I once had a dream that I was running across the top of a fast moving train, with hundreds of World War Z style zombies behind me. I was trying to get back to the remains of a city, where in the partial rubble of an apartment block there were the last of the human survivors. When I got to this tower of flats, I saw they were preparing to fire a rocket launcher at the zombies, and I knew that they were all totally fucked, because even if they destroyed the ones approaching from the train tracks, they’d attract thousands more with the explosion. I ran up flights of stairs and corridors searching for my partner Jamie, to tell him we needed to get out immediately. I felt aware I might not even have enough time to get us out, but it never crossed my mind to leave without him, I was totally focused running through these corridors, because I had an overwhelming feeling that even if we were the only two humans left in a barren post apocalyptic world, that it would be enough.
At that point I woke up and had this intense emotion wash over me for a few seconds that literally brought tears, and that was the moment I knew I was genuinely, seriously in love. It took me a while to learn that love doesn’t need to look like it does in the textbook to be real. Sometimes it’s shown through the unprompted swapping of a piece of fried chicken across the table at KFC because they know which is your favourite. Sometimes it looks like 10 years of them consistently shouting “You oookkkk?” Whenever you stub your toe on the door frame and squeal, even though they already know you’re ok because you kick that doorframe an average of twice a week. Even though that door never moves.
To me love is shown through these small gestures that look like nothing to the outside world, but carry a deeper meaning between you two.
These in-jokes, that history, just you being you: This is the real unfiltered love I want to capture.
I’m simply a photographer of people doing life, and weddings happen to be a (particularly exciting) part of that. So my aim is never to just shoot your wedding. I intend to capture unique moments that show your personalities, your in-jokes, your emotions and everything else. I believe that focusing on you as people, that creates meaningful memories that are more than wedding photos. To borrow a term from my old psychology days:
This is person-centred wedding photography.
There’s not just one person you love at your wedding, odds are, there’s many people you love in that room. That’s why I’m going to give you an unrivalled account of the people you love just being insanely happy and joyful. I also get an extra kick out of delivering you photos of things you weren’t even there for, so when you open your album you’ll be able to say things like “Oh that’s when auntie Wendy laughed so hard she got the hiccups!” and “Whhhaaattttt, when did that happen!?”.
Because I believe your wedding day is about you and your loved ones, I also want you to know that on the day I am totally unimportant.
I don’t want you to spend hours away from your guests, so I keep posed, formal shots to a minimum. When I do shoot them at your request, I have strategies to keep them short and sweet so they have the minimum impact on your canapé nomming/champagne guzzling.
You aren’t a stereotype, so I won’t prescribe stock poses to you, instead my flexible approach to couple shots is to focus on your personalities to produce useful photos that reflect the real you. That way you’ll always get photos you’re proud to share and have a comfortable experience being photographed, no matter how camera-phobic you are. I’d say 95% of my couples tell me beforehand that at least one of them hates having their photo taken, and don’t they all still look like they’re having the bestest time?!
To get the best natural wedding photos all you need to do is carry on with your wedding day and ignore me whilst I pop up in all sorts of random places (it works because I’m small). The biggest compliment I can get from a client is “we didn’t even notice you taking that photo” and the second biggest is “you’re a really nice person and your trainer collection is totally not excessive!”
The sorts of things my camera and I squirrel out are great facial expressions in response to the bride doing the worm, the mother trying to hide her waterfall of tears under her big hat and the friend with a nostril-tastic snorty laugh.
Aesthetically, my style emphasises bright, natural colours and my love of lines, shapes and symmetry give my award-winning work a creative perspective of your day.
On personal principle I don’t approve of airbrushing, so I won’t be adding on a new layer of makeup in photoshop or giving you a nose job. I think people look their best as themselves relaxed and happy, so I want your wedding photos to contain you looking happy, not you warped into Brangelina.
Everyone is individual and different and I believe in celebrating that. I like to be there to tell the full story of your day, whatever that story may be, even if weddings in your culture are extra hardcore! I genuinely enjoy experiencing all the diverse ways people choose to express their love and commitment, so from pygmy goat ceremonies to having your dad conduct the ceremony to being thrown around in the air, I’m ready for whatever you have planned!
“You were so friendly and likeable that many assumed you were just one of our mates!”
We just wanted to thank you for a fantastic effort on saturday. You made us both feel so comfortable and at-ease from the very first moment the photographing started, and a huge number of our guests told us that very same thing. You were so friendly and likeable that many assumed you were just one of our mates! What a total pro.
I’m not sure how exactly, but every moment we thought “Oh, I hope Marianne caught that” you were somehow already there with the camera snapping away. Great job! We’re really excited to see the photos, but even before we do, we wanted to thank you for helping to make our day really special.
“We couldn’t be happier with our photos. They tell the exact story of our day”
Our photographer, Marianne, was just amazing! She was like one of our guests, fitted in perfectly and we didn’t even know she was there. It was exactly what we wanted. She was so helpful throughout the morning, running flowers between us and the men. We couldn’t be happier with our photos. They tell the exact story of our day.
“I am laugh-crying at my desk.”
OH MY GOD THEY’RE BRILLIANT!!!!!
I am laugh-crying at my desk.
Thank you Marianne. It’s like re-living the whole day. Your composition is so beautiful. And you’ve caught so many hilarious moments
“It really was like reliving the day again”
Marianne is truly brilliant. We have just had photos back, so much laughter and tears were had, it really was like reliving the day again. From the start Marianne was simply amazing, and on the day, Marianne feels like a friend (nearly every one of guests said this!). Every single guest has said how amazing our photos are, and they truly are. I’m really not sure what to say, if you could see my blubbering face you’d see just how happy I am with Marianne.
“A feat not short of miraculous”
Oh my God, Marianne. The photos. I am speechless. They are incredible. It’s such a credit to you that you managed to make two of the most un-photogenic human specimens on this planet look not just photographable but actually pretty damn FLY is a feat not short of miraculous. The pictures are just so, so beautiful. You made us feel so relaxed and it was just an absolute pleasure to be shot by you.
“We may have to just become everything we hate”
We always said we’d never be the kind of people who have their wedding photos blown up on a big canvas but, having seen that, I’m afraid we may have to just become everything we hate….I’ve also discovered several new facial expressions I didn’t know I possessed, which is pretty impressive! ; ) You are super talented and just plain smashing.
Thank you times infinity. You’re a f**king legend.
“Her style was perfect”
We just wanted to write a little note to say how amazing Marianne was as our wedding photographer. We booked her two years in advance knowing right away that her style was perfect for us. From the first meeting we had no doubts that she should be our wedding photographer and now having received the photos back we are certain she was the right choice!
“The best supplier choice we made”
Marianne was responsive, friendly, helpful and professional. She made us feel instantly at ease and our guests raved about her on the day. She is hands down the best supplier choice we made and we fully recommend booking her!
Thanks Marianne, the photos are amazing and we are thrilled!
“Brings tears to my eyes every single time”
The most perfect wedding photo ever! Brings tears to my eyes every single time!
“You captured everything and more”
A note to say how amazing you were at our wedding! You captured everything and more, with vibrancy and colour. Your skill at catching all those little expressions and moments from all our friends and family is second to none. Everyone adores the photos and we couldn’t be happier with them, thank you so, so much.
“We could not have asked for better, cooler photos”
Marianne Chua – thank you so much for doing such an awesome job shooting our wedding! You were totally pro from start to finish and we could not have asked for better, cooler photos. Next time we need some proper photos, we will be coming your way! xxx
“The results have made us cry and laugh and cry with laughter”
Where do we begin with Marianne’s talents? We met Marianne on a pretty dark and wet winter’s evening back in November but she had chosen a pretty little cafe in Camden that instantly made us feel at ease and forget the cold weather outside. Instantly we came away knowing we had found our wedding photographer. Despite my husband Adam being a photographer himself, he was apprehensive about having professional photos as he much prefers being behind the camera rather than in front of it! However Marianne’s style was perfectly suited to us as it captures moments as they happen rather than trying to make the magic happen for the camera. Marianne on the day was the perfect balance of stealth photographer while always being a constant support to the wedding party – running between everyone and everywhere to make sure all elements ran smoothly. The results have made us cry and laugh and cry with laughter. When we first received the images we felt like we were moment by moment reliving ALL the magic of the day. There is a picture of each and every friend and family member and these photographs are now our most treasured possession. Images that we will return to forever more and share with present and future loved ones! Marianne you are AWESOME. We cannot thank you enough.
“Fitted in around our craziness”
Thank you Marianne for being so awesome yesterday. You fitted in around our craziness and truly captured the special moments for us, not just pictures but the moments you want to remember forever. Thank you to you and Tom. So excited to see the rest of the pics when we get back from honeymoon. Massive hugs xxx
“A real gift for capturing the unexpected”
Marianne is THE BEST!!! She was so funny and nice to hang out with on the day, made sure we got the shots we wanted, (and even made sure I ate a snack before the ceremony) was organised about who needed to be where and when, but also she has a real gift for capturing the unexpected- turning up just at the right time to capture such fleeting moments so perfectly. She caught our ‘vibe’ on camera utterly brilliantly, we were so delighted when we got our photos back. The *many* photos we received were gorgeously edited and presented, and we LOVED the slide show she put together- it really told the story of our day- no need for a videographer! There were loads of non-stagey emotional realness shots which is exactly what we wanted, but also the more formal and traditional romantic photos were gorgeous too- full of colour and energy. Would definitely recommend working with the lovely Marianne!
“Looking at your photographs made me almost feel as if I had been there”
My sister has just sent me pictures from xxxxxxx’s wedding at the St. John’s Wood Synagogue. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to be there nor were my children and granddaughters for health reasons.
However, looking at your photographs made me almost feel as if I had been there. I’ve never seen wedding photographs that were so vivid and caught the atmosphere of the event so realistically. I do a bit of photography myself as pastime to keep me out of trouble so I can recognise good work when I see it. Quite amazing really!
A million thanks. Wonderful.
Oh. Wow. Thank you so so so much, these are FAN-BLOODY-TASTIC. We’ve relived every emotion from the day, and cried and laughed as we looked at these. So magic. You’ve just caught the vibe so perfectly, we couldn’t imagine anything more wonderful.
“You were everywhere at once and we barely saw you”
Oh my god LOVE IT!!!!!!! Thank you so much!!! I can’t believe how you were everywhere at once and we barely saw you! You are a MAGICIAN! Thank you
If this sounds like everything you want from a photographer, then that’s awesome and you should say hello!
(As well as weddings I also shoot private events such as christenings, bar/bat mitzvahs, birthdays, and occasionally a spot of live music. I also shoot destination weddings all over the world.)
This is my old website video… it’s outdated but I’m nostalgic and can’t let it go 🙂