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Fabulous Photographer: Damian Hall Photography | Brides Up North

Fabulous Photographer: Damian Hall Photography

09th May 2011 | Julia Braime

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Brides Up North just loves Damian Hall Photography‘s work, their photographs are busting with love.  Now I chat to this husband and wife photography team about how they started out, and what they can do for you on your big day.  Smile!

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www.damianhall.com

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How did you get into wedding photography?

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We started in wedding photography completely by accident after being a guest at a friends wedding and taking some black and white images on film… (Remember that)? It ended up that our friends liked our images more than the “official” photographer and we created an album for them. Everything has grown from that point. Damian has a design, print and customer service background whereas Charlotte’s previous experience was in running nurseries and training childcare (so she’s good at keeping best men in order).

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www.damianhall.com .

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Why wedding photography specifically?

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Why not? I guess is the obvious question. Why would you not want to spend time with people when they’re having their happiest, most loving moments? Being happily married for 14 years means we have a huge respect for the importance of marriage and we know the joy that comes when you’ve found your soul mate. Creatively speaking, sharing a wedding day is a wonderful opportunity to capture beauty, excitement, energy, fun, love and emotion all rolled up together. There are few areas of photography that have this blend of elements, and the fact that it’s also technically challenging adds to the creative attraction.

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www.damianhall.com

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What is your favourite thing about being a wedding photographer?

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By far and away the best and most valuable thing about being a wedding photographer is the friendships we create whilst we spend time with our couples as they go through their wedding journey. This comes together for us when we show them the set of images from their day. They cry, we cry, it’s all a lovely mess and always leaves us feeling so satisfied that we’ve managed to create a meaningful story of their commitment and celebration.

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www.damianhall.com

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How do you get couples to relax on the day?

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We find that most couples are pretty relaxed on the day, but photographically we’ve already spend a bunch creative time with the couple on the Engagement shoot, so the anxiety of being photographed has mostly been put to one side and Charlotte is on hand to manage the day as it unfolds. Because we’ve done the preparation our couples have the confidence that we can guide them through the day and so are pretty relaxed. That doesn’t stop nerves about the ceremony and speeches, but our view is that these emotions are all part of the excitement of the day and we encourage our couples to embrace everything about their day, and that feeling nervous is OK because the sense of joy is so much greater once the thing that they were nervous about has passed beautifully. Remember, this is supposed to be fun. Laugh, enjoy, Hug and cry. Its all good.

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www.damianhall.com

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

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Good question! This can be a tricky one.

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Firstly, they need to understand that they are not alone in their feelings. Its human nature to feel uncomfortable. So if you’re nervous, you’re in good company. Don’t worry about it, you’re normal.

Secondly, they need to understand that most people don’t like their picture taking because they’ve looked hideous in pictures before. Usually these have been taken on a little point and shoot camera, on holiday, up close and with the flash on. It’s a very different thing to be photographed by someone that understands lighting, position and shape using professional equipment.

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Often though, there is little we can say before a shoot to make a bride (or groom) feel like they are going to look amazing. That’s why we always have an engagement shoot and why we always show the couple their images, so they can see for themselves that they look lovely, way before the wedding day so that “actually, I look pretty good” confidence can carry through to the wedding day.

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www.damianhall.com

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

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Our advice to our brides is always “be who you are and wear your makeup in a way that compliments your personality, colour palette and your style.

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We don’t use a whole bunch of flash at weddings so if you’re a bride, don’t think you have to slap it on just because you’ll be photographed. Our rule of thumb is to “Think real life with the volume turned up a bit”. Talk this through with a good makeup artist and test a couple of different looks in plenty of time. Feel free to test your favourite look out on your engagement shoot with us to get a real way of seeing the look. We’ll always give advice on makeup during the run up to the wedding. Its all part of bringing the day together for us.

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www.damianhall.com

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

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You know, other than inviting a bunch of really ugly relatives, there are very, very few things that look bad in photographs as long as the photographs are planned well and the photographer has good skill.

This really isn’t something we worry about but the most common situation we come across is where the couple might be married in a church or venue that doesn’t have a great backdrop for photographs. If this is the case then we just find somewhere locally that is pretty or we create lighting that disguises the location. Other than that about our only suggestion is if anyone wears glasses that react to sunlight, tell them to bring a normal pair as well.

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

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Hmmmmm. That’s a tough one. I would have loved to shoot Russell Brand and Katie Perry’s wedding in India. The ceremony and the celebration was almost completely at odds with their public celebrity profile and I think that I would have got to see the real them, not the celeb version.

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Any memorable weddings that you have captured?

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I know we would say this but every wedding we shoot is utterly different in tone, fashion, mood and ambience, so to pick out one or two seems almost unfair as we enjoy every one differently.

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www.damianhall.com

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I think though, one wedding we shot last year does spring to mind where the couple had overcome some real adversity to be standing next to each other at the alter. He was in pieces, she was in pieces and everyone was in floods of tears, us included. The whole day was absolutely filled with love, softness and affection. I’m feeling warmth now just thinking back to that day.

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Are you married?  Tell Brides Up North about your day.

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Yes, very married. Charlotte and I got married in Barbados in 1997. Its fair to say that on that day it wasn’t the nerves that were making us sweat. Boy it was hot! Our minister was a huge chap and once he’d conducted the ceremony, took his robes off to reveal a vest, neon swim shorts and flip-flops. Ah, the Caribbean style.

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Our wedding breakfast consisted of hotdogs and burgers by the pool, followed by a shoot on the beach, complete with monster ketchup stain on Charlotte’s dress. I think we got those activities the wrong way round.

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We had a beautiful time in a beautiful place. If only we’d have been able to afford better photographs I might not have looked like such an idiot (See. I don’t enjoy having my photo taken either).

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Any funny stories to share?

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I think our professional integrity should stop us from going here, but if your Gin and Tonic tastes a bit strong, just make sure your bridesmaids aren’t helping you to enjoy the day a bit too much, and chaps, Dutch courage is only good up to a point. If your mum has to do your speech, you’ve probably had too much courage. No names of course!

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What sets you apart from other wedding photographers?

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It’s the combination of Damian’s photographic ability and Charlotte’s organisational skills that sets us apart from others. We shoot a limited number of weddings each year and our couples can expect a complete wraparound service that makes the whole business of being photographed so much easier and more meaningful. We have a great deal of experience and understand all the ways of creating lasting memories without getting in the way of having fun.

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www.damianhall.com

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

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Laughter, fun and being looked after is what our couples can expect. We’re with them all day and so we can guide them through the day as it unfolds. If things don’t quite go to plan then we will be there to help things along. Our couples can expect to enjoy their day with their guests rather than spending hours taking dull, formal photo’s. Having said that, we will need some time with the couple but 90% of our images are captured as the day unfolds rather them all being artificially created.

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www.damianhall.com .

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What is included in your "package"

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No matter what album combination or amount of money our couples choose to invest with us, what we do in terms of the experience and coverage is always the same. We just don’t believe in providing a worse experience just because the budget may not be as large as others. With this in mind we always include the following:

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A location Engagement Shoot

All consultations and viewings at a convenient location

A visit to the venue to meet your wedding co-ordinator

Both Damian & Charlotte, all day on your Wedding Day

All post production, album design and personal delivery

A secure online gallery for guest viewing

A selection of your images ready for Facebook

Long term safe storage of your album images

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www.damianhall.com

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Can you give us an idea on price?

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Sure. Our pricing for weekend weddings starts at £1695 with midweek pricing that reflects the often smaller, more intimate celebrations that happen then. Obviously, we cater for a wide range of budgets and many of our couples choose to invest in a fantastic Queensberry Album, a couple of parents albums and all their images on CD. We do need to stress again though that the whole experience is the same at all levels of investment.

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www.damianhall.com

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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 easiest question!

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Brides can check out more of our work at www.damianhall.com and they can find out what we’ve been up to on www.damianhallblog.com.

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For those into Facebook, just search for Damian Hall Photography or if you prefer twitter then its damianhallphoto.

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You can always go old school and call us. We’re on 0113 347 0747 and 0845 1301197. If you’re calling from a mobile use the 0113 number its much cheaper.

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Finally, for those loving email, then its simply weddings@damianhall.com

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www.damianhall.com

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Anything else that Brides Up North should know?

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The only thing I’d add to all of this is the thought that your wedding photographs are for life. Whether you ask us to share your day or not, please please please make sure you choose someone experienced, capable, with a great personality and who will understand what it is you want from your images. It’s really sad when couples who we talked to before the day come back and say “We wish we booked you” because the person they chose turned out not to be great.

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What we’re really saying is trust your instincts and ask lots of questions. Enjoy it.

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www.damianhall.com

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See some more of Damian Hall Photography’s work here and here on Brides Up North.

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Damian Hall Photography is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier

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

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