28 March 2011

Some unique options available with Essex Photographer, Faith Stone Photography

As an American photographer in Essex, I understand that I'm different. As I've said in a previous blog post, I was a little uncomfortable with this at first. Not much, just a little. But after living here in the UK for over 5 years, I feel like this is home now. I feel comfortable now. I understand that it's the DIFFERENCES that work for me! So I thought I'd share a few things that I do differently when it comes to wedding photography collections. If you're looking for an Essex (and surrounding counties) wedding photographer, these options might interest you. If you're a wedding photographer, you might consider adding some of these options to your collections!

1. My collections are straight forward and I offer a contract with every wedding booked. This is important because my bride and groom know exactly what they get before they make the first payment.

2. It's easy for couples to choose me as the person who will provide them with the lasting memories of their special day. Once we've chatted about which collection will suit them best, payments can be made via cash, cheque or Paypal. My standard payment plan is in 3 installments, but other arrangements can be made, depending on how far in advance they book. Note to couples: The earlier, the better, the easier!

3. Any couple can choose to have a Gift Registry with Faith Stone Photography. They set the limit and guests can easily purchase Wedding Photography Gift Vouchers using Paypal via my secure website. This is great for established couples who want extra product credit toward their album.

4. The majority of my collections include a FREE engagement session. This is like the walk through on a bride's hair and make up. It's important to see what great results we can produce and to feel more confident on the wedding day. Many people have never or rarely been photographed by a professional. This is the time to get some great images and have some fun! I offer some great product options like Guest Books, Signature Mats, and Save the Date cards or magnets that will help the couple make their wedding unique and special.

5. My collections don't lock couples in to a specific product before I've even taken the images! This is where the Product Credit, mentioned above, comes in. I understand that it can be enough just to find the right photographer for your special day. That done, let's think about the final products once we've seen the images. Every couple's day is different and reflects their own personal style. As a specialist in Wedding Albums, I'll take the couples style in to account when recommending an album choice. A product credit is included in the collection, so the funds are already in place.

6. Which brings me to my unique line of albums on offer. Not many photographers offer the album lines that I do. I've been documenting weddings for over a decade and have tried and true suppliers. I started these vendor relationships while I lived in Colorado and wouldn't think of changing them. Luckily, they all are happy to provide their services and products to me in the UK! Lucky you. This means you're album is going to match your personal style and non of your friends will have the same book! (Well, unless you referred them to me and they chose that book. But it will still vary in style and substance, of course!) 

You can check out my collection of albums on offer here.

7. Finally, if an album is not your thing, I also offer the latest and greatest in wall art. You can choose to use your product credit toward anything you want that I offer. HURRAY! Easy peasy. You can see our latest wall art on offer here.

27 March 2011

Essex and Hertfordshire Wedding Fairs

Come and meet up with me at one of these upcoming wedding fairs!

17 April 2010
Hanbury Manor
Ware, Herts. SG12 0SD

08 May 2010
The Warren Golf Club
Woodham Walter, Maldon CM9 6RW

RSVP on my Facebook page if you like. I look forward to seeing you soon!

25 March 2011

Floating Gallery Blocks

I am VERY excited to announce a new product line available immediately! They are quite unique and you won't find them from just any photographer. You WILL find them with Faith Stone Photography! They are Floating Gallery Blocks.  A professional print is laminated and adhered to solid wood with perfect 90 degree corners. It's modern. It's dimensional. It's easy to hang. It's NOW! Take a look.

This is the Storyboard Floating Gallery Block. It is 25x22 overall with 3 6x6 floating blocks. 

This one is the Double Focus Floating Gallery Block.
It's 30x13 with 2 8x10 blocks.

If you'd like more information and pricing on this unique and fashionable wall art,
just give me a holla!

08 March 2011

An American Photographer in Essex

Being an American photographer in England isn't always easy. I get the "mick" taken out of me on a regular basis. I'm used to it now, and find most people do it in an amicable way. I've even learned to EMBRACE it. Sometimes I take a little "mick" back, in an amicable American way, of course. It's true, I probably say "awesome" a little too often. I forget that "groovy" isn't a commonly used word anymore, but I use it anyway. I once told people after the group shot at a wedding that they could "take off" for the reception, only to hear a few chuckles and gentle jousting. Hey, I'm not always the hippest person in a crowd, but once you meet me, you won't soon forget me! I figure that works to my advantage, as long as I'm behaving myself.

I just read an article by Julia Boggio in the April edition of Photo Professional magazine. Julia is an American who has been living in Britain for over a third of her life. She's got a bit of time on me for that one! I've only lived here for 5 years. She's also married to a Welshman. She's got me on that one too. I'm married to an American. An American from Michigan at that. If I really think about it, the men from Wales and those from Michigan are quite similar! Anyway, I digress, as usual. Back to the article. Julia starts the article by talking about the American work ethic and how she's worked most of her life, even while in school. She goes on to say how ingrained us Americans are about customer service. Now I've often spoke with friends from all walks of life and from different countries about customer service. It comes up most easily when customer service is lacking. But one time, this couple we were speaking to had gone on a cruise run by Americans and actually complained that the customer service was over the top- too much. I gave a big "huh" and contemplated that. Now having been in the UK for some time, I get it. When one becomes accustomed to, let's say, lesser customer service standards (whether it be Britain or anywhere else!,) one can be overwhelmed by 3 different girls in a shop asking how they can help you. This now irritates me when I go back to the States.

Here's the thing. It doesn't really matter where you're from, I'm sure you'd agree that GOOD customer service is likely to bring you back to that supplier again. EXCELLENT customer service will even get you referring that business to friends. If a business is referral based, believes in the product and/or service that they provide and enjoy what they do, awesome customer service is a no brainer. Photography is such a business. Yet occasionally I hear horror stories about what has happened to people concerning their wedding photography. One story was so sad that I offered her a free "Cherish the Dress" photo session so she could at least have some nice images. I won't say who the photographer was, but the venue she got married at still refers him. The last thing the girl said to me was that he didn't even TRY to make anything right in the end. He could have offered her the same "Cherish the Dress" session as I offered her.

There is a dream in America. It's called the American Dream. It's ingrained in us from an early age. We are taught that ANYONE can become president. (Well, anyone who is American, that is. And YES, Obama is an American, despite those who would like to believe otherwise. Last I checked, Hawaii is still a state!) It reminds us that whether we're from the Carolinas or from California, whether we're yellow or white in skin, whether we're richer or poorer, we all have the chance to become somebody. If we work hard and keep picking ourselves up when we fall, we can all become something great. I'd like to think that I've acclimated to life in Britain and I'll be down the pub with the next guy. But in my heart, I will always be an American. I own a British flag and fly it with the rest of the Brits. I also own an American flag and fly in on the 4th of July. I agree with Julia that business is business and that solid principles are the same no matter where you're from. I, for one, will keep offering my brand of American customer service. I know it works and if you want to take the "mick," go for it! I'll just smile and nod my head.

05 March 2011

A Selection of Albums on offer from Essex Photography, Faith Stone Photography

I know I  just wrote a post on an album, but I just had a consultation with a couple who were gifted a customized album to use for their wedding. Although designing story book albums is my specialty, I understand that different couples have different desired products from their wedding photography. For that matter, every client has slightly different desires on how they'd like to use their images. And I think that's great! I'm recording moments in time. That's what I do. I do this for the client. That's what they hire me to do. I don't tell people what they should or must do with their images. But evidently, some photographers do. Just sayin'.

I thought I'd take a moment, however, to show you some images of the wide variety of albums that I offer. I offer a variety, well, because there are a wide variety of people out there. Some couples are having very traditional weddings and want a more traditional looking album. Some are having a funky groovy wedding and want a funky groovy album. I want my couples to have an album that compliments their style, their vision. For the most part, a wedding day is one of the most fantastic days in a person's life. (The honeymoon can be pretty special too:) Why shouldn't they have a fantastic album to match? Whether it's one of mine or they get prints for their special album, I'm just glad when they have a keepsake to share with the people in their world. That's what it's about.

The above album is from our Cameo Art Album collection.
These albums start at £549

The above album is from our Coffee Table Story Book collection.
These books start at £399

This album is part of our Couture line.
This line starts at £549

This album is part of our KISS album line.
They are high grain leather covered and available in punchy colours.
These albums start at £499

This album is from our Leather Craftsmen line.
There are a plethora of leather colours to choose from, as well as the option of text and images
inset in the cover. They start at £599

We also offer a selection of parent albums. 'Cuz parents want memory keepsakes too!
Visit the website at Faith Stone Photography.

If you'd like to find out more about our products watch our little video.