Anything but Weddings

I get quite a few enquiries for very varied photography work, even though I specifically state on my website that my work is…..

| Wedding | Lifestyle | Natural |

This means that all my efforts have been poured into learning the craft of photographing people, people normally in fun social situations like Weddings, my work with children is also getting much more popular and for that I am very proud because I love taking photographs of children, it makes me giggle, it also humbles me to hear such nice comments about my work from parents.

As with most photographers I have my own personal work and this for me includes Motorcycle racing and  I have been media accredited in the past for British Superbikes and more local motorsport events. I also love photographing Lake District Lowfly and Wildlife but my passion remains and that is photographing people. Collaboration with other Wedding suppliers is also big on my agenda and I love working with others in a collaborative manner.

So, if you are still with me, I will try and explain what this post is all about, I suppose it could be viewed as a resource for Photography buyers, be that business people or marketeers and web designers or anyone that requires professional commercial photography for use in either print or web applications.

Many photographers offer endless specialities, wedding, lifestyle, commercial, sports, wildlife, boudoir, motorsports, maternity, events, travel, tourism, studio and the list goes on….. some of them of course are very good at all genres, more often than not though hiring a photographer that ‘specialises’ in many disciplines will be a compromise and the images may not do your business justice.

In my opinion, I am not very good at specialised commercial work, yes, some jobs would suit me, others, like buildings, interiors and food wouldn’t suit my style of work, nor my experience, I have not had experience in Press or PR so pass these jobs on, I pass them to either Steve Barber who is also a fellow Wedding Photographer with vast experience in all sectors, or a very good friend of mine Ben Barden. Ben tries to steer away from Weddings and almost 100% of his clients use his images or video for business purposes.

It is clear that good images, either in print or on a website will help identify you from your competitors in business but the devil is often in the detail, badly exposed sky, rooms with just glare instead of a view from a window, orange interiors instead of nicely exposed rich colours, verticals, that aren’t……………….

If you are in business, more often than not you will want to market your services, having assisted Ben I know, that he knows, that Devil Detail very well, in fact his attention to detail is exquisite and that is why I asked Ben to write a guest post, with images to highlight why, when choosing a photographer to take images for your business you hire one that knows what they are doing.

A photographer that understands business and how to get the best images for your business, be it a hotel or guest house or a billion pound industrial installation, you see Ben is not only ropes access qualified but offshore qualified as well – big kahunas that lad !

| personal | professional | passionate | perfect |

Over to Ben…………………

Not sure about big kahunas but thanks!

It’s been 5 years since I left my staff photographer job at Cumbria Tourism to go it alone and it’s been a fantastic journey. It’s a hard job starting a business and it’s all too easy to take every bit of work that comes your way, whether it suits your style or not. I found it took a year or two to settle into my stride and realise that there were some jobs that I loved and others that I just didn’t like. I’m really talking about weddings. I hate weddings, and if you don’t enjoy what you do you’re not going to be any good at it. Simple.

Ian and Steve are fantastic at social photography, for some sick, twisted reason they love shooting weddings and that is so obvious when you see their work.

So now we’ve established that I’m a miserable sod (I’m not really, honest!), on to what I do.

I’m really into interiors and I’m fortunate enough to have some amazing clients with stunning buildings. The Lake House is a new hotel near Windermere, complete with it’s own private lake and stunning grounds it really is very special.
This bedroom shot is actually quite technically challenging. I wanted to keep the glow of the ambient lighting the room but at the same time capture the view from the window, not easy when there is a huge step in lighting level between outside and in. Colour temperature also has to be balanced out as well as making sure all vertical edges stayed vertical.

This self portrait took ages to get right, I knew the sun would hit the arch late in the day but didn’t know exactly when. I stood for 3 hours, alone, in the desert becoming ever more paranoid that I was about to be set upon by a mountain lion ! The wait paid off and I got what I’d planned, a bit or research and patience go a long way! Working offshore is something I’m doing more and more of, it’s a difficult subject to photograph as you can’t usually order the captain of a ship, completing a very expensive and precise installation procedure, to turn around so I can get the better light ! I had to go and complete my offshore survival course in Aberdeen before I could start working out at sea, it was four fantastic days spent getting dunked in water in an upside down helicopter, learning 1st aid and putting out fires. I get to meet some really interesting people in my job, this shot of HRH the Prince of Wales at Levens Hall is one of my favourites, the light was great as he walked in and set against the dark hallway he really stands out. A dark, wet, February day in a quarry, it’s not a great recipe for good snaps but I was really happy with this shot. I stopped down the background and blitzed a load of light into the truck. The client was made up, which made up for me trashing a Bowens head when I knocked it over into a muddy puddle ! Another shot of the Lake House. This was a hugely complicated setup as there was no garden lighting and I had to work out how to position a camera in the middle of a deep lake for a long exposure. 6 hours setting up paid off! Without doubt the scariest thing I have ever done ! This shot was a year in the making, I knew what I wanted but finding a skyscraper with owners willing to let 2 idiots abseil off it to take a photo was hard work. The Beetham organisation were fantastic and let us use their penthouse apartment to place the models within. We went down the ropes from the roof, 400ft up and spent 30 mins dangling and snapping. To say I was relieved when I saw the finished image would be a huge understatement.

Film is becoming a huge part of what I do, I really felt their was scope to do something different than the usual corporate video.

” A walker finds a camera on a mountain path, he looks through the images on the camera to try and locate it’s owners ”

Please find embedded below a corporate film with a twist for Windermere Marina Village, this was shot over three days and is a combination of HD video footage and 6565 still images ( Photographs ) the film was all taken on Canon DSLR, mainly a 5DMk11,  played back as the contents of the camera the walker found in a flip book style. Using a story to subtly sell the product keeps viewers engaged and as such, comes across much better than a hard sales pitch.

72 Hours in the Lakes from Ben Barden on Vimeo.

( Ian – Yes, it is Rachel and I in the film 🙂 )

I am so fortunate to do what I do, I love the constant learning process the places I get to see and the people and businesses I get to meet. What other job could give me such an exciting and varied career ?

Huge thanks to Ian for giving me the opportunity to Guest Post on the Ian Wood Photography Blog. Its great to have other talented photographers around to network with and bounce ideas off, collaborate and most importantly go drinking with !

Working together, rather than competing against each other is a great way for us and our businesses to develop.

Ben Barden Photography Ltd.

130 Highgate
Kendal
Cumbria
LA9 4HE

t. 01539 740935
m. 07971 508652
e. info@benbarden.co.uk

Or click where it says Ben and you will, as if by magic, be taken to his website !

( Ian here – thanks Ben, I hope you enjoyed choosing images and writing this post, feel free to do it again. I will just apologise that the images seen above do belong to Ben, even though they are showing my watermark on the images – sorry, its got me beat ! )

Next up for a guest blog post will hopefully be Abby Harman who is a nutritional therapist and can help Brides and grooms look their best on their Wedding Day – watch this space !

  • Trevor Ronson - December 4, 2010 - 2:10 am

    Fantastic blog guys. There are some amazing images here especially the Liverpool sky line shot with the models in the window. Just brilliant! 72 hours in The Lakes tells a great story and must have been really enjoyable but hard work to produce. Look forward to seeing and reading more.

  • Jax Lawson - December 4, 2010 - 7:26 am

    I love your’s and Woody’s photography and aspire to be that good, I especially love the shot of Liverpool, totally beautiful, you even make the monstrosity of a building that I work in look Great!
    Thank you for sharing xx

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