If there’s one element of our job that we adore, it’s getting lost in the beauty of couples’ wedding images with some photographers able to make us feel that we were actually present at the celebrations for ourselves as we share in the emotions. One such professional who embodies this skill is our wonderful Sponsor, Kristian Leven.
With a true passion for documenting weddings, Kristian likes to blend into the background and capture the magic as it happens, framing not only the connection between the newlyweds but also the emotions and reactions of their guests resulting in a set of truly special images.
He promises that his photos have the power to transport his couples back to that treasured moment in time and looking at his work here, it’s clear to see that he is a man of his word.
So, let’s find out what makes this fine photographer tick while viewing some more of his fabulous imagery…
With images by Kristian Leven.
When did you first start photographing weddings and what was it that attracted you to the industry?
kristian says: Eight years ago now! For me it was an opportunity to do something I love, but also in a style I enjoyed. I was very fortunate to start at a time when documentary wedding photography was really taking off.
How would you describe your style of photography and the approach you take to capturing a big day?
I’m all about creating very natural and emotive imagery. I just let everyone enjoy their day, but behind my calm exterior I’m constantly looking and observing for moments, and quirks, and things that a lot of people would not ordinarily notice.
What is it that you love most about your job?
Probably the email I receive after the couple have seen their wedding gallery for the first time. I put so much work and effort into this, so it’s incredibly special to then to hear how much the pictures mean to them.
In your opinion what are the most important things for a couple to consider when deciding which photographer to book for their wedding?
Sounds a little obvious, but the photography! There are so many different styles of wedding photography now – some photographer’s concentrate on the details, or the bride and groom portraits – so they need to ask themselves, what do I really want? If it’s to spend as much time with their family and friends and to have the relationship between them captured, then I’m your guy!
What sets you apart from other wedding photographers?
Being able to see things differently to other photographers and capturing those moments in a unique way.
What is the feedback like from your couples?
I received this recently, and it blows me away every time I read it:
“I spent the day yesterday waiting eagerly for these and when they arrived I had to pause Eastenders and settle down with Corey and a glass of wine to look at them and we were still viewing them come midnight. We both felt so emotional; you managed to transport us straight back to the day with the power of your imagery. We never imagined our photos would be anything like that. They make us laugh, cry and smile, and we love EVERY single one of them. We cannot thank you enough, we wanted timeless photos to last us a lifetime and that is exactly what you provided. You listened to us and made us feel so relaxed on the day, we both agreed that we didn’t even know you’d taken the majority of these pictures and we love how natural they all are, and the emotion and personality each photograph conveys. We would recommend you a hundred times over and if we are ever in need of photography again, we know who to call.”
Do you have a favourite part of the wedding day to capture?
To be honest I love the reception, as that’s the part I can get stuck into, and capture the really original stuff. Plus, people are relaxed then, and can let their guard down, which results in some great moments.
What area do you cover and is there somewhere in particular that you would love to shoot a wedding that you’ve not yet had the opportunity to do?
Originally all my weddings were in London or the South East, but since my referral network has grown, I travel all over the UK, and internationally now. I had two places I really wanted to shoot, the Big Sur and the Amalfi Coast, and in 2016 my dream came true.
Other than photography, what are your other passions and what do you think you would be doing if you weren’t a wedding photographer?
I love exploring new countries and cultures, and outside of the wedding season I do my best to put time aside to head somewhere new and capture my time there. Last year it was Colombia and some of the resulting pictures were exhibited at street photography festivals in San Francisco, London and Brussels, whilst also making it as a finalist in the ‘Travel Photographer of the Year’ award, which completely blew me away. If I wasn’t a wedding photographer, I’d definitely be doing something to do with photography. I can see myself becoming a photography teacher at some point, in the hope of inspiring the next generation of photographers.
What is the proudest/stand out moment of your career so far?
Being awarded ‘London and South East Wedding Photographer of the Year’ by The Wedding Industry Awards is definitely right up there.
What can couples who book you expect?
Honest, natural, emotive and atmospheric wedding pictures that will transport them back to their wedding day every time they view them.
What is included in your photography package?
All the pictures on a USB in a lovely boxset, with a couple extra goodies in there that they’ll see when they open it up.
Can you give us an idea of price?
My package starts at £2,000 for eight hours of coverage, with the price going up incrementally for additional hours.
How can readers get in touch with you/ see more examples of your work?