Tell us about Studio Westlake...
Studio Westlake begins and ends with family. We are a family run operation. We believe in it, and we celebrate it. We think this gives us a unique insight into how we serve our clients. Based in the South West of England. Nestled in the rolling green Devonshire hills you will find us squirrelling away in an old shed (now newly converted studio). Here we balance creative enterprise with (something we feel very passionate about) a healthy work/life balance. In this modern era, since the invention of automation and immediate gratification we choose to prioritise, considered agency. We are a collective of creatives earnestly seeking to refine our craft. We eagerly pursue creative expression both professionally and recreationally. We are writers, musicians and dreamers as well as annual camera club subscribers. Many organisations like to suggest they function like a ‘dysfunctional family’. Well, we’re the real deal. We are genuinely dysfunctional, we argue, we laugh, we cry. We probably spend more time than is healthy together. And yet we would like to suggest this makes us tight. Like a well oiled machine, we often know what the other is thinking. Sometimes we don’t need to use words; a look will suffice. You see what makes Studio Westlake unique within its industry is that we operate as one unit. There is no need to outsource, we dovetail all our operations into one seamless creative organisation.
Tell us about your creative vision...
We are not interested in painting by numbers. Good portraiture is about more than just flattering angles and beautiful backdrops, we fundamentally believe in order to capture someone’s true likeness it begins with understanding them. Who they are and what makes them tick. Every nuance is important. This is where we start. From there we begin to explore how we can creatively embellish and extract that which has played out in-front of our lens. The thing you’ll notice very early on about Studio Westlake and our work, is that we are entirely occupied with the concept of narrative and the uniqueness of a moment. The power of cinema is in its ability to capture a snapshot in time that can never be re-created, thus the importance of every shot being unique and full of drama. This plays a massive role throughout our creative process particularly in the way we edit and process our footage. Our chief aim is that every photo and video we publish evokes within its audience a feeling, emotion or story.
What is your approach on the wedding day?
Our approach is considered but never contrived. Creatively inspired but never convoluted. Honest human stories to last a life time. In our minds the great skill with weddings is knowing when to be present and when to be discreet. We promise discretion and intuition in equal measure. The art with weddings is taking time to understand ones surroundings. We always arrive a little earlier than promised, in order to get a lay of the land and to ensure we are fully informed. Throughout the day we are mindful of the environment around us. This is crucial to enable us to capture the atmosphere and accurately document the uniqueness of your day. We will take the time to capture the small details of the day including the flowers, table dressings and the like. With your agreement we will disappear for a short amount of time to take some of those more private couples portraits. We will arrive ahead the ceremony to capture the morning preparations all the way through to the evening entrainment. Or longer should you need this. Aside from the work itself we genuinely seek to befriend your guests. We want to be apart from the party not the sore thumb in the corner of the room. At times we would rather risk being overly familiar than cold and removed. Weddings are full of joy. We want to fuel the atmosphere not draw on it.
Do you offer both photo and video?
The short answer is yes we offer both photo and video. Studio Westlake was born born as a photographic enterprise. We offer fine art wedding photography for the discerning and style savvy couple. A documentary approach capturing natural and timeless moments. Unobtrusive photography with a creative flare. The power of photography is in its ability to capture a snapshot in time that can never be re-created, thus the importance of every shot being unique and full of drama. Our aim is that every photo we publish evokes a feeling, emotion or story. Video is perhaps the biggest disruption to wedding industry in the past 10 years. Gone are the years of shaky uncles wedding videos. We are not interested that tacky, overly mushy nonsense here either. We tell unique and personal wedding stories for the modern couple. Simple yet emotive. Always unobtrusive in approach but always dynamic in delivery. We think our films speak for themselves. Why not have a look yourself.
What pricing and packaging do you offer?
At Studio Westlake we are committed to making the process of booking as easy and transparent as possible. We’re not particularly interested in designing overly complicated wedding packages that include various forms of print, albums and personalised USB’s. We’re simple creatives who enjoy our work for what it is. We know from years of experience that our favourite images may not be yours, and so for this reason we would much rather you design your own wedding albums. Worry not, we have an excellent online platform for this and its included with every package we offer. We are big believers in quality over quantity. Each year we take on a limited number of commissions. Our UK packages are based entirely on the service we provide and the level of coverage you require on the day. Our full day photography prices start from £2300 and our video from £1500.
What advice would you give to couples looking to book a photographer?
Find someone that appreciates their art. This way you really get those photos that Wow! Find someone that’s genuine. Genuine as a person, but also in their work, stay clear of fussy and formal photos, it’s painful in the moment and especially when you look back at two dimensional shots absent of memory. Candid documentary style photography is non intrusive and a sure fire way to capture those precious moments that last a life time. There are tons of excellent photographers out there, some are brilliant at big dramatic shots, some at capturing candid moments, one thing we often find in this industry is that there is a considerable lack of authentic photography, and by that we mean photos that accurately capture their subject. It’s all well and good when having a great landscape behind you but when the photo doesn’t look like you… that is really disconcerting. As photographers/videographers our number one mission is to capture that person for all their natural and authentic beauty. Choose someone that you can see that truly appreciates the natural. Photoshop is the downfall of many great photographers!
We Love Our Beautiful Wedding Photos! Charlie was fantastic from start to finish. Via our calls and emails, he was very detailed, informative and helpful and always sent useful documents that answered my many questions! Charlie had lots of creative ideas and suggestions on how to achieve the look we wanted, whilst still keeping in line of the Pinterest board I shared - it was the perfect balance! On the day, Charlie was the best energy that we needed. After moving our wedding from 170 guests to 30 and then last minute to 15 due to COVID related guidelines, he reassured us that our day would still be beautiful and captured in the best - way, and he did just that! Charlie brought a lot of fun in capturing our photos, especially ‘The Parade’ part outside. Our families had such a good time and really bounced off that energy. He was very professional, innovative and a perfectionist in ensuring that we got the photos we wanted, even with the factors that were against such as lighting, weather etc. The biggest thank you to Charlie for making our vision a reality! Couldn't recommend him enough!
Perfectly Captured Our Special Day! Charlie captured our amazing photos for our recent wedding at Hestercombe Gardens. Charlie made us and all the guests feel comfortable and relaxed, adding in an element of fun and creativity to all our photos. He was more than happy to accommodate our requests and ideas with also directing us to make our photos stylish and to their full potential with his advice and experience. We couldn’t be happier and truly feel like the photographs tell a story of our day. Not only did he get many beautiful staged photos he also took lots of natural shots of the day as it unfolded. We really can’t thank you enough Charlie at Westlake Photography!
Couldn’t Be Happier! We could not be happier with the entire experience with Charlie and of course our photos!!! From the start Charlie has been lovely to work with and really flexible, we changed our wedding plans and date about 3 times with Charlie and we are so grateful he agreed to move things around for us. Charlie was very friendly right from the beginning and was very interested in understanding what we wanted our day to be about and what was important to us. My husband and I don’t often take pictures together so I was a little nervous we wouldn’t know what to do in front of the camera but Charlie made it so relaxed and fun for us. At the end of the night I asked my husband what his favourite part of the day was, and he said the couples photos part - this was my favourite part too. The images came out so beautifully and everyone who sees them compliments the photographer. He also got all the photos back to us so quickly! The online gallery of our photos is also really lovely to use and Charlie organised the images of the day into categories to view which I am so grateful for.! We really are so pleased with his work and hope we get to work with him again in the future, I’ll find any excuse to! Thank you Charlie!!!
Charlie and I have been trying to work together for months and I'm sooooo pleased that we finally got the chance to in early December on a coastal elopement. Charlie has the most welcoming, laid back aura about him that whether you're chatting over the phone or in person, you will automatically feel as if you've been friends forever. His photography is utterly incredible and makes you sigh swoon worthy sighs every time you look at them and I'm not ashamed to admit I cried when he sent the shoot photos through. Whether you are a couple wanting shots or a supplier wanting to work with Charlie, I can whole heartily say you will not be disappointed and on the day he will put you at ease, make you feel comfortable and as if he has all the time in the world for you. I've worked with a lot of photographers over the past few years and Charlie is without a doubt now in my top 3 and I'm so excited to see where his incredible work takes him. I'm feeling so fortunate to have been able to collaborate with such an awesome talent and fingers crossed I get to again in the future.
We were very lucky to meet Charlie in a beautiful camp in the middle of the Agafay desert (Morocco). Charlie's work is awesome, we totally fell in love! The photos reflect every detail and feeling of that moment. But most importantly, it is the marvellous treatment he has with couples. He makes you laugh, have fun and feel comfortable and calm to give your best. Thank you very much for everything, without a doubt you are the best option!
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