I haven’t always been an alternative wedding photographer, I started my career as a graphic designer. Designing logos, branding, brochures for blue chip companies across the UK. I loved it.
Creating ideas on paper, stunning visuals on the Mac then passing them over to the MD to present to big name companies. It was all very creative and I liked the title I eventually gained as creative director.
As time went on I found myself driving up and down the UK in my stylish car, wearing polished shoes, suit and tie. Presenting ideas and concepts to company heads and marketing directors. Driving at 90 MPH to get back to office to make a slight adjustment to an idea ready to present the next morning.
It all got very corporate and didn’t seem creative anymore. And I’m not really a suit type person.
I picked up a camera for the first time after a long break a few years ago, remembering I loved my photography classes at Art School. Never thought of it as a career, more a hobby.
Back then their was no such thing as an alternative wedding photographer. It was a matter of turning up at a church, taking 10-15 standard photos. Everyone’s photos seemed to be the same. When my best mate married and I remember his photos looking like colour versions of my parents.
Except we looked cooler, of course.
I started taking my camera out of an evening, shooting anyone. A little digital effort. I found I loved taking pictures again.
A friend asked me if I wanted to buy their old DSLR from them. I wanted to do more with my photography so I took them up on the offer. I took my old second-hand Fuji camera mainly in night clubs. Capturing the coloured ambient light and slightly drunken expressions appealed to me, it told a story of the evening.
I’d share the images the next evening on Facebook, and wait for the likes and comments. Followed by how many of my new friends would change their profile picture to the one I took the night before.
By this time, I was still doing a bit of freelance design work and building websites. But creating images in a camera were much more fun than creating them on a computer screen.
I decied to make the investment of a better camera and opted for a second hand Nikon D90, couple of lenses and a flash gun.
I was getting asked to photograph events, bands, parties and enjoyed it. When I got asked to shoot a wedding, I thought why not. As long as I could shoot it my way, without the cheesy line ups, I was up for it.
It never seemed like a job, more a joy. It’s different every time. New couples, new guests and sometimes new venues.
I have shoot all types of weddings over the last couple of years, traditional weddings, upbeat weddings, vintage and even a Star Wars themed wedding. I’m happiest being an alternative wedding photographer, probably as I’ve always been around alternative people, alternative music and clubs.
For me the alternative crowd like to do things differently, a little quirkier and have their wedding their own unique way. It keeps it creative, fresh and sometimes challenging too.