Meet Helen Rimell of Gin Fizz Photographic
Choosing a wedding photographer is one of the most important parts of your wedding planning. Get it wrong and your day can be spoiled. But get it right, and you can have some of the most fantastic visual memories of your big day that will last forever.
I was lucky enough to meet Helen Rimell of Gin Fizz Photographic at The National Wedding Show last year. Not only is she a fantastic wedding photographer, she is also an award-winning photojournalist. So it only seemed right we did a Q&A to find out more about Helen and get a glimpse of some of the spectacular photography she provides for couples on their wedding day.
Hi Helen! Tell us about yourself
I live in East London in a fantastic area near Victoria Park. I’m an avid foodie, adore travelling and have a passion for all things vintage, especially the period from the 1920’s to the 1950’s. I also enjoy swing dancing!
I graduated from the University of Wales, Newport with a degree in Documentary Photography in 2004, and after graduating I won a Hugo Young Guardian Newspaper internship and moved to London to work as a photographer on the paper. I’ve worked in London as a photojournalist and photographer ever since and have covered stories as far away as Afghanistan and New Zealand. Finally in 2007, I set up Gin Fizz Photographic and have never looked back.
What is your signature style and how does your photography stand out from others?
I have a very creative, artistic style, whilst shooting with a photo-journalistic approach. My work is a mixture of fine art and documentary photography. I work on my weddings in the same way I work on my photo essays for magazines, telling the story of the day from the beginning through until the end. I bring my experience in photojournalism into all my wedding and portrait work; capturing every detail, the laughter, the tears, and the beautiful, sometimes fleeting looks between a couple.
By not using flash, I capture a somewhat filmic quality that’s full of atmosphere and character. I don’t do a lot of group shots or posed ones and I blend in to put people at ease. This enables me to capture all those wonderful, natural moments and real emotion in all its glory.
What do you love most about being a wedding photographer?
The fantastic people I get to meet; the opportunity to make people happy when they see my work and the ability to travel to wonderful locations.
What has been the most unusual wedding you’ve photographed since founding Gin Fizz Photographic?
All my weddings are memorable but I have a few that stick out in my mind such as the wedding in Rajisthan (definitely the most exotic) and another in New York, which resulted in some really gorgeous and rather iconic images.
Closer to home, I shot a fabulous festival style wedding in the gorgeous Sussex countryside which had great live music, absolutely fantastic street food (and candyfloss!), and a Greenwich Meantime beer truck. It was a glorious summer solstice wedding and the bride made all the decorations and even her wedding dress.
Another memorable wedding was one I shot in the stunning Selby Abbey followed by a reception in the absolutely gorgeous Carlton Towers – a Grade I listed Victorian Gothic country house in North Yorkshire.
The groom wore a royal blue suit and the bride’s dress was a breathtaking Elizabethan style gown. They had white horses pulling white carriages, and the lighting was so fabulous. It was a photographer’s dream.
What are some of the quirkiest or most unusual things you’ve done with a wedding shoot?
I prefer to keep things quite natural and stay away from props and poses. So for me, it’s more important to capture beautiful images of a couple, where you can see their love for each other rather than making them climb up a tree!
I do however look for great locations, such as a solstice sunset, the Brooklyn Bridge or the champagne bar at St Pancras. It’s important to keep an ever-curious mind.
What has been your favourite wedding to shoot?
It’s so hard to pick one because I love so many of my weddings, but I particularly enjoyed working with a couple who chose to do a six-hour shoot, rather than the usual two. They were both in film making and we came up with a shoot made up of three ‘acts’, so to speak.
In the first, they wore vintage clothes and recreated a scenario in St Pancras International Station inspired by Brief Encounter.
In the second, they dressed glamorously and we did an editorial style shoot in the glorious St Pancras Renaissance Hotel.
In the third act, we shot beautiful, intimate images in their hotel suite with pillow fights and tousled hair.
It was a wonderful and creative day and the images are absolutely stunning.
What’s the hardest thing about your job?
For me, the hardest thing is amateurs doing weekend wedding photography, undercutting prices and devaluing the work that we do, which often produces work that is substandard and leads to many couples being left totally disappointed with their wedding photographs, which for me is a tragedy.
What’s the furthest place you’ve travelled to shoot a wedding?
Rajisthan in India. It was a fabulous three-day colour extravagansa with elephants, camels, musicians, and dancers. A truly wonderful event.
What would be your dream wedding location?
I would love to shoot a beach wedding as this is something I haven’t done yet and I adore the ocean. I also have a dream of shooting a wedding in ranch country in America as I think the images would be absolutely stunning.
What do you think were the key trends in wedding photography last year?
Props were very popular and I actually rather like them, however as my style is about capturing the moment and telling the story of the day, I don’t really use them unless a couple requests them. The key thing is if it suits a couple’s personality and they are comfortable with the camera then go for it. But at Gin Fizz Photographic, I like to keep my work quite pure and natural, without heavy use of editing so that is has a very timeless look. And hopefully, it will still look amazing in 20 years time.
Until next time x