Today’s interview is with UK based wedding photographer Ian Messenger of Ian Messenger Photography! Enjoy:
Tell us a bit about yourself and your company
I’ve been a photographer since picking up my first camera back in high school and spending hours in the darkroom. After high school I travelled extensively throughout Asia (with my camera of course!) and discovered a love of taking portraits which focused on the human interaction. I moved to London, UK in 2008 and became a studio photographer. I started shooting weddings as a primary photographer in 2013.
Read the full interview after the cut!
How did you get into wedding photography?
It was a gradual progression. In 2012 I was photographing a couple in the studio as part of a fashion brief and at the end of the shoot they asked me if I would photograph their engagement session. They were getting married in the US but wanted some photographs of their time in London. I found photographing a significant moment in life so rewarding that I began the rite of passage to become a wedding photographer: assisting and second shooting. After 2 wedding seasons of second shooting, I launched my solo business in 2013.
What is your favorite part of the wedding day to capture?
I really enjoy bridal and groom preparation. It’s the most unscripted part of the day and where anything can happen! There can be anything from tears of joy (and stress) over the occassion to a pre-wedding party (moderation is key!). Not to mention capturing a groom’s last minute Youtube search to find out how to tie and tie!
What is the most awkward moment you’ve experienced while on the job?
The weather in the UK is ‘challenging’ at times. During a very windy wedding, the bride and groom wanted to release Chinese sky lanterns during their reception. Unfortunately a strong gust of wind took hold of one and caused it to land on the roof of the adjacent building. It was a wooden roof. There was smoke.
What is your favorite venue and why?
I love photographing weddings in the countryside. There is so much character to a farm or winery venue. My favourite venue is Old Luxters Barn in Hambleden which is a wedding venue set on a winery in the Chiltern Valley. It is travelling distance from London but feels a world away from the hussle and bussle of the city!
Nikon or Canon?
Canon. But that is just because I grew up with the system. I’d happily shoot Nikon if I didn’t have to replace all my lenses!
What is your dream location to shoot a wedding?
The Canadian Rockies. Snow-capped mountains and crystal clear lakes would make an ideal setting for bride and groom portraits!
If you could shoot any celebrity wedding (past, present or future), who would be the lucky couple?
Will and Kate’s wedding would have been a nice addition to my portfolio!
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned, and would pass along to other new wedding photographers just getting started?
Invest in quality equipment. There are no re-runs during the big day! Your equipment will inevitably fail but give yourself a chance. Don’t ‘buy cheap buy twice’ or at least do your research. Oh, and have at least 1 backup camera body!
What tips or advice can you give to couples who are looking to hire a photographer to cover their big day?
There is a very personal connection between you and your wedding photographer. When you find a photographer you are interested in, meet them in person for a consultation. A photographer may have a great portfolio but if you don’t ‘gel’ with them, they aren’t the right photographer for you. You need to feel relaxed and comfortable with your photographer (especially if you aren’t used to having your photographer taken!). For this reason, I am also an advocate of the engagement shoot. They are a perfect way to see what works for you before your big day.
Wonderful, thanks Ian! For more information about Ian Messenger Photography, please visit his WeddingLovely Vendor Guide profile or head straight to his website.
Do you have any questions or comments for Ian? Add them to the comments below!