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Wedding Photographer Worcestershire John Colson shoots a wedding at Lemore Manor, Herefordshire, United Kingdom

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Wedding Photographer : John Colson  
Couple : Laura & Tom
Wedding Photographer Worcestershire
Ceremony Location : Builth Wells
Reception : Lemore Manor, Herefordshire
Wedding Date : 21st September 2013

Tell us a little about yourself??

I am a photographer based in Worcestershire, but working throughout the UK.

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

Conscientious, honest and short with big glasses.

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Tell us a little bit about the wedding day?

Laura and Tom were married in the Alpha Chapel in Builth Wells, before returning to Lemore Manor in Herefordshire for a gorgeous reception. I had previously photographed Laura's cousin Michelle's wedding a few weeks earlier and therefore knew quite a few of the guests at the wedding already. It was a stunning day and a great way to spend my 40th birthday weekend !

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How did you get into wedding photography?

I had been a hobbyist photographer for quite a while, generally shooting landscapes, animals, cars etc.. but found it pretty boring to be honest. I therefore decided to try photographing people. My first shoot was with Chloe Jasmine Whichello (seen recently on 'The Face') and she was so wonderful to work with that I realised that photographing people was the way to go for me. I went on to assist a local wedding photographer for a couple of years and learnt LOADS. I then decided to work for myself and things have been going better than I ever could have expected.

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How long have you been a wedding photographer?

Including the 2 years of assisting, 5 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?

I'm not sure I would consider my business a 'success' at the moment… I do make my living solely from wedding photography so I suppose it is successful in that way, however I have a long way to go before I can begin to think of my business as a success on any other level. As for mistakes, I'm sure I have made loads, but the one that really comes to mind is spending too much time looking at what others are doing and comparing myself to them. There are so many talented photographers out there and what with social media etc. it is very easy to see others work which can at times be very disheartening. Anyone that truly cares about what they do will tell you it is very easy to see the flaws in your own work, which is then compounded when looking at the work of others. I don't do it so much now but it's still something that I need to work on more…

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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?

Testimonials, style, personality of the photographer (who wants someone at their wedding they don't get on with?) and budget. Oh, and check on insurances and whether the photographer has back up kit. I've had a camera fail on me at a wedding and without a back up body I would have been in BIG trouble!

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

Primarily Google and word of mouth.. and yes, it seems to be working.

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Why do you think people hire you?

I simply try to be myself. My work isn't trendy, won't ever be featured on popular blogs and I will never be a 'rockstar photographer'. I'm not trying to be something I'm not and hopefully this is attractive to some folks!

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How many weddings do you average per year?

I would like to average around 30.

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Whose wedding would you love to shoot?

If George Clooney ever gets married, then his. It would be the epitome of cool and imagine the guest list!

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

Anywhere in the United States… I LOVE that country and it would be a dream to work there. Failing that, Italy or Greece please!

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What equipment do you have for a typical wedding day?

Three camera bodies (Canon for anyone that cares about that nonsense)… 35, 50 and 85mm primes, with a 70-200mm longer lens. Flashes and lots of other bits and bobs.

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What is the most challenging thing about a wedding.

The nerves the day before. I still get very nervous before a wedding and to be honest I hope that never changes. I'm really humbled that people ask me to be a part of their wedding day and I always want to do the very best I possibly can, which leads to a lot of pressure and sleepless nights!

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Do you have an approach to a wedding?

Not really. I just try to be friendly, approachable and respectful.

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Who or what inspires you?

Wedding photographers.. Joe Buissink (a truly wonderful man), Susan Stripling and Denis Reggie. Other photographers… Ellen Von Unwerth, Saul Leiter and Michael Dweck.

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Best & Worst marketing idea so far?

Best. Simply doing a good job, being professional, friendly and presentable. Referrals are the biggest compliment you can receive and without doing the above, you are unlikely to get any repeat business at all. Not so good. Probably attending wedding Fairs and joining online directories.

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

Probably stuck in an office job somewhere. That or an astronaut.

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Share your favourite image of the day and why?

My favourite image of Laura and Toms wedding is a simple portrait. Laura turned her head towards the sun whilst we were shooting and the result for me speaks for itself.

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

I just want to continue doing what I love and grow my business by doing as good a job as possible I can every time I shoot.

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

A friendly, approachable manner. If you are going to be following people around with a big camera all day they have to feel comfortable with you doing so. If they aren't, the photos will show it.

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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?

I noted this earlier, but I guess Joe Buissink is the photographer that has inspired me most. In the very early days of my wedding photography I was very much bogged down in thinking I had to do what everyone else was doing… follow trends, shoot in a specific way etc. Then I went to a seminar of Joe's and his refreshing and open approach to his work really hit home with me. I met him again about a year ago and it's fair to say that he still is a huge influence on me. His book 'Wedding Photography from the Heart' is a must read. Oh, and Susan Striplings work is AWESOME and Denis Reggie's real approach to his work is fantastic.

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Proudest moment so far. Photography related or otherwise?

The first thank you card I received. Every time I get a note thanking me for doing what I do for my job blows me away, but the first one I got really made me think I could do something with this photography lark!

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