Lee Hawley Photography is a regular at our Wedding Shows and was due to exhibit at our fabulous Cheltenham Wedding Show, Ellenborough Park today. Here are some questions we asked him to give you an insight into his wonderful wedding photography business.
What made you start your business & how long ago did you start?
Having been a long time amateur photographer, I happened to be best man at two weddings in the summer of 2016, and brought my camera along! The feedback from those photos was overwhelmingly positive, and both couples preferred my photos to the experienced professional they had paid for. I started to wonder if it was possible to make it as a wedding photographer, but the dream seemed too big, but I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Then a week or so later there was a wedding in the church down my lane, without thinking I grabbed my camera and ran down to try and boost my portfolio (in other words, crash the weddings!)! Long story short, it was one of the most exciting 10 minutes ever, and gave me some extra depth to my limited portfolio at the time, including a confetti shot. That night I set up the Lee Hawley Photography facebook page and it grew from there very quickly!
There’s a much longer story to this, which you can actually read about here https://www.leehawleyphotography.com/im-glad-i-crashed-the-weddings/
How would you want others to describe your work?
There are two important sides to wedding photography. The style of photographs, and the approach to getting those photographs.
My style is for natural, unobtrusive and creative images. Nearly always the first things couples say when they enquire is how they like the fact my images don’t feel posed, and capture the soul of the wedding. Which brings me onto the approach to getting these photos. I work as a guest with a camera. Mingling in, so often people aren’t even aware i’m the paid professional on the day. By doing this I get people at their most natural and relaxed.
What would be your dream wedding to photograph?
It’s all about the couple for me. I could have a wedding on a Caribbean island, but if the couple aren’t on board with what I do and want lots of cheesy posey pics, I’d hate it. Whereas any location with a couple who get me, and simply want to have a fun day with lots of happy people, is my idea of the perfect wedding!
What’s your favourite part of your job?
Too many to say just one! Probably one of the most rewarding is when I have a couple who are quite shy and unsure about having their photo taken, and then through a process of familiarity, maybe an engagement shoot, and allowing them to feel relaxed with me we get a stunning portrait of them together on their wedding day, and that moment I show them the screen of my camera and they can’t believe it is priceless!
What has been the most unusual request you’ve had?
To be honest it’s usually me making the unusual requests! I like to throw an idea out there and see what reaction I get sometimes. So iv had couples go for spontaneous boat rides, or off into the woods with a best man and a smoke grenade under my direction, or even a bit of graffiti (with washable paint of course)!
What’s the hardest part of your job?
It’s always disappointing replying to to couples telling them the date they are after is already booked, the other hardest part is finding houses in the winter after dark when meeting couples!
How far in advance should clients book you to avoid disappointment or recommend placing an order/booking?
It depends on the date, but there is no hard and fast rule. The earlier the better your chances. To give you an idea, I already have half a dozen bookings for 2022, and although 2021 is a bit of an anomaly with Covid-19, I currently only have 2 free Saturdays between May and September. But then I also took 3 bookings this January for this February, so if the dates available you’re good to go!
How can our lovely couples get hold of you?
Tel No: 07540894286