Naomi, Josh & Kingsley

Oh I have been so excited about sharing this shoot with you all! I’m sure most of you will be familiar with this gorgeous little family. Naomi is the beautiful girl behind the uber popular Rockstar Diaries blog and her husband Josh and their new dog Kingsley play a staring role in it. These guys really are wonderful people. Sweet, kind and darling. Their blog posts never fail to cheer me and they just seem so genuinely LOVELY!

OK enough gushing…you’re going to adore these images taken at the DC Cherry Blossom Festival by their wedding photographer Leo Patrone (who I’m hoping to meet when he comes over to London soon!) The light, the colours, the fashion, the fun and lurrrve…aww just so perfect.

0dc7837-R3-E226

Continue reading

How to Avoid Burn-Out: A Guest Post by Chanelle Segerius-Bruce

I arrived at the party, having had my hair blow dried and a coral pink ruffled dress picked out especially for the occasion. The doorman walked up to my black cab, opened the door and welcomed me to The Dorchester. I made my way up to the very top floor in the opulently decorated elevator and, after having my coat taken care of, was offered a glass of bubbly. I was to brush shoulders with the ‘Best of British’ that evening. This was a party hosted by none other than Mark Niemeirko, the UK’s top wedding planner, in honor of Darcy Miller the editor of Martha Stewart Weddings. A selection of the best UK bloggers where there too, including the lovely Kat of course, as well as florists, hair & make-up artists and best of all the big name bridal designers.

This is networking at it’s finest ladies and gentlemen!

How did I get here? I can tell you that it wasn’t just down to spending every waking moment in front of my computer. While, of course, I’ve worked hard to get here, one of the best things I did for myself and my business last year was to not do everything myself.

In the first two years of my wedding photography business I did absolutely everything myself. I found it hard to let go. I felt as though I was the only person who could ever possibly work on my on RAW files. I thought nobody else would ever be able to design an album for me – even if I guided them through the process. I worked as a high end retoucher for years and it has only recently dawned on me that those fashion photographers would not be where they are now if they had to sit and work on each and every image that they have shot themselves! Do you think Mario Testino would have the time to travel the world, shooting front covers for Anna Wintour and worldwide advertising campaigns if he was shackled to his desk with a pen and Wacom tablet permanently attached to the end of his arm? I think not. You have to have the time to network and meet people in the industry in person and not just from the safety net of a twitter handle.

I eluded to the topic of avoiding burn out in my round up/end of year blog post. 2011 was my third full year in business as a photographer and now, at the start of 2012, I feel very happy with where I am with my price point and how I am progressing my business. I would like to share some of what I’ve done to get here with you all. I hope my advice can span any business and that this article is not only useful for photographers, however most of my examples in this piece are specific to what I did in my wedding photography business.

My basic lesson is this: life is short and working into the wee hours of the night, not having a break and feeling overwhelmed is why people ‘burn-out’ or loose their passion for something they once loved. After all most people start their own businesses to get away from working in a job that stresses them out!

“If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right” – Steve Jobs

Outsourcing

Begin with the easy things and then work towards the ones that are harder to let go of.

Accounting
Firstly I don’t do well with numbers, so outsourcing my accounting was a no brainer and the first thing I did back in my freelance retouching days. No way was I going to sit down and fill in a tax return or enter a bunch of receipts and expenses into Excel (which is not a program I am familiar with – my background is graphic design and I just never had the need to learn it). I used to hand over a big bundle of paperwork to my poor accountant and he had to sift though everything and make sense of it all. However now file everything myself into subsections for each type of expense (i.e. album printing, travel, consumables, gear etc etc).

Bookkeeping
The second thing I outsourced was bookkeeping. I know I need to have a running total of my turnover in order to keep an eye on the VAT threshold. Remember to keep in mind that if you go over the threshold in any 12 month period (not just the tax tear April to April) that you have to start charging your clients 20% VAT. This includes future wedding clients, even if they booked you before you had to go VAT registered! It is super important to plan for this.

Continue reading

Laura & Colin at Salvation Mountain

I am seriously so in love with Laura & Colin. What an utterly gorgeous pair, with an utterly gorgeous e-sesh (although these shots were actually taken the day after their wedding) at Salvation Mountain. I’ve blogged about this amazing place before. The ‘mountain’ in the Californian desert is a 50 foot mountain, made totally of local adobe clay and paint. The 79 year old creator of this national treasure, Leonard, lives on site alone in his truck (!) and his piece of art has been a work in progress for over 20 years!

“Salvation Mountain is located in the lower desert of Southern California in Imperial County just east of the Salton Sea and about a hour and a half from Palm Springs,” the mountain’s website explains. “Salvation Mountain is Leonard’s tribute to God and his gift to the world with its simple yet powerful message: “God Is Love.” Leonard’s passion has lovingly created this brilliant “outsider art ” masterpiece resplendent with not only biblical and religious scripture such as the Lord’s Prayer, John 3:16, and the Sinner’s Prayer, but also including flowers, trees, waterfalls, suns, bluebirds, and many other fascinating and colorful objects. Salvation Mountain must be seen to be fully appreciated as those who have made the journey will attest. Its 50 foot height and 150 foot breadth is made totally of local adobe clay and donated paint and is truly unique in the United States and probably the world. From its Sea of Galilee at the bottom, to the big red heart in the middle, to the cross at the very top, the reoccurring theme of “Love” is everywhere at Salvation Mountain”

What an amazing place to shoot huh?!

My friend Jen over at Green Wedding Shoes has blogged Laura & Colin’s wedding today too! Be sure to head over their and check it out. It’s a beaut.

Continue reading

Thursday Treats – 1st April 2010

Credit: Leo Patrone (Features the gorgeous Naomi, Josh & Kingsley of Rockstar Diaries)

It’s that time of the week again…hold onto your knickers girls! As always this week has been epic and the internet has been fit to bursting with all this bloggy goodness. I can’t wait for you to read it all. So, go get a cup of coffee and some kind of sweet treat and enjoy some procrastination time…

♥ The wonderful girls over at Completely Unveiled interviewed me this week and I got to talk to them all about fashion, being fabulous and general wedding goodness…check it!
♥ Perfect wedding veils and how to choose them
♥ A dirt-bike riding couple glam up
Over sized paper flowers
♥ The best and most adorable vintage wedding cupcakes I’ve seen!
Matching stripes
Laura & Ben
Loving these floaty Maria Lucia Hohan wedding dresses
Vintage style clutches and purses for brides
One pair of shoes – a million outfit possibilities
OMG Emily!

Continue reading

Older Is Better

Leo Patrone is one of those photographers I really admire.  I check his site often just hoping for a new little bit of wedding joy to share with you, and today I got lucky!

For some reason I have been all about the vintage/old looking photography today…I don’t know why, I’m just being really drawn to it (to top it off Kathryn @ Snippet&Ink posted a gorgeous wedding today using Poladroid to generate faux Polaroid images of the day – oh how much fun I had after I downloaded that application!)
But anyway, as usual I digress…let’s just enjoy the wonderful Holga goodness of these photographs.

Credit: Leo Patrone