About Ross - How did Moment Photography start?

 

My first memory of photography is a free pocket camera with a fold out viewfinder from Coca Cola, not much bigger than a matchbox. I think I got it from collecting fizzy drink ring pulls. I was very excited to get it in the post. Even though the photos were awful, I still loved it; it was a first step into a new world.

 

My first "proper camera" was a Pentax P30 which I bought for £250 with a flash when I was a new college student. That was an enormous amount of money for me back then, but I knew that I finally had a real camera that would allow me to take good quality photos.

 

Over the next few years I suffered all the pitfalls of trying and failing to take good photos. I had plenty of people telling me to hurry up as I scratched my head and franticly fiddled with all the dials and buttons.

 

PEOPLE may have complained about having their photo taken, but beautiful landscapes don’t! After completing a degree in Kent I set off for New Zealand (here are some photos), and I of course had my camera with me; now a well used Pentax MZ5. Having so many dramatic sights around me, I couldn’t stop taking photos; that was where I really learned to take photos properly. I had plenty of time and plenty to photograph…..and I made plenty of mistakes.

 

During my time of personal discovery abroad, people started to take notice of the photos I was taking, and whereas once upon a time people weren’t so keen on having their photo taken, now they wanted me to photograph their wedding. After that it was a slow snowball rolling down a hill, as the friends of one wedding I had photographed would then want me to also photograph their wedding.

 

I have now photographed over 125 weddings in Somerset and the surrounding counties.

 

Aside from wedding photography which was once stressful, but now comes naturally, I also do a lot of educational photography for Millfield School, Preston School and Bridgwater & Taunton College. For a number of years I worked in marketing in an educational setting so I have seen the sorts of photos that are required.

 

Almost all of my photography involves people, and I like that, even when it is business headshots; faces are just fascinating. And you know the best thing; after all these years of learning, I know that I have the tools and ability to consistently get great photos and that gives me great joy. A beautiful photo is right at my fingertips!

A short history of how Ross started Moment Photography

3 comments
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  • Carole AlexanderDecember 3, 2015 - 6:20 pm

    Great video Ross. You have done some lovely work and have clearly found your calling in life. Keep up the good work.ReplyCancel

  • Matthew BellamyOctober 9, 2013 - 8:46 pm

    Hi, i was wondering, as a professional what is the best way in your opinion for a young photographer like me to get a foot in the door and make a bit of money here and there before moving in to the profession full time. Thank you for your time and I love your work.ReplyCancel

    • RossOctober 9, 2013 - 10:03 pm

      Hi Matt

      I was in your position a number of years ago. Most people start off with weddings, but it is a very competitive area of photography and you need to be very good at it to get anywhere. Lots of people start out cheap and then gradually charge more as they get better. This is fine if your clients have lower expectations and you can afford not to make much of a profit. To make a living from it is a great deal harder as you have to constantly be improving and learning new techniques to put yourself above everyone else who has a DSLR camera and likes taking photos. Photography is a lot of fun, but having a good camera is a very tiny part of it. You also need to be confident in your abilities, know your camera inside out, have people skills, you need to be good with marketing, managing money, and have a good business head.

      A good camera is going to set you back at least £1000. Times that by two as you need a backup. Most of my lenses are £500+ each, some £1500+, then you have insurance to pay for your equipment and to protect yourself from the risk of people having accidents on the job. This past year I have spent £7000 on equipment and I need to get that money back again as well as pay bills before I can make a profit. It’s probably not looking like such an easy way to make money now is it.

      The only thing that is going to allow you to make it is a love for photography and dedication no matter what. You have to love it to work 12-16 hour days at weddings (camera gear prep, driving there, photographing the wedding, driving back, downloading the photos). You have to love it to sit in front of a computer for 20+ hours editing the photos afterwards, updating your website, facebook, blog, twitter and other social networking sites and then also do research on new techniques watching videos, reading books and getting hands on training. You also need to do all that AND be better than the next person like you who wants to be a photographer.

      Too many people are taking photos for free now in order to get started, but now everyone thinks photography can be free. As it is digital people assume there is no cost. The truth is it isn’t free; you need skill which takes time to learn, you need a powerful computer, a good camera and don’t undervalue your time on the job either and especially don’t forget that every photo taken is time in front of the computer editing it! Free does not pay bills and if there is always someone “free” then there will never be work that pays and there will also not be talented people who are willing to invest their time, money and skill into photography jobs that don’t pay. Charge according to your ability right now and then as you get better, charge more. If you don’t feel you are at the stage where you can charge yet, creates projects for yourself that allow you to experiment and learn new things and become more confident with your camera.

      If you are aware of all of the above and are still passionate and think you can make it, then great and good luck.
      RossReplyCancel

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ross@momentphotography.co.uk 01278 451 089 / 07891 422 573