Behind the Lens with North East wedding photographer Joss Denham
19 Jun 2018
We get to know Darlington-based photographer Joss Denham a little better and gain exclusive insight into his world of wedding work
How would you describe your style of photography?
Natural, vibrant and emotional.
How did you start out in wedding photography?
I’ve always been interested in photography. After a career change in the TV industry I decided to pursue photography as a career; wedding photography seemed like such an obvious fit. Moving from working in documentaries to documentary photography, I fell in love with it even more than I thought I would. Being mentored by Mike Garrard and Benjamin Toms, two of the best in the industry, I built up a style and brand that I am proud of.
Who are your ideal clients?
A relaxed couple with the understanding of what documentary photography is, injecting their own personality and style into their day.
How far in advance should those interested look to book you? Do people stand a chance of getting you last minute?
I would say six months to a year, but you never know. There could be a slot available, a month before or even in the middle of wedding season.
What’s the most challenging part of photographing a wedding?
Going unnoticed. With documentary photography, the best shots come when people don’t really realise you’re there. People definitely stiffen up when a camera is pointed their way. However when they get comfortable, they just unwind and their personality really comes out and it shows in the photos.
How can couples help to ensure the best work?
With me, just be themselves. Relax and have fun.
What are the 3 most important questions for couples to ask their photographer, in your opinion?
- What is your style? Documentary, fine art etc (and does it fit with what you want)
- How much coverage do you offer of the day?
- Can I add a second photographer on for more coverage?
What’s your opinion on the controversial ‘group shots’ – can you give us an example of yours?
A group shot of all the guests can be great, showing off the venue as well as a memory of everyone at the wedding. Personally, I don’t think it’s a necessity, it’s one of those shots that I think if it’s not there, would you really notice? But if the weather's nice and the venue has the right spot then why not?
What’s the most common misconception that you have to correct with couples? The thing you’d most like to communicate to the masses.
Family shots take longer than you think. Limit it to 10 group shots max and let the rest of the day be candid.
What’s been your most memorable wedding to photograph, and why?
I did a wedding in East Sussex in the summer of 2017, which involved a beautiful outdoor ceremony and a barn for the reception. The couple were so relaxed and just had a great time. No wedding planner, they just organised it all themselves with the help of their family. It felt very personal and romantic.
Can you tell us why you think wedding photography is worth the investment?
If you’re going to spend a lot of money and time on planning one of the most important days of your life then why not have photographs to remember it? You can’t re-do the day again, so if you hire the right person to entrust with capturing it, you’ll never regret it.
Finally, if you weren’t a wedding photographer, what would you be?
I have no idea.