When it comes to having your photograph taken, if you fall into the ‘oh god this is really awkward‘ camp then you need a photographer who isn’t going to make you feel self conscious or ask you to do loads of unnecessary posing on your wedding day. You want to find a photography ninja who collects images without you even noticing. Here’s where the amazing Story + Colour step in. Husband and wife team Laura and Dan have been regulars on RMW for years. Dan shoots the weddings, Laura basically does everything else, but they pride themselves on making sure they deliver incredible images for even the most camera shy of people.
As a special treat for RMW readers, Story + Colour are offering you a FREE ENGAGEMENT SHOOT when booking full day wedding coverage for remaining 2019 and 2020 wedding dates. This is not only a great way to capture some images of you together, but it also gives you the opportunity to get to know Dan before your wedding and to relax in front of the camera. To redeem this offer, you’ll need to mention RMW when you book. I caught up with Laura and Dan to find out more about them and their style, and to help you decide if they are the ones for you…
We capture the moments that tell the story of your wedding day in a relaxed and unobtrusive way. We don’t insist on posed shots or interfere with your plans. Instead, we record the day as it unfolds, letting the day happen around us without engineering events or getting in the way of people enjoying themselves. The result is a selection of images that captures the heart of your wedding. As well as capturing the iconic moments throughout the day, it’s also important to make sure the smaller moments in between aren’t forgotten. The laughter, the tears, the excitement and all the details that make your wedding unique to you. It’s our goal to do everything we can to make sure you never forget them.
Our style of wedding photography is reportage, with a few portraits and group shots as requested (don’t worry, everyone needs a few!) We like to think of it as viewing your day through the eyes of a guest – recording the details big and small that you’ve worked so hard to create, capturing the atmosphere and all of the people you’ve chosen to share the happiest day of your life with, and all of the special moments from start to finish. We play with natural light as much as possible, and when the day is done, we edit in our signature style to bring your story back to life for you to enjoy again and again.
Planning a wedding is such a huge job, and people’s to-do lists can spiral out of control – we like to take up as little time as possible whilst assuring our clients we have the job covered. Often we get approached fairly near the beginning of the planning process, as photographers often get booked up to a year in advance, and it’s a great big tick. We are always happy to meet face-to-face (or Skype if long-distance) and if a couple is wanting to book, we take a small deposit and then leave them alone until just before the day as they have so much else to be thinking about. However, when we meet, we give all our clients our little booklet of wedding planning advice that we compiled from speaking to lots of our lovely couples after their weddings were over, hoping it will help them keep focused and enjoy the run up to the big day. Our favourite quote from it is “Make it a day you both want, not what others want you to have” – this is so important to remember!
Though always on hand to answer any questions or support in any way necessary, we usually next speak in the few weeks before the big day – we get in touch to go over any specific requirements and timings for the day, then on the day itself we subtly record events as they unfold. So many of our clients say that they didn’t even notice Dan there – we think this is a compliment!
We were one of these couples! The biggest thing we learnt was to pick a photographer who is as subtle and as relaxed as possible, and who is sympathetic towards your discomfort in front of the camera – you want the photos to look back over in years to come, but you don’t want to have your day be altered in order for them to be captured, or pulled from pillar to post so the photographer can have something vogue-worthy for their portfolio. This is why our approach is to view the day almost from the viewpoint of a guest – take it all in and capture all the wonderful moments, but without getting up in people’s faces too much. We also learnt that actually, on the day, this feeling is far from your mind. You’re far too busy having fun and chatting to all your friends and family to be concerned about having your picture taken. Neither of us can even remember our photographer being at our ceremony as we were so in the moment, but there are tonnes of great pictures that prove otherwise! We generally always take couple portraits, but try to make them as natural as possible – usually getting the couple to go for a walk or say something silly to each other is enough to capture something really intimate and personal of the couple alone on their day.
We also offer engagement shoots, which really helps practice being in front of the lens. You think you’re going to feel really silly but then it’s just a walk around somewhere you love, a casual chat and maybe a drink, but there just happens to be a camera there too!
Last year Dan photographed Seb and Charlotte’s wedding at the Round Chapel in Hackney, London. During his speech, Seb slipped into song, a very Mad Men-esque ‘On the Street Where You Live’. He then took it up a notch by tap-dancing and was then joined by the ushers and began a fully choreographed routine before continuing with his speech as if nothing at all had happened. The guests and bride particularly were all hugely taken by surprise and it was such a special moment. It certainly isn’t what you expect during the speeches, which are often a much more static occasion!
A really common theme in our client-base is that people talk about not being comfortable having their picture taken, or being centre of attention. We felt exactly the same on our wedding day! We think Dan’s laid back attitude and friendly nature makes prospective clients feel really comfortable and we find a face to face meeting with people who have these concerns usually secures a booking when they realise how unassuming he is. Meeting your photographer before booking is a really savvy thing to do to ensure you get along really well. After a coffee or pint with couples we usually find we have lots in common and we’re often a bit sad when the photos are delivered and the process has ended!
We really like it when we get to photograph people from different backgrounds or cultures join together to celebrate – witnessing delicious Hindu feasts, raucous Jewish horas, symbolic Humanist rituals such as ‘warming’ the rings, gentle Vietnamese prayers, traditional Catholic blessings, heartfelt gay wedding vows – we love all kinds of love, and we feel so honoured to capture such special moments from so many walks of life.
We genuinely love all types of wedding! Our weddings are broadly split into three kinds – London pubs, country barns and urban venues. We’re really into architecture and urban/industrial design, so these types of places really appeal mainly because they are full of natural light which we like to maximize in our photography. Above the venue type though, we love to shoot couples who are relaxed and just up for having a good day.
When we got married, cool urban venues were few and far between and we didn’t have much choice, but now it’s exciting to see how many warehouse-style venues are accessible and we love seeing what people do in these spaces with their own style and décor. We’d probably go to town a bit more if we did it again. We would also definitely have some street food vendors for the evening – that’s something that’s become popular since we got married and we love this style of food!
No two couples or weddings are the same, and all of our clients are celebrating something amazing – who wouldn’t want to spend a day at work surrounded by love, joy, dancing, fizz and food?! Our couples work so hard to make their day unique and beautiful and we’re so happy to capture it for them to keep forever. We’re always really pleased when we get messages back about how it feels like reliving the day each time they look through the images, including some of the details and moments that they missed – that’s our main goal!
Dan’s background is in graphic design, but he is really passionate about photography, so maybe a reportage documentary photographer capturing different places and cultures around the world.
We have our first wedding at the Asylum Chapel in South London next year, which has been a dream for a while! Whilst we have travelled near and far for weddings, and worked at lots of industrial London venues such as Swan Wharf, Brixton East, Islington Metal Works and Trinity Buoy Wharf, we haven’t had many urban/industrial weddings outside of London. There’s a couple of amazing re-purposed venues on the wish-list, including Victoria Baths in Manchester.
This is a sponsored post, but we only ever work with brands and businesses we love. You’ll find Story + Colour in our handpicked wedding directory, The List, and we’ve featured their work countless times here on RMW.