Everyone has that box don’t they? A box full of photographs – in a variety of under, over and perfect exposures. I suppose my box might be a bit bigger than most – I took so many pictures as a child. Far from monetary and material luxuries I found the simple things so rich. This box documents a lot of my rather unconventional childhood –where I lived, the wallpaper of my room, the garish coats me and my best friend thought were so cool, all of the cats across the households, the Sweater Shop t-shirt I lived in, the clothes I wore on my first day of non uniform school, the awful fringe I thought was a good idea when I was 14 and my first gig (Vanilla Ice – cringe).
But also, there’s something more tangible than that, snapshots of people that say so much about them – a photo of Auntie Hilda playing cards (who was renowned for cheating at them), my dear Aunt Gloria in her garden tending the BBQ for her friend who had come from Africa (she was a sociable traveller), my Dad tinkling in the bonnet of his old Maserati (he was a car obsessive), Grandad organizing his garage (obsessed with his workshop being neat). None of these people are with me anymore but I swear I am transported right back to that moment when I look at those photographs.
Like many others, I’m not sure there I can pinpoint one reason as to how I ended up being a photographer by profession. My transition into wedding photography happened so organically and by shooting them I tapped into that passionate drive to capture those seemingly insignificant things that later on become such an important memory. So just like I can almost smell the oil in my Dad’s garage when I look at the photo of him, or I can feel the warmth from the fire at my Nan’s while I played cards with Aunty Hilda, I want my couples to look at the photos of their weddings and remember not only the obvious moments but the little moments and the things that all contributed to their day being something immensely significant for many reasons.
I want them to almost smell the autumn air that accompanied the orange trees.
I want them to remember the cold feel of the chair arm in the moments while the last bit of make-up was applied.
I want them to feel the warmth as the rainclouds broke and the stream of light hit them through a window.
The new, rigid feel of their beloved shoes going on.
How comforting a slight movement of a thumb over the back of a hand was during a ceremony.
The smell and warmth of the open fire felt when they got to their reception.
I also want to fit in with the crowd, allowing me to really capture personalities.
And just how wonderful it was to see their loved ones united, sparking new friendships and small conversations that 30 years down the line turned out to be very life changing.
And it doesn’t stop there, from the way I edit those memories, the paragraph I put in the email when their photos are ready, the way their prints are packaged and how the albums are designed – I want to enhance that whole experience for them.
The biggest feedback I get from my couples is that they booked me because of the atmosphere I capture and I never want to stop booking those couples – ones that hold those values dear, that stay true to themselves and that will always allow themselves to be transported back by taking in the tangible richness of a photograph.
Emma Gutteridge (aka Emma Lucy) is a photographer based in Brighton. In just three years, she has established her wedding photography business and books clients that really connect with her and what she sees. She is often featured on all the major wedding blogs and contributes to Photo Professional magazine. She mentors new photographers and helps them to find their feet in what can feel like overwhelming times. We are very happy that she agreed to host the Beginner’s Bootcamp at Farm Week and believe that she has a lot to teach us about how to quickly develop your own niche in a very busy market. She will also cover shooting, finding your style, getting an efficient workflow and discussing fresh ideas on how to tailor marketing for you.