Wedding Photographer Wiltshire Christo Nicolle shoots a wedding at Wasing Park, Berkshire, United Kingdom

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Wedding Photographer : Christo Nicolle  
Couple : Kathy & Adam
Wedding Photographer Wiltshire
Ceremony Location : Wasing Park, Berkshire
Reception : Wasing Park, Berkshire
Wedding Date : October 2nd 2013

Tell us a little about yourself??

I live in the middle of the Wiltshire countryside with my partner Naomi, our beagle Maisie, and an assortment of chickens and ducks (ducks are currently AWOL). I’m with the person I love. I am doing what I love and I am living where I love.

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

Just as me. I don’t pretend to be anyone else, both in my personal life and in my photography - I find folks really appreciate that honesty.

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Tell us a little bit about the wedding day?

I’m no good with words - that’s why I’m a photographer. Selecting a handful of images for WPS really challenged me. It’s hard to sum up an entire wedding in just a few images and by the end of the selection, I found the monochrome photographs to convey the most emotion and narrative. For a bit more colour though, head over to my blog and check out some of the crazy shapes people were pulling on the dance floor.

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How did you get into wedding photography?

Cliché but true No1. (there’s one more to come) It sort of found me. I get on great with people, and I love shooting emotion and details and telling a story through photographs.It was a natural progression for me. I shot a few friends engagement sessions. They loved my work, booked me, recommended me to others and before I knew it I was taking bookings all over the country.

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How long have you been a wedding photographer?

Just over a year now, and looking over at what I have already accomplished for me and my clients, it fuels me even more to grow and develop for the future. Exciting!

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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 can honestly say the best piece of advice I can give is be true to yourself and your potential clients. What I mean by this is don’t market yourself as anything other than who you are. Be clear and defined. Don’t imitate. And don’t ‘buck the trends’. Create a want for your photography. It’ll be like marmite - some people will dislike your work (and that’s okay), but in contrast some people will LOVE your work and want to spend that little bit more to get YOU.

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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 would hire a wedding photographer based on how well you connect with their style and with them. You can usually get a feel for someone through their work and by having a chat. You should also have a contract in place. I would bypass any photographer who doesn’t have one. A contract should set out in black and white exactly what you can expect and will receive from your photographer and what your photographer expects in return. If you have a contract, you will know what’s included and what isn’t.

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

I get so many calls from so many companies offering me advertising. My answer is the same to them all. I need to see results in the form of a trial before I spend my hard earned money. So far, no one has agreed - I think that says something about advertising. I rely almost solely on SEO and word of mouth.

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Why do you think people hire you?

A lot of my business comes through word of mouth and recommendations from couples and even people who’ve seen me in action at weddings. When you get people who stop you at the end of the night who you haven’t ever met thanking you for a great job, you know you’re doing something right.

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How many weddings do you average per year?

This past year has been overwhelming. I wouldn’t want to cover many each year than I already have done this year. I want to give each client the best I possibly can and that means keeping things exclusive. I book out a week of my time for each wedding; several days to plan and prepare; a day to shoot; several more to recover, and then finally a few more in editing and delivery.

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Whose wedding would you love to shoot?

Any couple who likes my work - if they like that, there’s a good chance they’ll like me and that we’ll click.

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

New Zealand or Sweden. The light looks stunning.

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What equipment do you have for a typical wedding day?

I travel very light. I carry two camera bodies and three prime lenses. Also some spare batteries and memory cards, Lenspen, a small sewing kit, Leatherman pen knife and a miniature roll of duct tape. That’s it. The rest including back ups etc. are in the boot.

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What is the most challenging thing about a wedding.

I don’t approach a wedding as challenging (I do however always challenge my photography), but if I had to describe one difficulty it is that it’s physically and mentally exhausting. Dashing around for 12 hours and constantly being aware and creative drains you big time. I always take a couple of days off afterwards just to recover.

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Do you have an approach to a wedding?

Yup. I plan plan plan and prep prep prep. Then I turn up and just roll with it. Being calm and relaxed helps not just your photography but also helps everyone around you to have a great time.

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Who or what inspires you?

Cliché but true No 2. My family. They are my driving force.

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Best & Worst marketing idea so far?

I wouldn't say worst idea, because until you try you’ll never know. Most unsuccessful though would be when I first started. I delivered over 2500 leaflets on foot to every house locally to me. Not a sausage! Best marketing idea was taking a few days off, getting comfy at home with some decent music, many pots of coffee and reading all about SEO (Search Engine Optimisation).

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

A muddy archaeologist.

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Share your favourite image of the day and why?

This. It was a moment of stillness in an otherwise busy and exciting day. The bride had paused for a moment just to take stock and the small amount of light illuminated her veil perfectly.

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

Me and Naomi have a shared long term goal, and that is for us to find a house we love big enough for us and by business, have kids, and for my business to be sustainable enough to support us all. It’s lovely that Nay really wants to come and work with me - she’s an organisational freak and would be most welcome!

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

1)You have to be good with people - you’re going to spend a lot of time with two people on one of the biggest days of their life. I’ve been there and seen it all; from an almost fully naked bridal party (yes they really were that comfortable around me...me on the other hand had turned very very red) to full blown arguments, to very tender intimate moments. Whatever happens, it is a privilege. Don’t forget that. 2)Take good photographs

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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?

Yes, lots! However, I’ve stopped looking at wedding photography now. Done. Cold turkey! I just found that if I really want to develop my unique style, I can’t be thinking about the way other wedding photographers would shoot this or that. It has to be instinctive and come from me. Having said that, I am starting to explore and take a lot of inspiration from music, art, books etc. Anything other than photography.

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Proudest moment so far. Photography related or otherwise?

Getting recognised by the Wedding Photojournalist Association and Fearless Photographers would be a big one. To be accepted and amongst those I have always looked up to is incredible. But the proudest moments are every time someone makes an enquiry or books me. It means my work is making people happy!

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Visit Christo Nicolle's Website  

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