~Falling in Love with Wedding Photography & Being The New Kid~

Falling in love with Wedding Photography

I remember like it was yesterday…

Right after I got engaged that is when the wedding planning started. Part of the planning process was picking a photographer. I will have to admit at that point I didn’t know a whole lot about wedding photography or photography in general (besides the fact that I liked to take photos with my point & shoot camera). I didn’t realize there would be so many different styles of wedding photography to choose from. I didn’t know much about cost. I didn’t know how one photographer could be so different from another. All I knew is that I wanted GOOD photos (who doesn’t right?!). I spent countless hours obsessing over wedding photos. I looked at every wedding photographers website that I came across. I studied all of the images and analyzed them. I then realized that maybe I was onto something more. Originally I had been looking at wedding photography to find someone to photograph my wedding. It then became more of a hobby looking at wedding photos. To this day I still have  a list of wedding photographer websites and blogs I read almost daily (I just never stopped once the wedding was over).  My husband Matt and I were originally planning a big wedding. We had priced it out to be about the average cost of a wedding today in Canada (which is around $20,000+). In the beginning we wanted it all. All the fancy decor, flowers, fine food, and at least 120 people on the guest list. I started googling “THE BEST WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHERS EVER!!” Then narrowed the search locally. Let me tell you I found a photography team that I thought were the best ever. I was completely blown away. “PERFECT” I thought. I decided to email them about pricing. Being naive I thought that I would be able to afford them. Nope. Their full day coverage rates were around $9,000. Basically half our original budget. I ALMOST DIED. Looking back now though… Their pricing is suitable for the work they do. It just wasn’t right for me.

Figuring things out

 I started to become frustrated with wedding planning. The cost! The stress! The timeline! Ughhh. So one fine day in the month of June it hit me. NO. I don’t want to plan this big expensive wedding anymore. Let’s just go get married on the beach. So that’s exactly what we did. We cut the budget in half and decided to use 50% of the budget to go on a one month honeymoon to Europe. As for the other 50% of the budget we had a beach wedding in Tofino with 50 guests. It turned out amazing. If I were to tell you trying to cram and plan a new wedding within 3 months wasn’t stressful I would be lying. It was stressful but things managed to come together eventually. I was in a mad panic to find a wedding photographer. Tofino is quite small and I called around to photographers (that I liked) in the area with no luck. Then I knew I may have to find someone outside of Tofino. I stumbled across Brawns Photography in Nanaimo. We sent an inquiry to Spencer Brawn and luckily he was available for our date. I was so excited. I loved his photos and he was exactly what we were looking for.  The photos he took turned out absolutely wonderful and we really got lucky. So thank you Spencer for doing an excellent job and capturing precious memories that will will appreciate forever.

Being the new kid

Now I am moving onto the part about being the new kid on the block. It’s always hard when you are somewhat new. Trying to figure yourself out and where you fit in can be hard. I think intimidation and fear is one thing that stops people from going out there and giving things a shot. Have I been scared along my journey so far? Yes. Do I think people are judging me? Yes. Am I worried that my work isn’t good enough? All the time. Do I sometimes worry that I am chasing a dream that isn’t going anywhere? Sure. Do I think that other photographers are thinking is she crazy? Yup. But the fact is you need to keep moving forward and tell tell those little voices of insecurity to GET LOST. If you know what you want turn on your inner power switch and never shut it off. Just keep going. Whatever you are doing always look at where you just came from and try to better your work. Never stop learning new things.

My first bridal show as a vendor

I attended my first bridal show this past week. What an experience! It was the Cinderella Bridal Show. The event was at the Community Hall in Fort Langley. I love it out there. The town is so cute and it’s very peaceful. I love the nature out there. I would seriously consider moving out there as it’s so beautiful.  The Cinderella Bridal Show is hosted by a husband and wife team (Sharon and Wally). They put on a fantastic event, do great advertising, and are very organized. To be honest it was kind of a last minute idea. I toyed with the idea for the last month. When I had originally contact Wally he was fully booked for photographers as vendors. The show was pretty full but he said if I could find another vendor to share a table with I could come. I wasn’t able to find someone in time so I figured I would just forget about it. I was probably jumping the gun anyways. “It must have been too soon” I thought to myself. Then I decided I would just wait until the Fall show. I would be much more prepared anyways. Well let me tell you. 5 days before the show Wally contacted me and told me he had an opening for a photography spot and asked if I wanted it. Oh boy! What to do? What to do? I was in a mad panic to make a decision and paced around my living room like a crazy person. “Matt what should I do?” I asked. “I don’t know” he said. “It’s your business”. He told me ” You are the only one that can make that decision”. Aghhhhhhh Why not? I said. This must have happened for a reason. What have I got to lose? What is the worst that can happen? Nothing. Thats just it- the absolute worst thing that could happen would be that no one would ever call or email me. I thought to myself well hey that’s not so bad. My life wouldn’t change for the worse. Things would just stay the same. So I decided to roll with it. I spent the few days prepping as much as I could. I managed to make goody bags for all the bride & grooms to be. Each bag included my business card, a special promo card with pricing, and chocolates/candies. Each bag had pink & white crinkled confetti paper and each was tied with a pink curled ribbon. That part of it I was proud of. Something I was not proud of was my last minute pink plastic table cloth I bought from Michael’s (LOVE that store- just not this table cloth). I swear the table cloth looked 10 times better in the package. When I took it out I realized it didn’t even look nice enough to put on a picnic table at a child’s birthday party. Efff! I didn’t even want to use it but I had no other option as I was already there. I moved on. I had made a slideshow of many of my favourite images. That was a good thing. I also made a flag banner with my business name “Kim James Photography”. I didn’t have time to make a proper sign so I just rolled with it. Through this I definitely learned what worked and what didn’t. Next time I will know what to do.

Why am I sharing this with you??? I am sharing this with you because it’s real. I think that is much more interesting than me sitting here writing a blog post about how awesome I am and how perfect everything that happens in my life is. The truth is far from that. So why sugarcoat it? If you are a bride from the bridal show reading this I hope you have enjoyed my honestly. Even though I am exposing my weaknesses, I am fully confident in my abilities. I have an obsession with attention to details when it comes to photography and I want all of my subjects to look as amazing as possible on camera. I go into every shoot thinking “I need to shoot this as though I will be submitting it to a magazine for all the world to see”. Putting that kind of pressure on yourself really makes you want to do your absolute best work. I have heard other photographers talk down about the possibility of a good shoot whether it has to do with the subjects or the lighting conditions. Sure things aren’t ideal all of the time, but always do your best with what you have. There is beauty within everyone and everything. You just have to find it.