WiTW Hearts…Esme Whiteside

As our platform grows and grows, we want to shine some loving spotlights on the amazing talent which make the wedding industry tick. From photographers to dress designers, cake artists to florists, stationers and jewellers…we want to bring you the most inspiring stories behind some of the wonderful faces in the wedding industry.

Whether you are a bride looking for kick-ass suppliers for your wedding, a fellow vendor looking to connect with fabulous creatives or you are simply interested in hearing peoples unique stories, then Wed in The Wild Hearts is the feature for you.

First up, we’re introducing photographer Esme Whiteside. In her own words she’s a cat loving, Northern gal. She’s a a traveller, an observer and she’s downright addicted to love. Based in Northwest England, Esme offers her services both nationally and internationally. We started following Esme a while back and we are completely obsessed with her raw, emotive and nostalgic photography style. We wanted to find out more about the face behind the camera…

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How did you come to be doing what you do?

Esme: I studied Fine Art at university. My uni was really liberal in the sense of what we could do within our own studios, and I ended up specialising my degree in fine art photography and videography. I was really obsessed with conceptual photography as an art form.

From there I went into working in a family photography studio, which I ended up absolutely loathing. It was too target driven and sales based with 0 creativity. I left and decided to jump into weddings, I’ve never looked back.

What aspects of weddings do you love the most?

Esme: I really love meeting people. I love hearing people’s stories, and creating a full documentary of the most special days of people’s lives. Often my couples cherish the images that they didn’t know I’d even taken the most. I love presenting couples with moments they didn’t realise happened, and allowing them to relive the love from the day through my photos.

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I love being there for people throughout the day too, offering advice and little words of wisdom to help calm nerves. There’s a lot of adrenaline flying around at weddings, which massively brings out my creativity. I feel, daily, very privileged that I not only get to share this experience with people, but I get to document it for them – I also often cry at super soppy weddings…but don’t mind me, the tears will only ruin my makeup and not the camera!

What is your USP? How do you set yourself apart in the market?

Esme: I definitely feel like my work meets at an interchange between Fine Art and documentary. I know there’s a lot of fine art wedding photographers, and there’s a lot of documentary wedding photographers, but I don’t think there are many that cross over. My work is really warm, dark and moody. Again, there are a lot of dark and moody photographers, but I feel there’s something really tangible and nostalgic about my images, whilst also being interactive and very in the moment.

(We really couldn’t agree more, Esme) 

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Are you keen to or have plans to launch any other products or services?

Esme: I’ve got so many plans for this year. I definitely want to look at being uber creative and channeling some of my visions. I’m thinking lots of styled shoots; I’m a control freak and LOVE organising. I also love networking and bringing together amazing creatives to make something beautiful and inspiring. I love helping newer photographers too, and sharing my visions with people needing more content, so I’m definitely thinking portfolio builders for photographers too. 

In terms of for my couples, I’ll be launching some new add ons to my full day package – new albums, post shoots instead of pre-shoots (I’ve got my first one this year which I’m so excited about!) and special destination and elopement pricing. 

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What do you love most about the wedding industry?

Esme: I love how supportive everyone is of one another. The majority of suppliers I’ve met, especially other photographers have a real community over competition spirit. I love how weddings can be anything you can dream of now, and how suppliers across the industry come together to create really incredible visions for couples.

What do you think is the biggest issue in the wedding industry?

Esme: As I said, most suppliers are really lovely, supportive and welcoming. On the odd occasion I’ve found suppliers to be quite intimidating, especially to newbies. I’m firmly in the community over competition camp, and don’t think acting like a rockstar gives a good impression to anyone.

I think there’s also a lot of pressure on couples for their wedding to be the biggest, best, most elaborate celebration, especially when amazing viral images go around of incredible destinations etc. If you get married, then everything went perfectly because you are married. No one needs the stress or pressure of co-ordinating everything to a tee. Celebrate your love your way.

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Describe your ideal wedding?

Esme: My favourite weddings are always the relaxed, pared back, stress free ones. I love an elaborate plan, and I love it when a plan comes together, but what I really love most is when couples celebrate their love, their way.

As I’ve said already, at the end of the day, as long as you get married then your day went exactly how it should have. Weddings that really give me that warm fuzzy feeling, of wow these people are SO IN LOVE, are essentially my favourite. Especially if it happens in a barn… with lots of pampas grass.

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Which celebrity wedding style do you love?

Esme: Honestly I really loved Miley Cyrus’ wedding recently. I know we didn’t get many major details, but it all just looked so sentimental and sweet. Super intimate and private, just the right amount of fuss, and perfect pared back details.

Her dress was really minimalistic, on trend muted dusky blooms, and simple hair and makeup. I loved everything I could get my hands on to see about it, just really personal and gorgeous.

What does love mean to you…

Esme: I think love comes in many different forms, and manifests itself differently to everyone. Love to me is coming home to my cats and my man, and feeling safe and secure every day. 

Love is being with someone who supports you, lets you dream but keeps your crazy in check. Love to me is definitely having someone balance you out, keep you on an even keel and run with your wild ideas every once in a while.

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