Wedding season is fast approaching, and in honour of this, Friday-Ad has caught up with Brighton based photographer Chris Giles. Chris, who holds a particular love of wedding photography, talks to us about the industry he loves, offers advice for those with upcoming nuptials and shares some thoughts from the other side of the camera.
Why is photography important to you, and where did your love spawn from?
I guess it’s a culmination of reasons. A legacy being one, knowing that after I’m gone I’ll continue to exist through my work is a big plus. Another one being that working with nice people on happy occasions rubs off on you and makes you a better person overall. I’ve always appreciated art and pretty things in nature, a faulty Sony Cybershot and the arrival of a new puppy meant, new camera, newer camera, more expensive one and so on to the stage I am today.
Do you harbour nostalgia for your first camera? What was it?
My first camera? Wow, no not really any nostalgia, but if any camera sticks out in my mind it was the old film cameras that instead of taking rolls of film took discs….they didn’t last very long! Other than that, the Canon 40D. It’s the camera I had when I went from Amateur to Pro.
Do you have a favourite photo of all time, be it yours or another’s? What makes it so special?
There’s one that my Dad took of my grandmother in some poppy fields. She later developed Alzheimer’s very badly and it’s nice to have something of her at peace.
As a professional photographer you confess to a particular love of wedding photography – why is this?
It’s because there’s never a dull moment, never an unhappy face and everyone is in good spirits. It’s also a real privilege to be asked into such a close group of family and friends and I never overlook how fortunate I am to be there.
What advice would you give to any couples out there, with upcoming nuptials, looking to employ a wedding photographer? What sets the best apart from the rest?
There are three simple stages:
1. Find someone whose work you love (Internet)
2. Find out if they are within budget (email)
3. Make sure they aren’t a loony (Meet).
Lastly, it’s more important to spend out on image quality, than mediocre work in order to afford an album. Albums, prints, canvasses can be taken any time after the wedding but if you don’t have any decent images to print in the first place….
For any couples out there currently trying to fix a date, what would you say are the main visual benefits between a summer and winter wedding?
The biggest things that impact photography over the course of a year are light and temperature. If it’s too cold everyone ends up inside making it more of a challenge. The lack of light in the winter is the biggest killer. Weddings in December can be troublesome as at 4pm it’s too dark to work outside. So those group shots, pictures of the couple together and so on just aren’t feasible. Flash isn’t always the answer but it depends on what the couple actually wants. I prefer late summer, early autumn weddings personally, lots of colours, and mild weather. Summer, whilst having great light to work with, can lead to a sweltering wedding party, melting wedding cakes and dead, brown lawns!
With the rapid developments in Smartphone technology, do you think there is a chance that the camera could become obsolete as a snapshot device?
No, everything is moving forward at the same time so whilst Smartphone’s may be heading towards the quality of compact cameras from 10 years ago they will always be 10 years behind. The laws of physics apply as well, as does people’s expectations of quality. If you went back in time and gave someone an Iphone by yesterday’s standards they’d be impressed. By today’s standards they wouldn’t be.
And lastly, where do you see the future of film photography? Does it still have a significant part to play in professional photography?
It does but only in Fashion and Portraiture. I still use Medium Format film for portraits but compared to today’s high end cameras it’s fighting a losing battle. Everyone wants things yesterday and film needs processing, scanning, etc. Long term, film will always be used for a certain look.
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