Behind the Lens with Essex wedding photographer Craig Williams
08 Mar 2018
Enter Craig Williams' vibrant world of weddings and find out what inspires him to create his amazing work
How would you describe your style of photography?
I don't really know what style of photography I would fall into. Maybe all of them at one point or another in a wedding day.
How did you start out in wedding photography?
I started as a wedding photographer back in 2001 when a friend asked me to shoot his wedding. I shot it on film using two FM2 cameras: one with a colour film and one with black and white, basically shooting family group shots until my film ran out.
Who are your ideal clients?
Fun, creative and relaxed. I also love couples who get me and my work; I want couples who want my photography and not just a photographer. I think it's really important to connect with my couples; for them to understand the way I shoot and what I shoot is a massive step in the right direction.
Can you choose a picture that encapsulates everything you want to achieve in a wedding photograph? Tell us what it is about this image that you love.
A couple under a tree that seems to have a place carved out of its amazing branches especially for them. On a wedding day my brain does not stop working, I am always looking for the best light and locations. The picture shows calmness and a couple in love trapped in a moment of utter isolation, just them together. That's what it is all about; the couple being together when everything is happening around them on their wedding day, it's all about them.
Photographers seem to inject a lot of their personality into their work… what are your inspirations?
I have always loved portraits whether it's in a magazine, a book or an old photograph. I collect old photographs, mainly portraits of people. It inspires me to see how images are produced, how light is used and people are framed. I am always looking for light, whether it's natural summer light or light in a room. Light is the main part of my job and using it and finding ways to use it is what keeps me inspired.
How far in advance should those interested look to book you? Do people stand a chance of getting you last minute?
Couples tend to book me about 12-14 months in advance, which is the way the wedding industry tends to work. There is a lot of planning that goes into a wedding day so when you find something you like couples want to secure it for their big day. I would say about 20% of my work is booked last minute.
What’s the most challenging part of photographing a wedding?
In the UK... weather. I don't tend to care what the weather is doing from a photography stand point but it does effect some weddings or venues or if the wedding is outside.
How can couples help to ensure the best work?
Give me all he information I need, let me free and trust in what I see.
What’s your opinion on the controversial ‘group shots’ – can you give us an example of yours?
It's not controversial in my world. I think people need some group shots (don't get me wrong, I don't want to shoot them for hours) but I shoot a lot of moments from the set-up of group shots.
What’s been your most memorable wedding to photograph, and why?
Probably Bonnie and Giles. They got married in forest just before sunset in the most beautiful setting with all their closest people in a circle around them.
Finally, if you weren’t a wedding photographer, what would you be?
I would probably be creating something that I would call art.