Capturing awesome photographs that you will treasure forever is just a small sound bite of how Gavin Forster describes his work as a wedding photographer.
Gavin also appreciates that as you’ve spent much time and effort making your day unique, so your wedding photographs should be just as unique.
If you like what you’ve heard thus far, and we certainly do, then you’re going to love looking through these images and reading more. We’ll let Gavin take it away now, detailing his personal approach to wedding and commercial photography.
Tell us a little about yourself and your business
My name is Gavin and I am a full time photographer based up in the wilds of the North East. There are two branches to my photography: commercial and wedding.
My wedding photography is all about capturing the love, smiles and emotion – from the bridesmaids giggling at the beginning of the day to all the busting of moves and ties around heads at the party! My job as a wedding photographer is to tell the story of the couple’s special day through a collection of stunning images.
My style of photography is about capturing special moments and emotions as they happen – I don’t ask people to pose unnaturally for photos or take over proceedings – it’s all about them and their special day.
What motivated you to start your business?
I would love to say that I was bought a box brownie for my fourth birthday and it’s always been a life’s dream…But that’s not how it happened! My love affair with photos started really after my wife and I went on a trip round Europe in 2007. I felt I had to have a good camera in order to take great pictures of all the amazing places that I won’t see again. I bought a DSLR and off we went!
The following couple of years involved me expanding my new hobby into a passion, with a lot of learning and mastering the art. I began to shoot landscapes, do some street photography, and capture a bit of wildlife. It didn’t take long before my photos started appearing online, and I was asked to do some commercial shoots for friends. Not long after that, a wedding!
Needless to say, it went well and all of a sudden all these requests for work sparked something in my head: could this be more than a hobby? Jump forward a few years and here we are paying the bills by taking photos! Going full time was scary but one of the best decisions I have ever made.
Tell us a little more about the day to day activities of your business
The perception online is that all I do is take photos at a weekend, duvet days and watch TV all week! What I actually do: I’m an accountant, a social media expert, salesman, marketer, blogger, public speaker, admin worker, content writer, and all around CEO! I have however recently hired someone to help me with my social media, which has certainly given me more hours in the day to dedicate to other areas of the business.
If our readers were to order from you, what can they expect?
They can expect a personal consultation and planning process in order to establish the client’s specific expectations and desires for their big day. On their special day, they can expect me to be capturing the best moments from the very beginning of bride preparations through to the end of the night and the perfect first dance. They can expect me to not be intrusive and to be respectful of their privacy, whilst still capturing the perfect shots.
After their wedding, the client can expect well digitally processed images, all edited in the signature Gavin Forster style. They will be delivered to the client in a beautiful wooden presentation box with a matching USB containing print-ready and social media-ready images, as well as a beautiful collection of wedding prints.
The client will also have access to a personal online password-protected client area where they and their friends and family can view the full set of images online. Finally, they can expect my promise that I will do my utmost to create a stunning collection of images that capture the emotions of their special day.
How can couples judge if a company is the right fit for their wedding?
For me, it’s very much a combination of a few things. In terms of a photographer, do they like the images? You’ll have to look at them for the rest of your life, so make sure it’s the right style for you and your partner! Maybe more importantly is how long you get along with the photographer. 10+ hours on your big day and all those chats beforehand is a long time to spend with someone new!
It’s always important to sit down with your photographer and chat through what it is you’re looking for. That’s why I offer a consultation beforehand, to establish the client’s desires and expectations. It’s also their chance to decide whether they are the right photographer for you.
In terms of other suppliers such as caterers, venues and florists – to name a few – it’s all very similar. The couple needs to have a look at what they have produced in the past for other weddings, and see if they like it. They can even go and taste some of the food that a caterer can offer, to see if it’s works for them.
Lastly, it’s important to consider budget. A couple needs to establish a budget early on in order to figure out how much money can go towards each aspect of the wedding. If a company is charging too much above their budget, don’t choose them!
What are your favourite moments from previous weddings you’ve been involved with?
There have been so many! The face on the unsuspecting groom when a Blues Brothers stretch police car arrived to pick him up. Or the bride grabbing all the girls and kids to do races across the fields just for giggles in the afternoon! Every wedding I have had the pleasure of being part of has special and fun memories.
The bigger picture – does your business offer goods/services outside of the wedding world? Tell us more
I am also a commercial photographer – I get to work with some amazing small and big companies all across the North East and beyond! My commercial photography centres around the concept that professional images are essential for any business wanting to promote their brand and give it an identity.
I capture the essence of the moment and the ‘feel’ of every situation to meet the business photography needs of each client. My commercial photography allows me to work in a range of settings with a variety of businesses and organisations – from fashion shoots with Jo Storie Knitwear to sporting shots with Newcastle United Football Club, the possibilities are endless.
What have you got planned for 2017?
I have some amazing weddings lined up all across the UK. Look out for them on my blog and portfolio! I’ll be planning my strategies and growing the business, in order to ensure a successful year in 2018. And in between all that…I’ll be spending time with my lovely wife and kid!
And finally, what or who inspires you and why?
That’s a tough one, as I have come across so many inspirational people. Mathieu Young, a photographer, is certainly someone who inspires me. I remember seeing one of his blog posts back in 2007 from his first published work, and I emailed him for a chat. He got back to me, and ever since I have watched him skyrocket to being one of the world’s best photographers working on many TV promo campaigns. For me, the journey he went on from shooting the streets of his home town to the images for the Twilight movies is an amazing journey and shows what can be done with hard work and a vision for learning!
All Images courtesy of Gavin Forster Photography