I encourage potential clients to pose questions if it helps to put them at ease with regards to my overall set up, or to just simply clarify a few points, the photographic work is unambiguous in style and if you have a query then the answer to that too shall be unambiguous. Overall I’m a straight talker and informal to deal with. I prefer to be straight and direct and if it helps you to make up your mind either way then it should be very helpful to us both. And Philip Bourke does not talk about Philip Bourke in the third person. That’s just plain weird.
I class my self as a photographer, a photographer first and foremost. Yes indeed I photograph weddings and in a photojournalistic way, I take a documentary approach to photographing weddings. Not that fake documentary that is also doing the rounds, you know, the one where most of the pictures are set up and half the day gone with it? Ya, that one. Documentary wedding photography is a niche market, yet we’ve got a lot of folk out there pretending that they too are documentary. If you’re serious in wanting to book me for your wedding then the FAQ will reinforce this, you’ll enjoy reading this, talk is cheap and some of this is simply tongue in cheek, but I do take my work seriously and hate time wasters. I have a distinctive style and identity to my documentary work. Many, not all, but many documentary photographers who shoot weddings have that distinctive style. That’s what makes them stand out from the crowd. They understand the nuances and can articulate clearly what is happening on a wedding day to tell a story in a coherent and consistent way.
If you are looking for numerous posed or group or look at the camera type images you will not find any here whatsoever, and I will not do them (yes, a handful of pics for the mams and dads is OK but no crazy stuff). I prioritise a documentary approach, I’ll photograph your wedding in a natural and candid manner. I don’t then organise these dull set ups and therefore kill the mood of the day, I just want it to flow. I see the day in a certain way and this should be clear from the galleries, each day will have it’s own energy and dynamic and tone, and having the freedom to tap into that is what is super important to me. The emphasis is always on pictures, pictures, pictures…
What is Reportage / Documentary?
A technique of documentary photo journalism that tells a story entirely through recorded pictures.
Recording an event through careful observation.
Think Photography, not Wedding Photography
Are you insured?
OK, this is a question which is never asked yet it is important that your photographer is insured. Lately photographers are popping up out of the woodwork and charging peanuts while offering everything, they neither have talent, style nor initiative, and probably care little by offering so much. They just want to make a quick buck by shooting weddings. There are some frightening stories of couples who have had their day compromised by somebody who is out of their depth technically or through basic competence.
The OPW (Office of Public Works) operate the majority if not all of the Heritage sites in this country, many couples like to use a certain site for pictures on their wedding day, if your Photographer has no insurance he will not be allowed access and rightly so. This is a profession and professionals take their career very seriously. I’m insured with McLoughlin Insurance Group.
Once you have viewed a portfolio and it looks credible and expansive and consistent then do yourself a favor and put your mind at ease by finding out if your photographer / videographer is insured, your hotel may also want to know, you should definitely want to know, and if you plan on visiting one of the great sites around this country then the OPW will certainly want to know.
While I really love your reportage style, I really would prefer to go with a more traditional style with lots of set up/fun shots too, and perhaps just a few reportage images, can you help?
Then your only option is to go with a photographer dedicated to working in the style of work you want, if that is a trad style then that is what you will be looking for and searching for, no point in checking out a documentary style. Of course there will be some photographers out there who will claim to shoot in any style you want. This is the time to run away. I specialise in a documentary style, a Photojournalistic style. I’m a reportage wedding photographer and unlike many others who claim the same recording weddings in a reportage & documentary style is exactly what I do. The images can be very subtle the images can be energetic, they capture a mood and can carry a hint of humour but they are all very natural.
I read a blog recently and it said that I have to work closely with my Wedding Photographer, what does this mean?
This means that a wedding planner assumes, and I’m almost sure a wedding planner wrote it as they tend to know everything, that all wedding photographers are the same and all brides are the same and all grooms are the same and all venues are the same and all wedding days are the same. My advice is to read these blogs with a open mind and a pinch of salt, as the information in some is questionable at best, in my opinion. Actually, don’t read them, usually just rubbish.
In ten years or so I have worked with many different types of people and photographed weddings all over Ireland, the one thing these couples all have had in common is that they trusted me and had the confidence in me to do my job without the need to badger them for requests or information on a weekly basis, in fact it is true that my approach allows the couple to focus on other aspects of their big day safe in the knowledge that I need MINIMAL information and little contact with the couple before their wedding. I’ll just shoot your wedding in my own way
If you need to know more about your photographer then ask him / her and not a wedding planner.
Stay tuned for my Wedding Planner blog coming soon…
If I put together a list of images I want on the day, would that be OK?
My style is to move fast and to work fast and working from a list of set images completely misses the mark of my photographic approach and philosophy. From experience, those who ask this have not nailed down what they want or expect from their photographer, and knowing what to expect from your photographer should make the day plain sailing, it is not by numbers or functional, nor is it a formal approach but something much more expressive and dynamic. If I had to work from the dreaded “list” I think I may go mad. What’s worse is when I’m told what pictures I should take, if you need to tell me what pictures to take then just get a friend and instruct them to snap your wedding. But be warned, getting the friend to snap the wedding usually ends in disappointment,
I don’t see many family pictures on your website, do you still get some family shots? I don’t want the day slowed down and I don’t want to stand around for two hours, but I do want some family shots and bridal party shots.
Yes. Getting family shots/bridal party shots is all part of the day too but with me there is no messing about, and it may take a little bit of bullying to get it done swiftly. Lets face it, nobody likes doing this so if they must be done then swiftly is the only way and let’s keep it to the minimum. Get the families together and we’ll get them done without much pain and certainly with no time wasting, less than ten minutes, five minutes, quicker if possible. Less than two minutes. Ya, that’s about right.
I absolutely hate doing family groups.
On the rare occasion that I’m asked to shoot more groups, which I really have little interest in, what happens is that the time ebbs away because nobody wants to get organised and that in turn leaves little time for shooting guests during drinks reception and just getting a feel for that part of the day.
Every now and then I may get highjacked to take a lot of family groups, this is really time consuming, people standing with their mouths open and really all over the place, unable to organise themselves for whatever reason, and what purpose do they serve? It’s a real antiquated concept of being lined up and shot, time to move on.
And when this does happen there is quite often no time for reception photographs, what happens then? I get asked “any more pictures from the reception? Nope. Edit is final regardless.
The emphasis is on creating images and building a story of the day, but if you require a certain shot you must tell me, no point complaining down the line for a shot I didn’t take, or shots I never take, but if you want a certain picture in particular please tell me, and I have to draw the line at a limited number of groups done within a couple of minutes.
Why would anybody want to waste an hour or so setting up posed group photographs?
I feel odd even thinking about family / non family / pointless groups.
Anybody can take group shots. Anybody!
I was a Bridesmaid at a wedding recently and the “reportage” photographer made us all peak around a haystack and point at the couple (we really don’t know why). He also made the couple take off their shoes and walk across a fountain, the bride also looks vacant in one picture as she looks like she is crawling along a wall and I recall he asked the groom to pretend he was lifting something over his head as well as getting the groomsmen to walk down the road from the church with their jackets over their shoulders and then made them jump in the air while clicking their heels (I think he mentioned sticking in a dinosaur later on with Photoshop). My friend did not want this but the photographer said this was normal and this was what reportage was all about, but the couple look so awkward in the subsequent photographs. My Fiancé does not like this whatsoever and we certainly don’t want that approach as it made us feel rather uncomfortable, do you also do this carry on? Because all we want to do is enjoy our wedding day with our families & friends.
Don’t worry, I don’t and won’t set up scenarios as those mentioned above but I do hear about this quite often. I don’t subject a couple and their bridal party to such oddball stuff. If you want to see me for a consultation we can look though a wealth of portfolio work and I will show you how each wedding can have its own unique set of images because for me it can only be that way. You’ll be excited at how I get results without resorting to cheap trick and cheesy nonsense. I can’t stress this enough, I simply follow the movements of the day and capture your wedding images like that. Of course if you hang out of a chandelier for some bizarre reason I’ll probably take the photograph, but to make up something that did not happen is certainly not my thing.
Genuine documentary wedding photographers are in a minority, and it is worrying when some will assume that A N Other wedding photographer works in a reportage style because they have used the term to promote their work. Here’s one example. Recently, a couple emailed me about their wedding and after several emails going back and forth they decided that they would go with an alternative “documentary photographer”. When I viewed this “documentary photographer’s” website I was met with couples jumping in the air, (and also hugging trees, some orange cast faded images, some soft focus, it was all quite horrific) yet they seemed to be under the impression that this was a candid approach? This was documentary photography? Or perhaps they just assumed that I would also do the same, and that was the standard.
If you want jumping around, hopping over church walls and hugging trees, hanging out of stable doors then go for it, I don’t like it and I don’t do it, there are many, many photographers to choose from because most do the same formulaic thing or jump on the latest trendy bandwagon, trends fade but great pictures do not. Many will hope to give with the impression that they are documentary or reportage, mainly to snare some work, but they soon veer of in the world of generic nonsense to fill the time.
Here’s a scenario. Let’s say we have two couples, and both have a wedding photograph framed and hanging over their fireplace, the first couple have the image of themselves in conversation on their wedding day, it’s an image that will never get old since it has captured that one off moment forever, and it is subtle. The second couple have a picture of themselves jumping over a wall, looking awkward all the while, or being chased by a superimposed dinosaur, after ten years it never gets better, it’s just a generic wedding shot, it’s loud, and a bit tacky. Now, which image would you prefer?
I love the Vintage style do you do some of this?
What is Vintage? Faded filters? Flat images? It’s interesting that a term like Vintage is so broad and suggests so much yet what it would appear to deliver is very narrow.
And what about themed weddings?
If you are having a themed wedding then doesn’t it make sense to allow a documentary photographer shoot your wedding? If your wedding is based on a theme then a having that day documented by a photographer who specialises in documentary photography is surely the correct road to go on.
I’m getting married in a restaurant, short day, humanist of civil ceremony, how does that float your boat?
Call me now!
I heard you won an award for some of your photographs and would love to use an award winning photographer for my wedding.
Photography awards are effectively useless and while I’ve been offered the chance to “win” or “buy” one I don’t see the point. I know how good my work is and my clients know how good my work is. An award given to me by nobodies does not excite me whatsoever. My clients are instead impressed by the high standard and the consistency and the originality of my work, and that work is never fluffed up by some worthless award. Smart people see beyond the awards show to look at the images and make their minds up from there.
I love your photographs and it is what I want, but can’t make a decision right now for other reasons, can you hold it for a week or so while I sort some other issues out with regards to organising my wedding?
The most sensible thing I can do is only mark a date down when booking fee has been paid, quite often when a date has been held somebody will come along and they will be eager for the date, this has happened in the past and this leaves me in a dilemma, booking fee secures date.
I’ll be checking out some Wedding Fairs soon, will you be displaying your work at any?
I won’t be appearing at any wedding fairs. And there are lots of reasons. As a couple said to me recently, “all the wedding photographers were claiming to be unique, and that is the word they all pressed, yet were all the same” which is enough in itself.
I’ve spoken to a few of my friends and they say that Documentary / Reportage Wedding Photography is setting up images because there is no other way to do this, and that is what they got, how can I be sure that I won’t get this? I’m really not a posey type person and it would make me not want to have a photographer at my wedding.
Your friends don’t know what they are talking about. I can assure that the way I work is 100% natural, and if you go through each and every gallery on my website then that should become very, very clear. Everybody who has come to me for their wedding photography does so because they dislike this idea of somebody setting up their wedding photographers, they don’t want it and I don’t do it. One of the outstanding features with the way I work is that the couple always enjoy their reception, because instead of being in a field striking fake poses they are chatting to their friends and family at their wedding reception. I really have no idea why a Photographer would drive halfway around the country looking for a field to take pictures in…No, sorry, I do, they just want to waste away your day.
“Oh I loved waiting under a bridge for an hour or so in the cold while the photographer had to set up his lights, tripod and reflectors and stuff, it was so intimate…” said nobody. Ever.
Will you get a photograph of everybody at my wedding?
In my experience it is neither possible nor necessary to capture a picture of every single person or moment at your wedding. My job is to thread a story of the day together in as dynamic a way as I can.
A Bridesmaid decided to vanish once for a period, it is not my place to ask where everybody is, this is not how I work. I was later asked did I have a picture of this bridesmaid at a certain juncture of the day. How could I if she wasn’t there?
During the ceremony a shot can be compromised by a priest for example, (or a videographer, not on purpose and it can be a two way street) especially if a moment is happening in a fast manner, I’ll pick the spot which will work best given a certain moment yet anything can happen. It still sticks with me when once during the signing a priest felt the need to put his arm and hand down in a manner to obscure me doing my job, I get around this as best as I can, recently I had a situation where a guest didn’t have the manners to be a guest and instead felt it alright to wander about and especially at crucial moments, it’s not an exact science but I am as comprehensive as I can be given the live situation of a wedding and the way I operate.
During drinks reception, it is not a case of just walking in and going clickclickclick and driving every nuts while dong it, it IS about getting a feel and presenting a set of images that sum up that part of the day in a concise a manner as possible, and ideally you should be able to tell the story of a wedding in about seventy to eighty images and often without the obvious things glaring out. I tend to deliver somewhere in the region of 300 to 400 pictures, so that gives more than enough choice.
The hunger to have several hundred pictures for whatever reason must be parked and understanding that your day will be recorded in a concise way is what is most important. Going back to the galleries on my website, each gallery contains a summary of a wedding day and in an atmospheric way. If you just want to see several hundred faces then I’m sure somebody out there can help you with that but I don’t see the point in producing functional images for the sake of it.
And when it comes to big weddings, 200+, then that adds more pain. I have no appetite for big weddings.
I’m unsure which package I should opt for, and to be honest I don’t know if I even want an album or photo book.
I always suggest for a couple to go with the Digital file option, and the Digital file option is my most popular package and has been consistenty over the past few years. If you want a photo book album then that’s something you should decide post wedding, but that is always down to the individual client. Sometimes a couple are happy with this. But I’ll also say this, imagine your Wedding images presented as digital files are like a set of masters for an album. The songs have been completed by the producer, yet it is not the final product. He says to the band “Now, make your selection and let me create a great album and one you will be proud off”. Finally having a nice storybook with a concise set of images will really bring your wedding to life. It’s easy to feel bombarded with several hundred wedding pictures on file, getting down to making a selection form that set is the next step, the images always take on a new life once set in a cool and well made book.
Can I break down the cost of my Wedding Photography over the course of a few months? I’m getting married in about a year, is this possible?
Yes, that is no problem, and it is an approach that many are using.
How long do you shoot for? And will you start at my house?
Yes. I will start at the brides house/parents house/hotel on the morning and finish a little after you both sit for your meal in the evening. Generally 11:30-12:00 until 6:00-6:30. If you would like me to continue until the first dance then lets talk about it, I rarely do so but I am open to it
What if I don’t want you to start at my house on the morning.
No problem, I’ll start where you want me to, if you prefer I can call to the groom or start at the church instead, and perhaps you may want me to stay a bit later? Perhaps I can offer a better price for opting out of certain parts of the day? Call me.
After we sit, would you go from table to table taking pictures of the guests?
The last thing anybody wants is to have a photographer stick a camera in their face while they are eating their soup or eating their Monkfish. This is a time for family and guests to sit eat and chat and to enjoy their evening.
I’m getting married and I love your photographs, but I see you’re based in Cork. Do you travel further afield?
Yes, I have worked all over the country and will indeed travel.
I’ve spoken to another photographer and he’s willing to offer me a full days shoot right up to the dancing, a disc with my photographs and a leather bound album along with two parents albums and even a nice cake for €800, would you be willing to match this?
Sounds like you have a good deal. But it also sounds as if this photographer has little value to his work, perhaps little value on your wedding day and treats the entire business as a joke. In my experience, this type of offer ends up a disaster and I could not possibly compete with that. Quality before quantity. Great images will last a lifetime, if you value your wedding day then invest in the photography, I can’t stress that enough.
If you want cake I can bring cake, a small one.
How much do you charge?
How much do you want to spend?
Quite often I’ll receive an email that with no further information will just be an enquiry about “prices and packages”. So I’ll email back asking about a spend, lo and ho behold these people never respond. There is no use in looking at two pictures on my homepage and then going straight to the contact page asking for “prices and packages”. I find it a bizarre way to search for a photographer.
It’s important to be upfront with regards to how much you want to spend. It’s important to research and see what I’m all about, and the information on my website could not be more transparent. And also, there will be occasions where I am unavailable and I will be asked to forward a recommendation, and I will do so if I have an idea of how much you want to spend before I waste another photographers time. As I have blogged elsewhere on this site, it is important to invest in your photography. Week in and week out I will hear about stories where a couple were “disappointed” with their photography for whatever reason (I spoke to somebody recently who said he spent €500, and he was disappointed? He spent €500, that should come with disappointment and it is not the photographers fault, people keep these cowboys in work when they should not). If what you are getting for a few hundred quid sounds too good to be true (lots of stuff to mask the lack of quality of the images perhaps) then it probably is. You’re wedding Photography should be about the pictures first and foremost and if they are consistent, vibrant and sum up the day then they’ll always look cool.
My prices start at €1400 for a seven hour day, email for a more detailed price guide.
Love your work but I would like to book you for a shorter period, it’s a midweek wedding, perhaps the ceremony and some shots from the reception later on, so a couple of hours, do you do this?
Email me, let me know what is on your mind, lets chat about it and we’ll work out a deal.
I’m Looking for a wedding photographer who’ll give me the copyright to the wedding photographs so I can manipulate and Photoshop them if need be, and basically do what I want with them since I’m a dab hand at the old paintshop pro II etc…I’ll only need about forty photographs.
Are you completely mad? Would you purchase a CD from HMV and edit it down to five tracks and then remix it yourself? Destroying finished and well balanced photo files through the misuse of Photoshop is not a good idea, only awful photographers think that the misuse / overuse of Photoshop is a good thing, a talentless photographer can be a master of Photoshop. You record an image with your eye, the tool you need to capture it is a camera, but some need to mask that image with tons of Photoshop. No amount of Photoshop manipulation will make a bad picture good.
I love Selective Colour, do you do this to your photographs?
No selective colour, it’s a hideous thing to do to an image. It is either colour or black & white, but both? Together? Cheap & Nasty looking. If you need any proof, just go and look at the photographic work of a photographer who does this, their body of work is usually limited and their image making talent seriously lacking
I’d like to make my own storybook with a company I found online, will I be able to have access to the images to create my own storybook? I won’t need to alter them, you’re finished images are great and I would like to be able to create my own book.
Yes, you’ll have access to your wedding day images and they will be copyright release so you can make your own online story book / photobook and prints. But any manipulation or any other misuse of the images is not allowed
I want to be a wedding photographer so I can make loooaaads of money, can you take me on some of your shoots and give me some tips?
What kind of equipment do you use?
Cameras and Lenses
How long after the wedding will you have my wedding photographs?
Six to eight weeks, once the edit is completed I will email right away. It’s a case of don’t contact me I’ll contact you. During a very busy year I can shoot often more than one a week, in some instances up to four a week during peak summer time, so patience is the key here.
I saw a picture on your website that I love so was wondering would you re-create that for me?
Since a wedding is not a controlled environment, with different scenarios perhaps coming into play (venue dynamics, weather etc) a specific detailed shot cannot be guaranteed, what you will get is a set of images that tell YOUR story. Every wedding will be completely different which for me, and you, is a great thing.
I saw a picture on somebody else’s website that I love so was wondering would you re-create that for me?
Book that photographer instead.
My wedding is being held during winter, I have heard from many that the fact it gets dark early will pose a problem for the pictures, what are your thoughts on this?
I don’t find it a major issue, especially if a couple have really gotten an understanding of how I work. I suppose traditionally there was that issue due to the nature of the wedding photographer who needs to set up images and consume time in doing so. I love shooting winter weddings, it’s a season that has its own magic, low light is wonderful light. It certainly is not an easy time to shoot, in fact it can be quite a challenge, yet quite often given certain circumstances I prefer it.
I’m getting married, but remember, I have a budget.
Unless you actually tell what that budget is I can’t help. I won’t bite but I dislike any sort of time wasting so don’t expect me to drag what you would like to spend out of you. Be clear and direct, tell me what you want to spend and lets see if we can make a deal. You love my style of work? Let’s work out a deal.
In the unlikely event that you may not be able to photograph our wedding, what happens then?
This question has been posed many times over the years and the consensus seems to be that some couples would prefer to find their own alternative. Your deposit and any further payments will be returned if I can’t make. I can always recommend an alternative and have somebody available to step in for me in the unlikely even of me not being able to turn up on the day do to an accident for example, all angles must be covered. In almost ten years I have never missed a shoot, and don’t intend to.
We’re getting married at such a venue, we’re concerned that you may not have been there before, we’d prefer to see some images in your portfolio from the venue.
Again, I’ll refer to the expansive nature of my website and portfolio. I’m not going to suddenly freeze when working a new reception venue, in fact I thrive working at a new unexplored venue and love the familiarity of visiting a venue I’ve worked at on numerous occasions, it’s the very nature of my work. A new venue is exciting to me and while I am based in Cork and would mainly work the Cork / Kerry / Limerick area I’ve traveled well and have had some fantastic shoots at venues I’d never been to previously, plus I’ve taken so many great images in pubs across the country while on wedding shoots, it doesn’t get more atmospheric then a dark, low lit pub.
I’ve travelled and had the chance to work in the following and always produced places great images
Lisloughrey House in Mayo
10 Ormond Quay in Dublin
Coolbawn Quay Tipperary
Lough Rynn in Leitrim
The Heritage in Portloaise
Ballintaggart House in Dingle
Faithlegg in Waterford
Kinnetty Castle in Offaly
Mount Wolseley in Carlow
The Vetigo Suite, atop of the City Hall in Cork City
Brandon in Wexford
Solis Lough Eske in Donegal
Beaufield Mews in Dublin
Castle Oliver in Co. Limerick
Tannery Restaurant in Waterford
Hook Lighthouse in Wexford
Cliff Townhouse in Dublin
Bellinter House in Navan
Borris House in Carlow
Cashel House in Connemara
Raheen House in Clonmel
It does not matter if it’s a new venue, a tiny registrar office or a large dynamic hall, whether the bridesmaids are wearing pink dresses with yellow spots or if the priest has a ridiculously long handlebar moustache or you’re wedding is being held in a hay barn complete with horses and hay I’m sure I’ll still produce the goods because that is what I do. Let each day bring what it will, it’s the people who make the day, everything else acts as a backdrop
Do you offer traditional style albums?
Generally I don’t offer traditional albums but if you really want one I can contact a supplier as I have done one a couple of very rare occasions, this supplier will create the entire piece for you including all layout and design. Do I have a sample? No sample
The weather may be bad and with heavy rain, do you have a contingency plan for pictures?
Yes, to get on with the job of taking pictures.
Will you require props?
Do you do Engagement shoots?
Engagement shoots? No idea what that is all about. Does that mean I have to live with you and your fiancé for a couple of years and take pictures of your daily lives? The idea of an engagement shoot sounds ridiculous and I’ll give that a miss
I notice many photographers blog each and every wedding shoot. Do you Blog every wedding? It’s something I am not keen on my Photographer doing.
I don’t blog every wedding, in fact, I don’t blog any wedding. I take a different approach to what is currently offered in the main. Your wedding is a one off event, it should be exclusive, I’ll photograph and document your wedding day in a way that will be very unique to you and the people around you on your day, it is something I have a strong reputation for and why I am in demand.
What about trash the dress?
Isn’t that fad also dead? Call me old fashioned, but some things should be kept and not simply trashed for the sake of trashing
If I want a Photo Book or album, can I include some pictures that a friend took?
The best thing is to have a book complete with the images your photographer took on the day and nothing else, it makes no sense to include somebody else’s pictures. Why upset the flow of a book by inserting some [shaky] pictures that a guests randomly took? Speaking from experience these are generally pictures that are usually poorly composed and simply not good enough. But that is not the point, the point is that the book should only contain a set of pictures taken by your Photographer
Do you work with a second photographer on the day?
I work alone and cover what angles I need to cover by myself. Now, if you do require a second shooter to cover either Bridal prep / Groom prep that that can be arranged, contact me regarding a cost for this.
Do you charge mileage as a hidden extra?
No extra charge for mileage but willing to accept any money you want to throw at me.
As a documentary photographer, do you like working with videographers?
Yes, err sometimes… most of them are great people to work with. If you are getting a Documentary Wedding Photographer then a Videographer who will compliment this is ideal. I’ve worked with one or two who prefer to stare at their mobile phones while their camera is simply pointed in one direction, this is not on and this restricts what the Photographer wants to do, you’ll be assured that he will also get the bridal party to jump in the air, why? I’ve no idea, but do you want somebody who prefers to check their messages or their Facebook page? Or somebody who’ll have their finger on the pulse all day? I’ve worked with some of the best out there, if you require more advice then I’d be delighted to offer it.
Some of the images on your website look like they have been set up, but if you’re a photojournalist why do you do this?
If it looks like its set up it isn’t, and there are times when a very good image should look like it has been set up, a good image can give the feel of a film still. What I record with my lens is the actions of the couple, their friends and family and the chemistry and energy of their day. It ain’t my day, it’s the couples day so I won’t be bossing and expecting them to do anything whatsoever except have a great day. Sometimes a great photograph may look as if it is set up when in fact it was captured naturally, it’s all about good framing, quick thinking, confidence, and a well grasped sense of composition. Sometimes you must see the image before you find it.
Outside family / bridal shots everything is captured candidly and naturally. Anecdotal evidence tells me and visual evidence definitely suggests that many “reportage” photographers actually set up their candid shots, or perhaps find a few “candid” shots as a token. And I hear this all the time, and if you have a good look you will see the same. Reportage is a dirty word used by nearly all wedding photographers who need to read up on what the word means. Reportage wedding photography is a style, not a marketing gimmick, but unfortunately marketing gimmick is what it is become for many. In general there are very few genuine documentary wedding photographers out there
When a couple know what they are looking for when it comes to a photographer they should have a firm idea of what that wedding photographer will provide for them, but only if they have done their groundwork. If they decide on a consultation with me they are quickly excited by the potential in my photographic wedding work and the commitment I bring to each set of wedding pictures and each couples day. It’s a buzz word to be “unique”, we all use it, yet when a couple see me enthuse over my work they get the bigger picture. It gives them a thrill at the prospect of how their own photographs will turn out. Each wedding has to be taken on its own merits, to coin a John Giles football phrase. By taking each wedding on its own merits you will get something that will be unique.
Look at the images on my website, there are stories everywhere, the atmosphere is palpable, the mood and tone is effortless to feel. Think of your own Wedding day and the excitement and detail crossed with moments both dynamic and subtle to be captured. The photographic work on my website will give you an idea of the potential of what I can do, just the potential. No gimmicks, no orders, no posing and certainly no nonsense. If you have an idea of what a strong image is then we’re half way there. I work for couples who understand what a good image is, they are the people who don’t want the generic nonsense that has flooded the market but they do want a record of their day that captures the celebration of the event. There is so much to be said about that, but if you get a kick out of my pictures then make contact and lets talk about it. But before you make contact looking for a price guide look at the galleries, and look at them over and over again, the more you see them the more you will enjoy the quality, the balance and the consistency in the work. But if you can’t feel the magic and don’t like my relaxed and natural approach then I am not for you. Not all “reportage” photographers are the same, many set up their photographs or just use the word reportage as a marketing tool. I don’t. But the images on my website galleries will tell you that. A set of wedding images should look as striking as a set of film stills, with the director (in this case the photographer) recording what he sees and reflecting that in the images.
There is a good chance that you have been searching and searching for a photographer who will give you what you want, what you have in your mind, and what you have in your mind is perhaps a day that will not be spoilt by a photographer who needs to bring your wedding day to a standstill every ten minutes. Neither do you want to settle for the run of the mill generic wedding photographer, they are predictable, boring, repetitive, ten a penny. A wedding day is too short to be remembered for the wrong reasons. Looking at a photograph should bring back a memory of what is happening in that photograph. That is why a good photographer is so important on your wedding day. But why do so many photographers set up these generic shots which have become a lazy standard? As I said previously, genuine documentary photographers who shoot weddings are thin on the ground, but all have their own take and style on the medium and all are very exciting. The market is flooded with the run of the mill typical wedding photographer who make claims to be documentary, most people who come to me tell me clearly that what they have seen is certainly not documentary / reportage. Sometimes you have to keep going to find the good stuff, to actually find what you are looking for. If you’re reading this and you have come this far and find yourself agreeing with much of it then I’d love to hear from you.
Are you that Philip Bourke of the RED FM radio station?
Are you single?
Sorry ladies, I’m spoken for.
All images and text © Philip Bourke Photography 2017