hints & tips
Thank you so much for booking and selecting me to be the photographer for your big day. I’m super excited and I know you are going to have the best time of your lives.
I’m going to capture these memories that allow you to relive each moment, remember each guest and enjoy the day over and over again.
Planning a wedding is no mean feat, and you are probably going to not only have a lot of things to decide and arrange, but also potentially various people to keep happy along the way!
Well, it turns out that I’ve been to the odd wedding or two in the last few years, so I’ve put together this guide to not only to make sure you’ve got all the information and advice you need regarding the photography (before during and after), but also to give you some general advice on planning, things to consider and recommend some suppliers etc.
IT'S YOUR DAY
But then - regardless of all the planning beforehand be prepared to let go of everything on the day, embrace it and just enjoy each and every moment!
You having fun and loving each moment = the most awesome pictures - much more than everything being ‘perfect’.
Plan the best day of *your* lives! Not the day your parents want you to have. Or the wedding you think Pinterest or Instagram would like to see.
Plan the day *you* want to have: If you think a certain wedding tradition seems odd - then don’t do it! Want to do something completely unconventional - fill your boots! You’ll only be getting one shot at it - so make it entirely your own!
Around a month or so before your wedding day I’ll send you an online form with more detailed questions about your wedding (the final balance will also be due at this time). Not only will it include schedules and locations, it will also give you the opportunity to list what shots are important to you and allow you to highlight anything out of the ordinary I might need to know.
There’s no need to worry about sending over Pinterest boards or things like that, but if you have specific examples of types shots you love from my website then please feel free to let me know. Other than that, I totally appreciate that you trust me to approach your day with an open mind, that way we will create photographs that are truly and uniquely and yours!
If you want to add anything to your wedding package after you’ve booked, that’s all good! It may be you decide you want to add additional hours or an album, no problem at all!
I don’t usually visit venues in advance of the wedding as I genuinely feel there isn’t a need.Although I might arrive the night before or check out a venue early on the morning. For me the best photographs are made by going with the flow on the day and finding wherever the best source of light might happen to be at the time.
Of course I’m happy for you to mention certain locations that you really want to make pictures in the questionnaire and we can ensure we get these covered on the day.
Unless your plans make sense to do otherwise, I’ll usually arrange my own travel and accommodation dependant on your preparation and reception locations.
I will always arrive a couple of hours before on the day and any weddings that are over two hours from where I will live I will arrive the night before and stay in a near by hotel.
Don’t worry, there are no hidden or additional travel costs depending on whether I decide to stay in the hotel the night before or not. Everything is included in the original invoice at booking stage.
For most of my weddings, I work alone if I am able to cover seeing you both in the
morning prep. As a rule, I’ll talk to you in advance about what you have planned on the morning and work out my times with you both.We’ll firm up plans in the weeks
before your wedding. For larger weddings - or if the logistics and locations are too difficult to cover alone - a second photographer is a great addition to your wedding package. They will generally cover some of the morning prep. If you didn’t initially book a second photographer and now think you’d like one, no worries just let me know and I can sort this!
I always like to arrive as early as possible - not so much from a photography point of view, but because it’s a great chance to meet everyone and get to know who’s who and start to see all the relationships and characters that I can then look into documenting during the day. Plus it gives everyone more time to get over the - ‘Look! there’s a photographer in the room’ syndrome! - It might initially feel a bit odd that some weird guy with cameras (*hello!*) is crashing your wedding but just ignore me and get on with enjoying your day - you’ll soon be used to it.
As a photographer I love to capture the things that matter and the moments as they happen - so I want you guys to do what you need to do and just let me document. I really want to capture your wedding as it was - so you can remember it that way - so, if things are chaotic then don’t worry too much about tidying up, or hiding the chaos for ‘me’ - but if you do want things to look neat and minimal then just be mindful of that.
In the morning, if there are certain detail shots, or items you want photographs of, then try make sure these items are out and on display
(I don’t want to miss real, awesome moments because I’m unboxing shoes!)
This could include things like the rings, the shoes, sentimental details and hanging up your dress in a good position. If you are not too bothered about that, then no worries.
Personally I think the dress/suit will look better on you than a hanger anyway!
One thing you might consider is the light in the place you are getting ready.
I love soft natural window light - it’s always super flattering and great to shoot in - so a nice room with big windows is always a good choice!
If you are getting married in a church, it will be worth checking the Priest’s/Vicar’s rules and any photography restrictions in advance of the wedding day.
If there are restrictions on photography then perhaps see if they would at least be happy with me being at the front just to photograph your entrance and when you see each other for the first time as that is such a great moment to capture for you both.
However, some churches don’t allow the photographers to be anywhere except at the back - the important thing is for you to be aware of that in advance - to avoid any upsets on the day. If the Priest or Vicar has concerns, I’m happy to call them and have a discussion in advance!
LIVE IN THE MOMENTS
I’m totally happy for your guests to take as many photos during your day as they like - but I would encourage friends, family and in particular your parents to put down the camera for the important moments. They need to see you as you both really are and enjoy the moment. Trust that I will be there to capture real reactions, real moments as they happen.
I bloody love a confetti shot. Here are hints and tips for getting an epic shot for your gallery;
1 – Be generous with it, your guests can never have enough confetti.
2 – Go big or go home! None of that tiny stuff, the larger looks better on camera. Think the size of a 20p.
3 – Don’t use cones, get some big baskets and let your guests get full fists of it.
4 – Get someone to throw whatever is left in the basket. If there is a lot left at the end it will look great.
5 – Petals can be a good choice as they are big, colourful and bio degradable so your venue will thank you for it. They are however a bit more expensive so paper ones work great as well.
6 – Throw upwards people, NOT at. Avoid a mouthful of confetti. Let it rain down from above. This is the most important tip!
7 – Let your photographer set up and step up before you start walking. This bit requires me us to create a little bit of order and synchronisation with your guests before we are good to go.
I firmly believe it’s important to get some nice photos with the people who are genuinely close to be it family or friends if this is something you would like. Depending on your schedule and the weather, a good time to do this is usually between the end of the ceremony and before you sit down to eat.
We can finalise the groups you want in the questionnaire I’ll send out, but be aware that on average a larger group photo could take 4-5 minutes or more to arrange. So if you have 10 different group shots, then you’ll need to factor in around 45 minutes which can mean a lot of standing around and not enough time drinking or socialising.
I’d advise doing as few group shots as possible as the less time stood round wondering why you can’t find Aunty Sue and the more time celebrating the better.
Also, I’ll be at your wedding for pretty much the whole day so there will be plenty of time to grab more informal shots of you with friends/family when everyone is relaxed and having fun later on.
You or any of your guests, can just just tap me on the shoulder and ask for a picture! All images from the day will be available for all guests to download or buy prints after the day.
I find that the more relaxed these are the better.
Have fun, laugh, take the mickey, do whatever you guys usually do together.
** A few group shots I have done recently in the summer after the meal once the booze had been flowing have been particularly fun.
Why wouldn’t you?…….
Well, there are a couple of reasons why you wouldn’t have smokes at your wedding…..
-You don’t like them
-Your venue doesn’t allow them
But other than that, why the hell not?
They are a lot of fun and they make for epic group shots so just let me know if you plan on doing similar as they take a bit longer to organise.
Now these make great group photos,
** I would advise prosecco for obvious cost saving reasons.
I’ll be working all day and night - and a hungry photographer is a sad photographer - so if you can sort out a meal for me that would be fantastic (I eat anything).
No worries if not, just let me know in advance so I can bring my own food.The best time for me to eat is when you guys do - it’s really the only time I stop taking pictures all day - guests with mouthfuls of food don’t always make for the best photos! It also means that if I’m fed and watered then I am ready to capture the speeches or the next part of the celebration.
With portrait photos I prefer to sneak a few quick, short sessions in through the day rather than a long single shoot where you are away from your guests. The day is about celebrating with loved ones, not having a lengthy photoshoot.
I usually like to play this by ear on the day - especially as weather, timings changing etc can all play havoc with any plans. As a rule, later in the day is better when you are relaxed and have socialised with guests - plus crucially the light around sunset always makes for wonderful pictures. Most couples love this part of the day, as it’s time away with just you two, taking time out as a married couple and having 5 minutes to yourselves during golden hour.
As I mentioned, working *around* your day is very important to me. However, if taking more time out for portraits, or leaving the venue and travelling a short distance to make some epic pictures, is important to you and something you are interested in then let me know, and I’m more than happy to do this. Just get in touch and we can arrange the plans!
HATE POSING BUT
WANT AWESOME PHOTOS?
Nearly every couple that I meet say they hate posing for photos. Don’t worry, we will still get that perfect mantlepiece photo you’ve dreamed of and that ”must have” in a frame for the family.
We will go for a walk, a talk, a laugh and a bit of downtime All the while I’ll be snapping away getting the good stuff.
I may get you to have a quick kiss or cuddle but that’s about it. No awkward posing or directing you to put your arm in weird positions from me.
The key to documentary photography is knowing I’m there but learning to ignore me. If you find yourself looking at me, look away! It may feel strange at first, but as the hours pass you’ll forget the clicks.
I take a different approach during portrait sessions and may direct you a little more. But even then it’s really about you being yourselves and capturing your personalities.The shots have to reflect who you are, that way they will be meaningful to you and those close to you!
The advice here is simple,
Have an amazing party and go crazy!
I’ll be on the dance floor, and at the bar, where ever the action is, capturing you and your awesome guests having an amazing time together.
I aim to get a selection of sneak preview images over to you via email and on my Instagram within a few days of the wedding. This means you’ll have a professional image to share on your social media if you should choose. If I’ve not managed to do it already, please tag yourselves. If you share, I’m also glad of a tag. If you prefer to keep your photographs from the wedding private, that is no problem, just let me know.
Around 6-8 weeks after your wedding I’ll aim to have your slideshow and full gallery ready. I prefer not to rush the process as I want to make sure I spend the right amount of time editing your photos so they are the best they can be. During the summer period it occasionally takes longer, but I can promise you that the images will be worth the wait!
Weddings are organic and it’s the natural and unscripted moments that will make your day unique.
All you need to focus on is enjoying yourselves and I’ll take care of the memories!