This afternoon I am really proud to introduce our readers to the sensational work of Brides Up North sponsor, amanda balmain. I think you’ll agree that Amanda’s work is just dreamy!
In this feature interview, we find out all about the lady behind the lens… and it turns out she’s a bit of a romantic.
So she’s definitely in the right line of work then…
With images by Amanda Balmain,
How did you get into wedding photography?
I have an A level in photography but for a long time photography was a hobby for me. It wasn’t until after I had my children that I started taking portraits more seriously and then joined some friends on a wedding photography course up at Aspire Photography Training in Cumbria. That was when I realised that wedding photography had changed quite a bit since the days of film. No longer limited by how much film you can carry, wedding photography had got way more creative and exciting.
Why wedding photography specifically?
I love wedding photography because for me its so exciting. You have to think on your feet all day long to manage creative shots with constantly changing light and locations. There is nothing like that feeling when you know you’ve captured something amazing that you know your couple are going to swoon over.
What is your favourite thing about being a wedding photographer?
I love the romance. Sometimes on a wedding morning I haven’t quite figured out the couple but I love how as the day unfolds it becomes obvious how they fit together. I try to tell that story in pictures.
How do you get couples to relax on the day?
I like to photograph natural reactions and expressions and so I always ask questions and get brides and grooms talking to each other. It is much easier to relax when you are thinking about something else other than the camera pointing at you. Often my couples have had a pre-wedding shoot and so they will know exactly what to expect ahead of time.
Any advice to any brides who don’t like to have their picture taken?
Choose a photographer who you are comfortable with and have a pre-wedding shoot. Usually its much better than you expect. Also choose a photographer whose style is more documentary if posing makes you uncomfortable. I shoot a mix of both styles but my posed shots are definitely more relaxed and natural than fashion model.
What sort of makeup should a bride wear to look great in her pictures?
I think a makeup artist for your wedding day is important. It allows you to relax in the morning and your makeup will last longer. A natural look with a good matte finish always looks great in pictures.
Anything to avoid which might look bad in the wedding pictures?
Tan lines with a strapless dress spring to mind!
Which celebrity wedding would you most like to photograph and why?
Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield because I think they would be really funny and cute but only if they got married on a beach somewhere and kept it intimate. Or maybe Prince Harry and Emma Watson with a Harry Potter theme!
Any really memorable weddings that you have captured?
I cry at every wedding so they are all moving to me! I shot a wedding at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London which is beautiful and very stylish. I have another one there this summer so I’m looking forward to that.
Are you married? Tell us about your day.
I’ve been married for almost 15 years. We got married at the small village church where my husband was christened and my in-laws got married in Dorset. We then had a marquee on his parents lawn for the reception. We had the ceremony at 4pm so we could carry straight on into the evening. It was July so there was plenty of light for photographs. My photographer was the amazing Kevin Wilson. My favourite memories are eating fish and chips at the hairdressers in the morning, the grin on my husbands face that lasted all day long and drinking champagne at midnight with some random strangers that we met at our hotel.
What sets you apart from other wedding photographers?
The most important thing to me is that you enjoy your day. I make sure I know beforehand what the wedding day plan is and when we are going to get the shots that you want but on the day I am very flexible. I keep things calm and relaxed and never put my couples under pressure.
What can a couple who book you expect on the day?
For most of the day I am unobtrusive and try to stay in the background. There are a few key moments when I will get some posed shots. For instance a portrait of the bride once she is ready, group portraits of the bridal party and a killer shot of the bride and groom at the reception venue. Otherwise I go with the flow and photograph the day as it happens with minimal interference. I usually arrive around 2 hours before the ceremony at the brides house and leave an hour or so after the first dance once everyone is in full party mode.
What is included in your “package”?
My top package includes a pre-wedding shoot, full day coverage, edited digital files, a slideshow of images from your wedding day and a 30 page Bellissimo album. My digital only package is the same without the album.
Can you give us an idea on price?
My top package is £1250. I am happy to quote for smaller weddings and half days.
How can Brides Up North get in touch with you or see more examples of your work?
the big picture