Saturday, 15 March 2014

Make the most of it: your photographer

Before I broach this subject I should confess that photography is my profession, and over the past 2 years I have had the pleasure of shooting lots of lovely weddings.

When it comes to wedding photography many wiser people than me have written extensively about  how much a wedding photographer costs and shown detailed breakdowns of why they charge what they do. There are great photographers at each end of the price spectrum, there are also a lot of terrible ones. (Read this post by someone who contacted me recently regarding photography for a very humorous insight). When booking your photographer don't expect someone that charges £500 to have the same shit hot equipment as someone that charges £2500. But as they say it's not always what you've got, but how you use it that matters.
When you first meet a photographer make sure that you see full weddings that they have covered and that you have realistic expectations, get to know them, talk it through extensively over a pint and include all the little details.

Anyway the subject of this post is not cost as such, but more importantly value for money and making the most of what you can afford...

These are my top tips for making the absolute most of your photographer from the point of view of both the said photographer and the bride & groom:

If photography is important to you think about your images early on. When you book your venue think about the shots that you would like. This doesn't just mean looking for pretty backdrops or gorgeous views; you should also look at the space inside your venue. Think about how your photographer can move around for key shots, for example during the speches can they get a clear view of  the top table or have you put a huge floral arrangement in the centre?
If you want a group shot think about where you can fit everyone in and what advantage your photographer can take to ensure they can get everyone in shot.

If family portraits are important to you and you have a large family make sure that you factor in enough time for these to be shot. The more you want the longer it will take. Think about what time it gets dark if you're after some gorgeous shots of the two of you with soft golden sunset light.

Speak to you photographer about their ability to shoot in both natural light and dark situations. If they recoil in horror at the mention of a dark venue then give them a chance, turn up the lights at key points like during the speeches, or put up a few more fairy lights than you'd originally planned. You will pay more for a photographer with years of experience of lighting dark venues because the equipment is expensive and it requires more skill. That's just a fact.

Think about how things will look in pictures. I know this sounds obvious but sometimes it's easily forgotten, for example in my own wedding photographs I had to Photoshop a very offensive looking bottle of Lucozade from my husbands hand! There are lots of easy things you can do, and the details make all the difference. Hang your dress on a nice wooden hanger not a nasty plastic Primark one; take your dresses & suits out of their bags. Keep tidy. I've shot 'getting ready' photos in some seriously chaotic hotel rooms!

You will feel stupid doing this but trust me it really helps: practice your posture in front of a mirror, practice your best angles and your smile, get your friend to take some snaps on their phone and work out how you look best! Read this post first.

Showcase your details! If you've put loads of time into crafting beautiful favours or laboriously sewing bunting making jewellery or arranging flowers, tell your photographer. Make sure these details are acknowledged and recorded and available for the photographer to easily document.

Do not get drunk before you attempt any portraits of you and your new husband/ wife (although a little snifter can take the edge off the nerves!) It is very easy to get totally caught up in the day and forget that you have paid someone to take a particular set of images. If you love documentary photography like me then that's fine and you will get some awesome images, but don't regret not getting that shot you imagined of you and your Nanna because you were too busy downing jam jar cocktails.
{photography: Diamonds & Doodles | Sheffield Wedding Photographer}

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