My name is Ed Peers, born in 1981, a husband to Beth and father to Georgia and live in Surrey, UK. I’ve photographed weddings for ten years now and feel extremely blessed to be doing so! I absolutely love what I get to do.
Although photography has been a long term interest, I always saw it as a hobby and never a vocation. I caught the travel bug at a young age and decided I wanted to become an airline pilot.
During university I travelled a lot as an electric guitarist with Hillsong Church and developed a passion for capturing moments and adventures with my camera.
To cut a long story short, the pilot aspirations dwindled and I eventually completed a PhD in Aerospace Engineering and worked as a Research Fellow before falling in to wedding photography.
My first wedding (which I had to be persuaded to photograph) was for the bassist of the band. When I realised destination wedding photography was a thing, I started a business and within a year I quit my job and have never looked back!
Looking back, from the very first wedding I was fortunate to be given creative freedom by my couples which really helped me to find my voice and niche quickly.
I was really fortunate to have this from day one as I think a lot of people end up following the crowd for most, if not all of their career, which is never fulfilling and makes it hard to stand out amongst the crowd.
The thing I love about my work is both the flexibility and the sense of spontaneity and lack of routine. This allows me to fit my time around family as much as possible, rather than work being the main thing. I love how every day is completely different.
Nearly all my weddings are destination and a few years ago I was shooting 40+ weddings per year. During this season, airplanes, airports and hotel rooms would became my office. I would get as much done whilst away from home so that when I returned I could prioritise family (who used to join me a lot before Georgia started school). Since Georgia has started school, although I still travel for the majority of weddings, I shoot a lot less so that I’m home more often. Shooting less has provided a lot more margin in my day and life in general.
I enjoy working from home and my desk occupies a space in our lounge. As I write this, Beth and Georgia are watching a movie in the same room. That’s the way I like it.
"Shooting less has provided a lot more margin in my day and life in general."
That’s a tough question! I don’t think I’d do anything differently - you only learn by making mistakes and there’s a journey to before you reach your destination (which I still haven’t reached!). I would say: don’t be anxious about anything and enjoy the journey; stick to your values and don’t worry about other people think. I’m still very much telling myself this!
This can be tough, because we all need to pay the bills and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having to grind it out from time to time when you have to. However, I think you can minimise taking on the “wrong” job by effective branding that stays true to yourself vs following the crowd and showing what sells. From the workshops/portfolio reviews that I’ve done in the past, I’ve found there’s always a strong correlation between poor branding and photographers who seem to book the wrong clients/wedding.
"From the workshops/portfolio reviews that I’ve done in the past, I’ve found there’s always a strong correlation between poor branding and photographers who seem to book the wrong clients/wedding."
I do think there’s another stage, but I’m still trying to figure what that may be! Every now and then I ponder about this, but when I do, I always come to the conclusion that nothing beats what I am doing now. So I’ve decided to try my best to build longevity into my business, but at the same time keep my eyes open.
Don’t judge people and give people grace.
I have lots of passions that wedding photography allows me to do, but no side hustles as of yet.
I’m driven by the fulfilment I feel from delivering images that I know will be so treasured by my clients. That has been there from day one and is still my main motivation. In terms of dreams, I’d just love to see as much of the world and meet as many different people as I can.
"I’m driven by the fulfilment I feel from delivering images that I know will be so treasured by my clients. That has been there from day one and is still my main motivation."
I’ve always relied on word of mouth and don’t spend much time on social media. I really believe that if you do a good job and treat people well the work will come.
"I really believe that if you do a good job and treat people well the work will come."
There’s definitely a process of figuring out, but I’ve learnt that my ideal clients are likeminded people. If I show what I love, hopefully I’ll attract people who love what I do and that seems to be working well.
I’m the wrong person to ask! I used to try and post an image every week, but as it stands haven’t posted for around 4-5 months.
Authenticity has always been a key driver for me and perhaps that’s why I struggle so much with social media, which tends to sell a false reality. I think it’s important to show what resonates with you and not be a crowd pleaser.
Although this might attract fewer people, my view is that because of globalisation and being a destination wedding photographer, the whole world is my market and I only need to connect with a handful of people out of the millions who will get married each year.
"Authenticity has always been a key driver for me and perhaps that’s why I struggle so much with social media, which tends to sell a false reality."
I try and make my workflow as simple and as efficient as possible. My philosophy is “you can’t polish a turd”, which reminds me to endeavour to get things right in camera as much as possible :) I don’t like to overwork an image as I think authenticity can be quickly lost.
Once downloaded and backed up I use Photomechanic to cull, Lightroom to edit and Pic-Time for online galleries.
There’s definitely a journey to finding your voice in regards to editing style. When I first started I would edit and re-edit as I tried to find consistency.
For the last 7 years I’ve just relied on two homemade presets for all my work; one for colour and once for b&w.
Again, this really helps me to focus more on finding good light and getting things right in camera - the mindset of shooting film, if you will - and leads to a consistent portfolio. I try and achieve a timeless and filmy look without trying to emulate a particular film stock. The aim is that the edit is subtle and will stand the test of time.
"The aim is that the edit is subtle and will stand the test of time."
I think it’s important to look outside wedding photography as much as possible and let other forms of creativity or art influence you. Travel and music are no doubt my two most valuable forms of inspiration.
Jonas Peterson and Sean Flanigan where huge inspirations when starting out and Nirav Patel is a friend and incredible talent. Fer Juaristi blows my mind. There are some incredibly talented wedding photographers around and the bar is being raised continuously!
Sebastiao Selgado is my all time favourite photographer. I love the way he captures the natural world and it’s interaction with humanity.
"I think it’s important to look outside wedding photography as much as possible and let other forms of creativity or art influence you."
Ideally I think it’s a blend of both. I do love to scout and always do before the wedding (usually the day before for destination weddings). I will always try and do this at the time of day I’ll be taking the couple portraits to get a feel for light. I’m curious and always want to make sure I haven’t overlooked a potential location. You never know how long you’ll have with the couple so it’s a good idea to have a shortlist and rank of locations so you can make the most of a given situation. However, some of the best moments are the ones that you could never have anticipated…
I always explain to my couples that I’ll give them as little direction as possible and my aim is always to capture natural interaction between them. Essentially, it's a case of asking them to step into a frame I’ve visualised (e.g. that awesome light under that tree over there) and letting them to their thing. I will position for good composition, but try to avoid instructing how they interact.
For me it would involve a landscape, some soft direction warm light and since I tend to work solo, something small and intimate.
A question that I get asked a lot and I never have a good answer for! It’s so hard to choose… Italy has been consistently good to me, but as a lover of all things Japan, Tokyo has to be up there.
I’m currently using Canon 5DIV’s and 24mm, 35mm, 50mm, 85mm and 135mm lenses. I use the 50mm 1.2L for 70% of shots during a wedding day and 90% during a portrait session. I like to travel light and keep things simple.
"I use the 50mm 1.2L for 70% of shots during a wedding day and 90% during a portrait session."
To avoid an incredibly long answer, it’s been really tough business-wise across the board, but there have been many positives in other ways. I think, once we all got over the shock, it’s an opportunity for us to re-evaluate, rest, review our priorities and be grateful for what we had, what we have and what is to come.
"I think, once we all got over the shock, it’s an opportunity for us to re-evaluate, rest, review our priorities and be grateful for what we had, what we have and what is to come."
I’m a documentary guy and love food and culture so you’ll find me watching things like Chef’s Table and Ugly Delicious.
Lost in Translation
Most of my favourite artists these days seem to originate from Iceland, for instance Ólafur Arnalds and Ásgeir Trausti.
"To move, to breathe, to fly, to float,
To gain all while you give,
To roam the roads of lands remote,
To travel is to live.”
– Hans Christian Andersen.