Lester Gethings - Director, No10 Wedding Design and Management
How did you start off in the industry?
My background was originally in sales management, but I wanted a complete change of career. It was suggested to me that I should think about wedding and event planning, which had never crossed my mind! I began researching the industry and reading everything I could get my hands on that was wedding related. I also looked at wedding planner’s websites to see who was out there, before enrolling in a wedding planning course.
How did your career progress from there?
Shortly after the course I approached an established wedding planning company, offering my services on a freelance basis. To my surprise, I was offered a permanent position heading up their London office. I relished this new challenge, learned a lot and quickly realised what I would want for my own business.
At what point did you begin to become more involved with photography and in what context?
As soon as I started working as a wedding planner, I was meeting photographers to work with my clients. I learned very quickly about different styles of photography and services on offer. Knowing their style and how they work I have used some of my favourite photographers for promotional shots.
What does your job entail?
In many ways I am a glorified PA. I deal with every aspect of wedding planning, from sourcing the venue to clearing up after the last guests have left the party. In between I source all suppliers, deal with contracts and negotiate terms. I create the design of the wedding and even offer a concierge service. My clients look to me to produce the wedding of their dreams on time and to budget, so the pressure is on to create a superbly organised and faultless event.
What do you look for in a photographer’s work when commissioning? What makes a portfolio stand out?
I look for that magical quality that brings out the happiness of the day and its subjects. That elusive feeling that stirs the emotions on every page of a photo album. When looking through a photographer’s portfolio, innovative images always get my vote. I love to see good use of lighting, the surrounding architecture and whimsical elements which add humour. These are the images that will instantly take you back to that moment on that special day.
What are the most common mistakes photographers make when approaching you to show their work?
A boring website! If a photographer’s website doesn’t grab me visually on the first page, then I don’t go any further and won’t want to meet them. I have very high standards, and, as such, only settle for the highest standards from the people I work with.
Where do you stand on the importance of creativity?
Creativity is key in this business, whether it be catering, floristry or photography. New ideas are being developed all the time, so it is vitally important for anyone wishing to make their mark in this industry to keep abreast of the latest trends, if they are going to remain at the top of their game.
Where do you stand on the importance of technical competence?
I know where my field of technical expertise lies. Likewise, I would expect any of the suppliers I work with to know theirs. When meeting a photographer, there are certain questions I always ask and, their reply will highlight to me their competence and suitability for the job.
How do you choose the right photographer for the job?
I either go on recommendation or gut instinct. An attractive and inspiring website and portfolios showcasing their work also help. When considering which photographers to recommend to my clients, I need to work budget, style and perhaps more importantly, personalities into the equation. My clients need to have complete confidence in their photographers’ abilities and feel relaxed enough for those all important images to be captured. Most crucially, however, I want to see a photographer’s passion, enthusiasm and dedication for their work.
Do you have any tips for photographers who want to work for you?
- Be personable, open and friendly.
- Be passionate and enthusiastic
- Tell me what you will do, not what you won’t, as one photographer said to me.
- Show me your latest work on a blog.
Back to Categories
- Average Article Rating 4 Stars
- You must be a registered user & logged in to rate this.
Login | Register