Saturday, December 31, 2011

Reflections of 2011

So here we are at the end of 2011, at this time I find myself reflecting back on a few accomplishments as I look ahead to the promise that 2012 will bring. It has been one of my best years photography wise, with new clients, new website and having made many connections to fellow photographers.

As I entered 2011 my prospects were bleak, it was shaping up to be a slow year for weddings with not much else to look forward to. The spring brought new opportunities with the green screen set-up in the form of 2 proms and elementary school dance. The response was more than I expected and I can happily say that I secured these events for years to come.

During the summer months I took time to get out and build my portfolio of nature images in hopes to start selling a few. I had several good encounters and came away with a few dozen images I am quite proud of. The response I have gotten from many online albums I have posted of my watercolor series has been great. The experience has given me great hope for 2012 and beyond and inspired me to take more time for nature.

Close up of Lily in watercolor. 2011 David Wornham Photography

Weddings were slow to come in but I was very fortunate to work with several wonderful couples and create beautiful everlasting images of their day. I can say in many cases I made new friends that I stay in touch with. This year also allowed me to photograph a wedding for the first time at a venue I have wanted to visit for years, Indian Ranch in Webster, MA. It was a great experience and can now say I am one of their preferred vendors, it should give me many more opportunities to work there in the coming years.

Brenda & Tim at Indian Ranch. 2011 David Wornham Photography

The fall also brought a new client to my door, one that I had been chasing for nearly a year, 202 Street Hockey. The youth hockey league hosts three seasons each year with over 200 players in all age groups. The key to the success was again the green screen, allowing me to create a custom background for the player photos. The response from parents and the league was more than I could have asked for. Having them as a client will help me in many ways grow my business in the new year and beyond.

2012 will bring many new adventures in photography for me. This year will mark the beginning of my foray into wildlife photography. It will require a significant investment in new equipment and to build a new website dedicated to wildlife images. There are two people that have inspired me to embark on this journey that deserve credit for their photographic ability as well as insight I have received, David Lloyd and Richard Peters. I can only hope someday to capture the same type of images they have and visit some of the locations they've been privileged to photograph wildlife. My ultimate goal is to visit Africa in the next few years when I feel I am prepared photographically.

Golden Pheasant. 2011 David Wornham Photography

On a more personal note, this year has seen my boys grow up faster than I would like to admit. As they get older I find myself becoming more involved in their activities, from managing one of my sons baseball team to coaching my youngest in street hockey. This along with continuing to be a Cub Scout den leader takes up a great deal of my personal time, but I honestly enjoy doing it all.

Everything I have accomplished has been in part because of my wife, who supports me every step of the way. If not for her I would not be where I am in life. She is my co-pilot and probably has more common sense than I do, she helps keep me grounded.

A fond farewell to 2011, it has been a very good year. Now I look forward to what 2012 will bring. Happy New Year!

David Wornham

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Brenda & Tim 10.1.11

I had the pleasure of being a part of Brenda and Tim's wedding at beautiful Indian Ranch in Webster, MA this past October. Although the sky was overcast and the forecast called for rain we had a great time creating many memorable images from their wedding.

I can't say enough about this wonderful couple, they were so much fun to work with, I enjoyed every minute we spent together. Indian Ranch does a terrific job of catering to each couple and their guests, this is one of my favorite venues to shoot weddings.

I offer a unique approach to wedding photography packages called Build-A-Package and am available for weddings throughout New England.

David Wornham Photography

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Wedding Photography Packages


I have spent quite a bit of time surveying the landscape of wedding photographers and packages. There are so many choices out there, it gets confusing for couples to figure out what package is right for them. Most of the couples I have met with ultimately end up choosing a package but ask to make changes to it to meet their needs. Thus a new idea was born: Build-A-Package, a new way to custom design their very own photography package.

The concept is simple, each package is created by choosing several options, just like buying a car. Most people can relate to this, when shopping for a new car and picking the model you want you have many options to choose from: the color, trim lever, engine options, do you want the base package or premium? Build-A-Package works the same way. Here is how it's done.

First the couple chooses how many hours they would like me to cover their wedding. This can be dependent on many factors and can range from 4 hours up to 8 hours. Would they like photos before the ceremony of the bridal party getting ready? Are they interested in having me cover the entire reception up to the last dance? Do they have more than one location in mind to have the bridal formals taken?

Second they choose the method of proofing of their wedding photos. Many options here all priced differently from proof DVD's, 4x6 or 5x7 proofs, hi-resolution images on DVD copyright free to spiral bound 8x10 proof books. All packages include proofing on a personal website that is password protected at no extra cost.

Third they choose their wedding album. Again many choices from size, 8x8 and 10x10 to cover material and style, simulated leather, genuine leather and textured covers with front to back photo design. There are also choices for photo paper including lustre, metallic and fine art.

Each package is comprised of these three options. Couples may also add parents albums, attendants books, HD slide shows and wall portraits up to 16x20 including canvas and custom frames to complete their package. I offer a discount to these add-ons when they are built into their package.

This concept allows couples to get the right package at an affordable price without being locked in to what another photographer may offer. I launched Build-A-Package in late 2011 and so far it has been a big hit. Now instead of offering several packages to choose from my clients simply build their own. In the coming years I am sure that more options will be made available.

For a complete list of pricing options for Build-A-Package designed exclusively for weddings by David Wornham Photography, you can contact me for a personal consultation.

David Wornham Photography

Tips for interviewing a wedding photographer

A recent cancellation to meet with a bride and groom to photograph their wedding because a friend offered to take their photos has prompted me to post some interview tips. Most couples have no idea what to expect when meeting with a photographer, some will choose one referred to them by friends, many will meet with several and look at their portfolio. But too many times they are not informed enough to make an educated decision. Here are a few questions to ask a potential photographer before signing a contract:

1. How many years have you been photographing weddings?

Why is this important? After all every photographer has to start somewhere and shoot their first wedding at some point to build a portfolio. It's actually simple, the more weddings a photographer has done will be reflected in their ability to capture all the key moments that any couple would expect. The quality of the images will also much better than a shutter bug in terms of lighting, color, clarity, posing and framing.

2. How many weddings have you photographed?

This is answered in question one. If a person has only taken photos at a couple of weddings they have not experienced all that can happen and will not be prepared to react to changing situations. It is critical to be aware of everything that is going on around you to make sure you don't miss that all important shot or omit subjects that are important to the couple. You have to realize that a wedding is not just about the bride and groom but also about their family and friends. Wedding photographs should tell a story, not just be images of the event.

3. Do you carry backup equipment?

This one is overlooked by most couples. Why carry extra equipment? One camera, lens and flash is all I need right? Wrong! Every professional worth their salt carries at least TWO of everything. That means a significant financial investment on their part. Here is a list of what I carry at every wedding:

(2) Nikon bodies
17-70mm macro zoom lens
24-120 VR zoom lens
50mm 1.4 lens
(2) flashes
(6) camera batteries fully charged
(8) memory cards
(3) extra sets of flash batteries with rapid charger

Why carry some much equipment? Simple, when something goes wrong (and it will) you will be ready to grab your backup gear and keep shooting without missing any shots. Photographers that carry only one camera or lens or flash are asking for trouble. There is no do over for important shots. You can't stop the ceremony just because your flash stopped firing or the shutter locked up in the camera.

4. Do you have insurance?

Most photographers will have insurance for their equipment in case of damage or theft (it does happen. I read a story about a photographer at a wedding that had his camera bag stolen from the church while he was shooting formals. Thousands of dollars in gear gone in an instant). Many will also have liability insurance in case something goes wrong with the photos or if a person is injured because they tripped over a tripod.

5. How long will it take for us to receive our photos?

Believe it or not this is rarely asked of me. I am always upfront about delivery, finished prints ready within 3 weeks of their wedding depending on how they chose to receive them. Again I've heard countless stories of couples waiting months for their photos.

6. Do you make your own prints or have them processed at a professional lab?

Big difference here. There are many good printers that can produce good quality prints but not in comparison to a lab dedicated to making exceptional prints. Professional labs take the time to analyze every image and make slight adjustments before making the final print. I have never given a couple prints that I made myself. Every print no matter what size is sent to my partner lab to process. I take great pride in my work and I expect only the best prints for my couples, they will appreciate it in the long run.

7. Do you require a signed contract and deposit to book?

Yes. No contract is a big no-no. It protects both the clients and photographer, spelling out exactly what the couple should expect and where and when the photographer is expected to arrive on their day. Another example I can site is a couple who had a verbal agreement with a photographer and less then a month before were notified that he had another engagement and could not photograph their wedding. I got the call with less than 3 weeks notice to bail them out but unfortunately for them I was already booked. The result was having a friend take photos that came out quite poor. Always insist on a contract and if the photographer does not offer one my advice is to walk away, you will avoid a potential disaster. The deposit ensures that the photographer will have income to rely on and shows their commitment to your wedding.

A few other tips to make sure you are dealing with a true professional, ask to view their website, look at images from several weddings not just one. Look at their albums and note the quality. Ask for a referral from a couple they have photographed. Be wary of anyone who directs you to their myspace or facebook page, in most cases this indicates an amateur who is not correctly equipped or experienced to photograph a wedding. A serious professional will have a nicely designed website to showcase their portfolio.

As always a referral from a friend or venue is a good place to start. Interview several potential photographers before making a decision. Personality is as important as the quality of their work.

And don't get stressed over selecting a photographer. With a little preparation you will make the right choice and end up with beautiful everlasting images to cherish for a lifetime.

David Wornham Photography is based in Athol, MA and services most of central/southern New England with over 22 years of experience in wedding photography. Visit my website to view my portfolio.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Cheryl & Wayne 9.24.11

Cheryl and Wayne were wonderful to work with. We started at a friends house before heading to the First Universalist Church in Leominster for their ceremony. It had been raining off and on for the last 2 days and honestly did not look good that morning for outdoor photos but we lucked out and managed to take the formals at Carter Park shortly after. I followed them to the Colonial Hotel in Gardner for a few photos on the grand staircase to wrap up the day.

I travel throughout New England for weddings and special events of all sizes. Visit my website for more examples of my work or to request information for your special event.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Stephanie & Joe 9.3.11

I just finished photographing the wedding of Stephanie and Joe at the Spencer Country Inn in Spencer, MA. The Inn has a rustic charm to it and offers great locations for outdoor photos.

I met this wonderful couple through the groom's sister whose wedding I had photographed 3 years ago. Although we had only 4 short hours together I felt I was able to create many great images they will cherish forever.

I am personally available to photograph weddings and other special events in MA, CT, VT, NH and southern ME. Visit my website for more information on my photography services