Suppliers in focus: Sarah Haywood Photography

Sarah Haywood Photography

An article by Robbie Roberts

What can I say, I had a fab time at my photoshoot with Sarah. She instantly put me at my ease, creating a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. She was professional throughout and made sure she got the best out of me for the photos. I would highly recommend Sarah, I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience! (Karen, 2020).

This article is about photography. The photography, that is, of Sarah Haywood. Sarah is a third-generation photographer following in the footsteps of her grandfather and father. However, Sarah is more than just a photographer, she is many other things besides with a multitude of talents all of which are necessary for her to create the perfect photographs and lasting memories of the most special occasions.

Sarah Haywood Photography is based in Studley, in Warwickshire. Whilst she is a photographer, Sarah thinks of herself as a storyteller. Only through her skill, organisation, and professionalism can the story of a day, and mini sub-plots along the way, be captured, told and shared through high quality photography. She has built up her expertise learning from generations before her and then starting her own business initially on a part-time basis in 2015, before going full-time in 2020.

Sarah is energetic, fun, creative, and prides herself on doing whatever it takes to create the perfect photographs, working with her clients to ensure they portray their story and encapsulate their personality and preferences. This goes for all types of her photography bookings which range from weddings, engagement and family shoots to commercial headshots and products, not forgetting pets and wildlife!

All photography journeys begin with a Discovery Call through which Sarah will discuss with potential clients exactly they’re after for her to get to know them, and vice-versa, and understand the scale and requirements of the job. Once booked, Sarah then organises a Planning Call where she gets into the detail with her clients. For a wedding booking, she will ask about group shot preferences and ideas, and will want to know if there are any special moments that would be nice to capture, such as old university friends having a laugh over a drink, friends and relatives who have travelled from overseas, young children meeting their cousins and playing together during the drinks reception. She will also learn more about the happy couples’ personalities. Everyone is different and Sarah goes out of her way to make sure they are comfortable and that the style of photography reflects the kind of people they are, be that whacky and quirky, quiet and more reserved, or somewhere in the middle, Sarah knows how to judge each occasion.

A wedding day can be a 12-hour day for Sarah. And despite the fact she will always have two cameras with her, this is where you find out that she is more than just a photographer. She is a stylist, helping the bride look perfect for those pre-wedding make-up shots; an entertainer, bringing people out of their shells to look their best for a shot; a director, ensuring tipsy guests find their way into the right group shot; a morale-booster, for people who feel nervous about their appearance and uncomfortable with a camera pointed at them.

Sarah’s warm personality is infectious which is exactly what you want from a wedding photographer. Personalities shine through when people are relaxed, and Sarah makes them feel this way. Some of the most fun and eccentric shots are captured when people let their hair down, and Sarah doesn’t need any encouragement to capture quirky and funny poses when this happens!

Throughout the day Sarah moves from the foreground, when capturing formal group shots, to the background observing the day and taking shots which will all come together to tell the story and stories of the day, some of which may go unnoticed at the time, but shine through on the albums afterwards.

At the end of a wedding day, Sarah may have taken up to 3,000 photos. From being on her feet all day next stage is to sit down and sift through all the photographs. As she uses a continuous shutter, many shots are taken four or five times, to ensure, for example, that the perfect frame isn’t ruined by someone’s eyes being closed! Once the 3,000 have been whittled down to around 300, there then begins the sequential process of cataloguing, loading them into the editing suite, cropping, framing, adjusting the exposure and colour. One little insider piece of information that was new to me, was the creation of indoor and outdoor presets, for that particular wedding – colour and exposure settings that will then be saved and applied to all the other photographs to ensure there is consistency of look and feel throughout all the photographs.

Towards the end of the editing process the final touches are made, magically airbrushing out those bits of fluff and lint on a suit jacket, a rogue eyelash on a cheek, and spec of dirt on a trouser leg – it’s like it never happened!

Over 100 hours’ work can go into creating the perfect storybook, and alongside other shoots that Sarah will be doing during any period, can take up to ten weeks to complete over the summer, and five weeks during winter. A quick look at her website will let you know the different packages she offers, but with the amount of work that goes into them, using specialist equipment and software every step of the way, it doesn’t take a mathematician to work out that all her rates offer fantastic value for money.

Sarah receives so many wonderful and heart-felt reviews for her work. And quite rightly. Anyone booking a photographer, and particularly for such an intimate and important occasion such as a wedding, needs to know the person they hire is trustworthy, empathetic, energetic, organised, outgoing and professional. Sarah is all these things. Little wonder then that much of Sarah’s work is repeat business, and it is common for couples who hired Sarah for their wedding day, to return to her in future years for family mini-shots, and refer the companies they work for to Sarah to undertake commercial work. Positive reviews, repeat business and referrals tell you everything you need to know about Sarah’s work.

I play the piano at weddings and photographers such as Sarah are always very kind in sending us musicians free and up-to-date live action shots that we can use on our latest fliers and websites. Sarah and I are just two of many local businesses and sole traders who tailor what we do to help give our clients a unique experience and service, tailored to them. Sarah works particularly close with and highly recommends the following local businesses:

This article was written by Robbie Roberts

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