Allister Freeman is a top UK reportage wedding photographer & photojournalist – his photography has a tranquility and a tenderness to it which for me is unrivalled in the industry. I’m thrilled to share Allister’s insightful interview as part of The Elite on English Wedding blog today.
Allister Freeman cares deeply about weddings, his clients and the industry he inspires – that’s clear to see from his work and from his wedding photography blog. His real wedding blog posts are personal and generous; his thoughts on wedding photography and advice posts are considerate, useful and compelling.
The Elite: Allister Freeman – an interview
Allister, for me you provide the very definition of fine art documentary wedding photography. Was it an active choice for you to master this style, capturing the naturally beautiful moments of a wedding day rather than staging key images?
“For me, long-lasting wedding photography must be powerful and emotive and more than just a set of pretty pictures. In order to create images that evoke a strong emotional reaction viewers need to be able to connect with the moment and so images need to be believable.
“I always strive to create authentic and honest photographs – I just don’t believe in fairytale weddings. What I do believe in is that this is one of the biggest moments in a family’s history and therefore it’s a wedding photographer’s responsibility to record this momentous occasion accurately and with taste. I’m just not into setting people up, I find it unnecessary and a bit naff, when it’s done well it’s a true art form but sadly I rarely see this in today’s staged wedding photography.”
“They’re imperfect. I don’t over process, I don’t crop to a point where the composition becomes unbelievable, I only look to create images in the camera rather than relying on post production. I read a photographer’s bio page recently which stated “taking the photograph is only 20% of my process, the rest I perfect on the computer”. This process totally misses the point of photography.
“I also work quite close to the action, or what would seem very close to many. This proximity gives my work a more personal feel as I’m often shooting over shoulders and through crowds, I’m also much more in-tune with the day as I can hear what’s going on, which can only help more to anticipate moments. My main objective is to recreate the event in pictures, the very definition of the term documentary or reportage. Something that simply wouldn’t be possible if I spent my time staging photographs.”
Who do you admire in the wedding industry?
“My associate photographers, who have worked incredibly hard over these last couple of years. I also admire photographers that don’t succumb to trends, gimmicks and fads and focus only on mastering their own unique style.”
Who are your heroes? Who inspires your creativity and passion?
“The inspiration behind each image really comes down to the subjects involved, once people are used to you being there they really start to show their true colours. For me it’s about capturing this unique character and it’s quirks that really pushes the creative aspect of my work. I also like environments – be it a vast beach or an inner-city street scape, I always try and involve the wider environment in my portraiture, this often results in particularly creative compositions and perspectives. In terms of photographers that inspire me? The work of street photographer Matt Stuart is pretty inspirational.”
For further information: www.allisterfreeman.co.uk
For more subtly beautiful wedding photography by Allister Freeman: www.allisterfreeman.co.uk/blog
More of the UK wedding industry’s Elite on English Wedding blog