At Strictly Weddings, we have the incredible privilege of being connected to a rare group of creative talent. UK wedding photographer, Jeff Langhorne aptly fits this category. He continually surprises us with a brand of imagery that far surpasses even our standard of beautiful wedding photography - or any genre of photography for that matter. We see in his work an aptitude for editorial, still-life, fashion, photojournalism and portraiture; all skills relevant to the best of the best wedding photographers of our day.
We hope you'll take a few moments, settle in, and take in all the beauty and insight Jeff shares in this exclusive Strictly Weddings interview. While a UK based photographer may be out of reach for your big day, his approach and advice is applicable to every one of our brides-to-be. To accompany this delightful read, we've selected the imagery of Philip and Philippa's wedding illustrating his ability to capture both the magic of a single moment as well as the exquisite drama of a well conceptualized wedding photo shoot.
How would you describe your style? How do you feel your work distinguishes itself from other wedding photographers?
My style fuses quite a few different approaches together and I don't like to think of myself as "this type" or "that type" of photographer. I want my images to tell a story and to have a stand alone quality of timelessness that my clients will want to see and share for years. Their own style and personality is my first priority followed by my own personal approach which blends contemporary methods with traditional techniques.
You capture the absolute most magical moments. What's your secret?
I believe it stems from my enthusiasm; a strong natural desire to do what I do. I'm always looking to see what is happeningÂ¦.for example, an exchange between the bride and groom that I know will elicit a smile or laugh. I study different styles of images for inspiration with a primary focus on lighting. The more I understand how to manipulate light, the greater my creative range. I typically have pictures in my head before the couple's wedding day and that helps mold the story in my mind and create moments. Being constantly on the look out for the moments that tell the story is vital, along with having the right equipment and the knowledge of how to use it. This means I can be fast moving and adapt for various scenes. The more prepared you are, the more "magic" you're able to capture.
How do you feel about today's digital landscape of wedding photography?
I love it. We can create and shoot in ways that were not possible before. Even in 10 years, I've seen great change and have tried to keep up with all the new ideas and possibilities in order to offer them to my clients. Digital has opened up so much for photography and imaging/filmmaking in general. Our whole lives seem digital now in so many ways. Social media is massive and a key component in business. We live in a world where access to visual content is instant. I just hope that the appreciation for the art of photography remains and we don't lose the importance of images and prints.
How do you recommend scheduling photos so that the bride and groom get the images they want but it doesn't take away from allowing them to enjoy their special day?
I always say to couples to allow more time than they may think. Not so we can take them away for hours but to allow themselves to enjoy certain parts of the day. We'll also shoot around the proceedings and grab small pockets of time for something a bit more directed. There's nothing worse than feeling rushed and then having to compromise on things. A key element in having everyone feel good throughout the wedding day is to plan everything out in advance. We work with the couple on their timeline, advising on what we can do and when to schedule their group shots or couple portraits. We'll typically spread the photos out, starting with portraits of the bride once ready and then over to the groom prior to the ceremony. Following that, we'll do the traditional groups with the family before heading off around the venue with the couple. Shooting in the evening time, when there is a lull in proceedings is always great. And all of my clients are up for this as the "golden hour" portraits with dramatic skies are often their favorite images in my portfolio. Again, it's about being open with the couple about how shots are achieved, what is possible, and what they want from the experience. Once we're all on board with clear goals, they can then enjoy the day of a lot more.
Tell us the story behind this amazing photo session with the bride on horseback.
When we first met with the couple, she mentioned that she had a horse and was planning to ride her on the actual day. I was already excited for it a year out! We then discussed the idea of having a post wedding shoot on the beach with Phillipa in her dress riding the horse. This would mean more time and less worry about the dress getting splashed and a bit dirty. It wouldn't have been possible on the wedding day. I had a key signature image in my mind with a moody sky captured in a series of photographs that showed the energy and feeling she gets from riding. Mixing some closer shots with wide landscape style images, we got a great series. I also did some more static styled images with the groom in as well using lighting to further enhance the look of those images. The photographs the couple have on their wall are from this shoot and their album is stunning.
What final advice would you give to a couple looking for a wedding photographer?
Research well. Have a look round and don't just go for who is closest or most convenient. Visit wedding shows so you can see a range of people and become familiar with their products and styles. Venue and friend recommendations are also great. Make an appointment to go and see the photographer(s) you like and meet with them to make sure they feel like the right fit. Don't be afraid to ask about their business and a bit about them and their background. Meeting the photographer is also an important first step in building the relationship necessary for you to feel completely at ease on your wedding day.
Make your photography a high priority and give it value when planning your budget. It is the one thing you will keep after the day and everything you put into your wedding will be captured. This also applies to video if that is something you want.
Don't leave it to chance. I always hear of people who got a friend or someone who "had a good camera" to do the wedding and then regretted it. Make sure the person you book can deliver what you want.
Discuss how they work on the day and what they would like from yourselves. You will then know if their way of working will suit you or not.
Lastly, enjoy the photographs and that part of the day. I have couples say they don't like having their picture taken or complain they're not photogenic. Embrace the whole experience. Don't feel self consciousÂ¦ it's your wedding. You look amazing!
Inspired lighting, emotional moods, superb composition, and a natural eye for magical moments describes our absolute fascination with Jeff Langhorne's wedding photography. Whether it's your wedding or that of a daughter or a friend, one of the most important decisions they will be make is how their forever memories will be captured. So do yourself or your loved one a favor and pass along this article. Or contact Strictly Weddings' Luxe List partner, Jeff Langhorne directly about his availability for your wedding day.