Company Name: Libra Photographic
Interview with: Nathan Eames
Location / Coverage: Based in Dorset, UK but cover internationally
How did the business get started and who works at Libra Photographic?
Libra Photographic started in the Millennium, when all I could think of was making my mark and a change in Y2K.
The business consists of myself as primary photographer and a few select second shooters who work alongside me at times.
Had you always wanted to be a photographer?
I’d wanted to be a photographer ever since I picked up my mum’s Kodak Instamatic (which I still have on a shelf in my office). I can remember picking my first roll of processed film up from the lab – it was a magical feeling.
Can you remember how old you were when you took your first picture? What was it of?
I was seven years old using the Instamatic I mentioned earlier and it was of my friends skateboarding. I still have the image now.
Which areas of the UK do you cover?
I regularly cover Dorset, Hampshire, Wiltshire and Somerset, but I travel further afield. Last year I got to travel to Lake Como, and this year, Dubai. I hold a current passport and love to travel.
What do you feel sets you apart from other wedding photographers?
The one thing that sets us all apart from each other is personality. Above all else my clients say its like having a friend take their photos at their wedding. That is the key to relaxed portraits in my opinion.
How would you describe your photography style?
Modern, romantic and real. I portray the emotion of the wedding day alongside the fashionesque portraiture that ends up on the walls of many of my clients’ homes.
What packages do you offer and what are your rates?
I have four packages on my website, where the differing parts are Digital or Album and one or two photographers.
My fees start at a mere £1,295.
What is the best thing about your job?
The best part is spending the photographic part of my job around happy, excited people who are in the mood for a celebration. Who wouldn’t enjoy being part of one of the best days in many people’s lives?
Do you have a specialist area of photography?
Weddings are my main photographic element but I’d have to say I specialise in people. Being what some term a social chameleon, I can move in many different circles and still be accepted at face value. This really helps the documentary side of my photography and helps my clients relax during the portraiture session of a wedding.
Who/what are your influences?
The person who inspired me to take photography as my life passion was Don McCullin. The master of the single image story, my documentary work is influenced by him. Ansel Adams has played his part in my career along with Jem Southam, who taught me the skills I use today.
Contemporary photographers who continue to alter my view of the medium are Kevin Mullins, Ross Harvey and Jeff Newsom.
Do you have a favourite picture that you have taken (if you can choose!)?
There are so many I could choose as each wedding brings along its favourite moments, but I do love this photo. It reminds me to push hard to get whet I want.
This was on the main stage at Camp Bestival in Dorset, where the marriage actually too place. The organisers wanted me in the ‘pit’ at the front of the stage in full sun. However, I could see the light would be much better here so I tactfully rushed to the back of the stage to get the shot, ignoring security.
It was definitely worth it – do you agree?
What is your top tip for choosing a wedding photographer?
Meet them in person. If distance prevents a personal meeting then at least do a Skype call. There is no excuse these days for not having a face to face meeting.
There is no shame in admitting that we don’t get on with everyone in life, but your photographer is an absolute must if you’re going to feel relaxed having your photograph taken.
Random question… If you could try out any job for a day, what would it be?
If it was simply one day I’d have to say a professional yachtsman in the Southern Ocean. I can’t think of any other job that would make you feel more alive. One day would be enough though – scary!
What’s your typical day like?
A typical wedding day starts the day before, emptying out my camera bag, cleaning my equipment, charging batteries and formatting cards.
The day itself starts with Coffee; I’m a Nespresso addict. I always have a good breakfast as I’ll not get to eat again until the couple sit down late in the day. I leave an hour earlier than needed, just in case the traffic gets unruly and park around the corner. Then I read a little on my kindle, write a little gratitude in my journal, remind myself of some saved images I want to try out, before meeting the bride for the preparation shots. I always imagine the scene from My Big Fat Greek Wedding when I ring the doorbell, but in real life it’s really quite a chilled affair.
I follow the couple throughout the day and solve little problems as they arrive. People forget that the photographer is one of the only people at a wedding who has been to hundreds before and seen those little bumps in the road. At a recent wedding the zip came off the wedding dress as the bride’s mum zipped it up. I dashed out to get a sewing kit from the lady next door and then the bride was sewn in! She took it all in her stride – one cool-headed bride.
Documenting the day is my favourite part of my job. I enjoy creating the big shots too but my skill is picking out those little moments.
After the wedding is over the real work begins. I’ll usually get home around 10pm, give my wife a kiss, and then disappear to my office where I download all my images to my computer. I then backup to a portable drive held off-site and one stored at my parents’ home, followed by a cloud backup. Then I have a little whisky before bed around 1am; I deserve it.
Where can people find out more about Libra Photographic?