Brides Up North

Fabulous Photographer: Richard Wynn Davies

February 10th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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Richard Wynn-Davies

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I thought that this man’s images would probably speak for themselves – and they do – but it turn’s out that fabulous photographer Richard Wynn-Davies has a personality to match.  I think this might be the start of a beautiful friendship!

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Let’s chat to the man behind the magic lens.

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How did you get into wedding photography?

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I’ve loved photography since I was a little boy and it was my grandfather that first awakened my interest in it. He was a Captain in the parachute regiment during the Second World War and carried his Welti camera with him across Europe (ironically a German camera!). He took the most amazing photographs and to this day (he’s now 93) he refuses to hand them over to a museum!

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So when I was young he used to show me how to take photographs and then how to develop them in the darkroom – the most fascinating place I had ever seen. My love for photography grew and grew, however it remained a hobby until five years ago when I decided that it was time to listen to my inner voice (and my wife) and do what I love professionally and give up the security of a corporate job and monthly pay packet. His camera, which he gave to me when I turned 21, now sits on my desk and is a constant reminder of why this job is so important to me.

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Caroline, my wife and business partner, had less of a photographic background before we first met. However that soon changed and now after 8 years she is equally nerdy about expensive new camera lenses!

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Richard Wynn-Davies

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Why wedding photography specifically?

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Most of my grandfather’s photographs are of people… characters… personalities. To me photographing people was the obvious choice. As much as I love jaw-dropping landscapes, capturing emotions, personalities and relationships is far more rewarding. And what better place to do this than with people in love, committing themselves to each other for the rest of their lives?

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Richard Wynn-Davies

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What is your favourite thing about being a wedding photographer?

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Feeling as excited about each wedding as we do when we attend a wedding as guests. We know our clients so well by the time their wedding day arrives that we can’t wait for the excitement of the morning build-up, can’t wait to see them actually getting married in the ceremony and can’t wait to hear the speeches. It’s never a chore. It’s always a joy. That’s why we love it.

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Richard Wynn-Davies

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How do you get couples to relax on the day?

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There’s no need to get them relaxed in front of the camera. We’ve already done that months ago on their engagement shoot and then again weeks ago on their pre-wedding shoot. They know us really well, know how we work and know exactly what we are going to ask them to do. Most importantly they have practised how to be natural in front of the camera. It’s not hard however two things are critical: you need to practice and you need to know and trust the photographer.

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In terms of helping with general wedding day nerves we’re able to give lots of general support and advice during the day. We reassure clients if they need it. We make them laugh. We make them stop and take it all in.

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Richard Wynn-Davies

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Any advice to any brides who don’t like to have their picture taken?

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Most people think they don’t like to have their picture taken. I think it’s mainly due to how people see themselves when someone uploads a photo of them taken on a night out onto Facebook! 9 times out of 10 when I meet up with new clients for their first shoot (engagement) one or both of them will say either “I’m not very photogenic” or “I hate having my photo taken”. Also, almost everyone has a hang-up about a part of their bodies that they hate to see in photos.

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So my advice is to find a photographer who will listen to your worries, give you lots of practice in front of the camera and make you see that actually, you look fabulous in photographs. And that thing you were worried about (nose, teeth, hair, arms etc)? Not an issue.

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These practice shoots are as important for the photographer as they are for the client. If a client cannot bare to see themselves with a side-on profile then I’ll make sure we don’t have any side-profile shots in the final wedding selection.

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Richard Wynn-Davies

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What sort of makeup should a bride wear to look great in her pictures?

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Choose the make-up you want to wear. It’s the photographers’ job to make you look great (which is not hard because you will look great). There are certain touch-up products that contain reflectors that will make your photographer’s job a little harder, but heck – that’s what we’re paid for! It’s your day, you wear whatever you like.

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Richard Wynn-Davies

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Anything to avoid which might look bad in the wedding pictures?

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Drinking a whole bottle of Bollinger before the ceremony. I kid you not.

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In terms of how best to stand, hold your bouquet etc; your photographer should have already given you all those top tips on your practice shoots. Leave your photographers to worry about what looks good or not so good on the day. They will adapt to ensure you look at your absolute finest.

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Richard Wynn-Davies

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Which celebrity wedding would you most like to photograph and why?

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I love the style and feel of 1930s/40s wedding photographs (again, probably harks back to my grandfather’s photos) so had I been around I would have loved to have photographed some of the movie stars’ weddings of the time – Clark Gable and Carole Lombard for example.

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Richard Wynn-Davies

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Any really memorable weddings that you have captured?

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I remember one particular wedding where the groom’s grandmother was terminally ill and couldn’t be there. She sent a letter and the groom’s father read it out during the speeches. Now Caroline cries at almost every wedding we photograph – during the service, during the speeches – how she produces the shots she does while in floods of tears I will never know. On the other hand I tend not to. I may be moved but I don’t often cry. Except on this occasion. I can’t even begin to tell you what she said. I couldn’t do it justice anyway. Suffice to say it stayed with me for weeks afterwards.

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Richard Wynn-Davies

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Are you married?  Tell us about your day.

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Yes, as you might have gathered from previous answers! Caroline and I were married three years ago in Ripley, near Harrogate. We had the ceremony in the little church there and then hopped over the cobbles for our Reception at Ripley Castle. It was everything I wished for it to be. I hadn’t slept a wink the night before because I couldn’t stop my heart racing, so I think I got through the wedding day (until 4am the next morning) on pure adrenaline! Caroline was beautiful, my family and friends were beautiful, the location was beautiful… sigh!

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p.s. I know what you are all thinking – “who did the wedding photography?”. Now that would be telling…

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Richard Wynn-Davies

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Any funny stories to share?

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Far too many to share here!

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There’s the little girl in a hushed church shouting “Mummy, is it God?” over and over again and pointing at the priest.  {Note from Brides Up North: I LOVE this!}

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There was the couple that did their first dance to “We Wish You a Wombling Merry Christmas”

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Caroline getting her car stuck in the snow in a church car park and having to be dug out by 4 dashing groomsmen (not sure how much of an accident that was actually)

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And many more…

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Richard Wynn-Davies

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What sets you apart from other wedding photographers?

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In a word – “us”. Every wedding photographer is unique in terms of their personality. At a base level we all do the same thing – take photographs at clients’ weddings. Some do it better than others, some charge more than others. However it’s the way it is done that sets a photographer apart in terms of the results.

We believe that in order to get the best possible results – i.e. photographs that will help you to relive those moments for the rest of your life – we need to know our clients really well before the wedding.  Not just by doing the practice shoots but by spending lots of time talking, listening and drinking tea/coffee/wine/tequila (delete as appropriate). Our approach is based upon lasting relationships with clients built on trust and friendship. And all of this takes lots of time. So yes, we do charge more than some other photographers, but that’s because we don’t do any more than 30 weddings a year. 30 amazing, unforgettable weddings. And 60 new friends.

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Richard Wynn-Davies

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What can a couple who book you expect on the day?

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Laughter. Reassurance. Discretion. Fun. From early morning preparations until late night dancing.

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Richard Wynn-Davies

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What is included in your "package"?

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We like to keep things simple. No platinum, diamond-encrusted, luxury or what-not packages. We have one price for our outstanding service and beautiful photography with all the couple’s photographs on disk, and another to include a truly stunning hand-crafted album.

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Our service covers:

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Detailed consultations to help us understand plans, wishes and vision for the wedding day

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An engagement shoot & pre-wedding shoot where we get to know each other really well, make the couple feel at ease in front of the camera and take some gorgeous photos of them

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Their favourite image from the engagement shoot beautifully framed for their wall

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A venue visit with them where we can plan their photography in more detail, so they know exactly what to expect and we know exactly what they want

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 Full & comprehensive on the day coverage by Richard and Caroline

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Richard Wynn-Davies

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Can you give us an idea on price?

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Current prices are £1,700 to include photographs on disk and £1,950 for the addition of a hand-crafted album.

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Richard Wynn-Davies

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Can you do a discount for Brides Up North readers? 

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Discounts may be available for midweek, off-season or very different weddings so please ask! We are also happy to cover destination weddings without charging for the additional time (travel expenses to be negotiated separately).

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Richard Wynn-Davies

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How can Brides Up North get in touch with you/ see more examples of your work?

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The best way to reach us is by phone (01757 228647) or email (capture@richardwynndavies.co.uk). We have a comprehensive selection of our work on our website www.richardwynndavies.co.uk. We love to meet up with potential clients, on a completely no-obligation basis, to show them our work and to get to know each other a little.

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Richard Wynn-Davies

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Anything else we should know?

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We love biscuits.

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Remember!  Richard is currently giving away five free engagement shoots as part of his Valentine’s giveaway! You’ll find all the details by clicking here.

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  – Images © 2012 Richard Wynn-Davies 

Richard Wynn-Davies is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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comments

  • February 10, 2012 | Permalink | Reply

    I just love seeing other suppliers that are as passionate about weddings as me! This was a lovely read and has started the day off well. Lovely images too! xx

  • February 10, 2012 | Permalink | Reply

    Fantastic photos!

    But most of all, one can really tell when a wedding photographer really loves his job and will do his utmost to make the couple at ease and let them enjoy their special day. It really sounds like Richard is one of those few special wedding photographers that truly cares.

  • Siân McGrath
    February 11, 2012 | Permalink | Reply

    Just read the interview with Richard, and can say every word is true. We had an engagement shoot with them last May and can honestly say they are the most beautiful photos ever. Richard and Caroline are some of the most genuine, happy, lovely people I have ever met and clearly LOVE their job, something which, i think, shows in the photography. I can’t wait for our wedding in August and just know that Caroline and Richard will capture every single moment as if it was as important to them as it is to us.

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about the author

Julia Braime
Former lawyer and bride to be Julia founded Brides Up North in 2010 with a chip on her shoulder. Frustrated by the poor Northern presence in glossy bridal magazines and online, she decided to do something about it herself. Astounded by the rapid growth of her blog and brand, Julia now manages Brides Up North’s online content alongside their busy wedding exhibition season, industry events and related commissions. And she’s always, always, got a new project on the go…

learn more about Julia Braime