Life as a wedding photographer can be pretty hectic, but Jennifer Sinclair handles it all in her stride. We caught up with Jennifer to chat passion for weddings, equipment and courses required to go pro, the style of shoots she loves and just as importantly (for us anyway), what printed.com products she uses and why!
How did you first discover wedding photography?
I first discovered photography when I adopted my three daughters and wanted to capture some amazing photographs of them. I started with a compact digital camera and loved it so much I decided to learn how to take photographs properly. So I invested in a film camera and learnt photography in the traditional way with black and white film. That was over 15 years ago now and my passion for photography has never left me.
How did you take your passion for photographing weddings and turned it into a business?
To be honest I got into wedding photography for financial reasons and at first found it very scary. I worked part time and did wedding photography to supplement my income. Over the years, I reduced the part-time work and became more focused on wedding photography. Now, as a full time photographer wedding photography is a lifestyle for me. I love every wedding and it is such a pleasure to share a couple’s special day. It is such an amazing business to be in.
Did you have to do any sort of training or buy certain equipment to fully establish yourself?
Over the years I have done a number of courses to build my skills and knowledge as a photographer, from evening classes to taking a degree in photography with the University of Gloucester. I've regularly attended the Society of Wedding and Portrait Photographers' annual photography conference which over the years has given me so much knowledge and inspiration. A few years ago I enrolled on a bespoke photography business course with Aspire Photography Training. This course was amazing and has helped take my wedding photography to the next level. My camera equipment has been built up over the years. It is important that a wedding photographer has the right lens to capture the day and of course also backup equipment.
Do you have a certain style of wedding photography? Has it developed with your experiences?
My wedding styled is relaxed and natural. I love to capture the wedding day as it unfolds in a natural, unobtrusive way. A wedding photographer's personality is really important when a bride and groom chooses their photographer. I have a subtle approach to my wedding photography; I blend into their day but also making sure that I get the key photographs for the bride and groom to bring back memories of their wedding day. My knowledge of lighting conditions has definitely developed over the years; an experienced wedding photographer will know how to make the most out of any weather condition to get amazing wedding photographs.
How do you promote your business?
Over 75% of my business comes from referrals, whether this be previous bride and grooms or other wedding suppliers. This is fantastic as there is nothing better than a word of mouth referral. I moved from Wiltshire to the Hampshire/Surrey border over 3 years ago which has given me an amazing opportunity to innovate my business. I needed to get to know the wedding venues and suppliers within the area so regularly do a number of styled shoots with models. This has provided me with a stunning portfolio of images at local wedding venues that can be shared on my website and social media. This too showcases my work with potential bride and grooms looking for wedding photographers in the area. I tend to exhibit at 3 to 4 wedding fayres in the Spring and Autumn which definitely helps with getting to know bride and grooms as well as meet lots of new suppliers.
What recommendations/ lessons learned would you give to wedding professionals about working in the industry?
For me investing in my training with Aspire photography has been invaluable. I have learnt to value my expertise, knowledge and skills and be true to the values of my branding. The right brand that reflects me and my photography is really important to me together with products that represent my brand.
What printed.com products do you use and why?
I'm not sure how I came across printed.com - possibly a website search but what an amazing find! I have been so impressed
with the products and service they provide. My business cards are really important to me and printed.com have a fantastic choice of paper options. I use a textured paper which compliments the style of my branding. My business cards are used for a variety of reasons, from engagement photographs of the bride and groom printed and handed out to guests with the link to the wedding gallery to image cards specific to the wedding venue for venues to share with bride and grooms. The ease of producing my cards and being able to order smaller quantities is important as I frequently change the image on my cards.
I recently produced my wedding enquiry booklet as a saddle stitched brochure and loved them. I did have a few technical issues with my knowledge of InDesign and the technical support I received from printed.com was perfect. With so many companies sending out brochures via email for me I believe there is something still quite special about receiving a brochure in the post. I've got a couple of other brochures InDesign at the moment and cannot wait to get them printed. There are so many other products that printed.com have to offer so I look forward to working with them next year to produce some amazing additional products for my business.