Dave Golding has been in the photography business for many years and is an active member of the IPPN forum. He has very kindly taken a few minutes out of his hectic day to be interviewed about his progression into wedding photography and a few snippets of very useful information. If you would like to get to know Dave a bit better then why not sign up to IPPN and chat to him on the forum.
My background is in engineering, but I’ve always been interested in photography and won a nationwide competition while at university in Birmingham. I came into photography professionally after being made redundant. First, I started designing websites, and did all the photography for the sites I built. This led to other commissions, and over time the photography took over. Weddings came later and like so many others, I started by photographing a wedding for a friend. Seven years on, we have photographed around two hundred weddings. Di was a shopping centre manager and joined me in the business when I became swamped with the admin. We now have a third full time member of our team, Lois, who is our studio photographer and also a wedding photographer. She is great with children and has more patience with them than me! She is a very good wedding photographer in her own right, and steps in for Di on occasions.
You work as a husband and wife team – what advantage do you feel this gives you?
We both know what needs to be done and we trust each other to get on with it. Di also has a great instinct for the market and understanding the wants and needs of our Clients. More than once she has stopped me from going off on a tangent!
Did you ever use film or are you completely digital?
All digital now and have been since about 1993.
What equipment are you using at the moment?
We have three Nikon D700 bodies and one D600. I am also experimenting with an Olympus OMD EM1. The jury’s still out on on the OM-D and I’m not convinced image quality is good enough for me to ditch the Nikons just yet.
Do you still work in a similar way to when you started out or have you had to adapt to any changes?
We have polished our act immensely since we started out. Our technical skills have improved, but I would say the most important changes we have made are with regard to the way we set about documenting wedding days for our Clients. Over the years we have developed a clear and structured approach to each part of the day, and this has come to define our style. It continues to evolve and we constantly seek to improve all we do. We make a change here or alter something there. If it works we keep it, if not we try something else.
Who has inspired you during your career?
Back in the early 1980s, I was a member of Aston and Erdington Photographic Society, and the club received regular presentations and judging visits from a photographer called Bob Moore. What made Bob different was that while the rest of were photographing trees, mountains and flowers, he was photographing people, pretty much anyone he bumped into, and I don’t think he had a bad picture to his name. Bob was a Fellow of the RPS back in those days and went on to become president of the RPS. He’s still going strong today.
I really like the work of JP Elario in New York. JP and his dad Big Joe create well crafted images, have fun all the way, and run a solid photography business. One of the best wedding blogs worldwide, in my opinion. Rob Burgess, an American living in England, with a reportage style and a knack for capturing just the right moment. Barnaby Aldrick from Leeds, a very good storyteller through his imagery.
What do you think makes a good photographer?
Years of practice. And it’s imperative to like people, of all shapes and sizes. Great customer service skills are essential in today’s market.
What do you think is the most valuable piece of advice you could give to someone starting out in wedding photography?
Have a bullet proof card security and back-up system in place. Drink plenty of fluids. That’s two!
If you were to shoot a destination wedding, where would your ideal location be?
Hawaii. Beautiful beaches, dramatic sunsets, mountainous backdrops. Just like Derbyshire really, except for the beaches.
What’s your favourite way to spend a weekend when you are not working?
Di and I have a camper van and we love to get away at every opportunity. North Wales is a favourite destination.
Finally, please tell us about your involvement in IPPN and why you would recommend it to other photographers?
I discovered IPPN at the invitation of another member, and I’m glad I did. I am a member of other professional organisations for photographers, but IPPN has the best online forum for discussion of all things photographic. It has a social element too. It is not a large group, but the photographers who participate have a wealth of experience they are willing to share to help other members because it is a closed, members only forum. I have learned a lot from being on there, and I hope I have given a bit back too.
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