29 December 2008

Louise and Barrie Get Married At Langley Castle

The beautiful Langley Castle in Hayden Bridge in Northumberland was the spectacular location that Louise and Barrie chose for their wedding. They had a civil ceremony followed by a blessing in the small chapel at the top of the castle. Everything looked gorgeous with the twinkling lights and the Christmas decorations, and the scents of mulled wine filled the air - it really was very romantic.

I was fortunate to be accompanied by Nikki McLeod from Scotland, a very talented photographer and the two of us have wanted to work together for so long - so it was a great pleasure to have her working alongside me - she was a willing light holder as well as a fantastic 2nd photographer for the day!

Here is the happy couple, along with a few more photographs. A full slideshow will be online by mid-January, after Louise and Barrie have had a chance to see their proofs themselves first.

Those of you who keep up to date with my blog will know that I have been collecting comments for cancer charity contributions this Christmas - for reasons that Louise and Barrie and their friends and family will be aware of, this is something that is important to them as well, and so I am extending the comments for cancer charity for another week until my birthday next Monday - any comments on this item of the blog will be added to the total number of comments leading up to Christmas, and will help to add to the contributions pot that will go to Macmillan Nurses.

13 December 2008

Charity to Benefit from Comments

I don't do Christmas cards - haven't done them for about 10 years because of the over-commercialisation of Christmas, and, well, because I would far rather say happy christmas in person or by email in a way that is personal to each of the wonderful people in my life. And so every year I make a contribution to Macmillan Nurses because of the amazing work that they do supporting people with cancer.

This year, having seen Anne Ruthman's Cans for Comments on her blog it got me to thinking about how I could do something similar to link in with my Macmillan Nurses christmas card contribution. So, for every comment I get on my blog between now and 5pm on Monday 21st December 2008 I will make an additional contribution to Macmillan Nurses.

Thanks to Anne Ruthman for the inspiration!

06 December 2008

The Baker's Dozen

Well, loads of female photographers have been getting in touch, and excitement is building over The Baker's Dozen. More information in the new year!

Get in touch if you fit the bill of a female photographer taking amazing photographs - this is one of the most exciting things to happen in 2009 for photographers.

05 December 2008

Amazing Female Photographer?

Are you a female photographer based in the UK creating amazing photographs?

If so, you may be interested in a piece of the exciting action - places in the baker's dozen are going fast, so get in touch by email as quickly as you can to be involved in the buzz!

03 December 2008

This is me ... for those who don't know me.

I am Zoe.

I take pictures, and love that I am good at something I found hard to be good at, and had to work at to be good.

I have amazing friends, my best friend being my gorgeous hubby Rob.

I have friends who have been there through the good times and the bad, always there to support me, cry with me, laugh with me, and generally keep my feet on the ground.

I have an incredible teenage daughter, Ellie, who gets more incredible, beautiful, funny and fun by the day - and I can't believe how amazing she is playing her flute.

I am so fortunate to have something wonderful to be proud about with my fantastic kid.

I love Jaffa Cakes, Champagne and Italy.

I'm going grey gracefully to make sure I don't die - if I have my hair dyed again it will kill me.

Thankfully I am loving my new natural hair colour!

I love laughing, and chatting and people watching and coffee.

And I love that Rob makes me a latte every morning.

I live by the sea and can't imagine living anywhere away from the sea.

I hate pettiness, nastiness, bitchiness and back stabbing.

I can't stand celebrity for the sake of celebrity.

I love joking around and taking the micky and generally having fun!

My glass is near full, and never half empty.

I have an old dog, Sam who is scared of the dark and has a night light.

I am excited about the future, and excitable in the present.

I am so glad I am doing what I want to do in life!

And I love sharing it with others.

I believe I have something to offer others through telling their story, and am excited about a personal project telling the story of women.

I am fortunate in my 40s, happy, healthy and in love .... with my husband!

I am Zoe, wedding and portrait photographer, living out my dream.

Can I have the Disk of Photographs?

When I meet with potential clients I am always being asked if they can have the disk of photographs, with requests for copyright, and it's clear that many couples don't fully understand the whole thing about this area of wedding photography.

So here is the low down!

Firstly, copyright of all images belongs to the person who takes the photograph, unless it is signed off to another person or client. Once copyright has been signed over that means that the original owner of the copyright, the photographer, can no longer use the photographs without first seeking permission to do so. You can understand, then, that the majority of photographers are not going to want to hand over the copyright of their photographs as it prevents them from using photographs to use them for marketing purposed, on websites, blogs, or for brochures and leaflets.

How do we get around this to allow clients to own their photographs? That's easy, we give our clients reproduction rights - this means that copyright remains with the photographer, and the client is provided with the rights to use the photographs. It's important to make sure you have something in writing to prove that reproductions rights have been passed over to you so that you can get prints done.

What about the resolution of images? I often get asked if clients can have hi-resolution photographs on the disk - these are large files, and for most people's purposes are not necessary. Hi-res files can be printed to a very large size, such as 40in x 60in, much larger than the average person wants. However, medium resolution photographs can comfortably be printed up to A3 size (double the size of a standard sheet of paper), and as most people only require prints of, say, 7x5 or 10x8, then this is a size that is more than adequate. Some photographers may be willing to sell their medium resolution images slightly cheaper than hi-res.

And what about the cost? Well, that depends on what is done to the photographs before they are passed over to you. Some photographers talk of 'shoot and burn', which is a cheap wedding package where the photographer turns up to take the photographs, and then puts a selection of these photographs (often 150-400 images) onto a disk, giving the client reproduction rights. In these cases the photographer tends to just download the photographs straight from camera, with no or little editing other than the deletion of blinks and duplicates. You can expect to pay anything from £400 - £1,500 for a package of this type, dependent on the skill level of the photographer, and whether or not the photographer is a hobbyist or is earning a living from their work.

More experienced photographers will sell the disk of images with minor or full edits completed before passing them over. Some will include the disk in a package, whilst others sell them separately. However, something to bear in mind is that once the photographer has sold the disk of photographs they know that they will lose income because they are now unlikely to be able to sell prints to guests. The photographer is effectively selling the digital negatives to their client. So it might seem as though all you buying is a cheap disk of photographs, but in fact you are purchasing the artistry of the photographer, and the opportunity for the photographer to increase their sales, helping them to keep the price they charge you at a lower level.

As a result, you will see photographers charging anything from £1,200 to £5,000, and in some cases more, for wedding photography packages that include the disk of images, and the more product that is included, such as wedding album, proof book, framed images, etc, then the higher the price you can expect to pay. Additionally, better photographers will be likely to charge you more, as they will have invested a lot of money to develop their skill level, and it's the old adage - you get what you pay for.

If your budget is limited, then it is worth finding out if there is a photographer of the skill level you would like who is prepared to sell you a disk only package - but remember, these photographers may not want to sell you such a package for a prime date, such as Saturdays in June, July and August. Perhaps you could book your wedding for a Thursday, or in March or November.

At Zoe Photography we offer disk only packages for mid-week weddings and for weddings in November, January, February and March, and we have links with another photographer who Zoe is training who offers budget wedding photography with a disk only package - please ask for details by emailing Pauline - pauline@zoephotography.co.uk .

01 December 2008

Zoe Photography on Facebook

I'm stilling getting to grips with using Facebook - my daughter has a much better handle on it than me! But then that's hardly surprising. Having said that, I have managed to set up a business page on Facebook, specifically for Zoe Photography, where I will post discussion points, random thoughts, and, eventually, some of my photographs.

If you are a Facebook user, then follow this link to the Zoe Photography page.

16 November 2008

Southport's Christmas Lights Switch On

It feels far to early (oh dear, I'm sounding like my mum!!!) but today, over 4 weeks until Christmas, Southport had it's light switch on parade tonight. Rob and I thought we'd go along and take a look - there were very few pictures worth taking, but here are a handful that were ok.

Annabel Williams Course

I love to keep pushing myself with my work, and always look for ways I can learn new techniques and develop new skills, so this week I took myself up to the Lake District to attend a one day course run by Annabel Williams of CPT (Contemporary Photography Training), called Making Women Look Great. There wasn't a mass of new stuff for me to learn on the course, but I did come away with some real nuggets, and I look forward to putting them into practice with clients over coming months. It was also good to meet up with old friends and to make new friends on the course in Stavely, and I loved just having some me time too, where I could reflect on the type of photographs I particularly love taking.

Here is Annabel with some of the other students taking photographs of our willing model.
The weather wasn't the best - it was pouring with rain and blowing a gale! But we were all brave ... for a short time, anyway!
And then it was back under cover when the rain became too much - although that was more for the model than for us!
And here is our beautiful model, one of Annabel's staff who is not actually used to being photographed, but she did an amazing job with Annabel using the techniques she was taking us through on the course.

If you would love to look great in your photographs, get in touch - I am offering a complimentary portrait session to the first 3 women who contact me or Pauline on 01704 544666 - all you need to do is make yourself available on a weekday in the next 4 weeks, get to Southport, and then you can buy from any of our products with a 10% discount.

Places for the Boudoir Brides and Boudoir Beauties have been snatched up fast, and we had more slots to fill for that, so get in touch now to make sure you can take up this fantastic offer!

09 November 2008

Gown Again for Emma, her Mum and Friends at Albert Dock, Liverpool

In the USA there is a phenomenon amongst brides to Trash The Dress - but I have always wondered why you would want to trash the dress that you got married in, such a beautiful gown, something so precious to you. So I have introduced Gown Again, where I photograph the bride wearing her dress after the wedding, along with friends if she wants, in a relaxed fashion shoot style. And the dress is enjoyed, but not trashed!

Back in June I photographed Chris and Emma's wedding at Mere Golf Club, and Emma was eager to have a Gown Again shoot, which we eventually managed to get organised yesterday at the Albert Dock in Liverpool. We had a good laugh, with passers by stopping to wish the bride luck, some guys telling her it wasn't too late (little did they know!) and many tourists looking on for entertainment!

Emma and her mum and friends all really enjoyed the shoot, and they all said how great it is to be photographed all dressed up but without the nerves of the wedding day. And as a result, we managed to capture some fantastic photographs. I particularly love this first one with the enormous bug behind Emma. And you'll see in the second photograph how Emma decided Uggs were the appropriate footwear to keep her warm under her dress!

08 November 2008

Boudoir Brides and Boudoir Beauties - Only 2 Places Left!

The Boudoir sessions are proving really popular, and so if you think that you would enjoy this kind of photo shoot you need to get in touch quickly as there are only 2 places left!

03 November 2008

UCI Cycling World Cup Classics, Manchester Velodrome

Yesterday we went to the UCI Cycling World Cup Classics at the Manchester Velodrome - it was great to see the GB Team doing so well, with 14 of the 17 titles won by them. I'm not a sports photographer by any stretch of the imagination, but it was good to get these shots - we had some of the best seats in the whole Velodrome.

02 November 2008

A Walk in Ruff Woods, Ormskirk

It was such a gorgeous day yesterday that Rob and I decided to go for a walk in Ruff Woods - we used to live in Ormskirk and often did this walk, but living in Southport now we tend not to go to the woods very often. It was really good to go back to an old haunt. And with the sun shining through the leaves we got some beautiful photographs too.

26 October 2008

Wanted! Boudoir Brides and Boudoir Beauties

Every winter I look for something I can have a play around with in the quieter months of January and February, and this year I have decided to play with boudoir.

And that's where you come in - I want brides to be, recent brides, and divas extraordinaire who would like to have a complimentary photo shoot at my expense, and you will receive a print from your shoot as a little thank you for your time.

I'm looking for brave girls and shy girls, small girls and tall girls, slim girls and voluptuous girls, in fact any girl who would love to enjoy a fun and fabulous photo shoot - the only requirements are that you must be over the age of 18, and you must be able to make yourself available for a shoot in Southport, Monday to Friday, in January or February 2009.

so if you are interested, then please get in touch by email through the contacts page on my website - I'd love to hear from you .... if you dare!

25 October 2008

I met Zoe Photography!

This week I met Zoe Photography - I know what you're thinking, 'this is confusing, you are Zoe Photography!' Well, in Connecticut in the US there is another Zoe Photography and she got in touch with me recently saying that she was coming over to the UK, should we meet! I am so glad she did, because it was so good to meet her. We have both been photographers for about the same length of time, although Zoe is a lot younger than me! Foolishly I didn't take my camera with me, but Zoe had hers, so I hope to add a photograph soon -taken by her friend Alan.

Zoe and Alan were on their way up to York and stopped to meet me for tea, and after York they were going to Stratford to see Hamlet with David Tennant and Patrick Stewart (swoon!). I was so envious!

So, Zoe, when you read this, it was great to meet you and Alan, and great to now have a link to the other Zoe Photography!

23 October 2008

A year in the life of Baby Alex

For a year now I have been photographing Alex, from a few weeks old, and finally, this week, just before his first birthday - I can't believe how much he has grown, but it was great to be able to photograph him with his big sisters, Molly and Megan. We went to the Squirrel Walk in Freshfield, near Formby, although we didn't see any squirrels because even though this is a sanctuary for red squirrels, the squirrel pox virus, spread by the invasive grey squirrels, has been found amongst the population of reds. I hope this isn't the end of seeing the gorgeous little red squirrel so near to us.

But anyway, it was a great morning, we kept out of the strong winds and played around having fun on the walk, and stopping for photographs every now and again. Here is just a few that show what a lovely family this is!

22 October 2008

Baby Portraits of Milly

Baby Milly is so pretty in pink! She slept nearly all the time I was with her, but you can still see how gorgeous she is. I just love her little button nose!