Interview with Cat Stephens Photography
Discussing memorable weddings, making couples comfortable and dream destinations, award-winning Cotswold photographer Cat Stephens talks to SoGlosWeddings.
An award-winning photographer who goes the extra mile for her happy couples, Cat Stephens Photography offers a friendly and expert service across the Cotswolds and Oxfordshire.
Dedicated to making her couples feel at ease and capturing all the special moments from their special day, Cat Stephens talks all-things weddings in this insightful interview.
What’s your approach when capturing a couple’s special day?
First and foremost, to put everyone at ease. Good images never come from people feeling uncomfortable. I am lucky that after a lot of weddings I end up as part of the family. So much so that most of my work comes this way – I do no formal advertising other than social media.
A wedding turns into a new-born shoot, a sibling’s wedding, a christening, family photographs and then the best friend too! I also muck in wherever I can if something needs doing or someone needs help, not only does that help people warm to you, but also gives me a really good feeling for how the day actually went when it comes to editing the images.
I have lost count how many dresses I have put brides into, hair I have pinned up, buttonholes I have put on – I have even stitched a bride’s dress when it broke!
What advice would you give to camera-shy couples?
Do the groundwork. Research and read reviews to see how other people talk about the way the photographer works. If the reviews just say the images were fantastic then delve a bit deeper. Find a photographer whose reviews say if they were friendly, how they made people feel on the day.
Meet your photographer first, make sure you feel comfortable just talking even before a camera is bought out. Then most importantly, have a pre-wedding shoot. Even if you don’t want the actual pictures, and even if you hate having your picture taken, make sure you do it.
Not only will you feel much more comfortable on the day as you will know what is coming, but it also really helps your photographer to learn how you are in front of the camera, whether you have any habits such as blinking and learn what to say to get the best from you.
What types of images do you capture?
Such a hard question as I do a real mixture. I am not a specialist for one particular style as I believe I work best with free reign depending on the feeling of the day.
I love being able to capture some dark, moody or arty posed images for a bride and groom and I really enjoy the ad-hoc documentary style that captures the true story and emotion of the day.
Equally I understand the importance of family, so the majority of weddings I cover do include a short formal photography element to ensure those from a different generation also get images they enjoy and value of their ever-growing families.
Do you have a favourite type of venue to work at?
No. I love things to be varied, it helps keep my creativity fresh. I believe you can find beauty and interest from any environment whether that’s a stately home or a graffiti subway around the corner from a town hotel! I do love water though, in any form, as long as it’s not falling from the sky!
What has been your most memorable wedding to date?
They are all memorable for so many reasons. Probably my most memorable was a beautiful December wedding in 2016. It will always stick out in my memory, right from the first enquiry – are you free on the 15th December for an outdoor wedding.
It was a beautiful, very intimate day with about 15 of the closest of family and a huge party with all their friends in the evening. The groom wore a stunning velvet jacket but no socks. And the bride was so, so beautiful in a full wedding gown – with actual ballet shoes, complete with full ribbons.
Have you noticed any trends emerging at weddings?
Statement veils seem to be really big (literally!) at the moment, which from a photographer’s point of view is fantastic. The other thing that I really like, isn’t so much a trend but more a shift in attitude.
More and more couples are truly having the weddings they want rather than sticking hard with tradition, if they want clear Perspex instead of paper stationary, they do. If they don’t want speeches or a traditional top table, they don’t.
Such a positive step in my eyes as they end up so much happier that they really are getting the day of their dreams.
Is there a dream wedding destination you’d like to photograph?
Ooo I have two, The Lake District – with a couple that will let me whisk them away for some really dramatic images on the rocks with lots of beautiful water reflection, or The Fairy Pools on The Isle of Skye, for very similar reasons – told you I loved water!
And finally, what do you love most about your job?
As cheesy as it sounds, just being part of peoples’ special days and capturing beautiful memories for them. Knowing I made someone well-up with emotion at the sight of one of the images of their day is the most amazing job satisfaction in the world.
For more information call 07740 088220 or visit catstephensphotography.com directly.
Friday 16 March 2018
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