At Lancashire PA Hire, we know how important your wedding day is. From your wedding DJ to catering, everything needs to be perfect. Arguably the most important takeaway from your big day is the memories it creates, and a great wedding photographer can capture them perfectly to enjoy for years to come.

However, finding the perfect wedding photographer can be hard – and with everything else going before your big day, it’s a stress you definitely don’t need. That’s why we’re bringing you our recommendations for the best wedding photographers in the North West.

This month we’re featuring Manchester based wedding photographer, James Tracey, who’ll be sharing his favourite things about photographing weddings as well as giving us a look inside his essential photography kit.

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What do you love most about photographing weddings?

“I get to spend my working day photographing the best day in a couple’s life. Everyone is always up for a wedding and I get to travel all over the country (and even abroad) to work in fantastic venues, photographing lovely people having an amazing time. It doesn’t even feel like a job and I know I am very lucky to be able to photograph a wedding and call it work.”

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Do you have a favourite wedding venue that you enjoy working in?

“That’s a tough one, as I’ve been lucky to have worked at a wide range of venues that are all amazing but different in their own way. I love Victoria Baths in Manchester – saved by the public in a TV phone vote, it’s a truly spectacular venue where you can get married in a dried out pool. Every room is unique with a slightly battered look, which gives it real charm and makes every photo look amazing. I’m a huge fan of Colshaw Hall in Cheshire too – until recently, it was a family home so it retains the warm, welcoming feel of someone’s home as soon as you walk in, whilst having a huge amount of ‘wow’ factor too. Finally, the venue I have worked the most at is probably my very favourite, Manchester Town Hall. Architecturally, it is stunning – with endless photo opportunities inside and outside the building. It’s challenging to work within too, so it keeps me on my toes, and every time I shoot there I find something new and amazing to photograph. It’s a beautiful venue to get married and one I always look forward to working at!”

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What’s in your camera bag and what equipment do you use on a shoot that you think is essential?

“My bag is packed with two Nikon DSLRs and a range of lenses so I’m pretty much covered for all situations. I prefer to shoot with prime, ‘fixed’, lenses so I have a 24mm, 35mm, 50mm and 85mm set of prime’s along with Nikon’s ‘holy trinity’ of the 14-24mm, 24-70mm and 70-200mm zooms. All are amazing lenses. There’s a couple of flash guns although they don’t tend to see much action other than for the first dance as I much prefer to shoot using natural light. If I had to pick one bit for kit that is essential I’d have to go for the Sigma 35mm f1.4 ART lens, since its release it’s pretty much become my go to lens for every wedding. It’s amazingly sharp and creates unique images that no other lens I have seen can compare to. This lens never comes off my camera all day so I guess that proves how essential it is!”

Images courtesy of James Tracey Photography.