Wedding Photographer Buckinghamshire Ed Clayton shoots a wedding at The Painted Hall, Old Royal Naval College, Greenwi, United Kingdom

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Wedding Photographer : Ed Clayton  
Couple : Julia & Mike
Wedding Photographer Buckinghamshire
Ceremony Location : The Painted Hall, Old Royal Naval College, Greenwi
Reception : The Painted Hall, Old Royal Naval College, Greenwi
Wedding Date : 16th July 2011

Tell us a little about yourself??

I love cooking, especially wood fired pizzas, walking Darcy, our dog, and meeting up with my friends – I am a self-confessed social addict! I also enjoy glamping and love to go skiing when things are quieter in the winter!

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

Enthusiastic, fun and kind.

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Tell us a little bit about the wedding day?

It was a stunning day, not only was the venue amazing, but the Bride and Groom – Julia & Mike – we the most pleasant company. Their friends and family all being very relaxed and focused on one thing – enjoying themselves!

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How did you get into wedding photography?

Probably like so many others in the industry. I had a full time job (I used to be an Army Officer) and I was a very keen amateur photographer, my sister got married and asked me to take some photos and the rest it literally a fast moving blur of a history!!

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How long have you been a wedding photographer?

I just counted it. It will have been 10 years this July – O.M.G.!!! 10 years?!?!! Argh – I need to arrange party!

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

Passion is the key, I think. Enjoying what you do is the most important thing, because if you don’t you can’t fake it and then the results of your work just drop off. I think the biggest mistake I have made over the years is not concentrating enough on the business side of what I do – such as the marketing and sales etc. I always get so wrapped up in the technical side of what I do that it is easy to not actually market your business effectively!

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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?

They should be looking for quality over quantity. I also think there is currently a big misconception over “hi-res images” currently. In my opinion couples should look for a photographer using the following priorities: 1) Personality (you gotta like the person who is going to spend most of the day with you) 2) Quality of work (if you don’t know what makes a good photo then ask someone’s opinion, but also, you’ve got to like what you see – they are your photos and this is more important) 3) Price (of course I am going to put this at the end, but you do get what you pay for!!) Top tip – budget for an album before you budget for the “hi-res images” because you’re far more likely to show off your amazing wedding in a well presented album than you are leaving the images on your computer to do nothing at all apart from take up hard disc space (especially as everyone will probably see them anyway when the photographer puts them on to his website!)

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

Word of mouth is pretty much what I rely on these days. National Wedding Shows worked for me when I was starting out, but it is very expensive as is google adwords. My advise is to have a strategy to get word of mouth works as soon as possible!

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Why do you think people hire you?

They like the informal approach to my work and (I think) they think that I would fit in with their friends and family nicely and not be too overbearing on their wedding day, but equally that they can trust me to capture the story of their day.

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How many weddings do you average per year?

I limited myself to 30 weddings a year. So that I can concentrate on each wedding fully and also so that I can take some time off to go skiing in the winter and glamping in the summer!!! 

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Whose wedding would you love to shoot?

I am really in to Formula 1 and I would love to photograph an F1 wedding!! Less possible, but if time travel was possible – I’d love to go back and shoot my parents and grandparent’s weddings – that would be so cool!

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

I really want to go out to New Zealand to shoot a wedding and meet up with the team at Queensberry albums whilst I am there. Second to that I’d like to shoot a wedding in Nepal, I used to serve with the Gurkha's and speak the language, I have been to Nepal a few times, but would love to shoot an authentic Nepali wedding!

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What equipment do you have for a typical wedding day?

I actually use Canon 6D’s (x2) – I find them much better than the 5D Mk III’s (for my style of shooting anyway) and fast prime lenses: 24mm, 35mm, 50mm (1.2) & 85mm. I have a flashgun in my bag, but we are talking LAST RESORT if it comes out. Natural/ambient light all the way if at all possible!

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What is the most challenging thing about a wedding.

Probably being in the right place at the right time, it’s just a question of anticipation and patience really, but it is so easy to loose focus on the most important elements of what you are doing – you always have to keep an eye on whats about to happen, as well as what it is you are shooting at that particular time,

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Do you have an approach to a wedding?

Yes – quite simply it is a wedding day and not a photo shoot. I will record it as it happens and that’s it!

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Who or what inspires you?

My life inspiration comes from my family and friends. But my work inspiration is largely driven by other photographers, both within and out of the wedding sector.

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Best & Worst marketing idea so far?

Best – being the third business to advertise on facebook in the UK (I was the only wedding photographer on there for 6 months). This bubble soon burst though – it used to be half a cent per click back in 2007!! My worst marketing mistake was during that Facebook advertising campaign I simply answered the phone and took bookings. I never qualified any of my leads, set an goals or had a strategy. I should have called every enquiry back and grown my business based on the weddings that I wanted and that was local to me at the time (I drove so many miles that subsequent 2 years!)

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

I think whatever I did, I would own my own business.

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Share your favourite image of the day and why?

The father of the bride’s toast during the speeches. It just reminds me of the last supper and I have had so much positive feedback about that image that it just makes me feel good when I look at it!

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

Yes I am building a company called Silverton Photography and we have the aim to become a big thing within the UK – offering quality wedding photographers located around the country. It’s a tall order, but everyone has to have a vision!!

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

Passion and commitment.

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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?

Without doubt, Allister Freeman.

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Proudest moment so far. Photography related or otherwise?

Getting married myself, of course!!

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Visit Ed Clayton's Website  

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