Hi, I’m John, the Yorkshire-based photographer behind Top Tier Photography. I’ve provided a great service for couples getting married over the years and love to cover weddings for couples who think we’d be a good match, so let me tell you about me and what you’d experience on your wedding day, so you can decide.
I will give you space. It’s your wedding and I don’t want to get in the way of the flow of the day. I cringe when I see wedding photographers being too much in the faces of the bridal couple. I let the day flow wherever possible and if you see me approach towards you then you will know it will only be because there’s a belting image I want to make. If it’s going to be just ‘nice’ I hold back, knowing there’ll be hundreds of other opportunities throughout the day. Sure, I don’t mind getting guests’ attention if that’s what’s required, but it’s not my style.
For a while I found it surprising to be told by guests in the evening what a good wedding photographer I am. I found that puzzling, as to me a wedding photographer should be judged by their images, but it obviously helps if you are personable, unobtrusive and get the formal group photos taken efficiently without it taking over an afternoon. I can talk appropriately to anyone, having had a diverse background from working on remote redneck Australian farms to project managing academic professors and industry leaders. Let’s get back to talking about group photos.
Formal group and family photos are necessary, by which I mean they are important, particularly to older relatives, but they have their place in day which should not be a big one that detracts from time spent celebrating, nor one which annoys your Uncle who has made camp at the bar. I like to have these photos complete in under 30 minutes (ideally 20mins) which is achievable by getting organised beforehand with pre-listing shots and recruiting a couple of Ushers to get guests present and ready first.
Bridal Couple Photos
Don’t worry! We will talk about this. I know what looks good, what backdrops, lighting and body positions work, but you won’t be manipulated into place. I think about what suits your style as a couple and do my location homework on this as I’m genuinely excited by this creative part of the day. There are clever ways of you having your own moments, just in the most photogenic locations. I like when someone comments on a photo as being lucky to capture a natural moment, and I’ll smile knowing it was created through some forethought and an obliging couple. Oh, and half the time you won’t even have to look at the camera and if I tell you to smile into the camera you have my permission to shoot me!
Call it documentary style, reportage, fly-on-the-wall, call it whichever – aside from the bridal couple and group photos, the rest of the day I will be walking around taking natural photos of guests having a good time.
I covered my first COVID-19 wedding just days before the UK went into hard lockdown so I have worked within constraints for groups and appropriately within venue protocols.
Photography-wise, I also shoot commercially for a number of clients so when you book me you know that I have a diverse range of experience and that I will also bringing along with me an array of lighting combinations to cope with all conditions so we can use the spectacular hotel stairwell with zero natural light for group shots, or as our plan B if the rain sets in.
Outside of photography I spend my time with my family, making trips in remote and beautiful landscapes and like to keep myself in check with a few triathlons each year. We have two young boys who I love working with on their creative and sporting instincts. I’m presently learning to animate cartoons with the eldest whilst the youngest won’t rest until he’s pummelled me into the ground on a run or bike ride.