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Wedding Photographer London V Opoku Wedding Photography shoots a wedding at Grand Palladium, Montego Bay, Jamaica , United Kingdom

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Wedding Photographer : V Opoku Wedding Photography  
Couple : Ashley + Garret Hunt
Wedding Photographer London
Ceremony Location : Grand Palladium, Montego Bay, Jamaica.
Reception : Grand Palladium, Montego Bay, Jamaica
Wedding Date : 13th February 2014

Tell us a little about yourself??

Hey, my name is V. Opoku and I am a creative, contemporary wedding story-teller. London is home for now but I will love to live in Barcelona sometime soon. I also love traveling and exploring new places.

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

This is a tough one, but I do love an adventure, so I hope that rubs off on the people I come in contact with.

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Tell us a little bit about the wedding day?

Ashley + Garret got married on the 10 year anniversary to the day that they went on their first date. Montego Bay, Jamaica was where all the fun took place. If ever there is such thing as a perfect wedding, this will be it. So much goodness happened that day, it was simply a joy to be there to document it all.

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How did you get into wedding photography?

A friend asked me to do them a favour about 5 years ago. After that there I knew people who were getting married and they got in touch once I started to share some of my work on Facebook. I recall shooting some good friends of mine wedding one day and thinking to myself, I wouldn't mind doing this for a living.

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How long have you been a wedding photographer?

My first wedding in 2010, after that I shot a few here and there but it wasn't really until the end of 2012 that I launched my website and decided to give wedding photography a shot! So give or take just over 4 years now, but the first few years was me sharpening my skills and building a portfolio.

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

My business is young so I am still building, making mistakes along the way and learning. The one thing I can say though is to always strive to become better. I re-branded during the summer of 2013, just a few months after the launch of my website and since then I have been working on getting things to where I would eventually like it to be. The goal is to have an international brand where every bride can see themselves on there and want to be part off it.

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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?

I think the most important thing for those looking for a photographer is to understand that no two photographers are the same, every wedding photographer is unique in their own way. So what they have to do is familiarise themselves with and fall in love with their work.

This is a very special day and the memories that you have from the day to share with your family and friends will be what the photographer gives you. So place a level of importance on the photographer you chose to celebrate the day with you. Fall in love with their and give them the freedom to document your wedding story.



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

I haven't really undertaken any advertising yet, but I am considering my options at the moment. I have identified the type of clients I want and the next step is to get them to see my work as much as possible. But word of mouth has been my strongest marketing tool to date.

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Why do you think people hire you?

I think it's because I approach things differently, I see every wedding day as an adventure and approach it with curiosity which I think shows in the body of work I create.

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How many weddings do you average per year?

15-20 is the sweet spot, this allows me to give my best to every bride & groom and not burn myself out.

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Whose wedding would you love to shoot?

There isn't anyone specific that comes to mind but I love clients who love and adventure, for example Ashley and Garret decided to jump off a cliff for a Trash The Dress session the day after their wedding. So the bride & groom who dares to do something different and love to have fun.

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

Goa, India or a wedding on the Massai Mara. I will take a traditional Japanese wedding too! Culture fascinates me.

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What equipment do you have for a typical wedding day?

I use these pretty cool cameras called the X-Pro 1 and X100s. They are mirrorless cameras from Fujifilm and are part of their X-Series range. On a typical day I have an X-pro 1 + 35mm lens and a X100s which has a fixed 23mm lens. These two are the perfect combo for the way I like to shoot.

I also have an extra x-pro 1 body + 18mm lens that I keep in my bag as a backup. They offer a refreshing way of creating images, with the physical dials and aperture value on the lenses. These cameras connects with the photographer and they are so light-weight so I don't suffer from neck & back pains after a long wedding day.

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What is the most challenging thing about a wedding.

Keeping your head when everyone else lose theirs. Wedding days can be hectic, things can go wrong and stress can creep in. But such times gives me the chance to become a problem solver, to offer a few words of encouragement to the bride who feels that things are not going as planned.

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Do you have an approach to a wedding?

My vision as a wedding photographer is to build human connection whilst creating a body of work that my clients will love for years to come. So I like to get a conversation going with people throughout the day. I also like to get in close to the action, you know be part of the story that is unfolding before my eyes. After all you tell a story better when you are part of it.

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Who or what inspires you?

Life, all aspects of it. The good and the bad. Music, football and culture. The people I meet and exchange stories with on my travels.

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Best & Worst marketing idea so far?

This is an area that I am still trying to figure out. Most of my clients are referrals but I recently started submitting work to wedding blogs so I am interested to see how that goes. But I would say my blog is probably the best marketing tool I have, on there I can communicate my vision and work to potential clients.

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

That's a hard one, I was into football and athletic during secondary school but then I really took to economics during my A-levels. I guess I fully embraced whatever phase I went through in life. I was studying economics at the university of Sussex when I discovered photography, so if I wasn't a photographer then something to do with economics somehow.

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Share your favourite image of the day and why?

Ashley and Garret decided to jump off a cliff for their Trash The Dress session the day after their wedding. Ashley was scared (don't tell her) but she did it anyways, this image was captured after they had finished their jump and was getting out of the sea.

I keep the camera to my eye as I noticed a local dude standing at one of the diving points, and without warning he dove it into the sea. I was able to capture him diving whilst keep Ashley and Garret as my focus within the frame. It is my favourite because I don't think we could have ever staged such a shot, it was one of those now or never moments.

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

I sure do! I want to travel and explore remote places and tribes around the world in the near future. I also want to learn Spanish!

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

The desire to keep improving as a photographer! Clear communication also helps, your blog is how you communicate your vision to potential clients so make it YOU.

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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 like these guys work and check up on them from time to time to see what they have been getting upto : Ryan Brenizer, Dan O'Day, Ed Peers, Samm Blake & Nordica.

There are so many inspiring photographers out there that it’s difficult for me to pick one. I have seen some frames lately that are just totally insane! I keep discovering more with time.

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Proudest moment so far. Photography related or otherwise?

Becoming friends with and keeping in touch with clients after their wedding day is the one that do it for me! A previous client emailed me a picture of them and their new born daughter 11 months later. Even with Ashely and Garret we still keep in touch and even spent 2 days exploring London together when they came over in the summer. The human connections is something you can't put a price on.

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