A few years ago I was given a camera. It was only a secondhand thing but someone had faith in what I could do. That was where it started a boy with an old camera and a dream. It’s amazing what can happen if we just believe and trust that dream.
I moved to Luton, Bedfordshire during 2020 and opened my photography studio in Ridgmont, Bedfordshire at the same time. This move to Bedfordshire though is only a part of my professional photography journey which started back in 2015.
During my time as a professional photographer I have had the pleasure of working with some amazing clients including: Honda, Ruth Mastenbroek Perfumer, Bedfordshire Rural Communities Charity, Inspired Agents & Key Surgical.
I have also been privileged to be a part of a number of wonderful weddings and photograph some amazing individuals at the start of their professional career before going on to achieve so much.
There have of course been the highs and lows on the way. From becoming a qualified professional photographer with The Guild of Photographers to the heartache felt by so many during the pandemic of 2020.
There are also the numerous awards that I have won along the way for all areas of my photography (headshot, portrait, wedding, commercial and product) with both the The Guild of Photographers and The Society of Wedding & Portrait Photographers.
Christopher James HALL
Being a photographer isn’t just a job, it’s a privilege. For me it’s the opportunity to be invited to capture a wedding couples happy day or to photograph an actor at the start of their career.
It’s not about me but how through the images that make I can help those around me.
I started photography back in 2006 as a hobby. I came across stock photography and gave that a go. It was hard to get into and really made me think about the quality of the images that I was taking. Although the amounts that you would earn from each image were small it was a great encouragement as a new photographer to see people from all over the world using photographs that I had taken.
I can still remember the feeling that I had one day when I opened a newspaper and saw one of my images being used. I think that is where the dream of becoming a photographer came from.
Life changed for me a few years later and after a series of personal challenges I found myself homeless and living on the streets for a few years. I got support and lived in a community for eighteen months before coming back to where I lived before. When I returned though a friend gave me a camera that they didn’t need anymore. Without a job to go to and the dream of being a photographer still in my head I decided to give it a go as a professional photographer.
Initially I went back to making stock photography. It wasn’t long though before I got asked by friends to take family photos and then even to photograph a local toddler group. As with most photographers I tried a few different genres of photography before finding where my passion lies.
Why not? I have tried various genres of photography and these are the ones that I feel give me that creative challenge that I need. The variety of headshot, wedding and portrait photography also give me the variety that stops me getting stuck in a creative rut. That horrible feeling that everyday is the same.
Each of these aspects of photography challenge me in different ways. For the studio work it’s being able to put my clients at ease so that I can capture who they really are. With wedding photography it is the excitement of the day and constantly looking around, just waiting for the moment what ‘that shot’ is about to happen.
I guess I have always been creative in some way or another. Painting, writing, furniture restoration, even decorating (to some extent). It is a way of adding my own personal touch. We have all had those times when we are doing the same thing over and over again. It makes you lose interest in what you are doing and if I let that happen I am letting my clients down.
Being creative also allows me to experiment with new styles or techniques that I would not have the opportunity to do with a client. For this I go out and do street, landscape or nature photography. I will experiment in the studio trying out different lighting or I will give different styles of editing a try. Some of these will then be provided to my clients so they get to benefit as well.
I’m not one for bossing people around and my style has developed from this. My style is relaxed, friendly and natural.
I guess you could say that I document what I see. Even in the studio it more of a ‘chat ‘n snap’ rather than me telling my clients to tilt their head or move their arm. The people in the studio usually aren’t that comfortable in front of the camera. It’s all a part of getting them relaxed so I can get a natural photograph.
For my wedding and family work it’s more a case of observing what is happening. Constantly looking around to see what is about to happen so I can be in the right place at the right time. It’s about capturing those little moments that often get missed or forgotten about.
Both of these photographers have different approaches but both are people that I can relate to on a personal level.
Sean Tucker is more philosophical in his approach and will often talk about aspects of photography that don’t often get covered by other photographers. His street photography is also amazing.
For Tommy Reynolds it’s his projects that really inspire me, I haven’t seen one yet that I haven’t wanted to do afterwards (watch out for a bed floating down the river when the weather gets warmer).
If either Sean or Tommy read this and want to do something together just give me a shout.
Find someone you will feel comfortable with. If the photographer doesn’t make you feel comfortable you will not get a natural looking photograph.
Also, don’t book by price. Someone once told me that if I wanted more clients I should put my price up. I did for a while and it worked. Why? It’s because people sometimes assume that the more expensive the item the better it must be. Although, this can be true it is not always the case. Look at their work and if it fits the style that you are looking for.
That’s not a nice question. I guess I could say the one I’m about to take.
There is one though that does stand out. It was for a family session that I was asked to do a few years back. I was there to document the kids as they played in the garden. The little girl decided she was going to fill up the paddling pool and then this happened.
I think it’s the t-shirt that gets me. “Always Happy” such a great motto for life.