An interview with a wedding photographer: Adam Grills

Being in one of the Lake District’s most stunning locations, we thought it was high time we put a spotlight on how our wedding venue, the Inn on the Lake, is every photographer’s dream. Located in the quaint village of Glenridding on the border of Ullswater Lake, the hotel boasts panoramic views of tranquil waters, and the stunning surrounding fells that stretch for miles. There is nowhere quite like this little slice of paradise, making it the upmost romantic setting to say your vows.

We have had the pleasure of working with the popular Adam Grills Photography, who has been kind enough to share his professional experience in an interview. Join us as we uncover the artistry and passion behind capturing cherished moments of couples as they tie the knot and begin a new life in matrimony.

1. What made you decide to become a wedding photographer?

I have been interested in photography much of my life, starting from when I used to get my father’s old cameras passed down to me when he upgraded his own. For a long time, my love of the outdoors and dogs (having 5 dogs of my own), were generally my only subjects. However, I fell into photographing weddings

I had a friend who was getting married, their budget couldn’t stretch to include a photographer and they were having to rely on their guest’s mobile phone photos. Being into photography myself, my head exploded at the thought of my friend only having memories from her wedding day in this way. Even though I had never photographed a wedding before and with the assurance that I wasn’t promising anything great, I offered to come along with my cameras and snap away for her. She was over the moon with this offer. Once I had delivered her pictures she was totally blown away and I absolutely loved the whole experience. A light bulb switched on as my photography business, and a whole new life for me, was born.

2. What do you look forwad to the most when visiting the Inn on the Lake?

Where do I even start…the venue speaks for itself being in one of the most unreal settings in the Lake District. So, the first must simply be the setting and its surroundings. You won’t find a better outdoor ceremony space in Cumbria. However, a venue needs so much more than just its natural beauty and thankfully the Inn on the Lake has the staff to match. Every wedding I have ever photographed here has ran smoothly with the staff not being able to do enough for the couple and their guests, and for us vendors too, allowing us to carry out our role to the best of our ability.

3. Where are your top 3 photographic locations around the Inn on the Lake?

The first one must be the Garden Gazebo, where outdoor ceremonies take place, nestled in the grounds of Inn on the Lake, right on the shores of Ullswater. Not only does it make for a perfect setting to get married, but it’s also great for couple sessions and evening night-time portraits. There is so much potential just from one place.

We then have the jetties stretching out into the water with the Cumbrian fells acting as the perfect back drop. Let’s face it, if you get married in the Lake District, right on the shores of one the of prettiest lakes is a must for photos.

Finally, although a little generic, the grounds at Inn on the Lake need no specific location as they’re all stunning for photos. There are so many options for versatility. But If I must mention one it is another lovely spot down by the lake around a lovely pond, which you can usually (if the Cumbrian weather hasn’t been too overly dramatic) walk the full away around creating some interesting reflections.

Sorry to cheat a little but I shall throw in a 4th, a shot on the Ullswater steamers must have a mention. Although technically not at the Inn on the Lake, it is still another amazingly unique opportunity that this venue offers to any potential couple.

4. What is your favourite part of the day to photograph?

Some may presume that those big moments such as walking down the aisle, the first kiss, the first dance, or even your couple session would be my favourite bit. Those moments are obviously amazing to capture and document. However, my favourite time of the entire day is the period after the ceremony and before the wedding breakfast. This is the time you can relax, be with your guests, and enjoy yourselves. My whole approach is to document the character and relationships between you and your guests, and this is the time of the day I truly capture the essence of your wedding day. All the laughs, smiles, hugs, and tears are what it’s all about, real life emotion between you and your guests, unscripted, unposed and uninterrupted!

5. What would you say to a couple who are facing bad weather on their special day?

I know it’s easier said than done but don’t stress about things you cannot control. A wedding is really about the people, and if everyone is healthy and enjoying themselves then that is all that truly matters. That being said, weather does play a huge part in a wedding photographers’ life and in my experience even on the wettest worst Cumbrian days, very rarely does it rain absolutely all day without any breaks. This is exactly why I recommend keeping your schedule as flexible as possible so things can be switched around regarding your photos to accommodate the weather.

6. What makes 'the perfect wedding photograph'?

In my opinion, it doesn’t exist. Photography is an art that is very much subjective to the viewer. The style and look of a photograph may appeal to someone and then not to someone else. This is why there are so many styles and approaches for wedding photography which makes it important you find a photographer you personally connect with, on both a style point of view, but also on a personal level. A lot of wedding photography is about the people within the image and the moment that was captured. Something meaningful and emotive for those who are attached to the image but maybe not to others.

7. What advice would you give couples that are nervous about having their photo taken?

Firstly, I completely understand where you are coming from as I am far more comfortable on my side of the camera. I try to be as sympathetic as possible to this and it is a far more common feeling than you may expect; I hear the same from so many couples. With that being said, I would suggest not only finding a photographer whose work you absolutely love, but ensuring their approach and personality matches your own. As photographers are possibly the only vendor that are with you for most of your wedding day, you should ensure you feel comfortable with that individual.

I prefer a relaxed approach, allowing you to enjoy yourselves rather than be conscious of my camera. I like to let the day unfold naturally as I capture the day in a very documentary and unobtrusive way, allowing you to focus on what really matters…enjoying your wedding day!

8. Which season is your favourite to photograph?

This maybe no surprise but it’s Autumn without a doubt. I absolutely love when the colours across the trees are on fire. However, every wedding no matter the season has different charms for different reasons. Obviously winter months can be challenging but weddings are always a special day, and I am thankful it is my job to capture them.