Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Start Up Business Workshops

One of the things I have been working on is to hold small Start Up Business Workshops, to help and inspire new business’ (or business’ who currently feel a bit lost).

The reason for doing so is because when I speak with people, photographers or other business’ I get the “but everyone is struggling, noone has the money, noone wants to spend/buy etc“.

I haven’t found this to be the case.

It could be the way I sell myself, it could be my pricing, or my open policy…it could be the work I produce, that I know my target market, or that I have a retail background. What I do know is, its a combination of them all.

So why the blog post today? Why the announcement of the guideline for the course?

The 21st June was 3years since I left my Full-Time Job, as a retail Assistant Manager, and set off into the World and Journey of Photography and Business. I worked as a Second Shooter from June 2008 to October 2009 when I set up on my own. In March 2010 I went full time Self Employed. In November 2010 we won Best Wedding Photographer for The Bridal Magazine (and are hoping to get shortlisted again!) In Jan 2011, we were shortlisted for the Wedding Idea’s Best Wedding Photographer, and were shortlisted to the Final 5. In March 2011 I opened the doors to my studio.
Its been a whirlwind 3-years. I didnt have someone with a big load of cash behind me telling me how I needed to do this that and the other, its been hard work, determination, long nights, sleepless nights and all in all great experiences. I’ve met some fantastic people – some great Bride & Grooms, and very happy customers. But sometimes its not all its cracked up to be. There are times that its a struggle, times that not everyone is happy, and how to deal with those too. For anyone in business who say’s they have stopped learning – I personally think they’re wrong.
What I plan to do on these workshops, is to look at me and how I run my business. We will go from looking at your target market, where you want to be. What type of pricing and structure would fall into your area, workflow, marketing materials and advertising – and more importantly, how to do it all on a budget!
The aim is to have a structure to cover a basis of things, but also to make it as interactive as possible. Everyone who books onto it will be able to look at giving 2 things that they would like covering – some will already be covered, others may not. It will give each the chance to talk about their business and be able to go back feeling a little more inspired.
Tuesday August 2nd
Thursday August 25th

Encore Ramada Barnsley
JCT 37 of M1

This will be a full day event, aiming for everyone to arrive for 9:30pm for a 10am start, and finish by 4:30pm approximately.

Prices are £25pp and include Tea, Coffee & Biscuits, and Sandwiches, Chips & Fruit.


•09:30 Tea/Coffee, meetup
•10:00 Start & Introductions
•10:30 My Story, how I set up, when I made the big steps and changes
•11:00 Questions
•11:15 Setting Up In business
•12:00 Lunch
•13:00 Finding Clients
•14:00 Social Media Marketing
•15:00 Marketing in General
•16:00 Question and Answer Session
•17:00 Close, ability to network in the Bar area etc.

Hotel also has rooms available for anyone wanting to travel to book a room you can do so here Advanced Purchase Bed & Breakfast from £41, Room only from £35.

If you are interested in booking on or have more questions then please email adele@bluelightsphotography.co.uk or leave a note with your email address and I shall contact you with more information.

Each date is limited to 10 people.

Monday, 6 June 2011

{Girl Behind The Lens} All About Me...

Gosh - what started as a seemingly really good idea, turned into something that now means I have to sit and write and tell people about me and what I do. And then as soon as that happens you think to yourself, what if people don’t like me, what if they think I’m a sham, what if they think that I’m not XYZ like people think I am. But then I breathe a little bit and I remember - I’m human. People buy people - a lot of my clients have become really good friends. I know about their pregnancies before most of their families and friends and they ask me questions about me and my boyfriend as they’re all friends on Facebook. But it all makes more sense and totally why I have an entire personal approach to the photography that I do - its what makes me able to tell the story a lot better.

So me…its hard to write about me, let me write about you…seriously!

I am currently 26-years old, female (obviously) and girlfriend to my wonderful boyfriend James. I still live at home with Mum and Dad, although as I write this James and I are looking at houses for him to purchase and me to move into.

I am full time self employed, a little bit crazy and I’m told that’s why most people love me.

I love to have a laugh, and have a bubbly personality, in general, and I am a self confessed flirt (once upon a time) and a definite people person. However, I can get grumpy and sad (I’ll explain more about this soon) and love a good cry as the next hormonal woman - however a lot of who I am is more about the life choices, decisions and what I have gone through to get to me.

Now everyone kept saying “I don’t want to pry - I just want to know more about you personally” so therefore, there should be no holds really barred.

Most people know I don’t take things lying down, unless I really have to. So it will be surprising for most people to know that I was bullied for about 13-years. This still makes me uncomfortable in certain circumstances and its another reason why I’m louder, and apparently funnier around certain people than I am in others. Not many people get to know the 100% bottom line that is the real me. One of my friends said I let everyone have about 95% and the other 5% is kept for me. Some people might know a different 95% than the next person but no-one fully knows me 100% - I’m not sure I agree with that.

I have Endometriosis. Now men all I have to say is….it only affects women (now they all run away screaming and covering their eyes) however it on the other hand means two things. I’m generally in pain, and on strong drugs (that’s one) and in the future I may or may not be able to have babies and may need IVF. However, it is also lovely to know that one of my Brides (Amy) has the same, very severe and has just given birth to gorgeous baby Alfie, after falling pregnant naturally. These are things to think about in years to come, and I will not be a pregnant photographer for a long while yet. As much as I have loved following Julia Boggio’s I carried a Watermelon Blog, I’m not in no rush to write my own yet.

I suffer from depression. Currently I am off medication and functioning fine, I get stressed relatively easy in the grand scheme of things, unless I am shooting a Wedding, then I’m generally chilled out. I however, have clinical depression and due to the endometriosis and long-term pain they all go hand in hand. I am lucky to know and understand when I need to be back on my medication, and have currently been 10 months medication free.

I am a good listener. And also people seem to trust me, with their deepest secrets. I could probably cause the start of World War Three with some of the things I know - but I am not one of these people who will use things against people. I’m not nasty and don’t see the point in being nasty to get revenge. But sometimes I can be a bitch. I’m human.

So now lets get onto the randomness:

I can roll my tongue.
I can touch my nose with my tongue.
I can speak random words in Maltese and Filipino
I sang at the Millennium Dome (now 02 Arena) when I was at school, as part of “Our Town Story”
Music wise, I was born in the wrong era, and should have been a 50’s/60’s child.
I can sing, when I try and need to - but can sing badly out of tune in the car but that’s allowed.
I have lots of allergies, including most antibiotics, and opiates (codeine, morphine based drugs)
I have never broken a bone in my body that I am aware of
I am my own biggest critique
I doubt myself
I get self conscious
I can be quite spiritual
I have my tarot cards read at least once every 6months
My eyes are blue, but they change colour because I'm weird like that.
I have a really wonky nose considering I've never broken it.

This has probably given people more food for thought or to ask questions etc, if you have a question you would like to ask - then please let a note with it in!

And be gentle, comments are welcome, this is my first Girl Behind The Lens post - more will be coming....until next week!

Adele x

Friday, 3 June 2011

{blp} Bridal Shoot at Bawtry Hall

A few weeks ago I signed up to do the White Media Ltd Wedding Fayre at Bawtry Hall, Doncaster.After speaking with Sue a lot regarding what is happening at Bawtry Hall and how they have newly opened it for Bridal Receptions, and viewing online the Stunning Gardens, I enquired as to whether Emma, would mind if I went along, with a "bride" to take some shots, that not only I could use to get a feel of the venue - but also for them to use.

Emma was really up for that, and we organised the photoshoot for Thursday 2nd June 2011 - that was that...then onto the Planning!

I couldn't believe how much my idea went from being a small idea,
to being a large idea with a "Oh My! How did it get this big?"

By the 2nd June we had:
5 models
5 "theme" of brides to show the venue can work with anyone
1 make-up artist in the form of Emma from Pokadot
1 photographer
A lot of props and things loaned to us for the shoot
and 2 assistant photographers

Here are a small selection of Photographs taken on the day - we are looking for blogs who would like to blog each individial theme of bride - for inspiration - help and also to blog the fantastic offer that Bawtry Hall currently have for Brides currently without a Venue!

Theme 1 : Boho Style

Our Boho Style Bride was Amy, the owner of Serendipity Bridal Boutique, who loaned us the dresses for the day. She stepped in at last minute as the model had cancelled on us the night before, just as I was picking up the dresses, we called upon her Mum to cover her shop whilst she came to model for us!
Thank You Mummy Serendipity!

The Flowers were from Flowers of Distinction also known as @birdwellflorist on twitter
The Necklace from Bridal Designs and hair piece was models own.

Theme 2: Edgy Bride

Our original Idea for the Edgy Bride was to have my old workfriend Kim, who is heavily tattoo'd, unfortunately for us, but nice for her, Kim's hubby decided to whisk her away for a lovely week away leaving us without our model. However an ad on Model Mayhem was answered when the gorgeous Stephanie said that she would do it. Teamed with a short black bridesmaid dress, the gorgeous dahlia headpiece from Tantrums & Tiara's, Jewellery by Bridal Designs and Bunting from Little Bundles Bunting we were set.

Throw in some Tattoo Balls from Cherry Pie Lane and we're set.
Shoes however, are mine - and we took them on the off chance that they may go with the outfit.
Luckily the model had the same size shoe as me!

Theme 3: Classic Bride

Amy the previous owner of "Its Your Choc" decided that she wanted to come and join in the fun on the shoot, and was our Classic Bride. Again wearing Jewellery from Bridal Designs, and a bouquet of faux flowers from a home interior store it is surprising what you can "throw together" - the headpiece was a band from Primark!

Theme 4: Vintage BrideClaire modelled our Vintage look, in a skintight lace dress, it was absolutely boiling and we shoehorned her into this dress. Teamed with Mambo from LouLouBelle and the beautiful Heirloom Bouquet from Tiny Gems her look was completed with Jewellery by Bridal Designs

We also used some of the Mr & Mrs Bunting from Little Bundles Bunting for some of the shots.
Claire was married last year and had the fabulous Chris Chambers take her Wedding Photography.

Theme 5: Fun Bride
When Dani messaged me and told me she wanted to model, I knew she had to be our "Fun Bride"
The idea was fun makeup, fun pictures
and a totally different dress to what she is going to wear when she gets married.
I met Dani at a Wedding Fayre, where her, and her best friend Lizzy went on to book me
I cannot wait to shoow Dani's real pictures, but we're keeping her away from Balloons!!

We had her with Little Bundles Bunting and the story of what happened to the Balloons from Making It Perfect will all be revealed on a biiiiger blog post!

Theme 6: Impromptu Bride!Theme 6 wasnt really a theme....Hannah from Lifeline Photography came along to shoot with myself and Maria from Maria Calton Photography, then after falling in love with the Vintage Theme Dress she wanted to try it on. I said Ok but she had to come model.

Out she came wearing the Mambo, a Pink Flower Bouquet I had made and her Biker Boots
Yes we were set!

I want to give a massive thank you to absolutely everyone who helped out yesterday.
Maria has just dropped off her Images for me to look at and then I will be recieving some from Hannah soon. I was very tired yesterday and we had glorious weather for it.

If you would like to blog a theme, please email adele@bluelightsphotography.co.uk stating which theme you would like to blog and we will send you the entire details and pictures for you to Blog.

Alternatively, any comments are greatly appreciated.

Wedding Fayre:
11am - 4pm Sunday 19th June 2011
Free Entry

Bawtry Hall will be offering free function rooms for Weddings for a small period of time.
More information to be found out on the day.

Also come and chat with us regarding how you can Win Your Wedding Photography!
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