A Tall Long Legged Bird
Getting Ready – Generally, I find that couples book their wedding venue first and then the wedding photography. But once you have booked the venue, it’s a good idea to think about where you may get ready for your day. Some couples prefer to get prepared in a luxury hotel (which does look good in the photos); but personally, if your venue is close to where you or your parents live, I find pictures have so much more meaning if you can get ready at home. Whether that’s your home or your parents home, it doesn’t matter. Both will be full of memories which will tell great stories in years to come. Imagine a picture of your grandmother getting ready at her parent’s house… and now think of the same photo but this time in a hotel. See where I’m coming from? Everything is interesting in 50 years time, even your old kitchen and your old kettle will evoke a whole world of memories.
How many photographers? And what about videographers? – Generally, second photographers don’t have as much experience and their camera equipment isn’t the same as mine, so things can look inconsistent visually. Having two photographers at your wedding and possibly a couple of videographers can turn the whole thing into a bit of a circus. Everyone is much more at ease when they forget about the fact they are being photographed (which is pretty difficult when there’s more than one of you on the job).
If you do intend on having videographers, just check how many people will be coming. Some work in groups of three and have loads of equipment and tripods everywhere and others work alone with a small camera on their shoulder. Just because some have big kit it doesn’t mean they’re better. Check their portfolios, and if their work is comparable then opt for the one-man band. (Less mouths to feed as well!)
Getting Ready: The Bride & Bridesmaids – Once I arrive at your chosen ‘getting ready’ location, I’ll introduce myself to your wedding party, and then crack on with documenting the scene. Try and keep the room free of ugly plastic bags, car seats and pushchairs. These things are usually horrid colours and upset my visual flow!
Think about asking your bridesmaids to wear something easy on the eye whilst they are getting ready. You could get them some robes, or a simple white vest, or something elegant, just so that you all look coordinated and more visually pleasing in the photographs! I’ll be hiding out behind curtains and squatting in some odd positions, but just ignore me – I’m a fly on the wall!
I’ll capture all your moments and all your little bits without moving things around, so don’t panic when I’ve not taken your dress off to dangle it from an apple tree, I will capture it hanging in the background as part of your story. I will never take your dress outside. Knowing my luck, it would get pooped on by a pigeon and I would put my foot through it! So let’s just leave it hanging on the door. With that in mind, if you can take your dress out of its body bag before I arrive and maybe have it hanging on a pretty hanger, that would be perfect!
The Ceremony – Think about asking your guests to refrain from using their phones and cameras during the ceremony. So many good shots are completely ruined by Uncle Bob trying to get a shot of you walking down the aisle. There’s no need for guests to have cameras. I can capture all this, and it will be much nicer if everyone just enjoying the moment rather than trying to get the shot. They can all download the photos I have taken for free, so there’s no need for them to spoil this moment!
Everything is completely documentary until the group photos after the ceremony. I’ll be as discreet as possible during your ceremony, and I’ll only move once when the timing is right to get a different angle if necessary.
After you’ve taken your vows, you’ll be asked to sign the register. I’m not allowed to photograph this; it’s some weird English law that is completely ridiculous! But after you have signed your register for real, they will set up a shot with you pretending to sign it. This is all very odd, but just play along and smile at me.
Confetti time – You can never have enough confetti. Make sure you bring some, as Aunty Muriel will have only brought a tiny amount, and we want loads! Don’t bother to put it in little bags, just put it in a basket and get the ushers pass it around, guests can just grab a handful.
Side note: A couple of confetti canons for the first dance can really get the party started, just give them to the bridesmaids and pretend you had nothing to do with if your venue has issues with sweeping up. You can get them on eBay. Three big ones should do the trick.
“Put the ugly people in the dark corner! I didn’t really write that did I?”
The Wedding Breakfast – Once you’re all seated for your wedding breakfast, I’ll be close by but not in the room. I generally don’t like to take photos of people eating, not a pretty pitcure. If you’ve been kind enough to order me a meal i’ll be tucking into that in a side room and if not i’ll be grazing from my tupperware!
If you would like a photo of your wedding rings, just let me know and I’ll take them off whilst you are eating and do something creative with them. I don’t take rings off generally as I would prefer to capture them in context, but please just ask if you would like that shot.
The Speeches – Once the speeches commence, I’ll appear and capture all the laughter and the tears (happy we hope!) I do come quite close during this period, but I’m always as discreet as possible so just ignore me.
First Dance – If you have lights that’s great! But if you have a laser, I’ll ask if it can be switched off until after the first dance, as it leaves horrid coloured spots all over your heads and you can end up looking like the incredible hulk. Most likely, I’ll be sat on the floor, so try not to stand on me!
Round Up – I think that’s about it! If there’s anything I’m missing on the day, or you decide you want something captured that you had forgotten about, just click your fingers (or send a bridesmaid/ usher) and I’ll be there. Oh one last thing (or two)…
If there’s any amazing weather or light on the day, I’ll come and ask if you’re up for some more “romantic photos’ taking advantage of the elements. But just say no if you would rather not!
IMPORTANT … Before the wedding day, please make sure you fill out the online form I send you. It contains all the phone numbers and postcodes for your wedding, and if anything were to happen that was going to prevent me being where I should be, I have all your information at hand. The group photos list is also attached to this form and if I did lose my print out on the day, I know it’s all safe in the cloud. It has happened once when I lost the list during the church ceremony! Had I not had the backup on my phone, I would have been in a complete mess. Very unprofessional!
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The Old Farmhouse, Castle Farm, Farmborough, Bath, BA2 0DD
Tel: 07809 459478