Ben is my best friend, my soul mate, my annoying Welshie, my greatest hugger, my cook, my maker of random pieces of furniture, my supplier of useless trivia, my muse... and he's the kindest, most giving person I've ever met. Over the past two years he's gradually become a huge part of my business. So much so, that it really isn't just my business anymore. We're partners in life and in business. And he does so much more than just taking photos - From designing and making new wedding fayre stands (being a carpenter has it's perks), driving us back home after 14+ hours shooting while I snooze in the passenger seat, getting light stands set up, carrying grandma's shoes + ALL our camera gear across a field, climbing an 8ft ladder to rescue a helium balloon, or simply being the supplier of mints for dry mouthed brides and grooms... he's bloody brilliant, and he doesn't get the credit he deserves.
Most of our couples book the both of us on their wedding day, so I thought it was about time I introduced him properly both to the business and to all of you.
A while back he popped the following words in Facebook message to me and asked me to share them... so over to Ben:
So I'm Ben, I'm the weird one with the facial hair.
I've always loved taking photos, but it's always been more of a hobby for me. I never really thought I was good enough to be able to take photos for anyone other than myself; and so I kind of fell into this world not so much for my love of photography but for my love of Nikki. You see during wedding season I would be working during the week, and at the weekend Nikki would be off shooting weddings so we never really got to spend much time together.
This led to me saying "Why don't I come along and just drive you round, take one small stress of your mind?" With that I became a bit of a driver, fetcher carrier and general dogs body. However, also being someone who takes my camera everywhere with me, I decided whilst I'm here I may as well take a few shots myself. Well that was it, I guess Nikki liked what I took, because from then on Nikki encouraged me to come to more weddings with her, and to take more photos.
For a good while, Nikki would often ask me if shooting weddings is something that I really want to do, and I would always reply "I would do anything if it means spending more time with you."
And as much as I love Nikki and spending time with her, the more weddings I've done, the more my love for them has grown. You see I love watching people and sharing in their emotions. As children we feel raw emotion everyday. We go from euphoria, to world ending sadness, and back again several times a day... as adults we lose a lot of this. Life tends to get in the way and our emotions just tend to stay a a constant level (with some fluctuations) of calm. Not on a wedding day though. On a wedding day you get to feel pure emotions in a constant state of change.
The nerves of a waiting groom, the pride of a father giving away his daughter, the pure love as the couple see each other for the first time... saying their vows, the nostalgia of seeing friends and family that have been apart for the longest time... to finally letting all the emotions go wild on the dance floor at the end of the night.
So I guess what I'm trying to say is, the reason that I love to shoot weddings is that I not only get to witness and share in these real moments in peoples lives. I get to be able share the emotion with them, and by taking the photos, I get to help them relive them time and time again whenever they look back at those images - and that is truly priceless.
Have a scroll through more of Ben's photos...
Cover photo credit: Steve Gerrard Photography