PLEASE INTRODUCE YOURSELF
Hi, I’m Jess; a spirited, coffee-fuelled Feminist based in North West London with my sax-playing wife, Lara & our cool-kid Idris (6). I take photos of Feminist and LGBT+ weddings in London, across the UK and beyond.
WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO START YOUR BUSINESS?
I knew I wanted to specialise in LGBT+ and Feminist weddings after a tiny lesbian wedding in Scotland in 2017. We were joined for the ceremony by a legend of a celebrant, who afterwards directed a portrait session with the two brides. As much as we all protested and giggled, he couldn’t help but try to direct them – enthusiastically – into heteronormative poses; the one in a suit must be the more masculine of the two!
His heart was in the right place, but LGBT+ couples need LGBT+ suppliers who get that there’s more to us than stereotypes.
HOW DOES YOUR TYPICAL DAY LOOK LIKE?
The first thing I do every day is make my wife a good (strong) coffee! Our little boy has started reading first thing, which gives us a lovely bit of time to chat and wake up. Pre-Covid times, I’d often have a couples session to photograph somewhere in London, so after some admin in the morning I’d set off on my bike and aim to be home by the school-run! Evenings would be spent all together, then usually Lara and me would head to one of her gigs. How I miss those days!
WHAT IS THE BEST PART OF YOUR JOB?
Meeting so many interesting people and seeing the dynamics between them unfold during a wedding day.
AND WHAT IS THE WORST PART?
Sometimes it’s hard to see so many Saturday’s filling up in your calendar, but I wouldn’t change it, and love how much time I get with my family during the week.
WHAT IS THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE YOUʼVE BEEN GIVEN?
Collaboration over competition! Nobody ever looks good making anyone look bad, and I’m so lucky to have found a place in the industry where creatives support and encourage each other.
WHAT WOULD YOU WANT COUPLES TO KNOW ABOUT WHAT YOU DO?
I photograph weddings of ALL types, from intimate registry office weddings to festival-style celebrations. I’m responsive to what’s happening in the moment; equally happy in a quiet environment and on a packed dance-floor. Wedding photos don’t need to deflect from you enjoying your day, my job is to document the energy of it all, as it happens.
DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR COUPLES PLANNING A WEDDING?
Don’t let yourself feel constrained by traditions, nothing about your day should sit awkwardly with you. Your wedding should reflect who you both are. Once you liberate yourself from conventions you’ll find the whole process so much more enjoyable.
Also, get way more confetti, and way more food, than you could possibly think you’ll need!
WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF YOU DIDNʼT WORK IN THE WEDDING INDUSTRY?
I’m currently studying for a PhD in Media & Communications, so I would be focusing on that, but without the lovely times weddings bring to my life!
WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO IN YOUR TIME OFF?
Ride my bike, hang out with my family, cook them tasty plant-based meals, and have dance parties in the living room with Lara.
I always love visiting Berlin, and we had planned to go just before lockdown 1. So that’s first on the list once travel is allowed again! I would love to see more of South East Asia too, and our little boy is really keen to visit Japan.
WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN 10 YEARS?
Still taking photos, and living my best middle aged lesbian life. Probably with a cat and more house plants.