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FAQs

More detailed info about Wedding Photography...
A few more thoughts on wedding photography...

The Details


There’s a lot to consider when you choose your wedding photographer.  Hopefully, you’ve already seen my Wedding Photography page and seen a few portfolio shots so you know roughly who I am and what I’m about.  This page will fill in some of the myriad of questions that you no doubt have – have a good read and then get in touch to get a quote if you think I’m your man!  There’s a lot here, but it’s all the usual things I’m asked by couples – I hope it helps.

Just a quick word, however, on the cost of wedding photography as that is what is usually uppermost in couples’ minds. I know that choosing what you want’ vs ‘what you need’ vs ‘what you can afford’ when it comes to wedding photography can be complicated and frustrating. This is not helped by trying to decipher the invariably wide variety of photographic choices which you face, from a wide range of photographers.

I promise I will hold your hand the whole way through the process, offering you choices you probably hadn’t even realised were available. With a comprehensive list of suppliers, I can also help you with many other elements of your wedding should you need it – I’ve seen so many weddings that I’m practically a wedding planner as well!

During the process, you will be able to choose from a number of different wedding photography packages, depending on your requirements post-wedding.  Alternatively, I would be very happy to give you a fully-bespoke quote to suit your needs, wants and budget as required.

Thank you for your interest in my photography, and very much hope that after reading this page you’ll ask me for a quote to photography your wedding – I’d be delighted and honoured to be a part of your day!  If you are, please hit the button below and fill out the form:

 

Click here to get a wedding photography quote.

Addressing your questions.

FAQs


I’m often asked the same questions by couples when they are searching for their wedding photographer so here are some answers and I hope they’ll give a sense of who I am, why I do what I do, why I love it, my approach, but, most importantly, hopefully reassure you!

Why do you photograph weddings?

I fell in love with photography because, amongst other things, I found deep satisfaction in capturing people in their unguarded, candid moments; either deep in solitary thought or, in the presence of another, entirely engrossed in eachother.  Both are found in abundance at weddings.

Also, having been in the Army, I also love a formal occasion and the sense of ceremony, ritual and tradition.  Each wedding has a different take on that formality, but they are all equally interesting photographically.

And, let’s be honest, who doesn’t love a party?!

A cynic could argue that a wedding is just another type of event, and to a large extent, technically, that is probably correct – there’s certainly a lot of crossover in various  photographic techniques and skills at an event that I also employ at a wedding.

However, at other events though, the people, setting, food, lighting, sport or dancing are the event – there’s not usually a central focus in the same way as a wedding. There will, of course, also be laughter and happiness, but fundamentally a wedding is about two people, in love with each other, and formally acknowledging that in front of their family and friends, as well as taking solemn vows before each other.

This is why weddings are so much more special than just ordinary events, and why I love them – a huge amount of time and thought goes into them, they are filled with happy, glamorous people which always makes for good photos, and, most importantly, it’s about giving the couple some stunning shots of their day so they can always remember it.

Don’t you ever get bored of photographing weddings?

The day I get bored of photographing weddings, is the day I give up photography. Yes, technically, it is just another event, but it is also so much more subtle than that…

Prior to the day, the photographer is just one of many suppliers that a couple is thinking about – the pressure is off! There is nothing for me to do, other than show up at the right time, in the right place, with the right kit, and in the right order of dress!

That dynamic entirely changes once the wedding is over; attention by all and sundry falls firmly on the photographer and what he is going to produce photographically.  I’m always very aware that that output will be reviewed by you and your families for time immemorial. Consequently, the one thing you will always remember about your wedding will be the photographs.

The vicar fluffing his lines, your aging aunt embarrassingly calling your new husband the name of your previous boyfriend, warm beer or the cold food, or any number of other possible disasters just won’t be important in ten years time – only the photographs.

That is quite some responsibility for me.

All too often, after their wedding, I’ve spoken to friends who weren’t happy with their photographer or what was produced, and I’m completely gutted for them. I can see the pain in their eyes knowing that their memories are just that – memories, and not something that they can look at, share and enjoy for the rest of their lives.

Why do I write all this?  Well, the upshot is that whilst weddings are fantastic days, with great opportunities to get some breath taking shots, have fun, and be an integral part of a very special day, that is all tempered with a serious weight of responsibility and pressure that I put on myself to deliver; not just what you’d expect from me, but something more than that – something that you will look at with a sense of pride and joy forever after.  In short, I aim to give you back something of ‘your day’ to you every time you look at the shots.

Eliciting that emotional response from you is what makes wedding photography not just simple event photography, but, in my opinion, a form of art.

I’m worried that you are going to get in the way…

I’m always honoured to asked to photograph a wedding, and although it is a minor role in the cast of the day, it is also quite a high-profile one, with plenty of opportunity to ‘get it wrong’.

I am always very conscious that a bossy/overbearing/poorly dressed photographer has the potential to upset a bride and groom and/or the guests on their wedding day – I have seen it at weddings where I’ve been a guest and it’s super un-cool.

Discretion and professionalism are always the first and foremost watchwords in everything I do for any couple.

My aim is to be seen but not be seen, to engage where required, and simply to just make sure the day is recorded as perfectly as possible; if someone says to me that they thought I was a guest, or asks me how I know the couple, I know I’m doing my job properly – always just trying to be another guest with a camera!

It’s important to remember throughout that your day is not about me – it is about the two of you getting married and, I promise, the last thing I want to do is get in the way.  It is as mortifying for me as it frustrating or upsetting for you!

So how much do you charge?

I’ll be honest with you, wedding photography is not cheap but as with anything in this world, you pay for what you get. I also charge everyone the same, regardless of whether you are a prince or pauper – I feel that is only fair.

If you are keen to ask me to be your wedding photographer, please fill out the form on this page or my Wedding Photography page, and I’ll be in touch give you a comprehensive quote which is centered around three photography packages.

All the items in the packages have individual prices so I’m very happy to generate a bespoke quote for you by adding or removing things as you require.

If you feel they are too high, I’m sorry. However, before you go any further with your quest to find a wedding photographer, I’d like to direct you this blog post by one of the best wedding photographers in the UK about the cost of wedding photography, and the reason it’s so high.  It’s relatively old now but I hope it’ll put everything in perspective for you as you continue your search.

Is an ‘engagement shoot’ really necessary?

Engagement photography has been around for a while, but full-on portrait sessions is a relatively recent thing that has started happening in the wedding industry, and I entirely see why it would be viewed as being a bit kitsch and unnecessary.

However, it actually serves quite a useful purpose in that we will get to know each other a bit better.  I get to know you both as a couple, learn to read you and your faces, understand a bit about who you are, hear ‘your story’ as well as, from a practical point of view, discuss the finer plans and timings for the day.

Equally, it’s useful to get to know me a bit better for you, learn how to relax in front of the camera, and understand a little about what I’m trying to achieve on the day itself, which hopefully means that I’ll be in the way even less.

From the shoot, there is the option to get a 8”x10” photograph of your choice, mounted in a gorgeous but simple black wooden frame with a ‘signing mount’, so that on the day, your guests can then sign the actual picture which acts as a brilliant record of who was there.

So yes, whilst it can seem a bit of an odd thing to do at first glance, it can also be a lovely keepsake, add some further photographs your collection, serve as a guestbook for your day, and prove a useful exercise for all us in getting to know one another.

Will you photograph a wedding if it’s only half a day?

Yes, of course I will, but it won’t be half the cost. I normally spend 4 or 5 full working days for a typical wedding, and of that only one day is the actual wedding itself. Thus, photographing only half a wedding sadly doesn’t simply halve the time I spend on it.

So, if you would like me to do that, absolutely I can and will – let’s talk exact timings and then I can give you a revised price, but please don’t be surprised if it is more than you are expecting.

Can you do video?

No – I personally do not do videos.  However, if you want me to organise it for you, please just ask, and I will head up the team to make it happen for you. Prices will obviously depend on a number of factors, including timings and outputs, but we can discuss all that as is required.

Can you help with other suppliers?

Of course! You’d be amazed how quickly working in the business you build up a directory of good suppliers; you’d be even more amazed how often the same ones pop up time and time again.

I can help with caterers, marquees, booze suppliers, bands, florist, make-up and hair, cake, printers and pretty much anything else that you are going to need for your wedding. Just ask!

Can you provide references?

If my testimonials and portfolios aren’t sufficient, then yes of course I am able to provide references from previous brides – please just let me know.

Do I need a second photographer?

This is normally just a logistics thing – bottom line is that I simply can’t be in two places at once!

As the official wedding photographer, before the actual service starts, my priority on the day lies with the bride, her bridesmaids and her preparations. There are usually some formal shots in the garden or drawing room, with and without her father, mother and team. There will likely also be some shots required of the setting up / marquee if that is what you’ve decided to have.

At this point, time is short.  To then get over over to photograph the Ushers’ Lunch, and back again to the bride can be time-consuming. I would probably also miss the guests’ arrival at the church.

A second photographer negates this whole problem; whilst I remain with the bride, the second photographer will be in attendance to the groom and will head to the church with the ushers after taking some formal shots of them after their lunch. This will mean that they will be able to get photographs of the church pre-wedding, inside and out, and the guests as they arrive at the church, leaving me to get the shots of the bride, her preparation and departure from the familial home.

It also helps with particularly large weddings – if you have 130 people plus at the church and reception, then as try as I might, I simply am not going to see everything or manage to photograph everyone, so a second photographer at the reception means that candid moments, as well as trying to capture everyone at least once (always an aim – never a guarantee), becomes decidedly easier.

Of course, this is entirely academic if the church, house, ushers’ lunch and reception are all within 3 minutes’ walk of each other and I can zip back and forwards with time to spare. As I said, simply a case of logistics!

Where will you travel to photograph a wedding?

Anywhere!

I live half in Switzerland and half in London so I’m always batting around with my hair on fire – it is very normal for me to jump on a plane to take photographs.  Weddings in weird and wonderful places are great fun and always give the opportunity to take some awesome and very different photographs; so I’m delighted to travel wherever I am required!

If you are worried about cost of hiring an international photographer, don’t be.  Flights are very cheap when booked far enough in advance.  Give me a shout to discuss it further if you are planning international nuptials and I’m sure some arrangement can be made.

I would also add that if you are getting married abroad, it is also normally sensible to ask an English-speaking photographer to do it – the language barrier when trying to describe photographic requirements can be unbridgeable!!

Any car travel either within the UK (calculated from London), or in Europe (calculated from Verbier) will be charged at the HMRC rate of £0.45 a mile, as worked out by a quick postcode calculation on Google Maps.

What about accommodation?

I’ll be honest here again and say that in the summer, I prefer to camp! If I’m allowed, I’ll bring my tent and sleeping bag and pitch it in a nearby field.

If circumstances don’t permit, then yes, I will need somewhere to stay if I’m travelling any distance to get back home, and that will be added to the final quote as well.

However, I certainly don’t expect anything especially lavish (always aware of costs!); somewhere with a bed and a shower is a good start!

How late will you stay?

Parties are wont to go on into the wee small hours and I absolutely understand that, but I will normally aim to draw stumps at midnight, especially if I have some travelling to do.

If there is an amazing going away planned for the bride and groom after that time, then it might be good idea to discuss my staying for it for a small extra fee, but I’ve found that midnight is usually plenty late enough.

Essentially though, the answer is as late as you want!

Can you do formal portraiture?

We’ll do some posed formal shots on the day anyway, both before the bride leaves for church, and some group shots after the marriage.  I also aim to get 20 minutes or so alone with the bride and groom after the service for some portrait shots. However, this is a ‘nice to have’ and entirely depends on how you feel about the idea…!

If you want a (very quick!) formal studio shoot at any point during the day, this is definitely possible – I can bring lights, a backdrop as required, and any other equipment necessary but there is obviously and extra cost for this element.

Can you cope with a dark church / winter wedding?

Absolutely!

As a default setting, I do everything I can to avoid using a flash on my cameras anyway as they are excellent at taking shots in anything up to near total darkness and it’s mostly unnecessary.

But winter weddings also make for some very atmospheric photographs so it also means that darkness, evening or mid-winter weddings are not a problem. Think of them more as an opportunity to be creative; not something to be feared!  Lot of candles is usually the answer!

What’s this about a photo booth?

So this is a fun little extra I can organise for you and it’s worked well in the past… I provide lights, put the camera on a tripod and give a remote shutter release to your guests who thenn entertain themselves.  Granted, it’s not a smart London taxi or likewise, but it works well, is hugely entertaining for your guests, and the output is a short two-minute video set to music.  There are other options on the output front, but do ask.

The pricing doesn’t include fancy dress, but I’m quite happy to source that as well if you wish for a small extra fee.

I’m looking into providing a system for instant printing of shots, but currently I am not able to do that. However, I do know a number of really good photobooth companies and would be happy to recommend one if that’s the way you wanted to go.

How long does it take for us to get the photographs?

Contractually, I have 90 days to produce the photos. However, in reality, I usually aim for about 2-3 weeks, but that depends hugely on the time of the year – middle of the summer is pretty manic so it might take a little longer!  I’d like to get them back to you as soon as possible after you arrive back from your honeymoon!

I can easily produce a first cut of 10-20 photos within a week for social media purpose.  From that first cut you can then also choose a thank you card if you so wish.

How do I get the pictures afterwards?

The price that I quote always includes the full set of digital images from the whole day.  I deliver them to you via a download link straight from my website.  If you decide that you only want a few images digitally (ie not the whole set), and want to have more actual prints, then let me know and we can have conversation.

The full gallery will remain online for one year and you can come back, browse and buy more prints whenever you like. It will also remain open to your family and friends should they want a print or two.  After a year, I will take it down, but if you ever need the photos, please just ask and I can re-upload them or resend them to you.

The website is also entirely geared for e-commerce (including all major credit cards, PayPal and will ship anywhere in the world) so ordering prints is really easy and straightforward.

There wide range of prints, framed prints, cavansses and other wall-hangings, and straight electronic downloads and I can help you on all of it.

I don’t normally offer it but if you are desperate to get your images on a USB stick, then that can be arrangement – CDs are now a thing of the past!

Who owns the photographs? Will I have the copyright?

The simple answer is I will own them but you are free to do what you like with them within a couple of parameters.

It runs a bit like this: the law of the land says that any artist (draughtsman, painter, sculptor, photographer) always owns the copyright to anything that they create, and this is even true if you are working under commission.

The artist in question has two options to allow people to use their work: to either ‘assign the rights’ (which effectively gives away that copyright and they no longer own that piece of work), or give/sell a ‘licence’ for someone to use their image, in specified ways, for a specified length of time.

There are two types of licence; private and commercial, and clearly the commercial licences are sold for more. When you receive the finished digital set from me, you also get an indefinite licence for private use.

In other words, I’m not the assigning rights of the pictures to you, and I still own them. If I weren’t to do that, you would be within your rights to take them and sell them to Hello! or elsewhere and I wouldn’t be entitled to a dime – clearly not the cleverest thing to do!

In practical terms, by retaining the copyright of the shots, yes, I am entitled to use the shots of your wedding in my public portfolio, in order to market my own work.  I hope that this isn’t a problem, and certainly after we’ve worked together and you’ve seen the finished set, I hope you’ll be so delighted that you’ll be happy to let me use them to further my business.

If it is a problem, let me know early in the process and we can work out a way that works for all of us. In the past, I’ve chosen the shots I want to use and got the couple to sign off in writing on the ones I’ve chosen – that avoids any misunderstanding and seems to be a good compromise.

However, to be clear, as a default, yes, I will continue to own them.

What about security and privacy of images generally?

This is a tricky problem and one that most couples have a view on, and I will always work with you to make sure we have secured whatever needs to be secured.

As a default, all the photographs I take and upload will be in secure and private gallery with a password that I will give you which you can share as you wish.

If you want the gallery to be open so you don’t have to email everyone the password and your friends can just find it on my website, again, that’s very easily done.

With regards any photos that your guests take (as opposed to me), if you aren’t the type of couple to create a hashtag and encourage the posting of shots on social media, there are three things you can do:

  • Print something in your invitation/wedding admin instructions to the effect that you would like to keep your special day amongst you both, your family and friends, and that you would be grateful if people could refrain from publicly posting them on Facebook as the day progresses or, indeed, at any other time!
  • Ask your vicar to make a parish notice in church to the congregation to the same effect before the entrance of the bride.
  • Ask me to create a gallery behind the same password wall to which your guests can upload their photographs directly. I can generate a link for this to go in your invitation and I would also suggest a quick email round to all guests with the link a week or so before the wedding, or again, even putting it in the invitation/wedmin instruction.

These three things will ensure that sufficient emphasis is placed on privacy before the event, yet still allowing an outlet for everyone at the wedding to see the shots of everyone else.

If you then decide you want to publish the shots that all your guests took, upload them to Facebook or even use them in your album, I can give them all to you, and you can then upload them to your own account, et voilá… privacy protected!

What about photograph albums?

Photograph albums are easily made.  You can either decide to have one as you book me to take the photos and receive a discount on it, or you can decide once you have seen the shots, but it will then be full price.

The albums are of the highest quality produced in the country, using British materials (genuine leather for the covers) and the highest standard of craftmanship, and believe me when I say they genuinely are exquisite.

As with most things though, and with such a high-quality product, there comes a reasonable price tag. If you view it, however, as an investment for the rest of your lives, then that ‘reasonable’ becomes even more reasonable still…!

The prices, sizes, formats and design of all albums can be discussed as we go through the booking process.

Can you do thank-you cards?

es, and I will have them ready for you on your return from your honeymoon if necessary. It would help hugely if I know in advance that you want thank-you cards as you will want them back to you as soon as possible so that you can start writing them. I appreciate that you will likely want to choose the shots to go on the front and back and I have examples that I can show you.

OK, we give in, you sound amazing. How do we book you?

The first thing that you need to do hit the button just beneath these FAQs.  Fill out the form that you will find, that will give me some of the basic information and from there I can organise a formal quote.

If you would like to meet me, I’m very happy to set up a meeting or to ‘e-meet’ via FaceTime – whatever suits you!

The quoting process is all done through this website, and you’ll be presented with the quote, a wedding photography contract, a payment schedule and then final payment details.  I do everything online so all you have to do is log on and accept it all. A deposit is required to confirm the booking and once that is transferred and the contract is signed, you officially have booked your wedding photographer! Easy!

There will also be one more online form for you to fill out nearer the time to help me gather up all the details into one place.

After the payment, I ask clients to pay the balance in two instalments – the first six weeks prior, and the second three weeks prior to the wedding day and I’m able to split it up further if that would make it easier for you.

All invoices are paid via bank transfer – I don’t accept cheques.

Please don’t worry if this all sounds complex – we’ll be chatting constantly and I’ll guide you through the whole process so there’s no need to worry.

So, hit the button below and get in touch!

Is that it?

A final word to just say that I will be flattered and very honoured to be asked to photograph the biggest day of your life. I know it shows a great deal of trust in me.

Should you decide that I’m not your man for this task, I completely understand. Wedding photography is a very, very personal thing, and you need to be entirely happy with your choice.

That said, I promise you, if you have a wedding, I know I will provide you with some stunning photographs!

 

Click here to get a wedding photography quote.