Joe Topping is a photographer in Southport, available for photography commissions in Lancashire and north-west England.
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.
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. Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix, the list could go on.