Photo Plus Expo 2017 New York: Review

This year I was invited along by Loupedeck to the 2017 Photo Plus Expo in New York. A huge thank you to Loupedeck, Felix and Mikko for having me along to not only demonstrate their awesome editing console but also for the opportunity to come across the pond and work along side the awesome wedding photographer: Jere Satam ! 

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As the Photo Plus Expo 2017 in New York draws to a close, I look back at some of the exciting products, live demonstrations and seminars that I found most useful. This year’s show featured over 7 stages that gave advice & demonstrations for the beginners and professional photographers across the four days. One of the fantastic things about the Photo Plus Expo is the experience and knowledge available to everyone who walks through the Javits Convention Center doors, you can be anything from a wildlife photographer to a wedding photographer and there is something for everyone. 

With over 200 exhibitors at this year’s show there’s certainly plenty to look at, as a complete camera geek and my love for all things tech, I made sure I got hands on with as many new products as I could. With so much going on over the weekend, I thought it would be a great idea to share my favourite stands from this year’s show: 

Holdfast 

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To get the ball rolling, I'm starting with the really awesome multi camera straps by Hold Fast. If you haven't heard of these guys before, they create the awesome MoneyMaker camera straps made from high grade leather complete with metal d-rings, safety straps and a superb versatile design. Most importantly, the straps look the business, keep your cameras secure and feel comfortable even when you're shooting a 12-hour wedding.  

What actually is the MoneyMaker? Well it's a harness-like camera strap that goes over your shoulders and allows you to carry 2 camera bodies with lenses or you can even carry three camera bodies with some other attachments.  It's so much more than just an alternative to your standard DLSR camera strap and it certainly is a big contender when you compare the MoneyMaker to the range of Black Rapid straps or Camera Belts on offer. 

The Hold Fast MoneyMaker allows you to attach any camera and lens with a tripod mount to either side of the harness, what's more, the way the MoneyMaker holds the camera means they hang by your side and keep out of your way. I shot my last wedding using the strap from Hold Fast with two Nikon DSLR's with a 24-70mm lens and a 70-200mm lens with no problems at all.  You can walk around freely and the cameras stay tucked into your side and they're ready for you when you need them, you never have to worry about picking up and putting down your cameras when you're on a shoot. 

Loupedeck

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Loupedeck is a photo editing console for adobe lightroom. It lets you be more creative, it makes your editing faster, it means you can focus more on your photo. Loupedeck system blew my socks off and if you're a wedding photographer.. in fact, if you're into any genre of photography, the Loupedeck is a game changer. I used it to edit a full wedding from start to finish, it not only halved my editing time, it made the experience of editing fun again. I was in my element editing with the Loupedeck, I was waking up early to start editing because my workflow had become so smooth and ergonomic... and they're not even paying me to say this, seriously! I could end the review here and just say get your hands on one, but if you need more persuading take a read here: Field Test Loupedeck

Nikon D850

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Welcome to full-frame FX splendour like you’ve never seen it before. From the studio to the remotest locations on earth.

The D850’s fast, ultra-high-resolution FX-format sensor uses 45.7 megapixels of effective resolution to deliver richly detailed 45.4 MP files. Print ultra-high-resolution images in ultra-large formats. Shoot true full-frame movies at 4K. The back-illuminated CMOS sensor has no optical low-pass filter and incorporates gapless on-chip micro-lenses as well as an anti-reflective coating. Incoming light reaches the photodiodes more efficiently so you get exceptional detail and incredible dynamic range. And the 153-point AF system, inherited from the D5, assures you of the pin-sharp focus and wide coverage you need for ultra-high-resolution full-frame images.

Performance is everything. When you pair ultra-high-resolution imaging power with the flexibility to shoot in any environment and adjust to any workflow—you excel. Creative flexibility. Stamina. Precision. The D850 doesn’t just perform—it takes perfection to a whole new level. You get uncompromised image performance whether you shoot RAW size Large, Medium, or Small. And both the camera and the optional MB-D18 Multi-Power Battery Pack boast extensive weather sealing: you have the freedom to shoot for longer periods, anywhere. This is also the first DSLR ever to feature an in-camera focus-stacking mode for exceptionally sharp images with vast depth of field.

Instax 

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You're probably aware of my love affair with Instax, especially when it comes to my wedding photography. My photography is all about creating amazing photographs for couples, sure images with gorgeous light, tones, composition and mood certainly help along with a good DSLR or even a mirrorless camera. But ignoring all that good stuff for a minute, the most important thing comes down to creating awesome memories for the couple and their guests. My job as a wedding photographer isn't being good with my camera settings, although that is kind of needed, it's capturing those moments, moods and delivering that emotion through image making. 

So getting back to Instax, as a wedding photographer this is why I love the Fujifilm Instax range and why it never leaves my side during weddings. It allows me to create instant memories that couples and their guests will cherish.

If you're not aware of these super awesome cameras, then you've probably been living under a rock the last couple of years. The Fujifilm Instax Camera is a spin on the old instant photography cameras, providing instant prints from the camera body, let's be honest who doesn't love vintage & retro polaroids? The Instax range is a premium, fully-fledged camera design that sets itself apart from the "cute" image projected by its predecessors. Designed for a vintage look, they feature a variety of photography modes allowing more freedom, control and creativity in your photography.

The cameras also have a host of shooting modes, this is much more than a point & shoot camera, settings such Landscape, Macro, Party & Portrait modes allow you to take back some of that control the old school instant cameras lacked. You actually have some control over what image the camera creates and prints, with the added bonus of being able to under/over expose and choose whether the flash (which is brilliant) fires or not. 

Furthermore, the Instax range actually looks the part, their vintage look mean they can sit in your camera bag or around your neck with a DSLR and not look out of place. I take a Fuji Instax to 99% of the weddings I capture and I feel comfortable having it with me and I'm always conscious about looking proffesional at weddings! 

View their products: Click Here


Wedding Photography Welcome Package

In any business to consumer industry your relationships with your clients are hugely important to ensuring your business thrives, grows and becomes recommended to other customers. This couldn’t be more relevant in the photography industry especially in the wedding genre, couples who book wedding photographers not only want to fall in love with the photographs you capture but also feel comfortable in their decision of booking you. If you follow my photography and Creative Resources and Advice Blog closely, you will probably already be aware how much emphasis I place on client relationships and building a friendship with a couple before I capture their big day. After the initial chat/meeting in the lead up to a couple booking, which has already began to build that relationship, I then send out a welcome package. These packages have changed over the years with different formats, but they all serve a purpose not only to house all those official documents but reinforce their reasons for booking you and educating them on the way you approach your photography. Guess what, it doesn't stop there, if you design and produce a killer welcome package to send out to clients, they are more than likely going to show their friends and family and post a snap of the package on Instagram and Facebook. So, for all the photographers out there here’s some of the important information and branding styles I feature in my welcome packages and for all the brides and grooms to be who are just about to book, here’s a sneak preview of what will be dropping through your letter box. 

Branding

For all the photographers, if you're at the stage of creating your welcome package, you've probably already nailed your branding and your website looks the shizz. Branding is a fairly obvious one but it is a huge tool to create a fantastic first impression, whether that's through your website, social media accounts or in this case your welcome package. Keeping your branding consistent in both your online and printed marketing tools is essential to keep that trust and professionalism in your business. The welcome package is more often than not the first physical thing your clients will receive from you, so it's a huge importance not only to keep your branding consistent from the route they booked you through (Website & Social Media) but also that the package they receive screams quality and professionalism. First impressions count!  

Like your branding, the welcome package should reflect your style, approach and also you as a person. I often talk about how wedding photography is a very personal business, you and the clients both need to be at an understanding and create a friendship, so make sure you add your own personality to your package.  

Welcome Letter

As soon as a couple opens up the welcome package they’re greeted with a welcome note that firstly thanks them for booking, reassures them that they’ve made the right choice in booking and finally let’s them know you're looking forward to capturing their big day. As any wedding photographer I LOVE social media, so I always include a list of the accounts I am active on, 9 times out of 10 they have probably found my work through one social media channel but maybe not checked out my others, so I always like to promote where I upload my work and videos. 

Contract

Although I’m more about creating awesome photographs and growing relationships with clients, terms and conditions are an important part of my business and of course add more reassurance to the clients. I’m a straight forward kind of guy, in fact, that’s how my contract starts.. I don’t aim to confuse couples with hundreds of terms and conditions. Like my photography approach I try and keep it as relaxed as possible, I recommend you take some time to develop your contract so it is personal to you as the photographer but also the type of clients who will be booking you. If you need some more tips on what you should include, check out this blog post: 12 Terms to include in your Photography Conditions

Advertise Other Wedding Vendors

The great thing about the wedding industry is you get to meet other awesome and like minded wedding vendors and it’s more than likely they’re a similar style or feel to your portfolio.. after all, the weddings you generally meet these vendors were all booked by the same couples. If you’re like me you will build up relationships with these vendors and continue ‘networking’ with them after the wedding, so why not share these relationships with your potential and new clients? There’s many ways to include this in a welcome package, you can create a printed ‘preferred vendors’ list or just include their business cards in your package. I usually stay away from lists only because some of the wedding vendors I recommended can’t always travel as far as I can. So instead I include a small envelope that features the business cards and leaflets with all the recommended vendors, I can then tailor it to each specific client and their location. Be sure to communicate this gesture with the wedding vendors themselves, more than likely they will do the same for you in the future.   

Timeline of Events

Every wedding photographer loves an organised bride and groom, but if we’re being honest it's usually the bride who’s super organised and has everything planned for the wedding day. The more pre planning goes into a wedding the smoother the day will run, ensuring the time you need for the all important shots of the bride and groom doesn't get eaten into. I always include a timeline of events the couples should be thinking of from 12 months up until the day big day, each wedding is of course slightly different so the checklist is very broad but it certainly has has great feedback from the brides and grooms that have used it so far. Photographers; you can also use this checklist to market some of your products further, for example if you charge extra for pre wedding shoots and singing boards you can add this to thier checklist rather than emailing the clients to see if they want to book one. 

F.A.Q

I’m a firm believer that a ‘stupid question’ doesn't exist and as a wedding photographer it’s important to understand that yes, we spend our lives at weddings but the couples who book you probably are tying the knot for the first and last time, so they’re bound to have lots of questions. I include a generic F.A.Q sheet that answers some of the most popular questions couples ask me, but as I will continue to mention in this blog, each client and wedding is unique and there will be small details that the bride and groom to be will need to go over with you. Remember to promote the asking of questions, you can not only use your experienced knowledge and perspective to reassure them but you can also grow that confidence that they’ve booked the right photographer for them. We all love a stress free wedding! 

Pre-stamped Return Envelope

A very simple thing to include but I can reassure you that it's a necessity, always include a pre stamped envelope in your welcome package that also features your logo. In my packages I require the couple to return a completed and signed terms and conditions form. If you make the process of returning this simple for your clients, you can move forward quicker and as we all want to do.. get the boring paperwork out of the way. Finally, ensure you include the correct stamp or postage costs on the envelope, I would suggest visiting your nearest post office or delivery depot to ensure you are stamping the return envelope correctly to avoid any further fees on the return.


 Good luck creating your own welcome package and I would love to see your final results. If you need any further advice or tips don't hesitate to drop me a comment or email. If you want more business advice, I highly recommend checking out some of the resources below! 

The Photography Show 2017 Review

As the Photography Show 2017 draws to a close this Tuesday, I look back at some of the exciting products, live demonstrations and seminars that I found most useful. This year’s show featured over 7 stages that gave advice & demonstrations for the beginners and professional photographers across the four days. One of the fantastic things about the Photography Show is the experience and knowledge available to everyone who walks through the NEC doors, you can be anything from a wildlife photographer to a wedding photographer and there is something for everyone. 

With over 200 exhibitors at this year’s show there’s certainly plenty to look at, as a complete camera geek and my love for all things tech, I made sure I got hands on with as many new products as I could. With so much going on over the weekend, I thought it would be a great idea to share my favourite stands from this year’s show: 


Sigma

The ever popular Sigma, again had a fantastic set up at this year's Photography Show 2017, showcasing their new lineup of lenses which sums up their approach to lenses and photography.  The three new and popular lines on display were Contemporary, Art and Sports, all of which show Sigma's development philosophy and advanced manufacturing systems. The great thing about the Photography Show is that you can bring along your own camera bodies and try out new kit and the Sigma stand was certainly the place to be for photographers. 

The Sigma stand was probably the first stand on my hit list and in particular their Art range lenses. For many creative and proffesional wedding photographers, the Sigma Art lens is the glass to be shooting with for unsurpassed expressive performance. The lenses are developed with maximum emphasis on artistic touch, ensuring they meet the expectations of users who value a creative, dramatic outcome above compactness and multifunction. Along with weddings, landscapes, portraits, still-life, close-up and causal snaps, they're perfect for the kind of photography that unleashes the inner artist. 

View their products: Click Here


Instax 

You're probably aware of my love affair with Instax, especially when it comes to my wedding photography. My photography is all about creating amazing photographs for couples, sure images with gorgeous light, tones, composition and mood certainly help along with a good DSLR or even a mirrorless camera. But ignoring all that good stuff for a minute, the most important thing comes down to creating awesome memories for the couple and their guests. My job as a wedding photographer isn't being good with my camera settings, although that is kind of needed, it's capturing those moments, moods and delivering that emotion through image making. 

So getting back to Instax, as a wedding photographer this is why I love the Fujifilm Instax range and why it never leaves my side during weddings. It allows me to create instant memories that couples and their guests will cherish.

If you're not aware of these super awesome cameras, then you've probably been living under a rock the last couple of years. The Fujifilm Instax Camera is a spin on the old instant photography cameras, providing instant prints from the camera body, let's be honest who doesn't love vintage & retro polaroids? The Instax range is a premium, fully-fledged camera design that sets itself apart from the "cute" image projected by its predecessors. Designed for a vintage look, they feature a variety of photography modes allowing more freedom, control and creativity in your photography.

The cameras also have a host of shooting modes, this is much more than a point & shoot camera, settings such Landscape, Macro, Party & Portrait modes allow you to take back some of that control the old school instant cameras lacked. You actually have some control over what image the camera creates and prints, with the added bonus of being able to under/over expose and choose whether the flash (which is brilliant) fires or not. 

Furthermore, the Instax range actually looks the part, their vintage look mean they can sit in your camera bag or around your neck with a DSLR and not look out of place. I take a Fuji Instax to 99% of the weddings I capture and I feel comfortable having it with me and I'm always conscious about looking proffesional at weddings! 

View their products: Click Here


Billingham Bags 

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I’m bound to be a little bit bias when it comes to Billingham as my go-to camera bag for wedding photography is my trusted (and very vintage) Billingham. I doubt there’s many photographers in the UK that haven't heard of this British company and they’re always great to go and see when the Photography Show comes around. Their appearance at the 2017 show was no different, with a huge range of quality products on display for you to have a look at and more importantly, be able to touch and feel the premium quality of their products. As soon as I got chatting to the guys on the stand it’s fairly obvious they know what they’re talking about and more importantly, they talked to you like a human being, leaving out those god awful sales pitches. If I’m honest I don’t need a sales pitch to be persuaded to buy a Billingham Camera bag, the products and design speaks for itself, and most importantly the bags do the job at protecting your photography equipment very very well! 

View their products: Click Here


Tailored 

One thing I love about the Photography Show is the opportunity to mix with the big companies and then walk around the corner and find yourself chatting to a small independent company that offer something really quirky to the photography industry. This was just the case with Tailored. This British company offer an authentic collection of leather accessories that cater for the professional photographer. Their handcrafted Leather Oxford Camera Strap is a very popular addition to the dual camera systems, but something Tailored do differently is that their process ensures each product is entirely made to measure for each photographer... no more buckles, rivets or excess leather! 

Their process helps create a lightweight two-camera strap that is seriously strong whilst being as comfortable and low profile as possible. Weight is balanced perfectly for maximum comfort.  As each Oxford strap is made to order just for you, you have full control of all their styling options too. Their attention to detail is second to none, you'll receive an adjustable measuring strap that records your measurements for the strap, you then just have the tough choice of which unique leather, stitching colour and embossing details you desire.  

It's absolutely fantastic to see a UK company taking the dual camera system by storm! 

View their products: Click Here


G . F SMITH

There’s always those few stands at the Photography Show where you just find yourself engulfed in conversation and this was the case with the lovely people at G . F Smith Photographic. They had a huge range of photographic books, frames and folders on display for you to look at, touch and most importantly feel. Their attention to detail and quality is obvious from their products and passion, they certainly know what they’re talking about and their work speaks for itself. I was even more impressed with the customer service they offer, I pride myself on a bespoke service with my photography so I like businesses who offer the same. Their brochure states ‘we answer the telephone’ let’s be honest when you’re designing a photo album or ordering prints and you come across a problem there is nothing worse than having to email the company and wait for a reply, it’s very rare companies advertise their telephone numbers these days. Even better, the sales executives from G . F Smith will visit your studio or home across the country to go through everything and show you how to use their software. Overall the G . F Smith stand was one of my favourites at the 2017 Photography Show, and I’m not bias on this one as I have never used their service but I certainly intend to, so keep posted for an update. 

View their products: Click Here


Hahnemühle Fine Art

For anyone who follows my work & blog religiously, you will be well aware that I love printing photographs, so at this year’s Photography Show 2017 stopping by to say hello at the printing experts was my first point of call. I currently outsource a large majority of my printing so I wanted to speak to a few people at this year’s show to see how easy and how much it would cost me to start printing from the office again. Once you’ve sourced a professional printer, then comes your paper choice and it’s very important you get this one right. Most people will have heard of Hahnemühle, I don’t think there’s any other company that challenges their range of fine art papers. Founded back in 1584 as a paper mill in South Lower Saxony’s Solling uplands, Hahnemühle developed – strictly according to the spirit of its founding fathers – into a customer-oriented and innovative manufacturing facility and that was very apparent at this year’s Photography Show. I was hugely impressed with the samples Hahnemühle had on show this year and the expertise of the staff on the stand. I will certainly be using Hahnemühle for my next print to see the results.  

View their products: Click Here


Manfrotto: Digital Director 

Let’s be honest Manfrotto lead the way for photography tripods and their up there with the best when it comes to video heads, camera bags, lens filters & video lighting. If you’re a regular visitor to the Photography Show you will know that Manfrotto go all out with their stand and the size of it challenges the likes of Nikon & Canon. This year was no different and I think they had more products on show than any other stall in the whole show, seeing the amount of products they offer in one space really emphasises they’re more than just the leading tripod company. Their own brochure they were handing out states ‘ The best photo and video accessories’ on the front cover and would you challenge that? 

As always, I was impressed with their vast range of ergonomic, lightweight and spacious camera bags that I would trust to keep all my photographic equipment secure. They really had a bag for every occasion, whether you’re taking one DLSR on a family picnic to travelling the to the other side of the world with all your equipment they could suggest the bag for the occasion. Obviously their photo supports/ tripods on display gained a lot of attention at the show, I very rarely use tripods, but as Photography and Video become an all in one service, Manfrotto have answered the needs of the industry. Seriously these guys rule the world when it comes to tripods and monopods! 

So out of all their products what did I love the most from Manfrotto? I was actually really impressed with their ‘Digital Director’ this is a workflow manager, it’s the only Apple certified device that connects to your camera and iPad to help manage your photo & video workflow. They had plenty of these directors on display linked up to Nikon & Canon cameras and you could even have a go with your own camera if you asked nicely enough. The digital director works really well, it firstly allows you to check the settings within the camera and changed anything on the camera from your iPad. It acts as a wireless remote and screen, but unlike using the camera apps on your phone, it’s in realtime without any delay or lag. Furthermore, rather than using your small LCD on the back of the camera and as an alternative to your viewfinder, the director allows you to use your iPad as an external monitor, taking advantage of it’s Retina display. So the Digital Director isn't the new toy for everyone, I doubt I would ever use the director in my wedding photography but I can certainly see it being a welcome addition to studio, product, newborn, landscape and sport photographers to name a few! 

View their products: Click Here


10 things I've learnt as a Professional Wedding Photographer

One thing I have realised over the past few years as a professional wedding photographer is there are not many people, guides or information out there on how you should approach a career as a wedding photographer. I consciously made the effort to assist as many photographers as I could to ensure I could learn the trade and industry before I took the leap to becoming self employed. Even after all that experience I still take time to step back and think 'wow, I wish I’d known that before I started my own business’, so for those of you who are interested and willing to take some information onboard, here's just a few of those thoughts! 

1. Be Clear about who you are and your style: There comes a time during your career were your portfolio will define who you are, your style and what to expect from your services. This situation is a great place to be, your work will attract the type of clients / couples you want to be working with, knowing that they made contact with you and booked because they LOVE your style. It’s always good to be open & honest about you and your work, showing transparency in your pricing structure and what exactly the clients will receive will ensure there’s no awkward questions or situations. Yes, everyone’s portfolio won’t suit every client, couples usually have a style or idea of the photographer they want and with such a creative and competitive market, you may not secure every enquiry. I’ve also learnt that redirecting clients away from your services can also be key to running a successful photography business. Sometimes you wont be able to meet the client’s requirements or it may be obvious your style just doesn't fit the ‘look’ they’re wanting to create. You may be thinking it’s bad business to turn away work but being honest and true to your style and skill set will make you more successful in the long run. Just to give you an example, I recently had an enquiry to capture just a ceremony of a wedding, because the couple had a friend capturing the rest of the day. I kindly informed them that it’s just not my style to capture small periods of the day and my approach is to capture the full story of their wedding day. Don’t be afraid to turn down work and always try your best to point them in the direction of another photographer who may be willing to take on the work. 

2. You’re so much more than just a ‘photographer’ : So those who know me well, or have been at a wedding recently that I’ve captured, will know I always have another bag that I keep handy that’s full of useful emergency items that maybe just save the day. The more weddings you shoot, the quicker you will realise the common disasters that can occur on wedding days and if you can help smooth out any problems, well it’s going to look good on you and give you a bit more time for those awesome portraits. I’m more than happy to go above and beyond just being the ‘wedding photographer’, whether that’s running to the car for umbrellas for guests, grabbing a takeaway breakfast for the bridesmaids on my way to the bridal preparations, helping the groomsmen attach their buttonholes - it’s all in a days work. 

3. Travel, Travel, Travel: I feel MEGA privileged that my job as a wedding photographer allows me to travel to awesome destinations and see amazing new wedding venues. I love it that much that I openly promote myself as a destination wedding photographer, I will capture weddings literally anywhere! Of course you will have to evaluate how you will charge expenses such as travel and accommodation or you may just prefer to shoot weddings in your local area, but I highly recommended you try exploring travel in your work.   

4. You will do less and less photography: Everyone’s road into photography usually starts at the same point whether you go into further education or you’re just a hobbyist. You usually buy yourself a DSLR and go out and shoot as much as you can and shoot the things that make you tick. Without sounding too much like my Dad, make sure you really cherish that time, having the opportunity to create awesome photographs with absolutely no brief or pressures is something that, overtime, will become less and less. Don’t get me wrong, I still truly love my job and creating awesome portraits, I’m just limited with time these days. Running your own photography business means you will be working on your own admin, accounts, invoicing, social media, marketing, emailing and networking. Even though I still find a ton of enjoyment in my business, it’s worth mentioning that it’s not all about picture making. 

5. Treat your clients as friends: I couldn't even count how many of the awesome Brides & Grooms I have captured over the years who are still in contact with me. I always try and build up a friendship with each and every couple I work with before their big day, it not only makes my job easier on the day but those guys feel more comfortable in front of the camera. Meeting new people and making new friends I’m sure brings a smile to anyone and every, so if you can implement that into your business I highly recommend you do. 

6. You can never have a sick day, NEVER. Most of you will have named your wedding photography business with your name, therefore it’s you and your skills the clients are paying for not an office of people. Touch wood, I have never had to cancel a wedding due to illness and unless I was critically ill or unable to walk, I would battle through everything to capture that wedding. I recently fell ill with food poisoning but I had to man up and work though it, of course I always have a back up on standby just incase I was too ill to make a wedding day. Make sure you plan your own back up procedures and highlight the possibility of illness in your terms and conditions / contracts. 

7. Remember the end goal: My whole outlook on my job as a wedding photographer is to creating amazing photographs that the bride & groom along with their family & friends will cherish and revisit for their whole lifetime. I’ve always been a quality over quantity kind of guy, but when it comes to weddings I place more emphasis on creating a collection of imagery that tells the story rather than placing all my time and effort on capturing that one perfect portrait. There’s a huge responsibility on your shoulders and that’s why wedding photography should never be entered into lightly, just remember you’re tasked with creating memories that will last generations. Think about it, I can guarantee you have a wedding picture from your grandparents somewhere in the house now? 

8. Working for yourself has it’s down days. Whilst working for yourself and from your own office or at home maybe be viewed by the outside world with a hint of jealousy, it’s not all perfect. There’s no doubt your business is going to need investment, a huge amount of time and effort and usually requires you to juggle a few part time jobs whilst you find your feet, typically the hardest part of setting up your business in the wedding photography industry. Although even after that time has passed and you have established yourself in the industry, there’s still hurdles you will have to overcome. Time management and your own lifestyle goals play a key role in running your own business, if you don’t implement those ideas into your work you will find the work - life balance a real struggle. There are plenty of days, especially in wedding season, where I won’t find the time to have a day off. 7 day weeks along with 12 hour days are common for me but I’m very aware of the lifestyle I want to live. Sure, you will have some serious highs and lows, along as you prepare yourself and make time for the things in your life, outside of work, that make you smile then you won’t go wrong. 

9. Work with other wedding vendors: We’re all super lucky to be working in an industry full of love, colour and very happy people. Weddings involve so many other businesses and individuals from the cake maker to dress designer from wedding vehicles to videographers. It’s good business to befriend many of these guys, they’re not only good contacts to have for the future but you can all make each other’s jobs a whole lot easier and potentially help each other out. So don’t get all protective if the wedding venue asks you for a snap from the big day or the cake maker would love a shot of the cake, kindly oblige and see what you can get in return. Even other wedding photographers are great people to network with, 99% of them are genuine cool people and you can find people to talk geeky camera stuff to. Most of us are happy to meet up and recommend each other, there’s a few bad eggs out there but they’re usually easy to spot and stay away from. 

10. There’s no overnight success potion. I see too many photographers jumping in at the deep end, trying to run a successful wedding photography business and fail. The reality is it takes years and years to build up your business and your audience and there’s no shortcut to skip ahead. Even if your work is awesome, it won’t promote itself or get itself noticed, it takes time, patience and whole shed load of work to start making your mark on the industry.