Behind the Lens with Norfolk wedding photographer Duncan Kerridge
26 Jun 2018
Covering Norfolk and beyond, wedding photographer Duncan Kerridge took his hobby to new heights in 2004 and the rest is history...
How would you describe your style of photography?
Observational, with a humorous twist.
How did you start out in wedding photography?
Photography was a hobby for me while I was spending my time on the corporate treadmill. When I was made redundant, many people told me to take up photography professionally and I listened to them. I set up my own business in 2004, shot 25 weddings that year and I’ve never looked back. I’m so glad I chose to be a photographer, I get a buzz from it every day.
Who are your ideal clients?
Couples who are prepared to take the time to look until they find the photographer whose photos they fall in love with. When I turn up at a wedding I want to know that my clients are excited for me to be there capturing their day and wondering what I’m going to give them afterwards. I don’t just want to be a tick in the ‘book photographer’ box. I feel my photographs will be important to them after the wedding day and they should feel the same way.
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 photograph of Lee the moment before Sian walked down the aisle to start their marriage ceremony has always been one of my favourites. Lee projects a very cool and collected character, and this moment gives a little insight into his emotions bubbling underneath, something I’m always trying to find when I’m working at a wedding. I’m not there to photograph a bride and groom, rather two people in love surrounded by those closest to them.
Photographers seem to inject a lot of their personality into their work… what are your inspirations?
I’ve always been inspired more by cinematographers than photographers for some reason, maybe I’m trying to capture as much of the moving scene in front of me as I can in a single frame. I’m a little irreverent with everyone I meet and I think this comes across with humour in some of the photos I give my couples.
How far in advance should those interested look to book you? Do people stand a chance of getting you last minute?
Couples typically book me 12-18 months ahead of their wedding but many couples don’t want to delay and arrange their wedding with just a few months notice. I would say these make up about half of my bookings so it’s always worth getting in touch.
What’s the most challenging part of photographing a wedding?
Mother nature – the one thing that can’t be planned for and which typically causes my clients the most stress. It’s my job to take whatever she throws at me in my stride and still deliver great results.
How can couples help to ensure the best work?
I stress to my couples that they should ignore me on the day, there’s no need to smile every time they spot me pointing a camera at them. Obviously I don’t want them to blank me when I need their attention but for 95% of the day I just want them to focus on each other and their guests, not me. Most people photograph best when they’re not attempting to look good for the camera.
What are the 3 most important questions for couples to ask their photographer, in your opinion?
Assuming that couples can see that a photographer’s work is competent and appealing to them, I think the next most important thing is that they are comfortable with a stranger that will be spending their wedding day with them. So ask them three personal questions that will tell you a little more about the photographer.
What’s your opinion on the controversial ‘group shots’?
Group shots are probably the best way of guaranteeing a photo of a particular set of people that are important to you so I can understand people wanting them to look back on in future. But keep the list sensible i.e. short. The complaint I hear most often from guests at weddings is that the last wedding they went to the photographer kept everyone standing around for a couple of hours shooting groups. In reality it was probably because the couple had supplied a list of 50 ‘must-have’ groups... 6-10 groups are plenty.
In terms of trends, what do you think is the most interesting at the moment?
Nothing dates a set of wedding photos faster than a trend, so I tend to ignore them.
What’s the most common misconception that you have to correct with couples? The thing you’d most like to communicate to the masses.
‘I hate having my photo taken’ – I hear this nearly every time I speak to new clients. So do I. So do most people. It’s because almost every photo people see of themselves has been taken by their friends, on a phone, in rubbish light, from a terrible angle, maybe a little drunk… It’s my job as a pro to make people look great, the setting look fab, and the wedding look amazing. That’s why people hire me. Knowing which photos to keep and which to throw away is another key part of the role – no one will thank me for an unflattering photo.
What’s been your most memorable wedding to photograph, and why?
Laura and Russ stumbled across a church in Kent that was no longer in religious use, but had been kept in good order. They decided to hold their whole wedding there: ceremony, reception and evening. It was such a personal event; other than hiring me and a fish and chip van to feed their guests everything else at the wedding (flowers, band, decorations, etc) had been made by Laura and Russ or their friends. Everyone had a part to play during the day and despite having not met them before the wedding I felt immediately welcomed into their group of friends when I arrived. I wish every wedding could be as chilled as theirs.
Can you tell us why you think wedding photography is worth the investment?
Your wedding is maybe the only day in your life when you pull together all your friends and family in one place. When you’re the bride and groom and in the middle of it all, time passes by fast... really fast. It’s hard to remember it all. I see my job as attempting to record as many memories for my clients as I can: of the people, of the love, of the day.
Finally, if you weren’t a wedding photographer, what would you be?
I’m always happiest in a creative task or role, over the last few years in my free time I’ve developed a love for working with wood, so maybe a chainsaw carver, tree surgeon or carpenter.