Former national radio broadcaster Neale James photographs weddings in a documentary style. Eight hundred weddings later, his unexpected journey into the genre has seen him photograph weddings for an eclectic client list including broadcasters and politicians. He pioneered the Wedding Photofilm; a fusion of still photographs and documentary sound presented as short films which saw his client list stay loyal through one major world recession and the challenging times presented by Brexit. Latterly he has expanded his vision to embrace documentary filmmaking and is working on a series of films focusing on the works of respected photojournalists including Tom Stoddart and Magnum’s Mark Power and Olivia Arthur.
Twice internationally recognised in Junebug’s exclusive list of Best Wedding Photographs of the World and latterly voted 2014’s Wedding Photographer of the Year for London and the South East at the Wedding Industry Awards, Neale James lives near Newbury in Berkshire though accepts commissions the length and breadth of the UK and destination weddings abroad.
“My heart lies in documentary wedding photography. I’m a witness. I’m a couples’ eyes. I don’t run around shouting at guests or dictating the day and during the few moments I’m called upon to photograph family or bridal portraits, I subtly go about my work in a relaxed way.”
“In 2011 I photographed a bride, who, diagnosed with an untreatable brain tumour, wed her partner in a ceremony witnessed by their five-year-old daughter. I chose to capture sound as well as photographs that day so her daughter would always have her mother’s voice to fit those poignant wedding pictures. The stills were set to the sounds of the day as a lasting documentary. It became the first Wedding Photofilm.”