Planning to Elope: Meet photographer Lynne Kennedy, Expert in Capturing Secret Weddings in Breathtaking Landscapes
27 Jan 2016
How would you describe your style of photography?
A large part of my work is elopements and very small weddings, which are often held outdoors in the stunning landscape of the Isle of Skye and the Scottish Highlands. My style is intimate and natural, particularly with elopements; I want my images to show the emotion and the connection between the couple, but also the beauty of the landscape they’ve chosen to marry in.
Who are your ideal clients?
I photograph such a diverse range of people, both in terms of their age and where they come from so I don’t think I have a ‘typical’ client base. I guess my ideal clients are people who are laid-back, relaxed and won’t worry if the plans have to change last minute due to the weather.
Photographers inject a lot of their personality into their work… what are your inspirations?
I am a die-hard romantic and a very open person. I totally wear my heart on my sleeve. I love meeting people and want to hear about their lives and their relationships and am completely comfortable in the presence of strangers. I think all of that enables my couples to relax in my company. I am good at making people feel comfortable about being photographed.
How far in advance should those interested look to book you? Do people stand a chance of getting you last minute?
Because most of my work is elopements and tiny weddings, they tend to be booked quite near to the wedding date and as it’s just the couple themselves or a few guests, it doesn’t always have to be a weekend. Most of my work this year is on weekdays. Often there is more flexibility if it is just a couple on their own, so if I’m booked we can work around it and have it the day before or after. My shortest booking to wedding date is five days.
What’s the most challenging part of photographing a wedding?
The most challenging thing for me is the weather. Scotland has a reputation for not having the greatest weather but still, so many people want to marry here. Most couples will have a back-up plan for if the weather isn’t good enough to hold the ceremony outside but often there are gaps where we can sneak out, even on the most horrible of days. A bit of wind and rain can often make for some great shots and some couples are more relaxed about how wet and cold they get than others.
How can couples help to ensure the best work?
Just to relax and trust that I am going to make them look good. I’m not going to give them unflattering photographs. They just need to concentrate on each other and what this day actually means. Enjoy the moment and leave the rest up to me.
What’s your opinion on group shots – can you give us an example of yours?
Although they can be one of the most challenging parts of a wedding, ie getting folk together and getting them all to look at the camera and not in every other direction. I do think group shots are really important, particularly with close family members. There will come a time when those folk might not be around anymore and so images that include them will be more treasured by the rest of the family. I try to have a wee joke with folk and relax them a bit. Often the ‘stiffness’ of these shots is because people don’t like being photographed. If they are relaxed you get much better results. That said, because I shoot mostly elopements, there are often no group shots to do.
In terms of trends, what do you think is the most interesting at the moment?
I don’t really follow trends. I just shoot the way I like to shoot and process the way I like images to look and hopefully there are people who like that enough to book me. There are lots of other photographers doing trendy stuff so if that’s what clients want, they have lots of choice, but I want to try and differentiate myself a bit.
What’s the most common misconception that you have to correct with couples: the thing you’d most like to communicate?
That being photographed is not going to be as bad as they think it is and they should just relax and enjoy the day.
What’s been your most memorable wedding to photograph, and why?
Probably the wettest wedding I’ve ever photographed. It was on top of a wee hill on the Isle of Skye: just a handful of guests and the weather wasn’t great. It was raining, then it stopped, then it started again – all morning. The couple, who were extremely laid back and wonderful, both work in the outdoors with nature and desperately wanted to be married outside.
We waited for a gap in the weather and up the hill we went but just at the start of the ceremony the heavens opened. Everyone was drenched and I (stupidly) had no waterproofing for my cameras. It was an incredibly emotional ceremony and I was aware through the whole thing how clearly besotted the couple was with each other. They didn’t care a hoot that they were soaking – they were so wrapped up in each other. It produced one of my most favourite shots and one that has had the biggest response from people whenever I’ve posted it online.
Can you tell us why you think wedding photography is worth the investment
A professional wedding photographer has experience of different venues, weather conditions, and lighting conditions so they should always be able to produce a strong set of well-exposed and beautifully composed images whatever the situation. Also, because of their experience, a professional will often anticipate moments that someone who doesn’t do the job for a living would probably miss. It is a big investment, but possibly the most important one.
Finally, if you weren’t a wedding photographer, what would you be?
An artisan baker and cheesemaker. Or working with dogs.