Name: Nick Malone
Job: Wedding and music photographer
Born: Countess of Chester, grew up in Great Sutton
Education: Ellesmere Port Catholic High, West Cheshire College
Family: Partner Hayley Mort with two daughers Rosie Fjara and Eryn Dana
The morning of any kind of shoot for me is the same. I’m up early checking, re-checking, backing up and cleaning all of my gear.
If it’s a wedding then I’ll be off on a near enough nonstop schedule; bride’s house, groomsmen outside the church, bride arriving, ceremony, group photos, speeches, first dance, cutting the cake.
I’ll send a quick message to the bride that I’m on my way and to tell her to ‘remember to breathe, everything’s going to be fine’, and I’m on the road.
I’ll arrive at the bride’s house and quickly introduce myself to everybody I haven’t met already, and then fade into the background as much as I can in order to capture candid images of a group of best friends excited for such a big day.
After wishing the bride luck, I head to the church to meet the boys.
Striking poses outside the church always go down well and help to boost the groom’s confidence ahead of the vows.
After positioning my assistant inside I’ll shoot the bride arriving with her proud as punch dad (fathers-of-the-bride are my favourite guest to photograph).
Once at the reception it’s time for group photos, positioning every combination of family members imaginable in the space of half an hour.
Next BREAK! After a quick bite to eat it’s back to work as the evening unfolds; posed shots around the venue, candid shots of the happy couple relaxing together, speeches, cake cutting, first dance and beyond.
I never like to rest in between anything as there’s always something you might miss, something that can be gone in a moment.
Usually at around 8.30pm it’s my cue to leave, I’ve got everything I need and the happy couple are ready to let their hair down and enjoy a wonderful night. It’s a relentless but very enjoyable day full of laughs and tears.
If it’s a gig then things are bit different. I’ll spend the morning researching the venue, chasing up promoters if I haven’t received my press pass and generally listening to the artist to get excited about the show.
The gig itself happens very fast and is never without difficulty. As concert photographers we only get the first two or sometimes three songs to take pictures, so you have to work very quickly.
We also aren’t allowed to use any flash, and with it sometimes being in near-darkness apart from the odd strobe light it can be really hard to get the right shots.
This is what I really enjoy though, and it’s when I produce my best work for sure.
If I’m working in Chester then it’s generally at The Live Rooms, which is a great venue and the guys behind it are putting on some wonderfully diverse shows.
Beforehand I’ll generally grab some lunch in town before heading to The Town Crier for a couple of drinks and to meet band members or fellow photographers before it starts. When I get home after whatever job I’ve been on, I’ll immediately back up all of my images from the day, and then back them up once more as you can never be too careful, if a photo is gone then it’s gone!
Finally I’ll catch up with my girlfriend and bore her with the details of the day, before hitting the hay and looking ahead to doing it all over again.
What do you wear to do your job? I wear all black at weddings and gigs which allows me to blend into the background nicely and get some candid shots.
Comfy shoes are also very important, it’s a long day on your feet!
What is the favourite part of your job? For me it’s really all about getting that one shot, the one that really tells the story of the day.
This might be a couple hunched under an umbrella in the pouring rain or the raw emotion of an artist on stage frozen in time.
What is the least favourite part of your job? Late nights editing at the computer, I’d much rather be out shooting something interesting.
Oh, and wedding goers leaning into the aisle with their iPads/cameras in the way of the bride walking down, I know my fellow photographers will agree with that one!
What would be your dream job if you weren’t doing what you do now? Since I bought my first camera my dream job has been exactly this, so I feel very lucky every day to be making and capturing art wherever I see it.
I wouldn’t mind being at the side of Lord Sugar for a day, though.
How do you relax when you are not working? Spending quality time with my family is paramount and helps me to relax and reboot after a long day shooting. I also think that my Playstation has a similar effect, but my girlfriend might not agree on that one.
What is your favourite film? The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.
What is your favourite book? Kingdom Come by Mark Waid and Alex Ross.
What is your favourite song? Can’t Say Goodbye to Yesterday by Carla White.
If a film was made of your life, who would you like to play you? Sean Bean, except he keeps his stalwart Sheffield accent, I don’t want a repeat of Silent Hill on my conscience.
Have you had your 15 minutes of fame yet? I can’t say that I have. I think that I chose a life behind the camera partially due to an irrational fear of being in front of it, so that probably won’t change anytime soon.
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