I want to try something new for the website...
I was putting together my best wedding photos of 2016 blog post and I got thinking. There isn't really a 'space' I can call my own and produce content that isn't wedding driven, i.e. I don't typically write/upload anything here unless I've been photographing a wedding.
I love doing that, putting a blog together is fun, but I thought I'd try a new page which shows other aspects of the job, a more 'behind the scenes' look. So I'm going to end 2016 with how I intend to carry on in 2017, sharing photos/stories/opinions from the eyes of a wedding photographer. It may not be as 'polished' as the rest of the website, I'll upload when an idea drives the content, but for anyone interested in how this particular wedding photographer goes about his business then read on!
That's a photo of me there, taking notes at the 9 Dots Gathering last month (photo credit to the talented Adam Riley Photography). 9 Dots is a collection of wedding photographers learning from other wedding photographers. Now, just like musicians and other creative types there is work out there you admire and it just so happens this year some of my all time favourite wedding photographers were speaking, I couldn't miss out!
'9 Dots' is a reference to thinking outside the box. If we're honest, there's lots of wedding photographers 'inside' the box, and that is absolutely fine by me. There is a big market out there for lots of different types of photographers, and I, like the other attendees, want to keep being creative and attract potential couples who think along similar lines. So I spent a few days in London hanging out with photographers across the UK and the rest of the world, listening, learning and maybe playing some table tennis!
What did I learn? A few new camera techniques, some editing workflows, but the biggest thing I walked away with was energy. Please excuse the fluffy term 'energy', but I was reminded how important this job can be and what drives people to take photos in the first place. For example, I like to think I'm pretty good at documenting my kids growing up through photographs but I know I'll be taking even more photos of them. Even the everyday stuff will be captured.
I hear stories about couples scouring the internet and asking friends for suggestions on who can photograph their wedding, and then be surprised by what it costs. I'm not going to debate here about what it costs to be a full time photographer with the equipment and time to edit etc... I do want you to know that most forward thinking photographers do invest in their learning. Some of their income does go toward workshops, because they always want to take better photographs. And in the end, it's the couples receiving those photographs that are the winners.
It's fair to say that the speakers at the gathering all had different approaches to photographing weddings. Ranging from pure documentary work (more my style) through to the more elaborate posed portraits, BUT you could take something away from every talk. Ironically I had to travel all the way to London to meet a bunch of photographers based in Cornwall, and building that network is pretty key after a few hours by yourself photo editing with just Spotify for company! I'll leave you with this *flattering* GIF of me and two great photographers at the after party...