Dear Blog …

I have been deserting you, I know.  Now, I have a million excuses, I really do, but the long and short of it is, I breathed life into you then left you abandoned, alone and empty (ok, bit of drama never hurt anyone).

I will totally make this up to you.  This summer was manic, in a great way.  I have had the pleasure of shooting some amazing people, whether at their wedding, their engagement session, with their families, the odd commercial shoot (not so keen on those, to be honest) … the list is endless … what’s that I hear you say?  You wouldn’t know cos you’ve not seen them?  I know, I know … they’re coming, I’m sorry.

So what HAVE I been up to … well, apart from the above mentioned shooting spree (that always sounds a bit wrong, doesn’t it?) I’ve been managing a house project that was in planning for a few years (boy, they don’t warn you how much of your time THAT will suck !!) and, well, I’ve had a bit of a medical drama these last few weeks … nothing that can happen again (you really do only have 1 set of appendix) but oh my goodness, knocked me sideways that one !  Then it was that annual event called “Birthday” … trying to ignore those these days … Oh and the annual trip to the National Wedding Show, 4 days of intensity, fun and meeting new people.

Apart from that, I have no excuse.  MUST.TRY.HARDER.  And I will … I’ll feed you soon, I promise.

Thanks for hanging around and staying alive !!

Your photographer, Gill x

AND TO MY AVID READERS … thank for hanging in there … I’ll make it up to you !!

Well, I finally made it onto a list !  OK, so I don’t actually try to do this but hey, someone liked my tweets, and my blog, enough to list me in the Top 100 Blogs for Wedding Suppliers in the UK !  Cool, or what !

The list is topped off by the 3 wedding super-bloggers, hardly surprising!!  There is a mix of all sorts of wedding suppliers and little old me came in at number 31 … if I had scraped in, trust me, you would never have known about it hahaha

Here’s the link … clients, please ignore all the other photographers on there and keep coming back here LOL

http://www.easyweddingsearch.com/blogs/top100

I guess I should start blogging more to try and creep up the list, eh?

Top 100 wedding blogger

ABSENCE …

What can I say … I have been neglecting my poor blog … it’s sitting here, looking at me, with a petted lip, crying out for some content, for some photos, anything, ANYTHING to make it feel wanted, alive.

Truth be told, I just didn’t see this coming.  I thought “no worries, I can do this and run a business and pop on my cape and update the blog and all that stuff along with project managing a major home renovation”.  Boy, was I completely wrong.

Our dream started almost 3 years ago.   Whilst we love our home (finally, after moving 10 times in 10 years, we found a home we were happy with) we always felt that the architect who designed the downstairs, in relation to the upstairs, must have been on meds … or must have forgotten to take them !  For us, and for many others I suspect, it’s important to be living in a home that really works for you, for your family … and for me, for my work life, as this is where I run my business.  I am fortunate to have the layout I have, the front of my home is dedicated to seeing clients  in the viewing room, filled with lovely framed prints, canvases, box frames, albums, with no need to intrude on the family end of the house, at the back.

However, up until 2 weeks ago, this was a warren of small rooms back there, each with no particularly useful function, time to change that.  So, around 3 years ago, we started thinking about knocking down walls, making the space really big and lovely to live in.  Then we thought, why don’t we just move, and now we’re back to where we are after a disastrous house hunting few months (there was just nothing out there, you know?).

So, 3 weeks ago we started in earnest.  We got our contractor lined up, along with a bunch of other trades … and so it began.

Now I knew it would be tough.  I was warned.  No problemo, it will be cool, thought I.  As I sit here, in the only room in the house not COMPLETELY covered in dust and filled with stuff (my office) I will say this … if I could have afforded to move out while all this was going on, I would have.  No amount of warnings prepared me for this.  No amount.  None.

So, why have I decided to blog about this?  A few reasons … one is to let my lovely clients know that I am working 24/7 to ensure I am on top of the business as well as managing a massive project … you guys are so important to me, I am working longer hours for this short time in order to keep you guys happy !  Yay.  The other is to move onto this subject …

BUDGETING …

I wanted to post this as a piece of advice for any bride and groom budgeting for their big day.

When I set out on my project I pulled out a spreadsheet and started writing out all the things I would need for my new home remodel.  To give you a better idea, we are knocking through a dining room, a study and a kitchen to make a large kitchen, dining, living space.  Bearing in mind we have been planning for this (and saving for this) for 3 years, I thought I would find this pretty straight forward.  I pulled the budget together in what I thought was a pretty realistic manner.  I very swiftly realised that some things would need to take priority over others … and I guess that’s the case with ANY budget, including a wedding …

For me, there was the actual building work (let’s say that’s the venue and food), followed by the kitchen (the next most important thing) … now, this will differ from person to person and couple to couple but, honestly, every single one of my clients will tell you that the photography is up there, it’s one of their top priorities.  It may differ for you, it may be in third or fourth place, say after the dress or the cars … wherever you place these things, you need to realise that some things will be placed in higher ranking than others.  And here is where the bulk of my budget went … after that was a juggling match, weeks and weeks of researching products and prices, retail versus wholesale … there were some items I refused to budge on, those things that would need to stand a battering (cooker for example) and those things that were more cosmetic than functional … I guess the point is, I GET how hard it is to budget for a wedding … I can RELATE to it, first hand at the moment.

And of course, I will be completely and utterly biased to photography as an extremely important part of that budget.  The old cliche springs to mind … it’s all you’re left with once everything else is gone … so make sure your photographer fits well with you and your vision, that you are left with a gorgeous product that will be with you and your children for a lifetime.

I guess I should hit this home with some photos … warning, not for the faint hearted LOL

If any of you are on my Facebook, check in to see the progress … in the meantime, I’m here, I’m working through it all, you’re all keeping me sane hahaha

Like any woman, I enjoy a bit of luxury and when I treat myself to something nice, I do expect the packaging to be as lovely as the item itself.  There are times, however, when even I am taken aback by the sheer level of luxury and attention to detail and it always makes me sit up and take notice.  As a business owner in, let’s face it, a creative environment, I am always striving to ensure that my products are handed over to clients looking absolutely beautifully packaged, so when I get a little inspiration like this, I just want to cry at my feeble efforts … BUT how easy would something like this be to incorporate, how easy would it be to give your client the same level of luxury, the same attention to detail … yummy …

So today, I had a little delivery … to be completely honest, I had forgotten I had bought it, what with everything that is going on around me at the minute (and actually I was expecting a new camera bag, so imagine my surprise at the size of this LOL) … I opened the packaging to discover a plain black box.  When I opened it up I was faced with this (ok, I’ve now taken the ribbon off, but you get the idea) …

It suddenly jolted my memory as to what I bought … hang in there, it’s not what you would expect with all this gorgeous packaging … so I lifted out the contents, had a read of the little leaflet, tempting me to buy new things (nice ploy) then lifted out the main event …

And here is what all the fuss was about … seriously !

Yep, a tiny little “G” charm … all that lovely attention to detail for such a tiny little product … but think about it, they sell themselves as “luxury”, so why wouldn’t you expect this.

Just thought I would share my thoughts … feel free to leave a comment :)

Stafford Photographer

Now, before you read on, please remember that I did warn you I was a little bit behind on blogging !

On the day the Royal wedding was announced, I spotted a post on twitter about a reporter from The Times who was looking for brides and grooms who are getting married on the same day.  I am booked to shoot Vicki and Darrel’s beautiful Peckforton Castle wedding that day … so I got on the phone to the reporter, then gathered my clients and we got together for a little mini portrait session.  Vicki even had time to get all glammed up and we had a lot of fun in a very short space of time … newspaper deadlines are notoriously tight … they were literally running the article the next morning !!!

Here is the shot that was chosen for the article …

And the resulting article (copyright The Times Newspapers)

Don’t forget, the date is 29th April !  I’ll be working … how about you? :)

Regardless  of the fact that I feel a little bit older with every passing year (sigh) I really do love New Year … it’s a wonderful opportunity to start fresh, to dream of something new, to take on new challenges and, for me, to meet with super people.

So what does the year ahead hold for me … the plans so far …

I’m shooting yet more totally cool people in some truly great locations … just a note that I am actually taking on fewer bookings this year, so get in quick if you want me !

Next weekend I get to hang out with some of my lovely photographer friends from all over the UK and beyond, at the SWPP convention in London.  Some I’ve not had the chance to meet before (facebook and twitter have been the only opportunity so far) and some I’ve known for a long time, but rarely get to meet up with.  As this is also a trade convention, it affords me the opportunity to meet with my current suppliers and to look around at any new products I may want to take on board.

In February I get to do it all again, but a little closer to home, at the largest trade show in Europe, Focus on Imaging at the NEC.  I try very hard to leave my purse at home for this one, as the temptation to buy new stuff is usually very very strong !

Also in February, I am running my first ever workflow workshop aimed at professional photographers … the details are here … there is already a really cool bunch of photographers booked on and it looks to be an intensive, but fun, couple of days.  Having been a former trainer (IT last time) I am so looking forward to getting back into teaching mode.  I have some cool models lined up and am so excited about shooting in and around London, my favourite city in the world !

On the Saturday following the first workshop I am shooting another photographer and her husband, again in London, no pressure !  I also have a little secret project happening that day, but you will have to wait for details … I’m such a tease, I know ! LOL

Throughout the year, I am offering intensive 1-2-1 training … clicky here … interested in getting a kick?  Ping me !

I got a guitar for Christmas and I intend to be on stage at Wembley by November at the latest.  I’m happy to be a support act, you understand … just sayin.

I’m looking at a new gorgeous album product, details coming soon … did I say gorgeous ???

I added some new content and pages to the blog … ok so that’s not a to-do, it’s a done deal, but I’ve never actuallly explained the menus … I have added an “Info” section which contains pricing, some faq’s, a little bit about me and some testimonials … the “For Photographers” section has details of upciming workshops and 1-2-1- sessions, along with all my featured articles … and that’s about it !

So, here’s to a fun, exciting 2011 for us all … if I’m shooting your wedding, I can’t wait to work with you … if you’re coming to pick my brain at any point, I am really looking forward to helping you!

OK, so this is a photo blog, right?  Well, here’s a favourite from one of the last weddings on 2010, it kinda sums up what I love the most about my job … enjoy!

UK Photographer

Wow, what an incredible time we all had at the National Wedding Show this weekend … thanks so much to all those who dropped by to see us, it was lovely to meet you all … to all those who booked with me, thank you, I am very excited to be shooting your weddings next year !

Special thanks go out to Liezl Croft who helped me the whole 3 days, to Paul Glavin who helped Liezl while I shot a wedding on Saturday and to hubby for helping set up and breakdown and get the house back in order once we got home !

See you all next year at the show, I’m already booked to be back !!!

Gillx

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I honestly can’t believe how time flies !  It doesn’t seem that long ago that I was exhibiting at last year’s show, and it was a huge success for me !  Next week, I will be there again … well, for most of it (read on …)

So, the dates are 8th to 10th October, right after my birthday so I’ll be dead old haha … I am right beside the catwalk again and will have a comfy sofa for you to come take a load off, have a chat, check out some new albums, grab a handful of sweets and generally have a nice time !  I have a gorgeous new frame and some new large prints as well, it’s all been very exciting getting ready for this year.  I will be launching my new exclusive Leather Art album, drop dead gorgeous, well worth a look.

I have my good friend Liezl helping me on all 3 days, with Paul helping out on the Saturday also … oh yeah, when I wont be there !  I have a wedding in Malvern that day, so if you want to speak to me personally, Friday or Sunday will be your best option … that said, the guys are very familiar with my albums and pricing (which is very clear and simple) so dont be afraid to come and see them too !

I hope to see you there !

Linkie

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All images Copyright 2014 Gill Taylor Photographer ... please don’t steal them, it’s not nice !