Today’s wedding sees us head across to Nottingham for this ‘Festival Feel’ Woodland wedding that...
Leading on from this mornings real wedding shot by Shelly from Toast Wedding Photography, I thought it was about time that I got the lady herself on The Show and Tell so she can tell you all a bit more about her, her work and share with you a few of her favourite images!
Shelly is one of the photographers I feature most regularly on the Blog, 3 reasons…..1) she rocks! she is a good friend of mine and a fab person to boot! 2) She is a fantastic photographer with a artistic and creative eye and always gets the best out of everything she shoots 3) she has the best brides and the best weddings……FACT! I am a BIG fan of her and her work and I truly belive that any couple looking for a wedding photographer would be doing themselves a massive favour booking Shelly for their wedding.
So I’ll hand the Blog over to Shelly and let her tell you more…………
‘I’m a camera addicted wedding lover. I love light and shadow, art and music, films and books. I’m passionate about great design, fabulous architecture and mother nature. I love the snow and my snowboard (did someone mention apres ski?) I love going to gigs, the cinema and I love food – especially when someone else is cooking! I’m a caffeine addicted coffee snob and can’t leave the house without my daily flat white.
I love my iphone, my mac and my crazy family. And did I mention my fluffy dog Spike?
I love my cameras and my prime lenses and I love to get to know all my brides and grooms so I can be part of their amazing day. I’m a bit high on life really.
I’m Leeds based but for some reason I get lots of London based clients and me and my little Smart car get all over the country.
What made you start your business?
I fell into it by accident. I once worked at Butlins (get me!) in the press office when the photographer slipped a disk. He forced me to learn how to use an SLR (back in the day, digital didn’t exist) and how to develop all my film and run a dark room. I was taught all the basics in one day and fortunately I was young enough not to be daunted by any of it. I consider myself extremely fortunate to have learned my craft on film and it took me a long while to really consider buying into the whole dslr market. Course now there’s a resurgence for film (thank you Jonathan Canlas!) which is great – I Love the ice-cream colours and the black and white graininess of real film and often use the VSCO filters on my digital stuff.
When did you start?
I shot my first wedding when I was 19 and hated every minute of it. Three rolls of 36 exposures and home in time for tea. Thankfully, times have changed since 1989 and we now have the luxury of being able to shoot a thousand images at a wedding should we choose to. Also styles have evolved too. Luckily we don’t have to adhere to tradition although some parents are still struggling to understand that young couples don’t wanna stand around having a million group shots just cos that’s what they had at their wedding back in the 70s or 80s.
How would you describe your style?
I’m not sure. I think you’d have to ask some other photographers. I’m influenced by lots of things so I guess my style picks up lots of influences from other fabulous photographers such as Fer Juaristi, Jonas Petersen and Jose Villa, along with great painters and other artists around the world. I’m a massive film fan and I take lots of inspiration from great film-makers such as the late Stanley Kubrick, Tarantino and of course Scorsese. I also love all the little independents and absolutely fell head over heels for Richard Ayoade’s glorious Submarine – very of the moment. My father spoon fed me old black and white movies when I was a kid, so I grew up watching fabulously shot movies from some of the giant filmmakers like Hitchcock and I’m sure it’s all had an impact on how I see through the lens. However, the one thing I will say is that every single wedding is different. I can usually tell what kind of photography will suit the client – not everyone is going to look great in willowy romantic landscapes or pretty roses and the same goes for my urban weddings with their bright colours and graffiti. I like to ensure my clients get the photography that suits their personality, not some generic images of a bride in a white frock.
What is your biggest achievement so far?
Not sitting in my pyjamas editing which is always a temptation when you work from home! I guess this month it’s being featured in Unique Bride magazine – run out and buy a copy now!
What do you enjoy most about your job?
The dancing… the cake….and delivering images that make my clients cry with happiness.
What makes you different to your competitors?
All photographers have a certain style (whether we can pinpoint what that style is, is irrelevant really) so I guess style is a big consideration but I also like to go the extra mile for my brides and grooms. Customer service means a lot to me and I hope that my brides and grooms consider that I went just that little bit further.
What sort of couple do you think you attract?
I guess we all look for clients that are a little like ourselves. I find a lot (but not all!) my clients tend to be quite outgoing and quite creative. But my clients come from all walks of life – this year I’ve had graphic designers, patent lawyers, school teachers, doctors, magazine editors, jewellery designers, engineers… we’re all different and I like it that way. Variety, as they say, is the spice of life!
What would be your ideal wedding to work on?
The ones where the bride and groom and everyone around them are relaxed and having a great time. I hate the ones where everyone is uptight and worrying about whether things are running on time or something isn’t working out exactly like they predicted in their spreadsheet. Sometimes you just gotta let it go and remember why you’re getting married in the first place. It’s all about the love people! It’s not about the flowers or the teepee or the amazing dress and the bunting… it’s all about the emotions… oh and the dancing! ;-)
I do two packages – a six hour and a 12 hour package which start from £950.