The Love My Dress Podcast: Weddings, Business & Life

#4: Philip White, on The Role of A.I. in Wedding Photography & Videography, Social Media & Attention Spans, Family & Staying Grounded & How To Cope When Business is Quiet

October 17, 2023 Annabel Beeforth Season 1 Episode 4
The Love My Dress Podcast: Weddings, Business & Life
#4: Philip White, on The Role of A.I. in Wedding Photography & Videography, Social Media & Attention Spans, Family & Staying Grounded & How To Cope When Business is Quiet
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

LOVEMYDRESS.NET    //    Philip White is a British wedding photographer and filmmaker, renowned for his breathtakingly beautiful documentation of luxury weddings and events all around the world.

With a clientele whose guest lists often include royalty, Hollywood A-listers and the occasional Spice Girl, Philip's 15-year career has seen him quietly capturing the private moments of some of the world's most famous faces.

Philip's rise to prominence in wedding photography and filmmaking isn't just a testament to his creative talent but also reflects the influence of his personal life. He lives in the North West UK and is surrounded by an abundance of nature that helps keep him rooted. He is loving husband to Kat and father to their two daughters. In his own words "We’re parents to the two most incredible young women. Jennifer, our impassioned academic with degrees from both Cambridge and Oxford and Alice, the most beautiful, artistic soul and hardest worker I know."

Philip's approach to documenting weddings is refreshingly unique. He favours minimalist equipment and works largely alone without a second shooter. As the wedding industry begins to embrace artificial intelligence, Philip stands firm in his unwavering conviction of the importance of human decision-making, intuition, and emotion.

Today, we're going to dive into the journey and mind of an artist and storyteller, whose career has been shaped not just by his extraordinary skill and creativity, but also by his profound need for authenticity and his natural ability to stay grounded through it all. I am thrilled to introduce you to the supremely talented and very lovely, Mr Philip White. Philip, welcome to the Love My Dress Podcast.

PHLIP WHITE
philipwhiteweddings.co.uk (weddings)
weddingindustrymasterclass.com (education)
@philipwhiteweddings
Youtube

LINKS TO OTHER CONTENT MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE
- Photographer's Coffee Morning Podcast by Tom W
- Savannah Groves iPhone wedding videography
- Philip White and Suzie Turner Couture's Cannes Film Festival award winning short film
- A Million Moments (a film produced by the What About Weddings campaign team during Covid)

LOVE MY DRESS
lovemydress.net
@lovemydress
@annabelbeeforth

DEAF?
You will find a full transcript of this episode here https://thelovemydresspodcast.buzzsprout.com (select the appropriate episode then tap the transcript tab).

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ANNABEL BEEFORTH (HOST)

Welcome to the Love My Dress podcast. I'm your host and founder of Love My Dress, Annabel Beeforth, and I'm so thrilled that you're here. 

This podcast is a tribute to the world of weddings and the people who make them happen. It has been created for anyone planning their wedding, for all wedding business owners, and anyone interested in the world of creative business entrepreneurship, whether you're deeply involved in the wedding industry on its periphery or just generally curious. 

In each episode I'll be engaging in conversation with inspiring business owners and exploring topics from weddings and business to personal life experiences that have shaped the careers and lives of my guests. 

I feel a very strong sense of purpose for humanising the wedding industry and revealing the incredible creative talent that thrives within it. In today's fast paced tech dominated world that we are all navigating, I also feel a profound desire to encourage slower, more meaningful consumption of digital content. I'm passionate about storytelling and creating spaces where others can share their stories freely and authentically. Stories are the universal currency of our communication. They weave invisible threads that connect us all on a human level, that help us to understand better, foster kindness, compassion and empathy. They spark ideas and inspire us to do new things. So storytelling is very much at the heart of this podcast. 

If you enjoy listening to this conversation, please take a moment to leave a friendly rating or review. Your support and feedback really means the world and makes such a difference, and now it's time to introduce my latest guest. 

My guest today is Philip White, a highly regarded British wedding photographer and filmmaker, renowned for his breathtakingly beautiful documentation of luxury weddings and events all around the world. With a clientele whose guest lists often include royalty, Hollywood A-listers, and even the occasional Spice Girl, Philip's 15-year career has seen him quietly capturing the private moments of some of the world's most famous faces. 

Philip's rise to prominence in wedding photography and filmmaking isn't just testament to his creative talent, but also reflects the influence of his personal life. He lives in the North West UK and is surrounded by an abundance of nature that helps keep him rooted. He is loving husband to Kat and father to their two daughters. 

In his own words, we are parents to the two most incredible young women. Jennifer, our impassioned academic with degrees from both Cambridge and Oxford, and Alice, the most beautiful, artistic soul, and the hardest worker that I know. 

Philip's approach to documenting weddings is refreshingly unique. He favours minimalist equipment and works largely alone, without any second shooter. As the wedding industry begins to embrace artificial intelligence, Philip stands firm in his personal and wavering conviction of the importance of human decision-making, and intuition and emotion. 

Today we're going to dive into the journey and the mind of an artist and storyteller whose career has been shaped not just by his extraordinary skill and creativity but also by his profound need for authenticity and his natural ability to stay grounded through it all. I am thrilled to introduce you to the Love My Dress podcast to the supremely talented and very lovely Mr Philip White.

Philip, welcome to the Love My Dress podcast.

PHILIP WHITE (GUEST)

Hey, hey, hey. You've got me teary already. Not the stuff about me. I feel like you're kind of, I feel like someone's making that up or someone's like...

ANNABEL BEEFORTH (HOST)

Do you feel seen?

PHILIP WHITE (GUEST)

Yeah, that's kind of weird. I think it's just the kids stuff. I think as soon as you hear a different voice talking about like family and stuff.

ANNABEL BEEFORTH (HOST)

It was actually quite nice stalking you for a few days and finding out about your family 
and just reading how proud you are of your daughters on your website. It was a nice experience for me.

PHILIP WHITE (GUEST)

Yeah, I mean it's everything really. I think you know you set aside everything that you do and whether it's achievements or whatever else and it's yeah it's always going to be the biggest achievement if you've done it right. You kind of you've ticked those boxes and yeah I still don't really feel like a grown up. A lot of people say this, don't they? Like always, but because we've done everything, we say we've done everything in reverse.

So like we had the kids when we were like incredibly young and we got married when we were babies. So we did all of that when we were babies. And so we do, we feel like we've done everything in reverse. But then ,when you see kind of things working and I don't know, success is probably the wrong word to use, but when you think, yeah, everything's going well in that sense, you're like, yeah, we've done good. We've done really, really well. And so, yeah, it's the biggest achievement by far. Everything else can just disappear. It doesn't matter, I suppose. Yeah.

ANNABEL BEEFORTH (HOST)

That's so lovely to hear. I'm going to come back on the whole family relationships thing a little later on in our conversation. But now I wanted to kind of start off by asking you to take us right back to the start and share a bit about who you were pre-Mr. Philip White and the wedding world and how you got into this. Was this something you always envisaged you'd do or something you fell into more by accident?

PHILIP WHITE (GUEST)

No, not at all. I feel like when I tell you what I did before weddings, it's, yeah, you may think a little bit differently, but I was a taxman. I worked for the Inland Revenue and that was my only job pretty much from 18. I pretty much started working there as a kid and had a child at that time. Because I, and just on a side note, kind of, I remember the interview. I remember the interview for the Inland Revenue, and they asked me a question about multitasking and I gave this answer about, I think it was like cooking a roast dinner whilst holding a baby, and I think they all just like immediately just kind of went, Oh, okay, you've got the job. 

So yeah, so I did that and actually I did really well. I rose through the ranks at the Inland Revenue pretty quickly and I couldn't really go any further. I just couldn't really go any further, I think because of my age. The last job I had or the last promotion I had with the Inland Revenue, Kat, my wife, was working with me and she actually, she sat on the desk opposite me, and so we had this system where she was in in the morning and then we'd pass the baby over, we'd pass the kids over at like midday and then I'd go into the same office and then I'd work through till evening. 

It's something we'd never do now because I think the older you get, you take less risks. We just, I just said, I just wanted to do something on my own. It was kind of part photography, part IT, because that's what I had kind of like qualifications in and stuff. So I kind of went, okay, let's just do this and then just quit and set up my own thing. 

And yeah, it wasn't easy in any way, shape or form. It progressed and then photography took over because there was more of a demand for it. And then in terms of weddings, there's always that one moment where I think it was just a friend and someone said, can you do this? And then you go and do it and you go, I quite enjoy this. And at the time, I mean, God, it's different now, but I don't know, I seem to remember just getting dozens of inquiries every day and we'll talk about it later, I'm sure, but taking those relatively kind of low budget local weddings and progressing from that into some of the weddings that I do now, it's just about decision making and what you show and how you do it. But I'm quite used to kind of speaking about all those tiny little things, but yeah, it’s quite a long winded answer, I suppose.

ANNABLE BEEFORTH (HOST)

No, it's fascinating.

So you moved on from being a taxman and you set up your own thing. And that was IT based, did you say? So you were doing something in IT and then photography kind of enters the scene.



PHILIP WHITE (GUEST) 

Yeah, so photography kind of had to enter because everyone who I was doing IT work for needed photos of some kind. Weirdly, it was a mixture of building things like databases and I had this network of, it sounds really odd now because it's so commonplace, but no one was doing this at the time. I used to put advertising screens in places, like big flat screens, and build the ads and charge people for the ads and yeah, and I did that for a good few years. But I was a one-man band, so it was just me kind of doing everything and I didn't look for investments or look to kind of take it further and then, in the end, just photography kind of photography just took over.

ANNABEL BEEFORTH (HOST)

But you're not just a photographer as well, you're a filmmaker, so at what point, I mean, because I initially associate you more with being a filmmaker than a photographer, I know you do both and they're both a big part of your career now.

So I want to try and understand the link that took you from there to being the person you are today, like working all around the world in these crazy luxurious weddings, filming, photographing. Talk to me a bit more about that.

PHILIP WHITE (GUEST) 

Yeah, it came from a video. It definitely came from a video. The first few weddings that I shot were photos. So I did photos for a few years and then I noticed these films coming across from America and they just blew my mind. Like they blew my mind of what was kind of possible, what you could achieve pretty much with the same camera. And again, I just thought I've got to do that. 

And so I remember at the time, I offered all of my photography clients the opportunity to kind of switch their photography to video. But I basically said, I'll try and do some photography at the same time and I'll also take some stills from the video footage and so I did that. They all said, yeah, okay, we'll do it. We'll have a film instead. And so, so pretty much I had, I had a canvas to kind of to start, to start shooting these films and to start working. 

In terms of kind of building them up to the level of weddings now, it's just about share, whatever you share online is the stuff that people will, people will buy into and so it was recognising that if it was a more luxury wedding, like I could shoot, I could shoot say 50 weddings in the year or 30 weddings in the year, but I would only show the one luxury wedding online. 

And there was years when I would only publish maybe two weddings. I can't even imagine doing that now. It just seems impossible. But they were the two high-end weddings that I got in that year. People see that, people just associate with what they kind of aspire for their own weddings, and they see themselves in there. And it was refining that down, and then it suddenly became a point where people would say, could you, would you travel abroad? And then I tended to only show the destination weddings in my portfolio. Because for me, different accents just, everything sounds more kind of film, more movie-like, I think, if it's in a different accent than your own kind of, you know, regional accents. 

So I started building the films around them and then the portfolio suddenly became a mixture of kind of, I don't know, people from across the world. And so you just, I don't know, it's total smoke and mirrors, but it's what you put out there.

A planner said to me once, I showed a picture of a guy with a bottle of beer in his hand and I feel, it's terrible, but I remember the planner said to me, you do realise my clients would never drink a bottle of beer and they were like so we will it's very unlikely that one of my clients would book you and I was like oh wow okay kind of made me want to do it even more now and show more of the realness of weddings. but yeah there's so many different things like that over and this is over like 15 years.

Yeah, still doing it to some extent now I think you have to. It's harder now to do that, but there's certainly a lot more competition, which I've probably had to create. I always say this with the courses and whatever else. I've put about 1,500 people through a videography course, and so I can't really complain that here's competition because, you know…

ANNABEL BEEFORTH (HOST)

They all do what you do now. I think you are definitely part, if not, you know, sort of a leader and at the real forefront of a scene that changed wedding films over the last few years from something that was just, I guess, looked on as a little bit cheesy, right? And then suddenly became quite cinematic. And I'm wondering if it's actually changing again, into being something that needs to feel like it's slightly less perfect, but you definitely were at the, you know, frontier of that change of, oh, my God, this looks like literally a Hollywood film. It's that, the quality, the breadth, the landscape, the sound, everything coming together just felt so sumptuous, so amazing. Really kind of changed the whole, the way everybody looks at wedding films.

PHILIP WHITE (GUEST) 

Yeah, I think what I did, I think, was maybe one of the first people to, to kind of forget about all the gear and all the kit, I think, because it's such a guy thing to be, you know, and everybody has visions of this old school videographer, you know, with a big camera and everything else, but then that kind of progressed and even now, every, like, guys love kit and tech and whatever it is, and so I just kind of thought, I can do this with just the most minimal amount of equipment, just a camera and a microphone. And that was what the whole course was based around. It was about saying, you don't need these big gimbals or cranes or drones or all of these things that you take to weddings. You just need a camera and you need to strip it back to being incredibly simple. And so that was the main approach that I took, which kind of made people think more about those cinematic elements, like composition and light. 

Whereas we promised we wouldn't talk about kind of tech and gear and all that kind of stuff. But I see it now where you can have an incredible wedding that is filmed so basically, but it's just filmed using this kind of gimbal thing that guys will just circle everything and walk around all day. So there's no real skill going into the lights or the composition or seeing what they can do with those things. What they've just got is this sweeping movements and they're just walking around for the entire day. But actually the thing that they're filming is super pretty. They could have spent millions and millions of pounds on the wedding. So you're looking at this stuff, but you're not looking at the, you know, that is what's making it. That's the beauty of it. 

And so, yeah, I wanted to take, kind of strip that back and say, can we just focus on the real cinematic elements rather than, not fake cinematic elements, but, you know, the kits and the gear and the crews and the teams, mainly because I do love photography more. And I was always jealous of the photographers because they just had a camera. And I was like, oh, but to do video, you need tripods and monopods and microphones and all this stuff. And I always just wanted to be, just I always just wanted to shoot the wedding or video the wedding with just a camera in my hand. And I still do now. It's impossible to do it properly. I like to think that I'm as minimal as I can be whilst giving the best quality products that I can. 

ANNABEL BEEFORTH (HOST)

There's a real conversation that fascinates me there, which I was going to come to a bit later on in our chat, but I was actually listening to a really interesting podcast earlier this week. It was an episode of the Photographer's Coffee Morning. I don't know if you're familiar with it, but it's hosted by Tom Wright, who's excellent, by the way. He's a really excellent educator for professional photographers and videographers. And in this particular episode, he was exploring imperfection and photography. And, you know, it was a panel discussion, basically. 

One of the panel members was a lady called Savannah Groves, who's an American. And she creates wedding films using an iPhone. I was initially like, what? How can that even work? But honestly, this woman is amazing. She's absolutely amazing. I mean, she's producing different films to the kind of films that you're producing. But the films are great, and they're very people focused and emotion focused and it's very authentic, and when you hear her talking about her craft, it just sounds incredible. She talks about how the iPhone is small and familiar because people, everyone's got one and it allows you into a space to get much closer. 

It made me think about you and how, you know, you use a very minimalist set of equipment, it eliminates the distance between the filmer and their subject, so to speak and it led me on to think about how wedding photography now, that's a conversation of its own, but how wedding photography and generational attitudes are changing towards it, and how there's a theory that Generation Z are less concerned about perfection and big sweeping cinematic productions now. They want rawness and reality and that authenticity, that grittiness, you know. I wanted to invite you to share your views on that, if you have any.

PHILIP WHITE (GUEST)

Oh my God, I feel like everything you just said is probably about, I could split it into like 10 different things. Tom, whose podcast, I think it is that you just mentioned.


ANNABEL BEEFORTH (HOST)

Tom W on Instagram, he's great. He's really encouraging. 

PHILIP WHITE (GUEST)

So he came on my workshop and he took one of my previous profile pictures as well when we were having coffee before the event started. So yeah, so Tom's cool. 

So do you know what it is? The iPhone is just, it's not a threatening thing and I actually realised about a month ago, I love trying to do some street photography if I'm anywhere new. And so if I'm in a city, I don't know, somewhere around Europe and I've got a day to myself, I'll just walk around for hours taking pictures of people and I absolutely love it. But it is still quite, it's difficult to have a camera around your neck and my professional cameras are still tiny, but everybody knows and recognises that you have a camera. 

And so about a month ago, we went out on like a kind of a family day out, and I don't know, everything around me I thought was quite interesting, the people were interesting. And I thought I'd do the same thing with my iPhone, just literally holding my iPhone to my chest and no one has a clue, like, because no one has a clue what you're doing. So the quality of these pictures, and I like to get really close to people. No one has any idea what you're doing and the quality of the images were incredible. 

And I'm thinking, okay, I'm taking these images with my iPhone versus the 6,000 pound camera that I'd like to think I could take these images with that actually, yeah, I'm getting a difference in quality, but for what I'm getting for being allowed to get closer to people, it doesn't really matter. 

But yeah, in terms of going back to the other thing that you said, in terms of quality, and I think things being a little bit more rough and ready these days, I don't know if it's like a hangover from COVID because what suddenly happened during COVID was that Zoom conversations suddenly became the norm, not just between individuals, but when you would watch kind of like Sky News or things like that, most of the interviews with experts or people were done by Zoom. And so over the course of two years, we suddenly become used to seeing like a lesser quality video footage online and I think it's that amongst other things. 

I think this kind of rough and ready approach, and you see it with, you see it a lot with things like Vogue or like celebrity weddings, when there's a, it goes one way or the other, to be honest, but you see a lot of these like celebrity wedding videos and they are so rough and ready that you could even watch them and think, oh my God, that's, that's terrible. You know, that is the most shakiest kind of blurriest, like image that you could possibly achieve with that camera. But that's a trend now as well and I do worry, again, it's a thing, it can look cool now, but you've got to always have that one eye on like 10, 15, 20 years down the line when you're looking at stuff and you go, why did I allow this like out of focus, shaky, blurry, like thing to be taken? 

So yeah, it's become kind of adopted, I think maybe because of COVID, but it's also, it's become a little bit of a trend. And I think, I don't know, maybe, maybe this, what I always think is, is a way of like striking a balance, kind of just getting something kind of in the middle between all of that.

ANNABEL BEEFORTH (HOST)

For sure, because the worst thing would be to look back in five years and just think, ooh, because that's your thing, isn't it? That's your thing, where you are very confident in your work being a striking and valuable and meaningful. And I know it's, it's one of those terms that people can again, baulk at but timeless looks as good now, as it would have done 50 years ago or 100 years in the future. So how would you describe your work?

PHILIP WHITE (GUEST) 

So the first thing that you said, it's so funny. The first thing you said about being confident and I am the least confident person in my work. Absolutely. Yeah, this is something we definitely need to talk about. Like I am the least. 

I think with some things, actually I think with video, it is different. I think with video, it's probably different and I don't know whether that's just having the validation of kind of the course and awards and different things and things like that. But with images, I can know something's a good image that I've taken and a day later, I look at all these images, and I'll be like, oh, no, they're terrible, they're not good enough. 

Like it's, I'm literally the biggest sufferer of like imposter syndrome ever. I think if you look at social media, I probably post and delete a lot more than I actually post and leave online. I hate it, I absolutely hate it.

ANNABLE BEEFORTH (HOST)

You're judging your work and you're just thinking you're… or you're worried about other people judging your work?

PHILIP WHITE (GUEST)

Oh, I don't know, maybe a little bit of both, maybe a bit of both and I think it's all down to social media and you can compare yourself to other people and I'm sure we're going to come on to it, but the whole authenticity thing of images that I know are just so real and genuine, and they documented a moment that meant something to someone so much, but were still taken in a way that looks quite cool and editorial. For me, that's kind of perfection. 

But then I'd look back on that pretty much instantly, as soon as I get it into like an editing station or whatever and think, oh, but that's not what Instagram or the algorithm or whatever these things are. That is, that's not going to get me more work. That's not the pretty. We're bombarded with the pretty images, bright, colourful, pretty images of couples. And yeah, they look amazing. And I think they get a little bit more traction kind of online. 

I always doubt it. I always doubt what I'm doing and it's so hard to stay completely true to that kind of belief, to be authentic. And to say, I'm only gonna post these. I'm only gonna post these types of images. And I know so many people who do it so well, you know, who just don't waver from what they believe in. 

There's a guy in the North East, he takes the most rough and ready kind of just pictures of weddings. Like it'll just be the sandwiches on a platter somewhere. And he's like, no, this is a wedding. Like he creates so much debate on what he does because everyone goes, these images are ugly. And it's like, yeah, but I think we spoke about it earlier to be an artist. If you're creating that debate, yeah, it's you're doing something right.

ANNABEL BEEFORTH (HOST)

I definitely think those images are having… whether it's a moment or whether it's something that's going to stick around or it's just a trend, I don't know. But I was chatting about exactly this and another podcast I recorded this week about how those images can tell a story like the table full of empty plates with cake crumbs on them, set the scene of everyone having abandoned the scene to go to the dance floor and you can read that into the story and you just think oh my God they're off having a wild time having eaten their cake and then your mind takes you off,  and I like those kind of images right now, but I know what you mean. I can see those images on Instagram because I say I think they're having a moment but they're very different from the kind of timeless killer maybe maybe fashion-led, more people-focused shots, aren't they?

PHILIP WHITE (GUEST)

No, I know, I think it's couples. I think it's that whole, the couple shoot element of the day. And I spoke to another photographer about this a few weeks back when I was talking about being authentic. And I said, I need to, I'm trying to be, especially this year, I'm trying to be so much more authentic and try and just produce these natural images that, you know, hopefully still look good. 

And they kind of went, yeah, but you did, you did this couple shoot, didn't you? Or you took the couple off. 

And I'm like, yeah, I did. But it's, it's almost like that is the necessity. Like you have to, you have to have those mantelpiece photos. You have to have some photos of a bride and groom together. 

And I would, I do that in a way that isn't posy. You know, I do that in a way that I just want the couple to be completely themselves. You know, we'd go for a walk for a few minutes and chat and do whatever. So it's not overly posed. But even that, this is the level that I'm talking about, even that I'm thinking, this isn't that authentic because we're wavering away from what you would normally be doing on the day. You know, you would be just chatting with your guests or doing whatever. So I even have an element of doubt when I do that, if I pull a couple away to do like couple shoots maybe.




ANNABEL BEEFORTH (HOST)

It reminds me of something that, like a message that I feel I'm constantly trying to pass on to the Love My Dress audience, which is you can put all the time and effort into the styling and of course that's important, but the images that will mean more to you at the end of the day are those where you have the people and they maybe have been pulled aside for the group shots because not everyone in that group shot is going to be alive maybe, you know, over the next two, five years. There'll be people in there who are really important to you now that may not be around for much longer. And so they might not seem like the cool shots that you want to put on Instagram, but they're always, I think the people shots are always the ones you go to first when you get your album back, right? You're not going to be checking out how the stationery looks on the plate, even though that looks gorgeous and those images sell and it's all good for marketing. You know, it's the people, isn't it? Those images that you're going to go to first and appreciate more than anything.

PHILIP WHITE (GUEST)

Yeah, I mean, even like in terms of looking at examples, so the last wedding that I shot, photographed a wedding last week, and I was with the groom in the morning, and I just popped in to kind of to say hi into the room he was in, and it was a really kind of dark and messy room, it wasn't great for photos. And the guy's dad came into the room. 

This guy's dad had dementia, and the groom just needed to fix his tie or do something with his tie. And I was stood right next to them. And again, I shoot things close. Like, I really like to be as close as I physically can to it. And so I was literally there and I was with the groom and the groom looked round to me, and he spotted something in me probably before I did that I got really emotional about this moment. And it actually took me a bit, it really took me aback because the groom turned around and was like, are you okay? 

And I was like, yeah, but this, for some reason at that one specific moment, the enormity of just taking a picture of the guy and his father who didn't have that long left to live. And they all knew that, they were all aware of that and he was just fixing his tie. He wasn't asked to fix his tie. He wasn't asked to go and stand in a specific place. He was just doing it. Because I'd become part of the group by that point, and this is something that I did before, because I'd kind of got close to kind of everyone. I felt like I was allowed into that moment because we were chatting about different things and whatever, and so I could quickly take that shot. 

And he knew that it impacted me. He really knew that there was something there. And he was asking me what, separately, when he wasn't with his dad. He was saying, so what was it? And I said, you know, you must know, you must know that I literally realised how important this shot was to you. And I could see instantly that this would probably be the most important shot over anything else I took in the day. Because it was just him having, like, a little, kind of, quiet moment with his dad, doing something real, not being posed, and the way that they looked at each other. 

And so, yeah, so me and the group, me and the group just had this little kind of bond over that. And I think he really appreciated it. I think he really appreciated the fact that, I mean, obviously, he's got some randomer at his wedding getting upset over pictures of his dad, but I think it showed, like, the passion that I have about these things.

ANNABEL BEEFORTH (HOST)

Yeah, absolutely. I think that's an example of why the authenticity is so important to you. And I know you're really keen to talk about that. So you mentioned on your website that you strive to capture those moments in between and I think that was exactly one of those. And can you elaborate on why those moments mean so much to you and why they hold such significance in your work?

PHILIP WHITE (GUEST)

I think it's just because they're real. I get the importance of doing some group shots And I love, to be honest, I love taking group shots and I do them as well as I can do them in a specific way. But those in between bits, I just… when people are being themselves and I love to think that I can kind of like infiltrate those little groups. I think the example is always, again, it goes back to tech and kind of what focal length you use and so you could have a super long lens and you could be 100 metres away from people doing stuff and I see this so often, especially when people are kind of like having like drinks, receptions or whatever. Photographers will be almost miles away and they're just walking around and getting heads. And a lot of photographers call it like FaceTime, you know, especially when they ask the second shooter to do stuff, they say, it's FaceTime, let's just go and pick out faces and I've seen it before when I've had second shooters and they've done the same a
and you just look back at the images and it's just like, it's a face, it's a face, it's a face. It doesn't really tell a story, doesn't really kind of show what it's doing. 

But if you look at the opposite to that, which is using a much wider lens, but shooting that from very close, you suddenly become part of what's happening. It's like looking at the example of like, say a war photographer, like in the trenches. You're there, you're kind of right over someone else's shoulder. And there's a whole debate and you could say, well, is it not intimidating that you've got a camera so close to these people? The way that I do it, the way that I shoot it is so fast. I mean, my camera is not that much bigger than an iPhone and I can hold it kind of with my arm outstretched and have the image kind of taken and be done within a second. 

So I can be stood with a group of people having a conversation, and I can take a photo over a shoulder that is very close, but they don't really know that it's happening. Or if they do, it's done in a second, and they've kind of, like, I've moved away. But you just see these moments. So it's not just face, it's not just a face, a face, it's a face. It's just kind of capturing those little things. 

It's kind of cliche saying, I think everybody says it, the in-between moments. But it's true. It's just people being regular people. It's the family that I think will recognise those things or those interactions more. So yeah, it's certainly not being wasteful and taking thousands of images, but which is a whole another debate.


ANNABEL BEEFORTH (HOST)

I've got a quote here. It's fantastic. Again, from your website, I'm going to read it out. 
It says, I've always said that my wedding photography involves just 10% work with a camera. It's more about finding real, genuine moments and connecting with you and your guests in a way that allows me to immerse myself naturally into the day. I shoot from the inside (as you’ve just explained) rather than as an onlooker. It allows me to create an authentic collection of images that represent who you really are. No posing or faff, just real, honest beautiful images that will look as incredible now as they will in 100 years .

So I think you've just elaborated on that. But it's all about immersing yourself naturally into the day, is it not? And I guess that means you pose your clients very little. And you just like to get in there and feel, like really feel like you're a part of it. 

PHILIP WHITE (GUEST)

Yeah, I mean, so every so often I will photograph a wedding where they say, OK, we do not want any posed couple stuff with us together in any way, shape, or form. And they'll sometimes also say, we don't want any family shots together. 

And for me, like, when that happens, I almost feel like, um, this is too easy. I don't feel like taking photos, in that sense, is difficult. And it's mainly because it's muscle memory and I'm just completely used to doing what I'm doing and I'm, my eye is just looking for things all the time and I'm moving around. But that's quite a simple thing to do. 

Going back to the 10% thing, I think it's right. I wasn't really aware of this until a few months back, when one of the guys who works with me most, he said to me, he said, you don't realise how much you're affecting the day, like how many micro decisions you're making and interactions and things that you're doing. You don't take these into account. 

It really got me thinking, like, every time I approached a wedding from then on, and I was like, yeah, it's right. You can be everything. You can be like a therapist or a babysitter or absolutely everything. We were speaking about a specific wedding just before we went live with this, and I think that is such a good example. The things that I was doing and the things that I've actually done over years, I've looked after, I've almost been like a carer. You can look after pets, you can be the wedding planner to some extent because you can influence when things happen, you can be the voice of reason, you can be a referee between people, you can be in those moments when you have a bride who's either incredibly stressful or incredibly nervous and you're the guy, you're the only person with them and you're the person who says, listen it's going to be fine or you don't need to stress about this kind of thing or everything's going to be okay. And so you do, you end up being like a therapist or a counsellor or something more than, and it all, and it never ceases to surprise me. 

I shot this very big thing for a very big person, that’s as far as I will say, recently, and the very big person,  I noticed that they had, their jacket had torn at the back and I noticed that nobody… everybody else was too scared to say something. 

And it was just my inbuilt thing to be like, why? So I just went, there's a hole in your jacket. And the guy was like, oh, my God, what can we do? And I was like, we can, I'm sure we can sort something out. Fast forward ten minutes later, the girl who was, who was second shooting for me is round the back of a, round the back of a venue, like, sewing this guy's, like, thousands and thousands of pounds, like, designer jacket with a needle and thread. And I'm like, this is like, it's just an example of the things that you end up doing are just like phenomenal.

But it's, I always see that, that it always seems like it is 10% photography and I think similar to that as well what we do and this is kind of for every photographer, videographer, florist, everything else in the industry, we do so much more. Even looking at it as a videographer, you're, forget all those other little things that I mentioned on the day, the carer, the therapist and planner and everything else. You have admin and you have SEO and you have web design and you have sound engineering and storytelling and all these things and you could probably list like 20 or 30 different jobs that you have to become like a mini expert in. 

It's crazy, like it's absolutely crazy and I'm sure everybody else is the same, which we're going to go on to it later on. But then you think it's no wonder when something like AI comes along and it goes, OK, well, we can take some of those things away from you. You don't need to do this, this, this, this, and this anymore, because we can help you with that. So yeah, it is difficult.

ANNABEL BEEFORTH (HOST)

Yeah, you're basically multi talented, multi skilled, counsellor, psychotherapist, occasional trying to find the sewing person, everything. It's, it's a crazy job. 

Your website states, I'm going to quote again, Philip, I work as both a photographer and as a filmmaker, but in essence, I'm just a storyteller, just a storyteller. I observe and capture real authentic moments and then weave them together to create something that will be preserved and cherished forever. 

You talk about storytelling a lot in your narrative, on your website, in your marketing. Why is the storytelling element so important? How is it so powerful?

PHILIP WHITE (GUEST)

I think you need, I think when you look back at a day, for me, at least anyway, I do, I want to tell that story. So if you look at it from the point of view of a video, this is something that I have this huge internal debate with like all the time now. But I create these little fancy short films that you see everywhere online that people are making. They get a longer, everybody gets a longer film from me as well. I put so much work into that longer film in terms of storytelling and weaving things together and matching scenes together. And if somebody's talking about a certain thing, is the visuals that you see on the screen, are they relevant to that and how it works and how all of these things can be weaved together. 

And I was literally thinking about this yesterday when I was working on one and I thought, does anybody care anymore? Like literally, does anybody care? Like when people approach me with the possibility of shooting a video for them or a film for them, nobody ever asks to see the longer product. They book based on a little snippet that they see on Instagram. This happens all the time and it kind of worries me a little because I think this is the way that the world and society is going. I'm really confident in the quality level of my longer films. I put so much work and effort into them. And they are just the same quality as the shorter films. 

But through doing what I do from an educational point of view, I know that so many people can just rock up to a wedding, shoot a few seconds of something, put it online, and then people are booking them for what they see based on that. The longest story that should be told isn't really there. People don't film, people don't film ceremonies or speeches or like record all of this audio or record all of this audio to a really high standard, you know? And I think for me, it's just so important. 

So yeah, going back to the storytelling thing, I want my clients, whenever it is in the future, I want them to, even if they only just love the little few minute film at the moment, I know that they're gonna take real kind of joy in 10 years time or whatever, from looking back and watching this 25 minute film that is put together with just as much kind of care and attention, but it weaves everything together. Every single person who spoke on that day is included in a place, and it's a place that builds, that builds a story. It has to be quite linear in some respects. I think you'd probably never end a 25-minute film with preparations, like, that's just, that's weird. So, generally, there's a loose kind of linear part to it where it would start with preparations and end with a party, but everything in between can be woven around and you can take the viewer on this kind of journey. And I always try and do it. I always try and do it. 

And even in front of me now, like I have a piece of paper from, I was working on an edit, on a video edit from another videographer. I shot a wedding for another wedding videographer a few months back. And it's just notes about how I can match up, like, sections of the day and how it's relevant. But it is literally just going, okay, how is this bit relevant? How is the groom's brother's speech relevant to them in being in this place? And how is this relevant to this? And how is this relevant to this? And it's not just throwing everything together. It's really trying to tell a story. And when you can match everything and basically draw a line from left to right, it comes together.

And so even before anything is done on a screen or in an editing software, it's planned out on paper and it's done really well. 

ANNABEL BEFFORTH (HOST)

I love that.

You're taking time to actually visualise on paper those threads, those connections between the people and create prompts for yourself to make sure that you're capturing those threads so that you can use them together.

PHILIP WHITE (GUEST)

Yeah, yeah. That makes the edit easier. You know, that makes the edit easier. And it's all about refining. It's all about taking lots and lots and lots of footage and culling it down and chopping it down and refining it down. So you have all of your ingredients together, but then it's about splitting them up and going, okay, well, I have this part, I have this part, I have this part. 

So for this example, I could have quite easily said, this is preparations, but actually during the preparations, there was so much, so much more things happening. There was moments where there was like some gifts. There was obviously some bits of makeup. They got ready together with the bride and groom got ready together. And so there was all little kind of moments where you can use the narrative that you get. You can match the narrative from speeches. You can match the narrative from readings, you have the narrative from the vows, often there's personal vows, you have the narrative from a celebrant, so all of these people are speaking throughout the day and for me it's about including every single one of those people but weaving it together in a way that does tell, you know, that does tell a story. And this is what I did, this is what I said about the whole internal battle, I could have the film done in 10 minutes, you know, maybe not 10 minutes, but i could just throw it together and I could play some music over the back ground and I could use whatever music they played on the day, the first dance, whatever music they were playing when they were getting ready or whatever music they played when they walked down the aisle and I could line it up and deliver a 25 minute film that would look good, it would look okay and that would save me hours and I do wonder,  because nobody ever asks to see these longer films, and it does, it worries me a little bit. 

And I know for a fact that there's so many brides paying so many videographers thousands of pounds based on these little kind of mini Instagram teaser things that they put together and they don't necessarily need to be either that skilled or they won't put the work in. 

I made a film last year, this feels like a really kind of, this feels like I'm attacking one of my kids, but I'm not. There's a reason for this. So one, my youngest daughter came and she came to Italy with me. I was photographing a wedding. And a few weeks before, I said, listen, they've not got a videographer. Do you want to just bring a camera and just, you know, make a film. And so she'd never picked up the camera before. She picked up the camera like two days before she came out. And I said to the couple, I said, do you mind if my youngest daughter comes out and she just makes you a little bit of video footage? And they were like, no, no, no, that would be absolutely incredible. Like, we'd love that. 

So she came out, she filmed for like the entire day, having never done it before. She'd never been to a wedding before. She didn't know what was going on. But she basically, the camera was just set up so that if she needed to make it lighter, she'd move her wheel in one way. If she needed to move the image darker, she'd move it in the other way. And so she walked around and she filmed absolutely everything. I cut together a film, like a four or five minute film, that I've since played to like my like colleagues and friends, and they've been blown away. They've been like, oh my God, this is incredible. How is this possible when she's never picked up a camera before? And I was kind of saying, yeah, it's possible because she films like everything throughout the day. Like she filmed hours and hours and hours and hours of footage. And so much of it is out of focus. So much of it is shaky. 

The difference is if I then tried to make a much longer film and kind of weave everything together, it would be so much harder. But the little mini, the five-minute film looks incredible. I could take that five-minute film and turn it into a one-minute film that would be even better, that would blow people's minds. Because it's just about culling things down and culling things down and culling things down. Listen, I've got no problem with the industry being swamped. I think the space for absolutely everyone, there's more and more people coming into this. I think if someone's got a nine to five throughout the week, and they wanna go and shoot a wedding on a Saturday and it pays for the holiday, then whatever, you know, everyone could do it.

But for me, it was always like, you've gotta raise your game. You've gotta justify, I have to justify the fee that I'm charging by doing these extra things, by producing this storytelling in these longer films. But it does, it worries me that because of how society's going these days, no one seems to be, nobody seems to be watching them or paying attention.

ANNABEL BEEFORTH (HOST)

Do you think that social media has played a role in shortening people's attention spans? 

And I was thinking a lot as you were talking about Instagram Reels, which, I feel like I make myself a bit unpopular by saying this, but I've never really truly been a fan of them purely because from my position, I have I've several photographs that I have to share. I you know, it's a dull thing to do to put them into a kind of, you know, just like animated process, and then plunk music on the top of them that might have no resonance whatsoever with the couple. So therefore, it just it's not going to resonate. It just seems like a pointless act. 

However, I've seen some incredible short films produced by filmmakers themselves and a lot of them are doing that thing now where they split the screen and you can see different scenes happening at the same time. And so I can understand why couples are going for that. But I like you, I'm kind of thinking this is not a good thing necessarily, because like (a), it's shortening your attention spans but also there's this magnificent other piece of material that you'll you'll appreciate so much more down the line, you know, I mean as time passes by that's got all of those incredible memories in so maybe it's that they do appreciate they will appreciate they just don't realise it at this moment.

PHILIP WHITE (GUEST)

Yeah, I think so, it's the work that goes into that like i just said the work that goes into filming a ceremony properly and the speeches properly, for me, that is the only difference between just rocking up with a camera in my hands. I could turn up with a camera in my hands and for 95% of the day, I could just walk around and film stuff and you would still get visually this incredible product. When it comes to the work that goes into a ceremony, again, I'm like, yeah, I have all of these microphones. I have a microphone, and really good quality microphones. I have microphones for people wearing certain colours of clothing. You have to think of the things that go into so much of life, and the knowledge, and I think the experience of, where are people going to stand, and influencing that beforehand, and saying, right, well, OK, you know that when you need to speak, maybe if you go here, or maybe if we put this little mark on the floor, and it feels like so much work goes into that, and so much work goes into creating a ceremony film, like an actual, where the couple can go back and watch their entire ceremony. 
ANNBEL BEEFORTH (HOST)

I would love that.

See, initially, I might be super excited to watch the short film, you know, the highlights, because it's throwing everything at you all in two, three minutes, and it's just amazing. But that's like, you know, the other parts, like settling down and watching a Saturday matinee, isn't it? And like reliving the moments. And I would, I would just, I would treasure that material for life. You know, that's the most important thing. Those memories that you, you'd forgotten, you know, that it's a different beast altogether, isn't it? That would be the most precious thing to me personally.

PHILIP WHITE (GUEST)

But I think going back to like the original point, it is scary. It's so scary now that some people are just offering like minute films or like two minute films. And you wonder what happens with all the rest of this kind of stuff. And like, are you actually getting your money's worth out of it? Because nobody ever asks for these, for the longer products. Nobody ever asks to see them.

ANNABEL BEEFORTH (HOST)

Maybe they need reminding though and prompted. Maybe that's now part of your role. Sorry to make some more work for you. But because we're in an era now where short consumables are just part of life and it's everywhere and everything, everywhere we look, it's part of marketing, it's part of social media, everywhere we engage, the marketers are expecting us to have very short attention spans. Maybe it's part of our role to remind people that actually the real value is in taking time to stop and enjoy the longer, slower versions. 

PHILIP WHITE (GUEST)

Yeah, I think so. But then it's another thing to do, right? It's another box to tick. Like I already go from in the process of creating a film, you're creating a long film, you're creating a short film, you're creating ceremonies and speeches. And then all of a sudden, we now have to create the reEl. We now have to create the extra bit that goes on the end of it and it's crazy that it's really made to do it.

I had a very brief conversation with a planner who, whether I should be saying this or not, I don't know, but I worked for a planner and I made the film. And I delivered the film within a week to the couple. And the couple came back to me and were blown away by it and they said, we love this. We've watched the long film, we love it. We watched the short film. Thank you. And it was all done within a week or two. And that box was ticked. 

And then about 12 months later, the planner got in touch and was like, I'm just wondering if everything's been, have you finished yet? And I was like, yeah, it was finished immediately. And they were like, well, can you send the film over to me? So I sent the link of the film over to me. They were like, this is too long. This is and they actually said, this isn't this, this doesn't work for my socials. And I was like, okay, but like the couple are happy. Everything has been like ticked on from that point of view. I don't get it. 

But then that then opens up a whole new debate or kind of worms. Now I see so many videographers and photographers working and they're delivering for the planner, really, because their focus on shooting is focusing on the details and the planners doing things. And so they may not be the most skilled kind of person, photographer or videographer in the world, but they're then delivering specifically for that Planner, so that planner has content. 

ANNABEL BEEFORTH (HOST)

Or for social media?

PHILIP WHITE (GUEST)

Yeah, for social media, it's crazy. It's a whole new topic, I think. 

ANNABEL BEEFORTH (HOST)

Yeah. So, Philip, you said, I create my best work through imperfections. What does that mean? 

PHILIP WHITE (GUEST)

I hate everything being completely perfect, but I shoot in a way that is at least 50% completely manual. Everything is manually focused. And I do this, I've always done this from a video perspective, but I photograph manually as well. And it kind of just gives me something and I don't know what it is. The wanky way of saying it is that you could say, it's a connection between me and the subject. I'm making the decision, the camera isn't. So I'm kind of moving my focus wheel and when I want to hit the button and take your picture, I do. And so I kind of believe that a little bit maybe, but it gives me nothing is ever completely in focus. And especially with videos, you can pretty much stop any of my films at any point and they'll be out of focus. Like, I just think it adds something that bit more raw and a bit more real to everything. And so I don't really know what it is, but there's imperfections throughout everything, throughout all of my work. 

This moves on to the AI thing about the imperfections of having things in shot and other bits and pieces, but for this kind of topic, I think it's mainly about focus and movement and yeah, I can, I can get things wrong, but I like that things aren't always pin sharp. I like that things have that little bit of movement in there or you you can't quite see it that clear and it just I don't know, there's imperfections throughout life. Life is just full of imperfections. And I think the way that we're going with AI and smartphones and everything just being geared to have this, like a million megapixels and everything you can shoot in the dark and everything is pin sharp and everything can be super bright and super perfect, and if there's the, if there's something in the background, you can touch it with your finger and it'll disappear. Everything is just geared towards perfection, you know, and we can get rid of blemishes and touch everything up and everything is just geared towards this thing that just isn't real. 

For me, I think just to have like a personal kind of connection, for me to just to be in control, completely in control of everything to do with that image. Yeah, it's digital, right? We're shooting digital, but I think I want everything to be stripped back and be as simple as it possibly can be. Like I'm not into settings or kind of profiles, picture profiles, or all the techie stuff that goes into cameras. I've always said this with video, like it's a case for me of just pressing a red button or pressing a shutter button. And I know what I'm doing with it, obviously, but I just want the three main fundamentals of photography there. You know, I just want to control like my shutter speed, my aperture, my ISO, those three things, and focus it myself and by being completely in control of that. 

You make mistakes because you can switch. Anyone can buy like a super expensive camera. Everyone can buy a not so super expensive camera. Stick it in auto and you will get these beautiful pin sharp images. What you can also do, and this is what so many people do, is you can take so many images on the day. It blows my mind when I see, I work with photographers and I'm like, how many images do you take? And they're like, oh, about 13,000. And you're like, it's insane. Like, it's people take thousands and thousands of pictures and then run it through a program and then they'll choose those images. So considering the camera is mainly in automatic and doing a lot of the work for them, and a lot of the post-processing work is doing that as well, they're doing very little. 

Maybe there's other things in the day, maybe they're incredible people, persons, maybe they're good at directing, so I'm not dissing that that at all. It's just a different way of doing it, but for me it has to be. There's got I think it's the same with everything. I think the imperfections make it just give it a little bit of beauty and a little bit of something else. 

ANNABEL BEEFORTH (HOST)
I'm going to quote you again, forgive me, but it's, I do want to get to the AI question now. The slightly controversial question. So these words are from your own website and they go as follows. 

With every year that passes, we seem to be heading further away from the authentic, handcrafted images. Weird filters, artificial intelligence and cheap presets are more dominant than ever. We're accepting a false version of quality by adopting new technology to capture images. Tech that doesn't require much level of human skill. 

Most wedding photographers I know these days are using artificial intelligence to select and edit their clients images. They'll grab 10,000 images and send them off to a robot to do the rest. Maybe I'm just getting older ( I can see you laughing), but I don't want to dance that same dance. I want human decisions to be at the forefront of my work as a wedding photographer. 

That really stood out to me last night when I was doing my research. Can you expand on this? I know you just have in a way, but just I think just hearing those words back to yourself really captured for me what is quite a moment. Right now it feels like we're on the precipice of something. I like, with AI permeating everything, every aspect of our lives, but I know it's a hot topic of conversation within the wedding photography world. So share your thoughts. 

PHILIP WHITE (GUEST)
It is and I don't want to be all out and be like this is a terrible thing because I think we have to, as a society, we have to move with advancements and see where it takes us. We've always done that. There's no problem in that. I think when you work in an industry like we do and specifically you can see how, I'm trying to think what it's doing. I think there's two parts to it now. I used to see AI mainly discussed with like colleagues when they would say, it just does my call. So they just send all the images over and it just makes the decision. And I think that's been around for a few years. It makes the decision of what to include and what to not include. And that always horrified me because I always think no one can make that decision for me because I will choose to put an image in and I don't even know why. It's based on something, it's just based on a feeling. It's a gut feeling of why I like a certain thing and I don't want a person or a computer or whatever to make that decision. 

Although what I did find interesting was that every photographer who said they do it, they then always kind of caveat that by going, but I check them afterwards anyway. And you're like, well, if so, you're kind of going through them anyway. But the new thing now seems to be this generative fill thing where you can remove objects from the background. And like really good friends of mine, we've been, we've been for like nights out and they've just got, look at this, this is what I did yesterday. And the most recent one was last week when there was, like, a wall in between, like, these guys, the lower half of these guys. And he just said, get rid of the wall. And it got rid of the wall and gave legs to, like, four guys. And it just looked like a perfect image. I was like, it is mind-blowing. But I think the danger is that we're going try and make, when you see that you can do it, you're just going to continue to do it and do it and do it. So there's never going to be just a bench or a person in the background, or there's never going to be any of those, like, imperfections in the shot. 

It makes me kind of want to, like, rebel against that and almost add more imperfections or leave more things in the background. But then that, again, will work against the whole algorithm and you're delivering more messy pictures. And I kind of think, am I doing myself any favours by not embracing this?

ANNABEL BEEFORTH (HOST)
It's such a fascinating topic, isn't it? I think it's obvious why it jars so much with you because it feels like it's doing the opposite of being authentic. It's not capturing the realness of life. And it's almost like it's getting us to look through a filter of perfection. When obviously, you know, there's obviously an element of realness and imperfection and a bit of touching up, you know, the things that really have to be fixed, but replacing people's legs and changing whole scene backdrops is just, it feels, it sounds insane. 
It sounds so far away from that, what drives you, like on an authentic level, to share a memory that is very real and honest and authentic. I'm with you, I feel it's fascinating to watch and observe where this technology is taking us. But it jars with me when I think about it from a, let's use it to produce wedding photography. Like, I still can't wrap my head around that, really. It feels quite uncomfortable.

PHILIP WHITE (GUEST)
Yeah, I completely agree. I think it's better if you want to move forward with a more kind of documentary style image, which I think we're already kind of falling out of favour. You look at what's popular on Instagram, it's not the guests, or it's not just people doing regular things. It's like we said before, it's pretty pictures of brides and grooms and couples together. 

I don't know, I'm really kind of torn because I think we're in the early stages of it now, so it's looking where it's going to go next. Do you know what, there's not even, not even from an image point of view, but looking from like the whole chat GPT thing of getting it to write blog posts and things like that, I had a go, like I thought let's see what this thing can do. And it's scary, but everything appears to be the same. It's not genuine. 

So the stuff that you just quoted from my website, I sat down and was like, how can I write this? It's not written perfectly, but it's me. And I'd hope that if I write any kind of blog posts, I can now do it in a way that is really rough and ready, but you can tell that it's from that person. 

Whereas you can go to a particular venue and you can go back and you can go, I've just been to a wedding for this person and this person. Can you write me a blog post in the style of Harper's Bazaar or whatever? And then you'll get that back and then you can go, actually, no, can you just make it a bit more this? And I think in terms of SEO, it's probably going to work for people because you can just get immediate quick content on your website with the right keywords. And you can do that in a way. I mean, you know all about this, but you can say, write me this blog post with the focus on the keyword a wedding at whatever venue it is. And so it's doing all of that SEO work for you. 

I wonder whether the early adopters of it now, the guys who just go, I don't care. Maybe this is the right approach. I don't want to judge, but maybe it's these early adopters who are going, I'll copy and paste that and put that on my website. Maybe they are the ones who have got so much work on over the next few years because they're getting all those inquiries and inquiries and inquiries because they're just utilising AI to do it.

ANNABEL BEEFORTH (HOST)
It's very fascinating and you just touched on something there, which I am going to come back to about having so much work, because I think that's a conversation we need to have, you know, from a professional basis. But I've got two words I keep circling on my notepad, which are existential and integrity. I keep thinking, well, my like, the question is, from an artistic integrity point of view, there's a question mark, isn't there? Because part of the reason, God, I don't want to get myself in trouble saying this, please, God, this is, I'm just at the same point as everyone else where I'm observing this and exploring this and trying to make sense of it and what it means and considering the impact it's going to make on my industry. 

But I think, well, if the job is doing, you know, that for a writer and it's doing this for a photographer, obviously, they're capturing the image, and that's the immense skill, but half the job is getting that image and then transferring it to the client. And then there's the edit involved and making it right. But if a robot's doing that part of the job for you, what does that mean in terms of artistic integrity being impacted? It's a big question like that and also existential threats. Yes. I'm just like, are we all going to have a job in a few years' time? How is this going to play out? Because it's pretty insane. 

PHILIP WHITE (GUEST
Yeah, I don't know. That's deep.

ANNABEL BEEFORTH (HOST)
Sorry,  I tend to go a bit deeper on these matters, but I think I have a genuine fascination in AI. I'm tuning into a lot of the conversations about where it's going and the fact that it's kind of, it's not regulated or anything at the moment, I think is the fear that it feels like the horse is bolted, so to speak. So, you know, it's an open source code and people are doing all sorts of clever, weird, scary stuff with it and, you know, where's that going to take us? So that's the existential part. 

But yeah, the artistic integrity part, I think, is an interesting question for me. It'll be interesting to see what that, you know…

PHILIP WHITE (GUEST)
Yeah, I feel like I can only look at it within the next few years. And I, do you know what, I think I've always said I'd love to just do this and then just go and kind of like whittle in the woods somewhere or just kind of just totally come away from and all of this weird tech and everything else, I have no doubt that in, I don't know, maybe like 20 years time, everyone's gonna have weird sex robots in the house and crazy shit going on.

ANNABEL BEEFORTH (HOST)
Or chips in their brains. There'll be actual semi robots, who knows? 

Very, very interesting to hear your thoughts on AI though, because I do know it's a very prevalent conversation right now across the industry.

PHILIP WHITE (GUEST)
The thing is, I'm trying to be like the artist and avoid it and say, you know, I want to be true and authentic and everything else. I've said it before about things. I said it about drones. People quoted me and was like, years ago, I was like, you will never catch me flying a drone up in the sky or whatever. It's just horrible. And the fact now is that I still think it's horrible, but it becomes the deal breaker with so many clients and planners because they go, well, we have to have this.

ANNABEL BEEFORTH (HOST)
So you haven't, do you have a drone?

PHILIP WHITE (GUEST)
Yeah, I'll charge for it, but I cave and I get pulled up on it so often that it's just that example. As soon as you see something from the sky, like you're not, as humans, we're not used to seeing that. So it's the biggest example of shit quality making its way into films. It's just the fact that we don't see that. We, as humans, we don't see things from up in the air. So you can fly something up in the air and be like, wow, this looks amazing. I'm going to fly around at 100 miles an hour. The quality is diabolical. It's just the fact that it's from the sky and it looks different. 

Just now seems that every, it has to be in every, every conversation about wedding films or with planners or everything else, it always comes back to, and do we get the drone? Do we get the drone? Do we get the drone? It's worn me down and I'm like, okay, we can do it. We can do it. It's absolutely fine. But I just wonder, use that example, because I just wonder whether AI will have a similar thing. 

In a few years' time, if it's not really made its way over to video, or at least what we do in video yet, but will people in the not so distant future be getting in such and be like, okay, but you're gonna use the AI to fix my skin or, and so every single person, say for example, is filtered. I just say, I can see something like that.

ANNABEL BEEFORTH (HOST)
Or maybe they'll have like an expectation on timing because AI will obviously deliver on a much quicker basis. So maybe their expectations will change instead of imagining an artist sat at the desk painstakingly editing as per their vision from their heart in a very authentic way. Maybe it will change their expectations. Who knows? Such a big open area right now, isn't it?

PHILIP WHITE (GUEST)
And we could both be wrong.
ANNABEL BEEFORTH (HOST)
We could both be wrong. Absolutely. That's just, yeah, [laughs].

I wanted to touch briefly, you and I were chatting about this before we started recording. But it's something I brought up in other conversations as well, because whilst I don't want to be a negative Nancy, and that's not me at all, I do think it's important that we acknowledge it and that's the fact that we are having a bit of a weird time at the moment in the wedding industry. Last year felt like such a boom and I think that was a result of kind of, you know, unleashing the tied up beast where we couldn't do anything for a little while. And there was a lot of catch up. But this year is definitely not a wedding boom and next year, bookings for next year for lots of wedding suppliers are incredibly, scarily slow and I just think it is an important opportunity for people to talk about that and to normalise talking about it because I think it can feel quite incredibly isolating for a lot of people if they think it's just them and these, you know, they're a bit scary and uncomfortable times so I don't know if you want to talk about the opportunities that might bring or just, you know, what your thoughts are in general. 

PHILIP WHITE (GUEST)
It honestly seems that every single supplier that I talk to at the moment is saying the same thing, that the bookings for next year are down massively. And I think you can only kind of equate that to, there's lots of things, but I think the problems that people are having with mortgages and people's rates are running out, and I think a lot of people are being cautious and they're saying, right, I'm not going to, maybe we just put off getting married for a few years, so let's just see where things happen. 

It's exactly the same thing that happened with COVID, although after COVID there was just the boom. Like everybody was like, okay, we should have been getting married during that year, but we're not, we're going to do it the year after. So there was this mini kind of boom. And I think the same things almost happened again with the whole kind of financial thing. 

So I think it's good for people to know that, you know, so many people are in the same boat. My bookings for next year are way down on what they usually are. But something that I always used to say in the courses, there's no right or wrong in kind of how many weddings certain suppliers take on in the year. So you can be in probably one of two camps or maybe somewhere in between. The two camps are usually that you would charge like a lesser amount, but you would be working in terms of filming or photographing weddings, maybe 50 times a year. You'll be going out and you're relentless. And I see there's guys that I know who do that. And I'm like, I don't know how you're doing this. And then there's other people who do it. And they shoot 10 weddings a year. But those 10 weddings are generally higher priced wedding, maybe a more luxury wedding, I don't know.

And so you kind of think, okay, the best camp to be in now, isn't that you're charging tens of thousands of pounds and shooting a couple of weddings every year? You know, you're doing well if you're, if you are kind of hammering it and you're out every single week and you've took those bookings on over the last few years because you have that security. 

The funny thing is, is that a lot of those guys are trying to aspire and say, oh, the dream for me is that I only want to shoot 10 weddings a year at £10,000 or whatever. How do I get to do that? And it's like, you maybe don't want to do that. That's not always the best option. 

Something that I find massively is that those high-end weddings, especially for me at least, they always seem to book like the month before or two months before. So it's a balance and it's such a game that you've got to decide how you want to play it. Do you go into a year with all with with some security of a lesser price, lots of less price weddings or do you hold firm? And I know people who've, who've held firm who've suddenly they can't do it anymore. We said before, they've had to go and just get a job and work in a coffee shop or do whatever and not be self employed. I don't want to kind of be the guy who gives advice or whatever, but I will do on this occasion. The biggest advice that I'd say is just don't believe the bullshit. Don't believe anything that anyone's saying because of the conversations that will go around on Facebook groups and other people's when they're like, yeah, I'm great, I'm shooting this, I'm shooting, this happens all the time. People will say, yeah, yeah, I'm shooting, I'm shooting so many weddings next year and I charge X amount. 

And they've all,... it's always exaggerated. And it is just experience of being in the industry to be like, don't believe it and don't feel, don't feel that you have to do the same thing. Because what people will do is they'll look at the guy in the next street and they'll be like, oh, I've heard that he's charging X amount of money. I should charge X amount, I'm better than him, so I need to charge this amount of money. And then what happens is they suddenly get priced out of the market because the guy in the next street isn't in fact charging that amount of money. That was just the one job that he had. 

So you've got to do, we've moved this, I've moved this onto something else, but I think it is really important for other industry people. You've got to do what is right for you. And your situation is not what somebody else's situation is. Like you could look at somebody else who you think their work is terrible, but you've heard that they're charging an absolute fortune. They could be married to an investment banker. They have all the money in the bank and they only need to go and shoot two weddings a year at 20 grand or whatever. 

So it is, I'd say it's just kind of do your own thing. Do what you have to do for next year. We have so many different facets of what we have to do. And I think the key thing is just being able to adapt. And if people's work, if people don't have as much work on, then people know they need to do certain things. They either need to work on their SEO or they need to work on the social media or they need to network or they, people will adapt and I think it, it's those people who will generally find that they, they kind of succeed and go through it. And that's what we've done in the past. We've done that so many times in the past. We've had to adapt to certain things and years where it's not as busy as others or whatever else. You do, you make decisions, you go left, you go right. And you end up, if you make those good decisions, generally you make the correct decisions, you survive and you get through it. And you find that in a few years time, things are kind of, things are thriving again.

ANNABEL BEEFORTH (HOST)
There's always a flux, isn't there? Peaks and troughs. And I think the longer you spend as an entrepreneur, you start to trust the universe a little bit more. You think, I know I'll get through this. It's just going to be a rough ride for some time. And also your message is so important about just, you know, doing your own thing and doing what is right for you. 


I've spoken to a lot of people over the past few months who've disclosed to me that they are reducing their prices. I mean, people from all walks of the wedding industry, venue owners, photographers, all sorts of people. And I think that's not something to be baulked at either. If you have to do that, to find a place where you actually get in the bookings because people are spending less than then do that, whatever, as you say, will get us through and help us feel secure and get those bookings for next year. It's not something to be ashamed about.

I think, because there is a, there's a big, strong message all around us. And I think, especially if you sort of dive into the kind of podcasts and, you know, whatever's out there that are designed to support business owners, there's this constant message that, you know, up your fees, that's what, that's what the goal is all about, increase more growing, evolving. And I think we're in extraordinary times, right? We sometimes have to do extraordinary things. And that shouldn't be something that you should feel ashamed about or concerned about. Whatever you've got to do to look after you, I think.

PHILIP WHITE (GUEST)
It is, absolutely. Yeah, you've just got to do you and ignore the noise and do what feels right and put the work in. 

And I think as well, you know what, from the couple's point of view or whoever's looking at booking that service, like we said before, make sure you look into what you're getting. Because if everyone's dropping the prices, kind of every, you think you're getting, you think you're getting a bargain.

Like I get inquiries frequently where it's, well, people will say, well, I can get, somebody else can do it for X amount. And you're like, well, good, let them do it for X amount. You're not getting the, you're not getting the same amount of quality or products, you know, from them. And I think so many people, I see it every, I see it every week and you almost kind of want to shake the people and say, look at what you're getting, you know? 

But then do people, going back to what we said about shorter kind of little social media edits and things, do they care? Or will they only care in 10 years time? Will they care in 12 years time when they go, I've got 60 seconds of my wedding on video, or I've got a load of these pictures, but they're terrible or whatever. 

I don't know, but yeah, do just do you and do whatever, do whatever's right. We all did it with COVID, right? We all had to find ways to adapt. And everyone was petrified that, you know, all our businesses were gonna go under and we had to think of ways of what we could do. And we were lucky, I had the online course, which I'd set up before, I'd set up in the years before COVID. So that always, and even now, that's like, that's the thing for us that always brings in passive income. Like I want to be like really honest with it. I made an SEO course through COVID, which helps to kind of tide over. That is my, my intention for next year, because I know that bookings are down. Now I know that I will get those bookings that come in from the high-end weddings, but they come in two months before, one month before. Most of my work comes in shortly, in the weeks before each of those weddings. That's a difficult position to go into the next year. 

So I know that it's time for me to make a new online course. I made that first course five years ago. So I know that once my weddings for this year are done, at like maybe September, October, I'll be straight into doing that. And that's again, that's probably another source of passive income for the next five years.
ANNABEL BEEFORTH (HOST)
And you'll tailor that course as per what's happening now in the landscape now?

PHILIP WHITE (GUEST)
Yeah, I mean, it's, I've kind of changed. It blows my mind that it is, that it's gonna be nearly five years old, but pretty much everything, how I shoot has changed. You know, it's different kits, it's different ways of approaching things. There's so much more that I can do. So I know that I can make a brand new course that gives value, that gives so much value. I mean, it was the best thing, probably one of the best things in business we've ever done. It's one of the best decisions we've ever made because, yeah, it was before COVID, but it's a prime example of like, I keep saying, and we said it before we started recording, you always have an opportunity to go left or go right. So what do you do? And I started doing like face-to-face workshops and I did them for a few years. And then something tells you to go make an online course. This is going to be really difficult and really time consuming, but there's not many other people doing it. 

And here's the thing, I've spoke to, in the last five years, I've spoke to florists, I've spoke to photographers, I've spoke to so many people who've gone, I need to do this, I'm going to do this, I'm definitely going to make an online course. And they've not done it. They never do it. It's an extra thing to do. Same with SEO. People always go, I need to put the work into SEO. And they never do it. They never end up putting all that hard work in, which in the end, gets the results back. So it's making that choice. We made the decision to do that, to commit to it, and had to invest heavily into ads and funnels and all the things that go with it. When you're spending tens of thousands of pounds on ads through Facebook, it's crazy, it's scary. You reap the rewards from it, but it's a whole new... I'm a photographer, I'm a videographer, I don't do sales funnels. But again, you learn about this stuff and you, it's something else that you have to figure out how to do. There's always those decisions where you go. Do you go left? Do you go right? And I think if you, we spoke about gut instincts, didn't we? And just when something feels right, you've got to do it. And yeah, for me, it's a big, it's a, it's a big deal, I think. 

I think that is the most essential element of running a  business for me, honing that ability to tune into your intuition. I'm aware of it every day and I practise tuning in every day because it's the best guide you'll ever get. It's the best, most honest feedback you'll ever get. And I think it's the most important advice you could ever give to any aspiring entrepreneur, hone that skill. 

ANNABEL BEEFORTH (HOST)

So I need to move on to slightly more personal nature questions now, but I want to start off with asking you about your Palm Film Festival award, because you don't just shoot weddings and events, do you?

PHILIP WHITE (GUEST)
Well, weirdly, I've interrupted the question, but I kind of do. Like, I mean, this is like one in a thousand projects that are not wedding related. Like I pretty much only do weddings now. I'd love to do, love to have the time to do kind of passion projects and other things, but work always takes over. So it always comes back to weddings. So what happened, maybe, I don’t want to guess how many years ago this was now, but it was quite a number of years ago. I was at like an industry event thing in Paris and I got talking to a lady who's now a good friend of mine called Susie Turner, who makes these incredible dresses in London. And I was there with my wife and we hit it off. We felt like we were the only like three normal people in the room, like in this room of like industry, kind of like this big networking event. 

I remember saying to her, I'd love to make a film, that isn’t a wedding film, I want to make a film and she turned around to me and said, make a film about me. And I was like, what? And she went, well, just use me as an example. Let's let's let's do this. And then we spoke about other things on that evening. And then she told me something about the elves in the shoemaker. How she was she was obsessed with the elves in the shoemaker as a kid. 

And so I went, okay, I'm going to do this. There's no money in it. There's no… So I'm going to, I don't, I didn't even know what was going to happen. Right, and so I came up with like a, a little mini storyboard idea for something. And you know what, from that moment on, a lot of weird things happened in the universe. Like everything kind of came together, like really just, just, it was, it was all quite crazy. I'm trying to think of, like, some of the examples. Like, I, I agreed to do it and I came up with this... this kind of weird, kind of, like, conceptual piece that was based around her struggles and things that she'd been through and how she, and she lived for basically, kind of, creating these dresses. And so it was, we intertwined kind of like the whole elves in the shoemaker kind of story with her story. 

Her story was that like, I think at one point she didn't have a bed and she had to sleep on the same, she had to sleep on the table that she made the dresses on and lived off cereal and so we tried to like intertwine all these things together. And that there was these like demons that kind of came to play at night. It seems quite deep but it was a very kind of like just mixed up experimental kind of film piece that we did. But yeah, I remember being in in London for a wedding and I remember calling her or she called me and she was like, we need to arrange a meeting to discuss this and she was like, where are you? I was like, I'm at a wedding, I'm working at a wedding.

She said, oh can you not come and there's no way I can. And then she said, well, if you can, I'm at the Ned. And I was like, oh, my wedding is at the Ned. Like, that's really weird. Can you not get out in like 10 minutes or something? And the 10 minutes was like my break, like in 10 minutes. I was like, okay. 

And as I went down, I remember she was like, we’ve found someone to do… We’ve found an actress to work on the film and the actress was Noel Gallagher’s daughter and so she came in and just all of these kind of crazy things came together. And even when we were developing it, it went, it changed from what it was meant to be to just this short kind of like really weird experimental piece about, there's so many things in it. There's so many things about like body image and yeah, kind of what you're supposed to be and mental health and all these, like, issues that are kind of woven into it. 

And we just made this kind of product in the end and then just, we submitted it to a whole heap of, like, film festivals. There's a very kind of, like, bottom end kind of category for, like, two-minute experimental pieces. And so we got a few mini awards, shall we say. It was good, it was something that we did, something that we're proud of and a lot of work went into it ,but yeah I just think it shows that I think it's good to be able to to come away from the day job really and and try something else. 
ANNABEL BEEFORTH (HOST)
I will include a link to the film in the podcast show notes because it's, it's absolutely fascinating, it's so captivating, it's amazing and congratulations on that award, by the way. Very, very well deserved. 

So you do all these amazing things and you're working on all these incredible weddings around the world, mingling with all sorts of crazy people, high end, you know, A-listers, Hollywood A-listers. 

How on earth do you stay so grounded? Because before I got to know you, I always thought you were one of those people, like the untouchables. 

I remember, so I'll take you back to during the pandemic. Remember when I worked on creating that film, A Million Moments, with Jessie and Tamryn in the What About Weddings team? And basically, we created a film that, oh, my God, it was so impactful, I can feel the goosebumps now, but it was to mark the end of the wedding season that never happened.

And so that year, because obviously you couldn't get married and there were lockdowns. And I approached a number of filmmakers and asked if they could contribute some clips that we could, you know, make this incredible movie from. And I remember thinking, oh, what have I got to lose? I'll just contact this person. I knew of you and I knew you were really at the top of your game. And, you know, I just thought he'll never come back to me. And you did, like straight away. And you were so helpful. And you sent the most amazing clips. And I just thought, oh, he's all right. He's all right, isn't he? 

And then I heard your accent and you're normal, you're a totally normal guy, a totally normal person. And it feels like there's this juxtaposition between the world that you are in when you are professional and then you're so down to earth and you're so humble and grounded when you're not there in your personal life. How on earth do you stay so grounded?

PHILIP WHITE (GUEST)
Just family, isn't it? And a wife that just, yeah, makes, just keeps it real. And the kids as well, like I said, the kids, the kids aren't kids anymore. So they help with that. We take the piss out of each other for everything. I don't know how many other houses kind of work in that way. No one's allowed to get kind of bigger than the head of the station. Like no one's allowed to kind of... Because you would just take the piss out of each other, basically. And yeah, but still appreciating that, you know, if there's an achievement, there's an achievement. Or if you're doing something that is cool, then it's like, yeah, it's cool. But you know what? It doesn't take long. You have to come back and walk dogs and do everything else and as much as Kat will come away with me like a few times in the year and we're shooting this thing in America later this year and we know that it's like ,it's it's a super cool opportunity for both of us because we're just we get to I'm under no illusion that the travel that you get to do is It's brilliant and I get to travel with my mates and my wife, my kids sometimes and it's amazing. 

But it's also about recognising and knowing that, like, Kat holds the fort when I'm away and, like, I always say I'm working and she's like, what, in a bar with a beer or you're like, and I'm like, yeah, sometimes I'm working. I well and truly recognise that she's holding the fort and she's looking after the dogs and the kids and cleaning up and doing what else while I'm doing this. So I come back and I have to give that time back. It's all about balance and you're five minutes away from doing a poo run for the dogs or doing what else. 

ANNABEL BEEFORTH (HOST)
Keeping it real.
PHILIP WHITE (GUEST)
Or like, yeah, it's just literally keeping it real. Amongst, like I said, not being allowed to get, you know, too ahead of your station. I've never done that anyway, but I always, I always think there's a moment if you shoot something incredible, or you shoot something that you think, how am I doing this? Is this my life? And it's always balanced out with one of the next things that you do. 

So I'm trying to, the job that I was talking about before, like without naming any names, I was just stood chatting with like one of the biggest names, the biggest musical names on the planet. And we were just stood talking in a corridor. And he said to me, like, you're the coolest, most chilled out photographer I've ever met. And I thought, I can't use this quote, but this is like the ultimate quote that like, you are literally one of the biggest names on the planet. And I came back and was like, I can't believe that I've done this. I can't believe that this is my life. And I stole this guy's sweaty stage towel because I have a collection of weird things that I... If I can nick something random from like a weird situation, so it's like, so now my gym towel is this guy, like one of his guys. It's been washed, by the way. But you then suddenly find that you're called into a room to shoot a cake or just an item of something, like on a table, and you're like, okay, I've been brought back down to earth now. 

ANNABEL BEEFORTH (HOST)
Philip, another question on family, because you touched on it at the very start of the conversation. I did say I'd come back to it, but I know that you and your wife Kat started your journey together over 25 years ago. You had your children young. 

How has that journey and the experience you've shared together affected your perspective on weddings and marriage and how does that show in your own work?

PHILIP WHITE (GUEST)
Oh, that's a really good question. I don't know. We kind of, we're not cynical about the whole thing, but we're so real about it after all this time. I think we kind of realised that the only thing that really matters is just like health and happiness and all that kind of stuff. And as much as we, do you know what? It's me more than anything. I'm the one who really like, who tries to push and aspire and to be like the best. So we balance each other off kind of absolutely perfectly. I'll be the guy who says, no, I want a bigger house. And Kat will be the one who says, we have a roof over our heads, forget it. 

So I think it's more when it doesn't really, our relationship doesn't really affect how I approach weddings. I think if anything I always kind of tell people with kids, I always strike up conversations with my couples at weddings who have kids and I always seem to speak about how fast everything goes. And it sounds like the old man, like the granddad wisdom, but I always seem to say, listen, if there's one piece of advice, it's just that this all goes past in like the blink of an eye and so enjoy it, but do the right things and prioritise the right things in life. 

Yeah, I mean, in terms of how I approach it and film it and that kind of stuff of, I think maybe conversations and maybe being able to strike up those relationships with people. Like, I suppose, being married for like 24 years and you can, you can, you can more easily kind of have those conversations and join groups and say, that's not important or that's important. Or I, one of the things I generally say to brides before weddings, which often I don't know how well it goes down, but I always say, something's probably going to go wrong and if it does go wrong, don't give a minute of your time worrying about it because it's your wedding day. 

I've seen so many occasions where it's ruined someone's day because the wrong colour flowers were delivered to the wrong room or whatever. And it's like, none of it matters. And maybe it's just conversations actually before the wedding when we're doing our like Zoom calls and stuff. 

Going back to the whole 10% photography thing and the rest is a whole kind of plethora of jobs. Maybe it's just about being adaptable. Yeah, maybe that's the thing that our relationship has kind of taught me is that we can… You just learn to be able to speak to, I don’t know, you can speak to royalty and then you can go and speak to a guy on the street who has nothing in his pocket and every single person in between and give everyone the same amount of respect and work in the same way and adapt to those people. And for me, that can mean anything to me. I can, I, the kids will take the piss out of me because I change my voice. Like I will, I'll probably talk differently if I'm talking to, I don't know, a lord. I probably will talk differently as I'm talking to the guy in the street, I don't know. But it is being able to adapt to them. 

You be at a wedding, you could be in a room with six bridesmaids. It's being able to speak to those women in their language. And actually, the more I spoke about It's like, yeah, I've just grown up with women. Like, there's no, like, I, there's very, very limited kind of male kind of, like, influence on my life. But maybe that is, maybe being able to go into that room and say, oh, yeah, I know that makeup. I've just bought that. I've got this. I probably forget the amount of knowledge that I've kind of built up on product and shoes.

ANNABEL BEEFORTH (HOST)
I think that's so lovely. I think those words are so beautiful. I think you are definitely meant to work with people and help to bring the best out in people, but also just as a mother of a 17-year-old and a 12-year-old as well, everything you said earlier about it going in a flash. And it sounds like such a cliche, doesn't it? It sounds like, what you say, that old man, old woman's advice, but it's so true. I treasure every single moment.

PHILIP WHITE (GUEST)
It's total blink of an eye stuff and we have to almost like pinch each other now. Like our youngest has just turned 18 so she's now going out more. Like she seems to be going out every single night but she's done her A-levels and she's put all of her work in and she's worked so hard and we're so proud of her for the amount of work that she's put into that. But now we're like, is she going out again? And recognising that you go, okay, how long have we got now before we have a completely empty house?

ANNABEL BEEFORTH (HOST)
Literally as we're recording this, my 17 year old has just come back with her boyfriend. She passed the driving test, so she's gone out to collect him. She's talking about a year out of college, but I'm like, we haven't got that much longer. We haven't got that much longer. And I'm really aware of that. Very conscious of it and trying to treasure every little moment and interaction I have with her. Because honestly, my God, it comes around so quickly, doesn't it?

PHILIP WHITE (GUEST)
But you also have one eye on the benefits of it. You know, things are going to be tidier. You're not going to have this mess. We're not going to have to do a million taxi service trips in the car every day.

ANNABEL BEEFORTH (HOST)
Oh my God, right?

PHILIP WHITE (GUEST)
Yeah.

ANNABEL BEEFORTH (HOST)
All right, Philip, it's been an amazing conversation with you so far. And I want to wind up asking you three really lighthearted questions. 

If you could host a dinner party, if you could invite any three people, living or deceased, who would you invite and why?

PHILIP WHITE (GUEST)
I hate this question. I'm like, man, this is deeper than anything. I don't know. I could, I'd probably think about it too much. I would need someone who provides the music, someone who's going to give us a really good singalong. So I'm kind of edging on, I think, maybe like a Freddie Mercury, someone like that, who can just go to a piano and get everybody else going. So that's going to be someone, I think someone like Princess Diana. I don't know why.

ANNABEL BEEFORTH (HOST)
Ooh, yeah, I'm a Diana fan.

PHILIP WHITE (GUEST)
Just because, I don't know, I think she'd be quite cool at a party. And have a good few stories to tell.


ANNABEL BEEFORTH (HOST)
An understated cool.

PHILIP WHITE (GUEST)
Yeah, and then someone who is, someone who is also gonna provide a little bit of atmosphere or a bit of trouble. Maybe like a George Best or an Oliver Reed. Someone like that. Someone who'd get involved in the sing-song as well. I don't know, that's top of my head kind of stuff. If you left me to analyse it for a few hours I'd probably have some more deep and meaningful like people. 

ANNABEL BEEFORTH (HOST)
Okay, all right then well here you go here's another question.


If you were stranded on a deserted island which three items would you want to have with you?
PHILIP WHITE (GUEST)
I would, so the wanky thing would be to say, it would probably be like a guitar and like a notepad and pen, maybe a football.

ANNABEL BEEFORTH (HOST)
That's three but we'll let you off. Oh yeah. A football as well did you say? 

PHILIP WHITE (GUEST)
Yeah but I'd only have a football if I had a wall because I'm there on my own and I so I can't I'd have to kick the football against the wall to come back to me, but the kind in me could probably just kick a football against a wall for like 10 hours a day or something. But in being realistic, you'd probably want like your iPhone and I don't know, no, do you know what? Maybe some, maybe some hens. 

ANNABEL BEEFORTH (HOST)
You're into eggs. 

PHILIP WHITE (GUEST)
Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

ANNABEL BEEFORTH (HOST)
They're very nutritious. 

PHILIP WHITE (GUEST)
Yeah. So it depends how practical do you want to look? Yeah. A guitar, a hen and a football.

ANNABEL BEEFORTH (HOST)
And a football.

My final question to you is if you could travel back in time and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be? 

PHILIP WHITE (GUEST)
Oh, it would always be, it would always be getting to Bitcoin earlier, wouldn't it? Just do that. That's what I said.
ANNABEL BEEFORTH (HOST)
He’s a secret crypto.

PHILIP WHITE (GUEST)
Yeah, I would just go back just a few years earlier and go yeah, just go into this a little bit earlier and yeah, and then I would just be able to then retire to the woods.

ANNABEL BEEFORTH (HOST)
I don't know anything about crypto. We need to have conversations offline.

PHILIP WHITE (GUEST)
Yeah, we do. I'll be that guy.

ANNABEL BEEFORTH (HOST)
Honestly, Philip White, it's been such a pleasure to have you join me in conversation today. Thank you so much for being so open and honest and authentic.

PHILIP WHITE (GUEST)
It has been a pleasure. Thank you so much.

ANNABEL BEEFORTH (HOST)
Thank you.

I hope very much that you enjoyed this conversation, but before we wrap this episode, I need to ask a favour.

A huge amount of time, love and effort is required to produce this podcast. And in order to get it off to a flying start in season one, we need your support. Please subscribe to the podcast and please consider leaving a short positive review. These two small things will take just a few short moments from your day, I promise, but they'll make a huge impact in helping the podcast reach as many people as possible. 

I really appreciate your support. Thank you so much and until next time, take care.






Main Podcast Introduction
Guest Introduction
Philip's former job and how he got into photographing and filming weddings
Being a leader in wedding videography & working with minimal kit
The changing nature of wedding videography and musings on shooting with an iPhone
How Philip describes his work, imposter syndrome & authenticity in wedding photography
Capturing the 'moments in between' and documenting the realness of weddings
The power of storytelling & Philip's internal battle over 'longer films' or 'Instagram Reels'
Social media and attention spans, Instagram Reels and the value of longer wedding films
How Philip create's his best work through imperfections
The role of A.I. in wedding photography and videography
What to do when wedding enquiries and bookings are down, pricing and don't believe the BS!
Philip's Cannes Film Festival Award
The real Philip White and how he stays so grounded
On family, weddings and marriage
Philip's dinner party guests
Philip's desert island items
Philip's best piece of advice to his younger self