Featured Supplier

Fabulous Photographer: Tina Luke Photography PLUS A Huge 10% OFF Your Wedding Photography

19th August 2012 | Julia Braime

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As we wait for our Sunday roast, let’s chat to Brides Up North Featured Supplier and North West wedding photographer Tina Luke Photography, a lady with years of experience and a tale or two to tell.

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North West Wedding Photographer Tina Luke Photography

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How did you get into wedding photography?

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I have been a full time wedding photographer for over 16 years and am a qualified member of the BIPP. I have never trained in photography and came to it from being a professional fundraiser and PR manager for the British Red Cross, with a degree in Archaeology! I developed my interest in photography from taking photos of my children. I have won awards for both my wedding and portrait photography.

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Why wedding photography specifically?

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I just love photographing weddings! I cover over 40 weddings a year and each one is very different. A lot of my work is in the Lake District which is a popular location for couples across the country. I love capturing all the special, individual moments on the day – the ring going on, the first kiss, big hugs from the mums and dads.

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Tina Luke Photography

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What is your favourite thing about being a wedding photographer?

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It’s about telling the story of the day – picking out all the small individual details as well as the bigger picture. I am always blown away by the fact that each and every wedding I cover is so very different from the one before or the one after. It’s great to see the vast range of ideas couples come up with and I’m always struck by the fact that I have never seen the same wedding dress twice! I have had a couple of weddings over the past year that have included afternoon tea served in vintage china, one of which took place on a boat as it transferred the wedding party and guests from the church to the reception.
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How do you get couples to relax on the day?

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My approach to wedding photography is very informal and relaxed, I mingle amongst the guests and try to avoid the couple feeling intimidated by having a large camera pointed at them. I just advise the couple to ignore me most of the time and by letting them get on and enjoy the party they have planned I get some great photos.
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Tina Luke Photography    Tina Luke Photography

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

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More often than not brides really don’t like having their photo taken or just aren’t used to being photographed. I usually recommend a practice shoot prior to the wedding day out and about with just the two of them. This allows me to see if there any specific problems either might have in front of the camera – excessive blinking, etc. They are able to see that it’s all about having fun and to learn a few techniques for relaxing in front of the camera.
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What sort of makeup should a bride wear to look great in her pictures?

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I always recommend that brides don’t go theatrical with their makeup on the day. They should just enhance what they would normally do with their makeup but it doesn’t need to over the top for the photos and to see if their budget will stretch to a makeup artist on the day.
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Tina Luke Photography

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

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Don’t suddenly change your appearance for your wedding day. I once had a bride who had a perm the day before her wedding! I always recommend couples use the Silver Wedding Anniversary measure – that they will be as happy looking at their wedding photos 25 years on and not be cringing by some of-the-moment fashion statement.
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Which celebrity wedding would you most like to photograph and why?

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I would really have liked to have photographed Zara and Mike’s wedding last summer. My son sang at their wedding and it sounds like it was very much their wedding, with a lots of their friends rather than a great number of distant relatives and friends of the parents.
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Tina Luke Photography    D28

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Any really memorable weddings that you have captured?

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One of the most memorable weddings I have covered was on a Greek Island – Spetses. The ceremony took place in a beautiful old church, set up high and I have told my daughter that she has to have a Greek Orthodox wedding when she gets married! I didn’t understand a word that the three bearded priests were saying but the symbolism said it all. The reception was then in a marquee in a beautiful stone plaza and en route I took the bride and groom out to a beach. The only draw back was the island doesn’t allow cars and I had a bike which I peddled furiously between the bride’s home, church, beach and reception – desperately trying to keep up with the bride and groom’s carriage!

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Are you married? Tell us about your day.

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We celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary this summer! There is only one thing I would change about our day – the photographer! It was very much a home-made wedding – I borrowed a dress from my sister’s friend, she had paid £1,000 for it the year before and I would never have been able to spend that much my self (the money went on a double bed instead). We had a marquee in the garden and mum grew sweet peas for the table decorations.
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Tina Luke Photography    Tina Luke Photography

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Any funny stories to share?

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I had one unfortunate bride who left the registry office in a big white car and the groom left in an ambulance, he was taken ill just before the ceremony and only just made it through the vows. I had a dentist groom who made his wife’s ring from gold teeth! Luckily I have only had one wedding car break down and was rather surprised when the bride I was waiting for outside the church appeared from a hatch-back and not the vintage rolls she had left home in. This last Saturday I was sewing a button back onto the brides dress 30 minutes prior to the ceremony!

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The shortest wedding booking I have taken is 20 minutes! I got a call at 12.50pm on Friday 13th last May from a distraught best man who was trying to find a replacement photographer as the one they had booked had just dropped and smashed his camera!  At 1.10pm I was helping the bride into her dress and introducing myself as her photographer!.

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What sets you apart from other wedding photographers?

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I realised early on that to be a good wedding photographer you need to be able to do more than take good photos – that’s the easy bit! I feel it’s important to understand what the couple want from their photos and encourage brides to send through any photo ideas they like – it’s very much their day and it’s important they have an input. It’s about managing the day and the people to make sure that everyone has a good time and that the photos are taken efficiently. One of my greatest concerns is to ensure I don’t upset the kitchen by running over with the time allowed for photos, everyone has their job to do on the day and the chef’s is no less important than mine. With over 600 weddings covered I have the experience and knowledge to know what shots are important and what moments will happen when. I always trying and convey to couples that their wedding photographs are one of the only things they will have left to show from their day and that it’s worth spending their money on a professional photographer. I have heard too many stories of friends being tasked with the wedding photos and the end result is a disappointment.
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Tina Luke Photography

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

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On the day they will have a photographer who will capture every element of their day in a discrete and unobtrusive way. I always make sure there are photos of all the key moments, as well as the main wedding party and all requested group shots.
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What is included in your "package"?

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All my packages include full coverage from the bride getting ready through to when they sit down for their meal, with the additional option of evening coverage. There is then a choice of either prints, CD or album depending on their requirements and budget.
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Tina Luke Photography

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Can you give us an idea on price?

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A small weekday civil ceremony package is between £400 – £900 and a large weekend church wedding package is between £800 – £1,800. I am happy to give a 10% discount to Brides Up North readers, please mention Brides Up North when booking. 
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How can Brides Up North get in touch with you or see more examples of your work?

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I have a website www.tinaluke.co.uk and a studio gallery with my work displayed.

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  – Images © 2012 Tina Luke Photography

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