Behind the Lens with Norfolk wedding photographer Richard Jarmy
06 Sep 2018
Injecting a sense of his vibrant personality into his work, wedding photographer Richard Jarmy aims to put his couples at ease. We find out more...
What geographic area do you cover?
While I'm mainly Norfolk based, my work has taken me to some of the most beautiful locations in the world and has enabled me to capture some amazing photographs and meet the most wonderful people along the way.
How would you describe your style of photography?
Relaxed; I want my couples to be totally comfortable around me so my style is very much a relaxed approach. I love to get to know them both on the pre-wedding shoot and also spend time at the start of the wedding day chatting to the friends and family to work up a rapport and also get involved in the banter and fun, sometimes being the cause of the banter just to be able to capture the natural laughter that ensues.
How did you start out in wedding photography?
Photography has always been a passion of mine so when I was first asked by a friend to photograph their wedding, I was a little nervous, but it gave me an enourmous sense of achievement to capture a day they would look back on for years to follow. This led to doing more friends' weddings and giving me the experience of how a wedding day runs.
Up until last year, I was a singer in a wedding function band, so know how to engage a crowd and how to get the best out of every type of person. This experience has been paramount to my confidence in getting the shots my clients are looking for, all in a fun way.
Who are your ideal clients?
I love working with couples who absolutely love life. Fun is the key element here and if the couple are up for a laugh, it usually means that the congregation are too so I play up to their personalities and try to get the very best out of each moment I’m with them.
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.
Without doubt, this is one of my all-time favourite photos from a wedding. The smiles, the adoration, the love and the onlooking parents and friends are so, so proud. Yes, later on that evening there were some classic dance moves, but right here and right now I get totally lost in this moment.
Photographers seem to inject a lot of their personality into their work… what are your inspirations?
Laughter and love. Because I am a relaxed and easy going person, I don’t try and pose the couple. I wait for the moment after they’ve kissed, the smile that follows; that is the real love shining through just in that moment in time. I sometimes ask the couple to look at each other and 99% of the time, they laugh which is my opportunity to capture just that; happiness.
How far in advance should those interested look to book you? Do people stand a chance of getting you last minute?
The earlier the better really to secure the date, just in case I get another enquiry come along. However, I have woken up to a very last minute request and been able to cover it as I was not booked that day (hHad to sort school run out as it was a Friday, but apart from that I covered it).
Photographers do get booked up rather quickly so even if I get an enquiry, I honour the first couple and give them first refusal should another booking come in for the same day.
What’s the most challenging part of photographing a wedding?
I embrace every aspect of the day. My challenge is to not miss a moment.
How can couples help to ensure the best work?
Many of my couples say that they are not comfortable in front of a camera, which is why I love doing the pre-wedding shoots with them as it helps them relax on the day. They know they can trust that I’m getting some awesome shots of them both, whether I’m up close or hiding in a bush (artistic use of the foliage to create depth).
What are the 3 most important questions for couples to ask their photographer, in your opinion?
- Ask if they offer a consultation meet-up. You will be spending all day with your photographer, so you want to make sure you get along.
- Find out about why they should be your wedding photographer. What’s different about them that makes them the person you trust to capture your day.
- Ask to see examples of their work to make sure you love their style as although your wedding is unique, the photographer will add their style and touch to the day when they capture you.
What’s your opinion on the controversial ‘group shots’ – can you give us an example of yours?
This is the part where you can make some wonderful memories. I am not a fan of hundreds of variations in group shots, but I know it is a moment that the photographer has everyone together to create a memory. I’ll warm them up by taking a couple of formals but then announce that it was rather boring and get them to do something crazy.
This in turn prepares them for any other group shot they will be in plus they also know that as well as me being serious about capturing the moment, I also want everyone to laugh and relax... which is ultimately the goal of capturing an awesome group shot.
In terms of trends, what do you think is the most interesting at the moment?
I have always tried not to copy or to follow trends, but choose to stick with my style where possible. I just to go with the flow and be creative with what is right in front of me. You have to know your camera and lenses to get the best of out them in each situation (day, night, direct sunlight, rain, dancefloor or flash). As you can see from my work, I adore the off centre and negative space in an image as it can say so much without taking away from the moment.
What’s the most common misconception that you have to correct with couples? The thing you’d most like to communicate to the masses.
“Uncle Bob has a half decent camera and I’m sure he’ll be great at taking the photos on the day”. We all have to start somewhere in photography, but a decent camera is not what makes a decent photographer.
Your photographer will be a ninja of their game being able to capture perfect moments for you (that’s a given) but also be able to: set up perfect moments, crowd control, arrange the confetti shots, be very nice to the vicar, organise the groups, be a children’s entertainer, a comedian (a necessity!), be a technical whizz on the dance floor to capture the alcohol fuelled best man and the Beyoncé strutting maid of honour (or groom) with his tie around his head or her getting on someone’s shoulders.
Yoru photographer will put you at ease, offer long walks together (to photograph them, not just to go for a stroll). They’ll research the venue, have back-up cameras, lights and lenses. They will eedit each image as if it were the Mona Lisa and deliver it all on a gallery and USB and album for you to relive those memories for years to follow.
What’s been your most memorable wedding to photograph, and why?
In all honesty (you know what’s coming), I’ve loved them all... I really have.
However, if I was to chose one, then purely based on the positivity and bravery of the couple and the congregation plus the wonderful banter with them too, then it would be Tammy and Ian’s wedding back in June this year at the Boathouse.
From the moment I first met them, I was hooked on their positivity. Even though Tammy was very open and honest about going through chemo, her smile just shone through and the love on the day is something I’ve never felt so much before from every single person there. There were laughs, there were tears (myself included) and there were amazing moments like this which made Tammy so excited. It’s moments like that which make me so proud to do what I do and create memories for people.
Can you tell us why you think wedding photography is worth the investment?
The photographs you have from your wedding day are there for a lifetime, being passed down from generation to generation and to have it done professionally is very high on the must-have list for many couples. It is not cheap but what you get back are priceless memories, crafted from your collaboration with your photographer to tell a unique story of your day.
Finally, if you weren’t a wedding photographer, what would you be?
My background is entertaining, from holiday camps to theatre tours and I used to be in an international Steps tribute band, so making people happy (yes, even with Steps music) is in my blood. I miss performing, which is why I try to make sure everyone at each wedding is having the time of their lives.