So who's this stranger who might be turning up to your wedding?
You'll not only spend your day with your family and friends, who you know and love, but also your photographer. All other wedding suppliers do their bit and go home, some don't even go to weddings at all. You don't need to know them or like them.
Not the case with your photographer though.
Even as someone who likes to stay out of the way and not get involved, you'll see me there from time to time as I cross your eye line. I'll be there in the morning as make-up goes on and shirts are ironed. I'll be the first person you see as you walk back down the aisle as a married couple and I may well be standing closer to both of you than anyone — bar the celebrant, as you say your vows.
I will inevitably talk to your guests as they say hello to me, so it's vital you pick someone you're both comfortable and have a rapport with and are happy for them to be around your family and friends all day.
It’s very much like being an extra guest. In fact, I am often mistaken for one by venue staff, as I don’t act like a regular wedding photographer.
So, hello there. I’m Tom. I live in the small village of Little Paxton, just outside St. Neots in Cambridgeshire. I moved here in April 2019 from Bromsgrove in the West Midlands. After spending a year away travelling, I came back to the UK in 2015 and needed a home, so moved in with my dad and step-mum in Bromsgrove and then started my wedding photography business. I loved photographing around the West Midlands area and I’m looking forward to going back there many times this year and next year for my current bookings, but I have decided to come back home to be nearer friends, my sister and my nieces, having lived in the area since I was 16.
I love cats and when not photographing weddings I am bossed around by my two rescues, Monty and Charlie. I adopted them when I moved into my new place in April. They are 5 year-old brothers and led an unhappy life with their previous owners where they lived in a violent household. As a result of their unhappy live they are extremely bonded to each other, although Monty does like to remind Charlie he’s the alpha of the two and will turf him out of a spot if he wants to sit there — and try to steal his food. I love that I can give them a new home and seeing Charlie become a bit braver now he’s in a peaceful environment is fantastic. Although the dead rodents they bring in from the garden are less welcome!
Loves tinned tuna.
Favourite spot: a box that came with a delivery
Loves a lap.
Favourite spot: the washing basket.
Away from photography my hobbies include loud guitar music — especially stuff from my teenage years in the 1990s. Recent gigs in the past few years include Guns N’ Roses, ELO, Foo Fighters, Royal Blood, Catfish and the Bottle Men, Manic Street Preachers and Terrorvision. I was fortunate to see both Tom Petty and Chris Cornell on their last tours before they passed away.
Liverpool 4-0 Barcelona
Pretty good night at Anfield last season.
I support Liverpool FC, watch any science and nature documentary going on iPlayer and binge anything good on Netflix or Amazon Prime. Recent shows include Stranger Things, The Americans, Killing Eve, Better Call Saul, The Expanse and Game of Thrones. I’m obsessed with The Simpsons enjoy an evening in playing board games.
I love to travel. Current countries visited on my travels include the USA, Canada, Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Ghana and several trips across Europe. The highlight so far has definitely been riding a motorbike solo across Vietnam from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi in February 2018. No mean feet considering the first time I’d ever ridden a motorbike was when I rode out of the hire place onto the manic streets of Ho Chi Minh.
Oh, and if you're wondering what to get me for Christmas this year I drink spiced rum.
Front row. Denver, Colorado, 2015.
My main hobby though is photography and I love that I get to do what I love the most for a living. And I live to work. I take any opportunity for a good picture; whether that’s getting up early to capture a sunrise, or staying up late to photograph star trails. If you ask my family and friends, they’ll tell you that they never see me without my camera.
There's more photography around now than ever before, but Facebook is full of selfies and Instagram is full of pets and plates of food. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with photographing the cat or taking a selfie, I do all those as well. I think my cats are sick of the camera and I’ve only had them a few months!
A back road somewhere in central Vietnam 2018
However, these images are, in the long run, not something you're going to care about in 20—30 years time. I had an epiphany a few years ago when my mum was diagnosed with a brain tumour and given 3 months to live. It was only then I realised I wasn't taking the right kinds of pictures. We had one picture together — a blurry image taken at night on a camera phone — in the last 15 years. And it's not a particularly good one of either of us. I've got very little of her in general as well. My camera was always pointed at a pet or one of my nieces when the family was together. Since then I've been passionate about documenting real moments which have an emotional or sentimental value. I think these types of photographs are the ones which hold their importance over time. Memories fade, but with true documentary story-telling, moments and the people in them can be captured and preserved forever.
One final note. If you have morning prep in your house and you own a cat I will spend time trying to both photograph it and fuss it.