Welcome to the new year and we are kicking off our 2021 Supplier Showcases with the wonderful Helen Howard Photography. Since meeting Helen way back in 2012 she has always been one of the most talented and above all kind and caring people it has our pleasure to work with, it was only natural she would be one of our very first recommended suppliers!

Who are you and how did you come to be a wedding photographer?

I am Helen and I have been photographing weddings since 2007, I literally fell into the profession by chance and because of a love of both photography and weddings.  I had never imagined that I could do a job that I would enjoy so much. When redundancy beckoned, I decided to give photography a go for 12 months and if it did not work out, I would look for another job.  Thankfully, I haven’t looked back.

What makes you different to other photographers in the area?

The focus of my photography is on the interactions between people, there are moments on a wedding day that you might not catch a glimpse of because of everything going on and I try to capture all the small moments in between those bigger moments on the day.  My connection to the emotion on the day will see me laughing and crying alongside the guests, but I think it is important for me as a photographer to have an emotional investment in my work, to enable me to see the wedding day through the eyes of my clients and deliver an accurate photographic record of their day.  I love the less formal parts of the day, the moments that will be remembered forever and I am intrigued by the individual stories that unfold in front of me. It is a huge privilege to be able to have a front row seat to such a big day in people’s lives. I particularly have a love of Barns, which is why I am delighted to be recommended by Hanbury Wedding Barn. So much thought has gone into Hanbury, that it is a pleasure to be able to work there. I have confidence that couples and their families will be well looked after by the venue coordinator and that it will be an experience that the happy couple will always remember.

What services do you offer?

I supply images both digitally and in beautiful albums which are optional, a personal password protected gallery for sharing with friends and family, and couples often have a pre wedding shoot to get to know me and my camera.  I always meet my clients before their wedding day because I think it is important for people to know who will be photographing them on the day and this helps people to feel comfortable in my presence. 

Tell us some of your favourite memories to date. 2020 was such a difficult year in many ways and it was also the year that I photographed only two weddings, when it should have been 28.  Thinking back to October, I photographed a beautiful intimate ceremony with just 11 people, including the Bride and Groom.  Their plan was to marry, have a drink with their guests and leave for their mini moon in the Lakes.  During the drinks part I could not help noticing that the dancefloor area was just crying out for a first dance, there was music playing so I suggested to them that they did a first dance, no pressure, only if they wanted to.  They chose a song and somebody quickly found it on an iPhone and bluetoothed it to the speaker system. It was an emotional moment, not a dry eye in the room including me, Sam Smith’s ‘Latch’ echoing out in this beautiful barn and afterwards the couple thanked me for suggesting it and that it would be a really happy memory from the day.  They plan to have a larger celebration next October

What are your top 3 tips for a successful wedding day?

When it comes to family photos, try make a list of 5-8 key shots which can be taken shortly after the ceremony. Keeping to this number will ensure that the day does not become all about the photos, and your guests will be able to mingle and enjoy a drink and some canapes without feeling that they are waiting to be called for a photo. As your photographer I could give advice on this and what works smoothly.

If you are nervous about being photographed, then a pre wedding shoot is an excellent way to iron out any nerves or anxieties about being photographed.  Then on the day you will barely notice you are being photographed. I have loved meeting some of my Hanbury couples between lockdowns to explore the venue and get to know them. It’s a great way to discover which parts you love most about your venue prior to your wedding day.

Take some time for the two of you away from your guests, go for a walk for 10-15 minutes, just take the day in.  You will be amazed how years and months of planning can be over so quickly, just take time to breathe and appreciate the beautiful surroundings.  

And a final word of wisdom.  Don’t worry about what the weather is doing.  We cannot guarantee on any day of the year a dry, warm day, so just accept that whatever the weather is doing, Hanbury has you covered.  It is such a versatile, light, large and spacious venue that there are so many options for beautiful photographs.  The courtyard is sheltered from wind, the barns have incredible space and light and there are areas where your guests can be comfortable to enjoy the day.