Photographers Area

21 San Miguel de Allende Wedding Photographer

When I shot my first wedding it wasn’t easy to find out how the top guys in the industry were operating. I wanted to know what kit they were using, what their workflow looked like, how they planned the photography, and how they were marketing themselves. This information was not readily available online, and the experts were not keen to help emerging photographers.

I love nothing more than sharing what I’ve learnt about both wedding photography & business along the way. I am extremely grateful for the career I have and hope that I can help others to achieve their own goals within this field.

I offer 1 to 1 consultancy over the phone, covering all aspects of wedding photography. I will endeavour to share everything that I have learnt, but I ask that you email me some details of you and your business, and any specific topics you wish to discuss.

The calls are 90 GBP per 1 hour call.

To enquire about availability, please use the comments box below.

 

PHOTOGRAPHERS RESOURCES

Below is a list of the products and resources that I use to run my business, as well as some free downloads I feel may be useful. You will find links to their websites and in many cases, discounts that companies have been kind enough to offer to my readers.

I will be publishing detailed articles on my blog, covering everything from my website, marketing strategy, workflow and equipment, to how I plan and photograph each wedding. You can sign up on the left of the screen to receive updates and new articles to your email.

Below is a list of articles already on the blog:

Wedding Photography Equipment

How to start a Wedding Photography Business: Getting the first wedding
How to start a Wedding Photography Business: Deposit and Agreement
How to start a Wedding Photography Business: First wedding kit bag
Tricks and Tips: Editing Workflow
Tricks and Tips: HDR
Tricks and Tips: Alien Skin Exposure 5
Tricks and Tips: Slideshows

Please do not hesitate to contact me with any comments or questions on the form below. I would love to hear your feedback and share any further information that you might find useful.

 

FREE DOWNLOADS

EQUIPMENT

WEBSITE

WORKFLOW

ALBUMS

PRINT

VIDEO

INSURANCE

 

FREE DOWNLOADS

Charley’s Agreement

This is the agreement I ask each of my clients to sign at the time of booking. The booking is only confirmed when the signed agreement and the deposit have been received. Feel free to copy and paste all or parts.

Charley’s Details Form

For me, the key to successfully shooting a wedding is the planning. Once I have received the deposit and the signed agreement, I ask my clients to fill out this short details form. It is generally all the information I need to collect from the Bride and Groom before I start to plan the photography for the day.

Charley’s Equipment and Wedding day check list

Photographing someone’s wedding is a big responsibility, so I am careful not to add any pressure by leaving something behind! I’ve found simple lists really helpful in almost all areas.

 

EQUIPMENT

Check out this blog article for the full list of equipment I use to shoot weddings.

Buying equipment in the UK

Initially, I bought most of my kit from Warehouse Express. They seem to consistently offer the most competitive prices and have been super reliable each time I have used them.

www.wexphotographic.com

Buying equipment in the US

When I upgraded my cameras from the 5D Mark II to the Mark III, it was cheaper for me to fly to NYC and pick them up from B&H than to buy them in the UK. It also gave me a chance to seriously nerd out for the day in the B&H superstore. If you haven’t been there, it’s a must. The place is crazy.

Also if you buy online and can have them posted to a US address outside of NYC, you don’t have to pay tax.

www.bhphotovideo.com

Fixing equipment and buying used kit

Consistently living up to it’s name, Fixation is a great shop in London that I use for repairs. They also have a great secondhand kit department.

www.fixationuk.com

Kit bag

It is super important that all the equipment I need to shoot a wedding fits into one bag so that when necessary, I can take it all with me on the plane as hand luggage. Therefore, if my checked luggage is delayed or doesn’t arrive, I have everything I need. I can buy a new toothbrush and tie but it might be a little more difficult to replace all the kit at short notice in a remote village in rural France…or Mexico.

The ThinkTank Airport Int. is a great bag. Everything fits in and it is just small enough to count as hand luggage. Problems only arise if an airline has a hand luggage weight limit policy but that is pretty rare.

Here is a link to their US website with a full range of their products www.thinktankphoto.com

I bought my bag from Fixation in London. They stock many of the Think Tank products www.fixationuk.com

Tripod & tripod head

I use a carbon-fibre Manfrotto 190 CXPRO4 tripod with a Gitzo GH1780 QR head. This was the lightest, most compact yet sturdy combination I could find at the time.

www.manfrotto.co.uk

www.gitzo.co.uk

 

WEBSITE

Building and developing my site has been one of the most rewarding and enjoyable aspects of my business. I taught myself the entire process as I had no previous experience of web development.

Hosting and domain

I registered my domain and set up hosting with Bluehost. They have been 100% reliable since I switched to them about 5 years ago. They automatically back up my site and have a great customer service whenever I have questions.

www.bluehost.com

ProPhoto

My website is supported by ProPhoto. It is an all-in-one blog, site and portfolio which works in conjunction with WordPress. ProPhoto help you to set up, design and build every aspect of your site and are an awesome company to work with. They offer extensive tutorial videos and are happy to answer any questions you have.

If you use the link below to purchase ProPhoto you will get $10 off.

www.prophoto.com

Plugins

ProPhotocomes with a comprehensive set of plugins but I did add the All in one SEO Pack to enable my site to be found more easily.

www.semperfiwebdesign.com

Email subscription

To enable readers to sign up to receive updates and the latest articles to their email, I use Mail Chimp. There are various paid options but the free version includes everything I need. Google Feedburner is another popular RSS feed reader but there are virtually no options for customization and I read that Google may be discontinuing it in the near future.

www.mailchimp.com

Tracking and reports

I use Google Analytics to track detailed information about visitors to my site.

www.google.co.uk/analytics/

 

WORKFLOW

Keep an eye on my blog for a more detailed description of my workflow. I use Aperture>Photoshop>Alienskin, but I also like Lightroom>Photoshop>VSCO. It’s really just a matter of personal taste.

Downloading, rating, naming and basic corrections

Aperture https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/aperture/

Adobe Lightroom www.photoshop.com/products

Retouch

Photoshop www.photoshop.com

Batch treatment

Alien Skin www.alienskin.com/exposure/

Use the discount code CSP0513 for 15% off Alien Skin!

VSCO http://vsco.co/

Tethered capture

If I’m shooting fashion in a studio I use Capture One.

www.phaseone.com/capture-one

 

ALBUMS

When I started photographing weddings I didn’t include a book. I was never a fan of the traditional wedding album and it wasn’t until I found Asuka Books that I introduced it as an option. They are a great company and the book quality is amazing. I offer the Zen Layflat range to my clients.

www.asukabook.co.uk

 

PRINTS

The best printers I have worked with is The Print Space in East London. I use them for large prints for my wedding clients and for my fashion portfolio.

www.theprintspace.co.uk

 

VIDEO

With such great HD filming potential on the 5D Mark III, recently I’ve been having a bit of fun with video. I edit in Final Cut Pro X which is amazing.

www.apple.com/uk/finalcutpro/

I really enjoyed following the Final Cut Pro X tutorials on Izzy Video and felt completely comfortable with the software after just a couple of evenings.

www.izzyvideo.com

 

INSURANCE

I have insurance for my kit, public liability and a few other things. I found Photoshield competitively priced and the one time I had to claim for a lens that was pinched, the claim was dealt with quickly and effectively.

www.photoshield.co.uk

 

Please do not hesitate to ask me questions on any of these topics. I would love to hear from you.

You can sign up for updates and articles to your email on the left hand side of the page.

Thanks for reading!

  • April 19, 2016 - 12:32 am

    Photographer Brief Comparison | Maja Bakalarczyk - […] 1 to 1 Consultancy […]

  • April 18, 2016 - 8:17 pm

    Brief Comparison | Rachel Jacob - […] 1 to 1 Consultancy […]

  • April 12, 2016 - 4:24 pm

    Brief comparison | maevedunlea - […] the wedding brief (http://www.charleysmithweddingphotography.com/photographers-resources/) responsibilities was to take images for a couples wedding. He would have to get information from […]

  • April 12, 2016 - 4:16 pm

    Brief Comparison | Curtis Sayers - […] 1 to 1 Consultancy […]

  • April 12, 2016 - 3:25 pm

    brief comparison | Nancy Lee - […] 1 to 1 Consultancy […]

  • January 21, 2016 - 10:00 pm

    Charley Smith - Hi Heather, Thank you very much for your enquiry. I have sent you an email. Best wishes, Charley

  • January 21, 2016 - 8:52 am

    Heather Dunlop - Hi Charley, I was just enquiringly – initially about availability, I’m getting married on 28th August 2016 near Oxford. Then about costs for all day coverage? Thanks, Heather

  • November 2, 2015 - 8:40 pm

    Charley Smith - Hi Jay,
    This year and the last I have only shot about 10 a year.
    I shoot a lot of fashion now, so am not as available for weddings as I have been in the past. As my price and the demand for my wedding work has increased, I have been able to do less for the same income.
    What may be more useful for you to know, is my first year as a wedding photographer I shot 7, my 2nd 25, 3rd 40, and then it plateaued and then reduced as my prices increased and my availably lessened. I would not have been able to get to this level though, without those first big years where I honed my approach, skills and business. So I would be prepared to take on a lot for very little, until you feel you are at a level where you are good enough that the demand for your work, outstrips your availability.
    I hope this is helpful.
    Best wishes,
    Charley

  • October 29, 2015 - 1:34 pm

    Jay - Hi Charley,

    That’s very generous to share your knowhow with the rest. Not everyone is big enough to do that. I have one impertinent question if I may – how many wedding do you on average shoot a month? I’m at a confluence of two career paths at the moment, wedding photography being one of them, thus I’m trying to gather relevant info from people in the industry to decide which direction to take.

    Many thanks
    Jay

  • April 28, 2015 - 9:43 pm

    Charley Smith - Hi Fonie, Thank yo very much for your enquiry. I have just included the pricing on my website now. Best wishes, Charley

  • April 18, 2015 - 5:05 am

    fonie - hi, i’m from M’sia. me and my fiace will travel next year 2016 august. We looking for photographer for 1full day wedding shoot? may i know how much your charges.

    Thanks

  • July 13, 2014 - 11:56 pm

    Charley Smith - Great to hear! Thanks Anita. Best of luck with your business!

  • July 11, 2014 - 8:32 pm

    Anita - I love all your resources for photographers! I am setting up myself over here from Aus and getting into more wedding photography. Very rare someone shares all their knowledge like this!! What a champion you are!! Thanks heaps. And if you or anyone in the biz is looking for a second shooter please keep me in the loop. Regards Anita

  • February 24, 2014 - 4:57 pm

    Charley Smith - Hi Sian, Thank you very much for your enquiry, but unfortunately I am already booked to photograph a wedding on the 27th September this year. I will send you an email with a recommendation for another photographer. Thanks, Charley

  • February 22, 2014 - 6:57 pm

    Sian - Are you available on the 27th September 2014?

  • August 26, 2013 - 10:43 pm

    Charley - Thank you for your enquiry. I love working in the Cotswolds. I’ve sent you and email with the details. Thanks!

  • August 25, 2013 - 2:24 pm

    trucha nguyen - Hi,
    We are interested in an engagement wedding session, particularly in cotswold
    Just wondering if you do pictures in that region. Thank you

  • August 5, 2013 - 11:46 am

    John - Great stuff Charley… I look forward to reading the new post when you have completed it. I will also bare in mind your kind suggestion regarding anything else you can share… Good luck!

  • August 4, 2013 - 10:32 pm

    Charley - Hi John,
    Thanks for your message. I couldn’t agree more. It’s been something I’ve been wanting to start for some time.
    I’m currently putting together a few articles on how I produce my bridal couple photographs, and some of the different ways I generate business. I’ll look forward to posting on my blog next week, but if there’s anything specific I can share with you, please ask.
    Cheers,
    Charley

  • August 2, 2013 - 8:05 am

    John - Hi Charley.. I’m a photographer based up in Yorkshire and I would just like congratulate you on the way you are prepared to share your knowledge where you can to help out others. . There are so many photographers out there these days that keep everything so tight to the chest it’s unbelievable. It’s like they feel they have an advantage on others by keeping hush.
    I am the same as you Charley, I am quite prepared to share my knowledge and help others where I can.
    Yes, it’s a competitive industry we are in, but it is also my passion and an art, and it is not for people to keep secrets about…
    Knowledge is wealth…. Share it.

  • July 6, 2013 - 12:07 am
  • June 18, 2013 - 12:37 am

    Charley - Cheers Jeremy!

  • June 18, 2013 - 12:13 am

    Jeremy - Very clean site my friend! Love it!

  • June 11, 2013 - 9:38 pm

    Wedding Photography Workflow | - […] PHOTOGRAPHERS AREA […]

  • June 11, 2013 - 9:31 pm

    How to Start a Wedding Photography Business | Deposit and Agreement | - […] your client to understand about the service you offer. You can download the agreement I use on the Photographers Resources page. It has developed organically as a result of my experiences and input from […]

  • June 6, 2013 - 6:03 pm

    Charley - That’s great to hear. Let me know how it goes!

  • June 6, 2013 - 1:16 am

    Graham - Thanks for this post Charley – have just had my first solo wedding shoot last month and learnt a lot, but with your details form and wedding day checklist I hope my next shoot in a month will go a lot smoother!

To enquire about my availability and prices, or to leave any feedback on my work or website, please use the form below. Your email address will not be shown. Required fields are marked *

*

*

S u b s c r i b e   t o   B l o g