Lucy Williams is the hugely talented photographer behind My Heart Skipped, specialising in weddings photography, couples, child and dating portraits as well as interiors and spaces. Known for her fun-filled, natural and atmospheric images she is as vibrant and individual as the people she photographs. Enjoy…
Tell us a bit about yourself and how you got started in photography.
My background is in fine art, I was a painter, and then I became a location assistant in film and television. Photography was a big part of what I did, as my job focused on going to various places and taking hundreds of photographs so that the director could choose which locations he wanted to visit. Generally I used to only photograph all the angles required to show the space to the director, but when digital came in it was great for me because it meant that I could take pictures of all the beautiful things I saw in these amazing places I visited, as well as the space in general. I soon found myself photographing everything from the locations I visited to behind the scenes on set.
How long have you been a photographer?
I left the film industry to take up photography about 15 years ago and started professionally about 12 years ago.
Did you go to photography school? Or did you assist?
In my twenties I went to the University of Central England in Birmingham to study fine art, I’d always wanted to be a painter but gradually I became allergic to the paint. At the time it was a massive blow though I didn’t let it hold me back and I began to paint on my body with body paints instead. I wasn’t allergic to those! To capture my work I photographed it, and fell in love with the medium. I really had to learn everything myself because photography wasn’t included as part of my degree. And it was all on film in those days! When I got back into photography after a career in the film industry I spent hours online learning everything I could about photography and I took every photography job offered to me. I also assisted for a short time with some well established photographers, then in 2005 I did a Graduate Certificate course in photography at London College of Communication. The course was designed as a stepping stone course for people who had been out of education for some time or those thinking of going on to do a master’s degree in photography. This gave me some more knowledge and confidence in the field.
How would you describe your photographic style?
I think I take natural photographs. I like to make people comfortable and at ease so they can reveal themselves to the camera. So many of the people I work with say they hate being photographed and they’re my favourite clients. When they finish the shoot and say they’ve had fun and can’t wait to see their photos I know I’ve done my job. For weddings and celebrations clients say that I capture the spirit and atmosphere of the day. I suppose the best way of putting it is that I not only try to photograph you having a lovely day but also capture what a lovely day feels like.
What type of cameras do you shoot with?
I’m currently shooting with a Canon 5D Mark III and most often my trusty 50mm and I tend to use natural/ ambient lighting.
What is your favourite editing tool?
I use Photo Mechanic for culling, Lightroom for the main edit and Photoshop for any retouching and tweaking.
What is the best part of your job?
I love the creative challenge of my job. I love wondering what today’s going to bring. I also get to meet some really amazing people.
What is the worst part of your job?
Editing. I’m always trying to work out how I can get quicker at editing.
Do you make time for personal photographic work?
Yes, I love photographing what I call “spaces”. They’re not exactly landscapes, they’re usually very ordinary looking spaces (both urban and rural) in which I try and capture the extraordinary to look interesting and beautiful. And currently I also love to use photography to capture my family, my dad was recently diagnosed with a rare form of dementia and capturing him and us all together is really important to me.
What advice do you have for any photographer just starting out?
Learn business skills! When I started out I just wanted to be a photographer, I had NO IDEA about running a business – even now I’m still learning and getting myself knowledgeable in business skills and marketing.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
Look for the light and tell a story. When I first got into photography I showed my portfolio to a photographer I was applying to assist with. I’d been shooting a personal portrait project on Irish Traveller children and most of my shots were taken on typical overcast drizzly British days. The photographer said to me ‘I see loads of portfolios from exotic places and with great light it’s easy to make a photo look good, it takes skill to find the light and capture a story on a grey day in a drab place’. I’ve been practising looking for the light and telling a story ever since.
If you weren’t a photographer, what would you be doing?
I would love to travel and create adventures for people.
Are you a Mac or PC lover?
What talent would you most like to have?
I would love to be great at creative lighting. I think photographers who imagine and create photographs using lighting to build a concept or narrative are incredible.
What is your favourite movie of all time?
There are so many but a recent favourite is Boyhood. I think the storytelling was wonderful and concept of the film was so clever, the commitment the actors made to a film that was going to take so long to make is pretty amazing.
What do you love to indulge in?
I love to swim in London lidos ! Near me I have a few outdoor swimming pools and I like that I can get up and if it’s a nice day just go down there for a couple of hours, it’s like a little secret adventure.
If you could live anywhere where would it be?
I recently photographed a wedding in Mexico and I loved it. I loved the scenery, the food, the people, everything, so at the moment probably Mexico, especially the Yucatan area.
First thing you would do if you won the lottery?
After making sure my family and friends were sorted out, I would love to use photography to make a difference in people’s lives. I like the idea of using photography to build connections between people, cultures and communities and to create opportunities to inspire and empower.
For your business, what is the best thing on theimagefile?
I work in various areas of photography and with varied clients. Each of my clients require different ways to deliver photographs and photographic products (prints, frames etc). With Image File I love that there are so many versatile ways of showing my images to clients and that I can set my collections to display in specific ways depending on what the client requires. That’s really great.