Wedding Photographer Staffordshire Gareth Newstead Photography shoots a wedding at Park farmhouse hotel, Castle Donington, Derbyshire, United Kingdom

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Wedding Photographer : Gareth Newstead Photography  
Couple : Dave + Dawn
Wedding Photographer Staffordshire
Ceremony Location : Park farmhouse hotel, Castle Donington, Derbyshire
Reception : Park farmhouse hotel, Castle Donington, Derbyshire
Wedding Date : 30th July 2015

Tell us a little about yourself??

I'm a Staffordshire Wedding Photographer that specializing in fun & natural documentary photography but I also cover Family and Children Photography. I believe a picture tells a thousand words. I'm a family man who wears his heart on his sleeve. My aim is to capture memorable images in a reportage style but I also like to produce a few photo's with the wow factor using either natural light or off camera flash. I pride myself on providing not just excellent images that will last a lifetime but also a really great service and experience!

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

Hard working, fun, extremely passionate and always pushing myself to improve.

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Tell us a little bit about the wedding day?

I was really looking forward to doing the wedding photography for Dawn & Dave at The Park Farmhouse Hotel. I love the venue for a few reasons, One - it is a such a beautiful and original location to have your wedding, who else can say they had their wedding meal in the pig sties!! Two - I'm doing the wedding photography for 3 couples there so far this year and Three - it's the venue where me and my wife got married back in 2008, so brought back lots of amazing memories of one of the happiest days of my life ('one of' as we've since had 2 children!!).

Dave & Dawn's wedding day started with meeting up with all the boys at a local golf course with a pretty impressive standard, so confident they played the last hole left handed! This was quickly followed by all the girls & boys prep back at park farmhouse. Dave & Dawn took advantage of my option to have a 2nd photographer too, which ensures we can capture both Bride & Groom preparations as well as different angles, perspectives and guest reactions throughout the day. It ultimately means more images and choice of such a great day and really completes your wedding day story!

I'm sure Dave won't try and take any credit for this but Dawn had done an amazing job decorating the venue and it is obvious to see she is extremely creative. What I loved about this wedding... I just loved the fairy lights everywhere and the amount of detail she had put in to everything. The cake (made by her mum) was epic, the flowers were the best I've seen by Carrie Lucas flowers, the guests were fantastic, Dawn's flower crown, the weather, the corn field, the live band (The Story), the sunset & moon, of course the venue and last but by no means least, Dave & Dawn's gorgeous little girl who I think melted everyone's heart on the day!

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How did you get into wedding photography?

In 2011 my beautiful daughter Evie was born. She turned my enthusiasm for photography into a passion and during her first year I focused on developing my skills and experience. When she turned one I left my job as a Retail Manager, became a stay-at-home Dad and decided to turn a keen hobby into a profession. Initially working around play-dates, swimming lessons and naps (Evie's, not mine!), what started out doing family shoots for friends soon turned into wedding enquiries and after my first one I was hooked, I honed my wedding photography skills and built my portfolio by second shooting for a vast amount of photographers and have now done nearly 100 weddings altogether. I now run my own full-time photography business.

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How long have you been a wedding photographer?

I've been shooting wedding for just over 2 years now, I absolutely love wedding photography, I'm extremely hard working & passionate about what I do and recently I really feel my work is reaching the next level.

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

Practice practice practice, when I first started I didn't put my camera down. It's now an extension of me and ensures I have the skill needed to capture an image in a split second. I think everyone makes mistakes and it's those that you most probably learn the most from and improve. Luckily no big mistakes yet although probably the biggest was not doing what I'm passionate about for a living earlier!

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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?

First and foremost they should be looking for someone's work they love and feel passionate about. This will mean they get the most out of their wedding photos and understand the passion of the photographer. Next they should always arrange to meet with them, I think personality goes a massive way to ensure you can get the best out of a picture. Technically you might be the best photographer in the world but if you don't get on with a couple personality wise it would be difficult to get them to relax, feel at ease and look their best.

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

I currently have most of my booking via word of mouth and referrals which is great because it's free but recently have seen a lot of success advertising on google too. No good having lots of great photos on your site if not many people know about it.

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Why do you think people hire you?

Because they love my work and hopefully just as important, when they meet with me they know they'll get on with me. I like to capture their wedding photography as it happens. The real emotions and moments from the day which make up the wedding story. It is a fine art to encapsulate the atmosphere of the day naturally whilst, for the most part, going unnoticed. Personally my key to doing this comes from my interpersonal skills, I'm a people person and love to interact with your family, guests and the children on the day. Just waiting for the right moment to happen and having the skill to execute and get the shot when it does.

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How many weddings do you average per year?

So far by the end of this year I will have done over 30 of my own and about 40 second shooting and assisting for other photographers. Next year my target is around 40 of my own, I don't think I could do much more than that as the amount of work that goes into each wedding both before and after would result in me not doing my best for each client.

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Whose wedding would you love to shoot?

The next person that books me!

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

A destination wedding would be great but to be honest it's the people that excite me the most although I wouldn't say no to a bit of sun for a beach wedding maybe in the Caribbean!

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What equipment do you have for a typical wedding day?

Wow where to start, Canon 5d Mark iii as main camera and original 5d as secondary body, Lens - Canon 24-105mm L series, sigma 24mm 1.4 and 50mm 1.4, Canon 85mm 1.8 (beautiful portrait lens), Canon 100mm Macro (great for ring shots), 70-200mm 2.8. Lights - 3 flash guns, a Genesis 400w flash with a range of lighting modifiers, including softboxes, large octobox, beauty dish etc, 5 in 1 pop up reflector, SanDisk memory cards, batteries batteries and more batteries, Think Tank utility belt to hold most of my go to kit round my waist

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What is the most challenging thing about a wedding.

Travelling home late at night at the end when all the roads seem to be shut!!

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Do you have an approach to a wedding?

I send all my couple a details sheet for them to fill out with timings etc which gives us a general guide and framework for the day but apart from that every wedding is different and unique and I like to capture it how it is not like a production line of set shots! I always want to try and produce one unique image for the day being as creative as possible.

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Who or what inspires you?

I'm inspired by always trying to improve my work and be the best that I can be, my family as well as other photography where they have created something different or original.

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Best & Worst marketing idea so far?

Best marketing hopefully is going to be being featured on here and worst marketing was probably when I did an offer to shoot your wedding for highest unique bid (with money being given to charity). I thought it was a great idea giving the money to charity rather than just doing it for free so had hoped it would go viral and create loads of PR but didn't quite get the response I had hoped for.

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

Probably still some sort of store or regional retail manager as I did enjoy what I did.

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Share your favourite image of the day and why?

Tough because I love them all for different reasons, but one of my favourites has to be the one in the corn field where Dawn is looking into the distance with her arm around Dave. All natural light, which although quite a harsh light provided lots of drama and a great colour to compliment the corn field yet contrast with the blue sky. I like the intensity from the couple and Dawn has a great figure which I think is really accentuated.

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

My goals are to continue to improve my photography every wedding one at a time as I know this attitude, determination and hard work will continue to open doors for me and allow me to support my family doing something that I absolutely love and will never take that for granted.

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

Challenging yourself and always wanting to be original and improve. Plus sounds very obvious but you have to enjoy it, I love photography but have done a few product photography jobs and was just bored, I love to be around people and capture things that you don't know are about to happen!

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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 love Brett Harkness and ARJ photography.

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Proudest moment so far. Photography related or otherwise?

It has to be the birth of my 2 children and my own wedding day but apart from that every day knowing that I have so far built my own business to where it is today.

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