Tuesday, 10 March 2009

The Year So Far

It seems we British used to talk about the weather no we talk about the credit crunch!!!

Just about every conversation these days seems to start with a phrase like "How are you finding it?" or "how is business in the recession" The simple truth is we are as busy as ever in fact we are finding the number of calls from potential clients to be very good at the moment. In the last week we have taken five bookings which is fantastic!!

There seems to be a trend of booking your wedding later for example we had a lot of dates requested in 2009 at the Tatton wedding show, but we were booked on every single date requested also we are speaking to a lot of people who have not yet got a venue booked at all. So trends are changing but the great news is people are still getting married and looking for great wedding professionals to work at their wedding.


So this year is looking great, bookings are very good, but also people seem to be understanding the value of working with true professionals. Not only in photography but also florist, videographers,car companies and event coordinators. I know for a fact that every year people try to save money by getting friends to help out by doing bits of the wedding. I also often see cases were these well intended plans go wrong the auntie who loves gardening does not make a great wedding florist and when things go wrong they often really do go wrong.

More and more we are seeing people decide to have a go at the wedding industry which they see as easy money. trust me its not.

Two weeks ago I spoke to a bride who got a local hobby photographer to do the wedding pictures. She has not seen a single image from her wedding all were lost in some computer crash. I also know of one wedding were a friend who produces some great holiday and family video's agreed to cover the wedding. On the day it rained his camera died and the result was no wedding video.

Weddings are not a place for any professional to learn their trade. Things can and do go wrong so please make sure you are using real and full time professionals. The guy from the local camera club will not be able to give your wedding the time it needs in between his shifts at the local factory. A few days ago I read a posting on a "professional" wedding forum. The photographer in question had a real problem. He was not a full time photographer and had taken a wedding booking for April this year, problem was the wedding was on a Friday and his Boss at his real day job had decided to have a meeting on this day and all leave and days off were cancelled. He was asking for advice on how to tell the bride!!! This situation is a disgrace and the fact that this type of situation happens at all casts a dark shadow over people who depend on the wedding industry for there only income. There are to many people out there just happy to take your money and offer little if any customer service to support it.

Examples of things going wrong are many and every one spoils the special day for the couple So take care when you see at the local wedding fair or the advert in the news paper. Make sure you see examples of what all so called professionals do at full and REAL weddings. Its very easy for a keen photographer to attend one of the many wedding training courses and produce a stunning set of pictures of great models in great locations with a top photographer showing what to do. How will this same photographer deal with non models in bad weather at strange locations on his or her own with the time deadlines present at all weddings.

One other trend showing its self this year is the desire for true reportage wedding photography, which captures the real emotion of the day not just series of happy snaps showing the backs of heads of people talking. This type of photography requires a very special skill set and a deep understanding of people and weddings. The results can be stunning and it is great news for me to see this style of photography finally starting to be understood by clients.

Here is an example of what I mean. Most photographers will take a shot of the signing of the register, we do ourselves. But the moment just after the signing is often the first moment of the day the bride and groom are on their own. just a few short seconds when magic often happens. Hope you like it and I hope the rest of the year is as good as the start.
Alt Reg Signing


Anonymous said...

Sounds like you have an axe to grind against hobbyist photographers. Again. I remember a few months ago when you had a right old moan about amateur photographers stealing your business in a Flickr forum; a mainly amateur photography website.

Steve Ashton said...

Anonymous please don't be!! tell us all who you are. At least I am happy to comment in a public domain.

Not having a go at amateur photographers at all. But the comments I made were all true examples of what I see and hear.

Yes amateur's are stealing our business but more importantly they give the industry a bad name in some cases. Weddings like many areas of photography seem easy, THEY ARE NOT. Also the comments I made were a general reflection of the industry not just wedding photography.

Flickr a amateur site? then why are there so many forums tagged with pro photography. I love Flickr and have enjoyed meeting some great people on there. So trust me no axe to grind just a very honest opinion. Thats all you will ever get from me.

Martin said...

Nice capture Steve, this lovely moment reminds me of Jeff Ascough. Possibly 1 for the NW BIPP awards next year?
Keep up the good work.