Styled photo shoot. Model the antlers and a floral head dress

Inspiration, knowledge and my business

In the beginning

My inspiration, knowledge and my business have all grown greatly in the last six years. When I first started out I was very self conscious of everything I did and had a keen eye on other people’s work. This is not to say I “copied” anyone, I’ve never been about that or felt that I needed to. I have enough of my own wild ideas!

My life as a photographer started by accident. No, literally a car accident. For several months I was unable to drive so I was getting out of the house daily for walks around the market town armed with a small compact camera.  At the time of my accident I worked for the Police as a civilian Detention Officer in a Custody block – a million miles away from anything creative. Taking photos of landscapes and the small things too, it was a great way to escape (for want of a better expression!) the pain of the injuries.

Skip forward a few camera models

I have gone through multiple stages of wondering if I am doing it right. Whatever “right” is? You can look up endless video tutorials, ask fellow photographers, read up on stuff but does this make it ME?

I decided not in the end.

So and so get their clients because of that style. Thing-a-me-bob does it that way and it works for them. You get the idea? So, once I decided to stop worrying about what other folk are doing I felt able to get on and develop my own style and that is so important. Discovering that actually, my inspiration and drive is from seeing the smaller picture. The finer details in life. Of course I am also inspired by meeting couple’s on their wedding adventure (I won’t use the expression journey because I dislike it ALOT!). Families with their own stories to tell and being a part of that story even for just one paragraph, I am grateful.

Again, I know this makes me sound crazy but I am definitely a glass half full type of person and hope that it makes me a better photographer.

I have along the way made friends with fabulous photographers and other creative people so I do find this a good way to bounce idea’s around with them too.

To the future

I have been told it is a brave move to up-root my business and move four hundred miles but I don’t think it’s brave at all. I am looking forward to the challenge and will be searching for some more fabulous photographers and other creative people in the Perthshire area. I think that my inspiration, knowledge and my business can only benefit from our move and I am looking forward to see where it takes me.

As for inspiration, for me it’s not found on the internet all the time, it’s all around us in the real world.

Scottish Travel Blog, Scotland

Creative Photoshoot

Before leaving Herefordshire I wanted to do one last creative photoshoot. By this time I didn’t have time to plan a full wedding shoot so I trawled through Pinterest looking for idea’s. Any of you that use Pinterest know how easy it is to get completely sucked in and sidetracked! Well this time wasn’t any different. My initial brief was maybe to have an urban ballet shoot. This quickly changed into something more theatrical after seeing some other Pins.

Fox Ballet? Of course that is normal, right? I would need just one model and a wonderful make-up artist – I knew just where to go for that, but I didn’t know any professional ballet dancers. Twitter to the rescue.

Within the hour I had contact from two dancers. You gotta love the power of Social Media sometimes.

Sharing the Pinterest board with both my model and chosen make up artist meant that everyone knew what I had in mind. It contained poses for Rebecca to look at and hair and make up for Maria to take ideas from.

I love seeing my concept become a reality. Also the look on Rebecca’s face when she saw the transformation, magic!

The actual shoot was fun and my fantastic fox was able to make some beautiful lines and shapes in the field we were using.

018 022 091 173 205 295Fox & feather pin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I think over the years and certainly more recently with the glitz and sparkle of Strictly Come Dancing there has been a lot more emphasis on learning to dance and especially for a wedding first dance. So maybe we will be seeing more ballet dancing foxes?

With thanks to a gorgeous vintage boutique in Ledbury for supplying the stunning delicate lace blouse. The lovely people of Juice Collection for the loan of their highly sought after feather lapel/hat pins. All sorts of creativeness and beauty by Maria of Sprinkle Magic. Of course, this wouldn’t have happened without my very own ballet dancing fox and good sport Rebecca White of The Starlight Company

If you are interested in a collaborative creative photoshoot, Spring 2016 then get in touch – mel@melaniechadd.co.uk

 

Bride and Groom photo on mobile phone

Unplugged Wedding

So, you’ve planned EVERYTHING. Every single flower, hair and loved one is in the right place, right? How do you feel about those loved ones not really being there? Not giving their full attention? How about an unplugged wedding?

There has been some debate about asking your loved ones not to take photos for their own memories or to share. One I think can only be judged by each couple. Personally I like the idea of my friends relaxing and enjoying the day but I’m aware this wouldn’t suit everyone.

Bridesmaids checking social media. Fife wedding

Be present

The world already has enough distractions and our lives are fast paced and full on but how do you fancy asking your family and friends to turn off mobile phones, cameras and tablets etc? Even if it’s just for the ceremony, the important bit where you get to say “I do” and kiss the love of your life!

This morning, I am sat at my PC listening to BBC Radio 2 and the Pause for Thought segment. They spoke about the pop stars who are asking people attending their concerts to turn phones off and actually enjoy and take in the whole experience. We’ve all been guilty of it. Wanting to be the first of their friends to boast on social media where they are and how “#amazing” it is. But how do they know? They’ve spent the last 10 minutes trying to take either a video or a series of photos and then upload it through a poor 4G signal. It was also said on the radio that you are not truly there unless you’re giving it your full attention.

What is more important – to get photo’s or to actually experience the concert, carnival or YOUR WEDDING?

I’ve also recently seen on a social media wedding group someone asked “as a Bride to be, I’m wondering where do I keep my phone on the big day?” My initial reaction was to wonder why on earth would you need your phone on your wedding day. Those nearest and dearest to you will be right there celebrating with you. I could understand later on in the evening when you want a couple of selfies on the dance floor with your pals. But if ever there is a day when you don’t need your phone, it’s your wedding day.

Wedding ceremony outside at Dunkeld House Hotel, Perthshire

It’s your day

Don’t be afraid to ask your guests to be present at your big day, after all you will have a photographer who you have paid a lot of money for. Leave them to take the photographs for you. There are times when even the photographer is not allowed by the church to shoot during the ceremony. It’s always worth checking this before you book.

It may be a good idea to let your guests know in advance. So pop something in their invite. Something like this:

“The Bride & Groom have asked that you share in their wedding fully and not through the lens of a camera or mobile device. They have hired an amazing photographer ………………………. who will be capturing the ceremony and will share the images after.”

Maybe just a reminder in the order of service too? A gentle reminder and reinforcement of your wishes by your officiant may help too.

Best way to make sure your wedding is then seen by everyone who attended is to arrange with your photographer to do Sneak Peeks of maybe four images on Social Media or their website within a couple of days. This way they can be shared, liked or just looked at to help re-live your day.

Bridemaid takes photo of the Bride

Unplugged wedding

I thought I would write about this because there seems to be more and more emphasis on being present. An unplugged wedding is a sure fire way to ensure that everyone enjoys the day.

From a photographer’s point of view it’s always nice not to have to compete with screens. I much prefer taking photos of laughter and joy.

Just a little food for thought for your wedding day. However you choose to spend your day I’m sure it will be amazing.

 

 

Bluebell woodland in Perthshire, Scotlan

Tree Planting to offset your Wedding Carbon Footprint

At home I do everything I can to re-use, up-cycle or recycle, so I thought it was about time I transferred eco-friendly ethos to my business. Thinking about how I would like to do this I decided that giving something back to the environment would work well. One of the best ways to do this is by planting trees. So I have decided to gift a tree planting to each one of my wedding clients to offset carbon footprint of your big day..

This will be included in your package when you book full day wedding coverage with me.

During the time you spend planning your big day think of all the trips to your venue, church and shopping. That’s already a lot of miles! What about food miles? How your food gets to your venue? How far will some of your guests be travelling? All the preparation I will do before your wedding, including visiting your church, venue and meetings with you, my happy couple. It all adds up.

Church Wedding

Your wedding tree can help to offset up to 1 tonne of carbon dioxide throughout the life of the tree. By planting a wedding tree you can help maintain and improve new woodlands.

Cairngorms woodland

How it Works

You book your full day wedding photography with me. After your big day I offset all the travelling etc that I/we will have done during the preparations etc and dedicate a tree planting in your honor. You can also have a say in where you would like this tree to be planted, anywhere across the UK. You will also receive an e-certificate (not paper) from the company.

Should you wish to have more than one planted this can also be arranged (at further cost).

If you are trying to keep your carbon footprint low then remember in Perthshire we have AMAZING wedding suppliers (food, drink, transport, venues oh and photographers). If you need help with sourcing anything or anyone please do contact me and I may be able to help.

For those of you who are already booked with me, this will also be included in your package.

For the Family Lifestyle sessions I do around Perth & Kinross – at the end of each year I will make a donation to plant several tree’s for this footprint also.

Just to give you an idea of the carbon footprint of your wedding try using this calculator.

Wedding couple at Kinnoull Hill in Perthshire