I didn’t become one of the best UK film wedding photographers by chance. It took me years of hard work to get where I am today and in this post I’m going to share the some key elements to my success.
- Love film photography. If you don’t love what you do, in any walk of life, your chances of becoming the best are slim to none. You have to work hard to achieve your goal, and if you don’t enjoy that work then it will become detrimental to you, your family and your life as a whole.
- Know film photography. In order to love wedding film photography it is absolutely vital that you know as much as you possibly can about it. Don’t ignore the aspects of your work that you are not confident about – tackle them and focus all your efforts on mastering them. When I first started learning to shoot film (when I was 12!) I always struggled with light metering. I avoided it like the plague for years. It wasn’t until I started shooting film wedding photography as a profession that I finally mastered it. Now my light meter is one of my most valuable pieces of photography equipment. The relief I felt when I finally mastered it lifted a huge weight off my shoulders and enabled me to confidently move on to other aspects that I felt needed improving.
- Never stop learning. No matter how good you are you should always push yourself to learn more. I genuinely believe that you will always be able to improve your craft – whether it be the technical side of a bridal portrait shoot, or even just the way in which you interact with your couples on their wedding day. If you feel you’re the best wedding photographer in your region then tap on the shoulder of the best photographer in the country and sign up to their mentoring programme. Equally, if you feel that you’re the best in your field in the country then seek out a top European wedding film photographer. There’s always someone that you can learn from – if you ever feel like you know it all then before long you’ll no longer be at the top of your game.
- Be a business! I am an artist first and foremost. I love the light-filled, beautiful imagery that film photography gives you. However, I am not a hobbyist – I need customers in order to pay my mortgage, feed my family and live my life. You could be the best photographer on the planet but if nobody knows about you then you will never make any money. You need a clear business plan in order to properly succeed. Who is your target audience? How will you get customers to book you? How much will you charge? Where do you want to work? There are so many questions you need to ask yourself and without answers you will never be able to properly hone in on a specific outcome. Having a specific goal to target is so important. Obviously you are likely to have multiple specific goals, but by clearly mapping them out you will find it much easier to knuckle down and focus on achieving them.
- Be confident in your equipment. I’m always amazed how little some luxury film wedding photographers emphasise the importance of their equipment. I am not talking about name dropping the most expensive camera, the best film supplier or the trendiest film lab. I’m talking about the importance of knowing and trusting the equipment you use. Everyone has different preferences and the camera that one magazine features as the best on the market will quite possibly not be the right camera for you. Ok yes, there is certain equipment that will not be advanced enough for your requirements but the point that I am making is that THE most important thing is that YOU are comfortable with your equipment. If I owned a Mamiya and had shot 100 weddings with it and the day before a wedding I was given ‘the’ best medium format camera on the market, would I use it. No chance! I’d accept the new camera 🙂 and spend as much time as was needed practicing with it until I knew everything there was to know about it.
I am available for mentoring and private photography tuition throughout the UK. Please have a browse around my galleries, checkout my mentoring page (BY CLICKING HERE) and have a skim through some other posts on my blog. If you think I can help you then please feel free to get in touch (BY CLICKING HERE).