Today our client Joel Bedford was featured on Style Me Pretty. Please take a few minutes to read the post and look at the amazing imagery captured by Joel. Outstanding job Joel!!


Aneta MAK is an international Fine Art film photographer, specialising in Weddings, Portraits & Lifestyle photography in the UK, Europe and Worldwide.

Instagram: anetamak


What’s your best advice for an up + coming photographer?

As much as we get influenced by our heros, there should come a time when you break away from the norm and do your own thing. Its important to follow your own vision. Say yes to commissions or projects you wouldnt normally do. Get out of the comfort zone.


If not a photographer, what would you be?

A marine biologist. Which is weird, because I’m not a water baby at all. But I love the idea of learning and contributing towards the conservation of our oceans. Or maybe a travel photographer a few decades ago, when everything was new to the photographic world and still full of mystery.


What is your favourite drink?

A cup of tea, of course. Black, very sweet, served in crystal glass, just like in the Middle East.
And a a mint julep for a hot summer’s day.


What’s one thing you will always splurge on?

Food, always. And silk shirts. :)


Joel Bedford is a new BIG Folio client and from day one we were taken with his work. As Joel was building his BIG Folio site, each person on staff ran across his work and all made comments to how gorgeous it was. We’re honored to showcase him here and introduce him to you. Please enjoy.

Instagram account: jbedfordphoto
Facebook account: JoelBedfordPhotography
Blog account: Joel Bedford WordPress


What inspires you as a photographer?
Travel, art, movies, form, light, people, design, color, and harmony. I also use Pinterest to get a quick shot of inspiration when I need it.


What’s a typical work day like for you?
I’m a big believer in work-to-play balance. I start every day with a task list in mind and make sure that my everyday essentials fit in. I would say, about 4 hours of each day are dedicated to editing. I may do an hour in the afternoon and 2-3 hours after dinner. Justyna and I spend at least an hour a day discussing our marketing efforts, talking about promotional campaigns and ideas, preparing blog posts and ensuring that our social media schedule is on track with fresh content. My daily essentials are exercise and inspiration. I try and go to the gym or for a run. I find it really clears my mind and helps me stay focused on parts of the business that are less inspiring (like taxes and admin work). I also try to read and learn something new every day – not necessarily photography related, but something that may change my point of view – whether it’s the news, a design blog, or a book. When time allows for it, I try to bring my camera with me – you never know what will strike your eye. In between all of that, we usually have 2-3 client meetings per week, skype meetings with clients from around the world, shoot planning meetings with our commercial and fashion teams and of course, the odd day off.


What’s one thing you will always splurge on?
Quality photo equipment, coffee, and vacations. I guess that’s 3 things.


If not a photographer, you would have considered being?
I was working for a long time as a fashion model, traveling the world, doing cool things like magazine ads, runway shows and editorial shoots with amazing photographers. I probably would have milked that for as long as possible, but photography was certainly the logical (and surprisingly more stable) transition. If being a lifetime Zoolander didn’t work out, I would have considered being a DJ, personal trainer, or would have a surfboard rental shop on a Hawaiian beach.


Beer or wine? What kind?
I like both. For beer, I always seem to reach for a stout (like Guinness). For wine, my current favourite is (still) Apothic Red. Or any Cab / Shiraz. Or whatever’s in my glass.


Coffee or tea? What kind?
Total force of habit, I start every day with a walk to my neighborhood roastery, Bridgehead. For evenings, I like my apple cinnamon tea.


What is the strongest part of your business? What is the weakest?
My partnership with Justyna is the strongest part of the business. We finish each other’s sandwiches. The weakest part is probably our lack of networking within our fellow vendors and business community. We should try to get out to more pub nights with the wedding vendor community. Ironically, as I type this, I realized I forgot to RSVP to one happening right now.


What’s in your camera bag?
I have two Canon 5D Mark IIIs, a 5D Mark II, a 35mm Olympus film camera and sometimes I bring my Hasselblad. For lenses, I have a bunch, but my current faves are my 85mm 1.2, 40mm 2.8, and my 70-200 2.8. My next purchase is going to be a Sony RX100 MK III.
I’ve also got a few 580 EXII flashes for the receptions or mixed lighting scenarios, but mostly shoot with natural light only. For fashion work, I’ve got some studio strobes (Elinchroms) and a lot of mods from Octaboxes to Beauty Dishes.


What’s your best advice for an up + coming photographer?
I’ve got lots! Many young new photographers will try and cut their teeth on a more established photographer’s business. They offer a lot of enthusiasm, but ultimately propose ‘learning for free’. I think this approach works better for the student than it does for the mentor, and it’s why I rarely take on apprenticeships. A new photographer who wants a mentor should be bringing a lot to the table in terms of skills, ideas, and motivation. They should also be asking for fair pay. A photographer who wants to work-for-free makes me a bit worried…If they valued their own skills, they would be charging for it. I wrote a blog post about the subject of assisting a couple of years ago. It can be read here.

My other piece of advice is to buy what you can afford. 80% of my equipment purchases were second hand. Online classifieds make this easy! One of my most popular images on my Flickr was made with my first dslr (a Canon Rebel XT) and a relatively cheap Canon 28-105 3.5-4.5 lens. Lots of people thought I shot it on medium format. Don’t get too sucked in my camera marketing hype!

Finally (and this might go against the opinions of others) I’d suggest trying on a lot of different photographic hats. When wedding photography started to take off for us, there was a briefly a worry that it was the only type of photography I should practice as to not clutter my brand. I don’t subscribe to that thought anymore, and never really have. The core of my business is wedding photography, but I love to play with many other types of photography as well. Pictorialism, landscape, fashion, portraiture, photojournalism, interiors, architecture, macro…anything and everything! It keeps my eyes fresh.


What’s your most successful marketing concept?
Marry a good business manager! Half-kidding…Marketing isn’t my forté, exactly – my strengths and interests lie in the creative. I’ve tried to juggle both, but it’s hard for me to switch my brain from ‘creative’ to ‘business’. The love of my life and business partner Justyna shoots all weddings along side me, and handles a lot of the online stuff I tend to be a bit fuzzy on. The business would be a total trainwreck without her input and whip-cracking!

What music are you currently listening to?
I listen to a lot of different music…I need to be eased into my mornings so I usually sip my coffee with CBC Radio 2 Classical. By the afternoon, I’m into some kind of instrumental old school jazz or funk, and by evening I’ve got slo-disco or house or hip-hop on the go. I’m all over the place, but my favorite music has to be slo-disco or slo-house (Scandinavian style). I was a DJ in the club / rave / sc-sc-scratch-dj circuit for many years and still have my Technics 1200 turntables which I still play often.

Daniela Garza is a wedding and portrait photographer in Monterey Mexico. Daniela has been a BIG Folio client for six years! Daniela shoots all over Mexico and is available to shoot worldwide. Find below a small sampling of Daniela’s work as well as a short q + a we did with her.

What inspires you as a photographer?

I have always loved observing people, I found it to be my most interesting subject. But there are hundreds of things that inspire me. I love the sky and the clouds, never really got over the find-a-shape-in-the-cloud game….I enjoy nature a lot, I grew up very close to it, trees, animals, the sea… my little chihuahua dog Pancho, inspires me a lot!…The mountains of my city, the sounds and hustle of the streets…new places, new people…going to museums and being close to great art, great design, the way light falls on things….I can say I find beauty in most things around me, and all that make a mix that inspires me to do creative work.


What’s a typical work day like for you?

My morning routine is very important to me, it’s really what sets the tone for the rest of my day. There have been some variations in the last couple of years but mostly it consists of some kind of exercise and healthy breakfast. Right now what I’m doing is I wake up very early, go for a run or Yoga class, after that I like to have some green juice or smoothie generally. Then I read the news online, go through email, create a to-do list for the day, and start crossing as I complete tasks. Some days I focus on editing images, some on doing blog posts. Some I meet with clients or deliver completed work and albums, it really varies a lot depending on the season. When I am not working on wedding photography I am onto personal projects that is a whole other aspect of my artistic production.


What’s your biggest accolade to date?

Last year I won a national photography contest in Mexico with a personal project, it was really important for me since I have been working on that series for a really long time.


What’s one thing you will always splurge on?

Great food! I love trying new food, a great side of traveling for work is having the opportunity to eat yummy things in distant places.


If not a photographer, you would have considered being?

I originally studied graphic design, and love any profession that is on the creative side of things. I have had so many interests thought life that it is really hard to answer this question. Ten years ago I would have said something totally different and probably embarrasing… I guess as of today I would love to be an interior designer, I really enjoy thinking of new DIY projects to decorate my apartment, going on treasure hunts to flea markets to find special things to lay around and create a special environment for work/life.

Beer or wine? What kind?

That is a tough one! I have to say both. Monterey, my city, is so crazy hot most of the year that sometimes the only thing that cuts it a really cold, frosty beer. My favourite Mexican beers are Indio and XX, there’s also a really good one that is a local craft beer called Bocanegra. I also like Heineken and Stella Artois. I definitely love red wine as well, mostly Merlot regardless of the brand.


Coffee or tea? What kind?

Coffee always. I love a good, extra shot on it, soy latte, but lately I have been experimenting with the bulletproof coffee which is kind of crazy but interesting. Coffee and I go a long way back.


What is the strongest part of your business? What is the weakest?

With my graphic design background and further photographic and artistic training, I have developed an aesthetic sense that allows me to express my vision of whatever it is I am photographing, and I think mostly brides have found it easy to connect with, also being a woman it is easy to understand the type of imagery brides are expecting from my work. That ability to speak the same language as my clients is my biggest strength. The weakest part of my business is that I don’t advertise enough.


What’s in your camera bag?

Canon 5d Mark II, 50mm 1.4 35mm 1.4 and 85 mm1.4… some polarizing filters, tons of gigas in CF cards and my speedlite flash. I have become super practical to carry only the absolute necessary to my shoots. I hate to carry extra weight specially while traveling to destination weddings.


What’s your best advice for an up + coming photographer?

Definitely keep on studying photography, know the work of the many important photographers in history and in contemporary art, go to galleries, museums, and understand the broad spectrum of photography, not just your industry. Try and develop a personal style based on your unique set of experiences and vision in order to create work that reflects YOU.


What’s your most successful marketing concept?

I have done all my marketing in a very intuitive way, but again my graphic design background helped me to create a consistent brand that has evolved to what it is today, which is the most elegant/contemporary I have managed…I guess a consistent branding is what I’ve done best marketing wise. My website is powered by a great and very easy to use site by BIG Folio, honestly I have loved working with BIG Folio, I have since I first launched my website in 2008 and have never considered any other service for my portfolio. Their customer service is amazing and it just makes my life easier.

What music are you currently listening to?

Swept Away by the XX

This week we feature long time client Richard Miles. Richard is an award winning hair and beauty photographer from the United Kingdom. We invite you to find out a little bit more about him here as well as see more of his beautiful work on his BIG Folio website.

What inspires you as a photographer?
I enjoy the intensity of hair and beauty photography. I always strive to capture a feeling and a sense of motion rather than a static lifeless image. For me, a successful image is one that you can’t take your eyes away from- there is something that draws you in and holds you there. Usually that comes from the models gaze, which is why it is so important to work with good models. My inspiration comes from many things- natural light, fine art, other photographers, classic beauty etc. I love playing with lighting and experimenting with how the slightest of changes can completely change the mood of a shoot.


What’s a typical work day like for you?
I wake up at 6am on a typical shoot day and my assistant will meet me for breakfast. We then begin packing the taxi with equipment / lighting / backdrops / camera gear etc, before heading off to the studio or location of the shoot. When we get to our shoot location I brief my assistant with the basic lighting idea that I have for the shoot and he/she will set-up a basic framework of the lighting accordingly. Meanwhile I will go through mood boards with the client and try to grab a coffee for some energy! When models begin to arrive I will ask to see their books, trying to look for the best way to capture them, how they look best etc… There are usually 6-8 models on a hair or beauty shoot and this leaves little time for relaxing, so the day is pretty full-on if we are to finish in accordance with studio closing times and stick within the clients budget! I will always make sure that there is some great music pumping out of my Bose sound system from the laptop, as I feel that it is extremely important to make the models feel at ease to allow them to perform their best in front of the camera. By 6pm most studios will close and it’s generally a fast paced ‘pack-up’ to get out the doors on time, where I will have the taxi waiting for me. My assistant will pack the taxi with my gear and I’ll be back on the road on the way home or back to my hotel room if I’m staying away from home. The only thing on my mind by this point is food so I will stop and grab a bite to eat somewhere that takes my eye!


What’s one thing you will always splurge on?
My car! I feel that it’s extremely important to have a new reliable vehicle to get around. I also travel many miles, so things like cruise control / sat nag and general comfort in the car is a must. I also splurge on the latest Apple product! My new toy is the new Mac Pro which I use for all my editing.

If not a photographer, you would have considered being?
Growing up I always wanted to be an art director for a big advertising agency and loved graphic design and fine art. It was through these mediums and borrowing my Grandad’s old film cameras as a teenager that led my into photography.


Beer or wine? What kind?
Cider! Something refreshing like Pear Magners with lots of ice!


Coffee or tea? What kind?
I drink both. Tea is more my morning wake up drink and by 11am I’m on a caramel latte or hazelnut cappuccino. I also drink peppermint tea to relax.


What is the strongest part of your business? What is the weakest?
Reputation is probably the strongest part of my business. Each and every job needs 110% of my efforts to produce the very best work you possibly can. My weakest area would have to be the accounts! Always get a good accountant so you can focus on what you really love doing!

What’s in your camera bag?
Phase One Body with Schneider Lenses and a P40+ Digital Back. Canon DSLR’s are my back ups – a 1DS Mark III and a 5D Mark II.

Mens_03 FLAT

What’s your best advice for an up + coming photographer?
Find a niche and be the best at it. Don’t just be a ‘general’ photographer. Secondly, don’t ever work for free. There are so many photographers who will that it is de-valuing our job. Know what you are worth and stick to it.

What’s your most successful marketing concept?
My portfolio. I have never really done much marketing to be honest, I believe if you are good at what do, you should be inundated with clients.


What music are you currently listening to?
In the past I’ve been a guitarist and a drummer, so my taste is pretty alternative really – not into the current chart music at all. I love anything acoustic that tells a story. My playlist at the moment includes; Vance Joy, Rob Thomas, Passenger, Ed Sheeran, Train and Counting Crows.

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