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Why I photograph weddings

I have always been into photography. I had my first camera when I was able to purchase ones Zenith model if I recall. Heavy as a brick and completely manual. My then brother-in-law Tony Cockerill introduced me to this art. Tony was an Engineer at the time and being older than me he was using Canon models. Around 2003 I was able to build a darkroom in my garage. Digital started to boom and so I purchased old equipment, an enlarger the size of a coat-stand, chemical baths, all manner of 'stuff'. I remember my first B&W negative that I developed. A group of swans by a river. I was amazed as the negatives as they developed and I fixed them in the tray. Then when I printed it into a 10 x 8" print I was blown away. I still have it on the wall of my now abandoned darkroom. Eventually I purchased a Bronica Medium Frame camera and experimented with larger prints. Then Canon introduced the EOS 20D. I had a test and was hooked. To see the picture there and then was a whole new leap into the unknown and I embraced it.

In the meantime my life carried on as it does. I was coming to a point where I had an opportunity to retire early and do whatever I wanted. A few years before this I had been thinking about what I could do if I retired at 55. In 2011 I was invited as a guest to a friends and colleagues wedding. Michelle and Mike were getting married and the venue was in Cornwall. By then I had a Canon 500D model with a decent 18-200mm lens. I took it with me to the wedding and snapped away just enjoying myself. It became clear though that the 'official photographer' had only an entry level camera, no flash gun and a limited lens so I did my best to cover her without her realising. Some weeks after the wedding I gave Michelle a DVD of my photos. She was overjoyed. That picture at the head of this page was my favourite from that wedding.

I never forgot that wedding and the idea that I could become a wedding photographer was lodged at the back of my mind. In 2014 I decided to buy a Canon EOS5D MK3 with some decent lenses. This was an expensive gamble and a leap into the unknown because at this point I had no idea what was involved. Then I walked past a local wedding photography studio based in my own town. I thought, 'nothing to lose' and went in. I spoke to the owner Simon Stewart and asked him if he wanted a hand. to my surprise he said yes and took me on as an unpaid 2nd shooter. Over the next year I joined Simon at several of his weddings and took my own photos. I absolutely loved it. Every wedding I went to I was overjoyed by the happy energy I encountered every time. I loved the buzz and the fact that I was giving couples something that no-one else could; 'memories'. In 2016 I decided to go it alone and set up my own website, touted for my own clients and here I am. It's 2017 and I have now booked enough weddings for this year to keep me in pocket money and started to book for 2018.

I don't do it for a living. For me it's a passion and I can't believe I get paid for it. I'd do it for free but my wife won't let me.

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