how to find a destination wedding photographer

I'm Paul aka bomKnights

Incredibly happily married for nearly 10 years to my wife Emma. We’ve two kids, live in Cheshire and I consider myself very lucky to do this photography thing and actually get paid to do it, it’s cool as fuck and I’ll be honest… I still can’t believe people pay me to do something I absolutely love doing!!

A specialist Documentary Wedding Photographer not a pretend one, I’m damn good at it and yes I’m blowing my own trumpet but you know what I’ve worked bloody hard to be internationally recognised as one of the top documentary photographers around, so I’m going to toot toot toot away because I’m proud of what I’ve achieved!

Personality-wise I love being around people, I’m extremely easygoing and relaxed about pretty much everything (basically I’m not a flapper). Apparently I’m funny, although reading some of my website back I sound like a bit of an arrogant arsehole - I’m not, it’s just my humour and hopefully it’s already filtered out the people who’s weddings I most likely wouldn’t enjoy anyway.

My daughter made up the name bomknights as a superhero name for her little brother, we both called him bomknights for quite a while after that - so I adopted the name, it reminds me of that day we were all running around like idiots laughing our heads off with saucepans on our heads being superheroes. So to me, the word bomknights means memories !

I’m not one of those bullshitty type wedding photographers who’d have you believe I was actually born with a camera in my hand, let’s face it that’s a load of crap. I dislike the ‘wedding industry’ as a whole - it’s this big huge cutesy money grabbing machine that looks and sounds the same every direction you look in - so if you want a cutesy photographer I’m certainly not the person for you. I am however very very honest and real and rather good at fitting in with any type of social situation discreetly (not in a creepy way either).

One thing I never really understood about the whole wedding thing was putting people on show, parading them round for pictures and the intrusiveness, not to mention awkwardness of the whole thing. I’m a firm believer a wedding should be left alone, it’s a day like no other and I don’t want your memories to be partly taken up by the time you spent with your photographer.

Basically I’m probably pretty damn on the money as being your photographer because you’ve read this much of my self indulgent waffle, and you probably like my pictures.

Why memories are important to me | Why I photograph weddings

My Dad passed away when I was 2, my Mum when I was 16.  I have no memories of my Dad whatsoever, very few of my mum.  A while ago I was contacted by someone who knew my parents, they had a number of boxes belonging to my Mum and Dad.  Those boxes contained pictures my Dad had taken, a wedding album, along with various other things - random albums of my Dad's time spent travelling the world as a policeman - Jerusalem, Nigeria, the far east - beautiful black and white pictures of daily life.  There were pictures of me as a kid (sitting outside wearing a sunhat with my todger out - why do parents do that, why), a couple of my dad holding me as a baby, pictures of me and my mum. I mean shit man, that’s when I realized how important photographs were.

These pictures had a large personal impact on me. How much they actually meant to me got me thinking if they hadn't been taken there would be no record any of it ever happened.  I decided I wanted to do the same for my family, our first child had just been born and I wanted to create a visual legacy for us all.  Long story short - turns out I had a bit of an natural aptitude for taking pictures and after an extremely long learning period and a leap of faith I left a job I absolutely hated to become a full time photographer....and I bloody love it ! 

So that's how and why I became a photographer, some random boxes that someone sent me, my children coming along and a need to preserve memories.  It's taken off from there.  I'm driven by a deep desire to record real memories in pictures, it's something really important to me on a personal level.  Amazing what 2 boxes of pictures can do for someone - that's the value of photographs to fact they're invaluable.

That’s my WHY…

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Why you want me at your wedding - Reason #1

I give you pictures that are relevant and personal to YOU. The kind of pictures you’ll want to look at in 20 years that make you remember your wedding with a big smile on your face, your personalities, your feelings and the atmosphere of your day.

I will also take pictures other wedding photographers don’t. There will be photos of your Dad in the bath, people who fall over on the dance floor, people falling up stairs, down stairs, in bushes, making complete fools of themselves - people will say ‘Don’t you dare take a picture of this’, I’ll wear my best innocent expression and swear I won’t…I’ll already have taken the picture. That’s the kind of person you’re hiring.

I’m incredibly unobtrusive from a photographer perspective, yet I will celebrate with you because I’m taking part in something unforgettable. I am 100% part of your wedding, just not like a photographer and that’s where the intimate nature of my pictures come from.

Why you want me at your wedding - Reason #2

You don’t want pictures of you looking stiff as a board, or bored stiff. I don’t have a template or style, each and every wedding is treated differently, I fully appreciate and understand that you’re completely different from my last couple and will be completely different to my next couple - I treat you all as individuals, not a mass photography factory. I have an ethos, a philosophy, an approach and it all revolves around you being relaxed and being yourselves. I give you room to enjoy your day, in return you get pictures of you enjoying your day.

Why you want me at your wedding - Reason #3

I’m part of your wedding, it’s part of my contract you buy me a shot if you’re the shot buying types. It’s part of my contract you will fully enjoy yourselves. I join in, your pictures are from the perspective of someone who is joining in, someone who feels all the feelings your family and guests do. I expect to be treated like one of the family, or a good friend, I expect banter, laughs, a bit of abuse, hugs and….well it just works better if you feel like you know me, not just like the hired help. I believe wedding photography (great wedding photography) is 80% social skills and 20% photographic capability…don’t worry that’s not me saying I can’t take a picture to save my life, that’s me saying I know what it takes to actually get a great picture of a real moment.

Why you want me at your wedding - Reason #4

My couples love me and so will you. I’m worth every damn penny of your hard earned money. I care more about enjoying myself at your wedding than I probably should, but my pictures show just how much I do enjoy myself. I give a shit…about your memories, about you being completely overjoyed with your pictures, about your day.