How did you get into photography? When I was 16 I was studying art A-level, I was initially going to specialize in painting and illustration, until I entered a photography competition and won first place. The prize was an 8.1 megapixel camera, which I used to create my first photography portfolio which I used to apply for college.
What qualifications do you have? After graduating with triple distinction (humble-brag), I still didn’t know what I wanted to do, so I applied for a degree in photography. College is great, if you lack motivation and need deadlines, or need a framework of information to research, but its all available online. If you want to learn the fundamentals of photography then a degree is not necessary. If you are self-employed at the end of it, there is nobody else but yourself you need to show that degree to.
Joe Topping is a wedding supplier offering documentary wedding photography for couples getting married in the north-west of England. I provide professional wedding photography in Lancashire, Lake District, Cumbria and NW-UK.
How long have I been photographing weddings? This is my 5th year of photographing weddings (on and off). I got into weddings in my second year of the photography degree. There was an opportunity to photograph a wedding for experience, I put my name forward with samples of my photography and the couple chose me. Going into it, I didn’t know what to expect, I always thought you had to be very traditional, wear a suit and take lots of cheesy posed photos, but it wasn’t like that at all. There are so many different styles of wedding photography out there.
How do I photograph a wedding? I generally stay out of the way for the most part. I capture moments as they happen. I want my images of your wedding to reflect how the day unfolded in the most authentic way. Sure, there will be some posed photographs, but I make sure they are done quick and painlessly so you can enjoy the day in peace.
How do I edit my photos? I process my images with a custom preset that has taken me a couple of years to develop. Its popular to add a film or vintage look to images right now, so I try to process my images in a light and airy way yet keep it modern enough to reflect the times.
What are my hobbies and interests? In the summer I like to head up to the lake district to walk or go camping with friends. I play a bit of guitar (although I’m a bit out of practice), I dabble in home-brewing too (craft beer).
What inspires me? Movies, I find myself often thinking about how a scene was shot with lighting and composition. I am a big fan of Stanley Kubrick, David Fincher, Martin Scorsese and more. I’m also inspired by artists and painters such as Edward Hopper and photographers like Robert Capa. Music: Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, and more.