2016…what a year and we are only half way through it. I thought it worthwhile looking back at my own experiences as a photographer and sharing some of the ups and downs taking each month at a time.
I spent January mainly editing weddings that had taken place in December. One of the reasons why it can take a couple of months for wedding photographs to be delivered is that photographers have to give some space between the event and the start of the editing process. If editing takes place too soon then the critical eye can be blurred by the events of the day, so many photographers prefer to leave it a short while. In between my editing work, I undertook some Commercial jobs involving Civil Engineering projects, it was a case of switching from altar rails & first dances to fences & groundworks.
Practice makes perfect. Like all skills, the best way to excel is to practice and I spent a lot of February testing equipment, trying new creative techniques and improving my Photoshop expertise. I also worked with a couple of North East wedding venues at their Open Days. I much prefer Open Days to Wedding Fayres, which I find to formal and feedback from couples tend to confirm this with too many vendors taking on a hard sell mindset. I also received two awards from the Guild of Photographers namely, the Photographer’s Bar (for consistently high standard of work) and Top 10 Landscape Photographer of the Year.
March consisted of more visits to interesting places such as Fife, Sheerness and Grimsby as the requests for Commercial Photography increased. I was not always as fortunate with the weather and much of my time was spent deciding on what type of clothing would be suitable. The Hi Viz Jacket and Steel toe-capped Boots combo works well, but add in Safety Goggles in the rain makes working with a camera and lighting equipment quite challenging.
April was my most successful month to date for Wedding enquiries, in one week alone I booked four for this year and one for 2017. They were a nice range of people as well from young couples to a couple in their late fifties.
I saw a boost to visits to my website in May. I put a little more work into my portfolio and blogs which was complimented by an article in Living North magazine and a couple of Photography publications. A family trip to New York actually produced an image from the Rockefeller Centre which won a Bronze award from the Guild of Photographers. No mean feat as it is an shot of the Empire State Building that must have been shot a thousand times.
With the wedding season in full flow, my June weekends were very busy. Each wedding is very different and the choice of holding the ceremony and reception at the same venue certainly removes one of the logistical challenges for a photographer, especially if they use a second shooter/assistant who may be covering the groom preparations. That said, I had the pleasure of photographing inside St John the Evangelist Church in Killingworth, Newcastle, which is really beautiful and has a great vicar.
Really looking forward to the rest of the year….especially as we will be introducing some new options for our clients (expect an announcement in August).