We are James & Lianne.
Quick fire fact-sheet:
- High School Sweethearts (everybody say ‘Awww’)!
- We’re both Loiners (that’s ‘people from Leeds’ to non-Loiners).
- A burrito is a sure way to please us.
- Lianne once ordered ‘head-cheese’ on a burrito - she learnt what it was after she ate it but still enjoyed it.
- We don’t watch TV but will watch whole TV shows on LoveFilm (yes, this is strange!)
- We’re learning to Jive. We keep forgetting the basics when we get to intermediate stuff.
Spin this VHS of my life forward a few years to where I accidentally took a Photography A-Level instead of Business Studies (long story), but it wasn’t a bad thing. I learnt the art of hand-printing in a dark room and started thinking more about what I was shooting. Suddenly I was thinking photography was where I really wanted to be. After leaving college I worked in a number of roles in the photography industry for a few years including a Photo Lab Store Manager (not exactly where I wanted to be!) and worked freelance for a number of newspapers and magazines, sticking with Leeds Guide Magazine for a couple of years. In that time I also went to uni to see what they knew and picked up my 1st Class BA degree in Photography.
Working for newspapers and magazines I found I was meeting people for 20 minutes and in that time had to find out their story and also make a portrait that reflected that story. It was ridiculous! Wedding Photography was a natural move. I have a whole year to get to know my clients, taking it nice and slow to get to know you and make some photos that truly reflect who you are at the end of it all. It’s a much nicer process and the photographs are infinitely better for taking the time. And because I get to take the time, and we often make good friends with our clients we’ll often arrange off-the-cuff photo shoots where I can indulge my love of vintage cameras from the 1950s-70s and shoot some high quality medium format film.
Shooting a wedding I like to put all the time I’ve spent getting to know our special couple to good use and photograph all the details that I know they’ve spent the past year making painstaking decisions over. Me and Lianne make such a good team that we divide and conquer at weddings so well that we always know what each other is shooting and being big movie buffs, we often like to inject a bit of a filmic influence into our style as well when the opportunity arises. Shooting together is such a joy and I can’t imagine doing a job I’d enjoy more (I don’t care how corny that sounds, it’s true!) and when you love doing your job, it shows in your work and I think you can definitely see how much we love it.
Red lipstick, ‘Temper Tantrum Red’- Check! Hair curled, pinned and set- Check! Original 1950s tea dress- Check! Nice, beautiful camera round my neck- Check! Absolute Joy and Enthusiasm for all weddings chilled, relaxed, vintage, quirky and alternative? BIG CHECK!
Ever since I can remember I have been a vintage and retro nut. It started with a Marilyn phase which I am sure every teen vintage fashion lover goes through- penciling beauty dots on my face regardless of occasion or style (even while wearing the once popular combat pants of the 90s if my mums old photos are anything to go by)! Since then my collection has grown and my tastes have refined, favoring clothes from the 1940s, 50s and 60s and enjoying the beauty, the sheer craftsmanship and embracing the femininity that these outfits provide. As a good friend of James and Lianne Photography said “I love vintage, it just keeps getting old.”
When I am not spending hours on eBay looking for that perfect skirt to jive in (I’m currently learning with James) or whole days trawling through vintage fairs (“Lets just go round one more time”), I’m at the sewing machine. I am one of those people who’s always saying to myself “I can do that” or “I can make that,” sometimes for the best and sometimes to my detriment (homemade blinds anyone?). Whether or not it works, I love making things and seeing things build and develop and become something. Its like that when I shoot weddings. I love watching the day unfold and capturing all the little moments and knowing that when we have finished shooting it will all develop into a wonderful story about two people’s special day- not missing a thing. There is no greater privilege than being a part of someones wedding.
I have an art school background and would definitely describe myself as a creative type. Photography came quite naturally to me. I genuinely love the excitement and build up of a wedding. Its like Christmas! A typical (though the weddings we do are anything but typical) wedding day for me begins with me getting dressed up as if I were a guest at the couple’s wedding. By getting dressed up I can blend in with the guests and like a petite ninja, get all the candid, natural and honest beauty shots without people even realising there’s a photographer there! I know I am doing my job well when a member of the wedding party asks “…and how do you know the bride and groom?” as if I am another one of their guests! Then once we’ve shot everything there is to shoot and got only the very best for our dashing clients, we lovingly sort out photos to create an intricate and beautiful story timeline of their day. There’s nothing like seeing tears of joy on our couples’ faces when they see their albums for their first time… it reminds me why I love my job.