This weeks Sunday Spotlight is Purple Boots Photography
Where are you based & what areas do you cover?
I’m based in Warrington, Cheshire. Cover the North West predominantly, but also work across the UK.
What services does your business offer?
Engagement, Wedding and Elopement photography, as well as events and portraiture.
What 3 words would you say would describe your business?
Driven by love!
How and when did you first get started in the wedding industry?
I shot my first wedding back in 2006 – it was my Dad’s wedding!
He is an absolutely fantastic photographer himself and to have been asked by him was both terrifying but intensely motivating – the trust, both in terms of getting the images right but also using all of his precious camera gear was something that I really valued.
For a number of years afterwards, I built my business alongside a demanding full time career in a different sector, working on weddings, portraits and branching out into gigs and live events.
In 2019, I took the leap to make my business my main focus – spectacular timing (I mean, really, a global pandemic?!) but I don’t regret my decision at all.
For couples booking your category of business what would you say is the most important thing for them to look for?
I really believe that connection on a personal level with your photographer is absolutely crucial. The person you choose is being trusted with capturing as much of your day as is humanly possible and that needs them to be able to engage with guests as well as the couple themselves, to be able to direct politely and to also have the skills of a photography ninja to capture unguarded moments too. If your photographer is not someone who you ‘click’ with (no pun intended) they will not be able to capture the best of you and your guests on the day, no matter what their technical skill.
I always offer a face to face (via Zoom currently) to meet and chat about the plans, ideas about style of photography and to get a sense of who the clients are and whether we are a good fit. I’m very honest and open and encourage couples to make a decision that combines their gut feeling about me and whether my style of photography fits with their vision. Price should never be the first consideration!
On average how many weddings do you do a year?
I keep my wedding bookings relatively low so that I have appropriate time to give my full attention to the work that goes on once the memory card is transferred to the computer! Under normal circumstances, I work between 5 – 15 a year.
What makes you most excited about weddings?
If it was a career option, I would be a wedding crasher! I absolutely love the whole emotional rollercoaster of a wedding day – the nerves and excitement; the happy tears; the laughter and shenanigans and just the whole sense of togetherness that comes from family and friends coming to witness it all. From a photography point of view, the opportunity to capture really wonderful and intense moments between the couple or that the couple don’t see, is something that makes me really excited.
What would be your most important piece of advice to couples just starting with wedding planning?
Really consider what you want. You will get lots of advice, some of it well meaning and perhaps other bits that are less so, but it is so important to keep coming back to what is important to you both about your wedding day. Research is absolutely at the heart of making it right for you, recommendations and reviews are a good starting point and trusting your intuition and gut feeling about suppliers – always listen to yourself!
Be clear on your budget, what you absolutely want to have and what aspects you might be able to be flexible about. Always consider the value of what you will be getting rather than the price.
At the end of a busy wedding, how do you wind down?
Normally, I will drive home and go straight upstairs to my office and get all of the images onto my computer and backed up. Then it’s a hot bath, some music or an audiobook and a cup of tea, before bed!
A wedding is a physically demanding day – even in a relatively small venue, I can walk over 5 miles with all of the back and forth, so actually resting and clearing my head is essential so that when I start editing the next day, I am ready to work again.
That’s so difficult! As a photographer, I am very much drawn to the work of David Bailey, Rankin and Anton Corbijn – if you look at their work, there is a real sense of style and drama (particularly as they favour black and white photography). In life, without sounding twee, my family are my inspiration – the work I do, I do out of passion for the photography but also because they have supported and encouraged me so much to pursue the thing that I love doing.
My Silver Wedding Package is the one that tends to be most popular – it gives couples a full day with printed products as part of the final package. Increasingly, couples are favouring prints, albums and portfolios – having the tangible product has such intrinsic value and is something that future generations will also be able to share in.What would be the first 3 things that you advise couples to book?
When I married, I worked on getting my venue figured out first, tying that into availability of registrar (for a civil service) and then I chose my evening entertainment and my photographer. Once you know what your venue you are having, it helps then in terms of seeing how different suppliers styles / products will fit.
I offer 20% discount to Blue Light Card holders.
Is there anything else that you would like to add?
Right now, with so much uncertainty about daily life, there may be many couples really hesitating about booking their weddings. I’ve recently shot a couple of weddings with the Covid restrictions in place – only 15 guests – and honestly, they have been the most joyful, intimate weddings I have been able to shoot in such a long time. The big celebrations for those couples will happen when they can, but the marriage itself was the most important thing and there’s just something about that that makes it even more lovely. I am holding my 2020 prices for 2021 bookings as I understand that financially, this might help a little with people’s budgets.
I love a wedding!
I consider it a real privilege to be a part of someone’s wedding and being able to capture as much of the day as I possibly can. I know from personal experience that all of the preparations in the run up to the day can be stressful and, alongside the obvious excitement and joy of saying “I do” to the one you love, there is always a little anxiety about the day running smoothly. As your photographer, I have a role to play in that, from ensuring that you are confident that I am well prepared for your day and that I know exactly what you want to be captured, to ensuring that I engage with your family and guests, confidently and professionally to capture them at their best.
I try to be as unobtrusive as possible during the day in order to catch candid moments that reflect the events of the day. However, I am more than happy to accommodate formal group shots and posed shots as part of my service. I found that the photos that I was happiest with from my own wedding were those where we weren’t ‘posing’ but were in the moment – I am not comfortable in front of the camera myself so I completely understand the nervousness that people may feel when the camera lens is pointed at them.
The wedding day goes by so quickly and the happy couple definitely do not get to see everything that goes on during the day. One of the best bits of being a wedding photographer is capturing those fleeting moments that you didn’t see, so that you are able to enjoy the laughter and joy that everyone shared as your guests. I also encourage my couples to build in some time, even if it’s only 20 minutes, to take a walk by themselves, away from the guests, to just savour the fact that you’ve just married the person who you love – I will capture posed shots or will keep my distance in order to take more informal, relaxed shots of you together.
With family and portrait photography sessions, I find that choosing a location where everyone is comfortable is the most important factor in getting the right images for clients. I am able to travel to your home or other locations (indoor or outdoor) of your choice. I have portable lighting equipment that can be used if needed at no extra cost. I’m flexible with time and I prefer to spend some time having a chat and getting to know clients before I direct the camera at them.
I’m also experienced in shooting a range of different events, from music gigs in smaller venues to skateboarding/blading competitions in fast paced, high energy environments.