HOW I BECAME A WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER
I am often asked how I became a Wedding Photographer, so I thought I would share my story with you. Have you ever woken up day after day and thought why am I doing this? For me it was getting up and going off to work in a job that I hated, travelling hundreds of miles each day with a diary kept by someone else! They would have me St Ives in the morning and the centre of London in the afternoon….. It was whilst on one of these many trips that I found myself caught up in the floods at Boscastle, and as I sat in my hotel that evening watching the events unfold on TV I realised just how close to danger I had got and I decided enough was enough.
Initially I changed jobs and went to work for Business Link Kent who helped Entrepreneurs get started in business and was told that I had to mystery shop one of their training providers and to do this I needed to have a business idea and to think of something that I could do….. I did not have to think for too long as I already knew what I wanted to do….. Whilst we were in Canada I did some photography training and had continued back home in the UK at college.
FAST FORWARD 12 MONTHS
After spending a great deal of time learning how to be an entrepreneur, writing goals, business plans, doing my research I set up my business with another student on the course… however 3 months in she had decided that weddings were not for her, so on 1st October 2005 Yvette Craig Photography was born. I started off part-time, building up my business slowly and concentrated on one area of photography which was wedding photography. The first wedding that I photographed was as a second shooter at a friends wedding, she had OK’d it with her photographer that I could help out on the day and further more I was able to create an album to show case my work. Soon followed a few more weddings and lots of marketing.
THE BIGGEST LAUNCH
In the September of 2006 I exhibited at the Wedding Fair at House of Fraser, Maidstone and that really launched my business I booked 15 weddings from that show with dates right up to 2009 my diary was filling up and other wedding fairs were equally as successful, clients were happy and were recommending me and also by now starting to come back to have their newborns photographed. My original plan was to go part-time in my full time job in 2008 and Full Time in my business in 2009, as things happened in 2007 I gave up full time employment for someone else and this was when I could say 100% that I was a wedding photographer.
HOW WAS IT POSSIBLE
When I started my business I decided that I would not draw one penny from the business until I went part-time and that it would only be the difference between what I lost from my salary, as I realised there is more to becoming a wedding photographer than just owning a camera! So I re-invested in training with Aspire Photographic Training and Damien Lovegrove at Lovegrove Consulting I also got myself a Mentor – Martin Grahame-Dunn who helped me achieve my LSWPP in 2008.
The other thing that I did was not to start off cheap with the hope of putting up my prices in the future, this sadly hardly ever works and all you do is de-value what is a very time consuming job if you offer a complete customer focused service, with meetings, pre wedding shoots, post wedding viewings with album selection for their album, album design and editing you soon realise that each wedding is at least a weeks work.
I still continue to train as I believe that it is important to keep up with your personal development.
CELEBRATING 10 YEARS IN BUSINESS
So this year I am celebrating 10 years of being a wedding photographer and being in business, things have changed over the years, but I still love being part of someone most important day, capturing the moments, telling the story with images in a beautiful album. Two years ago we added PhotoFilm as part of our services where we capture the audio and then add images to bring the sounds to life.
The new studio is almost complete and I will be throwing open the doors and inviting old and new clients in to see the new studio.
Over the years I have become know for more than just being a wedding photographer and now have a number of commercial clients and there are other areas that I am working on.
With special thanks to all the couples that I have photographed over the year, without you it would not have all be possible and thank you to all the venues that I have worked and and in particular those that I am recommended at Leeds Castle Lympne Castle Port Lympne Mansion House Old Kent Barn Hayne Barn Oakwood House Little Silver Country Hotel your faith in my work is never taken for grantage. I know there will be couples I have missed and if you can not see your photo I am truly sorry.
Photography – Yvette Craig Photography