Congratulations to all you newly-engaged out there, and if it was the lady who got down on one knee to pop the question good for you! Seeing as weddings are full to the brim of tradition we hope that the leap year tradition of the woman doing the proposing resulted in new engagements up and down the country.
As a celebration of your courage and commitment yesterday we’d like to offer all couples a free engagement sitting with us. You can either come for the sitting itself, have some fun and with no obligation to buy whatsoever, all for the grand price of absolutely nothing, or you can create some personalised ‘We’re Engaged!’ cards, starting at £40 for ten cards. It’s entirely up to you. Give us a call on 01722 422224 to book.
Congratulations once again and here’s looking forward to hearing from you!
It’s February which means St Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Celebrate loving the people in your life, whether that’s your mum, boyfriend, husband or sibling, with a Trinity Photography sitting. Give us a call on 01722 422224 or drop us a line on email@example.com to book your sitting. We look forward to seeing you soon.
A few moments we thought we’d share…
Some sneak previews of Nick and Vickie’s wedding at Bishopstrow House. A thoroughly lovely wedding.
As the current economic situation worsens, the likelihood of having to work until we’re into our 80s increases and the safety-net of a job for life disappears, many people are having to re-think the paths their lives will take and that includes their careers. Perhaps that is one reason so many ‘professional photographers’ are emerging. I don’t use the quotation marks lightly; I have no problem with someone learning a new craft and turning it into a profession. After all, if we’re all going to be working the majority of our lives it makes sense - well at least to me - to be doing something we enjoy. So, if a person has a skill, an interest and the aptitude to turn a hobby into a career then fair play to them. However, there are a number of people who have been able to afford a half-decent camera and decided that they are a professional.
Combined with the fact that just about everyone has a camera now (whether a compact or their phone) is the rather alarming growing lack of appreciation of the value of professional, quality photography. If everyone has a camera then everyone can produce a digital file, and that costs nothing right? Well I suppose that’s correct in a purely fiscal sense, but that’s entirely missing the point. The raw file a digital camera outputs is of a fairly poor quality. Pre the digital age professionals had to use film and process their work in darkrooms (and we regularly meet students wanting to enter the profession who are barely aware of the history of photography. Depressing.). Just because the format is different it doesn’t mean the photographer has less work to do: whilst the possibility of taking many more shots is undoubtedly there - no rolls of film to buy then pay to develop - a professional will not rely on digital tools to restore a badly-taken image. They will employ the same skills and knowledge to take a good shot in the first place that they would have done in the days of film (and of course there are still many who still use film, and good for them). The old adage - and excuse the crudeness - you can’t polish a turd still holds true.
And so we find that there are some people who seem not to value the professional for what he or she is: exactly that, a professional. We - as in the professional photographers - have to keep educating people as to why they should pay for photographic services and not rely on Uncle Bob or their mates’ phones when it comes to something like a wedding. Therefore it was with some joy that I stumbled upon the blog of a fellow photographer. The article posted on August 27th last year gladdened my heart, which is a good thing given Christmas is on our doorstep! Why not have a read of it here and see if you agree. It’s not all doom and gloom after all.
In the meantime, enjoy the festive season and just remember two things when taking pictures of the family this Christmas - take two steps forwards and bend your knees! Merry Christmas.
Having just read a blog by Aaron from Webbed Feet, I have been inspired to do what I should have done on Monday and get round to writing our monthly essay. Aaron’s blog was about why it makes good business sense to write a blog, and so I thought I would follow his ten points and elucidate further. Check how closely I’ve managed to get to Aaron’s points here!
Number 1 – A blog shows that we’re experts in our field. Photographs are what our customers want from us, and so obviously pictures will tell them pretty much what they want to see/hear. But sometimes people want to have a bit of background info on certain topics, or tips on how to do things, or reasons why x = y. And we can deliver all of that here, free of charge and with a (virtual) smile. So here’s a quick one while we’re about it: when shooting in low light use a tripod. Steady as she goes!
Number 2 – blogs are good for building trust. As Aaron says, blogs give people useful information for free, which means you’ll start to trust us and want to learn more.
Number 3 – blogs are good for SEO. Whilst most people couldn’t give a monkey’s about this, it matters to us that you find our website. If our blog is sending out all the right information so that you can’t avoid our name cropping up in your search, then you’ll hopefully want to have a look at what we’ve got to offer.
Number 4 – adding content and keywords. I’ve used our blogs to talk about exhibitions, charity calendars and more – which means we can keep our core business on our website and direct people to what we do from a whole host of other avenues.
Number 5 – blogs show that there are people involved in keeping things up-to-date. I’m sure we’ve all visited websites only to find that nothing’s changed since last we stopped by, and it’s really rather annoying. We found with our old site that not being able to update it as and when was incredibly limiting, especially if we went to an event and people wanted to see their images the next day but there was nothing we could do about it. Now the tide is flowing the other way for us, and our website is updated almost every other day with our blog getting a look in once a month. Still, at least you know there’s someone here!
Number 6 – a gateway to social media. We are all bombarded with updates, links, video clips and the like, and for us as a business to ignore the social media aspect of connecting with our customers would be foolish. With a staggering number of people now using mobile devices to connect to the net rather than their pcs (what device are you reading this on?!) the ability for us to pass on information to you regardless of your location is ever more important. And if we can make you smile along the way so much the better!
Number 7 – generating traffic. A website is a shop window (although we’re greedy and have a real one here in Salisbury as well. If you’re passing why not gaze in, or even better, open the door and give us a cheery hello?) and we want people to have a look. If you’ve found this blog from a source other than our website, then hopefully it will inspire you to have a look at the pictures we take, as well as read the words that we write. And if you like what you say, you might just book a sitting with us. And that would be absolutely wonderful.
Number 8 – promoting us. It would be quite a dull page visually if we didn’t break it up with a few pics here and there, and as taking pictures is what we do, helpfully it promotes us in a rather subtle but effective way.
Number 9 – educating our customers without actually selling. I like this one, Aaron’s hit the nail on the spot here. We can let you know why you should use a professional photographer, or how we can help meet your photographic needs without directly accosting you and telling you how great we are, use us now! In a far more gentle manner we can hopefully give you an insight into who we are and what we do, which will then possibly strike a chord or stick in your mind. Then when you find you are looking for a photographer, one gem or other from our writings may just ring bells. Before you know it you’re picking up the phone or dropping us an email. That’s the general idea anyway!
Number 10 – letting the customer know we’re people too. We’ve tried to make our website friendly and accessible, but knowing there’s someone involved in the business who writes informative, humorous (I hope, or at least try…) and engaging blogs should give you the confidence to know that behind the business name there are people who love what they do and who want to share that enthusiasm and enjoyment with you, whether you’re a customer or not.
And if you’ve read this far, I’m impressed. To thank you for your interest over these paragraphs why not come and try us out? No obligation and no hard sell, just a lovely cuppa and a laugh with us in the studio. You can find your voucher here. You never know, this might just be your Christmas shopping sorted in one click!
Why use a professional photographer?
Your wedding day is a once-only event, and you want it to be perfect. You probably started planning the event about 12-18 months before the big day itself: choosing the venue; the dress; the guest list; the flowers; the stationery; the music; the readings; the table decorations… with so much effort and expense going into one of the most important events of your life you want the memories of it to be absolutely perfect, and so of course you’ve chosen a professional photographer to capture and preserve it all. Or have you? Sadly these days the need for a professional seems secondary to cost, and so often photographers tell the tale of couples who’ve told them ‘we’re getting a friend to do it’.
So what’s going on here? We all know that money doesn’t grow on trees and that everyone’s got a budget, and that you are probably going to have to compromise somewhere. But please, don’t make it on the photography!
You can grow your own flowers but you pay for a florist…
You can sew your own clothes but you pay for the dress and suits…
You can create your own stationery yet you pay for the service…
What is it that people want out of their wedding photography? If it’s just a record of the day and you have no intention of ever looking at the pictures then that’s one thing. But if you want to be able to look at your pictures a month after the big day, a year, 2 years, a decade – you want the images to bring back the memories, the events and the feelings you experienced. A professional will capture your day. A professional will catch the mood of the day. A professional will give more than you expect.
OK, OK, so we’re going to say that. After all, it’s our job we’re talking about. But there are many reasons why you should use the services of a professional rather than a friend. In no particular order then, here are just some:
Insurance – whilst there is no governing body for professional working photographers we must have insurance. An amateur will not. There are so many horror stories of things going wrong when using an amateur, and without insurance there is no fall-back for you. No back-up photographer, no refund on deposits paid, no cover if everything goes to the wall. Nothing.
Potential loss of friendship – what happens if the friend you asked to take your pictures does a terrible job? If they take all the wrong shots, or you’re out of focus, or they annoy your guests? That can put a horrible strain on your friendship, and the memories of your wedding day will be forever tainted.
You are the boss if you’re paying the invoice – you can tell the photographer what you want. A pro will get the shots, and if they don’t there is some recompense. Not so with a friend. Hopefully you will like your photographer and enjoy their input throughout your day, but they are there to work for you. If you want a particular shot – or not – you can tell them without fear of upsetting them.
All the gear and no idea – with the cost of good quality digital cameras dropping all the time, and with camera phones becoming ever more sophisticated, it’s quite easy to buy all the good-looking kit. But does your amateur photographer actually know how to use it? Will they be able to shoot inside the church in low light and then outside in bright sunshine without messing up? Do they have the years of training, experience and understanding that a pro will have? Will they give you back 300-600 top quality images from your day?
Choice – your professional photographer will be able to provide you with a fantastic selection of images from your wedding, and to go with these will have access to a stunning array of product manufacturers. The options available to a professional far outweigh those in the consumer market, giving you the album or frame you really can’t get on the high street.
Quality – alongside the choice of picture and product you get from a professional photographer comes the quality. This is the photographer’s job after all – you’re paying for them to deliver a high quality service and product. You can’t possibly expect an amateur to be able to give you this; they don’t have the time or inclination and why should they?
Everyone will be in the shot – with a friend or relative behind the lens it’s inevitable that they won’t be in the big group shot. With a professional you won’t miss someone because they’re busy with the camera.
Level of service – your photographer’s job is about far more than the actual day itself. They will be engaged in your pre-wedding shoot and/or visit of the venue, the big day itself, a web upload, providing a set of proofs, editing images and finalising products. Will your friend be happy to pay for a second photographer on the day? A professional often has a second photographer as standard.
Organisation – your professional photographer isn’t just a photographer. They often get called on to help out in so many different ways, and with years of wedding experience they will know wedding etiquette inside out. Do you know which side the buttonhole goes for the women and which side for the men? How to tie a bow-tie/cravat? How to organise the receiving line? Your photographer will fulfil many roles on the day, from organising the groups and the timing, to that of MC, sometime-holder of bouquets/jackets/shoes – if they need and see a photo opportunity they will help in anyway to try to get it! They are at your service all day, and not just behind the camera.
So why do people baulk at paying for photography? Well let’s have a look firstly at why the cost of using a professional may seem high. You’ve just been quoted two and half thousand for a wedding, and your first reaction is to say ‘how much?’ in quite a high voice with a startled look on your face. ‘For a day?’… Ah, but it’s not just the photographer’s services on the day you’re paying for now is it?
Firstly the photographer should spend time planning your day with you. He or she should engage you in a pre-wedding shoot and recce the venue (if feasible) – after all, if you view the venue in summer and there’s a beautiful garden spot that you saw in glorious sunshine, but your wedding is in the middle of winter after the sun’s gone down, that perfect shot you wanted won’t be quite as you’d imagined and your photographer is there to advise. Then there’s your wedding day itself; (that’s normally about 8-12 hours); there’s the time spent sorting and editing maybe a few hundred images ready for you to view; there’s the printing and/or online hosting of the proofs; your personal big-screen viewing of your wonderful photographs (typically another few hours). At this point you’ll - hopefully - have chosen what it is you want to do with your pictures and here the photographer really gets to work, designing your album, proofing your album, editing your album, finalising your album and printing your images. Naturally there’s a cost incurred by the photographer in the product, which will have been factored in to the quote you were given. All in all, a professional photographer will probably spend somewhere in the region of 7 full working days on your wedding. If you start doing the maths and working out an hourly rate, as well as taking into consideration the product costs and the bits you don’t see (rent costs, gas and electricity bills, business rates, web hosting, marketing costs, telephone bills, vehicle costs, equipment maintenance – all the things that a professional photographer needs in order to be in business. Not to mention the years of experience and skills which they will have under their belt, and the one thing that can’t be bought or taught - inherent creativity), the amount you pay for a professional photographer to provide you with the photos of your dreams actually isn’t all that much!