Joe Payne

Hi, I’m Joe and I’m a Raleigh wedding photographer specialising in a combination of documentary-style photojournalism and fine art portraiture. Thanks for stopping by my site and having a look around. Hopefully, you’re reading this as you like what you’ve seen in my wedding photography galleries. If so, you obviously have amazing taste!

You know, it’s funny. Many photographers will tell you they were pretty much born with a camera in their hands, but my love affair with photography only really began when my wife and I learnt we were expecting our first child. It’s strange to think, now that this is what I do, but I actually have very few photos of myself as a kid growing up back home in England. So one of the first things I did when I learnt I was going to be a dad was go out, buy a camera and a couple of lenses and immerse myself in the subject. Since then, photography has been my passion and I spend much of my waking life in the pursuit of honing my craft.

A few things you should probably know about how I work:

Firstly, I am really driven to document moments rather than stage them. My background studying fine art in Europe has instilled in me a strong appreciation for beauty on both an aesthetic and intellectual level. As such, I strive to tell the story of your day in a unique and personal way. I truly believe that every couple is different and every wedding has its own character and spirit. My job is to capture that character so that, when you look at your photos with your kids and grandkids in the years to come, the soul of your wedding day shines through every image. As such, if you’re looking for someone to replicate the tired, clichéd images you see on Pinterest and in wedding blogs, I’m probably not the photographer for you. That’s probably the worst sales pitch ever, but I’m just being honest!

Secondly, a lot of the people who choose me tend to feel uncomfortable in front of the camera. This is totally OK with me, because I feel 100% the same way! The way I work is primarily to just stay in the background, listen and watch. I concentrate and observe in order to anticipate the moments as they unfold and capture them with the best light and compositional elements possible. People tend to forget I’m even there, which lets me capture the authentic moments that count. For the parts of the day where we will be taking portraits, the emphasis is on the couple just being themselves. We may do a bit of experimenting with your engagement session in order to have some fun and get used to each other, but that normally has to do more with using the available light than having you do your best catwalk model impression. I’m interested in capturing your personality and that can’t happen if you’re trying to be someone or something you’re not. Authenticity is key.

Thirdly, it’s pretty much a requirement that we like each other’s company. I’m not expecting us to be besties overnight, but I have no desire to spend time documenting a wedding for someone I have no emotional connection with. Some photographers like to keep it all business, but I have shot weddings like that and have walked away feeling pretty emotionally squalid afterwards. So, if you’d like to chat with me about shooting your wedding, please don’t be shy and send me an email. We can then set up a time to get together in person or through Skype/phone if you live out of town. After all, we’re going to be spending quality time together on the most important day of your life so far. You want to make sure I’m not a total loser, right?

Some other random stuff you might like to know:

I grew up in England so, to me, you guys all talk funny.
I spent a fair few years living in Barcelona and Valencia, Spain and my wife is Panamanian. So I speak fluent Spanish and Catalan. I can get by in Portuguese and French too. This can come in really handy when your guests come in from overseas or I need to swear in front of my kids.
I went back to school to get an MBA from Butler University in Indianapolis at the same time I was starting a family. It was probably the toughest thing I’ve ever done in my life and it was a total pain in the arse for a few years, but I’m pleased I did it.
My first real job was selling tractors to Spanish farmers. Yeah, it was as glamorous as it sounds. I then spent 15 years or so working in media and communications, so the experience in album design and layout comes from there.
For my photography, I’ve won a few awards over the last few years. I won’t bore you with the details here, but I guess it means I’m OK at what I do.
If you’re interested in reading what my clients think of me, I put all the good reviews here and here. All the bad ones are hidden away on a MySpace page under a false name.
When it comes to photography, my influences are people like Anton Corbijn, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Steve McCurry, Robert Frank and John Nachtwey. If that means anything to you, then you should definitely give me a call.
I also work for a really cool photography software company called Alien Skin Software. If you like fiddling with your photos as much as I do, then you’ll love the products they put out.
If you’re interested in what gear I use, you probably shouldn’t be, but you’re obviously a photographer and lens geek too. If that’s you, check out this page.
My wife and kids are my life and the reason I do what I do.
This is probably very boring and long-winded, but you’re still here.
I am in dire need of a copy editor.
If you made it down this far, you either have way too much time on your hands or you really should get in touch.
Thanks for making it this far! Hope to speak with you soon!

Cheers,

Joe

Joe Payne
2975+ (USD)