Hmm, that's me filling in for an absent bridesmaid in the photo above ~ I promise I don't do that at every wedding!
There are two parts to a wedding. The first is your part ~ and that's simple. Its the best day of your life ~ ENJOY IT!
The second part isn't so simple. That's the photographer's part ~ it's the best day of somebody else's life, get the shots. No pressure there then ;~)
Thankfully, I enjoy photographing weddings, and like most people, I'm at my best when doing something that I enjoy. If I didn't enjoy wedding photography, then I wouldn't do it. This is important to me and it shows in my photography. My images hum with joy and happiness with a sense of fun.
I believe in giving the best quality service I can, and work hard from start to finish to do this.
I don't like the idea of a wedding being turned into a film set with the guests feeling like extras waiting for a part. I try not to get in there way when taking shots so they can enjoy your wedding too. Yes, there may be a few shots which need a bit of prompting and direction, but most of my wedding photography is people being themselves resulting in a natural looking set of wedding photographs.
I observe your day as the story unfolds, taking in the key events but always on the lookout for details and those additional fleeting moments, essential for recreating the unique atmosphere of your wedding ~ the emotions, the laughter, the joy... and the serious (occasionally combined in one photo).
I enjoy both reportage (documentary) and more formal wedding photography and like to meet to discuss your requirements before your wedding. I often combine the two styles so you can relive your day, enjoying it over and over again... and again.
Me holding Emma and Ben's wedding album open on my favourite spread 'Blushing Bride'. I don't know what was being shown on the screen, though I've a reasonable ideal.
It's a long time since Sue and I got married, in fact, we celebrated our 25th Anniversary in August 2013. I try to think back to our wedding, and our wedding photographer. I hired the best I could afford, and got what I paid for... err, I actually did our own wedding photographs with a camera I borrowed from my best man (eldest brother), and relied on the family to take a few photos to ensure both bride and groom appeared in shots. Foretunately, they did, and we ended up with a few memories of a great day. 25 years later, I think back and wonder how I'd have done it differently today, and what images I'd have liked to have now as a reminder, and to share with our children! I'm talking about the dark ages of film, the days where most wedding photographers turned up with a Hassleblad medium format camera with one lens and took a 12 shot roll of film at the church door and close by. Nothing like the full day wedding photography offered today.
The following shot wasn't for a wedding. Its a family and friends portrait ~ my daughter's Last Supper before going away to university. The moment I saw this long table I knew I'd like to do a Last Supper parody/rip-off/homage to Leonardo, though it took several years to come about. I then processed several variations, this 'fully unrestored' version being my favourite.
I have a formal art training and run Leech Design, a graphic design studio in Grange over Sands in Cumbria. We have lived here since 1999. The panoramic view of Morecambe Bay that we enjoy daily from our house has been a major influence on my photography and other aspects of my life. I'm a keen fell runner. One of the highlights of the past few years has been joining clubmates from Dallam Running Club to run across Morecambe Bay - many of the photographs on the Dallam website were taken by me, trying to keep up with the gang running over the Lake District fells! Now if you can just talk Aunty Mabel into venturing onto the sands, how about this for a location for your wedding guest group shot?
I love being behind a camera, whether photographing a wedding, events or landscapes, and I enjoy the variety of contrasting approaches required. On the face of it, wedding photography and landscape photography require different skill sets - though I'd argue that I use the same skills for both. Observation combines composition and timing in all my shots. The real difference between my wedding photography and my landscapes is the mood I'm trying to capture. My wedding photography is looking for beauty, love and joy with affectionate, romantic emotions. My landscapes are looking for graphic geometry, bold contrasts, power. Yet in both wedding photography and landscape photography I'm looking for artistic qualities of rhythm and a flow of energy - photographs that people can look at and study for some time.
For wedding photograhy timing varies, but the most satisfying shots are usually ones where a fleeting moment is frozen in time. My favouite wedding shots are almost exclusively bried instants where the actions and expressions come together - those are the shots I'm constantly on the lookout for and striving to capture. For landscape photography timing may seem unimportant - but the best shots are usually taken during a relatively short persiod of time, especially if you consider the geological time frame involved in sculpting the land!
My fine art landscape photography tends to be very moody and atmospheric. I'm proud to have enjoyed photography competition successes and awards, and I have held exhibitions here in Grange and at the Abbott Hall Gallery in Kendal.
My other artistic passion is watercolour painting, my favourite subject being cathedrals. French cathedrals are top of the list. Why French cathedrals? Well the weather over there is usually more condusive to sitting in front of them for a couple of hours - I do all my paintingsfrom life, sat in front of the buildings rather than sitting in front of photographs. But the British cathedrals are every bit as enjoyable to paint - given the right conditions.
My latest book, a collection of photographs of Morecambe Bay taken from my bedroom window, can be previewed at Blurb.com:
Site and images © John Leech ~ Lake District based UK wedding photographer (www.jlwp.co.uk)