Martin - Martin Makowski Photography

Martin Makowski Photography Logo

Contact Name: Martin Makowski

Company Name: Martin Makowski Photography

Website: www.makowskiphotography.co.uk

Location / Coverage: Nottingham / UK/ Destinations

How did the business get started and who works at Martin Makowski Photography?

I have always had a huge interest in photography. It all seriously started when I bought my first digital SLR seven years ago, and like every keen photographer I was photographing anything and everything. I was eager to improve my skills, and gained the photography knowledge from every available source; books, magazines, the internet and, most importantly, hard work and practice. Every time I saw a great photo it was nagging me how it was taken; I wanted to learn how to do it myself.

Soon after I moved into photographing people and it didn’t take me long to start shooting weddings, first for family and friends then as semi-professional photographer; I still had my daily job at that time. Photography really started taking over and the more I did it the more I loved it.

I left my job five years ago and started working for myself, trading under my name as Martin Makowski Photography. It is a one-man business and I work on my own.

Bride walking down stairs - Picture by Martin Makowski Photography

Had you always wanted to be a photographer?

Originally I wanted to be a waste collector, then astronaut, pilot, sailor and many more. Then I was thinking of becoming a psychologist. Fortunately I didn’t become any of the mentioned.

After Construction College and A levels I started working in professional kitchens, first as a pot washer then I built my way up to a head chef role. Photography was always there and I always enjoyed looking at the world around me through the viewfinder.

Finally, I left my job to become a photographer; I have no regrets at all.

Nervous groom - Picture by Martin Makowski Photography

Can you remember how old you were when you took your first picture? What was it of?

My father was a keen photographer and there was always a camera near me. It would be hard to remember the very first photo I took, but one I remember well was of Smurfs on television. It did not turn out well at all.

Which areas of the UK do you cover?

I am based in Nottingham and most of weddings I photograph are in the Midlands. I am always willing to travel and never say no to a wedding far from home.

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Emmie Scott

Emmie Scott logo

Interview with: Emmie Scott

Company Name: Emmie Scott

Website: www.emmiesweddingphotography.com

Location / Coverage: Across the globe

How did the business get started and who works at Emmie Scott?

It was a very organic process and almost as though this career chose me. I had been a photographer for 12 years and had already shot a few weddings; it had then just occurred to me that I could actually make money from doing it. It’s my dream job and I wish I had thought to do it sooner.

Bride and groom in grand wedding venue - Picture by Emmie Scott

Had you always wanted to be a photographer?

I always had been a photographer but I don’t know why I didn’t think of it as a career until it really became one.

Can you remember how old you were when you took your first picture? What was it of?

I can’t unfortunately; my memory is not that great – that’s probably why I like photography – but I have always loved images. As a kid I would sit with my parents’ albums and spend whole days just looking through them. That’s what I love; capturing fleeting moments in time that would otherwise be forgotten. Somebody should have taken a picture of me taking my first picture!

Bride and groom - Picture by Emmie Scott

Which areas of the UK do you cover?

All over. I love travelling and it’s part of why I do what I do.

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Zbyszek - Zibi Photography

Zibi Photography logo

Interview with: Zbyszek

Company Name: Zibi Photography

Website: http://zibiphotography.co.uk

Location / Coverage: Salisbury/ Worldwide

How did the business get started and who works at Zibi Photography?

In 2012, I met one of the best wedding photographers in the UK , Mike Garrard. His style, enthusiasm and approach to innovative photography and editing really inspired me to pursue my own passion in this field. He became a great mentor to me and a source of inspiration when I needed one.

I run Zibi Photography on my own, as I never want to lose the personal, intimate touch that I offer to my clients. This goes a long way in earning their trust and putting them at ease on the day on which it counts the most.

Bride seen through branches - Picture by Zibi Photography

Had you always wanted to be a photographer?

For me, this adventure of a lifetime really began in 2006, when my interest in landscape photography was piqued. As I began to experiment and learn I found that the camera became a part of me and my life; it changed my outlook and began to mould my future. From there it evolved naturally into wedding photography.

Can you remember how old you were when you took your first picture? What was it of?

I was 10 years old when my dad gave me my first camera; an old-style Kodak. I was so excited and began taking photographs of everything around me – from flowers to family. One of the first pictures that I took was of my beloved grandmother in the kitchen, baking my favourite walnut cake.

Bride leaning against door frame - Picture by Zibi Photography

Which areas of the UK do you cover?

I cover the whole of the UK, and I photograph destination weddings all over the world. This gives me an opportunity to travel, but also to learn about the wedding customs and utilising the available backdrops (some of which can be quite different to those in the UK) to create the best possible image.

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The Stag and Hen Experience Logo

Interview with: Michael Braunton

Company Name: The Stag and Hen Experience

Website: www.thestagandhenexperience.com

Location: Bournemouth, Dorset

What does The Stag and Hen Experience do?

We organise the activities, accommodation, nightlife and more for the best party of your life – whether it’s one day, a weekend or longer, we can arrange the best experience possible!

Skydiving

How did the business start and how long has it been going?

After working in the stag and hen industry for several years, Steve decided that no one company was offering customers the best deal and the freedom to tailor their weekends as much as possible, and decided that if no-one else was going to offer it, then he’d have to do it himself! Teaming up with sales supremo Ross in 2009, the two of them set up the company, and within forty-eight hours the bookings had started rolling in, and haven’t stopped since!

Cocktail Making

Who works at The Hen and Stag Experience and what are your roles?

Steve: Director of Sales
Ross: Director of Finance and Marketing
Naomi: Senior Account Manager
Mike: Account Manager and Website/Technical Support
Joanna: Account Manager
Rebecca: Account Manager
Steve P: Marketing Assistant

What type of stag and hen parties does The Stag and Hen Experience offer?

You name it, we can arrange it! The majority of our bookings are two-night stays in the UK or Europe, with activities, accommodation and nightlife included – but in the last year we’ve also arranged Bobsleigh with a member of the Latvian Olympic bobsleigh team, a recording session with a producer famous for his work with Diversity, and organised a group of ten girls to travel across three countries in four days!

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Jodie Brennan of Jodie Brennan Photography

Jodie Brennan Photography logo

Interview with: Jodie Brennan

Company Name: Jodie Brennan Photography

Website: www.jodiebrennan.co.uk

Location / Coverage: Staffordshire and the Midlands, but will travel throughout the UK

How did the business get started and who works at Jodie Brennan Photography?

The business, which began in 2010, is run by myself, Jodie Brennan. I also have a group of ‘second shooters’ who I call upon, on a freelance basis, to assist me during weekend wedding shoots. I attend all pre-wedding meetings to discuss photography directly with my clients so they can meet me face to face prior to the big day. Jodie Brennan Photography grew slowly and organically to begin with; each year is getting busier and I have more and more client referrals, which is great.

Bride and groom in doorway - Picture by Jodie Brennan Photography

Had you always wanted to be a photographer?

When I was very little I wanted to be an archaeologist, but enjoyed Art and Design so much at high school I went to University to do a Design and Art Direction degree (graphics). It was here I started to specialise in photography (and really fell in love with it). I started out by constantly photographing my favourite models – my very patient younger brother and sister.

Groomsmen with team Groom sign - Picture by Jodie Brennan Photography

Can you remember how old you were when you took your first picture? What was it of?

I started out using my Dad’s old Pentax 35mm camera and printing my own images. Then I was very lucky to be one of the first of my friends to get a digital camera; it was 2 megapixel and very cutting edge at the time! I can’t remember what my very first image was of, but I used to photograph my pet cat ‘Kitten Kat’ and my family… a lot.

Which areas of the UK do you cover?

I am based in Staffordshire and the Midlands but I am happy to travel throughout the UK.

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Alex Rawson of Alex Rawson Photo

Alex Rawson Photo logo

Interview with: Alex Rawson

Company Name: Alex Rawson Photo

Website: www.alexrawsonphoto.co.uk

Location / Coverage: Based in Bristol but cover Nationwide

How did the business get started and who works at Alex Rawson Photo?

I started the business myself a year ago after selling my shares in an existing photography company. I always wanted to work for myself and be my own boss, and I was in the right place to do so.

Bride and groom - Picture by Alex Rawson Photo

Had you always wanted to be a photographer?

I’d always been hugely interested in photography as my grandad was a photographer (I still use his camera at weddings; it’s a Pentax ME Super and it’s amazing!). I studied Architecture and Structural Engineering at Loughborough University but realised that photography was more my thing, and have never stopped pursuing it! I’ve always been artistic and have played a few instruments for a number of years, including rocking a trombone solo at the Royal Albert Hall a few years ago.

Can you remember how old you were when you took your first picture? What was it of?

Jeez, not sure really! The first picture I was proud of I took in London when I was about 15, on my first DSLR. It was of four telephone boxes (so touristy I know) and I did a pop colour edit of just the reds. It actually won me a local competition against some seasoned pros so I was pretty chuffed!

Bride and bridesmaids - Picture by Alex Rawson Photo

Which areas of the UK do you cover?

Anywhere and everywhere! I have a car which I love to drive (it’s another pride and joy as well as my cameras), but I’m manly based in the south west, so covering Bristol, Somerset and South Wales.

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Twirly Girl Photography logo

Interview with: Harriet Letheren

Company Name: Twirly Girl Photography

Website: www.TwirlyGirlPhotography.com

Location / Coverage: Wiltshire/South West

How did the business get started and who works at Twirly Girl Photography?

Twirly Girl Photography started by accident really! After getting a camera and playing around with some friends I started getting asked to take photos for people who had seen my work. It had always been a dream to have my own photography company, but I didn’t for one second think it would happen as quickly as it did. I now have my own studio with loads of shoots and weddings to look forward to.

Bride and groom kissing with haolding thank you sign - Picture by Twirly Girl Photography

Had you always wanted to be a photographer?

I originally started on the other side of the camera as a competitor in pageants. When I retired from that I found I really missed being involved with the camera in one way or another. I’d always had an eye for photography and was very artistic in school, but it was only when I picked up a camera for the first time that I realised it was what I was meant to do. I just never dreamed it could become a full-time profession.

Bride in wedding car - Picture by Twirly Girl Photography

Can you remember how old you were when you took your first picture? What was it of?

The first time I felt I had a flair for photography was when I was on holiday in Mallorca when I was 18, and took an interesting picture of a tree on the beach – I just wanted to show it off to the world!

Which areas of the UK do you cover?

I currently work across the south west, but would love to broaden my horizons and combine an element of travel with photography.

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Caroline - Five Dollar Shake Weddings Christine - Five Dollar Shake Weddings

Five Dollar Shake Weddings

Interview With: Caroline Burton and Christine Fuller

Company Name: Five Dollar Shake Weddings

Website: www.fivedollarshakeweddings.com

Location / Coverage: We are based in Hastings, East Sussex. Coverage worldwide.

What does Five Dollar Shake Weddings do?

Five Dollar Shake Weddings creates luxurious wedding stationery, which is all made and hand finished in East Sussex.

Rose Quartz Wedding Stationery - Five Dollar Shake Weddings

Rose Quartz

Who works at Five Dollar Shake Weddings and what are your roles?

Caroline Burton and Christine Fuller. We are both wedding stationery co-ordinators, and we guide our wedding couples through the design process from start to finish. We also have a team of production staff who finish each wedding stationery item by hand.

Fleur-de-lys Wedding Stationery - Five Dollar Shake Weddings

Fleur-de-lys

How did Five Dollar Shake Weddings come about and how long has the company been running?

Five Dollar Shake has been creating beautiful greeting cards from as far back as 1998. Our first Five Dollar Shake wedding took place just a year later, and we have been providing adorable couples with our exquisite stationery ever since.

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Katherine Elizabeth of Katherine Elizabeth Millinery

Katherine Elizabeth Millinery logo

Interview with: Katherine Elizabeth

Company Name: Katherine Elizabeth Millinery

Website: www.katherineelizabethhats.com

Location: London

What is Katherine Elizabeth Millinery?

Katherine Elizabeth Millinery is an award-winning millinery house which designs and makes luxury and handmade hats, such as fascinators and headpieces, Ascot hats, bridal pieces…

Jasmine - Katherine Elizabeth Millinery

How did Katherine Elizabeth Millinery come about and how long has the business been going?

After studying Fashion BA Hon’s at the Surrey Institute of Art, I decided to follow a career in millinery due to discovering through Frederic Fox, Stephen Jones and Phillip Treacy, Millinery empowers fashion, sculpture and art all in one. After working for some designers such as Stephen Jones and Catherine Delaney, I set this business up about 6 years ago.

Who works at Katherine Elizabeth Millinery?

Lucy and Ana who help me make the hats, Cloe my Assistant, and Sophie my PR.

Daria - Katherine Elizabeth Millinery

Do you have a studio or a shop?

Studio.

Who designs each of the pieces in the collection?

Me.

Lucy - Katherine Elizabeth Millinery Sarria - Katherine Elizabeth Millinery

Do you only offer pieces from the collection or can you make bespoke items?

I offer pieces from the collection and bespoke items made to order, with the clients, dress, features and personality taken into account.

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Transformers Car Hire logo

Interview with: Robert Ledsom

Company Name: Transformers Car Hire

Website: www.transformerscarhire.co.uk

Location / Coverage: Nationwide

What does Transformers Car Hire do?

We are a wedding transport company that hires out Bumblebee and Barricade from the popular movie saga Transformers.

Bumblebee car from Transformers film available for wedding hire

How did Transformers Car Hire get started and how long has the business been going?

We started the company due to our love for American movie cars. We are a new business and only started the company in March, but don’t let that fool you. We have over 10 years experience in the wedding industry and have just won “Most Popular Wedding Transport” in the Wedding Experts Awards.

Where is Transformers Car Hire based and which areas of the UK do you cover?

We are a national company with three regional offices, Manchester, Yorkshire and Surrey.

Transformers cars available for wedding hire

Who works at Transformers Car Hire?

We are keen to keep the business very family oriented. We have three directors, Glenn Coulthard (Manchester), Jason Carruthers (Yorkshire) and Robert Ledsom (Surrey). The directors are also the drivers and we have our loved ones help us at large events.

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