Full steam ahead
One Eastleigh photographer tells Laura Cartledge why she’s happy to shake things up a bit.
Ask many photographers whose big day they would like to capture and you’d expect royalty or celebrities to be the reply. But for Eastleigh’s Lisa Field her answer is closer to home.
“Maybe my parents, is that weird? They never really had any decent wedding photographs, just a few snaps taken by relatives,” she explains.
“And I guess I would have loved to have seen them all young and in love and excited on the brink of a life together.”
It makes sense then that Lisa Gigante Photography, which was launched in March 2011, combines her family and her passion.
“The business name is my maiden name,” reveals Lisa.
“I didn’t know what to call the business when I first started but someone told me to use the surname, it’s unusual, memorable and stands out. So I did.”
Having spent eight years within the industry before going it alone, Lisa admits it’s been a challenge.
“I felt it was the natural progression and I’ve not looked back,” she says.
“Having those years of experience made all the difference. They already knew me; it’s just been a case of being known for me – not the girl from the old company.
“But working for someone else meant I learned to mimic their style,” Lisa adds, “to the point no one could tell the difference between our work.”
Finding her own visual voice was a ‘work in progress’ but now she prides herself on a ‘relaxed, documentary style’.
“It’s about telling the story of a couple’s day. So no cheesy stuff or a lot of interference,” she smiles.
“I sit back and watch what’s happening and shoot, shoot, shoot.”
“I think things have changed since I started shooting 12 years ago,” Lisa says. “Couples want all the little things captured as well as the main ‘important’ shots.
“I like this, because it means you can submerse yourself in someone’s day, see everything they thought to add, not just the dress and suits,” she smiles. “People’s imaginations have run wild and I love that.”
Lisa has even arranged a ‘steampunk’ shoot – seen here – to showcase how weddings can break the mould.
“I just feel that couples want to put themselves into their day rather than following the more traditional routes,” says Lisa.
“Yes you can have your hair an outrageous colour, yes you can have your Dr Martens on – I did – and yes you don’t have to have a hen party – we didn’t.”
In fact shoes and bridal showers were just the beginning for Lisa’s October wedding.
“It was based on Hallowe’en, Tim Burton, with slightly vintage undertones,” she reveals.
“I thoroughly enjoyed planning it – I would do it over and over again if I could.
“I learned that you do need to stand firm in your decisions, you need to plan and double check everything and you need to have a barrel load of patience,” confesses Lisa.
“I made sure all our suppliers knew what they wanted from us, and let them get on with it, so we could get on with our day and enjoy it.”
With plenty of wedding experience, Lisa knows not everything can be planned.
“Every one is a challenge in some respect,” she agrees. “There’s always something that changes on a job, whether it’s the weather, timings, guests are late, or have got lost.
“But it’s part and parcel, and I love it,” she states. “You should always challenge yourself, push for something better or different the next time round.”
Something that could be a challenge, only Lisa won’t let it, is the fact she is deaf.
“It has never and will never get in the way of my work,” she grins.
“Every client is told and we all liaise through emails. I think it makes life easier to be honest, we all have a record of what was said and we aren’t phoning each other on a constant merry go round of missed calls.”
When it comes to picking a photographer, Lisa says ‘making sure you get on with the person’ is key.
“You’re going to spend all day with this person, so see if the rapport is there, if not then keep looking,” she suggests.
“Also, check their work, look at the style and make sure that’s what you want for your wedding photos.
“Make sure you see at least two or three photographers before making a decision.”
Her own work is clearly very popular, and Lisa’s highlights include being in three publications last year.
“I never expected it and have been overwhelmed by people’s support,” she admits.
“I wouldn’t change this job for anything.. and I hope my passion for my work shows.”
For more information about Lisa’s work, visit www.lisagigantephotography.co.uk