Ultimate Wedding Guide 2020

Ultimate Wedding Guide 2020

Whilst we are all in the middle of this pandemic, I am working on creating more bookings for my Wedding Photography Packages for 2021 & 2022. I am a photographer that is based at Southend-On-Sea, Essex and my studio is in Stratford, London. However for my weddings I travel anywhere within the UK and I also do destination weddings.

I wanted to give my Brides an Ultimate guide for them to be able to go to one place and have a list of suppliers either Local to them or national, this will give them the best start with planning their Weddings to make it the best they can.

As I started making this list there were some suppliers that had never would have thought of as being an option.

I have listed everyone I currently have on my list and these are for all ranges of budgets. Even if I don’t have someone in your area there will be things in the list that will enable you to search for local to you.

Go to the list below, find the heading of what you are looking for on the left, when you click the heading a list of the suppliers will show up on the right with their location, click on the suppliers name and it will take you to their link, this may be a website, Facebook, Instagram or other social media platform.

 

if you make an inquiry with one of the suppliers on the list below please let them know that you found them through Camera Crazy’s Website.

Ultimate Wedding Suppliers List

Live For the Night National
The Distance National
Sonic Boom National
Northern Xposure Mid England

The Bridal Pixie Cambridge

Partybites National

Impact People National

devon dub weddings Devon
GT Chauffeurs National
Love me do North England
Nandra Chauffeur South East
Special Day Vehicles National

Special Moments Celebrant National
Toast Celebrant North England
DMG Ceremonies South Wales
Create Ceremonies South Wales
Severn Ceremonies Worcestershire

All the Feels National
Notes Of Life National
Icon Entertainment North England
Absolute DJs North West of England
Golden Sound Disco Mid England

De Gustibus Cakes Northamptonshire

Orchid Event Management Northamptonshire

Craftie Handmade National

The Love of Dance National
Big Dance Occasions North England

Crystal Belle Beauty Stockton on tees

Lizzie Shaw Makeup Artistry  Lincolnshire
The Bride To be Scotland
Claire Marie West Sussex
Krstev Kreates Southeast England

Makeup by Ramn National
Lyndsay MUA Norfolk
Tashsa Makeup Artist Norfolk
Bespoke Bridal Beauty  North England
Make Up By Mary West Midlands
S J Beauty National
Laura Amy Makeup Essex

The Little Red Bus North Devon

Bottle Top Bar Bridgnorth
V dub Tavern Essex
Sip n Swig National
The Distillery Box North England
China Grey Worcestershire
The Wokingham Bar Company Wokingham

The Little Red Bus North Devon

D&D Occasions Mid England

Danny Long Northwest

I Do Wedding Art Hertfordshire

Precious Pets National

I hope this post has helped for you to create your perfect Wedding Day.

If you are a supplier and would like to be added onto the list please email me info@cameracrazy.co.uk

 

Note: All the above contacts are from networking groups and they should be fully researched prior to booking with them.


Newborn Photographer of the year 2020

Newborn Photographer of the year 2020

I really enjoy entering competitions and going to all the photography conventions, for a couple of reasons carrying out training and meeting people within the industry.

 

In January of 2020 I decided to go to the Societies of Wedding and Portrait Photographers and enter into their 20×16 print competition.

 

I was hoping to get some really good feedback on my images and on ways to improve. They carry out live judging for two days covering a multiple of genres.

 

This year I entered into the creative portrait and the newborn category. I was unable to attend the live judging but one of my friends were able to attend and filmed it for me.

 

You are required to get a score of 80 to get a merit, this is not an easy score to be able to achieve and it is marked on a list of technical items.

 

My creative images was the first to go up which was scored at 78, however one of the judge’s contested the score. She gave her reasons why, then all the judges voted for a second time after they made the reasons why they scored how they did.

 

The new score came in at 80 which I was pleased with.

 

I attended the convention on the Thursday evening, I got up on Friday and went down to see all the other images that got through to the next round.

 

As I was walking around I saw that my newborn image had a second rosette on it saying finalist.

 

I was confused at the time and I was quite unsure why I had received the second rosette.

 

I found someone I knew that was on the judging panel and he explained to me.

 

Once all the images had been judged all the images that received a merit or higher would be re judged from scratch.

 

This meant that a different set of judges felt my image was at the standard to be nominated in the final.

 

The awards night come along and they get to the newborn category and I won 3rd place which is an awesome achievement, I was up on stage with one of the best newborn photographers in the world Kelly Brown.

 

3 days later I am still in shock on how well my image done and I am very pleased with the image.

 

Let me know what you think about this image in the comments below.

 

Thank you 

Gemma 

 

https://thesocieties.net/the-societies-photographer-of-the-year-2019/20-x-16-portrait-newborn-2020/


What Is Cakesmash Photography?

A lot of people ask me "what is Cakesmash Photography?". My response is: it is simply when you baby is approaching their 1st Birthday we simply bring them to the studio. I decorate the studio in a theme we put the baby in front of the cake and we let them eat it while they are having their photos taken.

https://youtu.be/Em82QdePobs

We don't only do shoots for 1st birthdays. We can shoot for any birthday, this session doesn't need to be for just cakes. If your baby has a cake allergy we can change it to a paint splash shoot, some people use water melons and some even use spaghetti bolognese.

This all sounds so simple, However if the prep work is not done then usually this shoot does not go as well as some people expect. I have had problems in the past where children get upset easy due to the material of the outfits. This is one reason i have moved away from using tutu's. babies are now days so used to having their hands wiped at every given opportunity, when the baby has cake on their hands they automatically want their hands cleaned.

If you are thinking of booking a cakesmash photoshoot then please feel free to discuss any thoughts or ideas. It is totally worth the prep work. I see mum's getting upset because they do not get the cute messy photos, do not get me wrong you will have a set of beautiful images regardless.

I have been asked can you do Adult cakesmashes? the answer is yes of course we can. we can do cake smash photos for 18th, 21st, 30th, 40th or 50th. We can even do it if its not your birthday, its totally up to you.

30th Cake Smash Throwing Cake

Pet Photography

I have been interested in doing Pet photography for a while now. I have practiced on my own dog previously to get the lighting how I wanted it and practiced different types of editing.

A fellow Photographer and I had been discussing having a play date to be able to build a portfolio of images to offer these sessions to clients. We spoke about this several times over approx 1 year. We finally had a date both of us could do.

We put a post on a Facebook Group, called 8 out of 10 mum's, which we were not expecting the response that we had. There were over 300 comments in total and around 100 images of peoples fur babies.

After a few days of discussions we had decided on the dogs we were going to use.

Firstly we had Neo & Indi:

Neo was a 12 year old Labrador Cross Sharpei, Neo was very calm and not bothered about his surroundings, he seemed very settled straight away. Neo's Parents say he doesn't get out much anymore due to his age and medical problems that he has, he was our first dog up.

we got Neo into position however he was slipping a bit on the backdrop and kept going and sitting on the mat by the front door. We realised he must have been uncomfortable so we moved the mat onto the shooting area and then he would sit but he really wasn't interested i had bought some treats and toys from Pets at Home that morning to be able to buy friendship with the dogs.



When i retrieved the ball out of my bag that is when we saw a totally different Neo. He was totally happy with the ball and started bouncing all over the studio playing with the ball, this made his parents so happy as they hadn't seen their joyful fur baby like this in a long time.





Next up was Neo's little sister Indi who was a 2 year old Pug cross Jackrussell. She was a great model for us to work with, she would do anything for the treats i had in my pocket.

 
 

We then decided that they needed pictures together, We sat them next to each other and like any other siblings they were not so impressed Neo was totally into his ball and Indi was looking around saying "mum do i have to sit next to him" .

  

 

 

Second Shoot Nellie:

Next up was Nellie who was a 5 month old Great Dane. At first Nellie was a bit concerned in walking through the door however her mum got her in without a problem. This reminded me of a program I watched years ago where you have the trainers help you out with problems with your dog. There was one episode where there was a Great Dane that was scared to go through doorways and onto shiny tiled floors.

 
 
 

I had instantly remembered about this and knew the problems Neo had with standing on the shooting area, I got Nellie to stand on the backdrop and i could see her slipping a bit and knew that this may be a problem for her so rather than stressing her out we got the mat out again. this then became known as the magic mat.

Nellie did jump a few times but once her mum settled her we got some fantastic images from her. About 30 mins after they had left we received a message where Nellie was in her bed fast asleep as all the modelling had been a bit tiring for the 5 month old, she looked so cute.

The main part of this shoot is i just remember her being all legs and ears.

 

Third Shoot Amber:

Amber the 6 Year old Chow Chow was next to arrive, Amber came across as a dog who wants to do things on her terms. She wasn't interested in coming into the studio. So she was carried.


Amber wasn't interested in the shoot at all, she wanted just to see what was around, she had an amazing coat and it seemed like she had this wonderful mane like shape.

 

Fourth Shoot Milo:

Milo was the most unusual color dog I had seen, He was a French Bulldog cross Pomeranian. his features reminded my of a fox like dog. He was the cutest dog, the parents had said they had taken him out that morning to Southend-On-Sea and they had told us everyone was stopping them asking questions about Milo.

 

 

I can see that Milo would be a dog that would end up on a TV program like Britons Got Talent doing a dance or some sort of agility course. He was an intelligent dog.

 



Fifth Shoot Bertie:

Then it was Bertie's Turn. Bertie was a 19 month old Dalmatian.

Bertie did not like being in somewhere strange at all, the poor dog as soon as he got into the studio he sat on the sofa and refused to move off. He would eat his treats whilst he was on the sofa so we knew he wasn't to distressed but we were unable to coax him off of the sofa, so I took a couple of images just so his mum had at least one image of Bertie but he just wanted to go home. :(

 

Sixth Shoot Buzz:

The next shoot was for a 1.5 year old Spaniel cross Staff. Buzz was an amazing bouncy dog that at first we tried the normal treats and toys He wasn't to fussed about, then I got the Dog Peanut butter out, when he tried this he would do anything for it.

 

We had some great fun with this, we had a sheet of perspex that we would wipe the peanut butter on to see if we could get some different types of images. Some of his facial expressions were so amazing. I personally have had a spaniel and I have got a staff and I could see both of them in Buzz.

 

 

Last Shoot Hanson & Elsa:

Lastly there was an amazing family who run a Rescue center.They bought two dogs in with them, the first on is Hanson who was a 4 year old Sharpei. Hanson was dumped at 9 weeks old in may 2014 due to a severe deformity to his front left leg.

 

 

They have a fund raising page for Hanson to go to see Noel Fitzpatrick , if you would like to make a donation for Hanson please visit their Facebook Page Here

 

The other dog the brought along was Elsa who was a Staffordshire Bull Terrier. Elsa is 2 years old and she will be in Crufts this year. she was the most amazing black staff, who stood so well, as she was a show dog she didn't sit well but she would stand still amazingly.

 

Here are additional Images from all the dogs photoshoots. 

https://youtu.be/YIyKShPw0k4

Please feel free to leave a comment and let me know if you like the images.

 

 


Wedding Guests in circle

Save Money on your Wedding Day

Looking for ways to save money on your wedding day? Some people don’t seem to have a budget at all. Some have a very small budget.

Here are some great tips on saving costs on some items that will allow you to get the dress you have always wanted or to get the photographer that will capture your images the way you always imagined.

1. Table Cloths:

These can be Very expensive to hire you could investigate the option of buying used to selling after your wedding.

2. Flowers:

If you want a fantastic flower center pieces buy fake flowers, these can be a real good quality now days. This will help if you are looking for flowers that are out of season when you are getting married.

3. PhotoBooths:

These can be really expensive to hire. There are really good photo booths that are little vans which have been converted. If this is what you want then they are worth the money, If you want a standard photobooth then look at your options. Talk to your photographer, see if they can help out with this. If they cannot, Fake flower walls are a brilliant idea to create a fantastic backdrop for your guest to picture in front of.

Look at making one rather than hiring or see if you can buy a second hand one that someone has made and no longer requires.

4. Your Date:

pick dates that are not popular, I am starting to see more and more mid-week weddings, consider Friday the 13th these are generally cheaper.

5. Negotiate:

Try to negotiate venue locations and Caterers. Some of suppliers may be able to offer a discount but ask nicely and let them know that you have other options do not go with the first person that are bit cheaper, ensure you are also getting the venue of your dreams.

6. Honeymoon

Have you heard of honeyfund? It’s a website which is like go fund me, where you can get your guests to put money into a honeymoon fund, this saves on getting presents you don’t need any and having a pile of cash under your mattress that will be spent on nothing after the wedding.

7. Combining:

Consider getting married to having the reception in the same venue this way you will not need to hire a car or a driver to take you from place to place, this may also help with negotiation as guests may stay at the venue with you that night. More customers for the venue.

8. Night Time Entertainment:

Do you know a DJ or someone in the family that can help you out or a band that can do your favorite cover songs?

9. Something Used:

Check at Facebook and Gumtree for used once items. get ideas for your favors. I see on a Facebook group the other day about getting badges for all the Guest especially made these can be cheap if you shop around, you can even glue a magnet on them to allow people to put them on their fridges. the other option is not to bother with favors at all? Sometimes it’s a cost that is not needed for your wedding day.

10. Drinks:

Some people try to save money on bottle of drinks, which is a good idea but ask the venue if they charge corkage first otherwise it could workout expensive. You don’t need to supply your guests with free. drinks all night they are coming to enjoy your day with you, not to get drunk on your savings this extra money could go on that wedding dress you have wanted for ages.

 

On the other side these are things I would Suggest you do spend your hard-earned money on. So, don’t cut costs.

1. Wedding Video:

Thinking no point having a wedding video? Think again, recently I have seen and spoken to more and more women who have not had a videographer at their wedding and have regretted it since. You cannot go back and re-record that moment. It will be worth the money. Your children and your grandchildren will want to watch it over and over to remember you, or you want to go back and remember how happy family members who have passed over the years were back then.

2. Planner:

Wedding coordinator / wedding planner. They will know where to go and who to go with but do watch out as some of them have deals with suppliers and you won’t end up with the best deals possible. Look for Someone who has recently started out they are trying to make the best impression and they want the best reviews from you they may be able to help you find a real good bargain.

3. Say yes to that Dress:

Buy the dress you always wanted but equally look for sales or ones that have been in the window, even second-hand dresses. never attempt to alter your or your bridesmaids’ dresses unless you are a seamstress, always pay for a professional to do this. Also, be aware if you see the dress you want on one of these websites where it is shipped from china, have you seen the what it should look like and what it looks like images?

4. Photographer:

Yes, I am going to say this but please do your research ask your friends ask friends of friends. find the images you love. We all know someone who has a fancy camera so such and such could do it for free. I thought it would be a lot easier, the number of hours photographers work, and the equipment used some are charging less than minimum wage to make your wedding day last a lifetime by capturing you, your family and friends in the most natural way possible.

I am not saying go with the most expensive or the cheapest look at the images, love the images. This is not to make you book me, you deserve to have the best, drop me a message and I will send you links of some of the best photographers in The UK close to you.

5. Setting The scene:

If you have managed to save money on items for your wedding so far and managed to have some cash spare. Instead spend money on draping and backdrops, there is nothing worse than having the most beautiful Venue then the images taken inside with real bad backdrops, make your wedding as you want. You will love your images and video forever making worse than looking back and thinking I can’t put that on my wall; the decorator in the background was awful.

 

Please leave comments below of how you saved on your big day, help future brides with knowing what you saved and spent money on.


What makes a good Photographer?

What makes a good Photographer? Is it down to what equipment they have? Should they have a degree? If they have a studio or If they are mobile? The Size of their camera or the lens they have? How long they have been doing photography?

Or is it just down to their vision and what they think a good image is?

I know in the past, when I was starting my photography business I had a relatively cheap camera and this was good enough for at the time. I was getting ready for a shoot I got my Camera out of my bag the client said to me "oh that’s a big camera. It must be expensive". It wasn't but it had given that impression, I have had other people whilst I have been out taking pictures for myself say "that’s a big camera, are you a professional photographer?"

Just having is a camera that looks big gives the impression Its expensive or you are professional. This in itself would stop a photographer buying a newer lighter and smaller camera. The new camera's that are currently out are superior than some of the older DSLR cameras you see photographers using.

There are some photographers that had not touched a camera until 3 years ago. There are some who are the best in the UK and possibly in the world. Personally but I do not think that having a qualification or having a certain camera makes you a good photographer.

What I think makes a good photographer is having a vision and making your clients feel excited, happy and shows you understand their needs.

Please share your thoughts. let me know what you think makes a good photographer. Let me know what has been your best experiences and your worse.

Links to information below.