Brides Up North

Fabulous Photographer: John Steel Photography PLUS A Cheeky Discount For Wedding Blog Readers!

November 25th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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John Steel Photography

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Happy Sunday everybody!  How are you spending the last Sunday before Advent?  I’m off to a “Christmas” dinner with my in-laws, so I’ll be breaking open the tinsel a little early… it seems that the countdown to Christmas is officially on, not least the countdown to the Brides Up North Christmas Party in just under three weeks time.  Hurrah!

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*Mild I’ve-not-started-my-Christmas-shopping panic*

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If the countdown to Christmas is on, then the countdown to 2013 weddings must be on too!  How exciting… if you are tying the knot in 2013 you have such fabulous times ahead of you.  Enjoy every minute of the planning (we have some amazing bridal events across the regions planned for 2013 to help you with this – more later) and your celebration.

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One supplier that it pays to investigate thoroughly and book early is your wedding photographer.  A good photographer really does make memories.  Today we meet Brides Up North Featured Supplier and fabulous Yorkshire photographer John Steel, a professional with personality as well as talent.  What a range this man has!  Plus, there’s a cheeky little discount for Brides Up North readers too… 

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John Steel Photography Yorkshire Wedding Photographer

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How did you get into wedding photography? 

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I started off as an amateur photographer a number of years ago, and found myself specialising in skateboard and night photography. My pictures started to appear in national magazines. Despite being completely self-taught, mastering the challenges of these two very differing types of photography proved I had the technical side sussed.

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I used to think wedding photography was all about group formals as this was my experience of being a guest at weddings. Then, six years ago, I was at a friend’s wedding and shot some candid pictures. I was able to create a beautiful album using the images I got and gave it to the happy couple as a wedding present. Everyone loved the pictures, saying that they were better than the official photographer’s which gave me a real boost. I realised I got a buzz out of photographing people and documenting the emotions of the big day. Once the penny dropped that wedding photography was about people and capturing their feelings, and that I could show some creative flair in doing so, I was hooked!

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John Steel Photography

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Why wedding photography specifically? 

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Wedding photography is just so rewarding – nothing beats knowing I’ve documented one of the most important occasions in a couple’s life. It is challenging, but I relish the opportunity to combine my people, creative and technical skills and am always really proud of the end results, knowing that I’ve captured the story of the day as it has unfolded.

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John Steel Photography

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John Steel Photography

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What is your favourite thing about being a wedding photographer? 

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I love my job for many reasons. I feel privileged with each wedding I cover as I experience someone’s big day from all angles (from behind the scenes preparations through to the raw emotion of the ceremony, to more intimate moments and crazy party time!). I get to meet and know fantastic people – every couple has a story to share. Wedding photography keeps me on my toes as each wedding is so unique and presents new opportunities and challenges from a photography point of view. The most special thing about being a wedding photographer is knowing that the pictures I take on the day are going to be treasured, not just by the happy couple but by generations to come.

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John Steel Photography

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How do you get couples to relax on the day? 

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My packages include a pre-wedding shoot, so come the big day, we’ve already spent a few hours together with the camera, getting to know each other in a relaxed environment. The couple choose the venue of their pre-wedding shoot so that they feel at ease, if they have kids or pets I encourage them to come along too – whatever it takes to make them feel relaxed. We will go through in detail the plan for the day, discussing timings, logistics and what pictures are specifically required so I can get on with my job without causing any need for the bride and groom to worry. By the time the wedding day arrives, my couples have got used to being in front of the camera and seeing how I work. Also, my style of photography lends itself to naturally posed shots as I believe in capturing the true personality of the people I am photographing.

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John Steel Photography

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John Steel Photography

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

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From my experience, most people (not just brides!) don’t like having their picture taken! If a bride and groom have chosen a photographer that they get on with, then that’s half the battle won. Having a pre-wedding shoot is a brilliant way of getting used to being photographed by a professional, and will give you an idea of how much fun can be had on a shoot. Getting the images through well before the wedding will give you a real confidence boost too. On your wedding day, you’ll be so busy enjoying yourselves and taking it all in that you will barely notice me as I capture your day in a candid, relaxed and fun way.

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John Steel Photography

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

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I am certainly no make-up expert but my advice would be to get a make-up artist. From what I’ve seen, having professional make-up will boost a bride’s confidence and a bride can never be too pampered can she?! Make-up artists will do a trial run, and this can be tied in with the pre-wedding shoot so a bride can get a good idea of how her make-up will look on camera.

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John Steel Photography

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

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I think it’s more down to the photographer to make sure things will look right in the pictures and to show everyone off to their best. I will have done my homework before any wedding – researching the venues, and thus finding a good backdrop for pictures. If group formals are required, which are slightly more posed, I might ask people to stand in a certain place or make small adjustments. My strength is in capturing people as naturally as possible.

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John Steel Photography

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

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I would have loved to have photographed Peter Kaye’s wedding. I think the speeches would have been hilarious and I am a big fan of “garlic bread”!

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John Steel Photography

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John Steel Photography

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John Steel Photography

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Any really memorable weddings that you have captured? 

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Every single wedding that I photograph is memorable for so many reasons. I love them all and each one tells its individual story and has its individual style. One particular wedding that springs to mind was one that was shot up in Scotland. The day started off with a ceremony in a village hall. After this we proceeded to the venue – a marquee overlooking a gorgeous, sandy beach. The sun was shining, the sky was blue, it really was the most perfect setting for a wedding reception…apart from the gale force winds that had been blowing all night and day! Just as the guests were summoned to take their seats in the marquee, a gust of wind tore through the marquee and ripped it in half! It was so dangerous in there, it was like the world’s largest sail and it could have taken off at any second.

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Fortunately the bride and groom and their friends were a bunch of people with a very positive attitude. There was no way that this was going to ruin their day. A decision was made to re-locate the entire wedding reception back to the village hall. Most of the guests had vans (being band members) so everyone helped load them up with tables, chairs, plates, cutlery, decorations, all the catering and bar equipment not to mention the food and drink, and drive them back to the village hall. Opposite the hall was an old skool coffee shop so I have some lovely pictures of the bride sipping tea in there, staying calm and re-charging her batteries while a whirlwind of activity took place across the road in the hall. Within three hours everyone was able to sit down to a hot meal and enjoy the wedding celebrations. After the meal they had a party outside with lots of drumming and people twirling fire etc until the neighbours complained! The winds had finally calmed down so once again a decision was made to go back to the original venue. An all night party under the stars proceeded – it really was an unforgettable experience for all involved!

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John Steel Photography

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John Steel Photography

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Are you married?  Tell us about your day. 

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Yes, I am married. Our wedding will always be the best wedding I’ve ever been to (my wife will be reading this!). Our main aim was to keep things true to us, every single element had meaning, we did away with things that didn’t reflect who we were or what we believed in. We got married in a village hall which overlooked the stunning Yorkshire countryside. We had an intimate humanist ceremony surrounded by our closest friends and relatives, we planted a tree, we ate the most delicious steak I have ever tasted, our flowers were grown locally, the speeches had everyone in stitches and we got all our guests including my wife’s 95 year old granny up on the dance floor with a ceilidh. We had a Yorkshire brass band playing during and after the ceremony and award winning pie and peas for supper. My wife wore an amazing dress made from hand-dyed organic silk and looked beautiful. I had to photograph the hall set-up on the day of my wedding as I am the venue’s recommended supplier but that was good as I didn’t have time to get nervous beforehand.

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John Steel Photography

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John Steel Photography

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Any funny stories to share? 

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I have a whole bank of funny stories. Whilst we are on the subject of my wedding I will tell this one. I didn’t want to go for the usual hiring of a morning suit so I thought it would be nice to treat myself to a new suit. I asked my friend to come shopping with me. I bought a nice designer suit and didn’t wear it until my wedding day. As already mentioned I had to photograph the set-up for my wedding so I did that. On my way to put my camera away (I had my orders) my best man said “do up your flies fella” – I reached down and noted that they were already done up. I then looked down and realised that I had a large gaping hole in the groin area of my trousers! Luckily we managed to patch up my wardrobe malfunction with some gaffa tape which just about held things together during the ceremony, after which some safety pins were tracked down.

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John Steel Photography

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John Steel Photography

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John Steel Photography

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What sets you apart from other wedding photographers? 

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I take pride in being open, honest and transparent with my pricing; there are no hidden extra costs. For example, all my packages include full coverage, I’m happy to cover the bridal preparations and to stay until the last guest leaves the dance floor so that your story is told in full. The fun booth is also included at no extra cost in my packages. I like to go the extra mile for my customers, offering quality products and outstanding customer service.

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John Steel Photography

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John Steel Photography

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

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I’ll be there early as early as you need me and I’ll stay as late as you want me! We’ll have discussed your wedding timings beforehand so you can be sure I’ll always be in exactly the right place to capture the key moments. The focus of the day itself is all about you. A lot of the time you won’t even know I’m there – I will be blending into the background. I take care of the photos, you take care of enjoying yourselves and I promise I won’t boss anyone around or get on anyone’s nerves.

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John Steel Photography

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What is included in your "package"? 

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I like to keep things simple so I have two packages, with both of them you get:

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· Pre-wedding shoot and the high resolution images from the shoot

· Full day’s wedding coverage from bridal preparations until the end of the evening celebrations (or as long as you would like me there)

· Fun booth

· At least 300 images from the wedding, all high resolution, no watermarks, ready to print as well as low resolution versions, re-sized for Facebook or other social media.

· Secure, online gallery to share with your guests

· DVD slideshow of the images set to your favourite music

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My premium package also includes a 20 page 12×12 bespoke, ultimate quality, fine art cotton paper album (approx 60 images)

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John Steel Photography

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John Steel Photography

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Can you give us an idea on price? 

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My packages are £1250 and £1650.

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Can you do a discount for Brides Up North readers?

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Yes, all Brides Up North readers can get a cheeky 10% discount, just mention BUNDISCOUNT.

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John Steel Photography

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John Steel Photography

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

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They can call me on 07951 726212, drop me an email at info@johnsteelphotography.com or check out my website www.johnsteelphotography.com , or just click on the link on Brides up North (the bride with the trombone!).  For regular updates on my work, like me on facebook or follow me on twitter!

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John Steel Photography

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  – Images © 2012 John Steel Photography

John Steel Photography is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier and this is a sponsored post

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

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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