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Wedding Photographer Ayrshire Craig & Eva Sanders Wedding Photography shoots a wedding at Blairquhan Castle, Scotland

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Wedding Photographer : Craig & Eva Sanders Wedding Photography  
Couple : Victoria + Anthony Quinn
Wedding Photographer Ayrshire
Ceremony Location : Straiton Parish Church
Reception : Blairquhan Castle
Wedding Date : 6th September 2014

Tell us a little about yourself??

We are Craig & Eva Sanders, a husband & wife photography team based in Ayrshire, Scotland. We got together over 10 years ago and in that time have moved house, started a business, got married, had a baby, started another business, employed someone and moved house again without falling out once. (ok, maybe once!)

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How do you think or would like people to describe you?

Hopefully as friendly, approachable, funny people first of all, but also creative, professional and hardworking!

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Tell us a little bit about the wedding day?

Victoria & Tony's day was an absolute dream. When you have 2 gorgeous people getting married at 2 beautiful venues, styled incredibly, using only the best suppliers then you are off to a great start. But add to that one of the best day's weather Scotland had to offer last year and we really couldn't go wrong. Some days just flow and everything just clicks and this was one of those. But don't get me wrong... we still ran about like crazy from the moment we arrived until the moment we left. But it was totally worth it!

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How did you get into wedding photography?

You could almost say by accident. I was a commercial photographer and Eva worked on the picture desk of a national newspaper. I would do the odd wedding for friends and Eva started coming along. We started getting more people asking if we would do theirs and that's how it all started. But it was the timing that was crucial. The wedding industry, wedding photography, wedding blogs all became huge around the same time and suddenly wedding photography was cool! Luckily we were quite good at it and, more importantly, loved doing it.

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How long have you been a wedding photographer?

We've been going for 8 years.

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Can you share how you've made your wedding photography business a success? Any mistakes you made along the way?

There are so many elements needed to make a business a success and each has it's own merit and level of importance but, without doubt, no business will ever be a success without hard work and sacrifice. It's such a cliché but unavoidably true. And yes, we have made (and continue to make) mistakes. You always come away from a wedding wishing you had done something different or 'why didn't I just do this or move there' but it's more the business side of things that we are always learning.

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What do you think a bride or groom should be looking for and not looking for in terms of wedding photography packages?

All photographers offer different products, packages, add-ons, incentives etc. but to us that's irrelevant. The quality of the photography should always come first, not what you get at the end of the day. Choose a photographer who's work you have fallen in love with and hopefully they will be within your budget. If not, it may be worth sacrificing something else for them because when you wake up the morning after your wedding day it's the photographs you're going to want to see and it's the photographs you're going to be sharing with your friends and family and looking at years down the line to remember your special day.

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How do you advertise yourself and what for you has really worked?

Like most photographers, we advertise mostly through wedding blogs. We have advertised in magazines too and social media is an incredible tool to help promote your business. And of course word of mouth will always be crucial in spreading the word, hopefully in a good way.

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Why do you think people hire you?

Honestly, I think we make people look good. Who doesn't want to look the best they have ever looked on their wedding day? Our approach, our process, the way we light our couples and print our pictures is all geared to making people look amazing. I think our 'look' is slightly unique and we concentrate on the smallest details as much as the biggest, all in the attempt to tell the story of the biggest day of their lives.

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How many weddings do you average per year?

We shoot between 25-30 weddings a year.

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Whose wedding would you love to shoot?

Paolo Nutini would be great, and I'm always underwhelmed by any Royal wedding photographs that I see so that would be cool. May as well aim high!

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If you were asked to shoot a destination wedding, where would you hope it would be?

I think we both agree that anywhere in Italy would be incredible!

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What equipment do you have for a typical wedding day?

Each of us carries 2 Canon Mark III bodies and an array of lenses. Eva uses all prime lenses and I use some primes and zoom lenses. We always have a bag with a step ladder, a tartan blanket and some reflectors. too. And an off camera flash for the dancing.

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What is the most challenging thing about a wedding.

Easy. Lack of time and the dreaded Scottish weather!

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Do you have an approach to a wedding?

Our Mantra is 'keep it light, natural and simple' and it seems to work for us. Through experience you get to know what works and what is possible in the limited time you have but every wedding throws a new challenge your way so being the best prepared you can be is essential.

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Who or what inspires you?

Our 'light bulb' moment, our epiphany, was when Eva found the blog Style Me Pretty. Which seems kind of silly now as its so well known. However at the time we had never seen weddings being shot in such a beautiful manner. It's look and the photography that it showcased was breathtaking and we knew that's what we wanted to do.

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Best & Worst marketing idea so far?

Best was applying to Style Me Pretty to be a vendor in their Little Black Book suppliers list. An honour to be accepted and we have had tons of enquiries from clients who are inspired by and love the same aesthetic we do. The worst was getting coffee mugs made (yes.I did say coffee mug) with Craig & Eva Sanders Photography written on them. When they arrived they only had Craig & Eva Sanders on them which made us look like a couple of ego mad, narcissistic idiots. Thankfully we only ordered a thousand. ahem! ;)

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If you weren't a photographer, what would you be?

Younger looking!

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Share your favourite image of the day and why?

One of the last photographs we took on the day is our favourite. In Scotland, it's so rare to get a day which ends in stunning, atmospheric mist after so much sunshine! It also reminds Eva of a scene at the end of Pride & Prejudice which adds even more romance to it.

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Do you have any goals for the future photography related or otherwise?

Professionally. Just to get better and better at what we do. I love the quote “the arrogance of success is to believe that what was good enough for today will be good enough for tomorrow” and with incredible, new, younger photographers appearing on the scene every day it's never been more true. Oh...and to win the lottery so I can pack it all in. ;)

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What do you think is key to being a successful wedding photographer?

Of course there's the obvious things like quality of your product, being unique and standing out from the crowd, getting on with people, marketing etc etc..... But being able to handle the pressure of expectancy is huge. No matter the location, conditions, time restraints and surroundings you have to come up with a quality of product that your client expects from you.

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Are there any other wedding photographers whose work inspires you, can be a well know photographer or somebody you've stumbled across?

We continue to be inspired by American photographers like Rebekha J Murray, Orange Photographie and Elisabeth Messina. But Jose Villa is who we look to most for inspiration and guidance. He's our photographic priest! An absolute genius at the top of the game. They say you should never meet your hero but we had the privilege of being photographed by Jose and he was just amazing. An absolute legend!

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Proudest moment so far. Photography related or otherwise?

The first time we got featured on Style Me Pretty was very special. We had followed the blog for so long that to finally see one of our weddings on there was a happy day!

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