Hiya! I’m hoping since you’re here, you’re going to come and say hello to tell me all about your wedding and ask any questions you might have about photography (or cheese, or gin or cats? I’ll talk about most things!). But just in case you’re not quite convinced yet here are a few bits of info that I find people ask for.
What type of photographer are you?
Ok so if you’ve looked at a few photographers’ pages already, by now you’ll know that we tend to use a lot of seemingly random words to describe ourselves and our style of photography. You might even be wondering what the hell some of them mean – documentary, reportage, alternative, whaaaat? These things tend to mean different things to different people so don’t worry if you’re totally confused. For me, the most important thing is giving people images that will make them happy for a lifetime. Your wedding is super important, but it’s also the start of a marriage and as your photographer I have a pretty important job in making sure that during that marriage you can look back on your wedding day and remember it the way it happened. I love capturing real moments – smiles, laughs, tears, drunken shenanigans, the lot. These are the things you’re going to remember! More and more I’m finding people don’t want anything too staged and instead want to re-live their day via photos of amazing moments captured at just the right time (check out the blog for lots of examples). Think about the photos that have survived from when your parents or grandparents were younger – which ones are precious? When you’re old and wrinkly, you can show your grandkids the pictures of you power sliding on the dance floor or laughing your head off having an amazing time. So now you see why we make up random words to describe ourselves – how do you get all that across in a word? Answers in the contact form please.
Ok, so nothing at all staged, right?
Well, sort of. So I would say 95% of the day is totally unstaged, unposed, as it happens and shooting from the hip. I’m pretty chatty and friendly so I’ll get involved where appropriate – nobody likes a random lurker while you’re trying to get ready. I’ll be chatting in between clicks and getting those moments by being there as they happen. Sidenote – I also make a pretty good dress fluffer/bra strap hider/messenger/drink fetcher – us photographers are a useful bunch. However, aside from all of this mingling and moment catching, inevitably you’re probably going to want some nice portraits of the two of you. However natural you want the rest of the day, you’re only doing this once and you might have spent a fortune on it, so let’s get some nice portraits as well. Here’s where my unposed posing skills come in. Essentially, if I leave people to it, they very quickly remember they HATE being in front of a camera (me too, by the way), arms become random alien tentacles that you don’t know what to do with, and the Chandler Bing faces come out. Since we will have had a pre wedding shoot ahead of the big day though, by now we will be a seamless team and you’ll fall right into some natural looking poses and we’ll be able to shoot portraits that look comfortable and romantic and amazing. I might give you a nudge into the right light, or gently guide you a bit, but the vast majority of my couple portraits are only slightly posed. Mostly, we’re all just having fun and mucking about at this point. If it makes you feel better, I only need a couple of 20 minute sessions during the day to get some awesome couple shots. Which leads me to…
What is an engagement shoot? Can we not bother?
Noooooooooo! Picture the scene: it’s your wedding day, emotions are high, you’re having an awesome day and your feet have hardly touched the ground. Cut to mid afternoon and some random person you spent an hour with in a booking meeting 18 months ago starts trying to get you to pose for the camera. Remember the alien tentacles and Chandler face I mentioned before? Those are going to be coming out in force! A pre wedding shoot, I PROMISE, stops this from happening. I cannot count how many clients were a bit nervous or reluctant about doing it and then told me how much better they felt afterwards. A pre wedding or engagement shoot is simply the three of us hanging out for an hour or so, taking some photos but more importantly learning to work together. I’ll be finding out about you as a couple and how you interact with each other, and you’ll be learning how I might speak to you to get those amazing unposed posed shots. I can always see such a huge difference between the first and last photos taken on these shoots, and the difference is always that everyone relaxes. We have longer to work on it, we don’t have the distraction of everyone watching, and we can try things and see what works and what doesn’t. Also, it’s a great opportunity to just get some photos of you having fun together. Plus, you get some lovely photos which you can use for whatever you want. So pleeeeeease do the pre wedding shoot!
What happens if you’re sick?
This is definitely something all photographers should have a plan in place for. Thankfully I’m a fairly robust person, and I also don’t mind powering through if I’m ill (top tip – First Defence spray is magic in a bottle). However, should I find myself at death’s door there are a few things I can do depending on how much notice I have. If for some reason I know I can’t shoot a wedding in advance, I will give you the option of a full refund and you can find a replacement yourself, or I will get straight on to my extensive network of colleagues and find someone to cover. Another option is built in to my packages – part of the reason my second shooter (fancy name for the other photographer I bring with me as standard) is always another full time professional, is that they can then step up and become the lead shooter. They’ll be familiar with your wedding and will already have you in their diary. Then we just need to find another second. If I find myself ill on the day, I’m a member of several emergency networks of photographers for that very reason and I would do my absolute best to find someone to cover. You’d never be left without anyone though, as the second shooter can always step up.
What if your camera breaks?
Being a working photographer means that inevitably, sometimes our stuff will break. It has actually happened to me! All sorts of stuff can go wrong, BUT that’s why we carry two of everything. My cameras all shoot dual memory cards so if one goes wrong there’s another with the same data on. I have two cameras (plus my second shooter has two), and plenty of lenses so if one goes wrong all I have to do is grab the other. I even have what my partner has dubbed a “photographer dork belt” which means my spare camera and memory cards are literally attached to me. As soon as I get back from a wedding, my cards get uploaded onto my computer which then also makes a cloud copy. I’ve got you covered!
What if it rains?
Don’t worry about it! Living in the UK, it’s a fact of life that the weather just does whatever the hell it wants at all times. I have brollies in my car, and wellies so I can carry on and go stand in mud and puddles. My best advice to you is that if it even remotely looks like rain, embrace it! Get yourselves a really nice brolly and some wedding wellies. Let’s get out there and get wet. Remember, if you’re booked with me your photos are going to show your wedding how it really happened – rain and all. I think photos in the rain are super romantic and at the end of the day, if you get the bottom of your dress a little bit wet it’ll dry. If you’re going to be throwing shapes on the dancefloor in the evening, your dress going to get a bit mucky and you’ll probably kick your shoes off anyway – the sign of a good wedding!
Have you been to my venue before?
Maybe, maybe not. There are thousands of wedding venues in the UK, so the likelihood of whether I’ve been there is really just down to chance. But to be honest, it doesn’t really matter. It’s no problem if you want to show me around or share your ideas for photo locations – if that’s the case, why not have your pre wedding shoot there? But on the day, we will have plenty of time to scope out locations. So much of photography is about light, and you’re only going to know what that’s doing on the day. We’re pretty good at nipping around and finding awesome little spots to shoot without you even noticing we’ve gone.
Are you insured?
Yup. If anyone you talk to for any wedding stuff isn’t insured, run for the hills. Same goes for contracts!
Can I send you my Pinterest board?
Yep! I love seeing all the stuff my clients have been looking at for inspiration. But one point to remember – when it comes to photography, especially when we are trying to keep it natural and individual, we don’t want to be recreating other people’s work. I’d far rather spend our time capturing the two of you and how you naturally act with each other than force you into a pose from Pinterest that probably won’t look the same and was probably shot on a styled shoot. Let’s make our own Pinterest-worthy images that other people will want to look at!
Can I send a list of photos we would like?
I’d rather you didn’t. I’m aware that many popular wedding blogs and magazines advise this, and even sometimes provide a list. But most photographers will encourage you to trust us. I’ve been at this for a good few years now, so I know you want a photo of the bride coming up the aisle and the first kiss (while we’re on that, make sure it’s a good smooch not a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it peck!). The way I work is intentionally natural and unplanned, so if you’re after someone who will work to a shot list I’m probably not the photographer for you. I don’t want to miss a lovely moment between you and your friends or family because I was too busy balancing your rings on each other for a photo (and you’re going to be looking at those for the rest of your life anyway!). I really don’t like to move things or stage things because it then becomes about my version of your wedding and not how it happened. Assuming I’m allowed to be in the right place at the right time, trust me – the important bits will get captured. You just enjoy your day and create the moments for me.
Can you make a photo all black and white with a bit of colour?
No. Sorry! Not my thing at all and it will date terribly. See also: spending an hour gathering your guests into a heart shape, lying the bride down while the groomsmen hold her, and trying to get a small child to ‘react’ to you kissing. Let’s spend our time making truly unique images instead – unique because nobody else will ever have your wedding your way.
We are doing something unusual at our wedding, is that ok?
Yep! My absolute favourite people to work with are people who do things their own way. Whether that means you want your dog as a ring bearer or you want to see each other before the wedding, or you’re wearing a blue dress or having a death metal reception. Or anything in between! There’s no such thing as usual or unusual so long as you’re doing what makes you happy. Never let anyone tell you that you ‘should’ or ‘shouldn’t’ do anything.
Our wedding is miles away from Birmingham, will you come to us?
Of course! One of my favourite things about my job is travelling all over the place. Me and my trusty car, ‘Jazzy’, frequently pootle around the country. I can’t be held responsible for the absolutely dreadful singing coming out of me when I’m cruising down the motorway, but thankfully nobody hears that usually. Likewise if you’re getting married abroad – my passport doesn’t have a place to live in my home because it’s never usually put away long enough. Shooting weddings abroad is something I welcome with open arms – I figure we will get on if you have wanderlust too.
So hopefully if you’ve made it this far then this page has been helpful. If you have questions that aren’t covered here, or if you just think it sounds like we will get on, click the button below to tell me all about your plans. I genuinely love hearing all about what people have planned so don’t be shy!