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Welcome to ASTW - the place for bespoke brides looking for unique handmade items, ideas & inspiration

Meet Joanna Cleeve

Meet Joanna Cleeve

I am a photographer with over 4 years’experience photographing a variety of things starting with landscape and wildlife now I mainly photograph weddings all across the south of England. I am a member of The Guild of Photographers, The National Photographic society and the Royal Photographic Society, as well as being one of the ‘wedding experts’ for Your Sussex Wedding Magazine, part of the County Wedding Magazines Group.

I discovered photography at a young age, having been fortunate to grow up near the South Downs, an area of outstanding natural beauty that to this day I love exploring and capturing with my camera.

I’ve always been drawn to a photograph’s ability to capture a specific moment and emotion in a way that no other medium can. Each photo tells a different story, creating a snapshot that can inspire sheer delight, tears, and everything in between. I love natural photographs, yet Iconsider some of the posed shots I have done to be incredibly honest. The joy of a wedding can shine through in these photos and express that emotion as well as any natural shot.

Your wedding is quite possibly one of the most important events, if not the biggest day of your lives and the last thing you need is someone telling you what to do. I will mix and mingle in with your guests and go by the plans you’ve set for the day. If you need gentle direction or friendly hints as to where or how to stand for some group photos or couples’ portraits my assistant will guide you without being demanding. I’m very laid back, I feel that photos should be part of the fun of the day not a necessary evil to get out of the way before you start to enjoy yourselves. 

There is something about taking that specific photo of someone’s special day or event that captures the special moment which just feels so magical.

For all of my wedding packages I offer an assistant with over 20 years styling experience. She will organise all requested family and group photographs so everything runs smoothly on your special day. I can also provide a second photographer if required, all of whom have excellent wedding experience. 

I think wedding photography differs from other forms in that there is a large human element to it. A lot of people can feel anxious about having their photograph taken and so it is up to the photographer to create a relaxed environment. Only once people feel comfortable can they allow their emotions to be captured on film, resulting in some really beautiful photos. It’s also important that a photographer doesn’t distract from the wedding, but is where they are needed. It is a massive privilege to be part of a couple’s wedding day and it is important to remember this. These events are not meticulously planned studio shoots and so a good photographer must be able to think on their feet and adapt to the situation, whilst also blending into the background and allowing the events of the day to take centre stage. 

I feel incredibly privileged to be able to make a career out of my passion. There are very few people who are lucky enough to enjoy their job as much as I do.

Olympic medallist Joanna Rowsell marries Daniel Shand

Olympic medallist Joanna Rowsell marries Daniel Shand

The Next Step Was 'The Dress'

The Next Step Was 'The Dress'