Approach and style are difficult to distill into a few choice words. For me it starts with the clear understanding this is your big day. It’s your story. A day full of poignant moments that are unique to you. Moments that are fleeting. An interaction, a gaze, spontaneous laughter, rounds of applause or simply silent reflection. They’re all moments, begging to be captured.
My work captures and tells that story, beautifully and authentically. I combine intuition (what might happen next) with creative flair (how will I frame it) with technical skill (how will I capture it), and finally, presentation (how will I curate, process and present your day).
And this is my mode. I’m fast but quiet. Aware but calm. In the theatre of action but not in the way. An approach perfect for couples who don't like to pose (or certainly the idea of it).
Most of us aren't comfortable in-front of the camera and so naturally photograph better when we're unaware it's there. And this is when I capture people at their best – remaining unobtrusive and discreet in the background or helping the couple to feel relaxed enough in front of the camera to take something that looks natural; something that looks like them. I don't think I've ever had a couple approach me and say "we love having our picture taken!" Most couples I meet have never had a professional picture taken of them both together. If that sounds like you, then you're probably in the right place.
With my candid approach, some of what I capture is inevitably reactive but I endeavour to anticipate meaningful moments. I'm not trigger happy! As the photographer, I need to be in the right place at the right time, and when I am it gives me the opportunity to slow down, time to think, and get that killer composition. It's incredibly rewarding when you capture genuine moments-in-time and do so without having to direct what's unfolding in-front of you, and without having to take thousands of pictures to get that one shot.
I sometimes get asked about group photos, if interested you can read more about my approach.
As much as I can, I'll work with natural light throughout the day. I love the look it returns and it helps me to remain unobtrusive as I work away in the background.
I also love to use a wide-open shallow depth of field. Having objects out of focus frame the image helps make a picture, which is inherently a flat 2D object, feel three dimensional. It gives the image a sense of depth and context, helping you (the viewer) to feel connected to what was captured, and like you're there in the scene. This is sometimes called layering. Also, contrast is key. Not just in light, but in subject, framing, scale etc. That's a winning trio for my approach that I aspire to – observation, contrast and layering. Below are three examples:
When working with the bride and groom for their portraits I'll step up the direction a little, if needed. However, my aim is still to capture something that looks natural. The end of the drinks reception is often the best time to sneak away and capture these, or a summers' evening. Being disciplined with time here is paramount. I won’t remove the bride and groom from celebrating with their guests for too long. Fifteen minutes is usually plenty!
Romance and authenticity — yes, pose and cheese — no. You won't see any dip kisses here! These are special, unrepeatable moments. They’re personal. They’re timeless. They’re precious memories; for keeping and sharing.
For me, the biggest compliment when delivering the final photographs is to exceed your expectations, and to hear expressions such as: “we barely noticed you on the day” or, if you did: "you were like one of our guests." My testimonials and reviews are full of similar comments.
I've been a full-time wedding photographer for over 10 years, but that's only part of the story, here's a little bit about me – the guy behind the lens. I didn't study photography; I'm self-taught. I’ve been a web and graphic designer and photography studio owner.
I’m a Dad. A qualified PADI Rescue Diver. More creative than practical, but still handy with a wood carving knife and axe around a campfire. I've conquered the National 3 Peaks Challenge in 24 hours. The Great Glen Canoe Trial is next on the adventure list. If I wasn't photographing weddings, I'd like to manage a woodland by the coast from an off-grid treehouse.
In the UK, the Jurassic Coast, Dartmoor National Park and Scottish Highlands are places I love to explore.
This journey starts back in 2008 when I photographed my very first wedding (thank you sis for trusting me). I'd only been using a DSLR for two years (my first was the little Canon 350D). Up until that point, for me, photography had been a means of creative escapism and expression. Never would I have believed the dream – to do something you love for a job – could have grown into a small business that would go on to provide for my family.
Three years of graft followed. I was working four days a week as a digital designer and then had a day (or two) to grow what I named at the time, Ben Goode Photography.
I originally started out with the assistance and guidance of my Dad, he had all the gear but a naturally creative eye too. We worked alongside each other until late 2010. His grandfather had been a keen photographer too, and a good one at that. So you could say I'm a fourth generation 'Goode photographer'.
My big break came in 2010 after shooting a stunning wedding at the Larmer Tree Gardens and then getting featured in the wedding blog heavyweight Rock My Wedding.
In 2011, I bit the bullet, handed in my notice, and went full-time. A year later, in 2012, I was joined by my younger brother Josh. Fresh out of college, he brought a young and creative quality to what we were offering. Josh went on to work alongside me for the next eight years. In 2020, due to the uncertainty that the pandemic created, Josh put down his camera to pursue a new venture. I'll forever treasure those years.
I now work as a solo wedding photographer from my humble base in Eastleigh, Hampshire. I travel all across the UK, and sometimes abroad, photographing weddings in my unobtrusive story-telling style.
In the UK, I've travelled for wedding commissions as far west as Lusty Glaze Beach in Newquay, Cornwall and as far north as Edinburgh in Scotland to the majestic Carlowrie Castle. Internationally, for destination weddings, I've been flown out to: the Manoir de Longeveau near the rural village of Pillac in France, the Balcón de Europa in Nerja, Spain, the Agriturismo Villa Baroncino in Tuscany, Italy and all the way to Hạ Long Bay in Vietnam!
The three venues I've worked at the most are: The Larmer Tree Gardens, The Master Builder's Hotel and Trafalgar Park.
People often ask me "do you enjoy it?" I love it!
Throughout this 13 year journey, I’ve been featured in wedding blogs and magazines – local and national. I’m the recommended supplier to a handful of awesome venues across the south/Hampshire. I’ve photographed weddings for a fellow wedding photographer, a wedding videographer, and two wedding coordinators – all people in the know. I’ve been nominated on three separate occasions for ‘Best Wedding Photographer’ in the South. Here's a random fact, I’ve never presented at a wedding fair/showcase; it’s just not me.
As you can imagine, I’ve seen my fair share of funny moments. I’ve driven a bride to the ceremony as her car didn’t make it in time! Helped a mother-of-the-bride iron the wedding dress, yes iron the dress! And even played the first dance song through my iPhone as the DJ had forgotten to prep the track. It’s also not uncommon to see me helping the groomsmen pin their button holes before the ceremony – it's easy when you've done a few hundred.
I use Canon, Apple, Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop - of which I was exposed to from version 1.0 all the way back in 1990. I was only five years old!