When booking the photographer for your wedding it is imperative you get it right. The photographer is someone who will be with you for a long time on your big day, and the photos are one of the few things you will keep after the wedding. There are so many photographers out there, where do you start? I have put together a few tips that may help you when you start looking ...
- Personal recommendation if possible. Do you know anyone who has recently got married? Who was their photographer and were they happy? If someone you know can recommend a photographer personally that is a good start. Do you know anyone in the industry?
- Look at different photographer’s websites to compare styles and packages. Are they more traditional or contemporary in the way they work? Not all will have their prices on their website, so contact 5 or 6 to get an idea of cost.
- Don’t necessarily go for the cheapest option. In fact, often there is a reason if someone is much cheaper than others. This could be a very good photographer just starting out who cannot charge established prices. But do make sure you know first.
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I set up my business in 2001. When I first started I had no experience of “networking”, indeed I didn’t even know what it was. One day, out of the blue, I got a phone call from a financial adviser, telling me he was part of a networking group “who were looking for a photographer to pass business to”. I thought it was too good to be true so I went along to one of the meetings.
And indeed it was! The joining fee of £500, plus monthly dues of £35, was way out of my league as a new business. However, having just left college, with no real business contacts and not enough money coming in, I knew I had to do something to grow my business. It was a “take a risk or go under” situation.
I am one of the few lucky people that can honestly say “I love my job!” If I wasn’t doing it to earn a living then I would still be doing it as a hobby ... I am a freelance photographer specialising in weddings.
Photography – capturing a moment in time and preserving it forever. Creating visual memories of people, events, landscapes, details ... This is my passion.
When I first set up in business in 2001, I will be honest, I said I never wanted to do wedding photography! It is such a huge responsibility, and I did not feel ready! However, after doing a few “freebies” for people I knew, I began to enjoy it. The more weddings I did the more I began to love doing them. What is not to love? I am taking photos, which is my passion, and I am a part of one the happiest days you can have.
Weddings are the main part of the work that I do, however I am lucky enough to also photograph children and babies. Being a mother myself, I understand the importance of baby photography and child portraits - they grow so fast and change so quickly! Those special times need to be captured forever ...
Baby photography is a real passion of mine. I love it when I get a newborn shoot. If the baby is 10 days old or less it is perfect for the shoot! A really young baby is easier to position, and the younger the better. I totally understand that having just given birth, women have other things to concentrate on - like the baby! - rather than thinking about a photoshoot (I didn't give a professional baby photo shoot a second thought when I had Mia!). However, for the best results, to capture those "crunched up" poses, those beautiful positions with the little legs tucked up and the sleepy head reasting on the tiny hands, 10 days old or less is the key!
The eye makes the photographer, not the camera….
Some words of advice to anyone thinking of booking a wedding photographer ... I had an enquiry from a lady the other day who wanted to know how much I charge for wedding photography. I told her (my price is no where near as high as some!) and she said that was way out of her budget. Apparently her friend got married lately and paid only £350 for a full day of photography, plus an album!!! Be aware!
There are an increasing number of people claiming to be wedding photographers, and undercutting the professionals such as myself. I studied at college for 4 years and have been in business for 13 years now. You pay for quality and experience. I am not saying everyone cheap is no good - all businesses have to start somewhere.....
Emma and Clive's day was lovely - a nice fine and bright day amongst many wet ones this summer! Haxby is a place very close to my heart having grown up there, as is the Merchant Taylors Hall, with my mum and dad having married there ...
So, a fab day - great and personal venues, and a brilliant couple to work with and lovely family. The MT Hall is typical York with the old beams, which I love, especially in b/w. Emma and Clive arrived in Emma's old car which had been done up and it made some fab shots! We called off on route to the reception to Emma's parents house to get some shots with the dogs!
I often get asked "how many group shots should we have on the day?"
I always meet at length beforehand with each couple to go through all the group shots they would like on the big day. It is very difficult to put a number on the amount of group shots to go for, but I do prefer it when they are kept to a fairly small number, as this gives me more time to spend with the bride and groom, as well as capturing those informal moments which make each wedding unique. If you don't want to spend hours posing, I would suggest a good selection would be as follows:
- Groom, bestman and ushers
- Bride and bridesmaids
- Full bridal party
- B, G and her parents
- B, G and her immediate family
- B, G and his parents
- B, G and his immediate family
- B and girls
- G and lads
- Full group
Of course, all families are different, but if the above list is used as a basis, and possibly a few more added to it, the formal photos will not take over the day, and will leave the photographer with plenty of time to concentrate on the bride and groom shots, as well as having time to capture the candid stuff.
I always compile a full photo list with timings, which is approved by the couple beforehand, so we all know what is happening, when and how long it will take.
Obviously the photos are a very important part of the day, but they do not need to take over everthing else. If the photos can be relaxed and natural , not only are they more enjoyable for everyone on the day, but the shots produced look much better. My advice to anyone about to make a list of the group shots they want would be to write down all the ones you "think you should have" and halve it!