An album that captured our imagination recently belongs to Oliver Jones, of Oliver and Ruth Photographers. Oliver, who is based in South Wales, has a documentary style of shooting, which is what caught our eye in this outstanding album.
The album showcases a beautiful wedding which took place at St Peter’s Church in Penarth, in the Vale of Glamorgan, and the reception held at The St David’s hotel. Particularly striking are the black and white images Oliver shot of the couple on Penarth Pier and nearby beach. The bride’s bright smile throughout the album demonstrates Oliver’s skill in capturing natural moments which allow his subject’s personality to shine through.
The album itself is printed on Art White paper and presented in a Wedgwood Eco Leather cover, a soft blue which complements the wedding’s costal location.
We caught up with Oliver to find out more about the images behind this album.
What did you enjoy most about shooting this wedding?
The couple were both so much fun to work with. They were both incredibly relaxed and just seemed to thoroughly enjoy their wedding – the bride didn’t stop laughing all day! It was a fairly big wedding, with around 70 guests, but somehow it felt very intimate. All the guests took a trip to the pier for champagne and chips – I think that sums up perfectly the relaxed vibe they were aiming for.
The album really captures the personalities of the couple and their guests. Do you have any techniques for putting people at ease when you are photographing them?
Although we try to be very unobtrusive in the way we shoot, it’s impossible to be completely invisible. I think it’s just a case of being friendly and taking a genuine interest in people. A simple smile or a short conversation can be enough to be accepted. That’s when people will let their guard down and just be themselves.
You took photographs at various outdoor locations during the day, including by the sea. Did this pose any additional challenges for you?
Not really, to be honest. We are so used to photographing weddings in different locations with the light and weather constantly changing. We’ve had a lot of practice in adapting to various situations over the years! We love it because it always keeps us fresh and creative.
What is your usual approach to using natural and artificial light?
We use natural light 99% of the time, even indoors. Our equipment allows us to shoot at high ISO and very wide apertures. As soon as the flash fires people know you are taking pictures and it’s much harder to blend in, which goes against our style of photography.
If you could sum up this album in three words, what would they be?
Colourful. Energetic. Fun.
How was this album presented?
12×12″ album in Wedgwood Eco Leather with 25 Art White spreads.
Did you shoot with the album design in mind?
Yes, in a way. We always shoot to document the wedding day, using various details, viewpoints and sequences to tell the story. I think albums are a perfect extension of this. Often when we are processing our images we will think about how groups of images might be presented together in an album.
How long have you been interested in photography?
I bought my first camera at the age of 14 and built a small darkroom at home in my early twenties – thanks Mum and Dad! When I met Ruth just over 10 years ago, we started photographing weddings together and have been on the most amazing journey since then.
What inspires/influences your photography?
I would say there are two things, really. Firstly I am influenced by our brides, grooms and their families. I’m inspired by their relationships and all the real life moments that happen between people. Capturing the atmosphere and emotion of a wedding day is what really drives and inspires us to shoot the way that we do. Secondly I would say being able to use our artistic licence and putting our own twist on things. We love interesting light, angles and compositions.
What camera do you shoot with?
We currently shoot with Canon 5D bodies, although we will be keeping a close eye on Fuji over the next few months.
What is in your camera bag?
I shoot with 2 cameras – mainly a Canon 5D Mk2 with a 35mm f/ 1.4, alongside another Canon 5D Mk2 with an 85mm f/1.8. Ruth uses a 5D Mk3 with 24-70mm f/2.8 and 70-200mm f/2.8. We also have a selection of other lenses, spare cameras, flashguns and video lights in the bag in case we need them.
What is your favourite accessory, other than your camera?
Photography related, probably my 85mm lens. I love this focal length, and the 1.8 lens is light and fast to focus. Non-photography related, probably my iPhone – I think I’d be lost without it!
What do you find most challenging about shooting weddings?
We’ve worked in some venues more than once over the years so we feel it’s important to see things differently and come up with new ideas, particularly when shooting the bride and groom portraits.
Have you had any wedding day disasters?
No I haven’t, touch wood. I hope that hasn’t jinxed it!!
Do you travel much with your job?
Yes, we cover weddings throughout the UK and we love to visit new venues and interesting places.
Where would be your ideal location to shoot a wedding?
I think that photographers often believe the grass is greener in different parts of the world, but we have so many amazing places in this country. The variety of scenery and seasons are fantastic too. Although, to be honest, I think it’s more about the people than the location. If people are happy and expressive on their wedding day then you can produce really great wedding photographs wherever you are.
Is there anyone or anything you would love to photograph?
We love photographing couples who really understand us and our style of photography. These are the clients who trust us and give us the freedom to be ourselves, to be creative and to produce something amazing for them. These are the people we really look forward to working with.
Click play, turn on HD and go full screen to enjoy this awesome album
Many thanks to Oliver for allowing me to interview him and for sharing his great images. You can see more of his amazing work at http://www.oliverandruth.com