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: Linus Moran Wedding Photography
Couple: Emma & Jon
Ceremony Location: Dillington House
Reception Location: Ilminster, Somerset
Wedding Date: 23rd April 2016
Tell us a little about yourself…
I’m a documentary wedding photographer living in Dorset, UK and about to get married myself. Father of three, rhodesian ridgeback owner, Wing Chun student and Buddhist.
How do you think or would like people to describe you?
Considered, easy going, sarcastic but otherwise great sense of humour, perfectionist & hard worker. A friend recently commented that I was the only photographer she knew who sees each wedding as a chance to better my work, as opposed to being happy with just handing something over that keeps the clients happy. So it’s a compliment that I am proud of, whilst highlighting my selfishness at the same time.
Tell us a little bit about the wedding day?
A traditional church wedding a short distance from the bride’s parents home – just a stones throw away. Lovely service with choral singers from Bride’s former private school followed by reception at Dillington House. A stunning Somerset wedding venue dating back to the Elizabethan era with beautiful grounds, just perfectly English, lawn games, piano accompaniment, canapés and fizz. Wedding breakfast speeches were quality, emotive, comical and from the heart. Something well utilized in the accompanying photofilm I produced. The Groom used to be the drummer in the band chosen for their evening entertainment – ‘Swing Unlimited’
How did you get into wedding photography?
Slowly…. I previously worked as a news photographer for the UK newspapers, then a spell living & working in Eastern Europe. When the recession hit I returned home and looked for an alternative that would give me a good work / home life balance. Getting things rolling along was difficult at first, but everything has grown each year to the present time.
How long have you been a wedding photographer?
I’ve been a wedding photographer for around 8 years now, I specialize purely on weddings.
Can you share how you’ve made your wedding photography business a success? Any mistakes you made along the way?
Sure! I’ve seen everything as a long term vision, looking at organic SEO as my prime focus. Yes, I’ve tried Adwords, FB and other Social Media but the greater percentage of work bought in has been from my organic reach. Mistakes – I’ve made plenty of them along the way and in a way – I’m so glad I have. Its been a massive learning curve for me as I have had to embrace and learn so many things when it comes to marketing, terminology, website structure etc. Being able to talk the talk, when people ring up and offer marketing services has empowered me to know what will work and what won’t. I’ve learnt that it’s mostly my own efforts that deliver the results, no one else’s – you have to be committed to putting time in. Of course having good advisors around you helps and I have some great advisors, but these are people I have sought out through research, as opposed to them coming to me.
What do you think a bride or groom should be looking for and not looking for in terms of wedding photography packages?
Someone who listens and is flexible with their packages. Someone who puts emphasis on having a broad choice of options starting with a simple pure image only service, then products and service on top. You can always add on or take off to tailor fit any couple, but either way – it gives the freedom for people to value the quality photography.
How do you advertise yourself and what for you has really worked?
Organic Google ranking backed up by blog submissions, featured listings and word of mouth – they all provide the clients I love working with most.
Why do you think people hire you?
People hire me for two major reasons. Firstly the images I produce (the way it should be), but then the person behind them. I do have a genuine passion for what I do and the way I see a wedding. It is about the people, the subtleties within relationships, emotion. Virtually every couple I get a chance to sit down with and talk with books me. Hiring a wedding photographer is a decision taken from three major priorities – artistic style, connection and trust.
How many weddings do you average per year?
Around 50 weddings.
Whose wedding would you love to shoot?
I couldn’t name anyone whom I would like to shoot. A natural gravitation would be to put some sort of celebrity name out there. National news experience and celebrity encounters I know that many people are quite the opposite of what they project publicly.
I love to shoot people who are in touch with themselves, proud to display their love, their tenderness or vulnerabilities. People that believe weddings are about the people around them, who want to enjoy their time together, being in the moment and really connecting with the people and the day. Catching this sort of wedding is all I look to achieve, genuine people as opposed to pretence.
If you were asked to shoot a destination wedding, where would you hope it would be?
Somewhere like a French Chateux or Italian mountain village, simple, stylish and understated.
What equipment do you have for a typical wedding day?
I now work with 3 Fuji XT-1’s with 4 prime lenses. 16mm f1.4 Fujinon, 35mm f1.4, 56mm f1.2, 90mm f2
I still carry round a Canon Eos5d MKIII, 24-70mm f2.8 and 70-200mm f2.8 with various flash guns. This kit is back up mostly and bought out for a bit of rear curtain sync during first dance.
One the whole 95% of my work is available light and Fuji – offers so much in its compact size, quality and handling.
I also use various Zoom and Yamaha audio recorders, Rode Lavalier microphones to capture the audio soundtracks.
What is the most challenging thing about a wedding?
Knowing you have a great image already in the can and then to keep pushing to get more, to improve all the way throughout the day.
Do you have an approach to a wedding?
Yes, great client contact throughout the lead up to the day, gathering info about their suppliers and intended running of the day. Come the day itself, I have all the background I need, I just need to fix the start time and location – then follow it through. Moving naturally without complications for me or the clients. My approach is – that I take what they freely offer forward…but then I take what I can creatively, intuitively & often cheekily!
Who or what inspires you?
Far too many reference points out there to name, but obviously my daily feed on SM from various groups keeps me in the right image mindset. Imagery aside, its my relationships, my family and spiritual self that shapes my view of the world. The practice of seeing, listening and feeling human connection, leads to insight in being able to identify and capture it easily between people.
Best & Worst marketing idea so far?
Worst idea – leaving some one else to do it for you – they can’t do the job justice as they won’t have the same passion as you.
Best idea, was learning all I have around marketing, website structure, design and other areas. Identifying my strengths, outsourcing post production and finding the best people I can to work with.
If you weren’t a photographer, what would you be?
Today – I’d probably be a landscape gardener – but I would have to be one of the best out there. I love gardening and I’m not afraid to admit it, seeing things grow and develop is wonderful.
Share your favourite image of the day and why?
Bridesmaids tears – It’s one of the most powerful images I have taken and its brutal in its simplicity, yet tender, full of emotion.
Do you have any goals for the future photography related or otherwise?
To continue improving, working in new areas and venues, keeping things fresh. Many people I have had the pleasure to work with have told wonderful stories about their lives, whether it be directly to me or on the wedding day itself. I want to hear, meet and capture more of the same – life is a wonderful story.
What do you think is key to being a successful wedding photographer?
Listening to your clients fears, identifying what is important to them and then sharing your passion with them. If they can see it, feel it and know its genuine – they’ll love you.
Are there any other wedding photographers whose work inspires you, can be a well know photographer or somebody you’ve stumbled across?
Spencer Lum – Ground Glass for his inspirational courses on what counts in being a modern day creative photographer. You have to carve your own path and seize upon your own strengths rather than following the market. I’m now looking at rebranding and a new website, one further step in refining everything.
Proudest moment so far, photography related or otherwise?
Being single minded in my vision to create a business where I am in control. One that brings me pleasure with working in a positive environment. Making creative choices like designing products like wall art and albums that people will treasure. It’s a far cry from journalism where you efforts are quickly forgotten and there is little or no satisfaction in the end product.
Wedding Photographer Dorchester – Linus Moran