Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Jon Freeman Weddings

Today I am pleased to introduce Jon Freeman from Jon Freeman Weddings. Jon has recently returned to London from Los Angeles where, for seventeen years, he worked for newspapers and magazines. From portraits of Hollywood stars to fashion and reportage he has worked in thirty countries for publications like the Sunday Times, Marie Claire, Guardian, Telegraph, You Magazine, New York Times, Paris Match and National Geographic.

Here is what Jon had to say........

What first interested you in photography?
I've never done, or wanted to do anything else. After leaving school I got a job in a news agency in the South West developing and printing black and white pictures. From there I wo
rked my way up to photographer working for national newspapers and magazines. Then in the early 90's I moved to LA, California, and spent fifteen very happy years there. During that time I worked in thirty countries for every one from the Sunday Times to National Geographic. After meeting my partner in LA I moved home to London.

What was your inspiration for setting up your business?
After moving back to the UK with my partner (and two dogs) the kind of traveling just was not practical anymore. A few years ago I photographed a friend's wedding as a favour and found that it was great fun and very satisfying. I was very happy with the images, and more importantly so were the Bride and Groom! As a result I decided to set up a wedding photography business.

What do you consider to be your USP?
I think my background in news and magazine photography. While in LA I did a lot of cele
brity studio and location shoots with people like Sylvester Stallone which was incredibly highly pressured. You learn to produce quality pictures very, very fast with minimum fuss. That translates well to weddings where, if you are not careful, the photographer can disrupt the day rather than enhance it.

How would you describe your photographic style?
A combination of photojournalism - catching great moments as they happen and beautiful portraits often using portable studio lighting. Flexibility is very important as well. Couples often have a strong idea of what they want and it is my job to give them exactly that. The whole day should be great fun and my role is to capture that.

What are the current wedding photography trends?
Elegant informality would describe it quite well. More ceremonies are taking place in interesting location like castles or private clubs with receptions that are most like great themed parties than traditional "speech and dinner" affairs. It's difficult to identify a trend except to say that the family line ups that used to dominate wedding photography look very old fashioned.

What are your top three tips to a bride and groom choosing a photographer?
First make sure that
they are a competent professional. Check out the quality of pictures on the website. You do get what you pay for to a certain degree and there are some people who "do weddings" as a part time thing to make some extra money. Photographing a wedding well isn't easy and experience counts.

Do you like their style? Each photographer is different and if you like the examples on t
heir website then that's a good start. Call and have a chat and arrange a meeting to discuss exactly what you want.

And most importantly don't trust a "keen amateur photographer" relative to do it!

Describe the best wedding you've ever worked on?
The most fun I had last year was photographing a wedding in the tiny village in North Devon where I grew up. I actually went to primary school with the groom many years ago. He is from a large local farming family and instead of limousines and Rolls Royces everyone arrived at the church in flower strewn trailers pulled by a parade of immaculately restored vintage tractors. The reception was at a local village hall and the whole thing was perfect. A great bunch of people having a fantastic time in their own very personal way. It was very "Darling Buds of May" and proved that the best weddings are what works for each couple.

I photographed elaborate weddings in stately homes and hugely expensive hotels last year but enjoyed that one the most.

Which celebrity (past or present) wedding would you love to work on and why?
I've been fortunate enough to work with Hollywood stars and my favourite was Paul Newman - ridiculously good looking, down to earth and with a wicked sense of humour - a great combination.

To find out more information visit Jon Freeman Weddings.

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