Spotlight on Emma Russell Photography
In our latest Wedding Supplier Spotlight series (highlighting just a few of our fave fellow wedding professionals that we enjoy working with), we’re putting photographer Emma Russell firmly in the limelight.
Usually behind the lens, rather than in front of it, Emma is a wedding photographer based in Surrey who captures weddings across the home counties. Emma’s style is relaxed, authentic and timeless and tells the story of your day, as it unfolds in a natural, beautiful way.
We chat to Emma to hear about how her parents’ wedding album inspired her career, hear her tips for choosing a wedding photographer and find out the song guaranteed to get her up on the dancefloor…
Hi Emma! How did you get into wedding photography?
I worked in marketing and then recruitment for 10 years prior to having my children. I really wanted to return to work once the kids were here, but dreamed of owning my own business, and really wanted to use the right side of my brain that had been dormant since I had studied Art History at university after leaving school.
I was always the one who had a camera in my hand during the pre-mobile phone/Instagram days and I have always loved looking at my parents’ wedding album and talking to my Dad about photography, as he had been a photographer in the 60’s.
I saw this as my chance to have a second career that could build on a passion of mine. I enrolled in evening college courses, starting with the basics, and continued to the advanced levels in photography, lighting and editing. I devoured all I could find on the internet and in books and did plenty of online courses. Then I did a wedding photography course which made me even more excited and determined to continue pursuing my dream. I contacted several wedding photographers and asked to second shoot with them and several came back and said yes. I learnt so much from this and I will always be eternally grateful that they took a chance on me.
By this time my son had just started school and one of the mums from my son’s class was getting married and asked me if I would be interested in photographing her wedding and the rest as they say was history! This was nearly 10 years ago and I still love my job as much now as I did then.
How would you describe your style?
I’d say that I’m a photographer who loves to tell the story of a wedding day through candid shots coupled with a fine art style. I love every part of a wedding day: from the getting ready to the dancing and everything in between. It is such an honour to be there to capture a wedding and I come back from every wedding so happy and on a natural high. Every wedding has its own highlights and the majority of my couples have been recommended to me or have seen me at their friends’ weddings so they know how I work and how I can just blend in.
That’s great! What would you say your top tips for choosing a wedding photographer are?
I’d say to really love the work the photographer produces and if possible to meet the photographer. They are the one supplier who will be with you throughout the day so it’s really important you feel comfortable with them.
‘5 second questions’
The song I love to dance to most is…
I LOVE dancing and will dance to most things except scar music (much to my husband’s dismay!). If I had to choose a genre of music it would be 90’s house music like Dreamer by Livin’ Joy or I Luv U Baby by The Original.
What biscuits would you like to see most in the biscuit tin, and why?
Do cookies count? If so chocolate chip Maryland cookies!
What bit of advice would you give to your younger self?
Keep being kind and keep smiling. Follow your heart and trust your instincts.
Who is your secret celebrity crush?
Has always been and will always be Rob Lowe!
If you were to host the ultimate dinner party what four guests would you invite and why?
Rob Lowe (obvs), Michelle and Barack Obama (golden couple), and Banksy – I’d love to know their identity and to chat to them about art.
Cats or dogs?
Dogs – my dog Betsy would be most upset if I said otherwise.
Tea or coffee?
Coffee first thing in the morning and tea the rest of the day.
Like me, Emma is also an Approved Wedding Supplier at the very prestigious Hampton Court Palace. Many thanks to the lovely Shelley Welti for the help in putting this feature together for me.