Meet Nathan Walker
Tell us a fun fact about yourself?
Before I became a photographer I stayed at university far too long and gained a PhD in stem cell research! I researched the role of stem cells from bone marrow in skin wound repair. Yes, I’m a total biology geek. I can also do a gnarly, Arnold Schwarzenegger impression. Go on, you try saying ‘get to the chopper!’ in a thick Austrian accent without cracking up!
How long have you been a photographer?
I’ve been photographing weddings since 2017 and in October last year, I finally left my day job to pursue wedding photography full time! So, this year is a real adventure for me. It’s amazing that I can now focus on serving more couples to produce wedding photography stories that will delight families for years to come.
Is there anyone you are inspired by?
Arnold Schwarzenegger. (Did I just mention his name again? – Obsessed).
He inspires me because he is an example of how you can achieve your dreams if you work hard, work smart and never give up. I can’t think of anyone that has been at the top of their game in three different careers over their lifetime. To become one of the most famous bodybuilders and actors of all time and to get re-elected as governor (or ‘Govenator’) of America’s largest state economy is just incredible!
There’s a few other honourable mentions too: Roger Federer and the man who invented pizza- the guy’s a genius!
How did you get into becoming a wedding photographer?
It all started just before my daughter was born. I wanted to document family life in a way that was not disposable like the masses of selfies or general camera phone awfulness that spam up social media feeds…
I wanted to create photos that had more creative thought behind them, photos that I would actually pay money to print and put up around the house or send as gifts to my family.
A couple of years later my sister-in-law invited me to shoot her wedding on a beach in Cornwall! Talk about a tough first gig- there’s no climb-down if I messed it up big time. But I was so thrilled to be asked because I’d been dreaming about shooting a wedding because in my mind it paired a truly joyous occasion with the need to have beautiful story-telling photography. I LOVED it. More importantly, they loved the photos and couples today love their photos and as a result, I’m still booking weddings from my first wedding.
Past or present, who would be your dream celebrity to photograph?
That’s a great question. If I could only pick one, it would have to be the David Bowie from the ‘Ziggy’ era. He was such a fascinating character. What I would find most interesting would be seeing what crazy outfits he turns up in and how he paints his colourful make-up for the shoot. He was a true original (I think he was a very insightful person too. He correctly predicted how the internet would shape the music industry before the internet was really took off).
How would you describe your style of photography?
My photography style is very relaxed and it suits couples that are laidback and fun-loving!
Most of my time is spent capturing natural and spontaneous moments between the newlyweds and their family and friends (AKA candids- but I feel that word doesn’t do it justice.)
I love o grab some downtime with the bride and groom to create romantic portraits where their unique personalities shine through. This a big part of my style that draws my couples to my work.
When it comes to getting ‘candids’, I’m no photography ninja. I’m very discreet but I’m not shy. I find that taking shots closer to the action with my trusty 35mm lens makes photographs feel more present than if they were shot on a longer lens.
For the portraits, I like to keep things flowing and I’ll always give my couples something natural to do. We’ll go for a little stroll through the woods or around the grounds of the venue and they’ll hold hands, cuddle-up, dance, even piggyback and just go with whatever the moment takes them! I’ll pick out a few spots along the way where the light and backdrops are really flattering and I’ll give a few light bits of direction. I’ll usually give a prompt along the lines of ‘on 3 give the bride a cheeky bear hug’. Or, and this one is always fun, I’ll ask the groom to whisper his favourite vegetable in his sexiest voice in the bride’s ear.
At the end of it all, my aim is to create a set of story-telling images that make you feel like you were there.
What is your favourite part of photographing a wedding?
The ceremony! It’s where everything the bride and groom has been waiting for finally comes together and it’s where their new love story begins! Photographing two people that love each other enough to commit their lives to each other is just awesome!
There’s nothing like capturing once in a lifetime moments, like the look on the bride’s face when she first sets eyes on her man or the tear in his eyes. I love the buzz and the palpable sense of excitement in the air as their guests muddle their way to their seats thinking ‘how late will she be?’ and ‘I can’t wait to see her dress!’ Then there’s the nervous energy as the bride arrives and is about to journey down the aisle.
I also like that it’s the most challenging part of the day photographically. You have no control over lighting conditions and this is the big one- there are NO retakes! On the dance floor, for example, you might miss a few moments between friends but you know there will be many more similar ones to come- not so in the ceremony!
If you could shoot a destination wedding anywhere in the world where would it be?
Redwoods National Park on the coast of Northern California. I visited once with my wife before we had our first child and it’s a magical sort of place, you feel like a hobbit walking around there!
My dream would be to shoot the ceremony under the canopy of the ancient forest and then have the wedding party head down through fern canyon to the beach where there would be a BBQ reception with fire pits and a tipi. I’d get some gorgeous portraits of the newlyweds on the beach during golden hour on the grey sands and probably run into some Elk too!
Selfie or self-timer?
Selfie- they are more spontaneous and fun!
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Photos: Nathan Walker Photography