There’s no doubt that being a wedding photographer is a highly specialised and high pressured job! At Aspirational Bride we often urge couples to invest as much as they can in their wedding photography and carefully choose the photographer who is right for them. Getting to know your photographer is very important!
Today we’re delighted to meet Kevin Wood of Scott-Wood Photography based in Cambridge. We hope our interview will give you an insight into Kevin, his work and the world of wedding photography!
Behind The Lens With Scott-Wood Photography
Who or what inspires you the most?
For artistic and creative inspiration there are so many great photographers that I could refer to but I really admire the work of photojournalist Sebastiao Salgado; the way he conveys humanity in its most fragile sense is incredible and I am a great admirer of the humanitarian work that he does. Annie Leibovitz is also an inspiration for the way she has mastered the stylised portrait, her work for Vanity Fair is incredible and on the few occasions my work calls for stylised portraits then she is my reference.
Describe your dream wedding location to photograph…
There are so many! I travelled from the day I was born and find it very natural. I spent part of my early childhood in Singapore so I would love to visit Raffles and capture a wedding there. I would also love to capture a wedding set in a vineyard; I have worked extensively in France and Italy where the light can be incredible, but the laid back vibe of California also appeals if the opportunity arose to photograph amongst the vineyards there.
Which couple in the world would you most like to have photographed on their wedding day?
From a purely aesthetic perspective I would have loved to have photographed the wedding of legendary actor Steve McQueen to Ali McGraw. They were an incredible looking couple and very of their time. More recently it would have to be wedding of Kiera Knightley to James Righton. She epitomises natural beauty and seems thoroughly decent and nice. She looked incredibly happy and beautiful on her day and for me it seemed to have all the perfect elements; a great location, great couple who look like they were genuinely happy about being married, stylish, relaxed and great fun.
Can you share your most treasured photograph with us and tell us why?
Like many photographers I prefer being behind the lens than in front of it but my most treasured is an image from when my wife and I retook our vows in Tuscany at the stunning Hotel La Suvera close to Siena. It was just the perfect day and quite unforgettable
How would you define your style of wedding photography and what makes you stand out as a photographer?
My mantra is ‘be inspired…be yourself’ so my style is very relaxed and documentary, letting the day run naturally without imposing my ideas of what a wedding should look like. Clients comment on the beauty of the images but also comment on the humour and emotion in my images and how I manage to capture the very essence of what the day was all about; and that to me is the biggest compliment to receive.
Tell us about how you got started in photography? And what was the defining moment(s) where you knew this was what you were meant to do?
When I originally left school I was ready to go to college to study photography but for some reason I ended up studying to be an engineer! It was a good career but the desire to do photography never left me, and eventually my wife encouraged me to return to college to study photography and what a revelation that was. I finally felt like I was doing something that made me truly happy and fulfilled. The rest they say is history but I just have to add that it was an Italian photographer, Edoardo Agresti (one of the top ten in the world) who mentored me in my early career and gave me the inspiration to photograph weddings and to photograph them in my own style. He remains a friend and inspiration to this day.
Briefly describe a typical day when you’re shooting a wedding…
There are of course common elements to every wedding but I wouldn’t say that every wedding follows a typical pattern as there are always different factors with every client to consider. For me the ‘typical’ parts of the day start before I arrive with the client; checking and double checking all my equipment and ensuring I have everything in my camera bag. I usually can’t wait to start so I always prefer it if I the bride requests bridal preparation as it means I start fairly early!
The busiest point of the day is usually just before the ceremony begins, capturing the groom and groomsmen and then capturing the bride as she arrives; the nervous tension is quite palpable just before the bride and her father walk down the aisle so at that point it is especially important to be calm and project that calm to the bride and her father. It depends on the vicar/celebrant as to whether I can photograph during the ceremony, and the next busy point will be when the couple exit the church or ceremony venue.
This is one of the few times when I am more involved in getting everyone in place to capture the confetti ‘shower’ and if they are having a few formal group shots I have to be quite confident in getting everyone together for them as very rarely does the best man have the confidence to do it. People say I have a good ‘instructing’ voice – polite but firm so clients generally just let me get on with it! I try and do group shots without keeping guests hanging around too long, and sometimes I will do them at the reception venue rather than the church depending on the feel of the day and the weather.
Once we are at the venue the rest of the day is usually fairly straightforward. If the bride and groom want to have some romantic shots we will take time out from the celebrations but I let them decide; I never push them into doing this.
The most important points in the reception are the speeches (lots of emotions to capture) and then the dancing, which I love to capture – it’s usually the point when everyone lets their hair down and has some fun to finish off the day.
After that I will either stay for a grand finale if one is planned or ‘exit stage left’ about an hour after first dance so that I don’t start to capture the more embarrassing moments of the day that perhaps may wish to be forgotten!
Scott-Wood Photography – http://www.scott-wood.co.uk/
Category: Real Weddings