Wedding Photography Guide
If we haven’t already, the next step in the process will be for you to meet your Herefordshire wedding photographer! I will often aim to meet with you face to face, but sometimes this isn’t possible because of distance, in which case we will have a Skype session about your wedding day. Once I have your contract back I will send you some suggested dates and places to meet.
During our consultation we will start by going through the timings of your wedding day, creating a rough guide if you don’t already have one mapped out. This will give you an idea of how the wedding is going to run, and help you with your planning process. Nothing we discuss is set in stone, it is simply a guide and I will adapt to any changes that arise, even on the day if need be.
We will make sure that we go over any key shots you want from the day, or any considerations that you want me to be aware of. Finally I will of course be happy to answer any questions you have.
The consultation will take between 30 minutes to an hour.
My Approach to the day
As a wedding photographer, through out a wedding day, I will look for three things: Light, moments and composition, usually in that order.
Light is key to everything because it’s what makes beautiful pictures. Without light we don’t have colour, contrast or anything that makes a picture interesting. The first thing i look for when I walk into a room on a wedding day is light, and if there isn’t any then I will create it with strobes.
Next is Moment. I am looking for the natural moments that happen when people are either comfortable with the lens or don’t know its there at all. Real emotion, whether its laughter or tears, makes the best pictures. For this reason it is my goal in the day to be as unobtrusive as possible, so people become comfortable enough around me to just be themselves.
Last but not least; Composition is what brings the emotion and beauty of a photograph together.
with these three things in mind, my approach to photographing a wedding day is to first see where there is good light and then try to capture moments in a beautiful, natural and creative way.
Bride and Groom Prep
Bridal prep is a great time for everyone to get used to the camera, and usually after 10-15 minutes people stop noticing im there. its also an awesome opportunity to get some creative shots that will really add to the story of your day. If you are both getting ready at the same location then I will aim to cover both sides of the morning prep by myself. We will have firmed up the timings and order of this during our consultation but typically I start with the bride and spend most of my time with the her. When I do go to find the groom it will usually be to get a few pics of putting on jackets and ties, or of him and his stags having a quick drink. If you are getting ready in separate locations or would like both sides of the morning photographed in full then a second photographer is always an option.
During the ceremony, where I stand and shoot from will depend on the vicar/registrars, available space and of course the light, though where ever I am I will try to be as unobtrusive as possible. Typically I will be at the top of the aisle and off to one side slightly to begin with, so I can capture the brides expression when she sees the groom for the first time. I will try to move to the back of the room during a reading or a hymn so I can get a few shots from that angle as well.We will of course have discussed this part of the day in detail during our consultation so I am aware of any special moments that you want captured.
Drinks receptions should ideally be between one and half hours to two hours long. Any shorter and we run the risk of not having enough time to fit in games and photos, or if its too long, then guests may become bored or drink too much!
The drinks reception is when we will go through any group photos that you want for the day, as well as a few portraits of the two of you. When it starts you will just have been married and be in a bit of a daze! I want you to enjoy your guests and family at this point so the last thing I want to do is take you away for more photos straight away.
I will leave you for about 30 minutes if I can, and focus on taking candid shots of you and your guests enjoying the day, before heading on to the group shots.
I will shoot as many group shots as you want, but my strong advice is to try to keep the number to no more than ten or twelve. They can become overpowering and will take you away from enjoying your wedding. They will also mean less candid shots.
Finally ten minutes before the guests are called through for the wedding breakfast, we will step away for some couple portraits of the two of you, which will take between 20-30 minutes. I will have you back and ready to be announced in 10 minutes after the guests have been seated.
During a wedding I will usually take couples away for portraits 2-3 times. The first is the longest at about 20-30 minutes and will be taken in Natural light just before the wedding breakfast. The second time will be for about 10 minutes, and happen just before the sun is gone, if we have an interesting sky or a good sunset. The third will be at the end of the evening, very quick 5 – 10 minute dramatic light portraits in locations I have setup previously. All of this will be talked about carefully during our consultation to be sure you are happy with the amount of time taken for portraits.
The drinks reception portraits: Stepping away from everyone for a minute will likely be a very welcome escape, where you can enjoy a few moments of quiet with each other.
We will talk about the portraits during our consultation to ensure that you are comfortable with everything, but you will soon see that there is no fuss to this, and the experience is going to be relaxed and easy.
We will take a short walk about the venue to look for some good light to take some pictures in, keeping posing to a minimum. I won’t make you do anything silly, but will encourage you just to laugh and be together so I can take pictures of the two of you that you will love.
The pictures I am looking for are the ones that happen when you can forget the camera is there and just see each other.
Later if I see there is a beautiful sunset or an interesting sky, I will come and see if you want to step outside for a few more pictures of the two of you.
Finally, later in the evening I will scout out some locations to do some creative light portraits of the two of you, which will be very quick and give you some awesome colourful pics of the two of you.
I will leave your guests in peace during the wedding breakfast! I dont like to take pictures of people eating as I find it obtrusive, and not particularly flattering. I will also take my break at this point and grab a drink of water and some food.
If you are having speeches, then this is usually the time when they happen, traditionally at the end of the meal, though some grooms prefer to get them out of the way before the food is served so they can relax!
Photographing the speeches will happen in natural light if it is available, or if its a little dark I may set up some strobes. I will move around a little during the speeches to get the most interesting angles, but will try of course to stay as unobtrusive as possible.
Cake, First Dance and Party!
Once the speeches are done, the hair comes down and everyone can start to relax into the evenings party. Cake cutting is usually done just before the first dance, or just after the meal, where I will photograph this happening naturally.
For the first dance, please let me know if you are going to be doing anything special so I am prepared for it! I will set up lights in the dance floor to capture the two of you in your first dance in a creative way.
After this the party gets started and I will get some cool photos of your guests having a good time on the dance floor. When things quiet down I will step away to set up some creative light portraits of the two of, which will mean my evening is coming to an end.
If you have sparklers or fire works, I will of course stay until these are done so we can get some pictures of those as well.