Hi Jonathan, please introduce yourself and what you do.
Jonathan Bean Photography (or 'Beanphoto' to keep it short) is pretty much me. I like to photograph things, weddings in particular – I mean how great to be given the opportunity to follow people around all day, dressed up in their finest, all happy to the hilt in the company of their family and friends and to take all the pictures I want – how cool is that! And an honour too, being trusted with the responsibility of capturing a couple's greatest day.
How did you get into photography?
I did my degree in photography, but then sidetracked and worked in bookshops for 15 years! About 6 years ago I realised that I really missed it, and started up again. I could not have made a better decision – it's the best job ever!
Glad to hear that! So where can we find you and what areas/venues do you cover?
I'm based in Lancaster, so I mostly cover Lancashire and the South Lakes, but I'm available to go farther afield too. We have some great wedding venues in Lancashire, including two amazing places right on my doorstep, The Midland Hotel in Morecambe and The Ashton Memorial in Lancaster, both of which are stunning and hard venues to beat.
I offer a variety of packages to suit the variety of weddings, big, small, intimate, grand. I always offer a disc of the images for people to print at home, along with options for albums or mounted prints, even boxed prints, together with an online gallery where guests can view and buy pictures too.
Can you tell our readers how you will work on their wedding day?
A full days photography will start with the bridal preparations, still one of my favourite parts of the day. I guess it's all that bottled up anticipation and excitement, and I'm a bit of a big girl at heart (so my wife says!). From there it'll be off to find the groom and his friends to spend some time with them before the guests start to arrive and the service starts. For the service, I like to work quietly and discreetly, no flash photography, one eye on the couple and the other looking out for mum wiping tears away, the father of the bride swelling up with pride, or the flower girl pulling petals from her posy.
My favourite part of the day is just after the service, when it's smiles all round and I get a chance to kick back, put on the longer lens and capture the candid shots of the individual guests, before the group shots and then the wedding breakfast. Shooting the speeches is such fun, and a great opportunity again for individual shots of guests (often in fits of laughter and tears of embarrassment). Inbetween I'll be on the lookout for the little details of the day that make it all so personal – the table decorations, the dress and the shoes, the rings, the buttonholes and the flowers, and of course the cake. I'll sometimes stay on to get the dancing into the evening too, then a sandwich in the car and a drive home.
What's your photography style?
I like to work very informally and candidly, I suppose my ideal instruction from clients would be “just do your thing”, and thankfully that's exactly what many of them say – it's a great feeling of trust. I'll still do the group shots of course – it keeps grandma happy! It's important that I get on with my couples so they can feel relaxed and at ease with me around. That's why we'll always meet up before the day to chat about things and we'll keep in touch on email or Facebook.
People say my pictures have a great sense of fun in them, I love that, it's like “Yes! Job done” when people say that! I love to search out the emotions of the day, all the fun, joy, nervousness, laughter, pride, and of course love! I was brought up in darkrooms, processing my own films and prints, and I still love black and white photography, but now with digital, I can offer far more choice to couples.
Your blog is fantastic. Do you think this helps bride understand how you work?
Keeping the blog up to date with new weddings, shoots and other work is crucial to my business. I hear from brides all the time that they love looking through my blog, picking up ideas and inspiration, or just for the pretty, sometimes even long after their own wedding! There's almost no excuse for not having a blog these days, brides demand to see new work, and it keeps me on my toes too! These days most of my clients find me through my blog, that or Facebook, so it's vital I keep it up to date. The blog is also a chance for me to express myself a little, have a bit of fun, be a little playful, and just let my personality come through bit more than is possible on my website.
So have u had any unusual requests?
There have been a few unusual requests like the one some years back where the groom asked me if I could do the 'arse shot' – all of the groomsmen were in kilts, so I'm sure you can guess what he meant!
Can you give us an idea of prices?
My prices start at about £500 but a full price list is available on my website (http://www.beanphoto.co.uk/)
Where can our readers meet you?
I can be found in various places including...
and Twitter: http://twitter.com/beanphoto