ISPWP Member Spotlight - Nathan Eames Of Libra Photographic

Posted by Libra Photographic on February 2nd 2024

Photographer Contact Information

Poole, Dorset, UK Photographer

https://libraphotographic.co.uk nathan@libraphotographic.co.uk 07740204072

See This Photographer's Website

The tale of my photographic journey begins not with a grand epiphany, but with a borrowed Kodak Instamatic from my mum. That's right, the real deal, not some fancy smartphone app. I was just a kid capturing the gravity-defying antics of my skateboarding friends, freezing moments of pure fun on film. Fast forward through the years, and you'd find me on school trips, camera in hand, snapping away like there was no tomorrow. While others were content with a single roll of film, I was the lunatic lugging around 20.

After earning my stripes with an Honours degree in photography, I dabbled in the glamorous world of makeover studios, ventured into the academic halls of school photography, and then, like a plot twist in a rom-com, I stumbled upon wedding photography. It wasn't just the fancy dresses or the cake that lured me in; it was the raw, unfiltered emotion. Weddings, you see, are the ultimate human experience—a cocktail of joy, tears, and everything in between.

Capturing these moments is like translating the soul's language through my lens. It's not just about documenting; it's about interpreting. Each photo I take is a peek into how I see the world, offering a glimpse into the kaleidoscope of emotions that dance through my mind's eye. And that, my friends, is why I chose wedding photography. It's where I get to show off my unique view of love and life, one click at a time.

 

Since embarking on this wild ride in the illustrious year of 1999, I've amassed a treasure trove of experiences that would make even the most seasoned wedding planner raise an eyebrow. You see, wielding a camera at weddings has taught me to be more than just a photographer; I've become a part-time mind reader and a full-time calm-in-the-storm.

Take, for instance, the time the mother of the bride, in a moment of overzealous assistance, managed to yank the zipper right off the bride's dress. Most people would panic, but not me. Thanks to my trusty sewing kit (yes, you heard that right, a sewing kit tucked away amidst my lenses and memory cards), I stitched the bride back into her gown. That's right, I played fairy godmother with a needle and thread.

This little sewing kit has seen more action than some of my lenses, believe it or not. It's these unexpected moments that highlight the importance of experience. Being able to read a room, anticipate the unforeseen, and keep a cool head while sewing fabric or soothing nerves has become my superpower. It's all in a day's work, ensuring the show goes on, one stitch or shot at a time.

Every wedding I point my lens at is a universe of uniqueness, a storybook where every page turn reveals a new adventure. However, a few chapters do tend to stand out with their extra sprinkle of unforgettable magic. Picture this: an outdoor ceremony beside the ethereal Lake Como, where the tranquillity of the setting is dramatically punctuated by a symphony of thunder and lightning. There we were, a blend of awe and urgency, as nature unleashed her power, adding a cinematic backdrop to an already picture-perfect scene. It wasn't just the couple tying the knot that day; it was also a marriage of elemental forces, captured frame by frame.

Then, there's the tale of the bride and groom who opted for a grand entrance not many can claim – a camelback procession across the sweeping dunes of Dubai. Amidst the golden sands, under the vast sky, we orchestrated a dance of shadows and light, all the while assisting another renowned photographer. It was a collaboration in the most majestic of studios, where every grain of sand became part of the decor.

But wait, there's more! Imagine a Russian wedding that felt more like a marathon of emotions and vodka. With 83 speeches, each a toast to the couple, accompanied by the spirited clink of glasses, it was an endurance test of festive spirit (and liver function). This wasn't just a wedding; it was an epic saga of love, laughter, and linguistic gymnastics, as each speech unfolded new wishes, stories, and perhaps a challenge to stay upright.

These weddings, with their unique flavours and unforgettable moments, are what make my job an endless journey of discovery. From the stormy elegance of Italy to the desert romance of Dubai, and the spirited toasts of a Russian celebration, it's a wild, wonderful world through my viewfinder. Each click captures not just a moment, but a testament to the diversity and beauty of love's many expressions.

Nestled in the heart of Dorset's rolling hills on the South Coast of the UK, I'm spoilt for choice when it comes to breathtaking venues. It's like living in a postcard that's come to life, each venue more picturesque than the last. However, there are a couple of spots that really make my photographer's heart sing.

First off, let's talk about the Lamer Tree Gardens. This place isn't just a venue; it's a slice of Eden. With a stage that basks in the golden glow of the setting sun, it's the kind of backdrop you'd expect in a fairy tale. Capturing couples in that ethereal light, where every shadow tells a story and every ray of the sun adds a brushstroke of magic, is nothing short of spellbinding.

Then there's Silchester Farm, a place that holds a special place in my lens cap. It's home to a barn, but oh, it's not just any barn. Imagine a wall of windows on the west side, where the afternoon sun pours in like liquid gold, swathing everything in the most glorious warm light. It's like Mother Nature herself decided to play lighting designer, creating a natural soft box that makes every photo shoot there an absolute dream.

These venues, with their unique charm and photogenic corners, are more than just locations; they're partners in the art of making memories. From the tranquil beauty of the Lamer Tree Gardens to the rustic warmth of Silchester Farm, they're the canvas on which we paint the stories of love and celebration. And honestly, could a photographer ask for a more stunning studio? I think not.

If there's a nugget of wisdom I could sprinkle over your wedding planning journey, it's this: Listen to your gut. When you're on the hunt for the perfect wedding photographer, it's like going on a series of blind dates, except you're looking for someone to capture your soul (no pressure, right?).

The secret ingredient? Comfort. Did that photographer make you chuckle without trying too hard? Did they get an eye-roll-worthy pun to slip past your defences? That's the magic right there. If there's even a hint of discomfort, believe me, it'll sneak into your photos like an uninvited plus-one.

Snapping a picture is as easy as pie for most, but what sets a true professional wedding photographer apart is their ability to juggle lenses and human emotions with equal finesse. It's not just about capturing moments; it's about creating them, fostering an environment where smiles are genuine, and every glance tells a story.

So, as you sift through portfolios and meet potential photographers, remember: You're not just looking for someone who knows their way around a camera. You're searching for a storytelling companion, one who clicks with you (pun intended) as effortlessly as they click that shutter. Trust me, when you find them, you'll know—your gut will tell you, and your photos will thank you.

 

I you ask me to pick the one moment, the part that truly makes my photographer's heart do a little jig, it's the evening. Yes, in the evening, when the sun dips low and the stars take the stage, that's when the magic happens.

After the "I dos," the speeches, and the clinking of glasses, there's a beautiful transformation. The air shifts, the formalities melt away, and the dance floor becomes the heart of the celebration. This is when the real party starts, and everyone—yes, everyone—lets their hair down (sometimes quite literally).

You'll find me right there in the thick of it, camera in hand, weaving through the dancers, the laughers, the huggers, and the occasional wild movers that you only ever see at weddings. This is when I capture those unguarded, uproarious moments of pure joy and abandon. The laughs, the funky dance moves, the ties wrapped around heads, and the shoes kicked off in the name of comfort and boogie.

This part of the wedding isn't just about photographing; it's about capturing the essence of celebration. It's when people are their most authentic selves, surrounded by love and laughter, and I get to be there, documenting it all, up close and personal. It's not just my job; it's an absolute thrill. So, if you're looking for me, I'll be the one bobbing and weaving through the dance floor, capturing memories one click at a time.

I’m not one to play favourites when it comes to weddings; if there’s love in the air, consider me captivated. It’s not about the where or the how grand; it’s the genuine emotions that steal the show for me. Handfasting ceremonies hold a special charm with their heartfelt vows, yet every wedding, with its unique expressions of love, draws me in. Simply put, if your wedding celebrates love, raw and unfiltered, that’s where I thrive with my camera.

 

  1. Relax and Savor Every Moment: Your wedding day is a whirlwind of emotions, so take a deep breath and let the day unfold naturally. The best photos come from genuine moments of joy and love.
  2. Trust Your Photographer: You've chosen us for a reason. We're like photo ninjas, capturing the magic discreetly. So, unless we're giving you directions, pretend we're not there. We've got you covered.
  3. Consider a Pre-Wedding Shoot: If the camera-shy bug bites you, a pre-wedding shoot is the perfect antidote. It's a great way to get comfortable in front of the lens and with your photographer. You'll be amazed at how fun and easy it can be!

 

Hiring an experienced wedding photographer is absolutely crucial, and here's the scoop: Experience is that golden nugget you can't just find lying around or download from the internet. Back in the day, cutting your teeth in wedding photography meant earning your stripes as an assistant, soaking up every nugget of wisdom like a sponge. It was about patience, practice, and a whole lot of learning on the job.

Now, the game seems to have changed. The trend is to leap before you look, aiming for the finish line without running the race. But here's the catch: a wedding isn't a dress rehearsal. It's a one-shot deal. You don't get a do-over if the photos don't capture the essence of your day.

The truth is, when you invest in an experienced wedding photographer, you're not just paying for their time on your big day. You're investing in years of mastering their craft, learning from mistakes you'll never know about because they won't happen on your watch. You're paying for peace of mind, knowing that no matter what happens, they've got this.

So, before you're swayed by the allure of instant gratification, remember the stakes. Your wedding photos are the lasting remnants of a day that flies by in a heartbeat. Trust them to someone who's run the race, hurdles and all, and crossed the finish line with grace. That's the value of experience.

 

The landscape of wedding photography has transformed dramatically, with the rise of content creators, influencers, and a sea of professionals all vying for attention. The true challenge? It's not about capturing the perfect shot or navigating the emotional highs and lows of a wedding day; it's about standing out in a crowded field before the big day even arrives.

In today's digital age, everyone with a camera and an Instagram account can showcase their work, often blurring the lines between hobbyists and seasoned professionals. The result is a cacophony of visual voices, each clamouring to be heard by couples planning their nuptials. The real test is cutting through this noise to reach those couples, to show them the value of experience, the artistry of genuine storytelling, and the assurance that their memories are in skilled hands.

Navigating this digital maze requires more than just technical prowess or a keen eye for the candid; it demands a unique voice, a clear message of what sets you apart, and a connection with those who value not just the image but the story behind it. The biggest challenge, then, is not just being seen, but being chosen, in a world where everyone looks, but few truly see.

 

Navigating the world of destination weddings was once a highlight of my photography career, whisking me away to breathtaking locales across Europe and beyond. Each destination brought its own unique charm, a blend of cultural richness and stunning backdrops that made every shot a masterpiece. From the sun-drenched shores of the Mediterranean to the historic elegance of European cities, these adventures were more than just assignments; they were voyages into the heart of love stories set against the world's most picturesque stages.

However, the winds of change have blown, and with the UK's departure from the EU, the once seamless journey has become a trek through a mountain of paperwork. The logistical labyrinth that now accompanies working across borders has prompted a pause on my destination wedding ventures. For the moment, I've chosen to anchor myself closer to home, focusing on capturing the magic of love stories within the beautiful tapestry of the UK.

While the allure of international nuptials remains, the practicalities of the current climate have led me to rediscover the beauty and diversity of weddings closer to home. Each local wedding I photograph now stands as a testament to the idea that while destinations may change, the essence of capturing love stories remains timeless and boundless.

When the wedding bells are silent and my camera is tucked away, you can find me immersed in the world of vintage vinyl, giving old record decks a new lease on life. What started as a lockdown hobby quickly turned into a passionate pursuit. There's something almost magical about taking a piece of technology from the 50s to the 80s and breathing new life into it. Crafting a handmade wooden plinth, and rewiring the internals—it's a process that not only revives the machine but also enhances the soulful sound of vinyl. The crackle, the warmth, the depth of sound—it's like listening to history with fresh ears.

Of course, my culinary adventures can't be overlooked. Like many, I succumbed to the sourdough craze, and it hasn't left me since. There's a soothing rhythm to kneading dough, a patience in waiting for it to rise, and a joy in the bake that mirrors the meticulous nature of my primary craft.

So, in the quiet moments between the "I dos" and the first dances, I'm either in my workshop, surrounded by the innards of record players, or in the kitchen, enveloped in the aroma of freshly baked bread. It's in these hobbies that I find a different kind of creativity, a balance to the bustling energy of wedding photography, and a reminder that beauty and art can be crafted in many forms.

My style of photography is best described as authentic and colourful. I steer clear of chasing after the latest filter trends, focusing instead on capturing the true essence and emotions of the moment. The vividness and depth of colour in my photos are often what attract my couples to my work. They appreciate how the colours in their photographs pop, bringing their memories to life in a way that feels genuine and vibrant. My aim is always to deliver images that are true to the day, filled with natural beauty and genuine expressions.

My unique selling proposition (USP) lies in my deep commitment to environmental consciousness, which is woven through every aspect of my photography services. In an industry often laden with materials and practices that don't always align with eco-friendly principles, I stand apart by ensuring my offerings are as green and animal-friendly as possible.

One of the significant steps I've taken is to eliminate all leather products from my range. This means no leather albums, a move that reflects my dedication not just to capturing beautiful memories, but also to respecting our planet and all its inhabitants. Instead, I've embraced materials that speak to those who share my eco-conscious values, with my most popular wedding album featuring a stunning wooden cover. This choice is more than aesthetic; it's a statement. It represents a love for natural textures and a commitment to sustainability.

By choosing my photography services, couples are not just investing in preserving their precious memories; they're also making a choice that aligns with a larger commitment to environmental responsibility. This approach appeals to those who seek to celebrate their love in a way that's mindful of the impact on our world, offering them a way to blend their values with their vision for their big day.

I do offer wedding albums, including the popular wooden cover option. But why do I believe albums are essential?

In today's digital age, where everything is stored electronically, there's a unique charm to holding a physical wedding album. It's not just a collection of photos; it's a story—a journey through your special day, filled with emotions and cherished moments.

But what makes it truly special is its timeless quality. An album becomes a family heirloom, something your grandchildren might discover years from now. It's a tangible link to the past, a window into your love story. When they open it, they won't be swiping through screens; they'll be connecting with your memories in a heartfelt way.

In short, a wedding album is more than pictures; it's a piece of history, a symbol of enduring love, and a bridge between generations. It's not just important; it's priceless. It's a reminder that some memories deserve to be preserved in a tangible, lasting form.

The wedding photography industry is in a state of flux, marked by swift transformations. Video has gained significant ground, thanks to its storytelling prowess and accessibility. While photography still holds its unique place, freezing moments in captivating frames, it might find itself occupying a more specialized niche. In the foreseeable future, wedding photography will coexist with video, catering to those who value its artistry and timeless essence. The evolving landscape suggests that both mediums will continue to play vital roles in capturing the magic of weddings, each offering its distinct charm.

 

As an artist driven by the visual, my primary wellspring of inspiration flows from the world of film. I'm captivated by the artistry of bringing a story to life through images, and often, I find myself watching a film a second time, this time with the sound muted, to truly immerse myself in the nuances of framing, lighting, and concept.

Two filmmakers who hold a special place in my pantheon of inspiration are Wes Anderson and David Cronenberg. Anderson's meticulous and visually stunning compositions transport me to a world of whimsy and meticulous detail, while Cronenberg's ability to delve into the surreal and the macabre serves as a reminder of the boundless possibilities within the visual medium.

It's the marriage of storytelling and visual artistry in film that fuels my creative fire and influences the way I approach wedding photography. It's about weaving a narrative through each frame, capturing not just moments but emotions and stories.

 

There have been two game-changers that have significantly impacted my photography business.

Firstly, "The Slight Edge" by Jeff Olson has been a guiding light. Its principles of consistency and continuous improvement have shaped my business practices. It's a reminder that small, consistent actions can lead to significant long-term results, much like the way I approach capturing moments in a wedding.

Secondly, "Profit First" by Mike Michalowicz has been a financial lifesaver. Its straightforward principles have helped me navigate the challenges of running a business, especially during the pandemic. By prioritizing profit from the get-go, it provided a financial safety net and ensured the sustainability of my business when times got tough.

The most valuable photography advice I received was during my time in fashion photography. It was simple yet profound: "Slow down and pay attention to the negative space." At the time, it didn't fully register, but as my career progressed, its significance became crystal clear.

Negative space, the often-overlooked emptiness surrounding the subject, is a critical element in composition. It can enhance the impact of a photograph, draw attention to the subject, and create a sense of balance and harmony. This advice encouraged me to be more deliberate in my compositions, to appreciate the significance of what isn't there as much as what is.

In essence, it taught me that in photography, as in life, sometimes it's the spaces between the moments that hold the most beauty and meaning. It's a lesson that has enriched my photography by adding depth, subtlety, and a deeper appreciation for the art of storytelling through images.

The biggest reason for my success is hard work and dedication. I've continually pushed myself to improve, but my clients have always been my top priority. I focus on delivering exceptional service and capturing meaningful moments that resonate with them personally. Success, to me, is about the satisfaction and joy my work brings to my clients.

I recommend staying connected with the WPJA and the ISPWP, as they provide valuable articles and showcase winning photos that offer inspiration and insights into current trends in the photography world. When it comes to business education, I prefer offline resources like books. However, for staying updated on SEO trends, the SEO Roundtable is an excellent online source worth reading. It's a practical way to stay informed about the ever-evolving world of search engine optimisation.

In the upcoming year, my business plans are centred around personal growth and refinement. I'm dedicating this year and the next to actively participating in more peer-judged competitions. These competitions serve as an invaluable tool for gaining insights into how others perceive my work. As photographers, we can become emotionally attached to our images, making it challenging to view them objectively. Competitions offer an external perspective, helping me assess my work with a fresh and unbiased lens. It's a journey of self-improvement and a commitment to continuously raising the bar in my photography.

The most significant challenge and, at the same time, the most promising opportunity for wedding photographers today is the crowded marketplace. The saturation of photographers is driving the next generation to elevate their skills and creativity to stand out.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a game-changer in this regard. I personally leverage AI in my editing process and with Photoshop to streamline the initial stages of post-processing. This allows me to focus my energy on more advanced retouching and creative enhancements.

What's truly exciting is the potential AI holds for the future of wedding photography. As technology evolves, I'm eager to see how the next generation of photographers will harness AI to push the boundaries of creativity and deliver even more extraordinary results. It's a challenge that forces us to innovate and adapt, ultimately benefiting both photographers and couples seeking exceptional wedding photography.

Photographer Contact Information

Poole, Dorset, UK Photographer

https://libraphotographic.co.uk nathan@libraphotographic.co.uk 07740204072

See This Photographer's Website

Photographer Bio

From the moment I could hold a camera, I knew I had found my superpower: capturing moments in time. This wasn't just a hobby; it was a calling. After conquering the wild jungles of A-levels, I plunged headfirst into the world of photography with an HND, followed by an Honours Degree. Yes, I became somewhat of a photography nerd, armed with technical knowledge and a keen eye for detail.

Post-graduation, I found myself with a diploma in one hand and a camera in the other, but no map for the journey ahead. I showcased my work in London’s Camera Press, hoping for a sign. Instead, I landed in the unpredictable world of photographic studios, taking headshots and wondering if my subjects were secretly superhero alter-egos. Spoiler: they weren’t.

But working 9-5 for someone else? It was like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. I yearned for more than just a wage; I wanted to capture the soul of the moment. Then it hit me – weddings! It's where emotions run high, and every snapshot tells a story. Working with Kodak for a season was like a montage in a movie where the protagonist finds their true calling. By 1999, I launched my wedding photography business, Libra Photographic. I've been living my dream ever since, proving that, yes, you can find true love... in photography.

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