We have been working closely with Richard Milnes over the last 12 months. He is a professional photographer who lives near Abersoch along with his wife Cass and their German Shepherd ‘Indie’. His amazing career has taken him throughout Europe and across the pond to the USA. He has photographed everyone from Harrison Ford to Sir Alex Ferguson, been published on book covers and in countless magazines. Luckily for us he now enjoys life as a documentary wedding photographer working on the Llyn Peninsula and has become a good friend of us here at Talhenbont.
How long have you been photographing weddings?
My first wedding was back in 2006, it was a huge break for me as I originally decided I would focus mainly on portrait work. Photographing people has always been my passion. Out of the blue I was approached to see whether I would be interested in working a 3-day wedding in the Algarve. This was my first ever paid job and I was thrilled and apprehensive in equal measure. The wedding itself was incredible, there were athletes and celebrities, a private beach, a galleon and a 12th-century chapel. 14 years down the line and I’m very fortunate to have almost 500 weddings and over 100 commercial shoots to my name.
How would you describe your shooting style?
It’s a happy coincidence for me that my preference to shoot weddings in a natural, documentary style is what most bride and grooms are actually looking for in their photographer. My instincts are to take a step back and to slow things down, this allows me time to consider not only the content of the photograph but also the composition, the lighting, the background, the framing, the shadows, the reflections; all of the attributes which can turn a ‘good’ image into a ‘great’ one. Talhenbont is a photographer’s dream venue as you have some many options to suit every type of light, theme and the couples preferences.
I’m always very calm at weddings and I’m always very patient, the couples who book me are looking for images of real moments with real emotion and you have a better chance of capturing those if you take the time to take in your surroundings and have a connection with the people who you are photographing. Often brides & grooms will tell me that they are not comfortable in front of the camera, the good news is that the majority of images that I take are taken candidly, these images are almost always more flattering and have a natural, unforced feel to them.
How many weddings do you photograph a year?
I’m very fortunate in that we are able to limit the number of weddings I do each year to 35. Quality is very important to me and I go to great lengths to ensure that each wedding receives all my energy and focus, whilst being on your feet and taking photos for 9 hours may be physically demanding, it is the creative energy which can suffer most as a result of taking on too many weddings. For me 35 is the magic number, it allows me time to recharge the creative batteries between weddings and allows me to deliver the level of photography brides and grooms expect from RMP.
How long before the wedding should you book your photographer?
We have taken bookings from anywhere from 1 day to 3 years before the wedding! We did the figures recently and the average number of days that couples booked us in advance was around 450, so approximately 15 months. Obviously, there are many factors which need to be taken into account when booking suppliers for a wedding and there is no single answer but I would recommend that booking a photographer should be a priority if high-quality photography is important to you as we do tend to get booked up quite far in advance.
Do you work with an assistant on the wedding day?
I have some excellent assistants who shoot in the same style as I do so that the edited images will all look and feel very similar. I usually recommend that anyone who is having a wedding with 90 or more guests should also book my assistant, this is so we can offer the most comprehensive coverage of the wedding day.
How long after the wedding can a bride expect to see the finished photographs?
Typically all of your images will be edited and uploaded to a private gallery within 30 days, during quieter times of the year this may be a little sooner although I think it’s actually quite nice to have a little bit of a break between the wedding and receiving your wedding photos. As most of the work is done in camera there is often very little editing to be done which means I can deliver an entire wedding in a single day if necessary. My images lend themselves to a classic, minimal style of post-production and I deliberately avoid using ‘trendy’ filters and colour effects as one day they will look as old fashioned as soft-focus photos do today!
What makes a ‘good’ wedding photographer?
With so many wedding photographers being available in what has become a flooded market, I would advise brides & grooms to look for photographers whose work stands out from the crowd. Many photographers claim to shoot ‘documentary’ style but their websites might suggest otherwise and instead show a large number of staged or posed images. This is one of the clues to look for when trying to determine the type of images that you can expect from your wedding photographer, if you prefer natural, un-staged images then your photographer’s website should reflect that. Another idea is to speak with photographers who are recommended by your venue, often they will have a greater understanding of how to make the most of the venue and how best to manage situations such as a rainy day or a dark, winter wedding. It is great to work with the team at Talhenbont as there are so many incredible backdrops to choose from.
Where can a bride see some examples of your work?
My website is probably the best place to start, I have deliberately chosen images that represent what I actually deliver, largely un-staged, ‘real’ moments. I’m also a big fan of Instagram which is a very visual platforms and perfect for photographers to showcase their work.