Kay English is a wedding photographer based in New Jersey. She has been taking photos since 2008 and works locally and at destination weddings around the world.
Do you have a particular style or do you find influence from the event design or the couple’s personality?
I describe my style as a romantic comedy. I love to capture laughter and joy in the photos and also the amazing natural light during sunset. I definitely use the couple’s personality to gauge the type of photo shoot we can do. If they are more fun and relaxed, the photos turn out a lot better. I give them the “‘ello gov’nor’” test, and if they laugh at my British accent, I know the photo shoot will be amazing.
What are the challenges in shooting outdoors and also in shooting horses?
There are many challenges, including harsh lighting and green reflections from the grass. To compensate for this, I try to shoot during the golden hour, which is typically one hour before sunset.
One of my favorite photo shoots was with a bride in a blue dress in the sunset. The horse was so whimsical and strolled through the late summer haze. The horse wasn’t trained very well, so we almost had a few injuries, but thankfully everyone was fine, and the photos are some of my favorites to date.
What can a couple do beforehand to help ensure a successful shoot?
Honestly, have some wine. Relax. The more fun you have, the better the photos will turn out. Ninety percent of couples say to me before we start shooting that they feel awkward, but then afterwards they say, “Wow, that was so much fun!” So just have fun, because if you’re tense, it will show in the photos. I often tell my couples to take a deep breath and shake out their shoulders. They can be spontaneous. If the groom wants to randomly pick up the bride, or kiss her, then that’s amazing for photos.
What are some strategies you use while shooting with animals?
There are many challenges. I’ve tried to put flower crowns on probably a dozen different animals. I learned that giraffes are absolutely terrifying, and they will charge you. I’ve learned that horses need someone they trust to be there so they are more comfortable. Horses also highly dislike veils. I will always ask my bride to take off her veil or stand on the far side of the horses so as not to scare them. When photographing with dogs, I usually ask my couple to bring snacks and that will make the dogs happy.
Have you noticed any recent trends in wedding photography that you like or don’t like?
What I’ve seen recently with millennial weddings are couples constantly taking selfies throughout the day, with essentially no down time to enjoy and be in the moment. Even if you take five to 10 minutes and just sit together as a couple without anyone else, I think that’s amazing and a moment you will really remember.
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