Company Name: Amanda Karen Photography
Interview with: Amanda Hutchinson
Location / Coverage: UK and destination
How did the business get started and who works at Amanda Karen Photography?
I have always loved weddings, but when I got married in 2013 that love grew even more, knowing just how much work goes into them and all the beautiful details that come together to make the most amazing day. It was then that I knew wedding photography was where my heart lay, so I started second shooting for some really amazing and lovely photographers. As I grew as a photographer I knew that this was the industry for me. From there, in October 2014, Amanda Karen Photography was born, and I am lucky that my husband (yes it still excites me to say that!) is a great photographer; it’s great to shoot weddings as a team.
Had you always wanted to be a photographer?
I have always loved taking photos and my parents always had albums of us growing up, but it didn’t really occur to me that it could be my living; that only came in the last couple of years. But I know I am so lucky to be doing something I love.
Can you remember how old you were when you took your first picture? What was it of?
I can’t say I remember how old I was, or to be honest what my first photo was, but it would have been on a film camera; I loved waiting for the photos to come back. My earliest memory though of taking photos was a trip to Disney when I was 10 or 11, and taking a whole roll of film at Sea World – dolphins were my favourite animal!
Which areas of the UK do you cover?
We primarily cover Essex, London and the South East, but for the right wedding we will travel anywhere!
Why is your business called Amanda Karen Photography? Is Karen your middle name?
Yes, Karen is my middle and it just sounded right. I spent weeks and weeks thinking what to call the business and James (my husband) said “what about Amanda Karen”. Karen is my Mum’s middle name too, so it has this sense of family for me too which is important.
Do you have a studio?
We don’t have a studio as such. I edit in our living room at the moment, but we have just moved house and have earmarked a room for our photography study. It needs decorating (it’s used to be a teen’s room so it’s bright purple at the moment), but we want to create a really light and airy space that we can work in, but is also a great space for our couples to come in for consultations. I can’t wait!
What do you feel sets you apart from other wedding photographers?
I think the only thing that can only really set people aside is to be yourself; only we see things through our eyes and that’s what creates our style. Aside from that, I think as a husband and wife team we have a great chemistry with our couples. It’s not that long since we got married so all the emotions and adrenaline that you go through on the day are still real to us, which I think really helps us understand what our couples are feeling. We genuinely end up as friends with our couples and this puts them at ease in the run up and on the day, meaning they are relaxed and natural around us, which results in the relaxed and natural images that we all love.
How would you describe your photography style?
Natural, romantic and timeless. As soppy as it sounds, we want you to look at your wedding photos when you’re old and grey and be taken back to the happiness that was your wedding day.
What packages do you offer and what are your rates?
Albums are important to us, so all of our collections include a gorgeous fine art album. Collections start at £1,200.
What is the best thing about your job?
That moment when the couple meet at the bottom of the aisle and see each other always brings a little tear to my eye. That’s what it’s all about, seeing two people who love each other, showing that off to their nearest and dearest.
It’s the best job in the world, to be there, capture it and know that those photos are going to be the reminder of that day and that moment for the rest of their lives. But then, I am a hopeless romantic!
Who/what are your influences?
I make sure that I am up to date with the current trends. This isn’t always just through following the wedding industry, but anything from fashion to food. I love Instagram and find a lot of inspiration from there.
Do you have a favourite picture that you have taken (if you can choose!)?
Wow, I genuinely think that is a tough one, but if I had to choose it would have to be from Hannah and David’s wedding this year. It was taken just after the speeches and we didn’t have long left with the light, but they trusted me and I just love how happy and serene they look.
What is your top tip for choosing a wedding photographer?
Go with someone whose style you love, but who you also feel completely comfortable and at ease with. Your photographer is going to be with you all day, and you want to make sure you get on and have the same vision. That’s why it’s so important to meet them before booking; that first meeting (or coffee and cake) is like a first date.
Random question… What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
Chilling out together or with friends, and we love going out for or having people round for dinner. Food is a big part of our lives!