lee hawley photography creative candid natural photographer cheltenham cotswolds gloucestershire cleeve hill smoke

What Photography Style Suits You?

What Photography Style Suits You?

It’s a minefield choosing a wedding photographer which runs much deeper than just whether you like the show-off photos on the websites front page. Do you like formal and staged photos? A photographer who can direct every step of the day? Or someone who stays in the background candidly documenting the day?

One thing I often hear from couples is they would like natural photos. You will know what you like when you see it, so don’t take the photographers word for it. One photographer’s opinion of “natural” could be very different to another! For example iv seen photographers selling their style as “natural” with shots of a bride and bridesmaids all laid out in perfect symmetry looking at the camera saying “cheeeese”. There’s nothing wrong with that if that’s what you want, but my version of natural is this:

I achieve this with a mix of discretely working in the background where needed, but by also integrating into the bridal party. By becoming friends with the people I am shooting it allows barriers to be broken down, and peoples personalities to come out. No amount of direction, or even candid shooting from afar will get moments like these.


​There’s also the part of the wedding where you get some photos of you both together away from everyone. This is the part of the day I love! It’s a fantastic opportunity for creativity, and I relish the challenge of getting these moments within a very short period of time. In my personal life I spend a lot of time photographing my 2 years old son and 2 dogs, this is very good training for getting into position and shooting accurately and quickly, and having worked with many couples I do it without thinking.

Iv been an usher at several weddings where we’ve lost the couple for up to 2 hours whilst the photographer gets some photos of them together. Time that surely you’d rather be spending with friends and family? I spend a lot of time with my couples before the day itself fine tuning the plan for this part of the day so we can nail it in as little time as necessary, all the while maximising the wow factor of the shots!

There are important consideration related to the process of getting these couples photos too. Questions like “how do they get these photos?”, “I’m not a model, what will I have to do?” and “how much of my time will it take?”. I always work within your comfort zone, by doing that I get you at your most natural even though we are up a hill or in the grounds of your venue having some photos. However by often shooting from a good distance away, and by us having a bit of a laugh and a joke, we manage to get wall canvas worthy shots like these:


Every one of those images was part of a 30+ set captured on a real wedding within 20 minutes start to finish, and felt like much less than that!

A photographers style is a very personal thing, and I don’t believe it can be contrived. A photographer can of course copy other photographers images, but that will only last for a short number of staged photos, they will ultimately end up reverting to what is most natural to them or what their talent allows over the course of a whole wedding. This is why I recommend you see an entire weddings worth of images from a photographer before making your decision. Only then will you get a proper feel for what you will get in terms of quality, style and also quantity (I provide nearly double the images what most photographers quote). You can see highlights sets from some recent weddings here and if you contact me directly I have permission from a number of couples to send you a link to their entire set.

Ultimately it’s about finding the perfect photographer for you. If you want hundreds of formal line ups & overly posed portraits, I am probably not the one for you. However I’d love to hear from you if you want natural and creative story telling like this:


Photography As Unique As You Are

This is not formal wedding photography

I tell your wedding story naturally and creatively. No awkward poses, no saying cheese. My goal is for you to feel like you have a friend as your photographer, and by doing that I capture you at your most you.

I truly invest in my couples, spending time to understand what makes you tick. Even if you don’t really know what you want, in a brief chat over coffee I will understand how best to approach your day, resulting in you being relaxed and able to enjoy your wedding and resulting in a set of images tailored to you.

​To receive my latest brochure and full price list, please complete the simple form . I’d also love to hear a bit about your day! Packages start from £695.

This is not a wedding production line, you will not be added to any mailing lists and I will reply to you in person

Posted by Lee Hawley