Today is the third in the series to find out more about the support workers and unseen heroes who make weddings truly memorable and today we meet one of the experts who captures those memories, Katy Lunsford.
Katy has been a passionate photographer since she was a little girl, receiving her first camera as a present on her 7th birthday, whilst on holiday in France.
Katy: “France has held a special place in my heart for as long as I can remember. As a child I grew up going on holiday to the south of France every year, and over the years I fell completely in love with the country, the culture, lifestyle, food, wine and of course the sunshine! I have travelled all over France, and there are so many beautiful areas, but Provence has to be my favourite. I am happy to cover any area of France, and I live close to a number of airports with flights to most parts of the country.
When working with destination clients, if the couple are living in the UK and having a destination wedding in France, I will try to meet with them face-to-face, but if they live abroad we can skype to chat and get a feel for if I am the right photographer for them and vice versa. It’s really important to me to have a connection with my clients, to get on well and build a relationship with them. After the initial consultation, we keep in touch via email, facebook and/or twitter, and I encourage couples to have a pinterest board so I can see the images and ideas that inspire them.
I always include an engagement shoot as this is key in building that relationship and getting the couple used to the camera, and it has a huge impact on the wedding day and resulting photographs. People often haven’t been photographed professionally since school, and their experience is usually of a more formal style of photography. The engagement shoot gets any nerves or misconceptions about photography out the way, and after the first 20 minutes-or-so people relax and almost forget that the camera is there.
Then when they see the images, and realise how great they look, they are more relaxed and even excited about their photography on the big day. We also have a lovely few hours chatting about the wedding, their story, and getting to know each other. (The engagement shoot can take place anywhere in the UK or France, as long as my travel expenses are covered – Paris anyone?!) Usually by the time the wedding comes round it feels more like I am a friend and guest at the wedding – albeit a hard-working one – and you will often find me shedding a tear or two from behind my camera.
On the wedding day I shoot the ceremony, cocktail hour and reception in a documentary/editorial style, taking in the details and setting, continuously watching for key moments and emotion. I do photograph family groups, but these are done in a relaxed, informal style and we keep them to a minimum. The portraits are an important part of the day as this is when I capture my signature fine art images of the couple, and a chance for them to take some time away from the busy-ness of the day to reflect on the ceremony and spend some romantic moments together. I encourage couples to build in time for this on the day, as these are images they will treasure forever.
I love to work with natural light, so weddings with an outdoor element are definitely my favourite, and the climate in France is perfect for relaxed outdoor celebrations. The light in France is gorgeous, and I will aim to make the most of this in the portraits, especially the hour before the sun goes down. This is usually a lovely time for the couple to spend some time together, after the formal parts of the wedding are over and everything is a little more relaxed.
After the wedding I will edit the photos in my signature style, and if possible we will get together for a viewing where I help the couple choose the photos for their Queensberry album. If it’s not possible to meet, the photos can be viewed on my online gallery and I can work with the couple to design the album over the internet.
If a couple have chosen to get married in France the location is clearly important to them, so I will aim to capture the ‘Frenchness’ of the wedding, from setting the scene with wider location shots, and shots of the venue, the details, the food and any other unique elements to the wedding. I always fly out to a destination wedding early enough to spend a day getting familiar with the area and scouting locations for the couple portraits. We will make the most of the location in the portraits, for example a walk through the local village, or photos in an olive grove or vineyard.
I price destination weddings the same as UK weddings and I just ask for my travel and accommodation expenses to be covered. If couples are having celebrations the night before and/or day after the wedding, I am happy to cover these at no extra cost.”
If you would like to find out more about Katy’s photography services for your wedding in France, please visit her website www.katylunsford.com