Photographer Sam Yardley
Sam Yardley has been a professional Wedding Photographer for nearly five years, shooting weddings from around the Kent countryside to the centre of London’s busy West End. We picked her brains on the art of wedding photography and how to take the perfect photograph.
How did you get into wedding photography?
I’ve always enjoyed taking photos, even as a child. After my A levels, I took an Art Foundation course, followed by a degree in Graphic Design. I then went travelling around New Zealand and worked in Australia for six months.
During my travels, I experimented a lot with photography and even worked with a Photographer in Sydney. Having enjoyed both travelling and taking photographs, I was fortunate to be able to work as a Cruise Photographer with Cunard for eight months. I then worked as a Studio Photographer before deciding to take the plunge and set up on my own.
I particularly love taking pictures that show emotion and capture the mood in a documentary style. During my course I was inspired seeing photos taken by some fantastic Wedding Photographers, and I knew that this was what I wanted to do.
What do you love most about your job?
I love working closely with the bride and groom, getting to know them and then being able to capture the memories of their special day for them.
What makes the perfect photograph?
I don’t think there’s a magic formula. So many things influence the final result – the subject, background, lighting and mood. My style is documentary so it’s about capturing a moment and sometimes the most unlikely shots, timed perfectly, can make the most expressive pictures.
What’s the most memorable wedding you’ve ever photographed?
A personally memorable one for me was at The Bell in Ticehurst. It was a beautiful day and very special to me as it was where I celebrated my own wedding just a couple of months previously.
Rain or shine? What’s the best weather when photographing a wedding?
Ideally fine – cloudy but not too sunny – although moody weather can create some fantastic photos!
What’s the most unusual wedding you’ve ever photographed?
Being Kent based, I get to photograph weddings at lots of beautiful venues around the South East. One unusual one for me was based in Soho London, where we walked through Soho Square from the Groucho Club, taking pictures of the bride and groom in the busy London streets surrounded by people and with the backdrop of the chinese lanterns of Chinatown.
It’s also important to choose a Photographer who will listen to what you want and work with you to ensure that you get the results that you want.
What moment during the Big Day do you most enjoy photographing?
For me, it’s the speeches as there are always so many different emotions and reactions.
How many photos do you normally take during a single wedding day?
Over 2000, but I edit this down to around 600 final photos.
What should couples look for when picking a Wedding Photographer?
I think it’s important for a couple to be at ease with their Photographer, so that they feel relaxed and more comfortable having their picture taken. It’s also important to choose a Photographer who will listen to what you want and work with you to ensure that you get the results that you want.
What tips would you give to a budding Wedding Photographer?
You need to be flexible and able to adapt to the weather or any other circumstances that might affect you on the day. You also have to prepare ahead of time to ensure that you give your couple the photographs that they want and can fulfill their expectations.
Other than weddings, what else do you love to photograph?
I love to get out and about and photograph flowers and landscapes – a contrast to my work spent photographing people!