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  • Writer's pictureJames Anderson

Soldier to wedding photographer

I have never been particularly good at writing; this is likely why I had chosen the jobs that I have in the past but here is a little about me.

I joined the Army straight after finishing school as a Royal Engineer. After all of my training I was a qualified carpenter and joiner (this will prove to be beneficial later in life).

The armed Forces were at times hard and could be a lot of fun. I have lots of fond memories of the good times with amazing friends. But I do wish I had more photographs of those times, so I could show my daughter where I had travelled and what I had done. I think photographs are really important, documenting moments and memories.

I got the photography bug when I first met Charlotte, my wife. Charlotte showed me the fundamentals of photography and I have been hooked ever since.

Whilst away on Operational tours with the Army there were lots of periods of quiet time, this gave me time to hone my photography skills, particularly learning to edit. Being away presented the opportunity to photograph some interesting stuff. My favourite was to photograph people, as its interesting to see how different people really are. I was in the middle of the desert with nothing around for miles. We were conducting some weapon training, towards the end of the day a local suddenly appeared and wanted to collect the spent ammunition for recycling the brass. What an effort just to collect some brass. I tried communicating with the local and he let me take a photo of him. He looked like he must have had a hard life as this showed with his interesting weathered face. I was amazed of how far he would travel to get to us and especially in the heat of the sun.

Towards the end of my career in the Army, I spent my time photographing key events and documenting training. As part of my resettlement I retrained as a wedding photographer. I began my portfolio developing both my reportage and formal styles. I have a relaxed style and approach and enjoy capturing the candid moments, I find these shots are more natural and everyone is more at ease, capturing moments that might otherwise go unnoticed. However I do think that having some formal photos are important, it provides an amount of time for the couple to have some moments away for just themselves. It gives the opportunity to have photos with the people close to you, family & friends with some you may not see that often. This combination creates a beautifully documented story of the day. One of the services I offer is a printed photo book of selected imagery from the collection to the tell the story of your wedding day.

Whilst photographing weddings I started to create my new adventure.

We brought our first photo booth, our Magic Mirror in 2016. The open style photo booth booked up fast that we soon needed another one. My training as a carpenter and joiner came in handy, we come up with the idea of making our own. We wanted something a little different and made of wood. The design of our wooden vintage camera photo booth was born. Charlotte has got expensive taste as she wanted the photo booth to be made from American cherry wood! Once I had designed (and redesigned) how the vintage camera was going to look I got to work with making it. I real labour of love that was completed in 2018. It is by far one of the best things I have made to date.

I look forward to more weddings, celebrations and capturing more memories and maybe even a new photo booth in the making…


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