Lawrence (UK Team) has been shooting weddings for about 15 years. He opened his studio in 1997 in Wildridings, Bracknell but travels throughout the year presenting at hands-on workshops for professional photographers seeking to improve their portrait and wedding shooting skills. He loves working outdoors on location shoots.
Mark has won many wards including Master Photographer of the Year 2006 in the UK.
So, how did Mark Lawrence Photography begin? What’s the story?
I started through a passion of photography. I purchased the studio that shot my wedding photographs and at that time photography was seen as a luxury item, so prices were at a premium, this set me up perfectly to enter the business.
When did you shoot your first wedding?
I shot my first wedding in September 1997, on film using trusted Hasselblad cameras, it was great.
How did you build your client base?
Local marketing, promotions, wedding exhibitions and using my Marketing Experience to try and beat the competition.
In your opinion, how is the photography industry in the UK changing?
Wow that’s a big question, there are so many photographers. Photography in the UK has just beaten Fishing as Britain’s favourite hobby. I don’t think people see it as a luxury anymore, and the perceived value of photography has dropped. I would not like to be a new photographer coming into the industry at the moment, although established photographers need to keep up to date, and change to meet market conditions.
What is the most popular photographic product that you offer to your clients? What is your favorite photographic product?
The most popular product has to be the Expressions Albums from GF Smith, they are contemporary, and the quality is amazing. My favourite product in the industry, is aluminum backed photographs, they look great, very new and contemporary, and are popular with the fashion industry.
What camera do you use?
What did you think of WPPI 2011 in Las Vegas?
I had a great time in Las Vegas, I always do. I thought there were more album manufacturers there than any other product. I managed to meet some people I have dealt with for years, but never met. The show was smaller than I thought it would be. Worth going back next year though….
We know you shoot fashion as well as weddings, how did you get into fashion and what do you like most about it?
My fashion is more of an “Urban” style which suits my client base very well, I got into Fashion by creating a shoot in my local town on the Bandstand and teaming up with local fashion suppliers, we did a free shoot all day long, girls and guys would come along, and get changed into clothes of their choice, we made them feel like supermodels, it just blossomed from there. Companies contacted me and asked me to shoot their clothes and it got better from there on.
With all the hours, how do you keep it fun?
I have a great family around me, my wife is a make-up artist, and I live on a golf course, what more could I want.
What was your first workshop like?
The most frightening experience in my life, but it was great, lots of good feedback.
What is one tip or word of wisdom that you could share with an aspiring photographer?
Be yourself, don’t try and be like any other photographer, create your own style and stick to it. David LaChappelle once said, he started to enjoy his work when he decided to shoot what he wanted to shoot, not what other people wanted him to do try it you might like it.
Before a shoot, what is one product that you don’t leave home without?
Apart from my cameras, it has to be my Elinchrome Ranger Quadra kit and reflectors.
What is the best perk of being a photographer?
Being my own boss, working with great people, talking to creative people, working in some amazing locations, making people happy when they see their images, and meeting some of the nicest people in the world.