Candid, natural, and discreet photography by Richard Galloway. One of the best documentary wedding photographers in Surrey and the South East.
Where are you based? Frimley Green, Surrey
Facebook: Richard Galloway Photography
Favourite Bijou Venue: Notley Abbey
How many weddings do you do a year? 30-40
Average price/cost: £1800
Tell us a little about yourself?
I'm a married 36 year old father of two lovely (and sometimes mischievous!) children. As well as being a complete car nut, I play football as much as I can get away with - usually only on Monday nights with a great bunch of guys ranging from 50 year old dads to young lads who are almost half my age...time flies! It's probably already obvious, but I love wedding photography. I love the concentration and thrill on the day itself when you capture those very special shots. There is also a great deal of satisfaction in putting together an album that you know the couple are just going to love. It's an enormous privilege to be charged with the task of creating what will be a family heirloom and will be viewed by generations beyond the couple.
How would you describe your wedding photography style and what makes you unique?
Although I photograph a select handful of posed family and couple shots at a convenient moment during the wedding day, I am predominantly a reportage or documentary wedding photographer. In other words, I don't direct the day, I record it - thus the photographic memories that I provide are genuine and emotional rather than contrived and detached from the real story of the day. My aim is to tell an artistic and informative story of the day through the medium of a mix of black & white and colour photographs. In short, my mantra is: The wedding should not be about the photographs; the photographs should be about the wedding.
How would you describe your working style?
As well as having an eye for a photograph it is essential for a documentary wedding photographer to be both organised and discreet. If one is disorganised, it's more than likely shots will be missed and opportunities gone forever so anticipation is key. Discretion is equally important, as it's my job to get as much detail and emotion from the day as possible - and as soon as there's a camera in the room, many people instinctively freeze or at least alter their expression and body language. That's why it's music to my ears when I often hear guests tell me at the end of a wedding that they didn't even know the couple had hired a wedding photographer!
Do you shoot digitally or with film? Or both?
I only shoot digital. You simply couldn't shoot documentary effectively with anything else!
What type of equipment do you use?
I've got a couple of Canon 5D Mk3s with a range of lenses to cover every possibility. Of course there's an almost endless checklist of equipment that I go through before each wedding. Do you shoot in colour and black and white? I edit my pictures in both colour and black & white. I don't like to tie myself down to one or the other because the subject matter of each individual image can be so different.
What can you offer couples? Can they customise the package with you?
I like to keep things simple so I offer a 'with' or 'without' album package. I don't want to give them 5 or 6 choices as it just becomes a little overwhelming when it's time to decide. With that said, I offer two packages on the basis that they can be customised to suit the exact requirements of my clients.
Do you include an engagement shoot?
I don't currently offer engagement shoots as they can be a little time consuming (more the editing process than the actual shoot) and I like to put as much time and energy into my wedding photography as possible.
How long after the wedding will the couple receive their proofs?
My clients receive their proof images along with a photofilm of the day (18-100 fully edited pictures set to music) within 14 days of their wedding. It's very important to me that a couple returning from their honeymoon will have a nice surprise awaiting them in the form of the photographs. And if the couple decides not to go away then I try to get the pictures to them in as short a time as possible.
How far in advance should couples book you?
Wedding photographers get booked up very early on in the wedding planning stages so I would advise anyone who has their sights set on a particular photographer to make initial enquiries the moment you find someone who suits your taste and budget.
What information do you need from the couple before the wedding day?
I always have a pre-wedding meeting with my clients so that I know exactly what is going on and when. Keeping to time is crucial so that the wedding runs smoothly and the couple and their guests don't feel rushed. In this meeting we discuss timings, specific shots they're after, family trees etc. What are you favourite trends? For me it's not really about trends. I hope that the photographs I take are enjoyed by the couple and the generations that follow them . Trends come and go but beauty and originality is timeless, so that's what I aim for. What are you expecting see more mainstream/more common in the next year or two? Well there's been an almost exponential growth of digital SLRs and high quality camera phones at weddings in the hands of almost every guest. I think that will continue and with that, I'm sure the number of wedding photographers (particularly in the £600- £1200 bracket of the market) will reduce in size. I think that's a good thing as it will lead to a higher concentration of top quality photographers to choose from.
If you were getting married, how would you choose your wedding photographer?
Google! I'd think long and hard about what sort of style I was after with the help of random blog post and forums etc. and then I would just put that together with the area I was in and see what pops up. 'Reportage wedding photography Surrey' would be a good place to start!