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Wedding Photographer Tyne & Wear Andy Hudson Wedding Photography shoots a wedding at Westfield House Farm, Thropton, Morpeth, United Kingdom

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Wedding Photographer : Andy Hudson Wedding Photography  
Couple : Catherine + Simon
Wedding Photographer Tyne & Wear
Ceremony Location : St Michael’s Church, Alwinton
Reception : Westfield House Farm, Thropton, Morpeth
Wedding Date : 1st August 2015

Tell us a little about yourself??

Husband, father to a 10 month old boy, photographer of beautiful weddings.

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

Friendly, fun, creative, very focused and driven. Hopefully a good photographer, husband and father too :-)

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Tell us a little bit about the wedding day?

This was a real English country wedding, but due to a limited budget it was a real DIY affair. however you'd never know! The double top marque on the family farm came complete with hay bales (also from the farm) creating rustic outside seating in the glorious sunshine. The inside was decorated with wild flowers (from the Father of the Bride's garden) and bunting, all put together by family and friends. Even the BBQ which served 140 people was the work of a family member (and it was delicious!) They had a church ceremony followed by an outdoor reception and party in the double top marque. Lawn games and a pet dachshund made for some pretty epic photos and memories, along with the Ceilidh in the evening!

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How did you get into wedding photography?

I enjoyed photography as a hobby and felt I wanted to try a few different things to see if any worked for me in a more challenging capacity. I advertised on the Internet for an assistant's role with local photographers but didn’t get any offers, however a couple got in touch asking if I wanted to shoot their wedding for the experience (and for free of course)… I jumped at the chance and instantly fell in love with being a wedding photographer.

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How long have you been a wedding photographer?

4 years now, it's flown by!

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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 guess it's just serious hard work, many sacrifices and having a huge passion for what I do. It's really hard to establish yourself to the point of it being your only income, but if you have enough desire and dedication it pays off and the dream becomes a reality.

As for mistakes? Probably hundreds but thankfully I have made more right decisions than wrong otherwise I wouldn’t be making a living from wedding photography. I think it’s important to make mistakes and learn from them though as it really helps shape your business in the long term.


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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 see lots of crazy questions that have been copied and pasted from wedding magazines that I think make little sense… I’d advise couples to find a photographer whose work they love and meet them face to face. A lot of couples put an emphasis on finding someone who has shot at their venue before, however I love shooting at a new venue and all the possibilities it brings… providing the photographer is competent it really doesn’t matter if they’ve shot there before or not.

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

I don't in all honesty. I've always wanted my work to speak for itself and build my client base that way. I have done wedding fairs in the past but made a decision a little while ago to drop them as my prices are too high to make them worthwhile these days. Most people are looking for a deal or window shopping which only works at certain price levels. I occasionally submit real weddings to blogs and I think that’s where I will focus my efforts for increased exposure and awareness.

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Why do you think people hire you?

My style is very relaxed, informal and a really good representation of a couple's wedding day. About 90% of what I shoot is candid and so it attracts a lot of very chilled and relaxed couples who don’t want to be stopped every 5 minutes for yet another posed photo.

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How many weddings do you average per year?

Between 20 and 30 on average although my target is 35 and it looks like I'll hit (maybe exceed) that for the first time next year.

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Whose wedding would you love to shoot?

If Pete Doherty and Kate Moss had lasted the course I think it would have been a pretty cool wedding… a real mix of hedonism and extravagance.

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

Somewhere in California. Probably San Francisco in October. I was there a couple of years ago at that time of year and the light was just incredible. I also loved the city and the idea of going back to shoot a wedding would be incredibly exciting.

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What equipment do you have for a typical wedding day?

2 x 5D MKIII's
35mm & 85mm combo
Speedlights (which I hardly ever use)
Prism
24-70mm

Spider holster – invaluable for someone who dual shoots
Other assorted items that are there just on the off chance I need to use them (which ends up being about once a year) like a 70-200mm


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What is the most challenging thing about a wedding.

I think just trying to ensure you are coming up with new ideas constantly and often on the fly. I like that challenge though as it keeps me on my toes and makes things interesting.

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Do you have an approach to a wedding?

Turn up and shoot what’s happening in a creative way. I never have a set plan as every wedding is different and I want to show that, if you already have your plan laid out it won’t reflect the individuality of that wedding and of the couple at the heart of it.

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Who or what inspires you?

My main influences in wedding photography are Ross Harvey and Sam Hurd, I love looking at their work and trying to deconstruct how they produce such amazing results. I recently did a 2 day workshop with Sam and it was mind blowing.

Outside of wedding photography I fell in love with Anton Corbijn's work early on and it’s still amongst the best I’ve ever seen in any genre. William Klein is also another photographer whose work inspires me.


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Best & Worst marketing idea so far?

Best – It's all about SEO, without having a really good google placing I doubt I'd be a full time photographer now. Also using social media effectively to keep my audience engaged.

Worst – Choosing the colour Green for my original branding… it didn’t look good and I no longer use it!


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

I'd love to think it'd be something else creative, maybe an author. I once wrote 25,000 words of a sci-fi thriller where TV companies ruled the world. I ran out of steam though and never finished it.

If I weren’t a photographer I would probably finally complete my masterpiece (!) Or maybe I’d be a teacher as that was my background prior to photography.

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Share your favourite image of the day and why?

The backlit shot of Catherine & Simon in the field is probably my favourite as there was a little gap between the main course and desert and I’d noticed the amazing low golden sun outside. I asked them if they wanted to come outside for 5 minutes and just grab a few quick shots, they were happy to and it was definitely worth it.

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

I'd ideally like to add some destination weddings to my annual intake of bookings as the idea of jumping on a plane somewhere exciting and new really appeals to me. I’ve shot weddings in Edinburgh this year and I have one in London in a few weeks so feel I am making progress in not just being a North East photographer, but I’m not quite ‘there’ yet when it comes to destination weddings.

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

You have to really be in tune with the couple and how weddings work. You have to be able to adapt in an instant because things happen so quickly, if you don’t really have an awareness of the people there and what they may or may not do you’ll miss those real 'wow' moments. It's not the posed photos that make great wedding photography in my opinion, it’s those candid shots of people laughing, shedding a tear or just doing something really random.

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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 met a Norwegian photographer on the Sam Hurd workshop called Eirik Halvorsen who I think is going to do great things too and I’ve been following his work ever since http://www.eirikhalvorsen.com/

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Proudest moment so far. Photography related or otherwise?

Seeing my son Leon born 10 months ago… It was THE greatest moment in my life, every day since I feel like the luckiest person in the world; he’s such an awesome little dude!

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