Category Archives: Guest Posts

Changing Your Persective: A Guest Post by Casey Fatchett

Ansel Adams famously said, “A good photograph is knowing where to stand.”

I find myself coming back to that quote a lot. Not just as a photographer, but in life, I say to myself, “Why in the hell am I standing here? I should be standing over there!”

As photographers, our job is to observe and document. Wait, that is oversimplifying. We look at the world and we choose a way in which to convey what we ‘see’ to others. That better? Anyway, sometimes, we get so wrapped up in what we are seeing through our lens that we don’t stop and take a look at our surroundings.

Deep, I know. This whole thing is a metaphor for life, weddings, work in general… and this doesn’t just apply to photography. Whatever your profession, you need to take a time out and observe yourself and what you are doing.

If you have been working on weddings for a long time, you probably know what it is like to get into a ‘groove’. It isn’t hard to do, especially if you are working on 20…30… or more weddings a year. You just have to make sure the ‘groove’ doesn’t become a ‘rut’ where all of your work feels exactly the same. The same pictures if you’re a photographer, the same designs if you’re a stationer/cake maker/florist…  because that is not good for you or your clients.

I was recently on a photojournalism assignment that included covering the opening of a gallery show by Courtney Love. There were at least half a dozen other photographers there, all waiting to get photos of Courtney when she came in. When she finally arrived, she began talking to one of the people there and gave the crew of photographers her ‘full back’. Some of them started shouting her name. “Courtney, over here! Courtney, this way! Courtney! Courtney!” No good. I could have either stood there with the gaggle of paparazzi or I could find somewhere else to stand. So I moved around a corner and got some fantastic shots of Ms. Love talking and gesturing, with no idea she was being photographed, with the gallery sign for her show in the frame as well.

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Stop Bartering Me!

You and your product are awesome. You feel you have set a fair price for what you offer and in the words of our Cheryl “You’re Worth It” Then what’s with all the potential clients wanting to barter with you? It can be utterly soul destroying to be repeatedly asked to lower your rates because somebody else up the road is doing the same thing as you for less.

There are some vendors who love to haggle over prices and don’t ever expect anyone to pay their full rates. If this is you then I wish you well but most of us set a price that we actually want to achieve and feel disheartened when asked to take something off. Interestingly, the most haggling happens at the lower and upper ends of the market. The couple with around £1800 or less to spend on photography often feel that because this end of the market is so overly saturated that they have the power… and quite frankly they do. They have a huge amount of choice and there any many wedding photographers out there willing to compete on price to get the work. If you are somewhere around this price bracket, and find yourself repeatedly asked to take off 10-20% as ‘that is all they have budgeted for photography’ you will quite often get to the wedding and find that the bride is in a £3000 dress or they have a Choccywoccydoodah cake that cost more than you. What that couple actually meant when they said they were on a budget is that they didn’t value your services above some of the other things at their wedding. Sadly these are usually the things that are only there for the day.

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Why You Should be Hated: A Guest Post by Chris Barber

Perhaps supported by some kind of celebrity culture, but it seems to be widely accepted that in order to be deemed as ‘successful’ in mainstream society you have to be liked by as many people as possible. You have to have a certain number of ‘likes’ on your facebook page. You need as many followers as possible on twitter and your most recent blog post is only as strong as the number of comments that sit at the bottom of it. While this is not all together wrong, I’d like to start thinking about the other side of the coin for a minute.

Think of someone you admire. Someone that is regarded (by you) as successful. It doesn’t matter if they’re successful financially, creatively or because of their social status, but that same person that you obsess over is certainly also going to hated by someone. Not just disliked. Hated. It almost seems a given these days, that in order to really make a difference, you have to ruffles some feathers… and as well as connecting with some people in the way you present yourself you will, in turn, repel others.

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Something Borrowed, Something Roo: The Rings

So Roo‘s been a busy bee for the past few months. Not only has she been planning her wedding but she’s been up to her cute little eyeballs (can eyeballs be cute? I think hers can!) studying for Uni exams and turning in coursework. So she’s had a little break from writing for the blog recently but I’m pleased to report that she’s back! And as she’s now on her summer break, wedding planning is ramping up full throttle as will be the blog posts. HURRAH.

Over to you sweet cheeks…

Oh yeah this photo of her and Lamb in the sea has nothing to do with the article but I stole it from her facebook because it’s ace

One thing that’s struck me as quite unexpected since getting engaged was the dismay I felt at choosing a wedding ring. Despite owning and wearing quite a bit of costume jewellery, I’ve never really worn anything expensive or precious before, and the notion of having to choose and buy something that I would wear for the rest of my life was daunting, to say the least. Couple someone like me – indecisive, picky, a bit scatty – with someone like Lamb, who’d never even worn any kind of ring before; we were quite the pair. Over the past six months we’ve gone on a few meanders around Brighton’s South Lanes (home to dozens of jewellers) and tentatively looked at the window displays, pricing up metals, shapes, and stones. I tried to explain that the best thing to do was to go in and enquire first about ring sizing services (since Lamb doesn’t know his size) and ask to maybe try on a few and see what suited and fitted. Lamb’s primary concern was that of the ‘hard sell’; that even after we stipulated to a shop assistant that we were only trying, not buying, we’d be expected to make some kind of purchase. Having next to no experience with jewellers, I couldn’t correct him nor agree with him. As silly as it sounds, it was actually a little bit scary.

Besides our shyness, there was also a matter of taste. I for one am all about statement over status – that is, that I’m not so keen on ‘bling’ or expense, I’d much rather have something unusual. This idea was further cemented during a conversation last September with Feather Love’s Noa, when I commented on how gorgeous her wedding ring is. She told me that it cost something like $20 from a market (correct me if I’m wrong Noa), and that when she saw it she just knew it was “the one”. I hoped and expected that the story of my wedding ring was going to be the same.

My engagement ring, vintage from A Second Time. Photo taken the morning after we got engaged on June 22nd, 2011, in Berlin.

This was, after all, how I’d felt about my engagement ring. The moment that I saw it on my finger I knew no other ring could have been mine. My engagement ring was relatively inexpensive, but in my mind I’ve never seen a more precious and priceless ring in comparison. Ergo, it didn’t ever cross my mind that our wedding rings should cost a fortune – I just wanted them to be ours. Besides, it’s not like we have a fortune to hand anyway…

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Personal Posts – How Much Is Too Much?: A Guest Post by Sara Doron of Under the Vintage Veil

Photography Credit: Emma Lucy Photography

Hello, my name is Sara (that’s me on the right) and I’m a share-a-holic. Confused? Let me explain. I’d say the majority of wedding businesses have blogs – and as wonderful an engagement tool as they can be, they can also be a little bit dangerous – and I’ll explain why. Let me preface this by saying that, as a blogger, I am a strong believer in sharing parts of your personality, your quirks, your likes and dislikes and your major life events with your readers. Being a human being is what distinguishes a blogger from a magazine. Unlike with a magazine, where readers buy a copy once a month, but are outsiders looking in on an experience, with a blog, people get to know you, follow your journey and interact with you, even come to care about you. Blogs are generally run by one person, or a very small team of people, and so getting to know them and what makes them tick is one of the things that makes the medium so great!

However, sharing personal things doesn’t come easily to some people and they find it a struggle to find the right words. And to others, it simply comes too easily. I’d say I fall into the latter category – I’ve been known to tweet before I think, blog before I’ve slept on it and generally get the balance wrong. Getting it right has been a massive learning curve, but a valuable one that I really wanted to share with you.

I should imagine that some of you are incensed. After all, how can there be a right or a wrong way to share your feelings? Well, I’ve seen all too many bloggers and wedding businesses lose credibility by letting everyone know when they’re upset about a business loss, or when they’re losing confidence in their brand or abilities or even when they’ve fallen out with someone. Blogs are a relatively new phenomenon in the big scheme of things. While they aren’t magazines and aren’t expected to hold those standards, ask yourself this: would you expect to see a random rant about how bad a writer’s day is on Cosmopolitan or Elle? While there’s more room to share your personal experiences on a blog, it’s still important to keep a veneer of professionalism about it.

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Why Video is the Future for the Wedding Industry: A Guest Post by Victoria Grech

In January last year I made a somewhat controversial decision for a stills photographer – to venture over to the ‘dark side’. Yes, I wanted to see what film was all about and how I could use it to improve my wedding photography business. I had heard a lot of hype about DSLR cameras being able to record HD video and that had piqued my interest. With the two technologies being used side by side, was I missing a trick by not learning how to use film alongside stills?

Around this time a photography magazine, Photo Professional, released a mini magazine entitled ‘HDSLR Movie Maker’. The editor, Terry Hope, spoke about when photography moved from film to digital and how this shift was a huge change for businesses everywhere, as visual content became more accessible to everyone. Given the meteoric rise of digital photography, it goes without saying that many photographers who dismissed digital cameras as a fad and didn’t adapt were left on the shelf. Also in the article, Terry implied that we’re now at a similar point with the integration of film into photography. Photographers need to embrace the change or get left behind.

The timing of the article couldn’t have been better for me and I knew this was something I wanted to start thinking about seriously. I started playing around with filming in March of 2011 and I was very quickly hooked on the world of video.

Every wedding company should embrace video

In today’s fast moving and highly competitive digital marketplace, it is more important than ever that you and your brand make a good first impression on a potential client. It’s still true that nothing quite sells like a real person, so I started to think about how I could put the ‘real’ me across online. The answer was simple – video. If used properly, it creates a much more personal connection with your clients. Customers, particularly in the wedding industry, generally prefer to get a sense of who you are, as well as what you’re selling them. And instead of relying on a forced and formal ‘about me page’ or a faceless contact form, video can go a long way to make them feel like they know you before they get in touch.

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