Wedding Supplier Spotlight: Craig Payne, Craig Payne Photography

Craig Payne and Brian Mole at Brookfield Barn
Craig working with me at one of our favourite venues, Brookfield Barn, image courtesy of Craig Payne

Spotlight on Craig Payne

In the latest Wedding Supplier Spotlight series (created to highlight a few amazing wedding suppliers we enjoy working with – from wedding caterers to photographers, wedding stylists to celebrants and more!), we chat to wedding photographer Craig Payne.

Katherine and Lewis's wedding at Brookfield Barn by Craig Payne
Image courtesy of Craig Payne Photography

Craig Payne has been a wedding photographer for over a decade and we always love working with him to celebrate a couple’s big day! The Sussex wedding photographer focuses on capturing the magical, unique moments that unfold, telling the story of your special day.

We put our questions to Craig to find out more about him, what he loves most about being a wedding photographer and find out what song is guaranteed to get him on the dance floor…

Image courtesy of Craig Payne Photography
Image courtesy of Craig Payne Photography

Hi Craig! First things first, how did you get into weddings?

I photographed my first wedding on 30th June 2006, it was my Aunt’s wedding and I was still at school! The experience was very daunting but even then I had a strong passion for photography and followed this up by studying it at Lewes College. The day I left college, I turned pro and little did I know that 14 years on I would be photographing weddings full time!

wedding image of bride and groom in a sussex cobbled street
Image courtesy of Craig Payne Photography

How would you describe what you do?

I would say I simply try to document a wedding day as it unfolds in as fun and natural way as possible. My passions in life very much revolve around the countryside and being in the fresh air, and I have become more and more aware that I love incorporating the countryside, gardens, bright colours and natural light into my work!

I would say this is very much my USP as I struggle to find other photographers who really embrace the countryside in their wedding work the way I do. This said, I would also say I love being personable and engaging and really value becoming friends with my couples, so they are who they genuinely are in their wedding photos, and this is also a big factor in what I do.

bride and groom at sunset under a tree by the water
Image courtesy of Craig Payne Photography

What do you love most about being a wedding photographer?

Just being part of a couple’s wedding day is enough for me! I am there documenting all the happiness, their love for each other and the friendships they have with all their guests. Taking those shots and knowing they are going to be looked back on with a smile is everything to me.

confetti shot by Craig Payne
Image courtesy of Craig Payne Photography

What’s been your highlight so far?

I live for today and while I have enjoyed so many weddings over the years, I do feel celebrating my tenth year as a pro, with a small exhibition, was a real highlight for me. Since the exhibition I feel my work and my attitude has elevated even more and perhaps it is the ‘10,000 hours makes you a master’ theory kicking in, not that I am a master!

bride and groom in a field
Image courtesy of Craig Payne Photography

What would be your top tip for choosing a wedding photographer?

I would definitely say meet them in person or over video call. Find someone whose work you absolutely love, but also someone who you really engage with and feel ‘gets’ what you are looking for. As I was saying before, I want to become my couples’ friend so I really understand their wishes and why the details they have put into their day are so key to them. This is particularly true for countryside fans and is why they may choose me, where as if you are getting married in a city then you want someone who is from that city and ‘gets’ what is so special about it. The ‘About’ page on their website is always a good place to visit, to see who they really are and what they do in their spare time!

bride and groom kissing under the stars
Image courtesy of Craig Payne Photography

Five second questions

The song I love to dance to most is… Dancing in the Moonlight by Toploader.

What biscuits would you like to see most in the biscuit tin, and why? Custard Cream as they’re fantastic dunked in a good cup of tea!

What bit of advice would you give to your younger self? Be more confident in yourself and what you do.

Who is your secret celebrity crush? Abbie Cornish (actress).

If you were to host the ultimate dinner party what four guests would you invite and why? Russell Crowe (actor, I think he would simply be a great guest and I love in ‘A Good Year’), Nisha Katona (Indian chef, she seems so chatty and engaging), Ken Bruce (Radio 2 DJ, as he is a living legend and I have been listening to him for many years) and HRH Princess Anne (I photograph a yearly event she is president of and document her meeting attendees of this, but have never spoken to her myself and know she is very funny and tells a great story!).

Cats or dogs? Dogs, 100%

Tea or coffee? I do like a coffee but tea for me, please!

Thanks so much Craig! See more from Craig Payne Photography at https://craigpayne.co.uk/ and on Instagram and Facebook.


Many thanks to the lovely Shelley Welti for the help in putting this feature together for me.

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