Neil of Neil Walker Photography

Neil Walker Photography logo

Company Name: Neil Walker Photography

Interview with: Neil Walker

Location / Coverage: Sussex, London and the South East, as well as Italy

How did the business get started and who works at Neil Walker Photography?

I used to shoot advertising and corporate photography for company annual reports, working a lot in South America, Asia and North Africa. One year I was asked by a relative to shoot her wedding. I said no as I had never shot one and worked with large lighting rigs. She rang me a month before her wedding in a bit of a panic saying they hadn’t been able to get a photographer, so I agreed to shoot it for them. To my surprise I absolutely loved it. It’s rare to know at a particular moment that your life is going to change and you’re going to go down a particular route. Well that was what it was like that day; I just knew that shooting weddings was what I wanted to do from then on. That was nine years ago.

I shoot weddings and Sarah runs the business side as well as designing albums and helping with marketing.

Young girl at wedding cathcing bubbles - Picture by Neil Walker Photography

Had you always wanted to be a photographer?

Yes, I knew when I was 14 I wanted to be a photographer. As soon as I left school I went to work in a local photographer’s studio. Parental pressure had me going to university to study Economics, but as soon as I finished I went to London to do my apprenticeship and become an assistant to advertising photographers.

Bride and groom under parasol outside wedding venue at night - Picture by Neil Walker Photography

Can you remember how old you were when you took your first picture? What was it of?

Yes, I was about 11 and it was a shot of my gerbil. It was a terrible photo, but I had a great time experimenting.

Which areas of the UK do you cover?

I shoot weddings mostly in Sussex, London and the South East, and I often do a few in Italy each year too.

Wedding guests laughing - Picture by Neil Walker Photography

What do you feel sets you apart from other wedding photographers?

I come from a different photographic background to most wedding photographers. With advertising photography we used to come at every project with a blank slate, no preconditions, no rules or formulae as to how things should be done. As a result I go to every wedding looking to shoot something different, in whatever way suits that wedding. As a result my work can look very different across a set of weddings. The only theme running across my work is that I like to think it’s very natural.

Happy bride walking to wedding - Picture by Neil Walker Photography

How would you describe your photography style?

Very difficult question! I shoot as I see rather than trying to shoot in a particular style. As I said before, the single theme in my work is that it is very natural. I often say I think people look their best when they don’t know they’re being photographed, and I think that informs my work.

Bride having hair done - Picture by Neil Walker Photography

What packages do you offer and what are your rates?

I don’t tend to do packages as couples often end up with things they don’t really want. I do a sort of a la carte menu where couples can choose what they want and make up their own bespoke package. For example, coverage for eight hours with a USB Drive of all the best photos is £1395.

Bride and groom kiss - Picture by Neil Walker Photography

What is the best thing about your job?

It’s got to be the people. I’ve always photographed people, and couples getting married are almost always great to work with. Ultimately my relationship with the couple informs the shots I take at their wedding.

Do you have a specialist area of photography?

I shoot very much in the background and mostly with natural light rather than with flash.

Bridesmaids looking under groom's kilt - Picture by Neil Walker Photography

Who/what are your influences?

I’m influenced by all sorts of photography. I love getting ideas from magazines and particularly all the amazing blogs online now. I do have some particular photographers whose work I love and also some artists, but I find it’s good to look far and wide when looking for inspiration.

Bride having wedding hair done - Picture by Neil Walker Photography

Do you have a favourite picture that you have taken (If you can choose!)?

I love this picture because it pretty much sums up why I moved over to shooting weddings from advertising photography. During this part of the Sikh ceremony the groom isn’t meant to look at the bride. However, he sneaks a look because I think he just can’t quite believe he is going to be lucky enough to marry her. A fleeting moment that sums up what I am looking to capture at weddings.

Groom looking at bride during Sikh wedding ceremony - Picture by Neil Walker Photography

What is your top tip for choosing a wedding photographer?

Apart from checking the wedding photographer has the right insurances and is well organised etc, the best thing to do is to go with the photographer whose images move you. If you love the photos with other couples in, imagine what they will do for you when it’s you in them!

Wedding guests laughing in grounds of wedding venue - Picture by Neil Walker Photography

Random question… What it your favourite TV show at the moment?

I’m enjoying Community at the moment; I love a good comedy.

Where can people find out more about Neil Walker Photography?