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.
Wedding Photographer Newcastle Upon Tyne
Barry Forshaw Wedding Photography
Couple: Tanya & Craig
Wedding Venue: Newton Hall
Wedding Reception: Newton Hall
Wedding Date: 14th June 2016
Tell us a little about yourself
I’m a photographer based in Newcastle upon Tyne photographing adventurous weddings in the North of England. I have a BA Hons 1st class in Media Production. I conducted 2000 weddings as a Registrar. I’m a father to two children, and a husband. I love Newcastle United. I hate Newcastle United.
How do you think or would like people to describe you?
Adventurous, laid back and trustworthy.
Tell us a little bit about the wedding day
I had photographed Tanya and Craig’s pre-wedding shoot on the North East coast a few months before the wedding, which meant that we had already built up some trust and understanding, so we hit the ground running on the wedding day.
Tanya and Craig chose a stunning venue in Newton Hall, nestled away in the Northumberland countryside. The weather did as it was told and it was the perfect day.
How did you get into wedding photography?
I love to travel and have always taken cameras away with me to document my trips. I learned the basics on film cameras (my Olympus OM20 was my favourite), then invested in bigger and better digital cameras over the years.
I accidentally became a wedding Registrar for 10 years and believed I could combine my photography passion with my in-depth knowledge of weddings. Becoming a father gave me the courage to turn my dream into a reality.
How long have you been a wedding photographer?
Can you share how you’ve made your wedding photography business a success? Any mistakes you made along the way
It’s taken a lot of hard work and determination.
Any mistakes along the way?
I found that wedding fairs, at least most of the ones I attended, didn’t get me the right type of couples (Tanya and Craig were the exception to that!).
What do you think a bride or groom should be looking for and not looking for in terms of wedding photography packages?
I think that the best thing a couple can do when looking for a wedding photographer is to stop and consider what they really want out of the photographs of the day and how they want to enjoy them in the years after the wedding. If the photographs are not a vital part of getting married for them, then don’t spend a lot of money on the photographer or perhaps don’t even hire one at all! This is a totally valid point of view.
My perfect couple consider the photography to be a crucial part of the day and are therefore more invested in me and my ideas. Price is a secondary consideration for them.
Couples should ensure that their package includes the photographs in whatever format they want to use – whether that be in an album, prints, digital, etc.
Perhaps the most important thing is for the couple to choose a photographer that can get along with over the course of a long, and emotional wedding.
How do you advertise yourself and what for you has really worked?
I tried wedding fairs and they didn’t really work for me. Facebook has been more successful. I ran an advert asking for engaged couples to have a pre-wedding shoot in an adventurous location. I booked a number of weddings as a result, got loads of photographs to add to my portfolio and met lots of interesting couples for a fraction of the cost of other advertising. Referrals from previous weddings are starting to come through now and that shows me that I’m on the right track.
Why do you think people hire you?
The couples will have seen my work on my website or social media, so they already like my photography. Virtually all of the consultations I have turn into wedding bookings, so I think I come across well in person. I know weddings, having worked in the industry for 10 years prior to becoming a photographer, so couples trust me. They know I’m going to be laid back, fun and enthusiastic on the wedding day. I’ll get the shots without taking over the entire day.
How many weddings do you average per year?
10-15 at the moment, largely due to having two small children. I’d like to double those numbers in the coming years.
Whose wedding would you love to shoot?
In general I like to photograph adventurous, creative people with their own ideas of what they want from their wedding and are prepared to ignore tradition if it doesn’t suit them. Derren Brown is the first celebrity who comes to mind who fits that bill.
If you were asked to shoot a destination wedding, where would you hope it would be?
I’d be honoured to be asked to photograph wedding anywhere outside the UK. I’ve done two road trips of the USA and the light on the West Coast in particular is spectacular, so I’d have to say somewhere like Big Sur or Death Valley.
What equipment do you have for a typical wedding day?
I recently switched from Canon to Fuji in an effort to be more discreet on the wedding day. I had already gone from zooms to primes anyway, so this seemed to be the next logical step. The Fuji files are superb straight out of the camera. I currently use: X-Pro2, X-T1, 18mm f2, and 35mm f2. I am a big believer in renting lenses before buying, so I have supplemented my lenses with at least one rental at every wedding this year. At the end of the season I’ll look at all of the photographs, think about which lenses felt the best in my hands and then buy the ones I want to keep on using in future weddings.
What is the most challenging thing about a wedding?
To be on your feet for up to 16 hours (I don’t restrict my coverage by time on the day) and mentally scanning each and every scene for a photograph that will add to the story of the day is physically and mentally draining. That’s also the fun part! I like to come away from a wedding totally spent, knowing that there is not an ounce more effort I could have put in.
Do you have an approach to a wedding?
I come to each wedding open, without a formula. I stay laid back, and never direct the action. I let the day impress on me what photographs need to be taken, and add my own creative interpretation.
Who or what inspires you?
My primary inspiration is the couple themselves. If they have unique plans that excite me I’ll be inspired to make great photographs. Beyond that I take inspiration from everywhere; working wedding photographers, well known documentary photographers from the likes of Magnum, artists, books, music and films.
Best & Worst marketing idea so far?
Worst; attending the wrong wedding fairs. Best; Facebook ads.
If you weren’t a photographer, what would you be?
Share your favourite image of the day and why.
My favourite photograph was Tanya & Craig’s first dance. One of the best things about being a wedding photographer is that you start every wedding with a blank memory card. One of the worst things about being a wedding photographer is that you start every wedding with a blank memory card.
I always have butterflies in my stomach before a wedding. I know I have the right kit. I know I have the right skills. But I’m still nervous. It’s because I have to prove myself all over again. I have to be at my best to reflect the couple’s day.
I think I did that with this photograph.
Do you have any goals for the future photography related or otherwise?
I love travel, and if I could combine that with photography in the form of destination weddings I’d be very happy.
What do you think is key to being a successful wedding photographer?
Photograph what you want, how you want to, then build a business around that.
Are there any other wedding photographers whose work inspires you, can be a well know photographer or somebody you’ve stumbled across?
David West and Ian Weldon are two local photographers, with completely different aesthetics and philosophies, who are inspiring me at the moment.
Proudest moment so far. Photography related or otherwise?
The birth of my children, closely followed by my own wedding day.
Wedding Photographer Newcastle Barry Forshaw