Choosing the right photographer is probably the hardest decision you'll make when planning a wedding. Things like the venue, the dress and the flowers are all difficult choices, but when you see ones you like you know that that's what you'll get on the day. With the photographer you won't know if you've picked the right one until a few weeks later when you're looking through your pictures, and by then it's too late to change your mind. Picking someone you're comfortable with and are happy to have around your family and friends all day is vital.
That means you probably have lots of questions. Below are the ones I get asked most often.
How would you describe your style?
In a word: Documentary.
More than just candid or natural. Documentary photography is true storytelling. Photographs will be taken in the moment, without asking you or anyone else to look at the camera. Each shot will tell an individual story and put together will document the entire story of your day.
So do you take any traditional group shots?
Yes. Groups shots are a great way to record who was at your wedding and it's the one part of the day I'm directly involved with you and your guests. However, I like to keep this part of the day simple and straight forward. Trying to get a large group of people in and out of an array of group shots can be like herding cats, especially if the bar is open! You only really need 5 or 6 group shots. I take one group shot with all guests and then concentrate on close family and the bridal party. We'll agree a set of shots before the day so we're all on the same page. My technique for groups shots usually sees them done in 15-20 minutes depending on the number of guests.
What about portrait shots of the two of us?
Natural portrait shots of the two of you together will give you the shots you would use for a print to put on the wall at home or on the cover of an album. It's also good to spend a few minutes away from the hustle and bustle of the day and take time out to enjoy each others company and relax. (I promise not to spoil the moment and give you some space!). Otherwise the day will fly by and you'll not get another chance to see each other without being surrounded by your guests. I don't make you pose in cliched ways or spend ages staging elaborate set pieces. Just the two of you together in a relaxed manor in the surroundings of your venue. This usually takes around 20 minutes so you can spend more time enjoying the day with your family and friends. If you've taken up the option of an engagement shoot then you'll find it's very much the same kind of thing.
How far will you travel?
Anywhere you like! All fuel is included in the price. If I have to stay over the night beforehand I'll charge for a local B&B (you're welcome to book this yourselves on my behalf). If you're getting married abroad then that's okay too! Again, please inquire for a quote for a destination wedding.
How long will it take to receive our pictures?
Probably 3 weeks in quieter off peak months, 4-5 during peak summer season.
How many pictures will we receive?
It depends on a few things. Start time is the most obvious. If you're at one venue all day including prep then I'll have no travelling to do within the day and can shoot non-stop. If you have multiple venues there will be travelling time between each one and that takes out some of the photography time. It's usually 500 up to around 700.
Will our pictures be watermarked?
Definitely not. You've paid for the pictures and they are yours to share with friends and family, post on social media and print for personal use.
What equipment do you use and what happens if your camera breaks?
I'm a professional photographer and as such I use all professional equipment. I bring three professional cameras, spare lenses and more memory cards and fully charged batteries than I could possibly use in a day. My camera bags holds around £20,000 worth of gear.
Do you use a flash?
No. Documentary photography works best when you can quietly get on with taking pictures without anyone noticing. People don't want to be distracted by a flash going off constantly. The only time I use a flash is for the first dance and general dance floor shots at the end of the night. I may have to use a flash if your venue is dimly lit during the evening reception, but I really hope to not use it away from the dance floor.
Do you require us to sign a contract?
Yes, we'll both sign a contract. It's a standard wedding contract which I have taken from The Society of Wedding Portrait Photographers, of which I am a member.
What if you are ill or late?
In the highly unlikely event i'm too ill to attend (hasn't happened yet!) I know a wide range of other wedding photographers who could cover. It's written into the contract that I must provide a replacement if i'm ill.
I always leave in plenty of time to be with you in the morning. I try to avoid motorways so I can't get caught behind an accident and stuck for ages. When travelling by A roads, there's always another route you can take.
Are you insured?
Absolutely. I have both professional indemnity insurance and public liability insurance to a combined total of £3m. I can provide details of this if your venue requests it.
Is there a booking fee?
Yes, there's a 15% booking fee (which comes out of the total cost) and is due with the return of the booking form and signed contact and secures the date in my diary. I will invoice you 6 weeks before the wedding for the balance. Although you can pay earlier if you want to spread the cost of your wedding out. I currently have some couples paying monthly until their balance is settled.
We think we'd like to book you, what next?
That's great! Please use the enquiries link and i'll get back to you within 24 hours. I'll offer you a face to face consultation, which is completely free and there's no obligation to book once you've had it. You can see if we click and talk about your plans for the day. I have some sample albums to bring.