You may have noticed if your a follower of my Twitter feed, a friend on Facebook or a regular visitor to my website; that I emphasise quite regularly the fact I will shoot a maximum of 25 weddings per year.
This is something my fellow photographers quiz me on regularly asking
“How can you afford to..”
“Is it a marketing ploy..”
Now the truth is it is a personal choice which I believe is best for me, my business and my family. When I tell potential clients that I will only shoot 25 weddings they often ask why with a look of intrigue. I am totally honest with them as to the reasons why;
For me, I don’t think I could offer the same level of professional and personal service to my clients if I was shooting 30/40/50+ weddings. Building a strong and successful relationship with my couples is paramount to ensuring that on the day there is a level of trust which isn’t questioned. I suggest (and ensure) that I meet with my couples 3-4 times at least before their big day so that I get to know the details, the personalities, the worries and the expectations for their wedding. And they get used to my sense of humour, enthusiasm and over use of the word Awesome!
As well as meeting the couples regularly, the engagement shoot is another vital element of the preparation. This session eliminates the worries, reservations and embarrassment some couples have about having their images taken. The feedback I get from these couples is conclusive and overriding feedback is that my couples have fun, laugh a lot, and generally enjoy an otherwise daunting experience.
I like to hand deliver proof books/albums/products wherever possible and of course this also takes time. I don’t just knock on the door and hand it over, I sit and have a chat, talk about the world and continue the relationship as much as possible.
One of my main phrases for explaining my logic is “I don’t want to become a production line of wedding photography”. Now before any other photographers think I’m calling their work production lines and start kicking up a fuss, I am not. I’m saying that I don’t want to shoot the same venue every other week, have the same decorations every other week and have the potential to have the same images every other week.
I’m quite proud of the fact I’ve only shot a lot of venues once. Obviously this will change as the years go by, but, I love going to a brand new venue with brand new ideas and creating something brand new! I can really take the time to step back and look at venues, couples and themes to make sure it is absolutely about them and not about the “best way to shoot that venue”. It is important, nay (always wanted to say nay!!), essential that I represent the personalities of my couples in their wedding photography and not impose my style on them.
Family. I love mine with all of my heart. I have two amazing sons; Oliver 5 and Noah 5 weeks, and a beautiful, funny and hardworking wife. Because I love them so, I want to spend time with them and although Wedding photography is my passion and my purpose in life (sounds ominous) I still want to spend weekends with the boys, go and see Oliver play football, have nights out with my Wife and spend time with my siblings, parents and Nephews. I don’t want to work every single weekend because I work to live and not the other way around. Sometimes I may lose sight of that and over extend myself but it is a means to an end to ensure my kids have the same kind of amazing upbringing I did!
My Family; Nicola, Sean, Harry, Susan (Mam), Me, Oliver, Laura, Ramsay, Sarah, Adam and Alex (Dad) at the front
So there you have it- quite simple I think; why I will shoot no more than 25 weddings per year.