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Wedding Photographer West Sussex Nicki Feltham shoots a wedding at Duncton Mill Fishery, United Kingdom

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Wedding Photographer : Nicki Feltham  
Couple : Hannah & Elliot
Wedding Photographer West Sussex
Ceremony Location : Pagham Church, St Thomas A Becket
Reception : Duncton Mill Fishery
Wedding Date : 31st August 2013

Tell us a little about yourself??

I’m a very busy mum to 3 gorgeous boys and I’m marrying their amazing Dad who also happens to be my best friend this Christmas! I love family time, dog walking, shoe shopping, roast dinners, beach huts, forget me nots, polka dots & weddings!

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

Friendly, laid back & fun!

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Tell us a little bit about the wedding day?

Hannah & Elliot wanted really relaxed, fun photos to reflect their day! Their venue Duncton Mill was breathtakingly beautiful and we were so lucky with the weather on the day. The wedding went without a hitch (bar the scaffolding on the church that we could do nothing about!) and everyone had such a wonderful time. I love the details of every wedding and Hannah & Elliot went for a blue & yellow beachy sunflower theme! But for me what it’s really all about are the people and the emotions you feel and see on the day. Hannah & Elliot are the loveliest couple ever and their day was full of love, laughter and happiness. It was such a joy to capture.

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How did you get into wedding photography?

I started photographing pets & children around 2006 then shot my first wedding for a friend as a favour in 2008. Not put off by that in the least I shot another wedding a few months later for a friend of a friend! That was it, I was hooked. I absolutely love the whole story telling side of photographing a wedding. All the wonderful candid moments – capturing memories for the bride & groom that they will cherish forever.

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How long have you been a wedding photographer?

5 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?

I have stayed true to my style from the start – timeless romantic shots and lots of fun candid photos of the guests all having fun and enjoying themselves. I take the time to get to know my couples and I’m always “me” so couples know what they are getting. I never pretend to be something I’m not. I don’t profess to get along with every couple I meet as I’m not everyone’s cup of tea but when I click with a couple (s’cuse the pun) it’s wonderful as I can then guarantee those lovely relaxed, natural shots that my brides and grooms essentially book me for.

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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?

Photography is a very personal choice. There are so many photographers out there now with many different styles so it would be wrong for me to advise in general what couples should and shouldn’t look for… It all depends what is important to them. For me it would be a photographer I get along with who also has a great portfolio. Affordability would also be a factor but I would rather save in other areas of my wedding to ensure great photos than spend a fortune on every little detail but have no decent photos of it all!

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

I have advertised on Blogs and Magazines but mainly Facebook has been what’s worked for me and word of mouth. I’m also lucky to have shot so many amazing weddings that I sometimes even get featured on blogs or in magazines in the real weddings sections.

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Why do you think people hire you?

Hopefully because they like me and can picture me fitting in with their guests and bringing a fun element to the photography and of course because they love my work!

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How many weddings do you average per year?

Between 20 and 30.

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Whose wedding would you love to shoot?

I’d only be happy to shoot a famous person’s wedding if they’re a lovely couple and I get along with them! So anyone based on that criteria!

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

I took up wedding photography to fit around family life so my ideal wedding destination is just up the road so I’m not too far from my gorgeous boys! Having said that if an all expenses trip was on offer to shoot in Spain, Italy or France I’m sure I’d give it some thought!

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What equipment do you have for a typical wedding day?

My Canon 5d Mk III and a back-up plus an array of prime lenses.

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What is the most challenging thing about a wedding.

The different light & weather situations as I prefer to shoot natural light than use flash. I’m always searching for shade or a nice area that’s back-lit or running under cover if it chooses to rain! Funnily enough another challenge I face lots is the lack of parking outside churches so I don’t miss the bride arriving or the couple leaving!

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Do you have an approach to a wedding?

Each wedding is unique so my approach changes with each one but my aim stays the same; to always to capture the day as it happens with minimal input from me except for the few group photos and couple’s portraits.

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Who or what inspires you?

I’m inspired by the light and nature and my surroundings where ever they may be – I can find a beautiful spot just about anywhere for photos!

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Best & Worst marketing idea so far?

Paying a random marketing company who rang me up promising to get on the front page of google was the worst decision. They wrote lots of strange things about me online that came up in searches. They said it was to boost my SEO but I think it must have put people off. It just didn’t sound like me! Best is to keep blogging and using Facebook.

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

I think I’d train to be a teacher and work with kids.

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Share your favourite image of the day and why?

I love this confetti shot – Hannah made the little bags up herself to hand out to guests, goodness knows what she put in them but all confetti should be this sparkly!

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

Keep doing what I love and booking lovely couples. Looking forward to watching my family grow and spending quality time with them.

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

You need to be able to think on your toes and have endless energy and wear a smile on your face whatever else you may be thinking or feeling. You also need to be a good business person – I’m still working on the latter!

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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?

There are far too many photographers to list whose work I admire! I went on a workshop with Emma Case a couple of years ago and I’m a huge fan of her work and also everyone I met on the course – their photography inspires me on a daily basis.

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Proudest moment so far. Photography related or otherwise?

Becoming a mum for the first, second and third time was pretty awesome! I’m very proud of myself when that email with the slideshow and galleries goes off to each of my couples too. It always feels such an honour to shoot a wedding so such an immense achievement to deliver the photos to my couples afterwards. Some of the responses from my couples about how they feel when they get their photos is overwhelming and I’m so happy to be able to provide them with such treasured memories.

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