My Facebook Photography page is close to reaching a new milestone with 2000 likes!! But what has it REALLY been like over the last five years?
I captured this image of Tracey at my second ever wedding over 5 years ago. As I lifted my camera I remember how nervous I felt. My stomach was tight and my hands were shaking. I wanted to get it right, for Tracey and Daniel and for me. I didn't want mediocre. The internet was crawling with wedding pictures by photographers who were earning a living by simply making a recording of a scene. Where was the art? Where was the passion? Where was the talent? Where was the quality? Why wasn't I blown away with their work? How did these people stay in business? I wanted to make my mark and put my stamp on the wedding photography industry. But would anyone even notice me?
For years I'd studied the work of inspirational and great photographers like David Baily, Cliff Mautner, Jeremy Cowart and Bambi Cantrell and I wanted my work to eventually stand out like there's. Yes, that's aiming high but why not?
I could see the picture of Tracey (attached to this post) in my head before I captured it. Apparently it's called previsualization, when the artist or photographer visualizes the shot in their minds eye before it's executed. I raised my camera, carefully framed the shot, checked my settings one last time, focused on Tracey's eye, breathed out and gently pressed the shutter release. The moment was enternalised. Little did I know that nearly 5 years on this image would be showcased to the nation in one of Britain's best selling photography magazines - 'Digital Photographer' which hit the shelves in January this year along with a 5 page spread on my work. That's all well and good but I'm not there yet. I'm not even close..
At every wedding I shoot I look to improve my work. And so I should. I invest time into scouting the venue on the day. What are the weather conditions. How is the light falling. How will that background look. Will this idea translate into a beautiful photograph etc
Running any business can be tough. And It hasn't always been easy for me. Iv'e been sooting weddings for five years now and photography is still very much my passion. It always will be. It's in my DNA. I'm know this is what I am supposed to be doing. And yes Iv'e made mistakes in business. I'm human. But I put the same effort and passion into keeping my customers happy as I do into my photography. At times Iv'e been so busy I have literally wondered what day it is and which way to turn and have made time scale errors. Things have gone out late. There are things about running a business, aside from the photography, that I am still learning and will continue to learn. It's ok taking great photographs that people love but I've learned that running a business requires a different and in some ways, a much broader skill set. But i'm learning. I'm developing. I'm improving and I'm ironing out the creases along the way and things are looking good.
I'm very lucky I can pay my bills with a camera. I still want to improve though. My partner Helen says I'm a perfectionist, hardly ever happy with my own work. And I know this is true. But that's ok. It's what helps to drive the quality of my photographs and it keeps me reaching. The day I stop being my worst own critic is the day I hang my camera up.
Being able to give a married couple a set of beautiful photographs to remember their day by is a wonderful gift to give. I'm very privileged to do what I do.
Thanks for reading and have a great day.