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Yorkshire Spring Brides Wedding Fair

Yorkshire Spring Brides Wedding Fair

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Just been exhibiting at the Yorkshire Spring Brides Wedding Fair at the Pavilions Great Yorkshire Showground in Harrogate.  Day 1 of a 2 day exhibition.  It has been very good considering the current recession.  A good steady flow of people passed my stand with quite a number apparently seriously interested in my services.  I never really expect to take bookings at a wedding fair especially when there are a dozen or so other photographers exhibiting.  For the most part people will go away and review the literature they have received, and look at websites before arranging to come and see photographers to spend a bit more time looking at their work.  The wedding fair is probably one of the largest in the North of England with another two day fair planned for early October.  The quality of services exhibiting is of the highest standard with approximately 150 exhibitors.  You can therefore expect to find what you are looking for when planning a wedding.

One point of interest that I noticed is that quite a lot of people have not as yet arranged their wedding date, so were simply gathering information before they really get in to planning their wedding day.  There are of course venues exhibiting so you can potentially find the venue of your dreams to get married at here also.

Well tomorrow is set to be busier with most people attending on the Sunday, and with the nice weather predicted for tomorrow it could well be a busy day.  If you are planning a wedding then this is one of the fairs to attend for inspiration, ideas and to find the services you require for your big day.

What to look for in a photographer?

What to look for in a photographer?

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I was recently asked by a publication featuring an article on me “what should someone look for in a wedding photographer?”  This, in my opinion, will vary from person to person depending on what your criteria is for booking a wedding photographer, but essentially there are some key things to consider to ensure that the photographer you book lives up to your expectations, and you are not disappointed with the results.

Cost

Certainly at this current time in this economic climate one of the key criteria for most people is cost.  Whereas a year ago people would contact me and ask about my style of photography, how long I would be with them on their wedding day, album styles etc., the first question that is asked almost every time now is “how much is it?”  It is understandable under the current circumstances, but I have found that more people are cutting their photography budget when planning a wedding considering it to be less important that other aspects of their wedding.  Couples possibly believe that a lot of guests will be taking photographs anyway so to cut the budget of the professional photographer is where they will save money.  This is a big mistake, which you may think is what I would say being a professional photographer myself, but if you really think about it the photographs, apart from the rings, are the only reminders you will have of your wedding day.  Ensuring you get the right photographer to capture the day as you want it, to not only meet but exceed your expectations should be high on your priority list.  I have heard so many times stories about people who have compromised on the photographer and when they have seen the results have been very disappointed; disappointed to tears in some instances.  Cutting the budget to go for a cheaper photographer is likely to mean that you are compromising on the photographs you want, and ultimately there is a strong possibility that you will be disappointed with the results.  Just because a photographer may have a website and and advert in a publication does not necessarily mean they are a professional, or even any good.  Cheap photography is typically just that, cheap!

Style

The photographer should have a body of work showing their style of photography.  Their style should be a style you like.  If all you are wanting are some formal group shots after the wedding ceremony and will be happy with just that, then there is no point booking a photographer who is a photojournalist photographer who stays with you all day.  If you want to simply enjoy your day and spend your time with your guests, then do not choose a photographer who will spend hours posing you for photographs in positions that are completely unnatural.  Every photographer has their own unique distinctive style.  A lot can be very similar and a lot of photographers follow the crowd to create exactly the same as the next photographer.  To ensure that you get something different to your friends, you ought to look for a photographer who has their own distinctive style, who tries to be different from the norm, and who works in a way which is conducive to how you would want them to work on your wedding day.  Style matters, so don’t choose a photographer simply because they are available and you can afford them.  If you do not consider their style of photography you may well be disappointed with the results.

Technical Ability

A good professional photographer should be able to handle any situation whether it be an ultra-bright sunny day, a dull rainy day, snowing, a very dull dark venue, candle lit situations, or whatever situation presents itself on your wedding day.  Very often no matter how much preparation is done by the photographer there is a situation that occurs that the photographer has to deal with and a good professional should be able to photograph in most situations without having to excuse the fact that they were not able to capture something because it was “too dark”.  Often the first dance will simply be lit by only the disco lights, though if there is a videographer present they may use a video light.  A photographer needs to still be able to produce the results no matter what.  A body of work to show you of different parts of a wedding day in differing situations should be expected when you visit a photographer as it is no good for someone just to be able to take great photographs only if the lighting is as they like it.

Testimonials

A well experienced photographer will and should have lots of testimonials to show you, in the form of cards and letters.  Simply having testimonials on their website is not necessarily something you should trust wholly, though can assist you in making a decision to arrange to go and see a professional photographer.  If there is no hard written evidence of thank you cards and letters then there is a possibility that the testimonials on the Internet may be bogus and simply being used as a marketing tool.  Testimonials are a significant guarantee that the photographer has consistently produced good results, and should be considered more credible than any qualifications.  A recommendation to a photographer is also a very good indicator especially if that recommendation comes from a previous client.  Not all recommendations are from clients simply from other businesses or from friends and relatives of the photographer, but for a past client to recommend a photographer is as good a way of finding a reliable photographer as any.  You still have to consider their style and cost to ensure they fit your requirements, but at least you have some reassurance that the photographer has done work of a standard that someone will go out of their way to recommend them.

Two not always better than one

I have touched on this in a previous posting that two photographers are not necessarily better than one.  I will not dwell on this point too much other than to say that I have never needed another photographer to capture a wedding day.  I actually feel there is more possibility of mistakes with two photographers, and that not all companies offering two photographers are both professionals, with one of the two often being a trainee or spouse / partner of the one professional photographer; not always the case I grant you.  I believe one photographer who is talented and has experience in photographing weddings has the ability and knowledge to ensure they capture the day consistently every time.  Ask yourself, does David Bailey or Annie Leibovitz have a second shooter with them?  Two photographers may sound like you are getting better value for money, but are the results likely to be twice as good as one photographer?  If that were the case then have several cheap photographers photograph your wedding.

Body of work

When you visit a professional photographer they should have a wide variety of work to show you, often with albums that are similar to the type of wedding you are planning.  They may not necessarily have an album of a wedding at the venue you are having your wedding, but I would suggest they have an album from a similar type of venue.  If you are having a church wedding with marquee reception then expect a photographer to be able to show you some work from that type of wedding.  Alternatively if you are having a civil ceremony and reception in a hotel, then an album with a wedding in that style should be available to show you.  The photographer should be able to show you a wide variety of samples from various aspects of a wedding day in various different situations with different lighting to reassure you they can cope with any eventuality.  The work should be something you like and can see yourself in the photograph, and there should be an element of creativity and unique style in the photographs.

Albums

The albums that a photographer uses should not replace the quality of the photography, but should represent a quality that will last.  The album style should represent the style of a photographers work, and should be a style of album that you like.  The style and quality of the photography should without doubt be first and foremost over and above the albums in terms of what to look for, but if the albums are of an inferior quality then they are unlikely to last the test of time.  Top quality albums are not cheap by any means and the style and choice that you have as a consumer should be something you like and be happy with.  The album adds to the whole package that you finally receive, and a poor quality album will almost certainly taint the overall photographic package you receive.  A professional photographer will want to show of their work in the best way possible, and should be using albums that are of top quality which complement their style of photography.  Although there are a lot of album manufacturers there are only a handful that have a quality that are suitable in my opinion to class themselves as top quality, with one being head and shoulders above the rest; Queensberry of New Zealand.  Needless to say all my albums are Queensberry albums.

Personality of the photographer

A photographer is in a very privileged position to be able to photograph your wedding day.  It is the most important day of most peoples lives and to spend that time with you and for you to be in the presence of a complete stranger you have to be completely comfortable with them.  If you do not quite gel then there is a possibility that you will not relax completely during the day or during the formal photographs, and unfortunately this will show through in the end results.  A photographer should have a personality you are happy with.  Someone who has the ability to control a situation but not upset anyone.  Not be overbearing if it is a quiet intimate wedding, and not be shy if dominance is required.  Usually a photographer should have a personality that you like who you can see yourself enjoying having time with on your wedding day.  You can usually tell when you visit a photographer what they will be like on your wedding day.  If they talk constantly whilst you are looking at albums then they may well be domineering on your wedding day.  You should ask them how they would expect to photograph your wedding from start to finish, and they should be able to tell you without a problem.  You do not really want someone who uses flash during the ceremony putting you off saying your vows, or to stop you as you are walking down the aisle on your way to get married just so they can setup up their camera to ensure they get a good shot.  A good photographer should be ready anyway and know when not to interrupt a wedding day.

It is something to bear in mind and something you should consider strongly when making a decision.  If when you get your album you can think of nothing other than how much the photographer ruled the day and how long you were away from your guests, then you have not done well in choosing a photographer for your particular wedding.

Qualifications

I personally do not hold much credence with qualifications, especially from photographic bodies, despite the fact that I have a selection of good qualifications.  Professional academic qualifications should give you the reassurance that a photographer has been taught the technicalities of photographic equipment, and they have been in varying photographic situations as part of their course, but should not really be considered how good a photographer is as their style could very much well be a style that you do not like.  Photographic body qualifications can be a little deceptive as although 20 photographs may have gone through a judging process, the qualification gained is very much dependent on the opinions of people who either like your style of photography or not.  It is to a large part dependent on personal opinion as to the qualification you gain.  Also a photographer can choose 20 of their best photographs to put forward but 20 photographs are not that many and most average amateurs can take 20 good photographs that can gain them a photographic qualification if they take enough of them.

Insurance

A professional photographer will have insurance to not only protect themselves but also you and your guests.  Photographers should have both Professional Indemnity Insurance and Public Liability Insurance with a good reputable insurance company.  There are several who deal with photographers specifically, and not all cover for every eventuality and some are better than others.  I personally have chosen the most comprehensive cover I can and believe me it is not cheap.  A very small number of venues even insist on having a copy of a professional photographers insurance prior to photographing a wedding.  A photographer should be able to show you their insurance certificates and they should cover for both professional indemnity and public liability, and not simply camera equipment cover.

Work Ethic

The photographers work ethic should also give you some assurance that the results will be there.  A photographer should always do their best to minimise risk of making a mistake or losing anything.  Backup and storage procedures once a photographer has photographed your wedding are equally as important as the work they do on the day.  Having worked in IT in my past life I know how unpredictable computers and technology can be.  There can be no explanation at times for why a fault occurs, and with the number of viruses and security loopholes in Windows operating systems there is such a large potential for IT problems to occur.  A good photographer will have good procedures to minimise the risk of losing your work, so consider the worst possible scenario that can happen and ask your photographer what procedures they have in place to guard against it.

Equipment

A professional photographer will use professional equipment.  Largly to ensure against the possibility of failure and the minimising of risk of failure, but also to ensure that the best quality image can be captured on your day.  Professional equipment is not cheap and the most popular photographic equipment in use by wedding photographers nowadays is most definitely by either Canon and Nikon.  Either of these two makes produce excellent results, with the top of the range models in terms of camera bodies and lenses being in the thousand’s of pounds rather than the hundred’s.  Although everybody talks about the more megapixels meaning better quality, it still holds true that actually the lenses still hold the key to better quality results.  Obviously megapixels is very much to be considered in terms of how big you can blow up an image, but the lenses will be what provides the clarity and the sharpness in a photograph.  A professional photographer will not only have one lens but will have several to deal with varying situations.  F2.8 zoom lenses are regarded as the best quality lenses, and again I would recommend the manufacturer lenses such as Canon & Nikon.  Also a professional should have a second camera body to ensure that if a fault occurs duing a wedding day there is the assurance that the rest of your day can be captured without any worry for yourselves.

Finally

Although you may consider a photographer who is familiar with a venue to be more appropriate than one who is not, chances are they will take the same photographs they have photographed before at that venue.  A photographer likes to work at different venues as it tests their creative skills and gives them more opportunity to try something different.  There is nothing wrong with a photographer having experience photographing at one particular venue but I don’t personally think it should be a deciding factor as to whether you choose a photographer or not.

Overall

There is no one thing that you should look for in a professional photographer, but a collection of criteria that providing they all suit you should help you choose a photographer you are happy with.  The photographer should exceed your expectations and you should not only be happy to recommend that photographer, you should do so without even thinking about it, simply because they went far and away beyond what you were expecting.

Two Photographers?

Two Photographers?

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This is a question I get asked a lot “how many of you are there?”  It seems a daft question to me but I understand nowadays that there are a lot of wedding photographers where two photographers attend a wedding.  I have heard many reasons as to why this is the case and have even had a second photographer come along to a wedding with me on one occasion, but I personally have very strong opinions about why ‘Two’ is not necessarily better than ‘One’.

From a client’s personal point-of-view it sounds like you are getting a lot for your money having two photographers to attend your wedding.  More of the day can be captured, and more moments are unlikely to be missed.  If there is a problem with one photographers equipment, or if one photographer makes a mistake, then the other photographer is there to capture that moment thus minimising any potential risk of missing that essential moment.  I in my approach am very much aware of being ultra careful to ensure that there is little possibility of missing or losing anything.  I use several cards throughout the day to capture the day, rather than using just one card to capture the whole day.  If a card were to fail then the potential for loss of everything is minimal.  I backup the images to disk immediately after the wedding, and then to external hard drive, and finally to DVD before wiping the images from the cards.  Any images I work on are then a copy of the ones on my internal hard drive.  I use only the highest quality cards, Nikon camera equipment and have backup lenses, and cameras just in case, although I only shoot using one camera during the wedding day with the backup available.

Two photographers may sound like you are getting a good deal, but in fact when I had a second shooter I actually felt the day did not quite go as well.  For one I had to be much more aware of where the second photographer was so as not to capture them in any part of the photograph.  Likewise I had to ensure that I was not in any part of their photograph.  I also spent more time with them to ensure they were ok and capturing what I wanted correctly, and that they knew what they were doing at any given time.  I also had to ensure that the essential shots were captured and I had to spend time checking with the other photographer as to what they had captured.  I have also found that in more cases than not a second photographer is not actually a ‘professional’ in the true sense of the word, either being a trainee, or more often someone’s spouse or partner.  The main photographer may be a professional with qualifications, but the second does not always tend to be so.  Don’t get me wrong this is not always the case as I am very aware of some competitors who do use two very good professional photographers as part of a team.

From my point-of-view I have never felt the need for a second photographer.  I have always managed perfectly well on my own and regularly capture 600+ photographs at a wedding with the majority of weddings being nearer 800.  I know therefore what I have captured throughout the day without worrying or believing that a second photographer has captured those shots, and I can fully concentrate on the job in hand without worrying or concerning myself with what the second photographer is doing.

My approach to wedding photography is a very discreet unobtrusive approach and to have two photographers goes against that principle.  If you look at the top photographers, and I mean the really well known photographers, the household names, like David Bailey, Lord Snowdon, Annie Leibovitz to name but three of the more modern photographers, there are very few if any that work as a team.  Each has made a name for themselves without having a second shooter.

A photographer has their own style and I believe I have my own distinctive style and approach to wedding photography.  I can teach others to work in a similar way but everybody will see something different to what I see.  I therefore am unlikely to be completely happy with what someone else is likely to produce and knowing what I know about weddings, and the experience I have gained from shooting the amount of weddings I have, I am confident that I can capture exactly what is expected and required each and every time.

What I would look for if I were choosing a photographer for my own wedding, and what I would expect my potential clients to look for when choosing me is a photographer who has natural ability, has a good work ethic, has a personality I can get on with as this is the most important day of people’s lives, who is experienced with good recommendations in the form of testimonials readily available to show, and has an excellent body of work in various different wedding situations.  A photographer may be fantastic at creating and photographing formal line-ups in ‘normal’ lighting conditions, but what about when it is ultra bright, when there is snow on the ground, what about shooting the first dance when there is very little light, or when a videographer is using a video light on the couple.  A photographer has to deal with many different lighting situations, and it is unacceptable for part of your day to be lost simply because the photographer was unable to capture it due to the level or type of light available.

Unfortunately this criteria cuts down the number of potential professional photographers to choose from drastically, and there would only really be a handful of photographers I would personally choose and would be happy to recommend.  You have to trust that the photographer has what it takes to capture the most important day of your life to a standard that exceeds your expectations.  You choose a professional photographer to guarantee the results will be there, so my advice would be to choose wisely and not simply because two photographers are allegedly better than one.

Conflicting wedding statistics?

Conflicting wedding statistics?

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In today’s economy I get asked how things are going quite often.  It feels as though I should not be doing well, as we here about companies going bust and people losing their jobs.  The reality is that I am personally not doing bad at all.  In fact if there was not so much media coverage then I may not necessarily know that we are in recession……….apart from one significant change.

When I speak with other businesses I hear people say that “people will always get married”.  This is true, but have you heard any statistics lately.

It seems that you cannot get away from the media coverage about statistics, but how realistic or true are they?

Statistics in my opinion are one of the reasons why the economy is in the state it is in.  I personally do not feel particularly affected when I hear that Burberry has had to lay of 350 people, or that Mini has laid off 850 casual weekend workers.  However I begin to watch my spending when I hear that next Christmas is going to be a lot harder financially, and that by July there are to be 3 million people unemployed.  It is not so much hard fact that causes concern for me, simply predictions that everything is going to be so much worse.  If everybody listens to and feels the same then everything will get worse.  People will stop spending so much so business lay off people, more people are unemployed and cannot spend and it becomes a vicious circle.  Let me ask you this, if a news story went out today that there is to be a significant shortage in petrol tomorrow, will there be?  I can guarantee that there will.  This is because mass panic will occur, petrol forecourts will be inundated with motorists buying petrol to ensure they do not run short, and the petrol stations will sell out.  People listen to the media and the media have a lot to do with consumer spending and the potential for the British economy to work its way out of a recession.  Unfortunately the British media focus very much on the negative than the positive and little is ever reported about how some small businesses are booming and some companies are creating new positions to cope with an increase in demand.

In terms of wedding statistics however I regularly hear of the average wedding costs being so many tens of thousands of pounds.  This figure varies greatly, depending on who you listen to, and personally I do not hold much credence with any of it.  I also hear that the number of people getting married has increased because in these times people want security, but then I hear that this number has fallen due to the costs involved and young people not wanting to get married.  Who do you believe?

What I can tell you is that people are still getting married but naturally they are a little cautious at the moment about how much they spend.  The cost they are willing to pay for professional services is less than it was, and more people are concerned about money and are wanting to negotiate on price.  Whereas I would receive bookings for weddings 6 months to 2 years in advance of a wedding date, I now regularly receive enquiries for weddings only 6 weeks away.  Couples are waiting longer to book services to ensure their finances are in place, and that they have the finances to book the services they want.  It is a significant change that I have seen, but is not stopping people getting married.  I also personally believe the average cost of a wedding is not £27k, £22K or even £15k, all of which I have read recently.  I believe it more to be around the £10k-£12k mark.  I believe the figures are skewed by the small elite weddings that cost £100k+.  Couples spend the money on the things they class as really important and save money on areas they do not consider to be so.  Venue, bridal wear, florists, and photographers for a lot of people are considered to be of great importance to a wedding which is why we get booked up so far in advance.

Statistics in my opinion, should be taken with a pinch of salt.  Unfortunately they have the ability to influence a lot of people but if you were to listen to everything you heard none of us would eat anything, but we would also eat everything.

Initial Wedding Photography Consultation

Initial Wedding Photography Consultation

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I received an enquiry last week from a couple wanting to meet with me to discuss photography for their wedding.  We arranged a suitable evening and time.  Unfortunately they were surprised when I mentioned I would send them directions on how to find where we are, as they believed that I would go to visit them.  The couple in question cancelled their appointment yesterday with the reason that of the four photographers they had contacted I was the only one who expected the couple to travel to meet with me.

Don’t get me wrong, me travelling to visit a client is not a problem at all and I have no issues with travelling to meet with a client prior to their wedding, whether it be for a pre-wedding meeting, conducting a pre-wedding photoshoot, or staying later than initially planned on their wedding day.  I do not however, unless situations dictate otherwise, visit “potential” clients for their initial meeting before they have booked my services, and I will tell you for why.

There are several reasons why I do not do this, not least of all economic.

Economic

Take the example above where the client had arrange for four photographers to come and see them.  If we take that as an average, as I photograph 30 weddings per year, you could assume that if I visited every client then I would need to visit 120 potential clients in order to gain 30 bookings (1 in 4).  To load up my car and drive to their house would take on average 1 hour.  The meeting takes on average 1 hour, and the drive back home and unloading the car takes 1 hour.  That is a total of 3 hours per meeting.  So for 30 bookings I would have to visit 120 potential clients totalling 360 hours of time.

Each meeting is likely to be on a separate day, with only a small number of meetings held on the same day which is in effect 120 days of seeing potential clients, and that is for their initial wedding consultation only, prior to a booking.

Add to that the cost of travelling to see potential clients, lets say each visit rather optimistically costs a total of £10 in fuel and wear & tear on my car.  That is £1200.  None of this has taken into account my time and the requirement when running a business to be able to account for that time in financial terms.  If on average my time is charged at £300 for 1 day of work (8 hour day, £37.50 per hour), then the amount I would have to try to earn back in order to spend 360 hours, visiting 120 clients, in order to gain the 30 bookings I need for the year would equate to £13,500.  So in total adding my time and and travel cost the total cost of my visiting clients for their initial meeting alone would come to £14,700.  This money has to be accounted for one way or another and would have to be added to the cost of my services for those couples who do book my services.  This is a significant unnecessary cost of £490 to each of my 30 clients, and is significantly reduced if clients come to visit me.

Add to that the fact that I regularly work not only locally to Yorkshire, but nationally and from this year internationally, there would be some serious distances to travel to see potential clients, with no guarantee that they would book my services.

Practicality

I have over 25 wedding albums showing weddings photographed at different venues, some wet weather wedding day albums, different styles and sizes of album, along with framed and canvas prints.  Although I do not show all these albums to clients, I can tailor what I show clients to what they are planning on their wedding day.  It is not easy or practical to take the variety of albums I need to a clients home, and with the cost of the albums being several hundred pounds for me to purchase, they are not something that I would be happy constantly taking in and out of the car to various clients houses, as the wear and tear on the albums would take its toll on their appearance before too long.

Ambience & Environment

To visit a client in their own home, I, as a photographer, have little control over the environment and ambience in which we can have a meeting and I can show my work to its full potential.  We have invested a lot of time in our home studio to ensure that the environment is comfortable, and the ambience is just right so that clients have the best experience they can get from meeting with me.  A clients home is potentially subject to the telephone ringing, people visiting, and the television being on in the background.  I have a PRS music license so that relevant music can be played as background music to help create an atmosphere that is relaxed and welcoming to our clients.

You may say that having a studio location increases the cost to clients and normally I would tend to agree for most businesses.  However our studio is part of our home.  We have built it with a studio in mind but it has a dual purpose.  It doubles up as a garden room which we can use when not being used as a studio.  It is also an asset to our house and as a result the costs of running the studio are minimal and do not in general incur any additional costs for our clients.

Our home is located in the beautiful estate village of Myton-on-Swale, easily accessible from the A1 and A19 north of York.  It is easy to get to yet is a very quiet and picturesque village, and our house is a the former Post Office, a lovely cottage which we have, and are still in the process of, sympathetically restoring.  The location sets the tone for our lifestyle and style of photography.

Seriousness of Potential Clients

We have found that clients willing to visit us are more serious about potentially wanting to book my services, and are serious about having the best photographer for them for their wedding day.  They are willing to travel and we regularly have people visit us from further afield than Yorkshire.  Where I have in the past visited potential clients in their own homes I find potential clients are less serious about my specific services and the number of visits I would have to make per initial meeting would be far greater than in a situation where potential clients visit us.  I average approximately a 3 in 4 booking ratio when clients visit me at our home studio (75% of potential clients who visit us book our services), though there is no hard sell and the majority of people who come for their initial meeting go away to talk it over and possibly see other photographers before making a decision about my services.

In the example above therefore the number of initial meetings I need to have in order to achieve 30 bookings per year is only 40 meetings as opposed to the 120 required if I were to make that initial visit.  That is a total of 40 hours only as opposed to the above 360 hours scenario, with no travelling costs incurred.  If you take the £37.50 per hour of time to be made back in increased costs to my clients that equates to a total amount of £1500 spread over the 30 wedding bookings, which is £50 per booking.  A significant difference to the £490 calculated above.  I can therefore invest in a higher quality of wedding album for our clients, as well as better photographic equipment, so clients get nothing but the highest quality of photography and album of their wedding day.

Our Services

For a client to show their seriousness by visiting  us for their initial meeting I am more than happy to arrange any pre-wedding meeting they require, or pre-wedding photoshoot, as they have already made that commitment to me and my services.  I stay from bride’s preparations through to the first dance on their wedding day, and if timings change and I am required to start earlier or finish later then there is no additional cost incurred to the client.  Not many photographers offer this and a lot of photographers only stay to the beginning of the meal, some of whom will stay later but only at an additional charge.

Not incurring the time taken to visit all these potential clients I am able to devote significantly more time to the clients that do book our services.  On average one wedding accounts for four days of my time, and I can spend significantly more time working not only on the wedding day, but also in creating some of the stunning album designs I create.  Please read some of the testimonials that past clients have sent me on our website.  I have many more unfortunately not practical to show all on the website.

For couples who have shown that commitment to me by booking my services I go out of my way to ensure that their experience of using my services is a good one, and not only meets their expectations but exceeds them.

I was disappointed that a couple cancelled their initial consultation meeting with us, and I do wish them well for their wedding day and married lives together.

If you would like to find out more about my services then either use the contact page on our website, or contact me using the details below.  Visits to our studio are strictly by appointment only.

Damian James Bramley

DJB Photography

Address:  The Old Post Office, Myton-on-Swale, York, YO61 2QY

Telephone:  01423 360553

Mobile:  07944 742241

E-mail:  damian@djbphotography.com

Web:  www.djbphotography.com

Blog:  http://blog.djbphotography.com

The ‘Digital’ Future?

The ‘Digital’ Future?

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For those of us who were born before than the nineties we are able to remember a time before Digital, but for anyone born in the nineties or after then ‘Digital’ is the norm and an everyday thing.  To those born in the nineties the ‘Digital Camera’ is actually just a ‘Camera’.  Since the end of the second World war there was the ‘Baby Boom’ period from around the mid forties to late fifties, and the next generation of ‘Baby Boom’ really took place in the nineties.  This, in my view, is the technical revolution or digital revolution where the way in which every day things are done differently, and there was a very distinct shift in the way people worked and communicated.  It was not so much the invention of the mobile phone, more the way in which we communicate with each other.  Texting and e-mail took off in a big way and with blogging and social networking on the Internet there has been a big shift in the way in which people communicate and socialise.  The younger age group, teens and younger, are more up-to-date with new technology than anyone and children as young as three years old know how to setup video recorders, computers, and technological equipment simply because to them technology is not new, it is now.  The subject is huge and to write all there is to know about it I could and would be here for days.

What I do know and predict is that my business, and every business, in the next ten years or so will drastically change the way in which it operates and runs.  Its customer base will be much more technologically knowledgeable, and the way those customers will communicate with businesses will change significantly.  Businesses are likely to have less office space, and may not have an office at all with employees communicating through mobile media.  The traditionally hierarchical structure of a business developed during the industrial revolution and still in existence in a lot of companies today will only exist in companies reluctant to change.  I predict groups of people will simply come together to complete tasks and projects where a person’s specialist knowledge is required, and once the task is complete the group will disseminate, with other groups forming to complete other tasks and projects.  For my business with just me as an employee the way in which I gain new business is likely to change, and the products that people require once a wedding has been photographed is likely to change.  I would hope that photography, as in ‘still’ images, will continue to thrive as unlike video, which originally was set to completely replace still photography, leaves the imagination up to the viewer.  A photograph tells a different story to different people and it is their imagination from looking at a photograph that makes that photograph worthwhile looking at that little bit longer.

In my business what I have to do and what I try to do is to look at how things are changing in society to predict what people are likely to want both from how I photograph a wedding, but also to the final product; what people want to keep afterwards.  Albums are a big thing at the moment, but in ten to twenty years time this could well be superseded by digital imagery in the form of a DVD or something to play on an iPod Touch (or whatever takes the place of the iPod), or mobile phone.  It is difficult to know what people want and expect, so the only thing to do is to keep up with the times and develop and offer possible end products that although may not be recognised to today’s bride and groom as a product they wish to purchase, may in future turn out to supersede in demand for the traditional wedding album.

I attend many wedding photography seminars where there is great debate about whether a photographer should sell the full resolution digital images taken at a wedding.  The general consensus of opinion is that a photographer is selling their sole to the devil if (s)he does.  This is because there is not only the lost potential for selling additional prints, but also there is no control on the way in which the photographs can be printed thus potentially doing damage to a photographers reputation if a client has a photograph printed that is not to a very good quality and standard.  My own personal thoughts are that we are in a digital revolution and more and more people are wanting digital imagery rather than traditional printed material.  I believe that printed material in the form of albums and framed prints will still be required, certainly in the lifetime I have left to photograph weddings, but that digital imagery and digital media will grow and increase in demand.  I therefore believe that if a client wants to purchase the fully printable media of photographs taken of their wedding then I should offer it to them as a product.  Failing to do so is a failure to move with the times and to understand what my current and certain future market will demand and expect from me.

Although people are waiting till they are a little older to get married, my clientelle are getting younger, simply as time moves on and we all get older.  Digital is not new, for some people it is the norm and there has never been anything other than digital, so by the time they are old enough to get married and want a professional photographer to capture their wedding, digital media is likely to be the end product they will expect to purchase.  Businesses who do not recognise this are not only likely to struggle but this may well be their downfall.  All of this is strictly my own personal opinion you understand but in order to ensure that I survive and strive I intend to maximise the technological potential that is currently available to the public and offer what my customers want and expect, not simply saying “I don’t offer that”.

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Welcome!

Welcome!

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Welcome to Damian’s blog.  Well a New Year and a new addition to my website to keep viewers of my site informed of weddings I have been photographing with a selection of photographs from those weddings, as well as any up coming exhibitions and general information about my work.  Thank you for visiting.

With regards,

Damian J Bramley, DJB Photography.com

Damian J Bramley, DJB Photography