I'm James, a wedding photographer who works throughout Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, the Cotswolds, UK and further afield.
Below, is a little about me:
I come from a strong background in the arts, but from a very early age photography has always been my uppermost passion. This passion for photography started when I was very young (maybe five or six) when I stumbled upon my father's collection of photography books. I still remember seeing them high on a shelf out of reach, presumably there for that exact purpose. With a little ingenuity and fully aware I was being naughty I managed to get to them...
The books my father had lovingly collected were by the likes of Arno Minkkinen and Jacques Lartigue as well as the greatest photojournalist of all time: Henri Cartier-Bresson. Even at such an early age I knew these books were very special. Telling me something about the world I would otherwise never have known - be it the subjects, culture or just sheer beauty I came back as often as I could and was always utterly transfixed.
By the time I had reached my teenage years I obsessively started to collect the photographic magazine LIFE. Again, the imagery and the ability these great photographers had of making me feel like I was there was unparalleled. Also, by this stage in my life I owned my first 'proper camera' and would often be getting told off in class for taking photographs.
When my official schooling was over, I carried on to study the fine arts. This is where I left photography behind for a while and decided to concentrate on painting and illustration. Through this period I still photographed my daily events with the same passion I had when I was a child. Unfortunately, my tutor did not have the same passion as I did for photography and often told me that 'Photography is the lowest form of art'.
When I finished my study of the fine arts, and still taking my tutor's words as fact, I spent the next years trying to forge out a name for myself as a painter and graphic illustrator. Like with many things in life, if the passion is not as strong as it should be, it is very hard to succeed. As the years started to roll by, I found less and less time was devoted to the arts and I started forging out a career for myself in the corporate world.
It wasn't until I had to work overseas that something happened in my life which made me see the light...
...From an experience I had when I was a child I spent my adult life terrified of flying and as my business role grew I knew this was something I must tackle. A friend of mine suggested I try hypnotherapy. I must admit I was very sceptical, but having nothing to lose I made an appointment with my local hypnotherapist. I felt at ease from the second we met him and decided to continue with a 12 week program. By the tenth week something triggered and I just knew I was going to be a photographer. I can't really explain it any better, I just knew from that second what I was going to do with my life.
From there, a series of events unfolded which looking back were incredibly fortunate. It's quite a crazy story and to keep my bio short all I'll say is within in six months of seeing Richard, I was no longer in my former role and was finally a photographer.
As I write my bio, and looking back, it seems crazy I did not figure out my path earlier in life. However, all the influences and circumstances which led me here have unquestionably shaped the photographer I am today. Photography's real magic for me has always been it's ability to tell the truth, yet as a photograph ages it often creates a different story in our mind. This nostalgic aspect of photography is key to how I shoot. My work will never be about fancy digital effects or the current photographic trend, but rather the pursuit of documenting the day as truthfully and as beautifully as I can.
I approach wedding photography, as did many of my idols from the past, with patience and observation being key. I try to be as invisible as possible at a wedding and for the most part guests should just think I'm a friend with a camera. By working in this way, there is an intimacy and honesty to my photographs which could not be achievable otherwise. All guests, family and friends need to do from my end is relax and enjoy the day.
I'm based in the beautiful Cotswold town of Cheltenham Spa and I am lucky enough to work within Cheltenham, the Cotswolds and throughout the UK.
Thank you for taking the time to read my biography and for your interest in my work,