An Interview With Howling Basset Photography!
Thank you, Andy, of Howling Basset, for agreeing to feature on wantthatwedding.co.uk
WTW readers would love to know about you and your photographic journey…
My journey in photography starts in 1982 (bare with me this is an abridged version) … my Shropshire secondary school physics teacher, a keen photographer, set up a camera club in the lab. I was instantly hooked and bought myself my first camera a Zenith TTL :-)
I wanted to do an A level in photography but these weren’t as ubiquitous as they are today and only one college was doing them in Shrewsbury, so I said bye to all my friends and went off to learn.
After two years of study, it was time to get a job. There were still photographic jobs back then, so it was just a case of looking in the back of the British Journal of Photography for a job and I went for Ships Photographer sailing out of New York :-)
After 6 ships including a couple of years on the QE2 and two Butlins holiday camps, it was time to do my degree. So I went to live in Kent, and whilst studying, I still carried on with photography, shooting weddings for National Weddings and freelancing for the National press (The Sun, NOTW, Today) I was even an official photographer for the Duke of Edinburgh’s 70th birthday bash at Windsor Castle!
I’ve shot 1,100 weddings so far and went digital, full-time, and formed Howling Basset Ltd in 2004… My journey continues.
Who or what inspired you to become a wedding photographer?
Well, after working on many cruise ships as a social photographer it was really just a natural progression into wedding photography. I still enjoy shooting them today; they’re all so different and you have to be quick and constantly on your game.
How would you describe your particular style of photography?
Style-wise I don’t think I have one, to be honest, it’s a combination of fine art, candid, documentary and traditional. I’m happy to fade into the background for some pure documentary shooting, but also happy to gather and arrange the still popular group shots.
With the couple shots, it’s what I would call directed romantic; I encourage the couple to whisper a rude thing, re-enact their first kiss, stare at each other and try not to laugh. These all solicit a response which I capture. It’s fun, quick and not too staged. I merely position them in the best place with the best light and let them do their thing.
If you could go anywhere in the world and photograph any couple, who would that be, why, and where would you go?
Wrexham 1966 and my mum and dad’s wedding. They were such a beautiful couple in their early twenties and the styles of the sixties are just so cool.
What’s your most memorable wedding moment so far?
After shooting 1,100 weddings over 25 years, I’ll have to be a politician here and deflect the question. “They’re all memorable” ;-)
Give us 5 facts about you…
I’m a MARVEL comic nerd starting in 1976 when it really wasn’t known or fashionable at all
I have four kids ranging from 27 to 7
I dry-humped a Darlek at a BAFTAS ceremony and accosted Simon Cowell; I was very drunk
I drove from New York to LA in 1987
I have Basset Hound dogs, hence the name
When it comes to selecting a wedding photographer, what advice would you give to brides and grooms?
Experience! Yes, I know you knew I was going to say that, but it’s true in all professions really.
Always have a look through full weddings from your photographer and don’t decide just on a few cherry-picked examples. Have a look at how they handle the groups, harsh light, rain etc…
The difference between a gifted amateur and a professional is just consistency. Anyone can take a great shot, but a pro has to do it day in day out for years.
So lovely getting to know you, Andy! Bride? Groom? Need a wedding photographer? Go check out more work from Howling Basset right now.