This afternoon on the blog we’re thrilled to be giving a big Brides Up North welcome to our new Sponsor, Andy Hirst Photography.
This talented Lancashire-based photographer has been described as a “ninja” by his bride and groom clients in the past due to his ability to get up close the action for natural and emotive shots, but without being noticed by those around him. Now that’s skill.
Keen to strike up a good relationship with his couples, Andy is also incredibly dedicated to his work and goes above and beyond to create the perfect story of every big day that he covers.
And as if that’s not enough to tick boxes, Andy is offering Brides Up North readers a fabulous 10% discount on his photography packages for bookings made in 2016. So what are you waiting for, read on to find out more about Andy and view his fabulous work…
Tell us a little about your background. How long have you been in wedding photography for?
andy says: I started in TV in 2004 as a camera operator and moved onto freelancing for a few years and started to work with some wedding cinematographers around 2007, which is where the wedding bug started to catch. In 2008 I married the lovely Clare after being together since the age of 16 – cue the awww! At this point I started to see the importance of a wedding photographer who could be discreet but still capture all the events of the day; the cogs turned and here I am!
What was it that attracted you to wedding photography specifically?
I have always loved photography and every wedding I do reminds me of my own in some way. I just love being married so it’s a great combination.
And what is it about your job that you love?
Meeting the couples and seeing how excited they are, not only about what they are going to do, but about photography. For me it’s all about the photographer/couple relationship that gets the best images.
How would you describe your style of wedding photography? What makes you stand out from others?
I suppose the word is documentary, although I’m not someone who likes to label things. I have been called a “ninja” by wedding guests. My style is heavily influenced by street photography, where the aim is take pictures of people without them knowing and being close to them. I have gotten very good at this over the last few years and gotten some great images as a result. What makes me stand out is that I can do all this whilst going largely unnoticed. “It’s your wedding, not my photoshoot” is my motto.
What is the feedback like from your clients? What do they love about your service?
Clients always refer to how hard I work on the day, I like to start early and finish late. They also love how their enjoyment and experience is what I put first and foremost. And then when they get their images, they love the story I have created for them.
What is the top piece of advice you would give to camera shy couples and how do you get them to relax in front of the camera?
Not many people like having their picture taken but you will always be at your best when you are just being you! The best way to achieve that is for us to get to know each other, the more comfortable you are with me the easier it is.
Are there any weddings in particular that you’ve shot that stand out to you?
A few years ago I was booked over the internet from Australia for a wedding in the Cotswolds, near where the bride grew up. When they came over a couple of weeks before the wedding we met up in Manchester and had a great chat and they talked about how they used to work in Manchester and moved over to Oz. It turned out one of my friends used to work with the bride, small world. The wedding itself was all about their friends and family and having a great time. The atmosphere was amazing and I have some of my favourite all time shots from that wedding. It was a stylish vintage inspired wedding, but that was secondary, for them it was all about the people. For me that was perfect.
Where would be your dream location to shoot?
South of France or Italy.
Tell us a little about your wedding day…
We had a small wedding, we are both quite shy. For the ceremony it was the parish church that my wife has been to all her life and then as the guests went on to the venue, our friend, who was our driver in his Jag, took us to the high school where we met and we popped a champagne cork over the fence and had a wee sip. The reception venue was a small Victorian house converted to a hotel called The Moss Lodge. We had 50 guests all day and as it was December we served minced pies and mulled wine on arrival. For us it was about spending the day with the people most important to us and the small venue helped with that. Not being much of a dancer (I am banned from dancing in public) we had a good old northern pub quiz instead of a first dance and DJ. Champion!
What do you think are the most important elements for couples to bear in mind when deciding on a wedding photographer to capture their day?
Absolute number one is, you have to like them and get on well! This for me is key. Then style and approach; do you like how the images look and how they are going to approach getting the images?
What can couples who book you expect on the day?
Expect a hardworking photographer who is totally focussed on you and allowing you to experience the day naturally. Also, recently I have been the one giving advice, i.e. I get asked what happens next a lot, having done so many weddings – I can always help!
What is included in your photography package?
I always include all-day coverage and online gallery to view your images, a wooden box containing 25 fine art prints and a USB stick with all delivered images on. I have packages that include an additional photographer and album options.
Can you give us an idea on price and can you do a discount for Brides Up North readers?
My prices start at £1,300. Any bookings made in 2016 will get 10% discount, please mention Brides Up North.
How can Brides Up North readers get in touch with you/ see more examples of your work?
By visiting my website, andyhirst.com
Anything else to share?
I have a very cute and cheeky dog called Barney, if you follow me on Instagram you will see lots of him.