Who are you/what do you do?
Hello! I am Ross Alexander of Ross Alexander Photography. I’m a Wedding Photographer/Girl Dad/Ex-Rockstar wannabe and Professional Procrastinator based in Glasgow but fortunate enough to travel the country and beyond photographing joy and love at weddings in some gorgeous settings.
Is there a story behind the name (if it's not your own?)
It’s just my name. Fun fact: Alexander is actually my middle name. I know what you’re thinking, so creative and mysterious.
How old is the business and how did you get started?
I photographed my first wedding in July 2011 so...wow, 12 years now.
For years I played in rock bands, gigging across the country and dreaming of being a rock star. I think at some point, the band needed images for putting on gig posters and I was dabbling in photoshop. I bought a cheap DSLR and took the usual photos of plants, and trees...anything really until I began taking it to gigs and photographing the other bands on stage.
Eventually, someone asked me to photograph their wedding and I fell in love with it. After working my ass off building the business and working another full time job, I eventually took the plunge and went full time at the start of 2018 and I’ve never looked back. I feel so lucky to photograph weddings as a job. It’s incredible.
Do you have a style? What are you known for?
Yes, I’m known for taking colourful, vibrant “real life” wedding pictures where couples look relaxed and happy. I photograph a lot of couples who don’t like getting their photo taken. It’s a really simple style based around showing real human connection in a happy and uplifting way and less of the dark moody style. I aim to give people super happy memories of one the best days of their lives.
Who/what/where inspires you?
It’s common to hear people say to seek inspiration outside of your own industry. So maybe a lot of photographers are inspired by cinema, directors, painters, architecture and so on but I actually get really inspired by other wedding photographers. If I’m impressed with another photographers editing style or the colours they use, it usually pushes me to focus more on how I tweak my own colours when editing or if I fall in love with a certain shooting style of another photographer, I’ll try to incorporate some of their posing or composition into my own work and see how it feels but often I’m just working off the cuff as weddings are so fast paced.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
When I was younger I wanted to be a footballer haha No chance! I studied accounting and finance for a couple of years till I realised it was incredibly boring and I didn’t actually like any of the stuff that’s involved with being an accountant.
What advice would you give your younger self?
So many things! I’d tell my younger self to be more confident and to try anything. Don’t hang about waiting. Go out and pursue what interests you. Ask lots of questions, and just keep failing till you get it right. Always step forward, if it feels good, take another step and if it doesn’t, then step back.
Also, nobody cares. We all think that everyone is watching everything we do. When we walk into a room, we feel that everyone is looking at us, analysing our every move but in reality, everyone is too busy with their own stuff, that they’re not interested in us. Even if for a second, they are analysing and judging, they’ve forgotten seconds later. This is something that still holds me back to this day but I try to just do my own thing and keep going.
Also, I’d teach myself about compound interest. Invest at least 10% of your income in low risk stocks as soon as you can and keep putting money into it monthly regardless of the price. Let it compound and then thank yourself later when you’re financially free by 40.
How did you learn your craft?
Literally by just trying things. I’m not a good learner. If it doesn't interest me, I can’t stay focussed. I’m much more of a “learn by doing” kind of learner. I don’t watch youtube videos about photography and although I’ve been to some photography workshops here and there, it’s usually more for the business tips rather than for the photography. I love to try new things and reverse engineer other photographers work to try figure out how they get the pictures they do, then try those techniques myself.
What do you do on your days off?
Well, I’m a father to two gorgeous girls who are 4 years old and 2 years old so I’m pretty busy with them. My days off are spent with them going to the park, touring softplays or playing in the house, visiting family...ROCK N ROLL!!!!!! If I’m not with the family, I’m usually at gigs. Music is still a huge part of my life.
Biggest highlight or achievement to date?
Well, having 2 gorgeous girls is definitely my biggest achievement, especially when they were so young during the Pandemic, it was a stressful time but like most people, we got through it and it does feel like an achievement of sorts haha.
In all honesty, I’m not really a huge dreamer and I’m not trying to set the heather on fire. I think growing a business to the point where I have almost 100% control of my time, unlimited flexibility, doing something I love that also supports my family is a huge achievement, and something I’m very proud of.
I’m very lucky to have a job that is full of lovely moments and i could rhyme off a lot of highlights from weddings over the years one moment will stick in my mind forever.
I photographed a wedding back in 2019 for a couple called Kirsty and Will. They were incredible and got married in Luss, Loch Lomond. They had their drinks reception out on a boat that sailed around the loch and when we got back to the pier, a piper was waiting. One of the bridesmaids shouted “PLAY SOME ABBA” to which the piper replied that he didn’t know any. She said “JUST GIVE IT A GO” and he nailed it!!!
The whole wedding was dancing on the end of the pier to Abba on the bagpipes and it was just incredible, so much fun. He then piped them from the pier all the way through the village and the vibe was electric! That’ll stay with me forever.
Struggles you encounter? How do you solve them?
I mentioned earlier that I have almost full control over my time but I really struggle to not work. It’s something most self employed people will relate to. I can feel anxious and stressed when I’ve got things to do and I’m not doing it which can take attention and focus away from my family and during the wedding season, when I’m super busy, any time I spend with my family should be 100% focussed on them, but often, I can be answering emails on my phone or making instagram posts. I am constantly working on this and often, I’ll leave my phone in another room, I rarely work past 5pm and try not to care about posting on socials. I’m getting better at switching off, slowly.
What sparks joy in what you do?
Imagine going to work and heading to amazing locations that most people will never even know about let alone visit, surrounded by happy people, celebrating a huge and intimate event in their lives and creating art with them that they can have forever...that’s joy right there.
Dream stockists/brand to collaborate with?
I think I’d feel like I would have died and gone to heaven if Vogue or Harper Bazzar asked to collaborate on a bridal shoot with me.
Any lessons you'd pass on?
Focus on you. The industry I work in is incredibly saturated but it doesn’t matter. I just do my thing and work on getting better and better at all parts of my business. Always work hard and appreciate the people who hand over their hard earned cash to you. Also, invest your money.
What's next for you and your business?
As I mentioned earlier, I’m a dad with young kids so the future for me is to actually do less weddings so I can be there for my kids. During the busy wedding season, I can be away 3 times a week for weddings and often need to stay over a couple of nights if the wedding is far away. I do love travelling but it’s hard to be away all the time and then have to manage all the other parts of running a business when I’m not shooting so that’s why I’d like to slow down a little. I’d love to move into educating other photographers so if anyone is interested in learning from me…hit me up!