Today our Photographer Spotlight is trained on the talented London wedding photographer Mike Garrard, so prepare yourself for some absolutely brilliant works of art! His photos give your emotions a workout – ranging from heartwarming, to laugh-out-loud hilarious, to utterly gorgeous. We’re so grateful for the chance to get to know the man behind all this magic!
Junebug: How did you first get into wedding photography?
Mike Garrard: Wedding photography was a natural progression for me. I have always loved the art of photography, and I love meeting new people and learning about their lives, so to mix the two at a happy occasion was an obvious step.
Junebug: What are your favorite moments or traditions at weddings?
Mike Garrard: The best time for me is actually in the morning with the bride. The excitement in the air along with a few nerves makes for some of the best candid moments from the day.
Junebug: What do you find most exciting about shooting weddings in London, England?
Mike Garrard: The variety of locations is the best thing about working in and around London…one minute you can be shooting in a contemporary art museum, and the next in a 500-year old manor house with incredible grounds. Variety is the spice of life!
Junebug: What do you enjoy most about living in England?
Mike Garrard: I love our strange customs and traditions, the history, the sense of humour we have, but my very favorite tradition is a big Sunday lunch in a country pub with great friends every weekend.
Junebug: What are your favorite wedding locations in your area?
Junebug: What are your favorite destination locations?
Mike Garrard: I usually shoot about 3-4 weddings in Italy each year, which I love, specifically the Amalfi Coast. But Im hoping to shoot more weddings in the US from 2013 onwards too. I have a real fondness for America and love travelling around with my wife Marie. Hopefully an adventurous Junebug reader will love to have us come and cover their wedding one day soon!
Junebug: Where do you want to shoot next?
Mike Garrard: I get excited by new overseas locations, and one of my first weddings in 2013 is in Marrakech, Morocco, which I’m really looking forward too. It’s for a fellow wedding photographer too so promises to be a blast!
Junebug: What’s your favorite camera? lens?
Mike Garrard: I shoot Canon 5D mark 3’s, and my favorite lens is a 35mm 1.4. It’s such a versatile focal length, but mostly I love the way it forces you to get in close to make impacting images.
Junebug: What albums do you offer?
Mike Garrard: Queensberry. I’m a big advocate for their quality, design style and timelessness.
Junebug: What really gets to you at weddings? Makes you cry? Makes you laugh?
Mike Garrard: When the toasts are really funny or sad, I feel that too. By that time, Ive gotten to know the couple pretty well so its hard not to be moved by some of the things you hear.
Junebug: What makes you give yourself a mental high five?
Mike Garrard: Predicting when a great off-the-cuff moment will happen, and capturing it when it does.
Junebug: Do you have a favorite wedding story?
Mike Garrard: I shot a wedding last year where one of the bridesmaids went into labour during the morning, insisted on staying for the service, but left straight after and was back at the wedding with her newborn baby just 4 hours after leaving! Incredible desire not too miss anything!
Junebug: Favorite image you’ve taken lately?
Mike Garrard: I recently shot the wedding of singer Annie Lennox, and before the wedding I was anticipating trying to make some great portraits of her and her fiancée, Mitch. As it turned out, my favorite picture from the whole day wasn’t a set-up shot, but a beautiful moment during the ceremony where the expressions on each others faces were so perfect and joyous and so completely in sync, that for me it says everything about what a wedding can mean to two people. Its far more real and impacting than anything set up could ever be.
Junebug: A tip or two for couples who are looking for their perfect wedding photographer?
Mike Garrard: Work out whats going to be most important to you to look back on in years to come. Is it 100 shots of table settings and flowers, portraits of the two of you, or would you prefer lots of real, candid moments? Ask yourself that question before you start looking for your photographer its so much easier to find the perfect person to work with when you know what you’re looking for.
Consult great websites like Junebug and Fearless Photographers, and don’t be afraid to fly someone in if you adore their work. A few hundred dollars in travel costs will seem like the best investment you ever made when you’re over the moon with how your wedding photographs turned out!
Mike, it was an absolute pleasure to see more of your beautiful work and to get to know you better!