You will often hear us remark on how imperative we consider a professional wedding photographer to be, in order to capture and record your big day, with fabulous images to look back on forevermore. That said, we do totally understand that some couples are camera shy – or downright terrified of having their photo taken!
There is a compromise however – a pro photographer that specialises in natural and relaxed shots that are discreetly captured throughout the day with the couple in question barely even noticing. One such photographer to embody these skills, is our brand-new Sponsor, Robbie Venn of Venn Photography.
Based in the North West, Robbie takes a photo-journalistic approach to weddings capturing the “real moments” of the day while remaining unobtrusive. This work ethic results in honest and natural photos with at-ease brides and grooms enjoying their special day, and the album of beautiful images that follows.
Tell us a little about your background and how long you have been in wedding photography for?
robert says: I first became involved in photography after I left school in 1999 and went on to complete a HND in photography; this was in the days of analogue photography and I have always continued to take film pictures for my personal use.
After becoming a digital photography convert I travelled around Asia for six months, doing a lot of street photography and portraits which was a great learning experience. Back from travelling, a friend asked me to photograph their wedding as a favour and I ended up really enjoying the experience. That’s how I started my career in wedding photography and I haven’t looked back since!
What attracted you to wedding photography specifically?
I’m really interested in the fact that you have to have so many skills as a photographer; from being a good documentary photographer to capture all the candid moments in the day to being like a fashion or portrait photographer for when you have time with the couple to shoot some more artistic couple shots and even a product photographer when photographing the details like the flowers and the ring. I believe you can really test yourself as a photographer as there is so much involved in wedding photography.
And what is it about your job that you love?
Well just taking photos really! I love the fact I have free rein to take photos all day and in such a nice setting. Being able to share people’s wedding day with them is great, such a nice time to share with people and to document their wonderfully creative days.
How would you describe your style of wedding photography?
I see myself more of a documentary wedding photographer, I like to keep things natural and un-posed, I’ll try to blend into the background for the day and make myself unnoticed and capture those candid moments. I also use natural light mainly, which adds a particular look to photos. I like to give the couples simple, good documentary photos that will stand the test of time when they look back at them in ten, twenty or thirty years’ time and they will help reminisce about the day.
What do your clients love about your approach, service and images?
The feedback has been great so far, people particularly love the natural documentary style of photos which I present to them. The main comments have been about how I capture the emotions perfectly which is something I’m really happy with, and how calm and relaxed I am to work with. The wedding day can be stressful to plan and also can be on the day so I like to be as organised as I can to make the day go smoothly.
What is the top piece of advice you would give to camera shy couples?
I’d say that you should try to have some fun with each other, I like to keep things natural and un-posed during the couple shots and this creates a more natural image. It’s better to try and forget about the camera (and me) and concentrate on each other. Also, I try and be as discreet as I can throughout the day so the couples usually don’t notice me taking their photo so that’s not a problem!
Are there any weddings in particular that you’ve shot that stand out to you?
My favourite locations so far have been the Earth Trust in Fison Barn, Oxfordshire (one of my earliest weddings). The couple were married under a solitary tree in a large field then had the reception in an old barn. Also, a little closer to home, Ordsall Hall in Salford, was a great venue – really nicely decorated and a the couple and family was great to work with I got some really lovely emotional images from that wedding that I’m really happy with. I also recently did a wedding at ‘On the Seventh’ at Media City, which I’m looking forward to blogging. The light was amazing, and you could do some really creative things with modern clean lines and reflections of the Media City setting.
If you could shoot a celebrity’s wedding who’s would it be and why?
Stewart Lee, one of my favourite comedians as I’d love to hear his speech!
And where would be your dream location to shoot?
I see the benefits of all different locations so I like modern venues as much as I like traditional ones. But if I had to choose I would say Oberoi Udaivilas in Udaipur, India for an out-of-this-world and pure decadence style venue. If I had to choose one a bit closer to home, I’ve not been to Manchester Museum for a wedding but I’d love to photograph there! All that said, the main focus of every wedding is the couple and guests and the energy of the day so I could be anywhere, it’s all about the people!
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?
Well I think if you connect with your photographer that’s a really important thing. Making sure the photographer has good experience shooting weddings is important – that’s why the top photographers are a higher price point, as they can deliver amazingly artistic photos consistently in any scenario. Also, make sure you understand the style of the photographer you are booking, again that’s why it’s important to have a good dialogue with your wedding photographer before booking.
What can couples who book you expect on the day?
From me, a well-planned organised timeline of the day which we go over in the meeting before the wedding. Then on your wedding day I shoot documentary photography and intervene as little as possible except when I need to document something important or create the couple shots. I let the day flow as naturally as possible so when you look back at your wedding pictures you see the real moments that happened captured for you to look back in the future.
What is included in your photography package?
I have two packages currently, both vary mainly due to the time you have booked me for – the first package being seven hours coverage and includes a small album and a hand-crafted presentation box for your USB with all your individually edited photos.
The second package includes an engagement shoot before the wedding day, which is good for the couple to get used to me and my style of photographing. From the engagement shoot I produce an individually made signing frame made from local framer in Manchester – this is for all your guests to sign and leave good will messages on the day. Also in the package, it includes my time photographing your wedding all day, from start to finish, then I deliver a presentation box with prints of some of the best photos and a 12” x 12” album and all the best photos individually edited in my style on a USB.
I like to include an album in each package as I love the format of a book to look at photos and I like the couple to go away with something physical from my services not just digital files.
If these packages don’t fit with a couple’s requirements I’m happy to tailor my services to them. Any questions just ask!
Can you give us an idea on price?
My packages start at £800 and go up to £1,300.
How can Brides Up North get in touch with you/ see more examples of your work?
You can look at my work, pricing and contact details on my website.