How I got into photography

How I got into photography

As it’s the new year, with new beginnings and more new people to meet, I thought I’d tell you a little bit more about how I got into photography. Like most, I was in front of the camera as a child. On family days out, we would be grouped together by my Nan with her disposable camera. With our biggest grins and best poses we laughed as she covered the flash with her finger! Then we waited to hear her say “Oh that will be a lovely one!” after every photo.

One of my favourite photos with my Nan.

Years later we still rummage through those photos and laugh at all the fun times we had. Piles and piles of photos filled with silly poses to completely natural ones caught unaware. And every time we get them out, we are right back in that photo, reliving those precious moments. This is where I got my approach to photography from. And this is exactly what I want for my couples and families that I photograph to be able to do, to look at them and feel like they are right back in those moments. Fun and natural photography, capturing it as I see it.

Weddings? No way!

I’m going to let you in on a secret… If you had asked me while I was studying photography whether I would photograph weddings, my answer would have been ‘definitely not’. Originally, I just loved the idea of photographing and didn’t really have a specific idea of what I wanted to photograph. What I did know, was what I didn’t want to photograph and that was weddings. I thought it would be too much pressure because there are no do-overs!

Lisa and Jason at Hertford Castle in Hertford.

In 2015 my Auntie asked if I would help out photographing her wedding with her friend. As it was for family, I didn’t feel too much pressure (especially as I wouldn’t be the only photographer), and really enjoyed it. From here I was getting a few more friends and family asking me to photograph weddings and family portraits. Meanwhile in between I was starting to think of doing an apprenticeship to get into a photography job. But more and more people were asking me, so maybe I would be able to get started without it?

My first ‘proper’ wedding

Then came the moment that I had my first ‘proper’ wedding as I like to call it. By proper I mean, I didn’t know them, it wasn’t for a friend or family member, they were complete strangers that came to me through word of mouth.

Michelle and Chris with all their guests in the grounds of Letchworth Hall Hotel

Michelle and Chris’ wedding at Letchworth Hall Hotel in Hertfordshire was beautiful! I always love seeing how the wedding comes together after hearing the plans at our meetings together. Everything from the bridal prep to the evening reception really did come together perfectly, with their own personal touches. To be asked to be there to capture and witness it all was incredible. It was in the evening while the happy couple and their guests were checking into their rooms that I stood in the reception room having a little break. And in that moment, I thought ‘Wow, this is what I am meant to be doing’.

Laura’s beautiful heartfelt speech to her sister

Since that moment I have never looked back. I can’t tell you how amazing it is to be able to call this my job! In fact, I don’t feel I can even call something I love this much a job. For people to ask me to be a part of their weddings is such a privilege. They are trusting me to capture one of the most important days of their lives. To witness such an intimate moment and capture every ‘blink and you miss it’ moment from the day is a true dream. From every confetti shot, first kiss, hilarious speech to the emotional wipe of a happy tear during the ceremony. I fall in love with weddings, photography and my ‘job’ more and more with every wedding I photograph. Who wouldn’t love to capture love?!

Confetti for Amy and George at Aldwickbury Park Golf Club in Hertfordshire

So, the last part of this post is to every person I have had the privilege to photograph. I always receive words of thank you from my couples as well as their families and friends, for being part of their special day. But honestly, I have to thank YOU. Without you, I wouldn’t get to do something I am so passionate about for a living!

Copyright Ellen Forster Photography