Good shots and goosebumps: introducing Natalie J Weddings
Saturday mornings are made for magic, and we're bringing you magic this Saturday morning with our gorgeous premium exhibitor, Natalie J Weddings. Natalie is the QUEEN of candid photography, perfectly capturing your connection, and specialising in kickass couples in badass locations. Wedding photography blurbs can be full of blegh-inducing buzzwords but Natalie's words are totally heart-felt and real, just like her incredible photos - so we'll leave this bit up to her, shall we?
"Hello! I’m Natalie, I’m 35 and a wedding photographer based in Bedfordshire covering London as well as all over the UK and abroad for destination weddings. I live in a beautiful 266-year old house in Leighton Buzzard, with my son Danny, who’s 16, and really feel blessed to wake up every day doing something I love. When I'm not photographing weddings I love adventuring to new places, karaoke with friends, bingo (yes, really!) and spending time with my family - we have 2 baby nieces in the family and my Nana has just turned 90 years old. The older I get the more important family becomes and know one day the photographs I capture of them will become special to generations to come, as I now treasure old photographs of long-lost great-grandparents and great-great-grandparents. Photography feels like creating magic, and with it I definitely feel I have found my purpose in life."
Why did you decide to set up your own business?
In June 2007 I graduated from my photography degree and moved to London where I worked as Studio Manager at ASOS.com and Figleaves.com before I realised how important connecting with individuals and capturing their stories was - one day I followed my intuition to hand in my notice to become self-employed and set up my own photography business. October 2017 saw my 7-year anniversary for being self-employed through photography and to date I've photographed 145+ weddings. Before starting to photograph weddings a little over 5 years ago, my focus was fashion, portrait and commercial photography; with credits including Elle UK, Cosmopolitan, Vidal Sassoon, Tesco & Sweaty Betty. This creative work led me to begin photographing weddings when I realised wedding photography didn't have to be 'formal' but could be told in a fine art, relaxed, storytelling way. Each couple's story is uniquely special and important to me, as I understand how much photographs mean; how much emotion a photograph can evoke. I photograph with love, stomach-flutters, tears and goosebumps.
What's been the coolest/best moment of your career so far?
Can I say that right now, in this moment, is the highlight of my career? Everything I look back on is felt with gratitude because each little thing has led me to being who I am today. But to note just a few individual highlights would be photographing some familiar faces of Sir Ian McKellen, Dame Kelly Holmes and artist Antony Gormley who is one of my absolute favourites!; seeing my work printed in countless magazines around the world; being nominated for the Rangefinder 30 Rising Stars of 2017; winning Highly Commended for the Four Counties Wedding Awards - such an honour that I wasn't even at the award evening as I didn't think I'd win; having photographs featured on recognised wedding blogs including Love My Dress, Rock My Wedding and Rock'n'Roll Bride; travelling to Las Vegas, Iceland, France, Italy, Greece and NYC for photography clients absolutely makes my heart sing - that people would trust in my photography that much to take me to those places. Standing at the Top of The Rock with my eloping wedding couple, looking out over Manhattan with tears in my eyes, the Empire State Building rising majestically, the realisation that THIS is MY LIFE - that is one moment that will forever make my heart burst with gratitude.
Who or what inspires you?
Each of my couples inspire me - it's their story that I'm capturing and it feels important that I capture WHO they are and WHAT they feel. Photographing a wedding isn't about me, it's about capturing each guest and each couples's personalities, their quirks and mannerisms. Sure, I get excited by a pretty venue and beautiful light but nothing is more beautiful than what is felt on a wedding day. The most important thing is that I can capture how a wedding day feels, that couples feel those wedding day goosebumps every time they look at their photographs for all the years to come.
Who is your fave famous wedding from history and why?
I remember being around 5 years old when my Granda played me a tape of Princess Diana and Prince Charles's wedding at St Paul's Cathedral (a place I have been lucky enough to photograph a wedding at recently!). I watched entranced by the magic of it all. And now I'm lucky enough to capture the magic for my own couples!
Describe the type of couple you are hoping to meet at Most Curious.
Simply...'We want our wedding to be relaxed and fun... and US!' Those are the magic words that I love to hear from anyone enquiring about having me as their wedding photographer. Be it a relaxed garden wedding, a city celebration or a faraway elopement, as long as couples want a relaxed way to celebrate their marriage then I want to photograph their wedding. Couples that understand the importance of photography and feel a CONNECTION with my work - if my work sings to you, then come and say hi!
What do you love most about your job?
The goosebumps; the laughter; the happy tears; the email from a mother saying she's crying at how wonderful her daughter's wedding photographs are; the countless times my photographs pop up all over social media on special days, showing how important it was that I captured those moments and those people; the travels and adventures; the excitement; and most of all, the days I can work from my sofa in my pjs!
We love Natalie and you can totally see why - year after year she brings the magic to Most Curious. Get your tickets to make sure you don't miss her - they're now available via our shop!