Yvonne Lishman – Fantastically Fun Documentary Wedding Photography

by Michelle

Yvonne Lishman Photography shoots the style of wedding photography that we really love – photos of couples and your friends and loved ones having an awesome time as it really happens throughout your big day.

Yvonne will capture your wedding day as it unfolds; from excited giggles of anticipation of your morning prep, through to the crazy shapes you just know your friends will throw on the dancefloor later.

Yvonne totally gets that you want to be able to look back on your photos and relive how much fun you all had on one heck of a special day.

No rigid classic poses or cheesy grins on cue will be demanded. Instead you will have authentic, laid back, one of a kind photography. This means that each couple’s photography will be original, totally in the natural and most importantly,  such an fabulous momento of you and your day, capturing all the love and fun that surrounded you.

Over to Yvonne now to tell us more.

Tell us a little about yourself and your business

I’m an animal-obsessed, nature-loving, young at heart, slightly eccentric photographer who has been creating happy informal photographs for over thirty years. Originally I trained and worked in the NHS as a medical photographer. I’ve been a primary school teacher, and education officer for the RSPCA too. At school I wanted to be a vet or an opera singer!!!

Photographing weddings is freaking fabulous. Since 2006 I’ve shot tonnes of weddings and picked up a few accolades on the way, like being named ‘One of the 100 Best Wedding Photographers in the World.’ (Nicholas Purcell) I love to shoot quirky weddings in outdoor settings or unusual venues – the quirkier the better!

And I LOVE making people happy, especially with the pictures I take. I shoot fun laid-back wedding photography for down to earth couples who do things their way not the right way and who allow me the freedom to photograph their day as it happened.

What motivated you to start your business?

I’d been working for a while as a teacher for a few years and not really enjoying it and decided it was time for a change. I missed photography. I didn’t miss medical photography it was badly paid and depressing but I missed taking pictures. I’d always enjoyed photographing people. When I was studying photography at college they’d give us a brief to do like photographing nearby architecture on a bellows film camera, which I’d do asap then go back to college to grab a 35mm and go out photographing people in and around a nearby food market.

A friend had set up a wedding photography business and was loving it. He let me tag along to some of his weddings so I could help him and also build a portfolio. I found I LOVED it and couldn’t wait to set up my own business. I gave up teaching set up my business in 2006 and have loved every minute of it ever since. I’m sooooooo grateful to my friend.

Tell us a little more about the day to day activities of your business

When I’m not out photographing fab and groovy weddings I’ll be working at home editing those fab and groovy weddings. There’s the usual emails and paperwork but once that’s done I spend my time with my ace beyond dispute husband Mike and our numerous hairy four-legged kids.

It’s a mad house with lots of laughter at, quite frankly, the sorts of things five year olds tend to find funny. We love motorbikes, vegan food, an eclectic mix of music and holidaying in The Lake District and Scotland with our little puggy dudes Brian May and Flash Gordon. In our free time when we’re not wandering through the countryside with the dudes in tow, we’ll be watching motorbikes whizz round tracks.

If our readers were to order from you, what can they expect?

I’m a friendly, vegan, animal crazy, down to earth photographer with a silly sense of humour and I don’t know how to be anyone else. I love to create beautiful, joyful, laid-back, one of a kind wedding photography that shows how amazing it is to get married and how much fun folks can have in one day. I’m the traditional wedding photographer’s bete noire!

My fun un-McWeddingy photography is loved by couples who are looking for wedding photography that shows them as them and their day as it really happened. Formal groups shots with forced smiles, cheesy portraits, pictures of shoes on windowsills, the generic wedding rings placed on the bestman’s palm, bouquets photographed in a dozen different locations just doesn’t cut it with my couples or me.

Most of the time I’ll photograph a wedding day as it unfolds, the real day, un-orchestrated. I don’t set anything up e.g. if I happen to photograph a bride’s shoes they won’t be carried off and placed on a windowsill somewhere, the bride will be wearing them or will have kicked them off in a corner somewhere because let’s face it she’s got better things to do with her feet like dancing or paddling in the sea and that’s much more fun to photograph.

I always provide prints with my wedding options as images should always be printed and not left to languish on a computer or USB. I also have a few surprises that turn up in the post for my couples along the way.

How can couples judge if a company is the right fit for their wedding?

You have to love the images and the photographer’s approach to photographing your day. Look thorough their full galleries online to see what they photograph during a full day. If you want lots of groups and there aren’t any the chances are that photographer either doesn’t shoot them or does very few, so they’re not right for you.

If you want lots of informal pictures, with some cool portraits thrown in and that’s what you see then you’re on the right path. Then get in touch with the photographer. I prefer to skype or chat on the phone at this point instead of back and forth emails. I can tell within the first few minutes of speaking with a couple if we are the right fit and when we’re not I say so and let them have the info of photographers I feel would suit them better. It is super important you get on with your photographer and that they are going to give you the images you want.

They are the pictures you will have for the rest of your lives. If you don’t like them that feeling of disappointment won’t go away. You have to be on the same sheet that way you’ll get the photos you want the photos that let you relive and feel your wedding all over again every time you look at them.

Ask lots of questions. Like what will they do if it rains and your wedding is in a tipi and there is nowhere else to go. A less experienced photographer will crap themselves at this point so you’ll know you need someone with experience who knows what they are doing with light and can work under any circumstance and torrential downpour without batting an eyelid.

What are your favourite moments from previous weddings you’ve been involved with?

Every wedding has favourite moments of me. Sometimes it’s the look a dad gives his daughter when he sees her in his wedding dress or a soppy or funny wedding speech. Or the different ideas couples have, unusual things like a massive outdoor picnic in Yorkshire where the food was swapped and shared instead of sitting down for a formal meal.

A winter wedding in a cinema where I had to grab portraits on foot on the way to the reception venue such as selfies on the tube and climbing on washing machines in a laundrette because the schedule was way behind and the light was about to clear off for the day. I love when I have to think fast and work with the situation I’m presented with and still create epic shots.

The bigger picture – does your business offer goods/services outside of the wedding world? Tell us more

I love pet photography and have just started to offer day after the wedding shoots where couples can have pictures with their pets in their wedding togs, the couples not their pets, when the pets weren’t able to attend the wedding.

What have you got planned for the next 12 months?

Lots more weddings and day after shoots with pets.

And finally, what or who inspires you and why?

My images are inspired by light, shapes and nature. I love my pets and my husband and they inspire me to keep on doing what I’m doing because one day we will retire to a house by the sea and run among the beach together every day. I’m inspired by rags to riches stories like James Bowen and Street Cat Bob.

I met them once and stroked Bobs’s tail it was one of the biggest joyful moments of my life. I love how people can turn their lives around for the better and do it with gratitude and love.

My biggest inspirations in my life was my late gran she was the kindest person I’d ever known. Kindness was innate to her yet she brushed it aside nonchalantly and was never really aware of how her kindness made me and those round her feel special and truly loved. My first pug Freddie’s unconditional love inspired me to see the good in everyone and seek out love and laughter always.

Images: Yvonne Lishman Photography


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