it is also quite a humorous photo.

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

To be more sated.

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

To be yourself. Don’t try to copy other photographers. Find your style and don’t compromise because eventually people will find you and fall in love with your style. Also perseverance will be the key to your success. In the immortal words of Winston Churchill, ‘Never. Never. Never give up’. I’ve got those words framed on the wall to remind me to keep on, keeping on.

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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?

Jonas Peterson is the closest thing to God. An incredible artist.

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Proudest moment so far. Photography related or otherwise?

Watching my wife giving birth to our three kids.

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