Hey lovelies and oh yes, we’re on the downhill to the weekend! As if that wasn’t enough, the forecast is looking HOT so whatever you’re up to, have a good one. I’m here today to introduce you to the downright excellent human that is Jason Williams wedding photographer extraordinaire. You’ll find Jason in our festival wedding directory but here’s the man himself to tell us more…
Tell us a little about yourself…
I grew up on the south coast of Hampshire in a small town with nothing going on. I had a great childhood though, being near the sea is such a part of who I am, probably one of the reasons I stayed. My wife and I have toyed with the idea of moving inland but I don’t think I could ever not be near the sea.
I love creativity. Anything creative just speaks to me. Music is probably number 1 in my life (after family and photography obvs) and a lot of what influences me comes from music. Often at weddings I will have a song or two in my head, maybe one from the drive up to the location. I think photography and music go hand in glove.
I live with my wife Jen, our new baby Dexter (well, he’s 9 months now but still feels new), and our dog Hendrix. I live a blessed life, I believe in being happy and I love my job very much.
If you had the chance to go to any music festival, which one would it be and why?
Honestly I cannot wait to take Dexter to music festivals. We are already planning on going to Camp Bestival in a year or two. I’ve never been to Glastonbury and I think the size of it now would scare the life outta me; maybe from an experience point of view that would be one to tick off the list. We did Isle of Wight festival 2 years ago and I loved it, maybe we’ll do it again sometime. So much to do, so little time.
I also love travelling in the US (my wife and I drove Route 66 for our honeymoon) so I’d love to go to festival out there. There’s one called Electric Forest which just looks incredible.
What made you decide to go into wedding photography?
Quite a journey and never once did I think this is where I’d be. I trained originally as an engineer, not because I wanted to do it, I simply thought I need a trade and it was local. I was what you’d call very amateur when it came to photography. Self taught almost to a fault, I had so many bad habits when it came to shooting.
Anyway, my uncle would shoot weddings at weekends and he asked me if I fancied coming along on one. I did and I loved it.
That was it.
I set my mind to getting good, really good. I surrounded myself with people at the top of their game and just absorbed like a sponge. I could not get enough of learning and being inspired. I went to tons of weddings with my uncle and also other pros, started shooting a whole lot more and eventually started shooting my own weddings for pals and family. Fast forward quite a few years and I quit the engineering job and I now do this full time. I get to pay my bills with a camera. What’s not to love?
How would you best describe your photography style?
I think my style is based a lot on connection. I like to get to know my couples and often we become good friends (I’m off to stay with one soon as I’m shooting a wedding near them).
I love my images to be interesting, not merely a photo of someone, but rather a photo of someone that says something. I rarely use a long lens, I like to get in close and be in thick of things at a wedding.
I guess if you were to label the style it would be “alternative, artistic, documentary”.
What do you love most about capturing weddings?
My main love at weddings is the couple. I adore capturing that connection between two people in love. The time we spend together at a wedding capturing portraits or simply those inbetween times are very special to me. I communicate this to my couples from the outset – I want to be with them on the day as much as their nearest and dearest would be.
That people allow me into their own little inner circle on the biggest day of their lives is pretty cool.
I also love to interact with guests and build up a rapport with them. I feel this allows me to get closer than some would dare. I don’t direct how a wedding flows, I merely document the day as it unfolds.
Tell us about the different packages you offer…
I wouldn’t say I have set packages. I think weddings and wedding photography is such an individual idea nowadays that what works for one maybe wouldn’t for someone else.
The majority of my couples go for the full day. I always advise this as I think it’s called a “wedding day” for a reason. For a couple their wedding day starts the moment they wake up, so I like to be there for as long as I can.
I love to hear peoples plans though and often together we come up with an option which works for them both coverage and budget wise. I have photographed 3 day weddings overseas, I have also photographed a 2 hour elopement; weddings are so varied that I feel it’s best to come up with individual packages for each couple.
If our readers were to book you for their wedding, what can they expect?
Hopefully some kick-ass images. My absolute main concern at a wedding is to get great images (sounds obvious but you’d be surprised). I want every frame to be a killer.
I honestly believe in being of service at a wedding. I carry bags, I make tea, I pour champagne. I have fun, I enjoy myself and I try to put people into a mindset where they are enjoying being photographed. I try to create an alibis wherever I go at a wedding, I chat to everyone, I eat cake, I am in the middle of the dance floor when it is all kicking off.
I love weddings and I love being a part of a couples’ wedding.
What is the best piece of advice you can give when it comes to choosing a wedding photographer?
This is going to sound self serving but I promise it is not and it is the absolute truth –
Spend as much as you can afford on a photographer, if not more.
Everyone in this industry is working so hard and I never put others down (there is nothing to be gained from negativity) but will you notice the difference between a £25 a head meal and a £45 a head meal? Debatable.
Will you notice the difference between a £500 photographer and £1500 photographer?
The number of times I have heard of people scrimping on a photographer and being disappointed with their images is heartbreaking. I don’t say this to belittle people with a smaller budget – budgets are there for a reason and I really try to work to peoples budgets if they really love my work, but in wedding photography the rule of thumb “you get what you pay for” is certainly a true one.
Finally, what’s you life quote/motto?
Do or do not, there is no try.
Thanks for stopping by today Jason – anyone who calls their dog Hendrix is going to be a hit in our book! If you’d like to find out more about Jason Williams and his ace wedding photographer, take a look at his website or check out his listing in our festival wedding directory.