Gavan Goulder from The Day That

Interview With: Gavan Goulder

Company Name: The Day That

Location: Cornwall

What does The Day That do?

We take beautiful photographs every day at dawn, to show what the world looked like on the day a couple got married or celebrated the birth of a child.

Couples can choose a photograph taken at dawn on the morning of their wedding; a special reminder of a very special day. We then personalise them with their names and the date, creating a personalised piece of art that they can keep forever.

Framed dawn photograph by The Day That

How did the business start and how long has it been going?

12 years ago a close friend of mine had his first child and I felt I wanted to do something special for him. At the time I was a freelance photographer in London and decided to drive into the countryside and take a beautiful photograph. The picture was of an oak tree, which I framed and gave to them. They loved it and I was then asked to do the same for other friends.

5 years later (2005) I had my first daughter Ella, took her first sunrise photograph, and decided to start The Day That. We were initially only in the baby market, but re-branded from My First Day to The Day That to enter the Wedding market in 2007.

Framed dawn photograph hanging on wall

Who takes the pictures? Are pictures taken every single day of the year?

We have four photographers in total who rotate. Three of us are full time and we have one photographer who does one weekend in four. We need this many because in the summer months we can be on the beach as early as 3.30am, so to have a team of photographers is essential.

The Day That taking dawn photograph

Where do you take the pictures? How do you choose the specific shot? How many pictures do you take each day?

We have about 40 locations in and around St Ives in Cornwall. We can’t travel too far from home as we have to be on the beach as early as 3.30am. There are many factors to consider when choosing a location for the day’s shoot. It depends on the time of year as the sun comes up in a completely different spot in the winter compared to the summer. The tide is also a major consideration as some of our locations are inaccessible at certain points of the tide. If it’s raining we need to keep the wind on our backs so the rain doesn’t go onto our lens. We also have to be aware of any major swell as this can be dangerous, so lots to consider.

We take between 40 and 100 considered photographs every day, but only publish between 10 and 16 onto the site.

Singature on dawn photograph by The Day That

Can you take pictures of a specific location for a gift?

We get asked this quite a lot, but to be honest it’s not practical. We are all about getting the best dawn/sunrise shot for that day, and if we were at a location that didn’t work we would really struggle to get something that customers would want to hang on their walls. The locations we choose also work when the weather is bad, which you can’t guarantee at other locations.

Once the pictures are taken, what is the next step in the process?

Once we have brushed the sand off our boots and had a nice cup of tea we do an edit of the photographs taken that morning. The edit is important and we try to give as much choice as possible, starting with the pre-dawn photographs which can be the most colourful, leading up to the point when the sun is popping up over the horizon.

Finishing touches to framed dawn photograph by The Day That

What type of occasions could a picture from The Day That be a great gift for?

The majority of our customers buy our beautiful photographs to celebrate either their wedding day or anniversary (our collection goes back to 2005), or to commemorate the birth of a child. We have also had people buy our pictures to celebrate a landmark birth date, a retirement, and even the day they moved into a new home.

Wedding message on dawn photograph from The Day That

How does someone choose and order one of your pictures as a gift?

It’s a really simple process. Go to our website, put in the chosen date, choose a size and frame, add the personalisation that we hand write, and that’s just about it; leave the rest to us.

What areas of the UK do you cover?

Our photographs are taken in Cornwall (as this is where we live) but we try and make the pictures about the time of day, the sunrise, and not the location. We sell our pictures nationally and internationally.

Dawn photograph in black frame by The Day That

What sets The Day That Weddings apart from other companies that provide wedding gifts?

We offer a completely unique service. We even offer the most beautiful gift vouchers which can be given to the couple on the day. We even personalise these by adding a picture from our collection that was taken on the day the couple got engaged… our customers love this service, and it’s free.

Dawn photograph cards

Random question… Where is your favourite place in the UK?

Porth Kidney beach at dawn; all alone and peaceful in a beautiful location.

Do you have a favourite dawn picture that you have taken?

Several — these are just some of my favourites.

Dark dawn photograph by The Day That

Sunrise photograph by The Day That

Mist on rocks

Waves crashing against rocks

Where can I find out more about The Day That?

You can find out all about us on our website