PLEASE INTRODUCE YOURSELF
Hi, I’m Fiona…or Fee as most people call me and I’m the one behind the camera. I specialise in beautiful, natural and creative wedding photography. I’m based in London but shoot weddings all over the UK.
I’m originally from the Lake District and still very much a Northerner despite having been in London for over 20 years. I live in Purley, South London, with my husband, our son, a grumpy cat called Chilli and a crazy fuzzball cockapoo called Baxter. There’s never a dull moment between school runs, sports clubs, cat & dog standoffs and running my business. I wouldn’t have it any other way though!
WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO START YOUR BUSINESS?
I have been photographing weddings for nearly 11 years. I was pregnant with my son when the business really started so I can easily keep track! My journey into photography was a round-about route. I started my career as a graphic designer and photographic art director for fashion and lifestyle brands. The experience I gained as an art director has proved so useful when I was starting out as a photographer. It felt like a sideways step, rather than a complete change of direction.
Things changed after getting married myself. We got married in Las Vegas (it was totally planned and the most amazing experience!) Part of our wedding package included a photographer to take photos during the ceremony. One of my best friends, who came with us and happened to be a photographer, took ones of the time before the ceremony and of the party time after. When we looked at the official photos we were happy enough, they were what we expected. But the ones my friend had taken were so full of life and captured much more than just the events. It was a real eye-opener and a bit of a eureka moment. I loved the idea of being able to do photos like this for a whole wedding. It wasn’t long after that I photographed my first wedding and that was it….I was totally hooked!
HOW DOES YOUR TYPICAL DAY LOOK LIKE?
Weekdays are all about working around the school run and any clubs my son has going on (he has a lot!). I like to fit a workout or dog walk in first thing as it’s a great way to start the day and the one way of guaranteeing I do some exercise. Then it’s down to checking emails, editing and writing blog posts. I often do family shoots, commercial shoots or engagement shoots on weekdays, so some days I will have a shoot booked in.
There is always something to do. Even during the quieter months. Then I spend my time planning for the business or working on marketing for the coming months. Im not very good at sitting and doing nothing!
WHAT IS THE BEST PART OF YOUR JOB?
Without a doubt, it’s the couples I work with. They trust me to capture their wedding days and make me feel so welcome and part of everything. The biggest compliment I can get is when one of my couples tell me it was like having another friend there and I made them feel really relaxed about having their photo taken.
This is one such comment that really makes me smile “Fiona’s ability to take natural shots that capture the moment separates her from the crowd. She has exceptional vision and a knack for being in the right place at the right time. Fiona’s clearly a professional in her field, but she’s also so warm and kind that it makes us happy that she got to share our special day with us.”
AND WHAT IS THE WORST PART?
Aching feet and not drinking enough water! The day after a wedding can often feel like a hangover. On the day you don’t really stop, are on your feet for hours at a time and never hydrate properly. You’d think in 10 years I know better!
WHAT IS THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE YOU’VE BEEN GIVEN?
For weddings or in life? For weddings, the best advice is to have the day you want to have whatever that looks like.
In life, definitely be kind to yourself both physically and mentally. And spend time with people who make you feel happy.
WHAT WOULD YOU WANT COUPLES TO KNOW ABOUT WHAT YOU DO?
Since I started photographing weddings, over 300 couples have trusted me to capture their special day. I bring all that experience to your wedding. I know where to be at the right times and how the day flows. I know when to stay in the background and discretely capture the moment, and when to step up to sort out the photos that need taking. I know how to help you keep calm when things get a little hectic and I have sorted out more veils and buttonholes than I can remember.
I love to tell stories with natural, beautiful and creative photography. I have a bit of an obsession with sunsets and have been known to do a happy dance when the light is just perfect (you have been warned!). As well as capturing the big events of the day, I’m always looking out for the small moments. Things that might not even be noticed, but will create the most amazing memory for you after the day. Being able to capture a fleeting moment in time and record it forever is very special and something that means the world when photographing your wedding.
DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR COUPLES PLANNING A WEDDING?
Following on from the advice above. Plan your day for the two of you firstly, so if you want your day to look a certain way don’t be scared to do that. On the day make sure you have enough time to do everything you want but also to just hang out and catch up with your guests. If everything feels rushed this will make it more stressful, making sure you have time to relax and enjoy each moment is the best way to go.
WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF YOU DIDN’T WORK IN THE WEDDING INDUSTRY?
Not sure really. Before I trained as a graphic designer I loved the idea of working in TV and films as a set designer. I studied this as part of my drama GCSE. But that’s probably not where I would go now though. I love animals and always watch programmes about London Zoo or safari parks and think how amazing it would be to work with animals every day. That is something I would love to do. Never say never… I may hit 50 and have a second career change!
WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO IN YOUR TIME OFF?
Spend time with family and friends. I love to travel but right now, after the last 12 months, it’s just a joy to spend time with my fave people!
As a family, we like to get out in the countryside with our dog and go exploring. If that also ends up at a nice country pub that’s a bonus.
Going on a safari has been one of my dreams since I was little. It’s still on my travel bucket list. Ill get there one day!
WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN 10 YEARS?
Still doing photography but expanding my business to cover more areas. I am already building the commercial side of my business and have loved doing many more family shoots over the last year so want to keep growing these areas. I’m in my mid 40’s now, so in 10 years it would be great to be less busy overall but doing all the work I love the most and working with people who I really connect with.