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Michael Jackson is the very talented photographer and owner of Jackson & Co Photography. You’ll just love Michael’s fun and easy going nature, which is so important if you are a couple that are slightly nervous in front of the camera. His down-to-earth and friendly approach to wedding photography is really refreshing and it helps that he’s a brilliant photographer as well. Let’s find out more….

How did you become a wedding photographer?

“I’ve taken photographs since I was a kid, my Dad made me my very first camera out of wood when I was really small so it’s something that I’ve always done. I guess like so many people a hobby become a real passion and then everything else just faded away and photography was all that I wanted to do. I spent a little while travelling with my wife in California and documented our trip the whole way. Throughout that time we just talked about what we could do and how we would do it and Jackson & Co Photography started to take shape. From that moment on it became the only thing we wanted to do.

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How would you describe your style?

“Bright, colourful and fun. There’s a huge trend right now for photographs processed in a vintage style and although I love the nostalgia of old vinyl records and film cameras in truth I don’t really care for old grainy photos. I love photos that have punch, whether that comes from gorgeous warm sunlight and vivid colours or from a couple grinning at one another from ear to ear – and that ultimately is what I am trying to achieve when I am taking your photograph.

“Having your photograph taken is a daunting experience for most of my couples and they don’t know what to expect. They’re not alone, pretty much everyone does but there’ll soon have forgotten I’m even there. The camera bit is the easy bit of my job, it’s getting people to relax and enjoy is the real skill!

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What do wedding couples ask you first?

“Usually “how long will I be there?” I’m there the whole day to capture your wedding from start to finish. Also “do I sell albums?” Absolutely. I currently provide albums by Folio and Red Tree.

What tips would you give your couples to help their day run more smoothly?

Planning is everything. I make sure that I go through an itinerary the week before so I know what’s happening and when. Also trying to co-ordinate guests together for group shots isn’t exactly my favourite thing in the world! They are important shots to get but unless I have someone to help me find certain friends and family it can be a bit of a guessing game who’s who! Plus it then takes far longer than it needs too.

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What has been your best moment as a wedding photographer?

Crouching down and laying along an old wooden jetty that sticks out into Lake Garda last summer to capture one of my couples. The sun was just dipping down over the mountain and it was a really quiet and calm moment, that shot always stays with me.

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For more info about Michael and to take a look at his portfolio whizz over to www.jacksonandcophotography.com

Emma
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Over the next few weeks we’ll be bringing you interviews with some of Kent’s best wedding suppliers on how they landed their dream job working within the wedding industry from florists, to make-up artists, entertainers and more. Part 1 today is an interview with James Grist, a photographer who has loved taking pictures as long as he can remember. Let’s find out more….

How did you become a wedding photographer?  My photography career really started after finishing my A levels in photography and I started working in sports photography, catching great moments from the World Superbikes. But after a while I wanted to do more work taking pictures of people and a good friend of mine (thanks Pauline!) got me my first wedding job. I was aged just 17 and shot her friends wedding. I just loved it and even now you never knowing what’s going to happen on someone’s big day. That keeps me hooked!

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How would you describe your style? I’m a very laid back kinda guy, not in your face. It means I can’t stand regimental photos but love to float around the wedding crowd and grab those laughter shots or a special moment that otherwise might get missed.

What personality traits do you need to be a good photographer? I think you need to be very confident and very approachable. No-one wants to hire a grumpy ass photographer!

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What are the best and worst parts of your job? The best part of my job is easily capturing moments that could be forgotten over the years. Worst part in my eyes are formal shots where guests stand in a row and generally look uncomfortable! I’m really not a big fan of taking wedding shots that way.

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What are the top three things that wedding couples ask you about first?
It used to be “how old are you?” but sadly I hardly get asked that question anymore! The other is about dedication to the job. My reply is always the same. My son was born in the early hours of the morning, on the same day I had a wedding. I only got to spend a few hours with him before I have to leave. It’s one of the hardest things I’ve done so far. I’m lucky though as my wife was very understanding in the circumstances!

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What tips would you give your couples to help their day run more smoothly? As I say to every couple I see, there is no need to worry or panic on your wedding day if something doesn’t go exactly to plan as usually it’s only them that notices it. The guest often don’t have a clue!

What is your best piece of business advice to aspiring photographers? 

Get as much experience as you can shadowing another photographer. Also learn how a wedding runs as it’s very different to other events. You don’t want to jump right in there and make a major balls up at your first wedding!

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What has been your best moment as a wedding photographer?  The best moment so far is a personal one. It was photographing a family members wedding where I got to take pictures of my beautiful daughter as a Flower girl.

Thanks James for sharing your work with us. Look out next week for Part 2.

Images: James Grist Photography

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