We’re thrilled to interview the fab photographer Laura Calderwood today from Laura Calderwood Photography. Laura is based near Leeds in West Yorkshire, and regularly photographs weddings in Harrogate, York, Ilkley, Leeds, Wetherby, and Halifax. But she’s so enthusiastic she’ll travel pretty much anywhere for a wedding!
Who or what inspires you the most?
Where to start! A beautiful building, a field of wildflowers, a deserted beach, children playing in the park, a couple holding hands. Seriously, a hundred things and more! My mum inspires me to be more selfless (cue my mum crying as she reads this, hahaha!), my husband inspires me to be more patient. There are a great many photographers out there that I so admire, and looking at their work constantly inspires me.
And of course there’s Pinterest. I am absolutely a Pinterest-aholic!
Where would your dream wedding photography location be?
Almost anywhere – Rome, Paris, Sydney, New York, Barbados, you name it! Honestly, I really can’t get enough of weddings! But whether it’s in a castle or a teepee, what really makes a wedding special is seeing a bride and groom completely in love with each other (I know, I know, what a cliché but heck, I’m an incurable romantic and proud of it!). And I get to share that with them and the people closest to them – what could be better that that?
Of course I’m allowed to include imaginary locations then it would be in a faraway land where everything is made of chocolate, marshmallows and cake. Mind you, I’m not sure how much I would be able to concentrate on the photography…
Can you share your most treasured photograph with us and tell us why you chose it?
I don’t think I could pick just one! I treasure any photograph of someone I love or something that triggers a certain memory. Old family photos, ones of my friends and I in fancy dress, pets that I had growing up, and of course my wedding photographs. Especially the one of my husband trying so hard not to cry, but failing miserably!
How would you define your style of wedding photography?
I have a very relaxed and laid-back approach to photographing couples, and as a result I produce relaxed and natural images. And they’re the kind of images that I love. The ones that say something about you both and your relationship; whether it’s a sneaky kiss when you think no one’s looking, or a bride giggling after her husband tells her a dirty joke!
That’s why I like to get to know couples before their wedding, not just during the pre-wedding shoot when I’m mostly behind a camera, but talking over tea (and cake!) about how they met, the proposal, and all the little details of their big day. I also love to spend some time with couples at their wedding venue to see what’s happening where and if they have any ideas for locations for photographs and so on.
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?
I have always loved taking photographs, but at first it was a hobby and I mostly photographed flowers, animals, textures – anything I thought was pretty basically! Then I got married and our wedding photos were so amazing, I remember thinking “I wish I could do that”. So a year or so later I decided to attend some photography workshops so that I could learn about photographing people rather than things and that was it, I was hooked!
Then I got back in touch with our wedding photographer and asked if he would mind giving me some advice on where to go next, and he very kindly let me tag along to a few weddings. I guess it was when I got home after the first wedding that I shot with him that I realised just how much I wanted to be a wedding photographer – I was on such a high, I jabbered on to my husband about it for hours!
What advice would you give to brides when choosing a wedding photographer?
There are so many things to consider when you’re trying to choose a wedding photographer. And there are so many great photographers out there to choose from, it can be pretty overwhelming! I would start with the basics – how much of the day do you want to be photographed, do you want one photographer or two, and are you happy to have a male photographer with you in the morning while you’re all getting ready? Those sorts of things will help you narrow the field down a bit!
Then start to take a good look through their online galleries to see if you like their style. Think about what you are wanting from your wedding photographs. Do you want a lot of family group photos and formal portraits, or would you prefer a more photojournalistic approach – someone who blends into the background capturing moments as they happen.
But I would say the most important thing to consider is do you like actually the photographer?! This person is going to be with you for the most important day of your life, so it’s really important that you choose a photographer who you think you will get on well with, and who will listen to you and help to calm your nerves.
How do you feel wedding photography will evolve over the next couple of years?
That’s a tricky one. Wedding videography is already becoming more popular, plus the best DSLRs are now able to record great quality video. So I think wedding films are something we’re going to see more and more of.
Category: Real Weddings