Damian Bramley is a photographer who specialises in wedding photography but also deals with commercial and interiors.
16s: Damian Bramley is a wedding and commercial photographer
50s: There are many photographers aren’t there? Yes, there are. I have been in my business for 14 years. I started in IT and changed in 2004 to photography but I decided in 2002 that I didn’t want to do IT. I started doing evening classes in The Art of Photography whilst working. I realised I needed qualifications and applied to Harrogate college but I realised even if I was accepted, I couldn’t take it whilst working full time. There were 120 people for 30 places. I had the interview with the course tutor and they offered me it there and then.
3min 19s: What did you decide? I went to my director at work and she said to do 4 days full time and have one day at college which I did for 2 years. I set up my business and finished my college course. There was too much photography work and so I spoke to my director again and she said I needed to decide what I wanted to do. I spoke to her on the Friday and handed my notice in on the Monday.
5min 40s: Is there an overlap in IT and photography? I was using a film camera but once I moved on to a digital camera it was easy with IT knowledge.
6mins 52s: Have iPhones tainted your sector? People do want to take photos themselves and it is more accessible and affordable but it is better with a professional. You need to have a good lens to take photos.
9mins 1s: Do you have to be like a ninja? I have a natural style of photography which is a discrete, unobtrusive style where I’m mostly in the background. It’s a full day from bride’s prep to the first dance.
9mins 52s: What is a pre-wedding photo shoot? It’s 6-8 weeks before the wedding, they’re dressed smart casual in a nice location and it takes about 1-2h so they’re used to their photo being taken, I know what directions they need and tips on the day.
11mins 10s: Do you have to wear a suit? No, suits can be restrictive so I do dress smartly but discretely. It’s their day, not a photo shoot and I get comments like “I didn’t realise you took that!” Other photographers can sometimes get in the way and can make it difficult and the registrar can say no photos as it will interrupt the ceremony but now many of them know me and know it’s not a problem.
13mins 43s: How many weddings have you been to? Several hundred, I try to limit it to 30 a year. It takes 4-5 days of work per wedding and I want to devote time to them.
14mins 32s: What about albums? I usually give them the physical album. I go to Queensberry in New Zealand which I had to be recommended to by another photographer and pay £250 before I could become a member.
16mins 1s: Do people take their images to Boots? Yes, people can get the copies and print them themselves.
16mins 54s: What is your favourite part? It would have to be bride’s prep because you can get a sense of hoe the bride is feeling. I usually photograph the details like the dress, shoes, flowers, jewellery. How she is feeling influences the rest of the day. Each ceremony has its own vibe. They get nervous and my calming influence helps, you can take your time.
19mins 51s: It is an intense relationship and then it’s over… It is quite emotional, it’s a very important day. I get to know the couple well and it’s quite emotional when they get the album. There’s no reason to stay in touch but Facebook and social media are good for that and I can see when they move house or have their first child. Receiving a thank you card is emotional, it’s nice to know I’ve made a difference.
22mins 18s: If you miss the key moments on the day, it could ruin everyone’s recollection, what are your tips when looking for a photographer? You need to have experience. Some people do photography on the side at a weekend but you need training. Something could change and you only have a few seconds to capture it and you can’t replicate the moment.
24mins 46s: What is your opinion on inviting children? They can make it, they can be so adorable. I’ve not had any major problems but if there are then the parent will usually take them out. Only the couple can decide really.
25mins 53s: Can you apply your skill set to commercial photography? Yes, I photograph events, awards, ceremonies. As long as you are well-organised.
27mins 27s: Who is the most famous person you’ve ever photographed? I did the Revival Festival in 2007, I was 1 of 5 photographers to stand on the circuit as the cars lined up. There was Stirling Moss in his Aston Martin and I was stood in the centre of the track with one other photographer. The vibration of the cars as they went past is indescribable.
The other one was Deacon Blue at a 40th birthday party and I went on stage which was unheard of but was approved by the bouncers.
30mins 0s: You photograph interiors as well? Isn’t it boring? There are some impressive interiors and I enjoy photographing them. You can take your time with them to get everything right.
31mins 32s: What sets your photography apart? The angle and the quality. The verticals are straight, they need to be straight and the details in the light and dark areas.
33mins 3s: What awards have you had? Best of Houzz which is a homeowner design website, that was the 2018 award and was my third year in a row!
34mins 6s: Which organisations are you part of? The Royal Photographic Society since 2005. Also the Society of Wedding and Portrait Photographers and the Master Photographers Association. The first two I have associate memberships and the last one I went from a basic member to a fellow.
35mins 28s: So which venues should people select? The nicer the venue, the easier it is. I would recommend Goldsborough Hall, Allerton Castle, Hazlewood Castle, Old Swan Hotel and Rudding Park. It depends on the style you want and the number of people.
37mins 58s: Do you advise the couple before the wedding on the venue? Prior to the wedding is good and I will recommend depending on what they want from their wedding but normally they are sorted with the venue and a date and there is a small window of opportunity for when the couple is looking for a photographer.
39mins 55s: Do you do photography as a hobby as well? Abroad, the best places are Tuscanny in Italy, the imagery is amazing. In contrast, Budapest has fantastic architecture and you get moody, interesting images.
41mins 54s: Which photographers inspire you? There are 3 main ones: Ansel Adams and Henri Cartier-Bresson who are both traditional and they have a depth to the photographs, they’re unique. You can tell time has been taken over it. Then there’s Martin Schembri who is an Australian photographer. In Australia, they can spend 4-5h away on the wedding day doing a photo shoot.
45mins 35s: Do you have any tips for budding photographers? Do some work experience with a photographer and do some training.
47mins 6s: How can people contact you? www.djbphotography.com also on Facebook and Twitter @damianbramley