Behind the lens with Essex wedding photographer, Luke Hayden
07 Mar 2017
Find out more about Essex wedding photographer, Luke Hayden, and his signature photography style
How would you describe your style of photography?
I would describe my style of photography as discrete and honest. I’m not one for setting up posed shots. I think when this is done, that viewer can tell and it takes away from an image that could have been so much more. I’m into capturing authentic moments throughout a wedding day. Don’t get me wrong, I do take posed portraits and group shots, but even then it’s nothing too forced.
How did you start out in wedding photography?
In 2005 I stumbled across a wedding photographer's blog by chance and was blown away by the images he was producing. I had no idea there was such creativity in wedding photography. After following his work for a year, I decided to purchase my own digital SLR. I finally photographed my first wedding in 2008 for a family member and was hooked. I knew this was what I wanted to do.
Who are your ideal clients?
My ideal clients are couples who put their total faith in me.
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.
This photo of Pip and her father is everything I want in a photograph. To some people this may not be the most exciting photo. It’s not got an epic landscape or an amazing sunset. It’s actually a very simple photo, but captured at the right moment in time. I love the connection they both have in this frame. The way Pip’s father is gently holding her chin. Also the holding of hands connects them. Then you have the eye contact with each other. I’m pretty sure they weren’t aware I was taking this photo. It’s moments like this that I love to deliver and surprise my couples with.
Photographers seem to inject a lot of their personality into their work… what are your inspirations?
My main inspirations are film and music, for sure. When editing, I’ll often have a movie playing. Other times I’ll listen to music. Film or music can slightly change the way I edit my photos.
How far in advance should those interested look to book you? Do people stand a chance of getting you last minute?
I would definitely advise couples looking to book with me to make contact as soon as possible. I’ve just taken a booking for two years' time. Every year I’m filling up my calendar quicker than the previous. There is always a chance I’d be free for a last minute wedding, but it’s a good idea to make contact as soon as you have a wedding date.
What’s the most challenging part of photographing a wedding?
Staying focused can be challenging at times, but I always have to be alert. I make sure to always have my cameras with me at all times. It’s really important to stay focused and pay attention to what’s going on around me with my eyes and ears.
How can couples help to ensure the best work?
I’d say it’s best for couples to really trust their photographer. I shoot weddings every weekend during the summer so I know what works and what doesn’t. Communication is key, but you must have full trust in your photographer.
Can you tell us why you think wedding photography is worth the investment?
Photography is one of the most important things you can invest in for your wedding. I honestly feel it’s more important than the dress or the shoes. It’s all well and good having a beautiful dress but if you book an inexperienced photographer, you risk having no decent photos of your special day with your loved ones. There are no second chances when it comes to wedding photography. The photographer only gets one chance to capture the story of your day, so it’s super important that you book someone who is well experienced.
Finally, if you weren’t a wedding photographer, what would you be?