Date: 11/10/2018 - Mentoring with JD

If you’ve never met me before then hello I’m Sarah a 32 year old full time family and wedding photographer from a little village called Parbold in the North west. For those who do know me then I wanted to tell you ALL ABOUT the mentoring and training I’ve been doing behind the scenes this year!

Lets go back a little…18 months in business was going better than any one could ever have dreamed, literally thousands of shoots and a growing demand for weddings. I’d taken my time crafting my style and approach, learning more and more shoot after shoot after shoot… outdoor and indoor in peoples homes, in dark churches, in the rain, in the sun, in the snow… It felt like I had worked hard enough and there was enough substance to approach Jonny and ask about doing a 6 month mentorship with him. 

I want to be very clear… this is the best business decision I have EVER made. 

Every thing I wanted and dreamed of has happened.

I wasn’t expecting some one to wave a magic wand and then transform me into a world class photographer, I wanted some one to make me work as hard as I possibly can, help guide me to be the best I can possibly be, to give me good advice, be supportive and to tell me the good the bad and the ugly in the nicest way possible because I’m ridiculously sensitive and hate failure.

That’s quite a lot to ask really….

I learn from being hands on and thrown in the deep end so being able to get stuck in and second shoot weddings at incredible venues like Peckferton Castle and Colshaw Hall with Jonny has just been an amazing experience which I’ve totally thrived on.

In addition to this we started with some really fun training days including a styled shoot and I even got to do behind the scenes for JD’s brilliant flash/lighting sessions at the ultra cool Owen House Wedding Barn with fantastic suppliers like Love bridal, Sarah Meredith Make Up, Love Lights the Way, Red Floral, Luminate… Jonny is really happy to share what he knows and just genuinely seems to want the best for me and to help as much as he can.

So 2018 has been MASSIVE…

  • Since January I’ve had 2 complete rebranding (well the second is still in progress but things have just grown so quickly that an urgent ultra re vamp was essential and I’m loving all the previews from Grizzly Bear) 
  • Another very expensive investment (dear God I’ve spent a lot this year…like tens of thousands two times over a lot…YIKES) I’ve changed my brand of cameras! YESSSSSS! Fuji and mirrorless have totally been trending in the photography community for a while and I had dabbled and tested them quite a lot until one week (after many many problems with my previous brand…errors…failures…slow focus…missing focus…heavy…bulky) I just went for it and traded in loads of my old kit and changed to Fuji. My style of shooting has changed so much as I’m super confident in my kit and trust them to work for me so everything can be much more fluid and I can be more creative. 
  • Ok let’s wrap this up…I’m 100% happy with my editing style…I’ve done a tonne of amazing wedding fairs with the fabulous Brides Up North… styled shoots… I’ve been lucky enough to shoot some really amazing couples with fantastic stories at farms, barns and venues like Holmes Mill and Delamere Manor it’s been AMAZING…

I’m really excited as I feel like its just the beginning and can’t wait to see where this journey goes and it’s all come together since I started the mentoring programme with Jonny Draper back in Jan. I trust him totally, he gets me and what I’m trying to do and has had such a positive and powerful impact on me and the way I run the business and shoot. I think its amazing to be able to speak to some one with that level of experience about weddings and get advice on how to improve and to get recognition when your hard work pays off. He sets clear goals to work towards and doesn’t overcomplicate things. The wedding photography industry is fiercely competitive and I want to be at the top of my game so this year has just been the best decision ever.

I’m really excited for every thing that happened and every thing to come and here’s some of my images from second shooting with Jonny this year. Thanks JD!!!