Starting out in the wedding industry is so easy... said no one, ever!
Two years of blood, sweat, tears and a lot of frustration later, and I can finally say that things are starting to come right in my little world as RGW PHOTOS. I jumped in head first thinking it would be an easy ride to a flourishing business and an easier life - and I was a fool to think that way. There have been many instances where I've been asked if I do it all myself and the answer is, YES. There have been an equal amount of instances where people have asked if I ever assisted other wedding photographers, before I went it alone, and the answer should have been yes, but it was, NO. Shoulda, woulda, coulda. Sound familiar?
I had quite a lot of confidence and belief in myself at the beginning, constantly telling myself that one will lead to another - which technically it did - but the reality of it all doesn't always match up to what was in my head.
After putting it off for the last two years, I've finally started to make a concerted effort to network with other small, local wedding businesses. You might wonder, 'why didn't you do it sooner?'. Good question. The answer is, I have no bloody clue!
Not all other wedding industry folk/businesses are as forthcoming with useful tips to point you in the right direction. Which is the most bizarre thing. I don't personally know their reasons why they are so resistant (I've got my theories), but the truth is, there's not always a lot of support from business to business.
A few weeks ago whilst doing my regular trawl through Facebook, I came across a page for wedding businesses like my own called Build Your Wedding Business With TWE. Since joining the group I have met up with and organised styled shoots with three other businesses - Love by Design - With Love From and Granny's China Cupboard.
Love by Design is a local venue decoration business run by Rachel, based in Christchurch near Bournemouth.
With Love From is a florist catering for weddings and other occasions, run by Natasha and based near Bournemouth.
And Granny's China Cupboard is a vintage china hire business run by Vicki, catering for weddings and other events, based in Canford Heath, Bournemouth.
I've since done my first collaborative shoot with Rachel from Love By Design at a local bridal boutique, Chameleon Bridal Boutique, where Rachel will be dressing the windows each month. I've attached a sample of the shots we did. Tomorrow we'll be getting together again for another shoot, this time on the beach near to Boscombe Pier, and working along side Natasha from With Love From and her beautiful floristry! Keep your eyes peeled for a follow-up blog on that.
I'll be writing a blog featuring these wonderful wedding businesses, each one will showcase the shoots we'll be working on together. This is more of an introduction for them, there will be plenty to follow, I assure you.
My main point is, there are others out there who are in the same position as you are, who are more than willing to help you out. Even if it's just to meet up, have a coffee and a chat about what you're up to. At the end of the day, you don't know where these chats might lead and who will be willing to lend a bit more assistance than you first expected. They're not all know-it-alls who hit the ground running. I'm a firm believer than business breeds business, and if we're all a little more open to helping out someone else, we all stand a chance of growing and becoming a success.
Until next time,