10 years in business!
Wow, it feels strange to write this one! I rarely write personal posts (I don’t have the time!) But I thought I’d pause and put pen to paper for this one. Just to acknowledge with you all that I’ve reached a little milestone. 10 years in business, working for myself, full time, photographing weddings.
The years do seem to fly by but the mind boggles at this number.
1st March 2009 was my first day in the ‘office.’ That office was the box room of a ground floor flat in Clifton. It didn’t have any windows and it suffered from a damp problem!
At the time of writing this I have photographed exactly 430 weddings. It seems strange that it’s a round number, but that’s what my computer says! Being a wedding photographer has taken me all around the UK. It’s also seen me jump on a plane and head to France, Spain, Italy, USA, Mexico, Norway, Lebanon, Lundy Island, Iceland and Santorini.
That sounds pretty Jetset and it is nice to visit new destinations. But my wife will confirm that it’s a LOT of hard work. The travel, early starts, late finishes, hours in the car and hours spent at the computer in a budget hotel room aren’t all that glamorous. I wouldn’t change it for anything though – it’s been a blast!
As you might have read on my about me page I am one of those people who never really knew what they wanted to do. My parents were pretty open minded and didn’t heavily steer me in any particular direction. If I’d told a 15 year old Albert what I’d be doing now I’m not sure he’d have have believed it!
I don’t really plan on writing too much, but I do want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has put their faith in me. I’ve made many friends along the way and still find photographing weddings a really fun ‘job.’ It’s meaningful work to me and it’s nice to do a little good in the world. Capturing these moments is a huge honour and the feeling of importance never wears off.
I must acknowledge the amazing Jo and Neil! Their wedding was the first that I photographed alone. They were completely aware of my experience. I do feel bad because although I tried incredibly hard, and prepared as well as I could, the photographs are pretty terrible by my current standards. I remember delivering them in colour, black and white and sepia! A shout out to my old boss Alistair who persuaded me to do it! I don’t know what he was thinking but I’m glad he gave me the nudge I needed to try something new and push my photographic boundaries.
I’d also like to thank ‘the band’ of other wedding photographers who I’ve worked with along the way. To all of those who second shoot for me, and whose work inspires me. There is no way I would have made it this far if I hadn’t been able to learn from others.
Along the way I’ve picked up a few awards and been featured fairly regularly in various ‘top 100’ lists. I’ve seen my work in The Times newspaper, wedding magazines and bridal blogs (there aren’t very many wedding blogs for grooms!) But it has been a career high to have won the regional The Wedding Industry Awards in 2017 and 2019. It’s nice to have been validated by the couples who hire me.
Has being a wedding photographer changed in 10 years?
The answer is yes and no! The technology has changed quite a bit since I first started. This has made capturing moments easier and the chances of making technical mistakes less likely. That’s great news for couples because it definitely drives more creativity. With more experience I’ve become better at anticipating moments and being in the right place to capture them. Although photography is something that you can always grow and improve at. Like any skill, the more time you spend doing it the better you become.
What hasn’t changed? My approach. Even after a decade my approach is essentially the same. Whilst I’m a little more adept my aim to is take natural, beautiful photos that tell the story of the day.
Hilariously or tragically (I can’t decide) I’ve never had a business plan, but this might be something to rectify in the future.
Lastly I am surprised at how much I enjoy the business of ‘business.’ I’m no Alan Sugar, and would probably make a poor contestant on The Apprentice. But I’ve really enjoyed getting my teeth in to branding, marketing, website designing, budgeting, advertising, social media and strategising. All the things a business owner has to think about. It’s not sexy but I like it! It’s a challenge and I seem to be forever having new problems to solve and things to learn. It never seems to stand still and each year there are new challenges.
And that’s it! Bonus points if you’ve read this far :D
Normal blog activity will commence next week!
Just for fun – here’s a funny photo of me at a recent shoot in Iceland with a wet knee!