Thursday, 29 December 2011

2011: What a Year!

Well its getting time to draw 2011 to a close, and I thought I would write my yearly round up, which is quite funny actually as I’ve been in business since 2009 and this is the first time I've done it!

2011, has been a busy year for me. I moved into the Studio towards the End of Feb, and opened officially on the 1st March. I have had through the doors, some old customers, and some new. Brand new babies, Weddings, and photographs to last beyond the years.

I have successfully ran competitions, found my feet still with the wedding fayres, and connected with my brides, not only those who have been married this year, but those who have booked for 2012, and 2013.

The Wedding Industry has shown me this year, that there are some very niche people, some very big cliques, and some down right horrible personalities. But, the love that I have received from my brides this year, teamed with some fabulous suppliers has meant that even though there are times that if it wasn’t for my brides I wouldn’t be doing this job (obvious I know but they are the ones that keep me going) it has also shown me, that my need sometimes to be accepted and liked, is sometimes still as strong as it was for the 9-year old bullied child in the playground.

2011, has seen my first holiday with my boyfriend, to a lovely little log cabin in the woods near Alton Towers, in fact my first holiday (longer than a weekend) with a boy - ever! And it has also seen us receive the keys for our first house together, albeit we still haven’t moved in yet, renovations take ages!

So 2012, will see me as a business owner, with my own studio and currently as I write this some 30 weddings booked into the Calendar for 2012. It will also see me as a woman living with her boyfriend, and I am sure that will bring its own and new challenges as I try and get the work/life balance right.

I am really excited for 2012, I have some great plans, some great support, and some even greater brides who have booked me to shoot their Wedding Photography! 2012 is going to be AWESOME!
We still have some key Saturdays available in July and August, which is currently novel, albeit this year in June seemed to be quite and 2012 is mentally busy! If you are still looking for your Wedding Photography, then you can contact us on 01226 872 491 or or visit

Here I share with you, some of the images that I love, and determine some of my favourite memories of this year, as a girlfriend, friend, business woman….and photographer.

The Studio opening, Win Your Wedding Photography Competition, and Weddings a plenty is what started off the 2011 Year!

We travelled to Gainsborough, where the above shot was taken. York, Leeds, Sheffield, Harrogate, Skipton, Barnsley, Doncaster, Wakefield, Pontefract and Lincoln to name a few....

We took some photographs of Food for Holiday Inn Barnsley, Thomas 2 Bakery Lincoln and Shay Stadium Halifax. Food Photography and Product Photography rolled into one. Yummy!

We shot new venues such as Castle Park Doncaster, Mount Pleasant Doncaster, Dower House Harrogate, Merchant Adventurer's Hall York, The Stables Doncaster, Rutland Hotel Sheffield, Fairfield Manor York and The Village Leeds to name a few...

Baby Freyja in the image above, arrived some 4-weeks early, just before Mummy was due her Bump Shoot! She couldnt wait to make an appearance. Also to celebrate, her Mummy and Daddy have recently been engaged!

Amy wrote a very honest blog post about how being pregnant changes your body, and these were some of the images that accompanied the blog post, if you want to read it please visit here

We shot of our favourite venues such as Holiday Inn Barnsley, Tankersley Manor, and Waterton Park Hotel & Walton Hall.

I want to say a massive thank you to all my clients for the support and business they have given me this year, for not just becoming clients, but for also becoming friends.

You are all what makes this job worth while.

Friday, 23 December 2011


IT'S CHRISTMAS.....(almost)

I just wanted to wish all my blog readers a VERY Happy Christmas.
I hope you have a fantastic new year also!

I know this is a little early, but we have a Wedding tomorrow so today is the last official day in the office.

We shall be in the office between Christmas and New Year fleetingly, but not really for working (apart from 2 shoots on the 30th!) but mainly we will be organising and preparing for some wonderful things we are planning for 2012.

If you do need to contact us we will be checking our emails from home at

I just want to thank everyone for their continued support throughout 2011 and making this year another successful one for
Blue Lights Photography.

We will be back fully in the office from Wednesday 4th Janruary 2012.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Why cheap photography can cost you more.

Whilst I am a wedding photographer, and full time too may I add, I am also unmarried, in a relationship and one day dream of my own wedding. Whether it is big, or small (more likely to be small) I have this wonderful feeling about getting beautiful photographs in an album or a stunning framed printed image for our family to treasure. Forever.
Mr & Mrs Morrison paid for Blue Lights Photography to cover their Wedding for 4-Hours. From Guests arriving to Sitting down of their Meal

I have always stated that if I was having a BIG wedding, that my photographer choices were more than likely going to be Tobiah Tayo who’s work I love or Duncan Kerridge, both charging near or over the £2000 mark! Whilst it is a lot of money and I do hear some people gasp. I also have to remind you, that these will be my family heirlooms and I want them to pass down through the generations.

Chances are, I will end up having a small tiny wedding. Going to my cousins big wedding earlier this year, realised a lot of things what I don’t want my own wedding to be. Doesn’t mean I don’t like big weddings, I LOVE them. But I also love the intimacy also. I am photographing a Wedding today which has 10 people, including Bride & Groom - 11 including myself. The smallest Wedding I ever photographed there were 7 people, including myself and the bride & groom. But I digress.

Mr & Mrs Poole booked in January, for their Full Day Photography and Album which saw myself and Hannah from Lifeline Photography starting with the bride at 9am I left at 10pm.

Regardless of if I ever get married, I will have a tiny Wedding, I will also make sure that I have photographs that I treasure. I want natural. I want happy. James and I hate our photographs taken, but we want something that we can be sure is going to last forever, and I can sit down and show our children “when mummy looked like a princess”.

I advertise on one of the forums, but whilst this means I cannot post, I can however happily browse the Wedding Forums, and hear about what brides are looking for. Social media is great for finding out what people really want!

It’s a lot like the public sector strikes it would seem, especially where teachers were concerned, that on the forums there are lots of posts about “paying them what they’re worth” and whilst this doesn’t mean paying them the money that people do charge, they mean to almost pay them minimum wage for the hours that they are there. I cannot see it catching on.

Mr & Mrs Precious had the Half Day from Blue Lights Photography, then chose the Epoca Compact Book and High Resolution Images on Disc afterwards. Making their own bespoke package.

Some brides think we charge so much (I don’t do packages but my starting prices are £986 including 5 hour coverage and an album or £1146 including full day coverage plus album) because we know that they all want nice photographs, so we will try and get as much money out of them as possible. This really isn’t the case.

As a full time photographer, I can tell you that I do not just work for one-day for your Wedding, in fact, I work a lot. From answering your emails, to pre-wedding consultations, to pre-wedding photoshoot & editing, the actual wedding day where sometimes I can work 12-hours, to editing the wedding, to delivering proofs, then album design, print orders etc. Most weddings I can probably work about 60 hours per wedding! Jeez that’s a lot of hours!

Don’t forget, if there are any problems we are there to help first hand, and as quickly as we can. We travel to destinations we have equipment to pay for, insurance etc. Please don’t think we are just charging these high prices because we can. It’s really not that at all!

There are cheaper photographers out there. Photographers who have full time jobs, who can afford to charge less because its not their main income. Photographers who are just starting out (I used to charge £746 for full day an album 2 years ago) but I look back now and I understand, and know that it wasn’t the best I could offer. But I offer better products now, I have gained more experience, and now, I am full time.
Mr & Mrs Rylance paid for the Full Day photography option, and Hannah came to second shoot. I arrived with Sophie at 10am, after setting off at 8:30am to Harrogate, and got in the house at 11pm that evening.

There are lots of cheaper photographers, sometimes you will see these referred to as Weekend Warriors, or even Uncle Bob’s but they can do a blooming good job. Its just finding the right one.

However, it would seem there are more horror stories down the line, than there are good stories, people who wish they had spent more on their photographer for a day you cannot get back.

Just earlier this year, I was emailed several times to photograph a wedding, every time I emailed back and told them that I had their date available, and would they like to meet up. They used someone just starting out in the industry and aren’t happy with their photographs because I was a little out of budget they thought they would try and save some money.

Cheap isn’t always cheap when its your Wedding Memories you are playing with. Please just remember that.

Have a budget in mind, and try and stick to it as hard as you can. This should be approximately 12% of your overall acutal budget.

This image was taken at 8:30am the morning of the Wedding in an almost empty house whilst the bride was having her make-up done.

I for instance, if getting married mid-week will do a couple of hours coverage, half or full day. This however does not apply to weekends.

Monday, 19 December 2011

Proposal Photography: When you Say I Do!

So we photograph the Engagement Photographs, the Wedding, New Baby, Children and Family…but what about where it all started? I don’t mean the first date, of course I don’t. But the proposal!
As what seems to be with these quirky little things that happen, the trend seems to have come from America. But Men, or Women, if you are planning your proposal for Christmas, New Year, or even Valentines, have you thought about having it photographed?

Stock Photograph

You are planning to pop the question, something really special? Fancy Restaurant? Somewhere where you first met? Planning a couple shoot and turn it into a proposal? Or even just a quiet walk on the beach, or a picnic in the local park…there are plenty of places that you can ask the big question.

But the big question is…would you have it photographed?

Some people wouldn’t think that this is something that a professional photographer would capture, or even think of capturing. But we can do it. Its very similar to the documentary style to Wedding Photography, just being a bit of a sleuth with it also.

I can also see why you would think it would be a little strange, I don’t like photographs taken from XYZ angles etc, but the magic and smile on her face the moment she realises that you are proposing is something that you will never be able to recreate.

The way to do this is to plan. Photographs have a way of blending in, hiding behind bushes, or around the corner of walls. What it needs is a plan of action to know what is happening and where it is going to happen. The Proposer will work with the Photographer to capture the best images possible of the proposal. Including a visit to the place where the proposal is going to happen!

Stock Photograph

I always love hearing about the proposal, in fact its one of the questions that I have on my “getting to know you” sheet, which is “how did the proposal happen” and I get so giddy and excited. I wish I could be there. But now…I can!

If you are planning a proposal to your loved one, then get in touch about having it photographed with Blue Lights Photography either email Adele to or call 01226 872 491

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Real Wedding: A Fair kind of Love.

This Wedding saw me travel to York for Laura & Ryan's big day. I met Laura back in Feburary 2010 when we were exhibiting at a Wedding Fayre at Saviles Hall, Leeds. It had snowed the Sunday Morning, but Laura and her Mum (if I remember correctly, Ryan's mum could have also been there) and she fell in love with one of my albums which was designed similar to a scrapbook!

The day of Laura & Ryan's Wedding for myself, started off as a slight nightmare! (forgot purse because Mum had moved it and had nothing to eat, and was running out of diesel! Mum to the rescue!) However I got there in plenty of time to meet Laura, her Mum, and little sister Mia, at the hairdressers.

We all made our way back to Laura's Mum's where the bridesmaids, stepdad and soon arrived later grandparents were there awaiting the cars. Laura wore a beautiful Benjamin Roberts dress.

Laura was escorted in the car by her Grandad, and Step-Dad, and her Step-Dad walked her down the aisle! Just Lovely!

A beautiful short, but moving ceremony, was held at Fairfield Manor, York.

They walked out to Bruno Mars "Just the Way you Are"

The theme was this gorgeous blue (very similar to blp blue!) and butterflies. This made designing Laura & Ryan's album an absolute dream!

Their first dance song was Amazed, by Lonestar. Sang by her Uncle! Then Sausage Sarnies all the way for the evening Guests! Yummy!!!

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