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Wedding Photographer Nottinghamshire James Davies shoots a wedding at The Warner Thoresby Hall Hotel, United Kingdom

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Wedding Photographer : James Davies  
Couple : Matthew & Jayne
Wedding Photographer Nottinghamshire
Ceremony Location : Perelethorpe Church, Southwell
Reception : The Warner Thoresby Hall Hotel
Wedding Date : 17th August 2013

Tell us a little about yourself??

I’m married to Alice and have three great daughters, so time is a very precious commodity to us which is why I only work part time shooting a maximum of two weddings per month.

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

Confident and fun to work with, my assistants and I have good fun when we work together, I always try and translate this to my clients in order to relax them and make them feel more at ease in front of the camera.

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Tell us a little bit about the wedding day?

Always long days, early starts and long finishes. This particular day I was working local to me which makes a nice change. Having never shot at this venue before I was very eager to make the most of it being so grand and picturesque.

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How did you get into wedding photography?

I started my camera life as a land and seascape hobbyist, for years I was out early morning and summer evenings trying to capture the perfect scene, I began to find the routine of it boring and looked for a change of direction. A friend then asked if I would photograph his wedding day. I agreed and from that one wedding the enquiries have increased and we are now shooting 20 weddings per year.

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How long have you been a wedding photographer?

We are now into our third year.

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

So many mistakes I'm not sure where to start really, I could write a book! I initially did what many hobbyists trying to turn pro did, invested in advertising and web development etc, instead of focusing on learning the art of wedding photography. Ive now reversed this, my diary has filled this year with no marketing campaign.

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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?

Never base your choice on budget! I know people have budgets in mind but photography is like any investment, if you want a good return you must make sound choices based on more than money. Book a photographer whose work shouts out to you, don’t be afraid to break with the antiquated traditions that still haunt wedding photography.

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

My work has been my only form of advertisement. Every client this year has been either a recommendation or referral. This is why its so important to identify your own style and stay true to your own creativity. You need to create your brand, the over saturated internet means that adverts get lost, wedding fayres are simply ways for brides to find the best deal, and ad word campaigns are costly and have little ROI.

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Why do you think people hire you?

My work and my products.

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How many weddings do you average per year?

20

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Whose wedding would you love to shoot?

Prince Harry

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

I would love to shoot a wedding against the stunning backdrop of New Zealand.

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What equipment do you have for a typical wedding day?

I use so much gear for every wedding. Although my style is a mix of fashion and documentary and like to have every base covered, from dark ceremony rooms to sudden rainstorms. The following is a list of the kit we take to every wedding. Nikon D700’s 50mm f 1.4 | 14-24 f2.8 | 24-70 f2.8 | 70-200 f2.8 Various speed lights, SB900’s & SB910’s Elinchrom Rotalux 70cm soft boxes/grids and Lastolite easy boxes for speedlights Elinchrom Quadras Elinchrom Rangers Variety of reflectors and modifiers Pocket wizard + II’s

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What is the most challenging thing about a wedding.

Making sure that I create something unique, the one reason my clients book is the creative way I approach their venue and day.

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Do you have an approach to a wedding?

Open minded, if I go to a wedding with a set plan it will invariably get changed by circumstances I cannot control. So I go with the flow and let the day take me where it needs, whatever I end up facing is what I make an image from.

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Who or what inspires you?

I’m currently working as a freelancer to Brett Harkness, he has been a contributor to my current methodology. But any photographer who creates stunning work both technically and creatively is an inspiration to me. I spend many hours reviewing the work of ‘everyday’ photographers, many of whom produce stunning work that goes under the radar.

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Best & Worst marketing idea so far?

I paid £1000 to a marketing company a year ago, they produced a stunning magazine on behalf of the National Trust in the UK, it was going to provide me with a good profile review and would have reached many potential clients, the company closed though before the magazine went to print, my investment was lost.

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

A stay at home father.

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Share your favourite image of the day and why?

The cloud, the house, the car, the veil and above all the wind direction which took the veil off on a little float around, just perfect.

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

I would like to keep going as I am now. I’m no work junkie, my life is simple and uncluttered, yeah I would like more money but I would only spend it on gear I don’t need or know how to use :-)

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

Know how, confidence and above all people skills. You must be able to relate to people and how to translate their confidence in you into their imagery.

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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?

n/a

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Proudest moment so far. Photography related or otherwise?

This interview. Thanks guys. J

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