OK so it’s all about me, me, me, Steve Watkins! No it’s not! I am no one special, but I have to write and tell you how great a wedding photographer I am. Actually I dislike blowing my own trumpet, mostly because I can’t play the trumpet. It’s my brother who was the musical one, he thinks he is much cleverer than me, he’s certainly not as good looking. Even by my own estimation I am extremely good looking and this is reason enough to hire me as your wedding photographer. OK, I am waffling, no not in the kitchen with a waffle machine making lightly toasted waffles more a case of aimless rambling on.
Anyway why I’ve written this is, people like to know a little about me Steve Watkins the man with the camera, what makes me tick and makes me laugh. So this page has very little to do with being a photojournalist or Bristol wedding photographer.
My passion for photography
Well I was held back at school, I missed something or other early on and told I was thick, I loved watching open university programs but found school intensely boring so would often be found with a pencil or paintbrush in hand doing some form of art mostly drawing and designing custom cars. Later it was discovered that I am dyslectic and actually quiet bright. (computers and speech to text are great for that) Art was always my first love even though I hated the art teacher who was a little hitler in a skirt. One day when I was about 11 or 12 I bought a box brownie from a jumble sale which was really old at the time but fun. I remember thinking this is like drawing but quicker and soon picked up the skills needed. Most of the time I couldn’t afford film, not that that stopped me, I would blink and mentally tell myself to remember the image and drawn it later. I progressed to a broken SLR which I dismantled and repaired myself, making several of my own lenses out of old broken lenses bought for pocket money. Birthdays and Christmas came and I turned my bedroom into a makeshift darkroom and started developing my own prints. I studied how the great masters of photography created their images, learning things even to this day I’ve not seen mentioned in text books. I loved having my own darkroom as it was a cool way for getting girls back to my room and stopping my mum opening the door unexpectedly lol.
How I became a reportage wedding photographer
I couldn’t get a proper job, no one would buy my body and as I didn’t like getting up in the mornings the idea of working one day a week seemed great. They wouldn’t let me be a vicar so the next best thing was to become a wedding photographer. Actually I originally was as an electrician then an electrical engineer but wanted to do something which was more creative and involved people, I worked in stage and theatrical lighting. I’ve did a lot of voluntary work in different ways working with young offenders and adults with learning difficulties, all the time doing photography and wedding photos for free but it was a weird set of coincidences which involved a being ill, a vicar, a video tape, a carpet cleaner, a bath tub and an articulated lorry which actually lead me to thinking about being a photographer. I studied and went back over old stuff I learnt before and learnt new skills, in fairness I don’t think you ever stop learning.
I live with my partner Zoe she is a head chef, I say to her brown is cooked black is burnt. She’s OK, she’s not a bad bird, she had me in her sights and I wasn’t strong enough at the time to escape. When we first meet I kept calling her Sophie which could have been really embarrassing, but as it turned out her Dad had wanted to call her Sophie. Which was lucky as it made it seem we were meant to be rather than I was just getting her name wrong lol. She said I was funny and made her laugh, I wasn’t sure how to take that really, funny in a good way or funny like a funny smell, either way she kept cooking my breakfast for the first few years. I guess now I am stuck and anyway I’ve grown fond of her so it’s not so bad. lol
Now I know it’s not very trendy to be religious unless you’re a Jedi where you can walk around with a lightsaber and say things like use the force. Cutting a long story short God spoke to me one day in May of 1997 and that was pretty much it for me, not that I expect anyone to believe me. I might as well stand here with one hand on my hip and one hand in the air rocking side to side and saying I’m a little teapot as ask you to believe me.
Apart from my faith, my family and my photography, I like classic cars and have restored a couple. I say restored I rubbed a bit of T-cut over one once and made out I did more. No I did actually restore a couple of classics cars. I like cars if I ever came into serious money I’d love one of these big American hot rods or just go all out luxury with new Bentley. I keep wishing and buying my ticket every week and maybe my turn will come. I’ve also a taste for strong cheese particularly the blue cheeses, I’d like to start making cheese properly and develop it into a bit of a skill. I like expensive watches and travel and of course I love anything with an apple logo on.
That’s all there is to say about the man behind the camera really…