Sunday, 20 February 2011

Unusual Wedding Gift???

Just looking for a bit of feedback really.  Please do feel free to comment below or get in touch with me directly.

I've just launched a new idea for my wedding clients.  Many couples already live together before they get married so the wedding list is a bit of a struggle to fill.  I know we had a job choosing things we actually wanted rather than stuff just to fill the list.  There's only so many toasters you can use!

We asked our guests to contribute to our honeymoon, which was great for us, but some of them still wanted to give us a "thing" to open.  Even if it was a voucher for somewhere.  Which got me thinking.  How about getting your guests to pay for your wedding photography?!

So my idea is this: once you've paid me your deposit, you then get a reference number unique to you.  You pass this to your guests (in the invitation) who go onto my website.  They enter the number and the amount they want to spend and I send them a voucher to that value for them to hand over to the happy couple on their wedding day.  In the background I'm tracking all the contributions and amend the final invoice accordingly.

I would have loved a service like that when I got married!  What do you think???

Sunday, 13 February 2011

It's Just Genetics!

I think me being male puts a lot of women off having photos taken wearing only their undies.  Or even less!  But there is really no need to let that affect you.  I am a man for the same reason women are women.  Genetics.

To me photography is a hobby, a passion and a career and I get just as excited about a baby, a wedding or a stunning sunset as I do a lady in lingerie.  The fact that I'm a man and she's a woman is just a coincidence of chromosomes.

Don't get me wrong, I understand the concerns, but they are not necessary.  Setting up as a photographer is a bit of a long-winded and expensive way to see what I can see for free on the internet!  It's my job and I approach it with complete professionalism.

So if you were thinking of having some boudoir photos or a maternity shoot then please don't let that Y chromosome put you off!

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Do You Get What You Pay For?

I think you probably do.  People often ask me why it costs £950 just for a wedding album.  And my answer is it doesn't!  It costs £950 for a wedding album, 50 thank you cards, a proof book and about 20 hours of my time, either before during or after a wedding.

There are photographers out there who will do a wedding for £250 including an album.  I would advise caution.  I can't buy an album for less than £250 from my supplier.  That's because his product is of excellent quality and is only available to professional photographers.  That is to protect professionals so we can still make a living from it!  It also shows off good quality photos in the best way possible.  It is very likely that the £250 photographer has got his album from an online site available to anyone.  The photos may be great, but the album quality is likely to be far inferior.

And also beware of photographers who guarantee at least 800 pictures, all on a disc, for just £500. If this is what you're after, insist on seeing all 800 pictures from a real wedding.  Don't just settle for his portfolio shots.  They are by definition his best.  See how many of the 800 pictures you would actually want to look at again.  I bet it isn't 800!

Which brings me onto my final point.  Do you really want to miss out on an album to save some money?  I understand that times are very hard at the moment, but think about your holiday photos.  You get home, download them onto a computer, maybe stick some on Facebook and then never look at them again.  If you just have photos on a disc the same thing happens.  Your mum comes round and wants to see your pictures and you say, "just let me login to Facebook" and you huddle round a small screen and look at your pictures with your friends' comment underneath and a load of adverts down the side.  How much nicer would it be to be able to hand over you personalised, hand made wedding album for her to browse through at her leisure?  It is a unique, stunning, beautiful reminder of a time in your life that only lasted a single day.

If you're on a budget you have to have what you can afford, but think carefully about which areas you want to cut back on.  And then get in touch!

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Onwards and upwards...!

It has been, shall we say, not the best start to a year I've ever had!  It actually started just before Christmas with what I though was a chest infection leaving me very short of breath all of the time.  More on that later though...

January has been very quiet for me.  It's my first proper January so I didn't really know what to expect.  I thought it might be quiet but not this quiet!  It's been tough to be honest.  February is looking better and then there's Mother's Day in April so March should pick up a bit...  I hope!

The next worry was all about my new premises.  I am mega excited about having my own studio in Grimsby (if a little terrified at the same time) and was all geared up to be in during February.  Well, the Council have put a stop to that little plan!  It's still going ahead but the planning application process I have to go through to change the use is incredible.  The most complicated form I've ever seen and more scale drawings than you could shake a stick at (if stick shaking floats your boat).  And it's not cheap either!  And to top it off they gave me and my new landlord 2 different bits of conflicting advice meaning the 8 week process has been delayed by a further 4 weeks!  It's become a bit of a personal rant, but I would have thought they would be making it as easy as possible to get businesses into premises on a road with 40% of the shops closed!  And breathe...

And last but not least: last week I was diagnosed with a blood clot above my left knee!  No idea how I got it or even how long it's been there, but I am now having clexane injections in my stomach and warfarin tablets every day for the next 6 months.  And the best bit is the shortness of breath I had before Christmas could very well have been a pulmonary embolism!  Woohoo!

But let's not dwell on the negatives...  After all, a problem is just an opportunity in disguise!  At least I now know that January will be a quiet month so can plan for it next year.  My move will happen at some point and it will be amazing!  (Watch this space for a big opening party...)  And I caught the clot before anything really bad happened.  So not such a bad start really.