Interview With: Lis McDermott
Company Name: Lis McDermott Photography
Location / Coverage: Wiltshire, South West, UK
Who is/are Lis McDermott Photography?
Just me, though my husband usually helps me at weddings as my ‘gopher’!
How did Lis McDermott Photography get started and how long has the business been going?
I trained as a musician, and for 34 years worked in education, latterly as a schools’ adviser. When a friend bought one of the first digital cameras he sold it on to me, and as soon as I took pictures with it I just loved it.
My first wedding was that of my niece, which I did on my own and just ‘went for it’! Before doing the wedding I went on a course at the Peak District Photography Centre with Simon Watkinson. It was a brilliant course; he suggested what camera to buy etc, and this gave me the confidence to know what to do on the day – amazingly it all went with no hitches. My first paid wedding was for a friend’s daughter who is an opera singer! For about two years I juggled my job as music adviser for Wiltshire and my photography, but felt I wasn’t doing either justice, so I left my job in 2008 to work as a full-time photographer. I have invested in several courses, including Damien Lovegrove’s Evolve Course. So since 2008 I’ve been doing what I have a great passion for and loving every minute of it!
Have you always wanted to be a photographer? Can you remember how old you were when you took your first picture and what it was of?
I’ve always owned a little point and shoot camera which I took on holidays, but I never thought of being a professional photographer. I have always had a love of art and anything visual, and at school studied ‘A’ level art but never really found my medium. Everyone else in my art class went to Art College – I went to Music College! I was always worried that I wouldn’t be able to cope with the whole ‘dark room’ thing and the maths involved (in my mind).
I can’t remember how old I was when I took my first picture – it’s too long ago!
Which areas of the UK do you cover? Do you go abroad?
I live in Wiltshire and cover the South West, but I’ve also photographed weddings in Surrey, Kent, The Midlands and the Peak District – if I get asked I’ll travel. So far I’ve not photographed a wedding abroad – my dream would be to photograph a wedding in Italy, my favourite country.
How would you describe your style of photography?
I like to tell the story of the day when I’m photographing a wedding, but I also like to take time to get romantic and elegant posed shots of the couple that are as natural as possible.
What is important for me is to make sure people are relaxed so that I can get the best shots.
What’s your favourite wedding venue you’ve been to?
Hampton Manor in Hampton-in-Arden near Solihull.
Random Question… Coronation Street or EastEnders?
EastEnders if I had to – but I don’t watch either!
What’s the best thing about your job?
With weddings it’s the privilege to share in such a special and emotional day with people and then give them images that will be cherished memories for years to come. Also, I love meeting people and interacting with them, seeing the joy when they see their images.
Do you just do wedding photography?
No. I love photographing babies and families, and I also do boudoir photography which I absolutely love. I often photograph brides-to-be who have the photos taken as a gift for their grooms on their wedding day, or ladies who just want to feel good about themselves. Basically I love photographing people and will take on many different kinds of work – I just want to get better and better and give the best I can to my clients.
Do you have a favourite picture you have taken (If you can choose!)?
What’s your top tip for choosing a wedding photographer?
Once you’ve chosen a photographer whose work you love, the most important thing is that you have a relationship with them. They can be the best photographer in the world technically, but if you don’t feel comfortable with them then your pictures will show that.