Wedding photographer David McNeil and I have been friends for a long time, waaaay before I started my blog or he started shooting weddings. We worked together at the shopping channel and having someone, basically alongside me for the whole time I’ve run my business, has been pretty amazing. We’ve advised each other (David is notoriously brilliant at advice!) and seen each other grow into our businesses and make a success of our passions. It’s been pretty magical really.
We’ve shot together, we’ve traveled to Vegas together and we’ve learnt a serious amount of stuff about this crazy little industry of ours together. So, who better to interview this week than the man that I’ve seen start from diddly squat and grow into his business like a complete and utter pro?
Photography Credit: Devlin Photos
So David, can you tell us who you are and what you do? How did you get started as a wedding photographer and what stage of your business are you at now?
Hello Green Room readers! First of all I’m so honoured you asked me to be part of The Inspirations series. You’ve featured so many amazing people that it’s extremely exciting to be included amongst them. First and foremost I’m a wedding photographer shooting weddings all over the UK (and some further afield!) but during the week, when I’m not editing or designing albums, I teach photography workshops with The Trained Eye.
At high school I loved art, and wanted to be an artist. There was one problem though, I could not draw or paint to save myself. My art teacher didn’t see that as too big a problem and encouraged me to pick up a camera, get in the dark room and see if photography was the outlet for me. I spent many Friday afternoons processing my film and there my love of photography was born. I studied photography at college for a year before embarking on a university degree in Film, TV, and Theatre Studies. Slowly my camera began gathering dust…
Then, after my move to London to take up a job at shopping channel bid tv (I believe you are aware of that particular channel Kat!?) I stupidly left the front door of my house open and was burgled. Amongst other things, my Pentax SLR was stolen so I replaced it with a dSLR, embraced digital, found flickr, learned Photoshop and eventually started taking portraits of colleagues who worked at bid tv.
Around the time I started wanting to take things further and start shooting weddings, a brown haired girl I worked with called Kat Williams was planning her wedding, and had one of those wedding blog thingys some brides document their progress with. She became the perfect muse for me to start taking wedding orientated images and as she morphed into Rock n Roll Bride, so too my business started to take off at the same time. Eventually I left my job and so, here we are today!
What inspires you as a photographer, a businessman and a person?
Gosh – where to begin..! One of the reasons I chose wedding photography as my business is that I grew so bored of shooting inanimate objects. I wanted to shoot people and I guess what inspires me is finding out about people and understanding them, and their relationship through the camera. Shooting models is easy, but finding the true beauty inside someone who doesn’t have their image taken every day is really what motivates me. The feeling I have when I find that perfect spot of light, and I am able to find real happiness in someone’s eyes is one of the most satisfying parts of our job.
Photography is about freezing time and I fee