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Wedding Photographer wwwbenjaminstuartcouk  Benjamin Stuart Wedding Photography shoots a wedding at -, United Kingdom

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Wedding Photographer : Benjamin Stuart Wedding Photography  
Couple : Vicki + Geoff
Wedding Photographer wwwbenjaminstuartcouk
Ceremony Location : -
Reception : -
Wedding Date : -

Tell us a little about yourself??

I live in the little town of Wokingham with my beautiful wife Zoe. I love to cook, drink red wine and feel at home when in the sea. I am a natural light documentary-style wedding photographer and my wife is my business partner and second photographer.

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

I think people describe me as friendly, funny and well dressed.

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Tell us a little bit about the wedding day?

This was a real English country wedding, super creative & very beautiful. It was all held in the beautiful grounds of an English country garden. A rustic outside ceremony was followed by the reception which was inside a marquee and was decorated with wild flowers, gorgeous lanterns and, as the father of the bride is a gardener, flowers played a huge role on the day.

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How did you get into wedding photography?

I got into wedding photography because all of my friends kept nagging me to shoot their weddings. Also, I thought that all wedding photographers were the same - loud, cheesy and annoying. I wanted to start shooting weddings from a guest’s point of view. I wanted to tell an honest and beautiful story of a wedding day.

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How long have you been a wedding photographer?

I have been shooting weddings for 5 years and have had my own business for just over a year. Before weddings, I worked in live events and production as a photographer and cameraman.

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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 think being true to yourself, a good work/life balance and many late nights make for a successful business. I am so passionate about what I do and I care about the couples that I work with. From when a couple book us, to after the wedding, we want to build a relationship and friendship with the bride and groom. Also our relaxed, fun and in the background approach to the wedding day is a key factor and driving force of the success of the business.

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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 personally don’t think they should look for a wedding package! Photography packages are so impersonal and generic. You’re basically saying that everyone couple is the same. Also it’s so important that a couple has a connection with the photographer and that they know how the photographer works on the day. They might produce great photos but if they do it in a way that you’re not expecting or comfortable with, then this can create friction.

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

I don’t spend money to advertise; I feel so blessed to be on featured wedding blogs which is great advertisement. Also, our wonderful couples are the greatest source of advertisement. There is nothing better than a recommendation and others shouting about your work. They show their friends the photos and put them on social media, so this is more wonderful free advertisement. Also we share all the photos with the suppliers involved on a wedding day and they do the same.

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Why do you think people hire you?

I think people hire me because they can relate to me. I am only 29 years old and have been married for only 4 years. I know what it feels like to get married and to choose a wedding photographer. Also on the wedding day, we are not intrusive; our style is very relaxed. We have fun but are professional and get the job done. We tell a beautiful and honest story of their wedding day.

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How many weddings do you average per year?

We shoot approximately 30 weddings per year.

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Whose wedding would you love to shoot?

I would love to shoot the wedding of Florence Welch from the band Florence & The Machine. She is beautiful, stylish and super wacky and I love that!

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

I would love to shoot a wedding in Iceland or Norway.

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What equipment do you have for a typical wedding day?

I use 2 Canon 5D Mark III with a selection of prime lenses, mainly the Sigma 35mm 1.4 art and the Canon 85mm 1.2. I sometimes use a flash in the evening for some cool effects. I carry my equipment in a Think-Tank airport bag & my wedding day bag is an old Billingham shoulder bag.

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What is the most challenging thing about a wedding.

Sometimes knowing that the bride and groom are more concerned about what people think than enjoying their wedding day.

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Do you have an approach to a wedding?

I try and treat each wedding differently. I do this so I don’t make every wedding look the same. Yes I have a method in mind but each couple is so different.

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Who or what inspires you?

The main thing that inspires me is my relationship with Jesus; I am a Christian and I get inspired daily by God’s love and grace for us. Other things that inspire me include good movies, fine food, interior design and fine suits.

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Best & Worst marketing idea so far?

The best marketing was being featured in Rock N Roll Bride Magazine with a wedding spread. The worst has to be an advert that my mum placed in her village newsletter. My ad was in between the dog training school and landscape gardeners. Not a great move, that’s how to cheapen a brand before it was even a brand!

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

A model. Only joking. Probably a chef or a surfer.

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Share your favourite image of the day and why?

I love this shot of the bride and groom holding hands in front of this old greenhouse. They are holding hands and gazing at each other whilst showing off their beautiful attire in all its finery. If you look really closely, there is a tiny sign above the door that says 'Good Life'. Little details like this can make a photo.

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

Yes I want to start hosting workshops on documentary style photography and to start using medium format film. Contax 645 is the goal.

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

For me it’s about being true to myself. It’s about being inspired by others but not copying. It’s about hard work and good times, but the number one thing is about loving what you do. Tired and fed up wedding photographers are not good for anyone.

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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?

2 Australian photographers inspire me greatly - Jonas Peterson and Jai Long. Their work is so honest, true, simple and yet beautiful. They tell a story and for me this so important. A wedding is a story, I just need to tell it. Also I love a food photographer called David Loftus. His work is so good and he makes me want to shoot better.

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Proudest moment so far. Photography related or otherwise?

My proudest moment to date has to be when I left my job 17 months ago and started this business. I haven’t looked back since.

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