Wedding Photographer wwwsarahjanesphotographycom Sarah Janes Wedding Photography shoots a wedding at Christ Church, Sheffield, United Kingdom

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Wedding Photographer : Sarah Janes Wedding Photography  
Couple : Claire + Toby
Wedding Photographer wwwsarahjanesphotographycom
Ceremony Location : Whirlowbrook Hall Both, Sheffield
Reception : Christ Church, Sheffield
Wedding Date : 31st August 2015

Tell us a little about yourself??

I am a UK and destination documentary photographer who also loves to shoot beautiful portraits. Sarah Janes Photography is now 7 years old and more recently Red Shoe Makeovers came to life! Documenting women with beautiful portraits and telling their stories.

Rich joined Sarah Janes at the beginning of this year as the business manager/bag handler/Car driver. I am also training him up as a photographer and is already taking some amazing images. I fear I that I am creating a monster and I shall one day be his bag carrier ;)

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

I have been described as a photographer ninja! I am flattered by this.

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Tell us a little bit about the wedding day?

I think Claire & Toby can say it better than we can. All we can say is we LOVE this couple.

'These {images} are bloody brilliant; amazing! Thank you so much. I know these will be right up there with our most highly treasured possessions for the rest of our lives.

I've always loved the feelings and sense of wonder that good photos can inspire since I was a kid. I've done a little bit of paid photography myself and had a few shoots published, and have some very talented photographers as fiends. As a result of all that I thought I was going to worry about our wedding photos and was especially keen for us to find the right photographer for our big day. When Claire found your work though, we both knew we could stop looking and worrying. I have so much respect for the results you have produced for us. I knew they would be great but they surpass anything I was expecting. The way Richard and yourself have handled everything from comms, to getting to know us and having fun with the pre-shoot, to being around on the big day if we wanted to request anything, to having all our images edited so quickly, has been first class. I appreciate the way you can take control when needed for some group shots without taking over, and the way you subtly go about capturing everything else we could have wished for.

Your website and blog are great too and they add to the excitement and fun in the run up to the wedding and to getting the results. You have your own unique and charming style and capture the little details, the emotion and the feel of the day, while retaining that throughout. If I had an unlimited budget and time to go back a chose any photographer for our wedding then I would not change a thing and would not hesitate for a second to recommend you guys to anyone else.'

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How did you get into wedding photography?

Loonnnnng story. I loved photographs from a young age as my grandad was a photographer, so taking images was important to the family. Then 11 years ago I befriended a {husband and wife} local photographers. I would knock on their studio door every single week asking if they had a wedding and if I could come along with them {ok this sounds now slightly less than friendship and more like harassment}until in the end after two years Andy gave me a camera {it was film back then} and said just take some snaps…..the images were really bad….but that night I could not sleep, this was it, this was what I wanted to do, and so was I trained up on film before starting out on my own as Sarah Janes 7 years ago.

I then met Rich and he too fell in love with wedding photography and this is where we are today.

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How long have you been a wedding photographer?

I started training 11 years ago, Sarah Janes is now 7 years old.

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

Just hard work, to keep going and pushing yourself even when you are having a 'good god I am a crap photographer and no one will ever book me again' days, it's to keep going and believing. Having passion in your work and letting it come from the heart. Trying to imitate styles will never work for you.

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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 put coverage over end product. Albums can be purchased at any time, just make sure that you are not trying to shoehorn a whole days wedding into a few hours of wedding photography coverage. This way your wedding will be documented in a true and beautiful way, rather than ticking off your must have images that will never feel the same as your day simply did not happen that way.

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

Paid ad and publishing can work, but only if you are where your clients are! What does work for me is recommendations. My client is of the most importance to me and because of this 90% of my future business is through recommendation.

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Why do you think people hire you?

As most of our bookings come from client recommendation, it is because they have either seen how we work/the results/testimonies. We are relaxed and friendly…if we had a £1 for every time we were asked at a wedding 'so how do you know the bride and groom?' Thinking we must be friends…this is how we like our relationships' to be and so why we only take on 20 weddings per year.

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How many weddings do you average per year?

I like to shoot no more than 20

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Whose wedding would you love to shoot?

Mick & Bianca Jagger in 1971 for their wedding in St Tropez!! Dressed to the nines in Yves Saint Laurent; Mick looking English Gent badass while Bianca and that white suit!!!!

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

Vegas!!!! I would LOVE to shoot in the desert as the sun was setting.

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What equipment do you have for a typical wedding day?

Canon MKIII, MKII, 24-70mm 2.8, 35mm 1.2, 85mm 1.4 135mm 1.4, flashlight for 1st dance.

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What is the most challenging thing about a wedding.

Timelines! Clients can underestimate just how fast the wedding day will fly. Your wedding reception is a chance for you to mingle with your guests, enjoy the champagne and canapés. So if I get a list of 20 groups and if their portraits are needed to be done at this time also, as there is no light after the wedding breakfast {through the summer we always take the bridal portraits after the wedding breakfast in the low beautiful light} plus the reason why they booked with Sarah Janes as they wish have their wedding shot in a documentary way, my heart sinks, this is just unrealistic.

I would advise no more than 6 groups, and to message the people you would like to be in the groups before the big day with something like 'We would love to have a picture with you…we will be doing these at 4pm' Also to have family members and friends to help round up the guests, this will make the groups quick and fun! Times run over, please do not get caught up with a box ticking exercise…enjoy your day, every single moment x

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Do you have an approach to a wedding?

Just document the s**t out of it! We document each couple based on their personality.

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Who or what inspires you?

Everyone and everything inspires me. Love, friendships, how people interact with each other. I am a great people watcher.

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Best & Worst marketing idea so far?

If you are going to pay for an ad make sure it is where YOUR client is, and have the ad live for three months, one offs here and there do not always work.

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

Sad. Very very sad.

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Share your favourite image of the day and why?


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

I have been so honored as to document families for Charites, creating awareness about the poverty in our country and what these amazing Charites do to support these families without judgment. Just love and support.

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

Whatever you do {business or photography wise} it has to be YOU, do not try to imitate, be genuine and honest to your own eye and heart.

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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?

Oh my goodness. Where to start. I am lucky and blessed to have such amazing friends in the photography world. My closest friends {who I am in awe of and have watched grow into un-friggin-believable photographers} Claire Penn, Andrea Ellison and Sigrid Cain {based in Austria} But there are so many friends, I could not list them!! I did a one week workshop with Jerry Ghionis back in 2012, and although his work is more traditional than mine, he is a beautiful photographer. His workshop literally, without sounding over dramatic, changed my life.

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Proudest moment so far. Photography related or otherwise?

Having a little exhibition at the Lowry in Manchester. Oh and getting engaged to Rich.

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