Tom Roberts, wedding photographer at Champagne Shutter Photography, Barnsley, South Yorkshire.

The most important thing is us making a CONNECTION

 

This is why I call it OUR approach and not my approach…

Why should I get the privilege of photographing your wedding?


The search for a wedding photographer, and committing to choosing, can feel intimidating...


It can quickly turn into scrolling and drifting into a hypnosis of not knowing what you want, hoping you will be stopped in your tracks by that intangible something “you can’t quite put your finger on” that ends up getting called a “style.”


That’s what you’re hiring an expert for.  Your photographer needs to be: lighting expert, photojournalist, portrait artist, stylist, editor, director, take account of setting, but most importantly be sociable, and part-therapist on an emotionally valuable day!

I completely appreciate that you may not be comfortable in front of the camera – most of us aren’t! And you don’t want to not be in your comfort zone on your wedding day!

This is your day – once-in-a-lifetime – and investing in me is the difference between a timeless elegant memento, an heirloom, and potential disappointment.

 

In choosing your wedding photographer, you aren’t just picking a style of photograph, important as this is – you are picking a personality that fits with you! This way, you're relaxed... 

You’ll read loads of pitches like this that talk about “candids” or “reportage” or a contemporary and natural approach.  There is nothing wrong with this – it is a vital element to the story telling of your day: getting ready, you as a couple, ceremony, group shots, and the reception.  This attention to detail is vital.  As a former teacher of English literature and film, this story-telling is my creative expertise.  In reality, your wedding photographer should be able to operate from documentary to portraiture.

 

Of course there’ll be photojournalism in the background that doesn’t interfere: I’ll capture the groom’s glance down the aisle; your parents' facial expressions; a tear of someone unaware; the giggles of the little ones, you and your mum...  

 

It’s my job to fade into the background of your day to be able to do this, but this comes from a place of comfort with me – if I’m like one of the party, you won’t notice me capture these moments unaware!


But whilst this might be 80% of the time, there'll be bits where I'm slightly more involved...


Notley Abbey Wedding Photographer in Yorkshire.
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Elsewhere, there’s a vital collaboration needed in your portraits, and you’ve got to like me!  Everyone is different – you may want a little direction, or a more relaxed approach, but I do like to take a little time alone with you as a couple, without making too great an impact.


My friendly approach makes for a balance whereby I can blend into the background at the right times, and this is when I capture the genuine candids! That said, if “candids” are all you get, this is where things can go wrong, when people think they want a “natural” approach at the exclusion of the banned word – posing!  It’s not so much posing as “adjustment” – taking a few moments to tweak a moment I’ve spotted into something that, whilst posed, is a timeless capturing of a memory that no one would realise was anything other than natural – taking these moments will be so worth it, even if you feel you only want “natural” in the moment…I promise!  Again, we come back to your comfort in front of the lens - CONNECTION – connection between you and your partner, and connection with me!

 

If I spot a beautiful moment and miss it, it’s worth me asking you to rewind two seconds and recreate it!  Nobody else knows I created it, or how you felt in the moment of that shot, they simply read it as natural.  This is the story-telling expertise you’re hiring me for.

 

There must be a connection between us in which you’re happy for me to be the third wheel you’ll likely see as much, or even more, than anyone else on the day…without getting riled or fed up with me!

So hello, I’m Tom.

Tom Roberts, wedding photographer at Champagne Shutter Photography, West and South Yorkshire.

It’s easy to think of photography just as the end product, but we’ve got to be comfortable with each other, enjoying the process, to get to those great natural shots.

 

This is why we must have a rapport and why I insist on meeting in person, or at least via video, planning for the flow of the day – so that you don’t feel awkward.  This icebreaker is where we link and you get to feel a trust in me that’s authentic.  This is where I’ll be asking questions and listening, so that it’s about YOU and not just an orchestrated pose.

Take a look at the example here – I’ve deliberately chosen one that is from a totally different field from weddings, family portraiture.  Most of us are uncomfortable in front of the lens.  This young man’s grandmother sat alongside this shoot, and seeing the results the following week, said that it was “lovely…so natural, it really captures him smiling with his eyes.” 


This meant I’d done my job, because nothing about this pose was "natural."  After taking time to establish rapport, I’d given pretty minute details of instruction, from posture, isolating the back of the head from the chin, bodily facing the light, to turning the face away from the light, to giving just the slightest hint or detail of a smile, to bringing just the lower eyelids up just a touch, not the top!  You see the detail?  It’s a long list!  The hand raised behind the neck, and the arm position, looks spontaneous, but was instructed.  


No one knows this in viewing the image, and if it looks “so natural,” and the posing “captures him,” then I have done my job – my expertise is in hiding my intervention until it becomes invisible.

Family and child photographer in Doncaster, South Yorkshire.

I am always the bloke at weddings who has to be ready, armed with tissues, because I'm guaranteed to have a little cry in the ceremony.  Now, a water-clogged viewfinder is an occupational hazard – luckily, the glasses are a decent barrier!


I will never treat your day as just another wedding, because then, where would the authenticity and connection be?  Every single wedding matters to me.  Our personal connection, and through the lens, is vital.

 

I strongly believe that wedding photography is not just documentary, otherwise it would all be a sea of the same. With a little bit of adjustment, a few instructions to avoid the orchestrated, you will have lighting and portraiture with timeless elegance that perfectly captures the way your partner looks at you! 


This will be your heirloom for life...   

BASED IN YORKSHIRE, SERVING THE UK, EUROPE AND THE WORLD...