Continuing our ‘Meet the Expert’ interview series is the brilliant, David Bostock, a multi-award winning photographer who is a firm favourite for many of our couples.
David, tell us a bit about yourself, your offering and how you got into this industry:
I’ve been photographing weddings since I became a full-time professional wedding photographer almost 11 years ago now after a 25 year corporate career in publishing and advertising (does that give my age away!), including a spell as a board director for a big dotcom recruitment website start-up in 2000, when the world was going crazy for Yahoo.com and when anything to do with business on the web had ridiculous share prices despite them losing money hand-over fist…it was just a bonkers time!
Some 400 weddings later I think I’ve experienced pretty much everything being a professional photographer can throw at me and I’m still loving what I do for a living!
Along the way I have won over 80 high-profile wedding photography awards for my work, including the Master Photographers Association (MPA) 2016 “Wedding Day & Celebration Photographer of the year” 2016 and being listed as ‘One of the Top 50 Wedding Photographers in the UK’
Most couples that book me are drawn to my natural candid, storytelling images. I think the pictures speak for themselves and are as individual and personal as those captured within them. The words ‘reportage’, ‘photojournalism’ and ‘candid’ are used a lot these days to describe the style of work that I create, but I like to think of my style as relaxed and informal, with the fun shining through. I offer my clients the finest wedding albums in the world by Queensberry to preserve these special memories for my clients and these become family heirlooms. I really believe every couple should have a wedding album, a USB of images is fine to have alongside it, but these images are meant to be printed and enjoyed.
I live in South Oxfordshire with my 2 cats and my wife Elaine, who is famous in her own right in the wedding industry having founded one of the biggest names in designer wedding dress shops in the Home Counties Ellie Sanderson Bridal Boutiques www.elliesanderson.co.uk. This means I know my Suzanne Neville from my Jesus Peiro and more about wedding dress fit and shape and style than is probably healthy for me!
Ellie & I also have a second business together with Ellie Sanderson Boudoir Photography and I photograph beautiful Boudoir photography shoots both for brides-to-be and many other women (and sometimes guys) as surprise gifts for their partner. Check out www.elliesandersonboudoir.co.uk if you are curious or would like to know more.
What is your favourite part of your job as a wedding photographer?
It’s all about the people whose wedding I photograph. In this job you HAVE to like people and I’ve been incredibly lucky to have such lovely and genuine couples to photograph. I take a very personal approach to each wedding I photograph, it’s important for me to get to know my clients as a couple and what brought them together (I am an avid collector of cool engagement stories!) and I like to discuss the day they have planned as every wedding different and I want to capture and document it in the way they imagined. I love it when I can deliver images to my clients of moments they didn’t even see on the day. Although they are the stars of the wedding lots of the backbone of the story, I am documenting in around the fringes of the wedding with their guests and any children there.
To devote this level of personalised service to my clients, I choose only to photograph a strictly limited number of wedding assignments each year around 25-30 weddings and not become a ‘wedding factory’ style photographer
Are there any particular types of weddings that absolutely love working on? Also, are there any wedding photography trends are you predicting for 2019?
I’ve done pretty much everything over the years from just two people (the couple) the registrar, a witness and myself at Le Manoir up to 700 people at a London Indian wedding over 3 days. I’ve photographed Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, Asian, Persian, Danish, Swedish, English, Scottish, Jewish, Chinese, Civil ceremonies, Catholic and Church of England Church weddings, same sex weddings and everything else in between. I love the variety in what I do.
I do remember a lovely wedding I photographed at The Crown with a beautiful Swedish bride and a groom that was the absolute spitting image of Max Branning from East Enders. In fact, the groom told her he WAS Max the night they met in a bar………she rumbled him, but she forgave him! The wedding had some great Swedish/Scandian traditions that I’d witnessed at a Danish wedding I had shot, including when the groom leave the room during the wedding breakfast all the single men form a queue to kiss the bride. Also during the first dance the groom is lifted aloft by the bride’s family and the ends are cut off his socks and his tie is cut in half by the bride’s mother or father supposedly to prevent him ‘straying’ during their marriage!
The main thing I’ve noticed is people want a physical hard copy record of their wedding now in the form of a beautiful wedding album professionally designed. I still get the occasional person just wanting a USB of images but 99% of my couples want the album and it’s something I’m really pleased to help them with.
In terms of trends and fads I tend to avoid the ‘bunch of flowers in front of the face’ or those hazy faded filters that crop up in the wedding magazines I want my couples’ photos to be beautiful and timeless. I tell them the only thing that should really date about your photos is what you are wearing/fashions and your haircut; wedding photography really should be timeless and free of filters etc that will really date it.
Do you have a favourite season to shoot in?
I love shooting all year round but perhaps if I had to choose one, I love the mid-autumn time when the red and orange colours of the leaves on the trees are really getting going and the sunshine has lost its harsh edge and the light in the mid afternoon becomes soft and the sun lower in the sky.
What tips or advice can you give to couples who are during planning their big day?
When planning a wedding end of Oct-end of March be careful not to book the ceremony too late as you lose the light so much earlier. I would also perhaps opt for not too many group photos as these can really eat up time during the wedding reception……time where you could be enjoying the party with your guests. If you do have group shots nominate one person from each family to round up the groups, the can save so much time of the day if you are organised.
Probably my biggest recommendation is to book a pre-wedding shoot with your chosen photographer it gives you a set of gorgeous images a few months before your wedding but more importantly it helps you build a relationship with your photographer and gets you used to being photographed. It’s so obvious to me which of my couples have had a pre-wedding shoot as they are so much more relaxed for the couple photos and we get the very best results. Finally, on the day itself please try not to stress about every single detail, things don’t always go 100% to plan and timings do slip just take a deep breath in the morning and enjoy every single moment.
Also, do you have any thoughts on The Crown as a wedding venue or tips for couples looking for photography inspiration for the venue that you might be able to share?
It’s such a lovely setting and from the weddings there I have photographed works amazingly well for couples that want a slightly more chilled-out wedding ‘their way’. You get the best of a barn environment that feels a world away from the hustle and bustle of modern life. When off to do the couple shots with your photographer there are many many local areas to use, up towards the local church there with its lovely grounds to gates with vineyards in the background and if you are adventurous some special local fields with long grass in the summer that really does make for some stunning images if you make the effort to go there and create some magic! Oh yes and the food is awesome!!
Thanks so much to David for answering our questions, another brilliant insight into the world of some of the wedding professionals that we love to work with.
To find out more about David’s work head to:
If you want to know more about our venue and how we can make your day special, whatever the season, get in touch with our Wedding and Event Co-ordinator Chloe: firstname.lastname@example.org