About Me, About The Way I Work

Fourteen years I've been doing this thing now called wedding photography. Over 500 weddings! It wasn't a family business or anything like that, my parents could barely operate a camera, even in the days of simple "point and shoot". Aviation was my hobby, you might like to call it "plane spotting" - yeah, a bit nerdy I know! But the photography went along with that and I got quite good at it, even selling pictures to magazines now and then.

 

Wedding photography though was but a distant thought until my own wedding in 2007. I'd always thought of it as that guy that turns up for a couple of hours, does a few "firing squad" type line ups and then shoots off home in time for the football scores - how wrong was I - things had clearly moved on...and I was hooked.

 

Our own wedding photographer, David Ho, was brilliant in allowing me to tag along and second shoot at a couple of weddings, providing feedback on my early picture attempts and introducing me to the joy that is "off-camera" flash - a total gamechanger that I'm forever grateful for.

 

With 2010 came the opportunity to take voluntary redundancy from my boring bank job - "job for life" they said, no thanks said I! And that was me - Mike Cook Photography was born. And it scared the hell out of me! Many sleepless nights preceded my first few weddings - I still get slightly nervous on the morning of a wedding day - the day I don't is the day I quit. The responsibility is enormous, and rightly so. You only get that one chance to get it right.

So, the way I shoot then...

 

Documentary, alternative, candid, natural, unposed, storytelling - some words I've used before to describe my shooting style - "storytelling" is my favourite. What it definitely isn't is overly posed and forced. I used to do it that way, many years ago - yep, I'd read the "how to..." wedding photography books and they all had me going down that path...and couples hated it, even those that thought that was what they wanted.

 

A list of group shots as long as your arm and "stylised" pictures pulled from Pinterest - that was my brief for weddings back in the day but, come the day, most of it was scrapped - couples just couldn't be bothered with the hassle of it all and frankly, neither could I...it just didn't suit me or my personality.

 

So I changed lanes, and that was about six years ago. These days, I rock up and just get on with it, shooting what I see and hardly bothering you at all. Sure, I still do a few groups (just not that many) and there's still a couple shoot or two where we can create some "wow" pictures, but without the cheesy grinning at the camera! Or, don't do any at all if you prefer it that way...I'm easy.

 

You may not even notice me much on the day, but for me that's a good thing - I've been called a "photo ninja" many a time! I prefer to call it "hiding in plain sight" - I'm not invisible, but I'm certainly not in your face all day either.

 

I'm told I'm good at what I do by other people. The WPJA have recognised me as Scotland's top wedding photographer for the past two years. I'm very honoured by that, naturally, but it's always couples' opinions that matter more to me and I'm always chuffed to bits to receive the nice words that I do...

 

Manner wise, well I'm just about as laid back and easy going as easy going can be and that very much suits the way I work. I'll never bark orders at you and be one of those loud shouty guys (they are out there!) - I'm more like one of your guests with a fancy camera. And, trust me, we'll have some fun on the day...often at my expense...it's OK, I can take it.

 

Location, location, location - well, anywhere really. I'm based just outside Falkirk but have shot weddings all over Scotland and England too - honestly, nowhere is off limits. Still waiting for that gig in the Maldives though...one day, maybe!

 

And, a few things I like...

 

Tottenham Hotspur FC - my big passion from as young as I can recall. Season ticker holder for many a year when I lived down South. And, I worked there as a steward for a few seasons too. One of these days, we may actually win something too...

 

Music - how could I live without. My wife calls me a "music snob" which is probably a little true. Things like Radiohead, Pink Floyd, The Smiths, The The, Talk Talk, John Grant, Elbow, PJ Harvey...you get the drift...no plastic chart rubbish! I also have a guitar in the office - can't really play it but it looks good sitting in the corner if nothing else.

 

Greek Islands - my go to holiday destination. Just love the place and the people, any island will do, although Kos is the favourite. And I've taught myself to speak Greek, a wee bit anyway. I can order a beer in Greek and ask where the toilet is...what else do you need to know for a good night out!

 

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Add : 25 Lavery Avenue, Larbert, Stirlingshire FK5 4GF

Tel : 01324 557977

Mob : 07824 380674

Email : mike@mcookphotography.co.uk

Office Hours :

Monday to Friday - 9.00am to 3.00pm

Monday & Wednesday - 8.30pm to 10.00pm (meetings only, no phone calls please)