Interview by Ellie Kime
All images by Jess Soper
Even with candid documentary photography like yours, there's still a slightly more staged portraits session - do you have any advice for couples who aren't that confident in front of the camera?
You need to spend at least half an hour a day in the run up to your wedding perfecting your Instagram pout in front of the mirror…..Obviously I’m being ridiculous DON’T DO THIS!!
It’s very rare that you meet anyone who’s actually confident in front of the camera, so don’t worry you are not alone! I’m well awkward in front of a camera. I guess that’s why I try to make the whole thing as relaxed as possible. You shouldn’t be feeling like you’re on a photoshoot - the couple photos on your wedding day are just about capturing all that loveliness that’s already there between the two of you. Have faith in your photographer to make that look super special. My advice is always just enjoy the moment and don’t worry about me.
Don’t go into it with any preconceived ideas and it’ll all be good. If you’re mega nervous I’d definitely recommend a pre-wedding shoot, partly because you realise it’s not as terrible as you think, you’ll have the reassurance that you can trust your photographer and and you take that pressure off photos on the the day. And if all else fails have a few drinks first and you’ll probably just stop caring!
Do you have a wedding bucket list? If so, care to share what's on it?
Not really! I guess the main thing for me is that I get on with the couple, if they are sound people, having a wedding that’s ‘them’ then I’m just going to be bloody excited to be there, wherever the wedding is. I love weddings with lots of creative ideas, that’s always inspiring to shoot, anything that’s environmentally conscious - (the world’s fucking awesome - look after it!) and I absolutely LOVE music so I guess bonus points for any wedding that involves a great sound system and lots of dancing. Rave wedding?!
You're all about authenticity and genuine, organic feelings - how did you get it into this industry?
I never set out to photograph weddings, I really didn’t think it would be my cup of tea. I have a low tolerance threshold for ‘rule-book’ weddings! I got lucky as someone asked me to shoot their lovely woodland wedding and after that I was hooked, it was so emotional and personal. But I did realise pretty early on, that authenticity is super important to me and so I make sure I only work with people that I connect with. I’d feel so out of order photographing a wedding and not being completely on board with it all.
What advice do you have for couples on how to pick their ideal wedding photographer?
I guess the first bit is pretty obvious, find someone whose visual style you love but then it’s also super important that you like them as a person!
Make sure you meet them or Facetime them so you can have a proper chat. You’ve got to have a photographer there all day, so if you’re totally clashing personalities then that’s going to be hard work. You’ll also get a good idea as to how they’ll be on the day, some people are naturally louder, some quieter, some more regimented, some more relaxed, I don’t think there’s a set thing that works better because it totally depends on what sort of person you want there on the day. I always find it fascinating how much stuff I have in common with my couples and how the things you are drawn to visually are often the things you are drawn to in life.
As someone who's so visual, it must be hard to describe your work yourself - your photos speak for themselves but how would you describe it?
Like a good cup of tea with a chocolate Hobnob on the side…. honestly I never know how to answer these questions, it always sounds so cliche. I guess it’s mostly candid, documentary photography. I want to capture the fun, emotional parts of your wedding, all the story-telling bits, but I also want you to have some standout, couple photos that you want to hang on your walls. Something a bit special, I love getting creative, finding the light and the moment to create a bit of art that really is a celebration of your love. I love that no two sets of couple photos will ever be the same and the more unique the better in my book. Every couple has their own unique relationship and that’s what I really love to capture.
You can check out Jess's full listing in the Book Of Love here and take advantage of her EXCLUSIVE OFFER for our readers - A FREE 1HR COUPLE SHOOT WORTH £250!!!!