Today we are shining the spotlight on a talented photographer who truly loves what she does. An artist who pours her heart and soul into every wedding and photo session she captures. That’s Vancouver wedding photographer, Morgan Hargreaves.
Morgan has a talent for capturing intimate moments between her couples and making everything look so natural. We love her creative approach and ability to capture “love” naturally with her lens. Today we are very excited to share not only some of Morgan’s great work, but also her stories and passionate thoughts. Be prepared to fall in love with Morgan Hargreaves Photography.
1. Tell us how you started your career! What inspired or motivated you? Why weddings?
Morgan Hargreaves: I started my career in photography back in 2006. My mom always joked that I was born with a camera in hand, and growing up I was always found behind the lens. I started out taking a few family and maternity photos for people that I knew and worked with, and then someone that worked with my mom asked if I would photograph their wedding. The rest is history and I marked my 100th wedding in June 2012.
I love weddings because it’s such a happy time! Everyone is in a great mood; it’s a celebration, and in some ways weddings are always a bit of a challenge. I love finding that magical shot! It’s awesome that by the end of each wedding, I always feel like I’m part of the family, and that’s definitely the best part!
2. How would you describe your style?
Morgan Hargreaves: I would say that I am more of a naturalist. I give what I call “loose direction” where I allow the couple or bridal party to be themselves. I will quite often tell couples to walk over that direction and just chat and interact with each other, that’s where you get the natural smile and you are able to capture them in their most natural state.
3. What kind of photo shoot do you love the most?
Morgan Hargreaves: I really love engagement photos! It’s a great way to get to know the couple and talk about their big day! That said, weddings are amazing too! I have had the pleasure of photographing a lot of different types of weddings and I love seeing the different ways people commit themselves to each other! Within the wedding day I love watching the interaction of the bride and groom with their parents, there is so much love, pride, and joy, and it’s truly amazing!
4. What are the greatest joy and challenges you’ve experienced as a photographer?
Morgan Hargreaves: I think my greatest joy comes after the wedding when the couple starts to see their photos. Especially when I’m able to capture something that they didn’t even know I was taking photos of.
My greatest challenge is probably one I put on myself. I’m always working to get unique shots especially when photographing in areas or venues that I’ve been to before. I really want all my couple or family photos to be “their own”!
5. Any profession advice to give to brides/grooms-to-be?
Morgan Hargreaves: Find a photographer with a style you really love, and let the photographer have the creative freedom. By looking at a photographer’s body of work, you should get a good sense of their style, if it matches yours, then it’s a great partnership!
You also should meet your photographer and get to know them a bit, at the end of the day, you are going to spend the entire day with them at your side. The relationship is really important.
6. Share an unforgettable experience with us.
Morgan Hargreaves: Oh! There are so many, but I think I will draw on one from my more recent weddings. One of the groomsmen, who was also the bride’s son was really interested in photography. As we were doing the photos in Yaletown he was standing by my side and asking if he could hold some of my lenses for me. Throughout the photos he asked me questions, and I was showing him what I was doing with the settings on my camera. By the end of the day he was suggesting to me which lenses I could use and he was having a blast learning new things. I know it meant a lot to the bride and groom that I would take the time to mentor him a bit.
7. How do you find the best looks and expressions for your subjects?
Morgan Hargreaves: I let my subject be themselves. As I said above, I give “loose direction”. My favourite has to be when I ask the grooms to whisper something in the bride’s ear, that always gets a great reaction.
I also encourage my couple to pick meaningful locations that can represent themselves or their styles. This way they will be more natural with each other.
The engagement photos play a huge part in understanding what a couple likes. When they give me feedback on what photos they really liked, I can do more of those to match their desires.
8. What are your must-have equipment?
Morgan Hargreaves: My 70-200mm 2.8 lens has to be my favourite for portraits, which most would find strange. It’s a heavy lens but I LOVE the look and feel it gives to the photo, almost dreamy! I also love to play with sparklers!
9. How do you keep yourself inspired?
Morgan Hargreaves: I follow a lot of wedding blogs and buy many different styles of wedding magazines. I also try and constantly keep my mind and eyes open to cool locations and shots.
My assistant and I will quite often be driving around and we’ll find a spot that looks cool, then it’s just about finding a couple that wants to photograph in that area.
I also like to push the boundaries, if it feels awkward then it probably looks AWESOME in a phoo. It’s about building the trust with the couple so that they let you put them in that awkward spot or pose!
10. How do you feel about your job as a photographer?
Morgan Hargreaves: I think it goes without saying that I absolutely LOVE what I do! I crave wedding season and it is so much fun! I vowed getting into the industry that the second when I felt that it was “work”, I would stop doing it. Seven years later, I still feel like I get to have fun everyday.
When I work through the photos afterwards, I feel like I’m reliving these amazing moments that my clients have asked me to be part of, and that is so cool.
I’m a fun loving person who doesn’t sweat the small things. I want to connect with my clients and be friends with my couples. I have loved watching my past brides and grooms go from engagement photos to family photos (and everything in-between).
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