It is time for anther focus on careers in the wedding industry and this week’s is the wonderful Kerrie Mitchell. When I first contacted Kerrie she was worried that her business might be too new to be featured, as she is shooting her first wedding this summer, but I think that Kerrie is showing amazing commitment and determination to getting her business off the ground – a great inspiration to me and I hope it will be for you too. Kerrie is currently working as a second shooter and building up her portfolio . So please, if you are looking for a photographer for your wedding, consider Kerrie, her photos are amazing and she is building up quite an incredible portfolio.
So, over to Kerrie.
And here is the lady herself…Kerrie Mitchell
What did you do before you became a professional photographer?
When I left university I was desperate for a normal job doing 9-5 and having my weekends free. I just wanted a stable and regular income and the idea of freelancing (like we were advised to by our tutors) scared me to no end! However after two years working in an office I became quite bored of the monotonous day to day routine and sent an application off to work as a photographer on cruise ships. I got the job and spent three months in Alaska and three months in Caribbean photographing the ships passengers. It was hard work, but taught me much more than I ever learnt at university and more importantly gave me the confidence to pose people and approach anyone and ask to take their picture. Since coming home I’ve worked seasonally as a school photographer and have decided that now is the time to go freelance, because I never want to be locked in a office job again!
Why did you decide to become a photographer?
I really enjoy taking pictures of people and I know that sounds very cliche, but it honestly is so fun. Most of my shoots recently have been free to build up my portfolio, and this doesn’t even bother me because I enjoy the process so much. Plus the gratitude from clients when they see their pictures is priceless. I’ll never get that in any other job. I decided to start out on my own as a photographer because its hard to get full time employment in a company as a photographer. I’ve been back and forth between seasonal contracts and temp work and just decided that if I love doing this so much it must be possible to do it full time. There are plenty others out there who have made the same jump and are operating small thriving businesses.
A photo that Kerrie has picked that encapsulates her style: “I pulled a photo from my rock the frock shoot for this. I have a fashion inspired approach to photography and I think this picture conveys that perfectly. I love the colours, and the use of props to tell a story. Thats what I feel my style is developing into; colour, fashion and stories.”
What is it that you particularly love about photographing weddings?
Strangely, I think it’s the pressure! You’re there recording and recording the most important day of a couples lives. I feel really lucky that a bride and groom believe in you so much to invite you along and capture the emotion and excitement of that day for them.
What has been your biggest challenge in setting up on your own?
Where do I start? It’s all been a challenge! Getting my head around the business aspects of becoming full time has been hard, I have a very creative head so when it comes to numbers and figures I’ve been so disheartened. Luckily I’ve been on free business courses to get help with the behind the scenes stuff such as writing my business plan. I’ve also found it so hard to reach clients, it’s easy to say “ok I’m going to run my own photography business” but until you have clients you’re nothing. I’ve been tirelessly networking on Facebook and Twitter to get my name out there, and now it is starting to pay off. I’m still very far off being able to support myself though!
What is the best bit about your job?
I like that I only have myself to answer too. I have complete creative freedom with how my pictures are taken and processed. I have a fashion inspired approach to my photography as fashion editorials in magazines were what first grabbed my attention back in school and college and its stick with me. I really love colour and keeping things simple and I try to make my photos ‘pop’ out from the page. However meeting new people is by far the best bit, each person I photograph is individual and I love that no two photo sessions (or weddings) will ever be the same. That beats 9-5 office monotony any day!
A Recent Favourite of Kerrie’s: ”This was haaaarrrrrrrd work! I’ve been working a lot recently with teenagers and offering on location photo shoots, this may not be perfect for your audience but still communicates my style of photography. This photo of Sophie was the first teen shoot I did and as soon as I took it I was blown away and excited to carry on with the project. Teenagers love having their pictures taken, and there isn’t much out there marketed towards them. With this picture in particular I adore the whole aesthetic the way she is dressed, the urban landscape and the way the towers behind her are blurred, but still add some oomph! to the picture.”
What piece of advice would you give to anyone else wanting to become a wedding photographer?
Practice as much as you can. I’ve been working for free assisting, making my friends pose for me and even casting models for photo shoots just to get some work for my portfolio. It’s all been great experience too and is a great way of seeing if you are really cut out for doing it full time. Also network as much as possible, get your name out there on Twitter and Facebook and tell everyone you know what you’re up to, you never know who they may know.
Isn’t she lovely? Massive fan of her and her photography. Now if you get a few minutes it would be great if you could help Kerrie out by completing her questionnaires on wedding and or/ portrait photography:
And just to finish the post I wanted to share some more of the shots from Kerrie’s Rock the Frock shoot, because I think they are gorgeous…
And keep an eye out for more of Kerrie’s work which will hopefully be hitting these pages very soon!
Visit Kerrie’s website for more beautiful photos.