With only one week to go before the big day it’s a BIG week for...
Today I am delighted to introduce you to the work of the super talented and all round lovely lady, Sam from Samantha Kay Photography. I have known Sam for a number of years now, way before she became a professional photographer and she has always been a focused, hard-working, kind-hearted individual. After throwing herself whole heartedly into her photography I have seen her work develop very quickly as she has gone from strength to strength. I have featured her weddings Here and Here, so I’m over the moon to feature more of her gorgeous images today. Her style is soft, romantic, candid and very natural. If you are looking for non-posed, unobtrusive photography then Sam is the lady for you, honestly you will not be disappointed!
My cat Pepper (my Little Pipsqueek) who has a little white moustache and clings to me like a spider monkey. Anything that’s duck egg blue/turquoise. Tom hanks and all of his films (especially Splash). Hot chocolate and cheese, but not at the same time. Italy. Being on holiday and exploring new places – I have to be dragged back home by my ankles. Books and bookshops and libraries. The sun! Kindness and lovely people. Photographs!
How long have you been taking photos for?
Since I can remember! I was given my dad’s Canon slr film camera when I was quite young, I still have it now, and I’ve always absolutely loved taking photos – I was the friend who always took her actual camera on a night out and was still developing my films and refusing to move on to digital not that long ago actually!
When did you start your photography business and what made you start?
I started it officially in 2015 when I’d hit a bit of a funny point in my life and wanted to finally do something that I loved and would make me happy. It took a long time to convince myself it was the right thing to do, society dictates that you need to follow the rules and I definitely wasn’t doing that…leaving my full time job, my flat, guaranteed income…what was I thinking?! Running your own business is one of the hardest things in the world; you’re the CEO, secretary, administrator, sales person, marketing manager, cleaner, all rolled into one, but as long as you get the balance right and love what you do then it’ll all work perfectly fine (in the end!)
Where are you based?
I’m currently based in Chester. My goal is to hopefully be able to spend a bit more time in Italy staying in the home my grandma grew up in, so I’ll be looking to do more Italy based weddings which is very exciting and something I’ve dreamed of for such a long time!
How far will you travel for a wedding?
As far as I’m needed! I absolutely love travelling and getting to incorporate my job with my love of travel and adventure is a wonderful thing to be able to do.
How would you describe your style?
I’d say relaxed, honest, creative and fun. I shoot in a documentary style, capturing moments and real raw emotions, with as little posing as possible. I like to present a gallery of images that tell a story from those very first moments in the morning to dancing under the stars and everything that’s happened in-between.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I love meeting my couples and getting to be a part, however small, of what is essentially a very intimate and personal celebration is a huge honour. There is no better feeling than finishing a wedding gallery, sending it over and getting an amazing response back!
What is your biggest achievement so far?
I think it has to be pressing ‘go’ on my website and realising that I had made things happen without a major catastrophe!
What sort of couple do you think you attract?
I always have amazing first chats with my couples, whether that’s over a hot chocolate, skype, a phone call or through emails and from there I always know that we’re going to work really well together. I’m really laid back, open and honest and I think that attracts similar people who are quite relieved to know I’m not going to be barking orders throughout the day or flinging them round like puppets. As long as we know we’re on the same page, I understand 100% what my couples need from me and they feel comfortable from the start then that makes for a great team.
What would be your ideal wedding to work on?
Every wedding is completely different and each wedding I’ve done has had elements that have completely blown me away. I love it when a couple really gets creative and puts a personal stamp on their day, it doesn’t have to be much at all but when you know that the wedding is so very them it makes it extra extra special and a delight to photograph.
Which celeb would you like to photograph?
Tom Hanks. I am such a huge Tom Hanks fan and although I think I’d end up having a mortifying superfan moment, I think he would be incredibly fun and fascinating to photograph. It’d be an absolute dream come true. One day!
What in your opinion makes the perfect photo?
For me the secret to taking the perfect photo is to really be in that moment. Really get a feel for your surroundings, the atmosphere, the people…embrace it all! I really do not do too much posing at all and I tell my couples this from the beginning – which is often met with a huge sigh of relief! I take images for my couples, not for me or for my peers, it is 100% about their day and I want my images to reflect that wholeheartedly. The perfect photo is full of real emotions, real moments and a reflection of the people who were there and the memories they were creating.
What is your favorite photo that you have taken?
There really are so many that I love because I have such a fondness for my couples and looking back on all of their weddings just leaves me beaming! I have to say though that the one that will always make me beyond giddy is an image of my brides Amalia and Nicole as they walked out of Stoke Newington Town Hall, london, into a cloud of bubble confetti – their faces!
What advice would you give couples when choosing their wedding photographer?
I would say to make sure you love the images and the style of the photographer you’re thinking of choosing. If you’re considering someone based on budget but are not so sure on their style then I would say to contact someone that you really like, even if they’re a little out of your price range, and chances are you’ll be able to discuss this with them and there might be a little bit of wiggle room. Meet up before booking if you can for a chat and a coffee (or in my case hot chocolate!) or even just a call so that you know you’ll get along and they’re the right fit for you both and your day.
What is your ideal way to spend a day off?
We’ve recently started camping and so packing up our little red tent and heading off for a few days is absolute heaven! Breakfast on the beach and a morning swim in the lake is just perfect. I love to read so sitting down with my book, preferably in the sun, is one of my favourite ways to relax – or a whole day lying in bed watching back to back episodes of Game of Thrones with a bottle of red wine!
What can you never leave the house without?
My glasses! Unfortunately without them I wouldn’t get very far at all.
Who would be your 5 dream dinner guests dead or alive?
Tom Hanks is definitely the first person to be invited. I’ve been the biggest fan since I can remember and I’d absolutely love to meet him! Ellen DeGeneres because she is so inspirational and I could easily sit and watch clips of her show all day, to meet her and talk about all of her charity work would be incredible. Professor Brian Cox because he’s SO interesting and has that voice that makes you want to listen and learn. Walt Disney! We were brought up on Disney films and have been to Disney World a few times, it really is the most magical place on earth! Even as an adult you can’t help but be totally transported to another place and it’d be amazing to meet the person who created that world. Finally I’d invite my cousin Gemma who’s no longer with us. She was my best friend and one of the reasons I’ve been so determined to create something I love – you realise life is far too short and you need to take those chances. I’d give my right arm to have one last dinner party with her, in which case I’d have to also squeeze in all members of Take That and have them perform between each course!
If you weren’t running your business, what would you be doing?
Writing books and running a tiny little bookstore/library. I’d sell hot chocolate, the shop front would be painted duck egg blue and it’d always be full of flowers, plants and lovely people…I may have thought this through!
What would you do if you won the lottery?
I’d buy that bookstore and all the books I could fit in it! I don’t own my own house so I’d love to buy a little cottage over here and a place in Italy to escape to – and also get the car of my dreams, a duck egg blue Nissan Figaro! It’d be amazing to be able to travel the world and see as many new places as possible, winning the lottery would definitely help with that!
I grew up traveling around the UK and Europe with my parents, two brothers and our trusty old trailer tent – it was the best! Because of that, we have all fallen in complete and utter love with travel and adventure. My family are never in the same place, there are frequent airport pick-up’s and drop-off’s and weekly updates to see where in the world everyone is. It really is amazing! So I have a bucket list. There’s a list on my website of places I wish to see, revisit, explore and experience…it would make it extra special if I could also document it through my work, so if there are any couples who are planning their wedding or elopement at any of the places on my list I’d love them to get in touch! I’ve had a great response already so I’m really excited to see where this takes me.