Photographing weddings throughout the North West and beyond, Sarah describes her style of photography as “honest” capturing the magic of the day as it unfolds to compile a full story of a bride and groom’s big day.
As a special welcome gift to Brides Up North readers, Sarah is offering a fabulous 10% discount and an 8×8 album for all bookings made up until the end of May 2017. If you like what you see, just quote “Northern Soul” when enquiring.
So, let’s waste no time in handing over to the lady herself to tell us more about her passion for, and approach to, photographing weddings.
Can you tell us a little about your background? How long you have been in wedding photography for?
sarah says: I fell in love with photography when I was a bridesmaid for my sister about a decade ago. I only had a basic camera but I took pictures of everything, and from that day I was genuinely hooked. I upgraded my camera shortly after, trained, second shot for other photographers and soaked up everything that I could to do with photography. All different types of photography inspire me.
What was it that attracted you to wedding photography specifically?
As sad as it probably sounds, I suppose the little girl inside me who always wanted to find love. I always think that the outside world stops on your wedding day, you’re in a lovely bubble with your nearest and dearest. Everyone deserves that.
And what is it about your job that you love?
It really is an honour to photograph the start of a marriage. When you listen to the promises to love and support each other through whatever life is going to throw your way, it genuinely gets me every time. It’s the feeling that you’re witnessing such a special part of someone’s life as they’re about to start a new chapter.
How would you describe your style of wedding photography?
I’d describe my imagery as honest. I love eyes-screwed-up, mouth-open-wide laughter, photo bombs, kids having an inevitable tantrum, confetti being picked out of the bride’s hair, tears, tissues and a bit of dancefloor mayhem. I just believe in everyday beautiful – if that’s even a phrase!
What is the feedback like from your clients? What do they love about your approach, service and images?
I think my couples are always surprised when they get their images – in a good way! I work as more of a quiet observer and I really want people to enjoy their day. So when couples receive their images and see things that they’ve missed or forgotten, it surprises them.
How do you help couples to relax in front of the lens?
When I nab couples away for ten to twenty minutes, I tell them to take that time just to be together and have a breather. Your wedding day goes so quickly and it is lovely just to have that peaceful moment – whether for a short walk, sneaky kiss or shared drink – before going back to your guests. Sometimes I play a few daft games, which makes people relax and laugh, but most couples are that focussed on one another that they soon forget about the camera.
Are there any weddings in particular that you’ve shot that stand out to you?
Good question – and that’s quite hard to answer because people’s days stand out for different reasons. I second shot a wedding last year in France, which was so beautiful and rustic. The bride and groom were married outside, after the bridal party had spent their morning making the bouquets. It was a real family affair. During the wedding breakfast there was a regional power cut and took them over an hour to get the main course out. But it just didn’t phase the bride and groom, or any of the guests. Everyone was together and that was all that mattered.
I would personally love the opportunity to shoot a proposal and a surprise wedding, that would be amazing!
If you could shoot a celebrity’s wedding who’s would it be and why?
There’s two that spring to mind. The first would be Helena Bonham Carter because I love how she is unashamedly herself. She doesn’t pretend to be anyone else and is comfortable in her own skin. The second is Miranda Hart. I’ve often been compared to her by my friends and she really makes me laugh so that would be a great day.
And where would be your dream location to shoot?
Absolute dream location for me would be Tuscany. One of my first photography holidays was there and we shot at a small abandoned chapel. It was breath-taking and so tranquil. I could imagine a wedding there with family, lots of food and twinkly lights as the sun goes down.
Can you tell us a little about your wedding day?
Neil and I have been married for almost a year. We chose a lovely place in the Lake District as we spend a lot of time there. We wanted somewhere we could take our dog Charlie Bear and we were lucky enough that he could be present at the ceremony. Thankfully he was really good!
I love surprises and I wasn’t massively bothered about lots details. I even asked Neil to pick our first dance and keep it a secret. Rather than flowers on the tables we had wooden lanterns and the candlelight just added to the intimate atmosphere. We didn’t have lots of guests, just immediate family and a few close friends. I made my own bouquet, with the help of my new mum-in-law, with artificial hydrangeas complete with vintage brooches from both our families. I’m sentimental and I love the fact that I still have my bouquet.
We put postcards and envelopes on the tables and asked everyone to write down a piece of advice, date idea or message for us. They are waiting to be opened on our first anniversary.
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?
Choose someone whose work you absolutely adore because your day will be shot through their eyes and style. You are also going to spend all day with your photographer so having someone who you get on with and you’re both comfortable around really helps. If you can meet up for a natter or skype before you book, that makes a real difference.
What can couples who book you expect on the day?
I’ve tied ties, buckled shoes, pinned flowers, carried bags, held bouquets – so pretty much anything and everything! I’m laid back and don’t have my own agenda. It’s important to me that couples get what they want from their photography and enjoy the day that they’ve saved for and planned. I tend to take minimal group shots other than your absolute ‘have to have’ ones and we agree these in advance so we are prepared on the day to get through them as quickly as possible so you can get back to the prosecco.
What is included in your photography package?
A pre-wedding meet up with you to go through timings, running order and any fine details of your big day from start to finish, so you can relax and tick that off your list. On your wedding day, I’m with you all day. I arrive early in the morning to photograph the excitement of getting ready, through to the “I dos” and the speeaches, up until just after your first dance. Then I slip away while you carry on partying the rest of the night away. I then edit everything myself while you’re in your newlywed glow. Your images arrive on a lovely memory stick for you to keep. I also provide an online gallery for friends and family to view and purchase prints if they like.
An engagement shoot and albums can be added to your package if you like. Engagement shoots are a great way of us getting to know each other before the big day so you’re even more relaxed with having me around.
Can you give us an idea on price and can you do a discount for Brides Up North readers?
Packages start at £1,800. But no two weddings are the same so I can cater for anything – whether that’s a destination wedding over two days, or an intimate half-day wedding. It’s always better to give me a bell to chat through what it is you’re after.
For fabulous Brides Up North readers I can offer a 10% discount and include a 8×8 album for all bookings made up until the end of May 2017. Just quote “Northern Soul” when you contact me.
How can Brides Up North get in touch with you/ see more examples of your work?