B.LOVED Edit Supplier Spotlight: Amanda Karen Photography
Let us introduce you to Amanda Karen Photography, a name you’ll have seen plenty of times here on B.LOVED blog with oodles of beautiful images from inspiring editorials to exciting industry events or venue tours. But, did you know that Amanda Karen Photography is in fact a husband a wife team?! Yes! Amanda + Hutch capture all of their weddings together and it is a growing request to have two photographers on your wedding day – they work together with the same vision and style to provide a variety of angles but they can literally be in two places at the same time – meaning that they can capture your special moments throughout the day. We wanted to know more about this, the benefits and of course details about how Amanda + Hutch fell in love with the art of wedding photography, so here we have an exclusive interview with them and of course a collection of their amazing imagery…
How would you describe your style of photography?
We are definitely in the light and airy camp, I take so much inspiration from fine art photography and the romance that it inspires in the viewer. Whereas Hutch is inspired by those natural moments, catching that belly clutching laugh of Great Auntie Flo or seeing a mischievous flower girl knock over a carefully balanced game of jenga! But these two passions of ours have moulded themselves to be able to provide imagery that brings the natural and the romance together which our couples seek us out for.
Our style is definitely for those couples who want the emotion captured in their day through the more documentary style of Hutch but also want to have stunning portraits created of them to showcase their love that I adore and the details they have spent months deliberating over captured. Our style is about storytelling, and a wedding is a chapter in that story, our couples are those who crave that, who’s house is filled with images and treasures from adventures through their relationship. Their wedding is another adventure they want to remember.
What are your favourite things to capture at a wedding?
Any wedding where you can tell the couple are truly in love, and that their wedding day is a real representation of who they are. That combination really does mean that everyone is happy on the day, regardless of whether it is a small intimate wedding or a huge affair. If the couple are celebrating in the way that they want to and doing it for the right reasons, they are the best weddings. Why? Because everyone around them is happy, the couple are relaxed and all that comes across in the images, you can truly capture that emotion, which means when they look at those photos in years to come, they’ll be right back there experiencing it all again.
How did you fall in love with wedding photography?
As cliché as it sounds, it was definitely whilst we were planning our own wedding did that love really blossom! Photography was something we had been passionate about before, but it was only going through our own planning and the day did that really materialise into a passion and a belief that the two could combine.
How did your career in wedding photography begin?
Once we were married, I missed the wedding world, our passion for photography was still there and after many long chats we knew wedding photography was something we wanted to do. So we started by assisting and second shooting with other photographers, to really hone our craft, develop our style but also so that we could gain an in-depth knowledge of how weddings worked, because up until that point we’d only really experienced our own. As it’s such an important day in a couple’s life, we wanted to make sure we were prepared for any eventuality, and not rush in to just taking on our own clients.
After a year of doing that, we launched Amanda Karen Photography in 2014 and it’s been an amazing journey ever since! You can never stop learning so we are always pushing ourselves to improve, to be the best for our couples. We have the best couples, biased I know, but they are the ones that really make this “job” fun and exciting.
What is something that makes Amanda Karen Photography different + special?
I think the fact that we are a married team does bring it’s own special qualities, we know just how our couples are feeling, what they are going through and are often a calming influence on the morning of the wedding. Having been through it ourselves we are able to advise our couples through the process and by the time we get to the wedding day, a friendship has developed, meaning our couples are completely at ease in front of the camera.
ABOUT WORKING AS A WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY DUO
What are the bonuses of having two photographers on your wedding day?
I honestly believe that by having two shooters you capture more of the day as it unfolds. For us, working as a team means that we can split the day up to ensure that we don’t have to rush through any of it, from each of us covering one of the couple during preparations to during the speeches knowing we can capture both the top table and the guest reactions and of course every other moment in between.
By having two photographers on your wedding day, you are ensuring that each moment and detail is captured, those are the images that you look back on, so for us (and it was the same for our own wedding), why wouldn’t you want to get maximum coverage?!
How do you work together as a duo? Do you have different things you shoot on the day?
We compliment each other really well, and actually on a wedding day we barely see each other! We’ve split the wedding day based on our strengths, for example whilst I am organising the group shots or creating beautiful portraits, Hutch is capturing the candid moments between the guests (he’s incredibly good at hiding so that he can catch those truly natural moments without being noticed!)
We also make sure that we are photographing different aspects of the day to make sure we have everything covered, for instance we split the preparations in the morning so we are with each half of the couple. Or during the ceremony one of us is at the front with the other at the back (perfect for that moment they turn around at the bottom of the aisle to watch their love walk in!)
What are the benefits of being a permanent photography duo compared to a photographer hiring a second shooter to work alongside them?
For us, the benefit is that we know how each other works inside and out, we are so very rarely in each other’s shots and we work seamlessly as a team. That’s not to say that’s not the case with a second shooter, some businesses work with the same team of second shooters and so build that relationship. But I think for us, because we are in business together, as well as being a couple, as corny as it sounds, we just know where and how each other works as well as we know ourselves. I think the more in tune a team is on your wedding day, the more smoothly the service.
What wedding trends are you loving right now and would love to capture?
I am absolutely loving the fact that couples have got so much choice in what they can do for their wedding, much more so than when we got married! They can create a day that reflects them but also really pushes the boundaries, I mean some of the floral installations I’ve seen are incredible and I could shoot those all day long!
I also love that couples can almost get married wherever they want, it’s no longer limited to a Church or town hall followed by a hotel reception. There are amazing venues to explore and couples are travelling abroad more and more (which we love, our passport is always on hand, we’ve had some amazing weddings in France and Italy over the years!)
What kind of locations do you love working at? Including Destination Weddings!
There are a few, so I’ll start closer to home – I love a London wedding! There are so many different vibes in London that you are never stuck for inspiration, from the stunning Clissold House and Orangery at Holland Park, to the gorgeous outdoor vibes of Petersham Nurseries, Kew Gardens and Chelsea Physic Gardens.
Of course the rest of the UK has gorgeous spots too, in fact too many to really list, but I am a sucker for a beautiful (light and airy of course) house where you get the whole place to yourselves, with stunning gardens to go an explore for portraits.
For destination weddings, I have a bucket list as long as my arm, but Italy holds a special place in my photography heart. I don’t know if it’s the chilled out vibe, the sunshine, the food?! But I definitely want to explore Italy more and capture more beautiful weddings there. To be honest, we have such a travel bug as a couple, that if there is a wedding to be photographed then we’ll be there!
What do you love about destination weddings?
It’s the adventure of exploring somewhere new, plus the weather! A lot of the time couples book their destination wedding because they don’t want to risk the hit and miss UK wedding (although this summer has been filled with amazing sunshine!).
I also think though that destination weddings seem to be a lot more chilled out, you would think the idea of organising a wedding abroad would make them more stressful, but on the day, the couple and their guest are just so relaxed. I wonder if it’s the holiday mode feeling they all have and that they’ve been able to celebrate with their guests for longer, sometimes having a pre and post event either side of the wedding.
What happens when a couple books you for their destination wedding?
So much like our UK weddings, when they book we send them our gorgeous welcome pack filled with lots of advice and goodies to help them on their way. As all our collections come with an engagement shoot, we can either do that here in the UK or, whilst we are out there as we always make sure we are there a full day before the wedding.
We always liaise with the planner or venue along with the couple to make sure there are any special considerations we need to know about, and when we land in the country we use the day before to recce the venue so we can get our bearings. On the day itself we are in full wedding mode, just like our UK weddings and we work as a team to capture all the elements.
Quite often our couples ask us to stay an additional day so that if they have had a UK engagement shoot, they can have a post wedding shoot maybe at an additional location that means something to them in that country. For instance we had an epic post wedding shoot in Florence, the day after the wedding (which was in a castle) where the couple got back into their wedding finery for some city portraits, a city that meant a lot to them and their relationship.
Is there any other kind of photography work that you do too?
Continuing with our ethos that photography is all about telling stories, when we’re not photographing weddings, we are working with like minded passionate creative entrepreneurs and artisan producers to tell their brand story. Imagery can be so powerful to convey a message, to show the love and care that goes into a product, to showcase what goes on behind the scenes and to show the passion that goes into a business.
It’s this ethos that bought about AKP Branding Stories which is all about creating imagery for businesses that will entice, inform and inspire their customers and clients. In this digital age of social media and online shopping, photographs have an even bigger part to play for a business as customers are making a decision based on what they see online before they engage with a business and part with their hard-earned cash. This is what drives us, to create images that tell the brand story with their own bespoke images, a consumer can spot a generic stock image a mile off these days!
- Photography: Amanda Karen Photography