Born and raised in Birmingham, British wedding photographer John Hope now lives in Leeds ("The best city in the UK!" he says), based in Yorkshire in the north of England. There, he makes his home with his wife Helen and his two daughters, Carla and Cleo. "I always imagined being a father of boys, but I love having girls," he adds.
After admitting that his British humility makes him feel a bit awkward talking about himself, John finally confesses that he is proud of his positivity. Seeing the glass as half full-and a tendency to go at things with 100% enthusiasm-has helped him make the most of life, from working as DJ (and acquiring what he calls a "fairly ridiculous" record collection) to playing rugby, scuba diving, or honing his mixology skills.
One of his favorite quotes, from Nanea Hoffman, sums it up well: "None of us are getting out of here alive, so please stop treating yourself like an after-thought. Eat the delicious food. Walk in the sunshine. Jump in the ocean. Say the truth that you're carrying in your heart like hidden treasure. Be silly. Be kind. Be weird. There's no time for anything else."
Prioritizing positivity and kindness is something that also infuses his approach to the larger world. "I worry about mankind's impact on the planet right now and in the immediate future, so I care very much about pushing the agenda for changes in attitude at the very highest level-towards protecting our planet," he says.
"I also care about inclusivity, respect, acceptance, and generally working and coming together for the common good of all-in communities, within nations, and internationally. The current surge in nationalism and populism concerns me deeply." If there was one lesson he could teach people, John says it would be to focus on working with people, rather than trying to compete against them.
John's wedding photography reflects his open and optimistic life view. "You'll always find loads of genuine laughs and smiles in my photos-as I'd hope to see a lot of those at a good wedding! That's the thing that often gets commented on," he says.
This is exemplified in one of his most well-known photos, which he calls "The Dancing Dog." It shows a wedding couple who have just finished their first dance, with hands in the air to beckon guests onto the dance floor. " At this moment, their dog bounded onto the dance floor and is perfectly framed in front of them on his hind legs, reacting to this moment of excitement," says John.
"This image stands out as it captures energy, a celebratory atmosphere-and, of course, the involvement of their dog, who was a key part of their wedding celebrations."
Asked about what makes a "good life," John says he believes it is different for everyone. For him, it meant shifting gears around his 30th birthday and setting out to make one of his passions, photography, work for him as a profession. While wearing the many hats of a solo entrepreneur presents a variety of challenges, wedding photography is a job he loves, and one that lets him spend lots of time enjoying the things he is passionate about: spending time with family and friends, traveling, and enjoying good food, drink, and music.
So what will his positivity and 100% enthusiasm lead him to tackle next? John says his bucket list is always full. "I've always wanted to do a sky dive and I'd love to dive with whale sharks and manta rays," he says. "They're probably top of the list."
John Hope | UK | Fearless since 2014