My Style
My style is an eclectic mix of natural documentary coverage, creative couple portraits and a light-hearted take on classic group photos. In my detail shots, I use influences from advertising and editorial genres. I love having a natural feel to my work, so I use light to shape my subjects rather than photoshop. I do like some subtle ‘is it or isn’t it’ skin retouching, but the emphasis is on a natural, genuine feel.

My Approach

I invest time with every couple leading up to the wedding day. I include a planning meeting at the venue which is an opportunity to find out more about couples plans for the day. We can also chat ideas about how the chosen venue and light can influence the photos. I LOVE working with couples who are looking for portraits that reflect their personality and relationship. My focus throughout the day is on capturing the connections & personality of couples and their guests. During the venue visit, I like finding out more about wedding day plans. It’s a great opportunity to learn about their family & friends and who will be part of their bridal party.
Portrait of Karen Julia, Manchester Wedding Photographer

What do I Wear?

On your wedding day, I want to blend in with guests as much as possible. Being unobtrusive means I can capture natural moments between guests that are genuine and authentic. This documentary style of photography is great for capturing peoples personalities.
 
Here’s a glimpse at my wedding day ninja outfit. A cute jacket with coordinated ballet pumps. I’ll team this with grey or black dress trousers and a smart top.
I wear a belt with pouches that hold my lenses and it has a clip for one of my cameras, so I don’t carry a lot of bags or equipment.

What do I Eat?

Not the wedding meal. I find a ‘little and often’ approach works best for balancing energy throughout the day. I can have a bit of an energy slump after a large meal, and want to ensure I can stay focussed for the whole wedding day.
 
I’ll eat high energy snacks like cashews and almonds throughout the day. During the wedding breakfast break, I’ll have a protein shake or some porridge. I have dry porridge with walnuts and lime infused raisins in my Ted Baker lunch bag, so I just need to add hot water.
 
I do carry a flask of cold water (it’s not whisky, I promise!) but having an usher grab me soda water from the bar throughout the day is always helpful. This saves me missing photo opportunities whilst I’m in the bar queue.

My Studio & Album Gallery

My studio/album gallery is in the heart of Manchester city centre, just around the corner from Oxford Road station. There’s plenty of on-street parking outside, and a carpark across the street (NCP Hulme street). It’s a beautiful 200-year-old ex-cotton mill conversion, complete with floor to ceiling windows and barrel brick ceilings. The ceilings are my favourite feature! This is where I usually meet clients for consultations. You’re welcome to arrange to pop in for a cuppa to chat wedding!

About Karen Julia

Things I Love

I have a coffee bean subscription & start my day with a double espresso made from freshly ground beans. After a high protein breakfast, I head to the gym. I’m a member of two, so which one I attend depends on which day of the week it is. My cross fit gym is where I lift weights, flip tyres and work on strength training. Being strong helps with carrying around 5kg of gear for 10 hours on a wedding day!
 
I’m such a geek! I love gadgets & I have Philips Hue wireless lights throughout my apartment. This means I can control the lighting through my phone. I have my office lighting daylight balanced and have my lounge lighting matched to colours in photos that I love. Much more fun than light switches. 😉 Check it out here: Philips Hue
 
I keep my nails short as it’s both easier to flip tyres & fasten wedding dresses. On a wedding morning, I’m usually the only woman in the room who does not have nail extensions! I do have a bit of a NailsInc addiction though. On a wedding day, I’ll wear a nude colour. At the moment I’m loving Mayfair Lane NailKale. The rest of the time my nails feature Black Taxi or Alexa Leather, which match my tattoos (all black at the moment). On a wedding day, my tattoos are mostly tucked away under a smart jacket.

Qualifications

I have an SNC and HND in photography from what is now the Glasgow Metropolitan college. I’m a qualified member of the British Professional Photographers Association. I have achieved ‘Associate’ level with my work, so that explains those hard-earned letters after my name. I’ve achieved the PTTLS and the first year of the Cert. Ed. teaching qualification during my 18 months of teaching photography & Adobe Photoshop in Further Education colleges. I gained a new respect for the amount of paperwork teachers have to deal with! I don’t have the time to teach in FE any more, but do provide coaching and mentoring to others in my industry.

More About Me…

I’m originally from Rutherglen (near Glasgow) and first came to Manchester in 1999 through my previous career. I moved back in 2007 to settle in Manchester.
 
I usually work from home. On occasion, you’ll find me and my MacBookPro at one of my favourite Manchester ‘offices’. At the moment my favourite city centre location is Ezra & Gil in the Northern Quarter. If I’m in the south then I love working in Didsbury Lounge. I swear they do the best Americano in South Manchester.

Web Consultancy

After 10 years of full-time wedding photography, I found I was missing the social part of working as part of a team. In 2016 I started working part-time as a freelance web consultant a couple of days per week, where I help other photographers fix their websites. I get to chat with other photographers around the world and I really enjoy it! My web work days are Tuesday’s & Wednesday’s.
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