Things are progressing nicely here at Edge Towers, with the summer wedding season in full flow. As well as shooting some amazing weddings, I had the opportunity to sit down with a local writer here in Chelmsford for an hour long interview over coffee and Nero! This will be a multi-part interview, and here is the first instalment :)
Why photography? Why not sky diving?
Ha! Because I think I’m much better off taking quality pictures than falling to the ground with the off chance of my parachute opening? To be honest I fell into this profession, as many people do. I was very lucky to get a job in the pro lab. Having got that job I met a chap who worked on cruise ships. He enlightened me about how being a ship photographer works. It was a win/win situation really – I got to travel and I learnt how to take lots of pictures. I then discovered that, actually, I quite like taking pictures. If I’m honest it was just one of those chance encounters that soon developed into the understanding that I was actually enjoying it and quite good at it.
What are the most interesting aspects of your job?
I like people. I mean, people say to me “Ah, doing wedding after wedding must get really boring”. I mean the format of most weddings are the same every time but the people are always different. Everyone has their own idea of what their wedding should be like and I get the pleasure of seeing them. Even when I’m at the same venue for three different weddings in a week they’re just so different – it never gets old. That challenges me to be as diverse as possible and met people’s expectations.Everyone wants something different, which is half the fun. It keeps me on my toes as well. If this job was as easy as ‘point and shoot’ then everyone would be doing it.
How do you make yourself stand out from the other photographers in a seemingly saturated industry?
I think it’s me. (Laughs) Seriously though we’re very blessed in Essex, there’s a gamut of people available but I’m quite lucky. I get to judge print competitions and trust me there are a lot of very skilled photographers out there. But people like to see me, they see I’m a good laugh when I’m working but I get the job done the way couple want it done. I think a lot of it is down to personal taste – you might be an amazing photographer, but taking pictures is only one part of the process. How you carry yourself, how you interact with the wedding party and extending into when albums are being compiled, the couples want a smooth and seamless journey. That’s what I give them where perhaps other people can’t offer as much in those areas. I think because I can relate to people, I get a lot of work from personal recommendations, then that gives couples’ the incentive and reassurance that they should book me.
Other than wedding venues themselves, the photographer is often one of the bigger outlays. Can you explain why that is?
I think that the general perception can be that people wonder why it costs £1500-£2000 to take pictures and create an album. Trust me, there’s a lot more to it than that. There is a lot of ground work and time spent in the back ground pre and post wedding that needs to happen. Advertising and attending wedding shows is not cheap, so I need to invest in the business in order for the business to grow. Normally takes two days to edit a wedding, then you design the albums getting the layout just the way the couple would like it. There is a lot to it and there’s a lot of outlay for me personally to make sure that they’re getting the best. Basically, per wedding, you’re looking at four days of solid work. I make myself available as much as I possibly can. I often see couples at 8 pm in the evening. I’m quite happy to work around them but I don’t like getting behind on edits in particular so I pull some fairly late shifts when I have to.
Stay tuned for more instalments as soon as we get them :)