Wedding Photographer Hertfordshire Eneka Stewart Wedding Photography shoots a wedding at Ashridge House, United Kingdom
Real weddings from real wedding photographers & real couples around the world.
Tell us a little about yourself??I'm Eneka, a Buckinghamshire based wedding and portrait photographer, married and owner of a Bedlington Terrier called Scrum (we chose it whilst watching rugby).
How do you think or would like people to describe you?Firstly, people describe me as natural and straightforward in my approach to people and life; what you see is what you get! Secondly, people see me as creative and stylish, friends and family come to me for fashion advice. Finally, people describe me as very organized and efficient.
Tell us a little bit about the wedding day?It was fantastically well organised day with both bride & groom getting ready at their parents’ house. The ceremony took place in a stunning Berkhamsted church followed by a reception at Ashridge House.
How did you get into wedding photography?I have always been a very visual person and I have enjoyed throughout my live creatively produced photographs, films and books. I enjoyed taking photos as an amateur until 2011 when I decided to set up my own wedding photography business. It was very scary as I had never owned a business before but thankfully so far all has gone very well.
How long have you been a wedding photographer?4 years.
Can you share how you've made your wedding photography business a success? Any mistakes you made along the way?There have been two key things to make my business a success: firstly, getting visibility for my work amongst potential customers – I had to make sure that my website is a good, representative showcase for my style and then I had to work those wedding fairs so that I met the couples who wanted to book me! Secondly, of course, it is just vital for making your business a success that you understand what your customers want from their day, and from the images of it, that you are totally clear with them about what you can and can’t do, and that you do an outstanding job for them. Word of mouth from delighted couples has been the best advertisement for me!
Mistakes along the way? There are many, but in the first year I took a couple of jobs that were not the right customer for me; couples on a very tight budget or who only wanted to have part of the full package that I offer. Somehow, those weddings were the most difficult I did and looking back now, I realise that if someone doesn’t want to pay you for what you offer, it is better to politely walk away rather than compromise on your package.
What do you think a bride or groom should be looking for and not looking for in terms of wedding photography packages?Find a photographer whose work you really like but also someone who you want to work with as an individual. It’s important that you feel comfortable around your photographer on your special day.
Be cautious with photography packages that seem to include everything for very little money. Its 100% true that you will get what you pay for!
How do you advertise yourself and what for you has really worked?I exhibit at local and national wedding fairs which has worked very well for me but I also get lots of bookings by word of mouth; I also share & advertise my work on Facebook and Instagram; more recently people have started to find me through Google as well. So it’s a real mix.
Why do you think people hire you?It's the work. They like my style and creativity.
How many weddings do you average per year?30
Whose wedding would you love to shoot?The couples I really enjoy shooting are the ones who have a positive energy for each other as well as a sense of fun.
If you were asked to shoot a destination wedding, where would you hope it would be?On the Isle of Skye, beautiful mountains, lochs and even beaches!
What equipment do you have for a typical wedding day?2 x Canon 5D Mark III
50mm F/2.5 macro
2 x Youngno flashes
Holdfast Moneymaker strap (essential for my back)
What is the most challenging thing about a wedding.
Do you have an approach to a wedding?Treat all clients the same way, no matter which package they went for and enjoy the day.
Who or what inspires you?Films, art, nature.
Best & Worst marketing idea so far?Worst – Google Adwords
Best – marrying a marketing director! But no seriously, it's grasping that my work won't please everyone but that if I'm clear and consistent with the way I present it and talk about it then the 'right' clients will find and book me.
If you weren't a photographer, what would you be?If I wasn't a photographer I'd want to be a dancer! If I’m not doing something that is creative and expressive, and that’s giving pleasure to other people, then I don’t think I would be happy at all.
Share your favourite image of the day and why?We arrived to Ashridge House and the sunlight burst through a window onto the stairs. I knew I had to get a shot of the couple on that spot!
I always try to get the couple to one side for 30 minutes or so for a portrait shoot. It’s often a moment when they realise that they are now actually married! I give them some gentle direction, but really what I am doing is making sure that I get shots of them, natural and relaxed in each other’s company, that capture their feelings and emotions for each other. The ‘shot of the day’ always comes from this portrait shoot; the shot they hopefully hang on their bedroom wall and enjoy for years to come.
Do you have any goals for the future photography related or otherwise?I'd really would love to shoot a wedding in one of those 'out there locations', like a mountain top or in a deep forest.
I also very much enjoy doing portrait shoots and I would love to do more of those. You can see some of this type of work on my website under Fine Art Gallery.
What do you think is key to being a successful wedding photographer?It's probably not possible to stress it enough but you have to love what you do as otherwise you wont last as a wedding photographer! It’s much harder work than a lot of people realize.
Also, being sensitive to what each couple is looking for and to the way they express their love and energy to each other.
Be planned and organized! Constantly pushing yourself to improve. Keep trying new techniques, try different angles and distances in different light situations. Be nice and friendly towards other photographers, there is room & work for everyone!
Are there any other wedding photographers whose work inspires you, can be a well know photographer or somebody you've stumbled across?Ahh, there are so many! Gabe McGlintock, Fer Juaristi, Ross Harvey, Adam Johnson, Cinzia Bruschini, Mait Juriado, Lara Jade to name a few.
Proudest moment so far. Photography related or otherwise?Portrait session with mum & dad in 2013 which happened to be just before my dad had a stroke, he hasn’t been able to walk since. I really am glad I managed to capture their energy and love for each other whilst he was still mobile.
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