A couple of weeks ago I wanted to attend the SWPP. For those who aren’t photo-mad like me or photographers themselves, the SWPP is the Society of Wedding and Portrait Photographers and is the fastest growing worldwide association for professional photographers and once a year they host a week long show where wedding photographers meet, go on some the best courses in the UK and attend a trade show.
And there’s one particular member I wanted to showcase for some time…
Down The Lens: your definitive guide to spectacular wedding photography
Today’s Down The Lens wedding photographer showcase is by the stunningly talented creative photographer Gordon McGowan.
Creating atmosphere with your wedding photography
I came across Gordon’s work a little while ago and bookmarked it in my trusty Safari folder. I remember thinking at the time how amazing it would be to feature the worlds most influential and internationally renowned creative photographer on my Down The Lens series on my wedding blog. 🙂
Gordon has a reputation for unique, stylish, creative photography and for me it’s his ability to create fashion photography styled wedding imagery that sets him apart in the industry. His work is incredibly beautiful and he is an expert at framing his subject in the lens. The first word that poped into my mind when I first saw his work was atmospheric; he’s the kind of photographer that would make you contemplate a pencil and it’s meaning by looking at it in a photograph.
One day I hope that I too will be behind a camera (along side the Alice In Weddingland wedding blog of course). What I’d love to concentrate on is Boudoir photography and photo shoots because it’s the ability to create a story, purposefully, that excites me and this is what Gordon manages to do so incredibly well with his wedding photography, only he manages to do it in realtime, not be stylising or setting up a shoot, which is so incredibly clever!
Combining his fashion photography expertise with his wedding photography Gordon creates evocative imagery; art, telling stories of the day that’s passed. His imagery is exciting, colourful, innovative and emotive and I just can’t stop looking at it!
It was so difficult to choose one, but this is my favourite! Beautiful use of colour, beautiful use of subject.
Moody, dramatic and it draws me in.
Down the Lens – Q & A Sesh!
When did you first start photographing weddings and how did it all begin ?
My first encounter with photography was at the age of 9 when, during a hospital stay for an ear operation, I was given the gift of a Russian Victor camera from Woolworths by my father. I began taking photographs of the hospital staff and can still remember the ‘buzz’ I got from the reaction of the staff, when I returned to the hospital to give out the developed prints. My first wedding shoot was in 1982, for a work colleague. This proved successful and ultimately secured more bookings. The rest is history.
How would you describe your style of photography?
I would describe my style as dramatic and moody. I try to show the passion, emotion, and togetherness of a couple and capture the fun element of the day. When I set up an image, I start with a great background, then I add a pose to suit the location, and finally an expression to complement the pose. To create a perfect image, I believe it is important to look at the finer details, such as hand posing, the placing of the feet and head positions. I like to work quickly, making sure that all the elements are just right before pressing the shutter.
What would be the favourite wedding that you’ve photographed and why?
After over 2000 weddings I would find it difficult to choose a favourite. Great weddings are often dependent on the personality of the couple. I like to work with couples who are willing to work hard for the photographs and allow the time necessary for a great photograph.
An example of a wedding I really enjoyed photographing was one which took place in the Victoria Halls in Helensburgh. The couple were fantastic to work with and the Bride really cared about the wedding photography. The guests were also great fun and all-in-all it was a very happy occasion.
What would your advice be to Brides/Grooms when choosing a wedding photographer?
- One of the most important things to look for in a wedding photographer is experience – not just in photography, but in the specialist field of wedding photography. An experienced photographer will be accustomed to organising the family and guests at a wedding and will be able to adapt should the weather be too poor for outside shots.
- Make sure that you can relate to your photographer, because he or she will be with you for most of your wedding day.
- Wedding photographers often have their own individual style, so it is important to ensure that their style is one that you are looking for in your wedding photographs.
- When looking at your photographer’s portfolio, make sure that they display real wedding photographs, taken under the pressure of a wedding day, and are not simply posed model shots.
- Lastly, check that your wedding photographer has adequate insurance.
Creative, unique wedding photography
What I love, Love, LOVE about his imagery is that he’s created a new modern type of wedding photography by combining fashion photography with wedding photography. He creates beautiful stories with his wedding photography by utilising the environment, light, subject and colour and transforming them into a fantasy, a fairytale by giving them atmosphere.