One of the most touching things about wedding photography is how quickly you find yourself thrown into the heart of such an important, intimate occasion. It's a responsibility only a fool would take lightly. I take great care to behave appropriately but with a sense of cheerful fun and enthusiasm for what I do.
I tend to prefer working alone as it's far easier to melt into the day and being unobtrusive is key to getting honest reportage photography. I aim to photograph as a reaction to what is happening around me, rather than be the cause of it. People rarely look lovelier than when they are simply being themselves.
I always like to meet clients in advance, for the sake of both parties. It's important to be familiar with your photographer's approach as well as their portfolio. Your choice is a very personal one and identifying the style you're after will ensure you're happy with the results. As a sole trader, I always take the lead from my client and aim to be as flexible with my services as I can. I air any concerns at an early stage if I feel there is a discrepancy between the services I provide and my client's brief.
I first became interested in taking photos when I was 11 years old. Within a year I had my hands on a Russian Zenith 122 - a tank of a camera! I then unearthed an antique enlarger inside a broom cupboard at school and persuaded the headmaster to set us up with some chemicals and paper. This was all a great help in developing a disciplined approach to photography.
By 17 I had upgraded to Nikon 35mm and Pentax medium format outfits. I was invited to photograph the wedding of my art teacher's daughter and took the plunge. Thankfully it turned out rather well and in the last decade I've photographed over 160 weddings and civil partnerships in the UK and Europe.
At 18, I studied film production at the Bournemouth Screen Academy and graduated with a BA (Hons) in Film Production. Film is my other passion and I've continued to make promos and award winning shorts for festivals since graduating. While studying, I taught photography part time at Bryanston School and made use of the excellent photographic facilities at university. My photography and film work go hand in hand as visual art forms for telling and documenting narratives.
I was rather a late adopter of digital photography. I wasn't interested in the latest technology for the sake of something shiny and new but felt that by 2005 the resolution and sensitivity in low light was a sufficient improvement on the available film stocks. On average I've upgraded my main outfit every 3 years and my current crop of top end Nikon cameras and lenses have given me unbridled freedom, particularly in low light conditions.
Because I spend the time mastering the density, contrast, colour and sharpness of my pictures in post production, most of my results are indistinguishable from film. My guiding principle is that if an effect wouldn't be achieved in the dark room, it's best to avoid it on the computer! Garish effects may bring something to a lackluster picture but they also date quickly. A good picture has no need for such embellishment. Consequently my work retains a quality that will, I hope, stand the test of time.
I grew up in Hampshire, Dorset & South Wales and often visit family & friends in all three. I live and work in North London.
16 Awards for Documentary Wedding Photography
1 Client Letters
The following letters are from the clients of Harry Richards.
Married: 5 years ago
Sarah & Richie
Dear Harry, Thank you for photographing our wedding day! You really captured the atmosphere and we will treasure the photos and memories. It is lovely to have such great images, even more so as you were so adept at being in the right place at the right time, without us even knowing you were there! Many thanks, Sarah & Richie. x
5 Awards from the Artistic Guild of Wedding Photojournalists
4 TOP Wedding Photographer Titles
The WPJA proudly recognizes Harry Richards as a TOP International Wedding Photographer. Members holding the most contest points at the end of each year are ranked as TOP Wedding Photographers or, in some cases POY - Photographer of the Year.