LIVERPOOL CELEBRITY WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER
Meet the Liverpool Celebrity wedding photographer behind the lens at opera star Russell Watson's Luxury Destination Wedding.
CELEBRITY WEDDING | LIVERPOOL ECHO
Wes was proudly featured in the local press this week as a Liverpool celebrity wedding photographer. The Liverpool Echo newspaper is showcasing Wes Simpson’s work from the ‘celebrity wedding’ of opera start Russell Watson which he was commissioned to photograph on location in Spain. The wedding was featured in Hello! Magazine and described as “A fairytale wedding album.” Read the full interview below.
CELEBRITY WEDDING FEATURE
Meet the Liverpool celebrity wedding photographer behind the lens at Opera star Russell Watson’s Luxury Destination Wedding. Liverpool photographer Wes Simpson was booked by the famous tenor and his new bride who loved his fly-on-the-wall style of photography.
It was a ceremony featuring one of the most famous names in the opera world, a destination wedding to be seen by millions, but photographer Wes Simpson was given a simple brief by Russell Watson and his new bride.
With the images earmarked for a glossy Hello! magazine celebrity spread, Liverpool-based photographer Wes admits the pressure was on.
“On the morning of the wedding, Russell and Louise said to me ‘don’t change what you do and don’t try and figure out what an editor of Hello! might want, we like your style and that’s why we booked you, so stick with it.” says Wes. “So that settled my nerves and I was just able to get on and do the job.”
For the Skelmersdale-born photographer, Russell’s marriage to former office receptionist Louise Harris was his latest high-profile destination photography commission. As a well known Liverpool celebrity wedding photographer; he’s also documented the big days of several Liverpool and Everton players, including Reds striker Rickie Lambert last year.
Wes was booked by the 48-year-old tenor and his fiancée after she came across some of his previous work. “She liked the emotional ones in particular,” he explains, “so when we met for a coffee and talked about my approach to wedding photography, which is more natural and documentary in style, with the focus on capturing the story as it unfolds.
There was a six-week hiatus where I didn’t hear anything back. I thought maybe they’d gone with the Hello! photographer, then out of the blue Louise got back in touch and said ‘She just hadn’t been able to get a connection with any other photographer.”
The couple flew Wes out to their venue, at the mountain village of Benahavis in southern Spain, just outside Marbella, on the Monday before the wedding on Wednesday.
“Two people who were genuinely happy and in love.”
“I went to the pre-wedding party the day before their wedding to get to know some of the guests and to get a feel of the place. I was with them right from the start of the wedding day to the end. It was fantastic, and with Russell’s, background story of his brain tumours, there was a lot of genuine love, laughter and tears throughout the day.
It was a joy to witness because, although it was a really glamorous location, at the heart of it was a family affair. It was simply two people who were genuinely happy and in love.”
LIVERPOOL CELEBRITY WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER
Wes admits it was a long assignment – 17 hours from start to finish. “But it was a great experience,” he says. “I must have shot about 2,000 frames and I presented them with about 1,200 of those to choose from. Then I got fantastic feedback from Hello! and from Russell and Louise because they said they’d found it impossible to pick the images for the 11-page spread.”
Russell gave their guests a little impromptu singing encouragement.
“They had the hymn ‘All Things Bright and Beautiful’ and it was a typical response, everyone was mumbling along, so at one point Russell went ‘come on’ and belted out a couple of notes,” laughs Wes. “The expression on Louise’s face told the story, and as a photographer that was exactly what you look for”.
“There were some tender moments too, like Russell wiping a tear from Louise’s cheek in the church, and I imagine those are the ones the fans will like seeing most because they give you a little insight into them as people. They’re a bit more revealing.”
“Capturing the unguarded moments has become his trademark.”
Having started his career as a TV cameraman, working first on Brookside and then freelance for shows including Hollyoaks and Shameless, Wes switched to wedding photography in 2007. His CV and natural documentary style appeals to fashionable couples everywhere with many brides labelling him ‘a Liverpool celebrity wedding photographer.’ However, Wes admits he began shooting weddings with the more classic and traditional approach.
“When I first started, I thought wedding photography had to be formal and serious! Then one day I was looking through my parent’s album I remembered that mum always said how it rained on their wedding day and her dress got wet. But when I looked at all the photos there was no evidence of that and I thought it was a shame that those stories and details about the atmosphere of the day wasn’t present anywhere in the pictures. The story and the connection I had to the event and the people were lost in these somewhat fake and posed images.”
“The realisation of this made me evaluate what I was doing and made me wonder if I was actually photographing an interpretation of the wedding day, rather than how it really was. From then on, I decided that I would take a more emotionally-driven approach to document the day and I developed an almost fly-on-the-wall style of shooting.”
As a leading Liverpool celebrity wedding photographer – destination weddings and documentary-style wedding photography is now his speciality, a style and service that is seeing him as one of the most sought after photographers in the North West, attracting clients from all over who love his emotive style and willingness to travel in order to document their stories, so much so, he’s already done six around the world so far this year.
“Every time I look at the departures board I always remember my career teacher who said, ‘I should concentrate on English and Maths, (which I struggled with) because art would never take me anywhere,” he laughs. “So, whenever I get on a plane with my camera in my hand I think of her! and how you should never let anybody tell you that you can’t do something and to always follow your dreams.”
Wes remains humble and laughs at the phrase ‘Liverpool celebrity wedding photographer.’ “I just want to work with fun, stylish couples who live life to its fullest and trust me to be creative with their memories. With clients like these, every seemingly natural moment looks fully intentional, and only serves to make their story and wedding photos more inspiring. I am always inspired by travel and hope to incorporate more destination weddings within my work.”
Story taken from Liverpool Echo. Words by Dawn Collinson.
LIVERPOOL WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER
You can view a small selection of album images from the Russell Watson celebrity wedding featured in Hello! Magazine Here. For more information on celebrity weddings, check out our luxury weddings page. For local weddings in the Merseyside area and beyond, please visit the Liverpool wedding photographer page or