So who's this stranger who might be turning up to your wedding?
You'll 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 a 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 have sat with the bride while her makeup goes on and maybe with the groom as he irons his shirt in just his socks and trousers. I'll be the first person you see as you walk out of the church as husband and wife and I may well be standing closer to you both than anyone bar the vicar/registrar as you say your vows.
I will inevitably talk to one or two of your guests as they say hello to me, (most likely the keen amateur photographer in the family) so it's vital you pick someone you're both comfortable to be around and have a rapport with and are happy for them to be around your family and friends all day.
So, hello there. I’m Tom. I live in the small village of Stoke Prior, just outside Bromsgrove which is just south of Birmingham in the West Midlands. I'm not a Brummie tho, I was born in Cardiff and lived in South Wales until I was 7, in Wiltshire until I was 16 and in Bedfordshire until I was 33. My dad's side of my family are Welsh farmers and my mum's side are from Hertfordshire so I'm a bit of a southern mongrel.
Away from photography my hobbies include playing the guitar & drums, listening to a lot of classic rock and pretty much any music from my teenage years in the 1990's. I support Liverpool, watch any science and nature documentary going on iPlayer, binge anything good on Netflix and throw Blackadder quotes in conversations at will. I'm also a bit obsessed with the Simpsons - only the classic seasons tho - it all went downhill around seasons 8 & 9. I've become engrossed in the gym over the past couple of years, I do a 5k run 2 times a week which would have been impossible a few years ago. I also love to travel. At the start of this year I spent 6 weeks in Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, and I'm already planning my next trip to Tanzania at the end of the year.
Oh, and if you're wondering what to get me for Christmas this year I love spiced rum.
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 (see the mirror selfie above - taken at a quiet moment during a recent bride prep - for proof). I'm not one for photographing food, although I did once take a picture of a steak I was served while in Texas a couple of years ago, but it was ridicuously huge and needed to be seen.
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 the cat 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.
I go above and beyond to take great photographs for myself and my couples and I’ll do the same for you with a professional and friendly service. If you need a wedding photographer who will go the extra mile please get in touch, I'd love to capture your big day for you.
Good luck with all your wedding planning!