About Camera & Kit

10 things I have learnt about doing a by Camera & Kit

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PhD in photography …

You may not know this but I am in year two (the start of year two) of a practice-based photography PhD in central London. What's a practice-based PhD I hear you ask? Well it's a doctorate that combines writing a thesis/dissertation with creating a work of art, in my case, a photographic body of work where the words explain what I did and situate it in a theoretical context and framework and the creative artefact, the photographs conveys the research process and the new knowledge that I have contributed to academia. At the end of it, I come out as a Dr in photography. I'm not going to lie, I struggle with doing a PhD, it's not easy and is a hard slog, I also struggle with people (okay, namely men) telling me that you don't need a PhD to be a photographer, well, what can I say other than this is true, but I do need a PhD to become a doctor in photography. I have found doing this PhD both an intellectual and mental health challenge, and a massive financial burden ( especially if you are self-funded like I am and there is no shame being self-funded, fully funded students are not smarter or more deserving of a PhD than self funded students), no one ever talks about how much unpaid labour is involved in undertaking a photography PhD, writing conference abstracts, attending conferences, writing book chapters, writing academic papers, exhibition .... the list of free unpaid stuff you are expected to do is long and seemingly never-ending but BUT it's not all bad, here is what I have learnt having just started my second year of a PhD.

1) It takes over your life, I mean it seriously takes over your life, everything is about working towards yearly annual progress reviews and then hitting the repeat button for four years.

2) Doing a PhD is not about being the smartest person in the room, it's about having a unique idea to contribute new knowledge and then having the stamina to endure almost 4 years of further study.

3) People are surprised that I am still a practicing commercial photographer, there seems to be a misconception or at the very least, it seems to be common practice that once you enter the realms of photography academia you no longer practice as a photographer.

4) A photography PhD (or any PhD for that matter ) is an endurance sport, it's a test to see how much your passion can bear the pressure that comes with completing a doctorate. It's a lot of pressure.

5) It's a lesson in how much rejection you can tolerate and having the ability to handle brutal feedback, whilst the idea behind this that it apparently makes you a better doctor, it can be soul destroying and knock your confidence. It's hard not to take it personally

6) A PhD has an innate ability to rekindle even the most dormant of mental health issues, a PhD is stressful, it has me beset with fears and plagued with self-doubt most of the bloody time. It is more than okay to have a PhD wig out when you need one.

7) Doing a photography PhD has made me a better commercial wedding photographer, it has not dampened my passion for taking photographs and I have an increased more nuanced understanding of my craft. I can say the same about my Master's Degree in photography. Even though my field of photographic study has nothing to do with wedding photography, it has made me a better wedding photographer through developing a new set of creative media arts and artistic skill set.

8) If you say to someone, I'm really struggling, I am finding this PhD really hard (and it's more than okay to find it hard to do) and they respond with "well, it's a PhD, how easy did you think it was going to be?" then you need to find a more empathetic support buddy.

9) It makes me appreciate the serenity and peace I find in editing peoples wedding photographs and crafting albums, this stills my mind and refocuses my creative mindset to shoot weddings and tackle the demands of a PhD.

10) It will be worth it in the end and ultimately make me a better photographer and better photography academic and theorist.

The photos are sumptuous ... by Camera & Kit

Thank you for sharing the  Camera and Kit website.  It is extraordinary on many levels and I genuinely enjoyed reading and viewing it.  The photos are sumptuous.  The way you write is more like a novelist painting word portraits except in this case the portrait is of you, the photographer and philosopher and student of wedding photography.  I think the website will more than catch the eye of couples who are truly looking for unique, creative wedding photography. The About section is particularly persuasive because it is passionate and honest in its message.  Your enthusiasm is obvious and infectious.   The website does you proud.  I think it will serve you very well in building the business.

A quick Q&A by Camera & Kit

Signature Aesthetic:

The set of principles underlying my photographic artistic work are all about creating visionary, unique and creative wedding photography.
Capturing real authentic moments of the wedding day without resorting to staged shots. It's import to me that I keep challenging the norms of wedding photography through creating stunning images and my artistic vision.  My camera is there to witness your day, as an agent of creating visual histories and not be a part of it


The Dream Client:  

My dream clients are a couple who really adore photography and want their wedding photographs to be different and creative. Couples who understand that photographs are integral to the day not just something you do because it's a wedding. Couples who put their trust in me to create photographic nostalgia and histories for loved ones.  A couple who value prints, albums and books.

Specialities include:

I work most often in London and destination events. I tend to shoot a lot of multi-day weddings which is a whole other level of performance art.  I'd say my speciality is to create a unique creative brief for each wedding regardless of the location, budget or style of the day and produce pretty, feminine and whimsical artistic imagery.

The points of difference:

I'm not going to say it's because I am photojournalistic, that is such an overused and often misunderstood term. My point of difference is my work, I produce pretty, emotive, whimsical, and eye-catching photographs. I have spent years honing my craft, my MA is evident of that.  I am not afraid to be different and that can only be wonderful.

Weddings of Note:  

A 2-day wedding in Rome attended by the Olsen Twins, a 3-day beach wedding in Sicily and a 5-day wedding in Florence

Weddings/Year:  20- 25

Film or Digital?

A combination of the both

Why I charge what I do? by Camera & Kit

This is one question that I get asked the most as a wedding photographer. Well, that and what do I do for the other six days of the week?

I don't blame people. Us photographers, we are a lucky bunch. Really very lucky! We get paid to travel the world and take pretty pictures. On the surface , it appears that's all that we do and it appears that we are paid a fortune to do so.

So, why do I charge what I do?

At the start of my career, I would have responded to that question with a feisty passionate delicate artist response offended that I am not taken seriously as a creative service provider but I understand the lack of understanding. As a photographer, its part of my job to make sure you understand what you are paying for.

It's so much more than being excellent at what I do because I am. I am very good at what I do. It's more than having an undeniable photographic eye and the personality that allows me to blend in seamlessly with your wedding.

It's so much more than just packing up my camera and kit, showing up at your wedding and taking a few pictures and enjoying the party.

If I can explain it simply, it would be like this. For every one hour of shooting time about 5 hours of my time is invested in your wedding.

From the pre-wedding planning to the post wedding editing and album crafting. In order for you to love your wedding photographs, and I want you to love your photographs then I must invest time in your wedding and with you.

It's about the equipment, my extensive experience as a photographer. It takes years to have over 300 weddings under your photographic belt. The knowledge gained through shooting that many weddings and having an MA in digital photography.

It's about me valuing my time and worth, as well as yours and your wedding. It's about having the right insurance, software, calmness, creativity, camera, and kit .

At the risk of sounding like a shampoo add, because I am worth it. With experience comes calmness, understanding, and professionalism. The confidence and freedom to be unique and knowing your wedding better than you do.

It's about the many hours spent understanding bookbinding and design as well as sourcing fine art artisans to collaborate with to give you a truly bespoke wedding photographic experience.

Wedding photography is not just about shooting, not the way I do it. It's understanding photographic theory that informs the practice of wedding photography the shooting principles, and developing a unique style to stand out from the wedding crowd.

I love wedding photography, I really do. I understand my craft and I understand my worth and I hope you now understand why I charge what I do.

 

Isle of Wight by Camera & Kit

Hey!

Just updating this post to say that I have moved to the Isle of Wight,  still not completely settled in but happy I made the decision to make the Isle of Wight my new home.  I will be offering discounts for couples getting hitched here as my way to say thanks for having your wedding here. 

So much stuff can start happening now that I do not know where to begin but I promise to start daily blogging and posting photos.  

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I am really super excited to say that I am moving to the Isle of Wight at the end of the week.  Looking forward to meeting local wedding suppliers and fellow wedding photographers

2016/2017 Wedding Brochure by Camera & Kit

I have revamped the Camera and Kit wedding brochure for couples getting hitched in 2016 or 2017.  If I am honest with the amount of work, I put into restyling it,  its more of a magazine than a brochure.  That makes me happy because it includes everything you need to know about my wedding packages.  You can request one as a printed magazine, a PDF or an e-book. 

My absolute favourite is the printed magazine ( I would say that wouldn't I) but that's because I am a little star struck for magazines and adore the paper form. 

If you would like to receive the 2016/2017 magazine, please please just get in touch.

A belated hello of sorts ... by Camera & Kit

This was to be my first post but circumstances shot me off in another direction entirely last month with an unexpected bump and then an unexpected lost baby bump.  Regrettably it was not the time to be rambling on about my love of wedding and baby photography.  So, what was my first post has now become my second one.   I knew I'd get here eventually.  Its been a wee bit of an emotional ride over the last 3 months or so but I finally feel like I am back to me.

Photography has helped me through it in more ways than I could imagine. I do admit though, to crying more than once at baby photos but I am adamant that framing Mabel's scan image is helping me to heal.  I blame the pregnancy hormones for the random acts of crying  as I am now back to wooing at baby photos and mumbling too cute!

This post is going to be a rambling of sorts. I am sure its going to lack coherent structure. I apologise for my appalling spelling and grammar. I also apologise for the lack of a photo in this post.   I just want it to be a starting point really of what I hope this blog to be.

So, here are my thoughts on what I will be (err what I hope to be) blogging about:

  1. I will be show casing weddings and shoots that I have done but the blog will be more than just showing you my imagery.  I really want to give you an understanding on how my mind works when it comes to photography.
  2. There is more than one F word in photography so what does it means to be a feminist wedding photographer, and I talk in the context of understanding why wedding photographers shoot the way we do.
  3. I really, really, really want to talk about photographic theory form selfies to gender identity to seeing the world through photographs not as it really is.
  4. How having a Masters Degree in photography has changed my wedding photography for the better.  Its given a greater insight into my craft and I am loving every minute of it and why I will do a PhD in photography.
  5. Why I am a big believer in the photo-book and crafted my own for my clients and saying no to the mass produced ones.  Wedding story books as so much more than layouts and page numbers.
  6. Why I love the craft of the photo-book and book binding and design. l am all about self publishing really.
  7. Why printing is more important than ever in this digital dark age we find ourselves in.
  8. Shooting multi day weddings and what that means to me
  9. and other random photography topics that pop into my head

Really happy to get back to this.