In these difficult times I really feel for all those couples who have had to rearrange their wedding. I hope this process has been as easy as possible for everyone and these couples are now able to look forward to their new date. I think the next couple of years will see a surge of weddings, so we all have something to look forward to!
I think now is an appropriate time to just give a few tips for anyone looking for a wedding photographer. When booking your wedding photographer it is imperative you get it right. Your 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?
In these times it is more difficult to make an appointment to go and see a photographer in person, so I am talking to couples over the phone initially, and if they are interested after a detailed phone conversation I am happy to hold their date until we are able to meet up in person.
I have put together a few tips that may help couples when they 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.
York is my home town and I love it with a passion. I have always lived here and am very privileged to do so. I often go in to town to work, and also for pleasure at weekends (obviously before lockdown) and every time I go I find myself acting like a tourist and walking about, looking around me and up high, just taking in the amazing buildings and streets. I have missed my usual trips in to town over the last few weeks, so the other day, I took my daily walk around deserted York. It was humbling and very eerie. Streets were empty of the usual hustle and bustle, no workers, shoppers or tourists. Shops, cafes and tourists spots were all closed, and it was a very emotional feeling walking around. I thought of the past in York, thousands of years ago, hundreds of years ago and decades ago, and what life must have been like then. And I thought of the future, when this will be probably be the biggest part of York's history for many many years to come.
I usually use my trusty Nikon D700 for work, however, I have recently purchased a Panasonic G9. This was going to be my second camera for weddings but I am finding I am using it more and more as my main camera! I love it! It is so lightweight and quiet, and it's ability to shoot in low light, and produce pin sharp images is amazing. So this is what I used for the images in this exhibition, and a wide angle lens.
I have decided to create a Virtual Exhibition of Lockdown York. I have done all the images in black and white, partly because I love black and white and also because I think it captures the mood of this ancient, beautiful and empty city perfectly. I wanted to capture a time in the history of majestic York that will, hopefully, never be repeated again.
Much of my work is property photography. I work for estate agents in York, as well as directly for vendors selling with online agencies. I also do one off jobs for Air B and B's, guest houses and hotels. And I provide detailed floor plans.
My top tips for getting the best photographic images of your property to sell or rent:
Always have the camera on a tripod or monopod
Shoot in landscape format
Show all angles possible of each room from the corners
Show unique details of each property
Use a wide angle lens for the overall shots
Shoot from shoulder height (approx 5 feet)
Keep the verticals of the walls straight
Use flash bounced off the ceiling or a wall
Use an aperture of around f/11 to get a good depth of field
Use a monopod to get a high up exterior shot
Where possible, get an exterior shot when the sun is shining on to the property
Lights on or off? This is a tricky one... different photographers prefer one or the other and there are pros and cons for both. Personally, I prefer lights off, as when they are on it creates burnt out light patches on the ceiling and walls that can be distracting to the eye. If there is good natural light I would always leave lights off. Some would argue lights on give a warmer feel to the images....
And here are my top tips for vendors to get their property ready for photography to sell or rent:
Declutter as much as possible
Hide items away in cupboards
Kitchen surfaces cleared
Dress the property - fresh flowers are perfect
Personal photos away
Cars off the driveway
Toilet roll, towels and bath stuff away
Bins out of sight
Generally have the property looking it's absolute best for the shoot
Wedding photography is my greatest passion when it comes to my job, and I am so lucky to be involved in so many lovely happy days!
My style is very natural and informal and whilst I am happy to capture group shots, I never let them take over the day. I spend time with each couple getting lovely artistic yet natural shots of them, and I also allow time to capture the informal candid moments. It is also important to get shots of the lovely details of each day, so the couple can remember the little touches that made their day unique forever.
Bridal preps start with set up shots of the dress, shoes, flowers, jewellery etc, and I think this is a perfect way to start the day. Then I move on the groom and his party, and capture button holes, cuff links, shoes etc. Throughout the day I am always looking out for those special details, such as signs, pillar boxes, table decorations, favours, bunting ...
Details of the day are what makes each wedding unique and make sure I capture as many as I can on each lovely wedding day.
Much of my work in recent years is property photography. I work for various local estate agents in York, as well as owners of guest houses and b and bs. Professional property photography is so important to showcase each place at it's best. Hopefully each property will be nice and tidy when I arrive (it's not always, but usually!) It's important to declutter as much as possible, and little things like putting away towels, toilet rolls, pet bowls and bins, really do help.
I use a wide angle lens, 10mm - 20mm and a monopod, which I love! I used to use a tripod, but the camera I currently use is brilliant with low light, so I don't need to use a really slow stutter speed, hence a monopod is enough, and it allows me to get in to tight corners, as well as capture high up exterior shots.
In most property shoots, I also provide a fully measured and detailed floor plan. This is recent skill that I have taught myself, and something I really enjoy doing. The biggest floor plan I have ever done was a 20 bedroom hotel, showing all rooms, fixtures, fittings and communal areas - which was a challenge!
I love doing property photography and think it a really important thing for anyone selling, letting or advertising a property.