We would like to introduce you to Fiona Ingvarsson, known as Fiona Elizabeth Photography. Fiona is an award-winning wedding photographer and has been featured in Brides Magazine and Your Surrey Wedding to name but a few and her relaxed and friendly personality combined with her super organizational skills and her desire for excellence makes her a number one on many bride’s lists. Enjoy…
Tell us a bit about yourself and how you got started in photography.
I used to work in London for a post-production company before getting married and having a young family. I wanted to go back into full-time work so decided to re-train in photography before setting up my own business.
Did you go to photography school? Or did you assist?
I enrolled at Croyden College where I did a few basic photography courses. I initially learnt photography on film, which was really fun, before getting my head around digital. I did assist a little bit to my college teacher Roger Brown, who had his own wedding photography business. He allowed me to shadow him on a couple of his weddings which was invaluable as without doing that I wouldn’t have had a portfolio.
How long have you been a photographer?
Professionally about 6 years.
How would you describe your photographic style?
I think my style is simple, sophisticated and timeless. It’s not quirky, I don’t do funky angles or use crazy colours. I look for images that will hold your eye for a long time.
What type of cameras do you shoot with?
I use a Nikon d800.
What is your favourite editing tool?
I use both Lightroom and Photoshop, but mainly Lightroom as I prefer to only tweak images using tools such as the colour corrector. If I need to spend a little more time on a photo then I will take it into Photoshop, however it’s becoming easier and easier to only use Lightroom with tools like the painting tool and cloning tool.
What is the best part of your job?
Having my own business, having my own schedule, photographing really lovely weddings and meeting really interesting people. I love having something I can call my own.
What is the worst part of the job?
It can get quite lonely as during the week I’m in the office by myself.
Do you make time for personal photographic work?
Not at the moment, I’ve got two young children so having any free time is quite tough! It’s definitely something I would be interested in through. I have some ideas for possible projects in the future so maybe during the winter months when it’s a bit quieter.
What advice do you have for any photographer just starting out?
My advice would be to plan and to have a good structure on how you want to be perceived in the industry. What do you want your work to say to people? What message are you sending out? Those things are really important because they will ultimately drive your business forward as well as your pricing range. Equally, I really feel that being a member of institutions and societies like the BIPP who offer support and qualifications for photographers is so important, no matter if you are experienced in the business or just starting out. The experience and knowledge I have gained through my Associateship with BIPP has been wonderful and so valuable.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
The best piece of advice I have received was from my BIPP mentor Chris Harper FBIPP. He told me that it’s really important to be patient, to plan and to think and to really focus on the creative development and structure that you want your work to take. I believe this is important in terms of photography in general as well as running a successful business.
If you weren’t a photographer, what would you be doing?
I would still be working with images, probably in post-production. I would think possibly either using software to edit or organizing other editors which was similar to what I used to do in London.
Are you a Mac or PC lover?
What talent would you most like to have?
I would love to be effortlessly creative. When you try to think on your feet at a wedding it can cause a lot of stress for you and the client. So I spend a lot of my time planning images in my head, especially portraits, so that when I get to a wedding I already have a good idea of the type of photos I want to create. If I was effortlessly creative it would save me a lot of planning!
What is your favourite movie of all time?
That’s really tricky I love so many different ones, varying from quite dark films to the more light-hearted and fluffy. I can’t choose!
What do you love to indulge in?
Anything to do with artwork. I love looking at artwork and reading about different artists. One of my favourite things to do at the moment is to visit art galleries.
If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
Where I live now, it’s a really lovely place.
First thing you would do if you won the lottery?
I think I would buy a studio and put some money towards my business. I would really love that.
For your business, what is the best thing on theimagefile?
It allows me to control my website so I can change things, upload and spend time optimising my site whenever I need. It’s very easy to use and for me to share my images with clients. It’s very professional.