Photographer Teri Vincent is often asked about how to get into the profession.
“The key is to get your creative side going,” she reveals.
“Anyone can learn to use a camera. I always say to young people to go to college and do fine art or graphic design and hone that creative side, then learn the technical side of using a camera.”
This is the path that Teri took. At college she did graphic design and then at 19 got a job as an art director working for retail companies.
“I would do everything on shoots but click the button on the camera,” she says.
“Sometimes I would be a little frustrated but it gave me that creative eye.
“I loved the job but you have to work to a brief and while you can have lots of ideas if they don’t relate to the retailer’s customers you can’t do them.
“But with the wedding photography I get all these ideas and I can do them. I can be creative and play about with a shot.”
When Teri was made redundant she went freelance but after she had her children she decided she needed to do something that worked better with her family.
“I hardly saw my kids. I could be spending six hours a day travelling to and from London, and I started to find the job really unfulfilling.
“It made me sad that my kids were living pretty much with the child minder, so I talked to my husband and said something had to change.”
In 2011 she went full time with Teri V Photography, where her primary focus is weddings.
“I can really use my imagination which I love,” she says.
“But I did really feel the pressure when I first started as you are capturing something that people will look back on and have an emotional attachment to.
“Because I am working with real people now rather than models when I was art director, I am aware of making them feel comfortable and taking natural shots as everyone tells me they hate having their picture taken.
“When we go for the couple shoots it is usually the first time they have spent time just the two of them on their day so it is nice to just let them relax as I take pictures.”
As it is such an important day for the couple the key Teri says is to ‘plan, plan, plan’.
Over the course of the wedding she takes about 1500 to 2000 images which are then edited and the couple receive 600 to 800.
“I don’t think couples should have to wait too long so the day after I give them a sneak peek and edit a few for them to use on social media otherwise it is just ones their friends have taken.
“Two weeks later they get the ‘best bits’ and then it is about four to six weeks after that I send them all the images.
“It helps me keep on top of them as over the summer I have so many jobs that it helps them not get stacked up.”
At the moment Teri has seen lots of people booking for 2020 and 2021, and she covers Surrey, Sussex and London, but if it is over two hours away she asks for a B&B.
“I have also do a lot of destination weddings,” she says.
“I go the day before the wedding or the day before that and take some photos of the couple and look at the venue. They invite me to the meal the night before the wedding and I take pictures there.
“They pay the same price but get a lot of extra shots as I can stay the day after and take photos if they are having another party. I just feel they have paid for my food, accommodation and flights so I want to give them more.
“I’m there with my camera so I don’t mind taking pictures.”
Teri also does family portraits.
“A lot of them come from my brides. They get in touch with me when they have had a baby which is really nice.
“I become people’s family photographer as they trust me to take pictures of their children and those important moments which is what I love about my job.”