Morning, morning lovely brides-to-be! First up today I want to say a huge thank you; last night I reached over the 2000 likes on Facebook! It’s a number I’m very proud of and without you and all your support I wouldn’t have got there.
Now, on to today and an insight into the life, loves and thoughts of Scottish wedding photographer, Fraser Stewart, who is based in Portadown. Married with two young children, Fraser has a relaxed approach to weddings, is usually up to something he shouldn’t and will always make you laugh. I always have a chuckle when his emails pop up in my inbox, so over to you, Fraser…
How did your photography career begin?
Although I’m now a full time wedding photographer that wasn’t always the plan! I have a degree in music and I had every intention to become a music teacher. For a couple of years performing music was my job, then around the time my wife was pregnant with our son I bought a semi-fancy camera to document her pregnancy, and I became a real camera geek! I took my camera everywhere and shot at every opportunity, then in summer 2012 I photographed my first wedding. I fell in love with the buzz of it, and every day since my brain is consumed with weddings!
What’s your favourite things about being a photographer?
You can’t beat the adrenaline rush from a wedding day! Everything happens just on that one day, and you get one chance to capture everything, and that responsibility/pressure gives me a total thrill! I’m pretty relaxed with couples and have a few things on the day I get them to talk about to get good natural reactions out of them. I guess my favourite thing are candids. I’m a real sucker for natural moments, the whole look-at-the-camera-and-say-cheese thing doesn’t capture a lot of personality. At a wedding I love capturing guests reactions when they first interact with the couple after their ceremony. I love listening out for the jokers as they deliver their punchlines and then snapping away as everyone laughs. There’s so much joy at a wedding, and I love having free reign to capture that joy.
You’ve been married for over seven years now, how did your own big day go?
We got married in Scotland in 2007 and the most important thing to us was our ceremony, we couldn’t wait to be husband and wife and just be married! Anything else was a total bonus. We didn’t do anything fancy really, we got married in our church in Stirling and then a nice hotel nearby in Dunblane. It was pretty traditional, but at the time there was no Pinterest wedding inspiration going around so we never really thought outside the church and hotel option.
If you could relive the day would you do anything differently?
I probably wouldn’t have had long hair and a goatee for a start! Regret that one for the photos!
If we were to get married now I’d probably love to go for an outdoor wedding, amazing food and drinks, our closest friends and great music. I’d probably want to splash out for my favourite photographer to cover our wedding, and maybe have an extended portrait session the next day with no limits. On a wedding day we can be limited for time spent on portraits but an unlimited session the day after could just push the possibilities to the max.
With the value of years, what does marriage now mean to you? Do you think this has changed since you were first married?
We were dating/engaged for three years, and then we were married four years before our first child was born. Those seven years together were a great time to build a solid foundation for our marriage before the kids came along! We still need to have date nights and plan time aside to spend quality time together. Life can get pretty crazy and it’s important to invest time in a relationship rather than just rely in living under the same roof together. You reap what you sow with marriage for sure.
Do you think there is any secret formula to a successful marriage?
Communication, without a doubt. Honesty is really important. No secrets. Be loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle and self controlled and you should be on to a winner.
What wedding trends are you loving at the minute?
I love outdoor weddings. There’s just an awesome vibe in general with an outdoor ceremony. Sometimes venue locations might be dark or have ugly fluorescent lighting which can affect the photographs, but the natural light of an outdoor wedding is always a winner. Also it’s not really a trend, but weddings where the ceremony and reception are all in the same location are great. It means as soon as guests arrive for the ceremony they can just relax knowing that they’re there until the dance floor, also it means you’ll get more time for photographs as you won’t lose any time for travelling.
Is there anything you haven’t done, that you would like to?
As much as I love shooting in the UK and Ireland, I would *love* to shoot a crazy destination wedding some day. Out in the desert in Las Vegas or next to a waterfall in Iceland, that’d be pretty cool!
Anything exciting in the pipeline?
I’ve got a super busy 2015 ahead and I can’t wait! There’s a real mixture of wedding styles and themes but I honestly don’t prefer one to the other, as long as the couple are crazy in love with each other and are good craic then that’s all that matters to me.
One last piece of advice for brides and grooms?
I personally believe your wedding photographs are the most important investment for your day. You can pay thousands for the food and for the band, but these things are only around for that one day. Your photographs are around for decades so you want to make sure you invest well. By invest well I don’t mean spend loads of money, but by putting good time into researching who is right for you. There are so many talented photographers here in Northern Ireland with different styles and approaches that would be a perfect match for so many different couples.