Camilla on capturing a moment
“Ive been in love with photography ever since I first picked up a camera age 11.” Camilla is half Greek Cypriot who’s home is in rural Norfolk with her husband and Shetland Sheepdogs. She describes herself as a laid back person with quite an eclectic range of interests and hobbies; everything from dog agility to roller skating. Yet nothing truly makes her happier than going for a walk on the beach with her dogs, family and camera in hand.
Camilla has been doing all genres of photography since she got her first camera from her father, who also has a big interest in photography. It was only after a few years of working as a Graphic Designer that she realised she needed to follow her true passion of becoming a photographer. She first became engaged in wedding photography when she was planning her own wedding, as this was the first ever wedding she attended as an adult! She then began to start building up her own photography career. “I found my wedding planning process so fun and exciting and enjoyed the day itself so much that I wondered if I could combine my love of photography with weddings” and so begun her journey into wedding photography.
Her favourite part of the wedding day is to capture the evening dancing, when all the stress has gone and everyone is letting their hair down and enjoying themselves. “I absolute love it! I often find myself singing along and tapping my feet while I’m photographing all the dancing because its such a fun part of the day.”
A particular fond and special memory at a wedding she has photographed that sticks in Camilla’s memory was one at Norwich Castle. She got to know the bride and groom and their two children really well having done their pre-wedding family shoot. She recalls that on the big day their son stood up to do a reading at the ceremony and every line started off as ‘Once in a lifetime…’ and it was incredibly sweet. She remembers the most poignant moment was the final line when he said ‘Once in a lifetime, you find someone special to spend your life with, just like you did, mummy and daddy.’ “The whole room was in floods of tears and I was really trying to hold it together so I could take photos.” One of Camilla’s favourite photos comes from that special moment after the son had finished his speech and his mother gave him a hug.
Camilla’s most proud of how her confidence has grown from wedding photography. As a child she describes herself as quite shy and introverted and initially she worried about having the confidence to photograph the most important day in someone’s life. Despite this, she has found that as soon as she steps out of the car at a venue and grabs hold of her camera, she becomes much more confident and self assured and she doesn’t even think about being shy at all. “At a wedding I talk to everyone, I feel comfortable directing the groups and couple themselves and that has to be my most important achievement as a wedding photographer.”
She thrives on the pressure of playing such a lead role in someones most important day. Camilla has always thrived on the pressure of deadlines so the fact that there’s just one wedding day with no ‘do-overs’ is such an exciting challenge to her and she says it encourages her to really push herself to create something amazing within those constraints. “Obviously I feel an incredible level of responsibility to ensure I capture the day in a beautiful way, but I always feel such a buzz from being in that situation and playing such an important part.” She feels humble and incredible honer when someone entrusts her to capture their big day.
Her photography combines a wide range of styles and she believes it is important to know when to use them. “When it comes to couples portraits, I try and keep my style very relaxed and natural and only use gentle posing.” For this, she encourages real connections and interactions from the couple rather than creating too much posing that can make them feel awkward. “However, I feel it is important to know when to step back into a documentary mode and let the moment flow without my interruption.” She feels that as a wedding photographer, its a fine balance between knowing when to say something – or when not to say something, to capture a really special moment.
For new brides-to-be planning their wedding, Camilla encourages getting on Pinterest. “I found that looking through pins and pinning my own board really helped me visualise what kind of day I wanted for my own wedding and it helped me see how it would come together.” She also advises brides-to-be to to not rush into anything, take some time to find ideas and styles you really like and work out how they can fit in with your personality and taste. She reminds you, however to ensure you enjoy it, as it is very easy to be sucked up in wedding planning and it can be very time consuming. “Take some time out with your husband-to-be and do some fun things together. Go on date nights and just be close with each other because in the end, while the wedding planning is super fun, its ultimately all about you two and the rest of your lives together.”
Camilla loves to express herself artistically on her time off by doing landscapes. She also describes herself as a crafty person and enjoys doing a bit of sewing, paper cutting and anything craft-related when she’s not behind her camera. Camilla’s five favourite images are within he blog post and you can also find more examples of her work here – Portfolio
[Interviewed and written by Maise Hunns as part of her Journalism Degree Work Experience with Summer Love Photography]