In this months wedding special, Rachel Ducker catches up with local photographer James Norman, of Charlotte James Photography & Events, to ask him some vital questions about wedding day photography.
R: How long have you been in business?
I have always felt a strong pull towards photography from an early age. I have worked as a professional photographer for the last eight years, six of those whilst living in London, and in November 2016 I opened a studio in Beccles with my partner Charlotte.
R: What is your favourite type of wedding?
The weddings that stand out the most for me are those that stay most true to the Bride and Grooms own quirky personalities, making them known throughout all aspects of the day. From superhero lego cufflinks to origami bouquets made from comic book pages. Not only does this make for incredible photography, but tells more of a story of two likeminded souls coming together.
R: Describe your photography style?
My main style of wedding photography is reportage, capturing candid moments from a distance as the day unfolds. However, we know that every wedding is different and can deliver tailored styles to each wedding we capture. The Bride and Groom are initially invited to a pre consultation to discuss styles, colours, themes. We normally ask that they create a mood board using pinterest, which enables me to use it as a blueprint for capturing the best images from the day.
R: What is your working style?
The calm in the storm! We know how stressful planning your wedding day can be, which is why we work very closely with the Bride and Groom from initial consultation to engagement shoot, right through to the wedding day itself, ensuring they are as confident and relaxed as can be by the big day, which speaks volumes in the expressions captured in each photograph.
R: What do you think distinguishes your work from that of other photographers?
I have always seen the world through rose tinted glasses, which comes across in the final edited images delivered. They have an ethereal quality about them which has always been well received.
R: What type of equipment do you use? Do you bring your own lighting.
We keep our equipment to a minimum on the day to ensure we are able to move freely and efficiently. As for lighting, a large amount of our work makes use of natural light which is by far the softest and most flattering. Overcast skies are actually incredible for creating soft lighting both in and outdoors. We also use speedlights and strobes for couple portraits and for capturing group shots working with the available light on the day to produce some incredible results.
R: What information do you need from the couple before the wedding day?
A running order of the day is very important. We can pre-empt where we need to be and what we need to be ready for next, being aware of an aunt or uncle that is the life and soul of every celebration helps make for great photographs. It’s more about understanding the vision of the wedding and knowing the personal likes and dislikes of each Bride and Groom. For some black and white images are preferred, others favour colour that really pops.
R: Do you collaborate with any other wedding services that a couple could also use?
I have always strongly believed in working with other talented creative to enhance the service you are able to provide. When opening our studio in Beccles we wanted to offer Brides and Grooms booking us for their wedding photography, the ability to tick off so much more from their wedding day checklist. We currently collaborate with Boomting Bunting for decorative services, Gem’s Gems for origami flowers and Kirsty Woolnough Hair & Make-up. We also have our own in-house bespoke cake and wedding invitation design services and with both also being professional vintage singers, can even provide the entertainment!
R: Do have any assistants with you on the day?
My partner Charlotte attends all weddings with me. It is invaluable having an assistant who can switch from second photographer to helping the Bride with her veil, or liaising with venue staff to ensure the schedule on the day stays on track, all of which ensures that the Bride and Groom are relaxed and simply enjoy every second of their big day.
R: What advice would you give to anyone in search of a wedding photographer?
Make sure the photographer you choose is right for you. This is the most important day of your life so far and should have memories captured that will stand the test of time. Booking purely online always carries a risk. We offer free consultations at our studio where you can come in and discuss your wedding day plans over a tea or coffee with no obligation to book.
James’s studio is located in Beccles at 27 Blyburgate and is open 10am till 6pm Monday to Saturday | www.charlottejames.studio