Norfolk wedding photographer Jessica Aline Hay on capturing the big day
Advice and ideas from a wedding photographer
Tell us about yourself:
I am a Canadian landed in the middle of the gorgeous Norfolk countryside. With a background in fine art photography, I love to bring a bit of creative flair to my work. I’ve been photographing weddings for over 10 years and approach each one with a fresh and exciting perspective.
What should a couple look for when choosing a wedding photographer?
Quality rather than quantity. While I would recommend not skimping on a photographer (you do get what you pay for in terms of experience), you don’t necessarily need to spend a huge amount on a good photographer. If you’re on a budget, which let’s be honest most of us are, I’d recommend looking for quality rather than quantity and maybe focus on the more important parts of the day for coverage.
What are the current hot trends in wedding photography?
Boho without any fuss; relaxed candid photos with more focus on guests and less time spent exclusively on the couple. I’ve found this often extends to group shots where couples are asking for family photos to be taken on hay bales and even don’t mind the occasional wandering guest in the background.
Do you have a preferred shooting style?
I love a spontaneous creative style, most useful during the ceremony and reception. I like to blend into the crowd to get a few snaps of people really just enjoying themselves, completely unaware of the camera. It takes a keen eye and constant fluid movement through the crowd, but totally worth it when I manage to capture sincere rippling laughter.
How do you get people to relax in front of the camera?
Pick a beautiful spot away from guests and give the couple space to have a moment to themselves. If particularly camera shy, I’ll keep them moving. Nervous laughter looks great on camera, and while I might give a person a bit of direction if needed, I often find all a couple needs to relax in front of the camera is to look at each other and then I’m often forgotten.
Do you like to have a plan for your wedding day shoots or do you prefer to see what develops? (no pun intended)
I like to come prepared but leave lots of wiggle room for changing circumstances, especially in case the weather is misbehaving. I always have a back-up plan for key shots and leave plenty of time where I can get a few quick snaps if needed to ensure all those important moments are recorded.
Do children and animals bring special challenges or opportunities to the wedding photographer?
Such wonderful challenges! I love it when children and animals are involved as it brings new and exciting elements to the day. Both only have small windows of opportunity, so it’s important to take advantage of their attention when you have it!
Do you have any photography tips for the happy couple on the big day?
Leave room for the unexpected and don’t get caught up in the details. Once the day has begun just go with it and don’t let your preconceptions get in the way. How you feel will reflect in the photos (even more so in videos!) so my greatest tip would be to relax and enjoy yourselves.
ABOVE AND BELOW: A couple of Jessica’s favourite shots show a relaxed and fun style