There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer.
— Ansel Adams
And here’s one photographer that you would love to know more. He is Ioan Said. A professional photographer from Quebec but currently based in Wales.
Ioan is mainly known for his wedding photography, but he (and his team) also does portraits and commercial and editorial photography. He is currently a regional chairman for the British Institute of Professional Photography. In case you’re wondering what he does when he isn’t in front of the camera, he spends most of his time with his young son – looking at him enjoying himself riding on his bike.
When he was asked what his belief in life and photography is, he answered:
“Every day is a blessing. Our profession is a privileged one where people chose us to capture some of the most precious and intimate moments of their lives. And we must never forget to spend as much time with those we love as possible because you never know what’s around the corner. I start and end every day by giving thanks.”
Ioan’s niche in photography is that they’re all about the smiles. He explains, “We’re the happy people photographers. We’re all about the smiles! Photographers that have touched me over the years were people like Willy Ronis, Doisneau and James Ravelious who captured things as they are and that’s how I approach weddings. You should be able to understand what’s going on in our pictures really quickly. We don’t really do anything too conceptual as it just doesn’t resonate with me.”
Ioan recalled how they started their photography business. He shared, “We started by doing Interiors for hotels and B&Bs (which we still do) as well as children portraiture. And people asked and asked and asked if I could do their wedding and I kept saying no until the day I felt comfortable that I could do their day justice. Now weddings is our main source of business.”
Before trying Shootzilla, Ioan used 6 different systems in organizing his business. He said, “Some of our systems were online, some filemaker based. We spent too much time having to try to learn these system and way too much money, specially for the frustration that we got in return for our investment.”
And when he was asked about the big a-ha moment when he decided to try Shootzilla, he answered, “Very quickly I could see how Shootzilla could help me feel confident that all my clients needs were addressed and I found that to be an immense weight lifted off my shoulders.”
Ioan also mentioned some frustrations before using ShootZilla, “Confusion around dates! Confusions around who I emailed! Confusion on where the events where! I was just really frustrated with all the different solutions we had tried to use that I just stopped using them and simply had my assistant handle it, but that made me feel like I wasn’t as connected with my business.”
Luckily, he found Shootzilla. He happily recalled, “Then one day, I entered the Masters of Wedding Photography awards and saw the Shootzilla logo so I clicked on it. Took me 5 minutes to understand and instantly I felt more aware and better connected with my clients and everything I needed to do to deliver top quality customer service and build a better relationship with other suppliers. Plus, thanks to the workflow system in Shootzilla, I save an amazing amount of time which I can now spend with my family!”
What he loves most about Shootzilla are “Contact form integration from my website to Shootzilla immediately set up as an event with a workflow. Love it. Scheduled emails. AMAZING. The overview also makes me be able to switch off, knowing everything is under control.”
One big win that Ioan considers after using Shootzilla is “some leads we thought had gone cold, we were able to convert into business without having to invest as much time as we used to.”
And when he was asked what specific problems has ShootZilla addressed that other photographers of his business size might be able to relate to, he answered, ” We shoot between 25 to 30 weddings a year, plus pre-wedding shoots, plus family portraits, baby bumps, boudoir plus commercial photography for Getty Images and freelance so have a lot of email communications. Shootzilla reduces the time spent on emails exponentially!”
When asked about the reason why he would recommend Shootzilla, he answered, “Photographers should use Shootzilla if they want to save time, convert more leads, build better relationships with suppliers and other photographers.”