To plug or to unplug your wedding that is the question

When I married my husband a year ago today – I loved our guests having their phones because I enjoyed seeing the images that everyone captured. It helped me to see the day through their eyes.

But equally I know that some couples prefer to ‘release’ the official photographs when they want to, which is of course their choice too. Either way I thought it would be good to look at plugged (with phones) and unplugged ceremonies (without them) as it is such a hot topic of discussion in the wedding industry at the moment.

As a professional photographer, there is nothing worse than a guest stepping out in front of you to get an image of the bride and groom when they walk back down the aisle.

It can ruin that split second you have to capture a special moment. That moment that becomes forever lost behind the suit jacket of a well-meaning guest.

Everyone who owns a decent smart phone now believes they too are photographers. With Instagram filters and touch of the button editing, it’s easier to create some truly breath-taking images on a mobile. But there is a reason why a couple have invested their money in a professional photographer when it comes to their wedding.

The understanding about composition, posing and above all else light, means that the images stand the test of time. These are the ones that are framed, or end up in the wedding album for generations to come. The pictures that reflect a couple’s special day as they dreamt it would be.

I have been to wedding ceremonies where there has been a ban on all cameras except mine. I have also been to weddings where I have had to contend with guests in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Whilst I really liked looking through the images my friends took at my wedding, I hope they didn’t make it too difficult for the photographer to do their job on the day.

We’re lucky in that we have a beautiful set of photographs to treasure.

But I hope that our guests actually experienced the wedding in person, and not just from the view finder of their camera phone.

Having a plugged or unplugged wedding has to be your decision. It’s just worth having a think during the planning stages about what will work best for you.

Is the wedding industry a rip off?

Is the wedding industry a rip off Pland and presents wedding blog Devon wedding photographer

Such a fab article from Alison at the PLANS AND PRESENTS wedding blog, about the wedding industry. I know lots of people who have had to give up their beautiful creative businesses because they just don’t pay the bills!

People don’t realise how much all the ‘behind the scenes’ items cost especially for photography, people think I make XX per day after looking at my wedding photography fees, I have had comments such as “you make more in a day than I make in a month!” but really the profit is very very low or non existent after paying for all the licenses, insurances, equipment, stationery, fuel, staff, marketing, branding, office costs, storage, computers, online galleries, advertising, car, websites, tax, VAT, national insurance, the list could go on….

Liberty Pearl Photography Wedding Workshop

Since I started my business I work on average in the office 50 hours per week and if I have a wedding or photo shoots that week it could go up to 70 hours! So my hourly rate is pretty awful to be honest. I didn’t taken a proper holiday (which didn’t include a destination wedding) for 2 years and I had flu pretty much the entire time I was away because I was so run down, and I haven’t had the time to take one since!

So you may ask why I and other wedding suppliers have chosen this career?

I for one love making people happy! I love providing a bespoke, creative, personalised service that suits my clients needs, I love working hard to make their wedding day so special, I love meeting new people, and getting to know them and spend time with them planning their wedding day, I love visiting beautiful wedding venues all over the world and seeing how couples add their own personal touch with their wedding styling. I love sharing such a special day with couples and capturing their family heirlooms that will last a life time.

If wedding suppliers were working in the industry simply for the money I don’t think there would be an industry to be quite honest!!!

So before you criticise people in the wedding industries or other creative industries, please think about all the behind the scenes work that goes into the beautifully hand crafted products, the sacrifices they make to their social life and their families by working weekends and during the holiday seasons, and the amount of pure LOVE they have for the industry, their wedding couples, and making every wedding day so unique and so very special! xx

Read more on the Plans and Presents blog post.

A stunning peach and grey themed wedding at Dartington Hall…

We loved photographing Megan and Jonny’s gorgeous and relaxed wedding at Dartington Hall.

Megan used to visit the manor house as a child, and knew it was the place she wanted to be married in.

It’s the largest medieval manor house in the West of England and it’s easy to see why it’s described as “possibly one of the most romantic venues in the South West.”

Both from Exeter, Megan and Jonny met at work and he popped the question whilst they were away celebrating their second anniversary. It meant that they had two years to plan their special day, and the attention to detail shone through with their stunning peach and grey theme.

Opting for a dress by Eliza Jane Howell, they were married in the Upper Gatehouse and their reception was held in the 14th century Great Hall.

Complementing the theme, Jonny wore a Ted Baker morning coat in dark grey, with a light grey waistcoat and a peach bow tie.

Highlights include Jonny seeing Megan for the first time when the doors opened and the beautiful firework display at the end of the evening with all of their guests gathered around.

It was a picture perfect day and we’re so happy to have been able to capture it for them.

Wedding suppliers

Hair – Kyrelle (Devon Wedding Hair)

Make up – Genevieve Sathasivam

Bridal wear shop – Bridal Rooms of Wellswood (Dress – Eliza Jane Howell)

Cake – Kate Burt

Catering – Cheese tower: the West Country Cheese Co

Decorative hire – Flower wall – Flourish | Love letters and Easel – Weddings by Claire

Entertainment – Absolutely Vintage Swing band

Fireworks – Firework Crazy Limited

Florist – Hollyhocks

Groom attire – Ted Baker hired from Moss Boss

5 reasons to hire a professional wedding photographer over a friend

Did you know that the number one regret of couples after their wedding is not investing enough in capturing their day? Some couples wish they invested in a videographer as well as a photographer while others wish they spent more on getting the best photos on their wedding day. Unfortunately, these regrets come after the wedding – once it’s too late.

devon wedding photographer Deer Park Hotel Liberty Pearl Photography

While taking up the services a talented friend may save you money, it’s likely to cost you precious memories. Even if they are good at what they do, they’ll probably miss out on capturing candid moments and may not be able to work the crowd – both of which are essential for good wedding photography.

Why invest in a professional? 

the-green-cornwall-summer-wedding-liberty-pearl-photography

  1. They understand the fundamentals of wedding photography

A wedding photographer comes with years of experience. They understand the technical side of taking good photos as well as the creative and emotional side. An amateur photographer, however, doesn’t always have the right experience or professionalism. Shooting landscapes and capturing stunning moments from their holidays doesn’t make them a good candidate for your wedding. A wedding photographer needs to understand how to work in different types of light and how to exploit angles and poses. They also need to know all those must-have shots you’ll want to have in your album.
polhawn-fort-cornwall-summer-wedding-liberty-pearl-photography-5

  1. They own the proper kit

If you don’t know that much about photography, it’s difficult to tell whether a photographer’s set up is good or not. Often, we’ll think that someone with a DSLR is more than capable of taking excellent photographs. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. A professional photographer carries around thousands of pounds worth of kit. Their camera is likely to cost thousands more than any amateur. They’ll also have other accessories to help them catch those essential shots and deal with low light conditions. Most importantly, they know how to properly use their kit – which is a lot harder than you might think.
st-ives-guild-hall-cornwall-wedding-liberty-pearl-photography-3

  1. They guarantee full coverage

 Wedding photography is about more than good photos. A wedding photographer needs to know how to work a crowd, interact with guests and capture moments at exactly the right time. A friend may struggle to organise groups for photographs or miss sentimental moments as they’re off enjoying the celebrations themselves. As a friend, they deserve to be enjoying the party – which in turn will sacrifice the quality of and number of good photographs. 

st-ives-guild-hall-cornwall-wedding-liberty-pearl-photography

  1. You only get one chance

Your wedding day only happens once, so it’s well worth making the investment. You will never be able to capture the special moments of the day again. Once the wedding is over, all you really have left – in terms of memories – is your photographs. cape-town-south-africa-nooitgedacht-estate-summer-wedding-liberty-pearl-photography

  1. A professional puts time into post-production too

The post-production (editing) process is as important as the photography. It usually takes more time too. It allows a professional photographer to offer something very special and creates that unique look and style each professional is known for. By editing photos on your behalf, I’ll make sure you’re left with an album of photos you adore – rather than leaving you to choose from the best of a mediocre bunch.

liberty-pearl-photography-wedding-photographer-devon-best-of-2016-montage-weddings-cornwall-devon

Professional wedding photographers are often more affordable than you might think. I offer mid-week and seasonal discounts and I’m more than happy to discuss a wedding photography package to suit you.

If you would like to find out more about our wedding photography packages and check our availability please visit our contact page and fill out our enquiry form.

If you would like to receive further information about offers from Liberty Pearl then sign up to our newsletter.

HAPPY WEDDING PLANNING XXX

BoHo Cornwall renewal of vows – elopement wedding venue

A beautifully elegant renewal of vows, at the stunning coastal venue Boho Cornwall. Capturing the elegance, tranquility and romance of a BoHo Cornwall Elopement and a sense of this Country House by the sea, with it’s wild and magical setting on the edge of the Cornish moors.
Kat & Ross, were one of our first couples to marry at BoHo. We witnessed their vows and hosted their wedding and have kept in touch ever since. They dreamed of coming back for a stay at BoHo and re-living the experience by affirming their vows.
They were very happy to agree to their ceremony being part of a styled shoot! We wanted to consider the Arts and Crafts era, inspired by the House itself. The dress fits in well with this romantic look. Cornish Cutting Garden created a loose old Masters/Bloomsbury still life inspired bouquet and early 1900’s style headdress with side detail.
It is Vintage and Bohemian – in keeping with Boscean Country House, which was built in 1912 in the Arts & Crafts style.
We very much wanted to convey the love story of a BoHo Cornwall Elopement – intimate, just for two. All about the emotion of the couple being “in their BoHo bubble” with a sense of the wild and romantic setting. An intense romantic adventure in a stunning landscape and property!

Women in Photography Conference – International Women’s Day

Third women in photography conference plymouth college of art international womens day inspire someone today_

The Women in Photography conference started in August 2016 at the Plymouth School of Creative Arts. It was initially a one off event to bring together like minded female photographers and film makers, who are passionate about photography, to listen to talks and raise money for charity at the same time, a networking event with a purpose. I arranged 4 female photographers from Devon and Cornwall to talk about their fascinating journeys in photography and to showcase their beautiful work, and it was a huge success. Over 30 women came along, we raised over £200 for 2 women’s charities and after the last talk everyone asked me “when’s the next conference?” so the Women in Photography Conference series started from there!

I love being inspired, especially by everyday women, there are so many amazing role models in the celebrity world, but really it’s the people who are around us everyday that have the most impact in our lives. 

We are all photographers and work in the same industry which is extremely saturated, but I believe in community over competition, and by connecting female photographers together in this way, it inspires and empowers women to reach their full potential.

February saw the 3rd Women in Photography Conference hosted by Plymouth College of Art with over 50 attendees listening to some truly inspirational women.

Clare Kinchin – Claire Kinchin Photography

Louise – Taylor and Porter Photographs

Jane Prior –  Lecturer at Plymouth College of Art

Magdalena Hendey – Photo Studio 7

You can read further details of the speakers are on our conference website.

What people say about the conference:
“What wonderful speakers and an awesome event!!! Many thanks ladies xxx”
“Glad I was finally in Plymouth to make it along, enjoyed all four speakers – fascinating and differing stories, thanks all xx”
“Thank you so much for organising this event. It was so inspiring (I’m so ordering film tomorrow and getting my twin lens out!!) Cannot wait for the next one
“Lovely evening and amazing speakers! Thank you again Amber for your hard work organising another successful event xx”
“Wow wasn’t sure what to expect as first one I have been too, but I found it incredibly interesting. Really enjoyed listening to you all & have left feeling very inspired. Thank you for sharing your life stories, amazing tips and knowledge. I look forward to the next one!”
Thank you Amber for organising a wonderful evening. Louise, Phil and Emma. You were all amazing and your talks were so inspirational and so lovely to hear your history of how far you’ve all come. Very talented ladies and a room full of wonderfully supportive ladies too. Thank you all for listening to my first ever talk! Xx”

“Wow ladies what an amazing audience you were! Thank you Amber Leach for asking me to be a part of this evening!! X it was an incredible way to spend an evening! Looking forward to meeting more of you in the future! Jane Prior is was so lovely to see you again! Thank you for the hugs!

 

We raised over £250 for the fabulous educational charity Girl Rising.

Inspiration
If you would like to be inspired by some amazing photographers and their stunning work, then join our Facebook group and come along to the next conference!

Community
We have a Women in Photography and Film private members Facebook community which is an amazing source of encouragement, inspiration, friendship and opportunity.

Next Conference
The conference run every 3 months and the next Women in Photography Conference is on Wednesday 10th May 2017 at Plymouth College of Art. Tickets cost £5, all money from tickets sales goes to charity. You can buy tickets via our Event Bright page.

We are also planning something very special to celebrate the 1st birthday of the women in photography conference so follow our conference website to find out about it!

 

Extra info about the conference

The Women in Photography Conference is organised by Amber Leach, founder of Liberty Pearl Photography & Associates, an award winning wedding photography business based in Plymouth, Devon.

Amber started her wedding photography business in November 2013. She progressed from working in large structured organisations to being self employed and working from home. Whilst she enjoyed the independence of being self employed and her new found freedom from the chains of a 9-5 office job, she also missed having people around to run ideas past, share triumphs with, or receive encouragement from.

Networking

Amber has now established Women in Photography – Devon and Cornwall so she could meet other like minded creative photographers and film makers to share her passion with and to find people that understand her life as a self employed freelance photographer.

It is proven that friends ‘at work’ form a strong social support network for each other, both personally and professionally. Whether cheering for each other on big wins, consoling each other about mistakes, giving advice, or providing support for personal situations, comradeship at work can boost an employee’s spirit and provide needed assistance.

Amber is excited to meet and collaborate with amazing photographers for an afternoon of inspiration and fellowship with like minded creatives!

Photos by:

A whirlwind wedding: Why you should consider one and my top planning tips

 

ayrmer-cove-beach-wedding-elopement-liberty-pearl-photography

I planned my own wedding in 9 weeks so you could say I am an expert at whirl wind wedding planning!

Planning a wedding is fun – but drag out the process for years and it can take a little excitement out of the big day. You can find yourself overanalysing every element of the wedding and see fashions and trends changing – just as you’ve finally decided on the theme of your day. A whirlwind wedding, on the other hand, promises a real adventure. The wedding planning experience is full on from start to end. But you’ve got so much to be getting on with that there’s not really any time to stress. Believe me – I planned my own wedding in 2016 in just nine weeks!

The perks included:

A budget-friendly day

yurt-camp-devon-wedding-liberty-pearl-photography-7

The only money we had available was that in our bank accounts, so we had to stick to budget. This meant we didn’t go overboard and were sensible with our spending. It was also nice not to spend years of savings on one day.

An up-to-date wedding theme

colehayes-park-dartmoor-devon-wedding-liberty-pearl-photography

Although suppliers were limited – due to the fact that lots were booked out already – we were still able to plan a stylish wedding. Of course, we had to have an open mind about theme and style but we still ended up with the wedding we wanted.

No waiting around

polhawn-fort-cornwall-summer-wedding-liberty-pearl-photography

I didn’t want a long engagement and thought it was pointless. I was too excited about being a wife and a bride! I also didn’t want wedding planning to take over my life for months or years – so a whirlwind wedding was perfect

All about love

thornbury-castle-bristol-summer-wedding-liberty-pearl-photography

When planning a wedding you can get so caught up in the little things – but they really don’t matter. By minimising time spent planning our wedding, we realised what was important about the day and were able to prioritise better.

 

Eight tips for planning a whirlwind wedding

Of course, I’m not telling you that every single part of the process was easy. As with all weddings, there were good and bad parts about the planning – but it only lasted nine weeks. With this in mind, I wanted to share my top tips to help you plan your wedding in just a matter of weeks too. If I can do it while juggling a busy business, so can you!

  1. Keep things simple

Don’t be too over-ambitious with your wedding ideas. Instead, keep things simple, as you won’t have much time to make things for your wedding or to plan extravagant décor. A simple wedding will always look stylish and sophisticated.

 

  1. Be organised

This one’s crucial. Good organisation is key when you’ve got a tight deadline. We had spreadsheets for everything but they really helped us keep track of everything we needed and dates they needed to be done by.

 

  1. Decide on your priorities

A good wedding planner friend gave me some great advice. She asked, “What are the three most important things you want on your wedding day?” Mine were guests and their enjoyment, lots of flowers, and a beautiful location, near a beach or in lovely gardens. This helped us focus our day and all the planning.

 

  1. Improve your decision-making skills

tredudwell-manor-cornwall-summer-wedding-liberty-pearl-photography-9-1

It’s so easy to go back and forth with ideas when planning a wedding but why stress yourself out about the perfect day? When planning a whirlwind wedding you have to make decisions quickly. For example, I purchased my wedding dress from the first shop I visited.

 

  1. Ask for discounts

If a supplier isn’t booked nine weeks before your wedding date, it’s unlikely they’ll receive many offers. This gives you bargaining power and many will offer you a discount in order to fill their last minute availability.

 

  1. Ask for help

kippure-estate-dublin-ireland-summer-wedding-liberty-pearl-photography

 

If you’ve got lots to do in a short time, help from family and friends is a must. So many helped us leading up to the wedding and on the day, which was amazing. Everyone loved being part of putting it all together and it just made the experience even more special.

 

  1. Go digital

dartington-hall-devon-summer-wedding-liberty-pearl-photography

 

Speed up the invite process by going digital. We sent invites to our wedding website via Facebook and email and only a handful of invites were printed off for older family members. The wedding website was great and the replies were instant.

 

  1. Pick your bridesmaids wisely

Last, but not least, pick you bridesmaids carefully – after all, they’ll be providing reassurance throughout your journey. They will need to be calm, supportive and helpful and definitely not cause unnecessary stress!

Good luck! Remember, if you’re looking for a photographer for your big day, don’t hesitate to get in touch to enquire about last-minute availability. Contact me and we can have a catch up about your wedding plans over coffee!