Information about Joe Topping and Joe Topping Photography.
I’m a documentary wedding photographer. My approach to wedding photography is natural and unobtrusive. I aim to capture real authentic moments, very few photos I take are staged or posed.
My Photography is...
I first picked up a camera when I was 16 whilst studying art a-level. I borrowed a Canon 350D to enter a photography competition and ended up winning first prize. Realising my passion, I quit my A-levels and applied for a photography diploma.
Ba (hons) Degree Photography
National Diploma photography
This is my 5th year of photographing weddings professionally. I have photographed roughly 50x weddings (this includes weddings I have assisted).
In the summer I go up to the lake district with a couple of friends. I used to play guitar quite a bit. I’m thinking about getting back into skateboarding. I like to watch documentaries and movies with great cinematography.
I’m inspired by movies and other photographers. I constantly analyse how scenes of movies have been shot or lit. Some of my favorite directors are Stanley Kubrick, David Fincher, Martin Scorsese and James Cameron. I’m also inspired by artists and painters such as Edward Hopper and photographers like Robert Capa.
I capture moments as they happen (with minimal interference) I want my images of your wedding to reflect how the day really went. My goal is to create honest, natural and authentic images that may stand the test of time.
I offer informal, reportage photography that is unobtrusive and relaxed, I believe in telling the true story of your wedding day allows you the ability to remember it more clearly years down the line. Posed photographs are generally kept to a minimum and I’ll never ask you to do anything you are not comfortable with.
I try to capture scenes as they actually were on the day, without use of artificial light. Sometimes this means compromising a bit of image quality in order to represent the environment accurately. For example: if I shot a wedding where there was only tungsten bulbs luminating the room, I’d keep the edit slightly warm, as that is what people would have seen and remembered on the day. Another example is when a room is dark, I will often under-expose just a little bit to represent what was seen by the human eye.
Do you use flash? I typically only use flash if its absolutely necessary, or if I think it will add something to the image. I’ll often use flash when a room is simply too dark to capture motion (if increasing ISO would add too much noise/grain). Another time I may use flash is for creative purposes such as subject isolation during portraits. Note: I rarely use flash head-on, its usually bounced off a wall to diffuse it and help compliment the existing light in the room. By using a low power on the flash, I am less intrusive and can bring more of the ambient light in.
My editing style
My style of processing is quite similar to a lot of other photographers. The goal is to create images that look modern and stylish but also timeless. I don’t add any crazy filters after applying my custom preset, blacks are kept black, whites are kept white, colour hues are only shifted ever so slightly. When it comes to editing images; ‘less is more’, you can always add a filter on top of a neutral edit, but its much harder to reverse the process and create a neutral edit from an image that already has been processed.
My approach to photography
My approach to photography is to be discreet and unobtrusive. I like to document what is happening around me, without interfering with the moments. This way I am able to capture authentic photographs that are not staged and are more unique.
How I like to photograph a wedding or event
I’m all about letting people get on with their day as I capture it naturally. I enjoy photographing real moments, photos of people unnaware of the camera are the best.
My documentary approach at weddings
My approach is to blend in like a guest and not influence anything that would’nt happen naturally. Some photographers like to raise their voice and boss people around, not me!
The group photos are the only time I really step in to direct people (and I do this quickly) so you wont be waiting around for ages! Then its on to the informal portraits. You can read more about my process below.
Words to describe my photography
Documentary / Photojournalism / Reportage / Story-Telling
Natural / Candid / Relaxed / Unobtrusive / Not Posed…
What inspires me?
I like Verite and documentary-style film-making that aims to tell stories truthfully. My goal is to photograph people objectively in a reportage style. Any posed photos are taken in a natural and informal relaxed way. One of my favorite movies is Baraka – a documentary film with no narrative or voice-over (BBC’s Planet Earth is similar) its a very relaxing and impactful movie.
My favourite photographer(s)?
Old: Robert Capa // New: Joey Lawrence