As you know, Sugar Group occasionally lets the boys in! We thought it would be a good idea to introduce you to one who has caught our eye in our Man of the Month feature. First up is Dale Weeks; an alternative wedding photographer who takes photos of your special day with a twist.
His main focus is to capture the emotions and feelings of the day, not stopping the flow for guests to pose or say cheese! He sounds like our kind of photographer so much, we want to get married all over again. In fact Dale, what are you up to next Saturday afternoon?
FIRST CAMERA? FIRST PHOTO?
I bought my first camera around my 4th birthday at a zoo – I used my birthday money, then spent the whole day taking photos of plastic dinosaurs.
I have a little collection at home of shots I’ve taken around that time – the photos have a real documentary feel to them!
I had no ambitions for photography until I was 24. I dropped out of college twice, played in a few bands – toured the country and then gave that up too at the grand old age of 21. I became a recluse for a few years and when I moved back home I got really serious about taking photographs.
I got a job in a call centre and instead of working, I spent most of my time on the internet learning everything about cameras – shutter speeds, exposure, apertures.
I found a cool website called stumbleupon.com – where you can select your interests and it brings up websites that it thinks you will like.
That’s when I started getting exposed to photographers from the states – Carl Zoch, Feather Love, Wreckless girl – especially wedding photographers for some reason.
I loved the way they used natural light, natural smiles and the colours popped.
Instantly I knew I wanted to shoot those kinds of photos.
There’s a really nice community online and in pockets of the world where everyone helps each other.
A photographer called Emma and her husband Pete run a workshop in Birmingham called Welcome Home – that for me was life changing and it put me in touch with friends and photographers that help me out whenever I need advice.
My favourite weddings are the ones where the couples just let go and have fun.
My couples have usually seen my work and that’s hopefully why they’ve booked me, they know what to expect and they trust me to do a good job – make them feel relaxed, get along with their friends and family and make them look awesome!
I would say my style is a mix of fine art and documentary. I love shooting candids of people having fun and laughing – I get right into the thick of what’s going on and can tell when the laughs are about to happen, a lot of the job is about being social and reading peoples minds.
I absolutely love the time I get to spend with my couples just after they’ve been married and I get them alone for half hour/ an hour.
We have some fun taking portraits – this is where I can get creative and they can spend some time together for the first time as husband and wife.
SOMETHING BORROWED/SOMETHING BLUE?
I actually carry a couple of items around with me to every wedding or shoot for good luck.
I have a dollar coin that was given to me when I went to California a few years ago- and a shell of a bullet from Spain that was used on the old western film sets for Serge Leoni and Clint Eastwood!
This year has been pretty cool so far, I’ve shot weddings in national trust houses, in fields in the woods, on beaches, in the mountains and at the Bell in Ticehurst – which is an awesome venue!!
I love to carry on shooting weddings, meeting awesome couples and taking photographs that not only I can be proud of, but my couples can pass on down the generations of their families.