When you look at one of Richard Wilkinson’s photograph’s the creativity and thought that has gone into obtaining the image is obvious. All of his pictures are generated from eliciting a response from his subject, from getting them to see the value of communication: touch, hugs, smiles whether it is a family shot or a wedding day. Richard is passionate about his art. “I really believe that it is my job to provide beautiful moments in time. It’s an awesome responsibility but I get an opportunity to make time stand still. Bringing out the natural characters in people and capturing those moments to make them timeless – it is why I do the job I do.
Richard’s story started very differently. At 13 years old, his career to set to take a very different path – as a professional footballer. He was scouted from school to play for Staffordshire County and then Stoke City where his dream to turn professional was looking to become a reality. “Football was everything to me” he continues, “I didn’t want to do anything else. It started with watching Stoke City with my dad at 7 years old and I continued living the typical schoolboy dream of becoming a professional footballer all through my teens. I was playing 3 times a week and at weekends for Stoke City but then it all changed.”
As the promise of a next step with Stoke City seemed certain, Richard received some devastating news. “Suddenly the course of my life was changed for ever as I received a letter saying that only two players would be chosen to go through to the youth team. 10 were usually chosen. I was pretty certain of being in that number but I knew I wasn’t in the top two. I couldn’t believe it – the direction I had had since I was a child was now gone and I had nothing to fall back on, Football had been my life.”
The course of his life changed again on a visit to the Lake District. After doing a Business Administration course it was on a family holiday to the Lake District that he picked up a camera for the first time. After taking a series of scenery shots he went to a local photographer to get them framed who told him that he had the talent to be a professional photographer. Encouraged, he spent the next few months learning and observing, finding that by taking a back seat, the more valuable images were created away from the glare of the lens. He still couldn’t see the direction that he was headed until he experienced a breakthrough in the form of a course with eminent photographer Annabel Williams. “Suddenly everything fell into place and I had the confidence to put my ideas into action. I knew that I had a real eye for seeing the more relaxed and emotional images, just by allowing events to happen. Learning with Annabel really showed me how to make it work. It is a more contemporary genre but one that is growing in popularity because the images are so natural. By also offering a pre-wedding shoot where I meet the couple and take some shots at least three weeks before the actual wedding day I get to know them and they get used to the camera. This is a really valuable service for me and the couple. I can get the best out of the most camera shy bride or the nervous groom. I love seeing the pleasure on their faces when they see some of the images that they didn’t believe were possible”
Laura Heath and Dylan McCarthy are getting married this year and have just had their pre-wedding shoot – with amazing results. Laura says,
“We really wanted something different for our wedding day and we knew that Richard’s style of photography was right for us but we were both pretty nervous about how the photographs would turn out. The pre-wedding shoot enabled us to get used to the camera and to Richard’s style of working which was always to make us feel at ease in surroundings which made us feel comfortable. Dylan really doesn’t like having his photo taken but the pre-wedding shoot has really made us feel excited and relaxed about our wedding day photos. We know that Richard will capture it in the best way possible and we will have those moments captured for the rest of our lives. We can’t wait!”
Richard Wilkinson (richardwilkinsonphotography.com) lives in Shropshire. His wedding and lifestyle photography can be viewed at Richard Wilkinson Photography.
More about Richard Wilkinson and his photographs can be found on his website. Richard is available for interview and can be contacted online or by email.
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Submitted by: Christine Holmes / E: christine[.]uptone.co.uk. / P: 07768 548619