Author Archives: Kat

How To Deal With People Who Want to ‘Pick Your Brain’

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Dear Kat
I understand the irony of my emailing you about this, but I need your help! I’m a wedding photographer and my business is going pretty well. I’ve been shooting full time for two years now and I’m really proud of how much I’ve achieved. It’s taken a lot of work, but it’s been worth it!

My problem is, I’m now starting to get a lot of emails or private Facebook messages from friends and strangers asking if they can ‘pick my brain’. Sometimes they fire questions at me, but most of the time they’re asking if we can meet for coffee or if they can come and see how I work at a wedding!

While I’m honoured that people think I’m worthy of asking advice, I can’t help but feel annoyed about it. I’ve worked my BUTT off for the past two years to get to where I am, and these people seem to want me to give them all the answers for free! Don’t they realise there’s no quick answer and that hard work and time is really what it takes? You must get a lot of this too so I was just wondering if you had any advice on how I should deal with it?

When you reach a certain level of success, it’s inevitable that people will start to come out of the woodwork and innocently ask you for advice. Yes, it can be irritating, but the fact that this is happening is actually an amazing opportunity for your own business to grow.

Don’t feel bad about saying no!

First off, you should not feel bad for saying no. I say no to people everyday and I never feel guilty about it! You are only one little person and you can’t help everyone. You shouldn’t ever feel burdened by other people’s problems just because they asked you about them.

“Brain picking” meetings are particularly exhausting because they usually don’t have a specific goal. A lot of the time you’ll be trying to figure out exactly what the other person actually wants from you. To me, there is nothing worse than vaguely asking for advice. Let’s drop the foreplay and get to the point already! Does that sound harsh and mean? Maybe a little, but I’m a busy girl, I ain’t got time for fannying around!

If someone is asking to “pick your brain” then the implication is usually that they don’t really know what they want or need, they’re just hoping that you can give them all the answers. I personally avoid these kinds of meetings like the plague.

However I do think that you should always reply to each and every message you get, even if it is to say that you can’t help them. People will generally appreciate that you’ve taken the time to send them a note back, and it shouldn’t take you very long if you create some templates.

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Budget Friendly Day of the Dead Wedding: Ross & Amy

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Ross and Amy met at Download Festival in 2009, so obviously their wedding was going to be pretty Rock n Roll! They had just £4000 to spend, but that didn’t stop them planning a wedding that was beautiful. meaningful and fun for their guests.

“My grandma was always the main event at family parties but she passed away a few years ago”, began the bride. “I love that Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebrates the life of people that have passed instead of mourning them. Ross had also lost his granddad around the same time so we thought this would be a good theme for our wedding.”

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“i made all the small skulls and painted the pots for the centrepiece”, she continued. “We set the room up ourselves and the masks and the sugar skull pictures were made by my best friend. Our whole day was awesome but I’ll never forget watching my Dad dancing to Limp Bizkit and the dance off between my bridesmaid Lucy and our good friend Mark!”

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Rainbow & Pride Wedding in Scotland: Lita & Carol

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After waiting 16 years to be allowed to legally married, Lita and Carol were ready for one hell of a celebration! They wanted to use their wedding to celebrate them, but also love – in all forms.

“We waited so long  to be allowed to legally marry!” began the girls. “So we were so excited to finally be able to do it. We love the island of Jura, off the coast of Scotland, and wanted a wedding at dawn on the beach. However our professionals and others were held up because of Hurricane Bertha, so we started in the afternoon rather than the morning, and compressed a full days worth of activities into half a day.”

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“We wanted a beautiful rainy weather option for our ceremony which is why we hired the tipis from Highland Tipis, we ended up having the ceremony in them so we’re glad we did! They were very good and ensured that we were safe from the gusting winds.”

“In terms of décor, we had hand painted lots of jars and bottles and put these around with candles and flowers in”, they continued. “We had lots of rustic candle holders dotted around, as well as second-hand saris weaving around the tipi walls. We wanted to recreate an authentic ‘love is happening’ feel to both tipis. We are both nearly 60 years old and so we wanted to share the ‘all you need is love’ experience of the 60s and 70s with our guests, some of whom, were too young to have been there first time around!”

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Colourful Day-After Wedding Party: Clare & Stuart

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Clare and Stuart didn’t want a big wedding. In fact they wanted their wedding to be so small that they went to Belfast City Hall for their ceremony with just 10 witnesses! Still wanting an awesome celebration with their loved ones though, they held this colourful party the following day at Brookhall Barn in Lisburn.

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Clare explained, “We knew what we didn’t want – no white dress, no bridesmaids, no church, no rings, no walking down the aisle, no giving away, no big ceremony, no speeches, no first dance, no hotel reception, no florist arrangements. None of that stuff was ‘us’. Once we found the right venue, somewhere where we could do our own thing and where some of our friends could stay, everything else fell into place.”

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Super Kawaii English Country Garden Wedding: Abby & Hoi

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You might think that there’s nothing more traditional in English weddings than a country garden setting, but Abby and Hoi’s big day was anything but quaint! They took the traditional elements and turned them on their head. From the bride’s short polka dot dress and purple hair, to the Hello Kitty cake and the vintage ice cream cart for dessert, this was a wedding that was quintessentially ‘them’.

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“The inspiration for out wedding was to tell the story of how we met”, began the bride. “As well as to share the memories we have made with our family and friends. Some of the props we used were personally belongings from my granddad. We used his seeder plant boxes and Wellington boots to put flowers in.”

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