Behind the Lens with Essex photographer Greg Coltman
21 Sep 2016
Turning those special moments in to hard copy memories is both Greg Coltman's passion and profession. We go behind the lens...
How would you describe your style of photography?
Relaxed, informal, documentary style.
How did you start out in wedding photography?
I have been into photography all my life, but didn’t know what direction to go in and then a friend asked me to shoot their wedding and I suddenly knew exactly what I wanted to do.
Who are your ideal clients?
Fun, relaxed informal clients. People that love camping in a tent with an open fire as much as they would enjoy a five-star hotel. People that roll with it and make the most of life.
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.
What I love about this image is its simplicity, naturalness and sense of calm. The wedding day was busy, so when I asked the bride to just stand there and relax she drifted into a contemplative mood and I could really feel it. I think the image conveys that.
Photographers seem to inject a lot of their personality into their work… what are your inspirations?
The couples that I shoot inspire me. Cheesy as it sounds, they all have a story.
How far in advance should those interested look to book you? Do people stand a chance of getting you last minute?
I would advise 8-12 months in advance and yes, particularly over the winter months although winter weddings are growing.
What’s the most challenging part of photographing a wedding?
Traffic! If the wedding is split over locations, traffic makes me nervous.
How can couples help to ensure the best work?
Relax, enjoy themselves, be themselves and allow time for images. Especially around sunset. Discuss ideas and what inspires them.
What are the three most important questions for couples to ask their photographer, in your opinion?
- What is your back-up process for the images?
- What is your back-up plan if you cant make it last minute?
- What can we do to make the images really sing, i.e. What time do you want to do portraits? How do you work on the day?
What’s your opinion on the controversial ‘group shots’?
I don’t mind them. I think they are valuable and if done right and they don’t take up hours of the day, then I think they form an important part of the record of the wedding. I think the secret is to make them fun and limit the number.
In terms of trends, what do you think is the most interesting at the moment?
Not so much a trend but more the variety of unusual places/locations that people are finding. Places like old barns, industrial warehouses etc. and then decorating the places themselves. Really making it unique.
What’s the most common misconception that you have to correct with couples? The thing you’d most like to communicate to the masses.
The amount of time spent on the boring business side of things is hugely underestimated. Photographing the wedding and editing is great, Tax, admin, insurance, website maintenance and all the other mundane tasks that go into running a business are not great.
What’s been your most memorable wedding to photograph, and why?
I don’t have any particular favourite wedding, more a collection of favourite moments from various weddings. Such as an emotional groom, a bride whose dad and step-dad walked her down the aisle, a bride and groom running around in a Zorb… lots of ‘moments’.
Can you tell us why you think wedding photography is worth the investment?
You will be so busy on the day that often it’s hard to absorb everything going on and great wedding photography not only reminds you visually of what went on, but also emotionally and how you felt. From the quiet moments to the crazy party, it should make you feel as though you lived the day again.
Finally, if you weren’t a wedding photographer, what would you be?
Who knows, probably doing something else with photography.