This time a fortnight ago I was doing what I do best… talking my socks off. I was over in Cheshire to address the attendees of Brides Up North Featured Supplier Jonny Draper’s Two Day Masterclass in Wedding Photography.
After a full day of shooting at Jonny’s right hand, through the editing process and onto the business of wedding photography (it’s not just all about taking a few pretty pictures and spending the rest of the time in the pub you know!), it was time for me to take the floor. My input? It was all social, baby! The power of blogs, social media and real life relationships on your business, the impact that building relationships through these mediums can have, how to harness that power for good, staying “real” and how to work with the pacesetters and trendmakers to further your own success. I was talking about what I look for in a Real Wedding, feature or sponsorship submission, how to succeed at wedding exhibitions and about picking your team wisely. And boy, can I talk! Tips, tricks and tales of the trade… nothing is sacred anymore!
I also learnt a lot from watching Jonny and the wider team at work and hearing from the floor, too. What I loved about the day was that I felt able to be myself, contribute, question and bounce off the others in the room. It made for a very inspiring session and one very weary blogger, ready for a nice cold glass of something grape related at the end of the day!
Like at the Masterclass itself, I’ve probably gone on too long… let’s hear from the man himself, and see some of his images from the day (all shot, edited and submitted on location in front of the class, no less).
Images by Jonny Draper.
Jonny says: The Two Day Masterclass in Wedding Photography is the very first wedding photography training workshop that I put together and it’s still one of my absolute favourites. Having run it four times now, the Masterclass just goes from strength to strength and has continued to evolve each time we’ve run it. Day One is the shooting day where I walk the attending photographers through how I shoot a wedding from bridal prep through until the first dance and Day Two is the business day.
This time we were lucky enough to have Julia Braime (readers – you will know her very well!) with us on Day Two talking to us about all things social media, blogging, marketing, wedding exhibitions and events – she was an amazing addition to our ‘core team’. Sarah Heath from Heaton House Farm and Emma Draper from LOVE Bridal Boutique also join us on Day Two to talk about working with photographers from their perspective.
Julia’s involvement has helped to put new ideas into place for the next Two Day Masterclass and also for some brand new training experiences (more on that later!).
From a personal point of view, I love these workshops. I encourage them to be conversational rather than me just standing in front of people for two days talking. By encouraging all the photographers to talk with each other as well as me, we all get to learn some awesome new things! I love how much I’ve learned from other photographers who have attended the Masterclass – and that is absolutely key to it’s success. It’s a level playing field. No one will ever be the finished article and our willingness and desire to learn is what makes us all get better and better at what we do.
Overall, the reason I started doing the photographer training is because I want to be surrounded by great photographers in our industry. I want brides and grooms booking an amazing photographer to be the norm. I don’t want to hear any more stories about how a bride and groom were so disappointed with their wedding photographs. I want every bride and groom out there to love their photographs.
And this isn’t a money thing. There are so many different markets within our industry that require very different pricing structures which is absolutely fine – everyone has a budget to work to and that must be respected. But regardless of whether a bride and groom pay £500 or £5,000 for their photographer, there should be one stand out consistency – and that is the quality of the work and the level of service that the photographer provides. That’s what I want to change in the industry, I want those two things to be expected and demanded of every photographer.
Vive la revolution!
More shots from the day – and those on the course – coming soon.