Simon Ward has experienced living in both the UK and in Sydney, but now he loves to call Port Macquarie home with his wife and son. The Ward family enjoy travelling and adventures, and a camera is never too far from Simon’s hand! Making the transition from amateur to professional photographer has been both a rewarding and challenging process for Simon, and these days you’ll often find him shooting one of his favourite things … weddings!
Hi Simon. Tell us a bit about yourself, your family and what brought you to Port Macquarie …
Hi! My wife, our son and I moved up to Port Macquarie from Sydney about one and a half years ago. A job opportunity came up – and who could turn down an offer to work and live here? We love it here and have never looked back.
What have you enjoyed most about living locally?
Being originally from the UK, I’m still amazed by the beautiful coastline of Australia. We also love to explore the hinterland … Port Macquarie and the Mid North Coast has so much natural beauty to offer, and I love that so much diversity is within easy driving distance.
As a photographer, Port Macquarie and the surrounds provide so much inspiration. I love getting up early and exploring.
What’s your “origin story” as far as photography goes … where did you get your start in the industry?
My uncle was a photographer, and as a child I was always fascinated by his cameras and photography. Nothing much came of it until around seven years ago, when after being made redundant, I bought a camera and decided to take it seriously.
I mainly shot landscapes and just whatever interested me. I shot my first wedding as a wedding present to my brother and sister in-law; I had such positive feedback from it, including being published in a wedding magazine, that it just took off from there.
You have quite a variety of photos in your portfolio, from landscape shots, to wedding and corporate style photos. How do you ensure you’re prepared for the wide range of shoots you may be required to complete?
No matter what type of shoot I’m doing, it all comes down to the planning and research.
Landscape shoots require a lot more patience, as you’re reliant on the weather and light; whereas if I am shooting in a studio, I have full control over the shooting conditions.
A lot has come from experience and being in situations where you have to think on your feet.
Weddings are beautiful, but there’s no denying they can be stressful too! What do you most love about shooting bride and grooms’ special day?
Being an old romantic, I just love seeing people so happy. I feed off the energy from a wedding day, and I get to meet such wonderful people! It’s always an honour being responsible for telling the story of their special day.
The speeches are some of my favourite moments; you cannot help getting emotional when you spend so much time with the bride and groom over the whole day.
Social media and websites are so important for businesses these days. How do you help ensure online platforms work visually for clients?
I’m definitely no expert, but I try to ensure that my website is very minimalist and as easy as possible to navigate.
I am constantly creating new content for social media, to keep fans and potential clients engaged. The new content is based on whatever is happening around me in nature or my latest travels.
Where do you like to travel, and what have been some of your favourite travel pics?
I’ve been fortunate enough to have done quite a lot of travelling. I favour colder climates, strangely enough. My favourite travel locations for photography so far have been Scotland, New Zealand and Iceland.
I’m heading off to Switzerland this month, so watch this space.
What have been some of your biggest learning curves, as far as photography goes?
Going from photography as a hobby to actually making it a business has had its challenges! For example; you can’t change the weather on a wedding day! You have to be adaptive to each situation.
I also ensure that I have a secure system in place to backup all client photos, as you can’t be too careful with people’s memories.
What are your future goals and aspirations?
I want to continue to build my wedding photography business, as it brings me so much joy and allows me to share my passion with other people. Until then, I’ll just be continually shooting, chasing the perfect image.
Where can we see more of your work or contact you?
I post most regularly on my Instagram @Simon_Ward_Images
Facebook: Simon Ward Images
Interview: Jo Robinson.