Bek Smith, fine art wedding photographer, has been chasing love stories and capturing timeless, light drenched photographs across the globe for over 10 years. Her images draw you in by capturing the intimate moments and genuine emotions; each frame is packed with anticipation, joy and each couple’s unique magic.
Bek’s background in fashion photography amplifies her work. It filters through in her compositions, the way she works with natural light and her ability to position herself to capture the undulating moments of each wedding, like the poetic motion of a dress swept away in the breeze.
During our Creative Master Class, we sat down with Bek to chat about business and its challenges, finding work-life balance, and her mentoring services aimed at budding wedding photographers. Scroll below for more insights from Bek and we have a full recap of the CMC coming soon!
Tell us a little bit about your journey getting into Wedding Photography? Where you started and what you have built your brand into.
I started getting interested in Photography at School and studied at Uni for a Bachelor in Design and Photography (after a few years of finding my way). I didn’t actually start my own company until I was in my thirties and I have never looked back. Starting up, I shadowed other photographers I admired and shot weddings for friends and family to get some practice. I have since built my brand into a company I am proud of and now have an amazing team of Associate Photographers who work for my brand.
How important is having your own brand aesthetic?
It is SO important to have your own brand aesthetic and to stick to it. It took me a good few years to get it right, but when you do, you know. I learnt over the years to stop obsessing over other Photographers work and trying to get the same look and ideas as everyone else.
Once you find your aesthetic, stick to it and be proud of it. I now look to so many other sources of inspiration, instead of studying other wedding photographers. Be inspired by your surroundings, fashion, art etc. Whatever makes you weak at the knees.
What have been some of your biggest challenges as a business owner?
Definitely being your own boss. Navigating your way through the ups and downs and finding a work/life balance with a family. As a business owner, you need to seem like you have it all under control. No one is ever always under control and that’s not such a bad thing. Some of my biggest challenges and hurdles have made me a stronger business woman and I have become much more resilient and calmer in times of stress.
What have been some of your biggest successes as a business owner?
I would say my biggest success to date for me would be the fact that I have the opportunity to travel to amazing places in the world (not so much at the moment due to covid). It was always my goal to be a destination photographer and I have definitely fulfilled that dream already.
I have itchy feet just talking about it. Also meeting some of my idols in Photography and getting to mentor and pass on my knowledge and experiences to others.
As a Mother of two beautiful little ones, how do you manage your family work life balance, any tips for those entrepreneurs who are searching for that balance?
It definitely hasn’t been easy, but I think always making time for family is so important. Set aside two mornings that you only send emails or an hour each day that you spend on Marketing or editing. Chipping away at things is easier on your stress levels than leaving everything clumped into one whilst looking after little ones. They will remember the good times, not time you spent editing. We also try to make a family trip out of some of my destination weddings, so that everyone is involved and my children get to see the world. Always ask for help, you can’t do it all alone, all of the time.
Lets jump into a very big question, how have you dealt with the craziness of 2020 and COVID, has this had a massive impact on your business this year?
Straight answer, YES. It has been hard on everyone involved (couples, vendors etc). It has certainly hit hard on the bank balance. It’s a crazy time in the world but the only thing you can do is take one day at a time and turn your attention to other parts of your business that may have been neglected in the past. Form e, that is spending time on marketing.
A positive for me is that I have gotten to spend quality time with my kids instead of working every other weekend. I am fortunate to still have a business but it is definitely not going to be the same again for a while.
What keeps you inspired in these hard times?
My Husband is also creative and inspires me every day. My children inspire me of course and I am a book FREAK. My favourite thing to do is look through my book collection and get new ideas, whether it be for business or pleasure. I also get inspired through art and
what people are creating in isolation.
Tell us a little about your Mentoring services and do you have any advice for those wanting to get into the Wedding Photography?
Mentoring is a highlight for me. I think offering your wisdom and experiences is something we should all do. No Wedding Photographer is ever exactly the same; someone is always going to take something different away from a session.
I give advice on everything from starting off, directing a couple, Creating a wedding day shot list and staying creative among other things. I also give portfolio and website reviews and advice.
If you are starting out in the wedding industry, it is so important to get to know what you love. What are you passionate about? Seek advice from others and find your own niche.
Success is about finding your passion, taking advice and growing constantly.
If you’d like to see more of Bek’s work, check out Kasia and Cameron’s real wedding feature here, and to get in touch with Bek, head over to her website. You can also follow Bek on Instagram at @beksmithimages.