Wedding Photographer London Summer Neverland shoots a wedding at Folly Farm, United Kingdom

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Wedding Photographer : Summer Neverland   
Couple : Alex + Carol
Wedding Photographer London
Ceremony Location : Folly Farm
Reception : Folly Farm
Wedding Date : 3rd May 2014

Tell us a little about yourself??

Hi, I am Summer! I became a professional photographer four years ago after finishing my law degree (I know)

I would never imagine myself as a lawyer, I found my career from my long-time hobby. I have recorded more than 200 weddings since; traveled almost every corner of the country; heard a lot of stories that only seem to exist in movies and couldn’t dream for a better job.

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

Someone summery.

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Tell us a little bit about the wedding day?

Alex & Carol graduated from the same university with me, so we bonded rather quickly after a pint and felt we have known each other as old friends.

A photographer couldn’t be happier to have clients like them: they are creative and intelligent, I mean, as they are both research scientists they brought their lab into their venue and designed a periodic table for the table plan; both very very photogenic and bubbly; their guests were just an amazing bunch to be around with and more than happy to cooperate with the photographer; the weather was grand and we had a whole forest to explore for the photos; It was one of these weddings that everything was just right.

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How did you get into wedding photography?

I got into photography when I was 16 when I realised humans memory is not really trustworthy and beauty is fleeting; it is a way for me to 'maintain' some moments I don’t want to lose.

I was quite geeky, so rather than just using the default settings, I wanted to know all the technical stuff about cameras. As a result, I finished all the books about photography I could find in the library. I learnt painting from a young age, so I managed to pick up everything rather quickly.

It is very limited to just take photos of ones own world; I wanted to share it. Being a wedding photographer just flowed naturally from that, to record one of the most cherished days of ones life, to record happiness, laughter, tears and love. Such a beautiful job.

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How long have you been a wedding photographer?

Almost 4 years now and couldn’t imagine to ever get bored of it. I also do other types of photography, which helps to keep me a fresh perspective. A wedding involves every line of photography, fashion (for dresses and suits), product photography (details of a wedding), documentary photography (to capture the moment), landscape & architecture photography (for the venue and general atmosphere), so a good wedding photographer shouldn’t be limited just to weddings and wedding photography.

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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 don’t necessarily treat it as a 'business' and I am not sure I have made a 'success'. But I truly enjoy sharing each of my clients stories and that passion is the key to all success.

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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?

Not to be dazzled by all kinds of extra services, like photo booth, prints, albums etc. The core is always the photography itself. To find someones photography that can touch you and connect to you. When you get good photos, it is never too late to think of what to do with them afterwards and there are tons of shops and services can help you.

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

I never really did much advertising. I have been contacted and featured on Vogue. Then I started to get a lot of emails from everyone, like Bride Magazine, Evening Standard and even the Daily Mail, but I didn’t do any advertising with them as I don’t think it pays back as well.

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Why do you think people hire you?

Most of my clients were quite sure to hire me when they started drafting their first email because they can find a connection with my photos and trust I can understand and interpret their days.

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How many weddings do you average per year?

It can range to 40-60 a year

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Whose wedding would you love to shoot?

Any ordinary couple really. There are great beauties in every ordinary day and everyone; the most rewarding part of my job is to discover that and record them with my camera; the fun to find beauties that others might easily overlook is so much more than just documenting the obvious.

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

Somewhere in the middle of a desert.

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What equipment do you have for a typical wedding day?

I am a typical Canon 5DIII girl like a lot of wedding photographers, which shouldn’t be a better choice as it gives me a lot of flexibility in low light conditions and the silent shutter mode works like a wonder in the ceremony. Also it is the only Canon Camera that has the double exposures mode, which enables me to play with something quirky.

I only use prime lenses even though they are bit more challenging, but the quality they can offer is unbeatable. I usually bring a wide (24mm, 1.4) although I don’t use it as much as I like to focus on the people; sometimes I can shoot a whole wedding with a 35mm 1.4 or 50mm 1.2; Macro 100mm 2.8 is also a must for the details; I also like to use it capturing people from far away so they don’t notice; the bokeh it creates is staggering.

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What is the most challenging thing about a wedding.

To always be attentive and constantly thinking and predicting the next moment to make sure you're always in the right place at the right time; It is very tiring after a while both physically and mentally as there are hundreds of things going on simultaneously and I don’t want to miss any of them!

A lot of people think wedding photographers just stand there and click, which couldn’t be further away from the truth. A photographer is an interpreter of what’s happening using his or her artistic values (and sometimes gut instinct), not just someone pressing shutters at random.

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Do you have an approach to a wedding?

Each wedding and each couple are unique. I’d like my approach to be flexible enough to incorporate their characters into my photography rather than apply one formula to everyone.

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Who or what inspires you?

I don’t look at other photographers work as much as I take inspirations from paintings and movies. I always pause a movie just to learn how the shots were taken, the composition, the light, the angle, the set and how they serve their purposes to depict a character and unfold the story. I guess that’s why my photography developed into a strong story telling style. Tarkovsky and Christopher Doyle are my favorites; every single frame of their work is like a poem.

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Best & Worst marketing idea so far?

After four years, I learned the best marketing is the photos themselves. If you did a great job, it multiplies itself, all your clients will happily do the marketing for you and nothing works better than word of mouth in the wedding industry. To always be true to your own value then work will naturally come to you.

The worst marketing is definitely investing a lot of money in over saturated Google & advertising. It indeed pays back but not as rewarding.

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

That’s a tough one! I couldn’t imagine myself being anything than a photographer right now. I used to really want to be an architect, to build beautiful things but I enjoy creating images a lot more now, as there is a lot less limitations. Can I just be a tree? Oh! I really want to be a lighthouse!

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Share your favourite image of the day and why?

One of the moments that never fails to touch me is when the father of the bride has to send her little girl away; A moment when the emotion has so many layers; That’s why my favourite photo is this one. I edited into monochrome so it does not distracted from the subject.

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

I will be doing what I do now, but better. More destination photography & write more.

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

To develop a very distinctive style as wedding industry is frantically competitive.

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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?

Andy Gains! He is really good at making the most out of the given situation and he plays disadvantage into his favour. I have learnt a lot just by looking at his photos.

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Proudest moment so far. Photography related or otherwise?

There was once when I was due to leave a wedding in Northern Ireland, all of the guests stood up in the middle of their meal and applauded to acknowledge me doing a great job. I was proud as none of them had even seen the photos at that time!

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