portrait photographer

Love is Love

Hi guys and gals! 

So I'm officially back from my days off with the other half - did you miss me??

I've had five brilliant days together with my wonder-man, Rob.  We celebrated his 21st... ahem, 37th birthday, spent a day playing computer games (both massive geeks!), had a wonderful night in Brighton, a day at Moors Valley Country Park, and a day at Compton Acres.  Side note: I can't wait to do my first wedding there in March!!

So what's the reason for this post, I hear you all ask?

Well, when we were in Brighton, we got to walk hand-in-hand and watch other same-sex couples doing the same - it was truly heartwarming.  Brighton was the first place where we shared a night away together back in the early dating days.  Before we came home, we were stood at the Victoria Square fountain, I was taking a photo and Rob tapped me on the shoulder - a couple were meeting there.  What's so special about that you might ask?  It was two young guys, one was waiting by the fountain as the other approached, they immediately went to hug and kiss one another, and then the guy who was waiting by the fountain took the hand of his partner and span him around - it was the most romantic scene I have witnessed in a very long time. 

When we got home, I was going through the photos on my computer and looked through the photos from our civil partnership back in 2011 - there was probably a maximum of 50, all taken on the phones/compact cameras of our guest as we didn't hire a photographer (doh!) - and it got me thinking... Mainly that I wish we'd had a photographer that day, and about how much it means playing that part in another couple's special day.

I know I bang on about this all the time lately and it's probably driving some people nuts - I'm sorry (not sorry) - but I mean this, that it would be everything for me to be involved in another (or many) gay couple's wedding.  I've had two wonderful years of photographing so many beautiful couples with many more to come, but I'm still waiting for the day another gay couple book me as their photographer. 

I've tried many ways to attract more same-sex couples to RGW PHOTOS, and almost got there with one.  So I've put my thinking cap on again. 

I would like to offer a FREE couple's shoot to all you gorgeous gay guys and girls - how's that for aliteration!  You don't need to be getting married (just yet!), but ideally be planning it in the not-too-distant future.  

What do you get?

  • A free (yes, FREE!) photo shoot with me
  • All the photos lovingly edited by me
  • An online gallery to view, share and download all of your photos
  • One mounted 10x8" print of your choice from the shoot

Ideally the shoot will take place in the Bournemouth area, and all travel will be covered, but if you want to do the shoot somewhere else, all I'd ask is for a contribution toward my travel. 

If you're interested, get in touch, I would love to hear from you!  You can email me at: richard@rgw-photos.com - message me on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/RGWPHOTO - or just give me a call on 07533 401199. 

Until next time, 

R x

Collaboration - It's good to work with other businesses.

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. 

Until now. 

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,

R x

To shoot or not to shoot...? Why you should have a pre-wedding shoot.

So you've recently got engaged to the love of your life and are now in the midst of planning your dream wedding.  Congratulations to you both!! 

You start buying all the best bridal magazines, taking day trips to the venues you've always wanted to get married in, the list of guests is getting longer, you've decided on the theme, and you've booked you wedding photographer.  Looks like you've got things under control.  

When you had your consultation with your photographer, you noticed that the package you want/have booked includes a pre-wedding/engagement shoot and you're wondering whether it's worth it, or whether they may knock a bit off the price if you don't bother with it.  All fairly reasonable thoughts to have.  Then you think, 'Why are they offering it in the first place?'.  

Just to clarify, this blog isn't meant to sway you towards booking me as your photographer - unless you really want to ;) - more to let you know the reasons why you should take your chosen photographer up on their offer of that pre-wedding/engagement shoot.  I'd say I'll give you five reasons, but I'll probably give you more. 

  1. No one likes to feel awkward  -  I'm guessing this is the first time you've been engaged?  Being in front of a camera and a photographer can be a daunting thought - believe me, that's why I'm the photographer - so why not take that out of the equation.  I was always told that practice makes perfect, or least makes you better at something.  The same applies to having your photo taken.  You're bound to want a romantic shot (or ten) of the two of you to look back on, and the photographer will want only to give you the best photos they can.  
  2. Practice makes perfect  -  As I mentioned in the point above, practice does indeed make perfect, or at least better at what you're doing.  The photographer you've chosen will want to direct you at some point, regardless of their style.  So a pre-wedding shoot will allow you a bonus couple of hours - or more if they're a generous photographer - to spend going over ideas and getting you relaxed in front of the camera in readiness for your big day.
  3. No one likes to feel awkward...pt.2  -  Going back to my first point - no one likes to feel awkward.  If nothing else comes of it, you will enable yourself extra time to get to know one another.  Your photographer will be able to see the chemistry you have as a couple, what you feel comfortable with and most importantly, what you don't.  
  4. It's a day out with an added bonus  -  On top of getting a bunch of extra photos of you both, you will have a great day out.  For example:  I like to choose a location within Dorset - there are a multitude of them - or to visit the venue.  We have a coffee, some cake, and then I stand you up against a wall and shoot you.  Kidding!!  Forget I'm there and enjoy yourselves.  Just like on your wedding day, your chosen photographer will use their skills to document you in an unobtrusive way, most likely without you even noticing.  If you go to your venue for the shoot, you'll already know the best places for photos on the big day.  Bonus!!
  5. They're really good fun!  -  It's not like going to one of those photo studios to have your family portrait taken.  You know the sort, the ones with the fake backdrops of Christmas trees or beaches, or whatever they have nowadays.  No.  You'll most likely be outdoors somewhere you've been together and enjoyed, or have wanted to go to for a while.  And like I said before, there could be cake involved.  I also like to bring some other extras with me, like sparklers or coloured smoke grenades to give your photos an extra pop. 
  6. It's probably included in the package, so what the hell!  -  If none of the above has managed to convince you, then hopefully this will.  It's more than likely included in the package you've booked or are about to book, so just go for it.  It's not like you've got anything to lose, just more to gain.  Honestly, you may kick yourself for not doing it, and there's nothing worse than seeing a friends, falling in love with their photos and thinking 'If only I'd done it'. 

Well, there you have it, six bloody good reasons why you should have that pre-wedding shoot after all.  I could've added more, but I think there's enough in there to convince you.  If you're still not convinced, send me a message and we can have a chat. 

The photos are from a pre-wedding shoot I've done. ;)

Until next time, 

R x

Mads+Nate+Bump

I know that not every photographer likes to give discounts or run competitions, but I'm not every photographer.  I quite like doing things a little bit differently to others. 

Michaela was a recent competition winner, for the contest I ran just before Mother's Day.  She was given the prize by her sister-in-law, Beth, who was also my second bride back in November 2015.  I love to do my portrait shoots outdoors, so they can really embrace my documentary style, and also, so those I'm photographing can have a more relaxed and enjoyable shoot. 

Anyway, I'm digressing slightly.

We talked about the shoot, and Michaela had decided to have a family-cum-maternity shoot.  Bonus!!  I've wanted to do a maternity shoot for a while now, so two birds with one stone and all that.  Mads was a flower girl at Beth's wedding and Nate was just a little cutie/page boy.

Letting kids be kids, allowing them to act the fool and tell you to "take that photo upside down" is just wonderful.  Most people react to a camera by freezing up and smiling weirdly, and it's no different for kids.  So we talked nonsense about dinosaurs and space hoppers, running around like lunatics and jumping up to the clouds on their trampoline.  The rest is history, and the photos will be treasured.  Word to the wise, watch out for my next contest. ;) ;)

Here's a selection of my favourites.

Until next time, 

R x

Photo Books - by Saal Digital

It's taken me a while to get round to writing this, so first off, an apology for that.  Secondly, this post is all about the beautiful photo books I've now been giving to my gorgeous wedding clients, made by Saal Digital.  They're specialists in incredible wall art and these stunning photo books. 

I first came across them on Facebook as a suggested post; they were offering 40% off your first order if you tested their product and wrote an honest review for them.  As skeptical as I may be, I thought I'd take them up on this offer and you know what, they not only said they were good, but they really delivered the goods! 

I'd tried a couple of other companies when I first started down the road of being a wedding photographer - I mean, who doesn't like a good wedding album to look at - and they were okay, I guess.  Unfortunately for them, okay doesn't really cut it these days with brides and grooms, they're paying good money and they deserve a high quality product to treasure. 

The whole process is so simple, from uploading the photos and designing your layout, to ordering the product.  Best of all, it's delivered to your door a week later.  Honestly, if you're thinking of making a photo book for personal use or as a gift, or even for your own business like me, you should definitely give them a go - you will not be disappointed!  

Anyway, that's enough prattling on from me, here's some photos of my latest book I ordered to use as an example for prospective clients to look at. 

Until next time, 

R x