Our ‘Real Weddings’ section is another opportunity for couples to find inspiration and find their wedding photographer. It doesn’t matter which part of the world you live in, if you’re inspired by what you see then you should get in touch with the wedding photographer. You should never forget one thing, a wedding photographer loves to travel and all our wedding photographers are passionate about what they do.
Photographer: Heather Shuker, Eclection Photography
Location: Shoreditch Studios, East London
Wedding Date: 06 December 2014
Tell us a little about yourself…
In a world where everything is starting to look the same, wedding photography for me is about creating distinctive images with beauty and realism. I like to find a unique perspective with every image that truly reflects each couple’s personalities. I have been working as a photographer for 10 years and have a creative and technical grounding from Central St Martins and my MA in Photography.
How do you think or would like people to describe you?
From one of my couples “You see beyond the obvious and capture moments which don’t only look enchanting but which are a true reflection of the people you are photographing. Some of our most cherished pictures are of little details which others wouldn’t have noticed but which join together to paint a special picture of our day. Besides all of this you are one of life’s lovely people who put us at ease and most importantly, made us smile.”
Tell us a little bit about the wedding day…
A winter wedding in Shoreditch Studios in East London. Sophie and Steve wanted a party with a touch of Hollywood Glamour. The ceremony was around sunset time – so everything after the wedding had to be lit with flash. In keeping with the Hollywood theme I used light modifiers on my flash to create circles and we got permission to get onto the rooftop of the nearby Ace Hotel. This location was important as I wanted to capture Sophie and Steve having a moment away from the crowds taking in the magical City of London – the city where they met and where Steve proposed. Aesthetically, I wanted make an image with them and the City Lights to be a lasting memory of their wedding day. Photography afterall is all about memories.
Working in London has it’s challenges as there is not much space to shoot wide and the use of flash in such a busy location was also quite limiting on composition. Creatively I concentrated on the colour red and the city lights and it all worked out really well!
How did you get into wedding photography?
I was a music and live event photographer for 4 years and I had photographed family and friends weddings but the traditional wedding is not really my thing. Then in 2011/12, I happened upon some wedding blogs from American and saw all the creativity and thought I want to be part of this wave of change and to shoot weddings in a creative and unique style.
How long have you been a wedding photographer?
I have been a photographer for over 10 years. I started shooting weddings in 2012 and have been shooting weddings full time for around 4 years.
Can you share how you’ve made your wedding photography business a success? Any mistakes you made along the way?
By creating distinctive images and being unique and not trying to follow the trends too much …as so much work look is great, but it is all beginning to look the same.
Mistake. Assuming all my work will come from recommendations (as it did when I first started) These run out after a while when everyone gets married!! So one does need to have an advertising/directory presence to open up new opportunities.
What do you think a bride or groom should be looking for and not looking for in terms of wedding photography packages?
I don’t really do “package” I guess I have a normal day and an extra long day…In terms of delivery I think all couple should have access to their photographs on a private gallery site with unlimited downloads and print license etc. They are their photographs so they can have them.
Also I don’t limit the number of images. I edit quite wide, rather than restrict photographs and let the couple decide. The way I see it is every photograph is a memory of the day or one of the guests and if it’s a good photograph and I think they will want it/like it, then it goes in.
How do you advertise yourself and what for you has really worked?
For marketing I blog a number of weddings and I am included on a directory on Rock My Wedding & Love My Dress. I also have a small advert on London Bride.
Why do you think people hire you?
The world is full of beautiful wedding photography – but much of it is beginning to look the same. Making simple yet striking images that are totally unique to each wedding is what sets me apart – and one reason why my couples book me.
As a photographer, neither location nor season limits my creativity. I relish the challenge of bad weather or a dark winter day. Being able to create in any situation – regardless of weather or lighting – is one of my key strengths.
I tend to get hired by couples who have a visual background. I work with a lot of creative types, designers, artists and other photographers. Which is great as they totally get what I am creating and want to work with me to allow me to create my magic.
How many weddings do you average per year?
25. However, this year I have let it go up to 30. I might change my mind for 2017!
Whose wedding would you love to shoot?
My best friends.
If you were asked to shoot a destination wedding, where would you hope it would be?
What equipment do you have for a typical wedding day?
2 Canon Mark 3. Canon 24-70 mark2, Sigma Art series 35 & 50, canon 70-200
3 x canon flash guns & canon remote. Maybe a light stand or 2 depending on the weather forecast.
What is the most challenging thing about a wedding?
Logistics and timings especially in London with up to 3 venues in different parts of the city and traffic chaos and then trying to be mobile with equipment. I got mugged during a London wedding and now I have to be extra vigilant as to how I operate and what goes into my bag and what has to be dropped off at the reception venue before, if logistics allow etc.
Do you have an approach to a wedding?
I love to find unique locations and light. I find my location which is like a stage/landscape and place my couples into it and allowing them to be themselves and become part of the unique composition within the other elements that I have found.
I like to find out as much as I can about the couple before and really find out what makes them tick and how they are as “themselves: I say to my couples “I photography you so you look like you…” I do not run through a set of predefined poses.
Who or what inspires you?
Other photographers and paintings. I love photographer who use light really well such as Simon Norfolk and Todd Hido and painters such as Edward Hopper.
Best & Worst marketing idea so far?
Best Marketing Idea – was to finally make a brochure…. And print it!
Worst marketing idea – Vintage wedding Fair.
If you weren’t a photographer, what would you be?
Graphic designer…or running events as I was before.
Share your favourite image of the day….
Do you have any goals for the future photography related or otherwise?
I work on a number of personal projects. So I have a goal to be nominated for a number of International awards.
To return to Sierra Leone for a photography series (which has been on hold for 3 years now)
Wedding photography – to receive international recognition and nominations. (I was nominated for Rangefinder last year. So finger crossed for this year!
What do you think is key to being a successful wedding photographer?
A love of people and a creative eye – both fuelled by absolute determination to develop and push ones art further and further.
Are there any other wedding photographers whose work inspires you, can be a well know photographer or somebody you’ve stumbled across?
Caroline – Twins (we were at St Martins together).
Paul Santos – love Paul’s creative eye.
Proudest moment so far. Photography related or otherwise?
My MA in Photography.
Wedding Photographer London – Eclection Photography