Chiyo and Kirk Photography
Chiyo and Kirk Photography are an award-winning photography team, specialising in natural, artistic and fun wedding photography.
I met with Kirk, one half of the team, to find out how important it is to get the right photographer for your wedding.
“Chiyo and I operated individual wedding photography companies, local to each other. Both were very successful. I was often getting asked to shoot a wedding with a second photographer but due to the nature of the work, it was always hard to find reliable people with availability. Our children were both at the same school in Hutton Rudby: that’s how we met. As they became good friends, we got to know each other and quickly discovered a gap in the market. Consequently, we teamed up and 5 years ago, Chiyo and Kirk Photography was launched.”
“There are so many benefits to booking duo wedding photographers. The story of each half of the married couple can be captured separately. This provides so much attention to detail. We both have our own individual style that compliments the other. Our clients end up with professional photos and video that almost feel like they’ve been captured through the eyes of their guests. They also have more choice. We can be two full day photographers or one photographer and one capturing video clips throughout the day. More practically, the wedding photograpy could still go ahead should one of us fall ill.”
I gotta feeling
“We’re proud to be wedding photography specialists. With 15- 20 years in the business, our guidance over what works best is available as standard but we never tell people what to do. Our customers are invited to meet with us before the wedding so that we understand their style and listen to what they want. For example are they private people that would prefer us on the periphery? Or are they a vivacious couple happy to hear the click of the shutter all day long, welcoming ideas? Our job is to capture the emotion of the day. Getting to know our clients beforehand allows the day to flow cohesively.”
Build me up buttercup
“We do offer the traditional type of wedding photography. However our unique approach is more suited to fun, relaxed, outgoing people looking for the raw emotion of the day to be captured. It’s their day, their planning. We aim to document the atmosphere, the thrills, the buzz, the excitement. Our job is to create a visual representation of what actually happened at that moment. For example, we love capturing the moment the dress is revealed and have some great shots demonstrating the feelings involved. We believe that love is love and it comes in all shapes, sizes and colours. We’re LGBTQ+ inclusive and work locally, nationally and internationally.”
With 20 years experience in wedding photography, I was sure that Kirk would have a story or two to tell. So I asked him what was the biggest crisis he’s encountered.
Aint no mountain high enough
“The worst one was when the Vicar didn’t turn up to the Church. The wedding guests arrived and the Church was locked up. Further more, no one could get in touch with him. Under those circumstances, the only person allowed to step in is the Head of the Parish. In this case it was the Bishop of Durham! Who arrived one and a half hours later. Thankfully it wasn’t raining and we made light of the situation. The locked Church doors provided a great background for photos. We spent the rest of the wait time getting all of the family shots done. It didn’t become a spoiler of the day, just a talking point.”
Although Chiyo and Kirk specialise in weddings they also do engagements, family portraits, school and corporate photography. Which brings me nicely onto the bit about the business park!
Signed, sealed, delivered
“Now that my youngest is in full time education there’s less demand for me at home. Hence, the time was right to find a central base that would also be inviting to customers.
We knew the Terry Dicken Business Park as we’ve used First Steps Day Nursery and Red Shoes School of Dance. Chiyo’s Brother-in-Law does a lot of the signage on the park so we were introduced to Mark.
We’d looked at so many premises. Hidden costs and over complicated long contracts were very common. Impressed with the straightforward easy in easy out terms here, Mark helped us to find the right space. Being flexible he allowed us to modify it to our requirements. The new location also positions us perfectly for local businesses.”
“We are now offering commercial photography. So local businesses looking to update their website with professional product images or employee head shots should get in touch.
The other benefit of being a two photographer team is that we still have some wedding availability for 2023! Please get in touch to arrange an appointment. There’s no obligation. Just a relaxed informal chat to see if we’d work well together.”
Chiyo and Kirk Photography can be found at office 18, 2 Roseberry Court, Terry Dicken Business Park, Ellerbeck Way, Stokesley, TS9 5QT