Who is it suited to?
Steve Barham has run the Grove Studio in Ipswich for 26 years, and has won over 70 awards in the past decade - including the Agfa Wedding Photographer of the Year award twice. He’s seen all sorts of people come and go as photographers during that time. The startups who have gone on to become the most successful photographers have all had certain key characteristics in common.
“You’ve really got to be a very good amateur with a good eye for a photograph,” tips Barham. “Ideally, you’ll already have handled some photography with success, such as a relative’s small wedding. And you need to have that flair to be able to produce a wonderful photograph – and to do it on a consistent basis.”
There are other characteristics that are essential for this work. “You’ve got to like people and must genuinely enjoy trying to get the best out of them,” stresses Barham. “At a wedding, you’ve also got to look like a guest and not appear in shorts and trainers as I’ve seen some people do. Otherwise, you don’t get any respect.”
Barham can also advise on the disciplines needed to photograph babies, children and families, as he has undertaken plenty of work in this area. He says: “You need to be good, and patient too. You’ve got to appear warm and friendly, especially to young children.
"The trick with children is to treat them as adults. And having something that breaks the ice is helpful too. For us, that’s our little dog, Candy.”