Your Wedding Photography Questions Answered
Q & A with John Nassari
1. What makes a top wedding photographer?
For me it’s a mixture of things: being able to work at the top level under pressure; relating to clients and suppliers in a professional way; having a technical understanding which underpins the practice; having a distinct style or flare in the photographic approach.
2. How should a bride go about finding a reputable wedding photographer?
That’s very difficult. Someone told me there were more wedding photographers in London than taxi drivers – and I believe that. I would suggest recommendations, article reviews; they must like their work (its important to look at how they shoot a whole wedding not just the highlights), and whether they gel with them. Personality is so important – do they want them at their wedding!
3. How would you describe your wedding photography style and what sort of bride and groom would your style attract?
I would describe it as a reportage approach with a styled edge. I attract a lot of couples that want natural photographs but want beautiful moments captured as well. Many of my couples appreciate photography. I have a big Jewish wedding coming up in April 2015 and the bride works at the Royal Academy.
4. How have you seen wedding photography changes over the years in terms of what brides and grooms expect from their photographer?
Well, we have seen a change from traditional to reportage and from film to digital. This has been the biggest shift in the last 15 years. It’s a saturated market now, and the entry point for anyone wanting to start a career in photography. At the same time couples are discerning and decisive about what they are looking for. More than once a couple have booked me before the venue and found a venue around my dates.
5. Do you encourage couples to book an engagement shoot with you or a pre-wedding shoot if they are particularly camera shy? Is it necessary?
Always, if they have the time and budget I highly recommend it. A good photographer will learn a couple's angles and best features and an engagement shoot helps the couple to feel more relaxed and at ease with the photographer because they've got to know them before the big day.
6. How much can couples expect to pay for a reputable photographer such as you?
That’s so hard to say, as some photographers I respect have a lower rate than I expected, and others are higher than I expected. There is no industry standard and it’s unregulated. I start at £4000.
7. What are the most common concerns couples have when it comes to their wedding photography and how do you go about putting these concerns at rest prior to the big day?
Normally its timings and logistics rather than concerns about whether I am going to get the right images or good images, or what kind of images they are expecting. In the early days this was the case and I would listen and be compliant as much as possible; I would never agree to take a wedding photo in a style that’s not true to my work.
The level I have got to now couples just expect great work, and rightly so. They are more concerned about being assured that I know the running order off by heart.
8. What is you golden rule for timeless wedding photos that the couple can treasure for years to come?
It’s a moment of juxtaposition, of irony, emotion, or humor, a perfect moment, framed perfectly.
9. How can couples best choose their favourite photos from the many photos you will take on the day for their album?
Choosing the pictures for the album is a common problem because of the politics of inclusion, especially made worse when I recommend we don’t overcrowd their albums.
Some of my couples have volumes, so the wedding day is spread across three books! Mostly people just take months to decide. I can’t really help, as my choices are so different from theirs – I would produce an artistic, minimal book. I believe you could tell a story in 40 pictures.
About John Nassari
John Nassari first became interested in photography at the tender age of 13 when is stepfather gave him his first camera. After earning a degree in advertising photography from the then University of Arts in 1991, he pursued a career in advertising and editorial photography.
John followed the academic path throughout much of his career. He completed an MA in Visual Culture at Middlesex followed by a PhD the University of East London and spent many years teaching at university level.
Working closely with the British Council, John curated exhibitions on identity, exhibiting his work in the UK and around the world. His work has been seen in prestigious galleries such as the Pantheon Gallery, Cyprus, The Town House Gallery, Egypt, and the National Portrait Gallery.
In addition to exhibiting worldwide, John has also competed for a number of well-known accolades. In fact, John has been selected to exhibit at the National Portrait Gallery on three separate occasions while vying for the prestigious Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize. He was also recently named runner up in the Events Photography Awards 2014.
John’s wedding photography career has seen him working closely with a number of luxury hotels in London including The Savoy, The Landmark Hotel and The Mandarin Oriental. He is the only photographer selected to take part in the Belgravia Wedding Quarter, which he is an active and current member.
John’s diverse career has cultivated his unique ability of capturing moments and emotions in beautiful ways, a skill that perfectly translates into his wedding photography. He recently pioneered a groundbreaking 360° multi-media interactive photography of which an exclusive preview is currently available on his website.