How soon do I need to book a wedding photographer?
There are many factors involved, but one of the most important is whether you will be getting married at a popular time such as the summer or at a holiday period. If so, then you will need to book at least 12 months in advance to get the date you want. I am taking bookings now that stretch 18-24 months in advance and the popular dates always get filled up first.
It’s not easy to decide, but here are a couple of tips to make it easier:
- Firstly, you must absolutely love the style of the photographer’s work. Have a look at all the examples of my style on this website. They are a mixture of the elegant and timeless with a good selection of informal. This approach gives you a set of images that give a balanced view of the day.
- Secondly, you must be able to forge a strong relationship with the photographer. After all, you are likely to spend many hours with this person, and you need to have a rapport to get the best pictures. Ask yourself whether you would get on with them if you met socially. I am very happy to provide references from brides who will tell you about their experiences with me as their wedding photographer.
In terms of value, the simple answer is no. In the past, when your parents got married, wedding photography was mostly limited to formal set poses and there wasn’t much album choice. Today’s photographers can take many more pictures than before using digital technology, whereas their predecessors were limited by having to use rolls of film. There have been big changes in albums as well and mine are all custom-designed. They are constructed in traditional bookbinding methods, and I use the best suppliers in the world. This superior quality wouldn’t have been available in your parents’ day and that’s why it takes longer to put albums together nowadays.
As a Derbyshire wedding photographer the majority of my work is in Central England but I have photographed weddings throughout the UK and abroad. There are no extra fees for weddings up to 75 miles away and for venues that are further we can discuss that at our meeting. With regards to destination weddings the only extra costs are for any expenses incurred.
All my wedding photography packages include a portrait session. This is a good opportunity for us to work together prior to the big day. It helps build trust and confidence in my ability to produce the outstanding pictures that you want.
The weekends in my diary get booked up much more quickly than weekdays, and I often have numerous requests from couples all requesting the same Saturday or Sunday. As I only attend one wedding per day, it limits the number of commissions that can be taken. However a weekday wedding takes exactly the same amount of work to complete so I don’t offer a discount for them.
There are photographers of all levels and experience all offering different prices for what looks like the same package. If a photographer quotes a low rate, there’s a very real risk they may not be able to produce the high quality pictures that you want. Someone offering this service for such a low price could be just starting out in their trade or they might be part time. I have built up years of experience and have invested heavily in the correct equipment (and back-up equipment) and ongoing personal development and training. I also have both professional liability and indemnity insurance to make sure that you, the client, are fully protected.
This is actually standard practice across the photographic industry, and is a form of legal protection. As soon as a photograph is taken, the copyright is automatically afforded to the photographer. Any kind of reproduction of the images has to be agreed in writing with the photographer, or with whoever owns their rights for 70 years after they’ve died. All my wedding packages include a master DVD of images with full “printing” rights given to you the client.
The proofs are the first set of photographs of your special day that you see. You can use them to decide which pictures you want in your album. There are different ways that photographers provide these to you: they may be printed or be posted online in a gallery. All mine are printed and boxed for you to keep, and you also get an online gallery for all your friends and family to peruse and order from. You will find that most photographer proofs are unfinished, having only have had basic exposure and colour correcting, whereas mine are all fully processed and complete.
Sometimes photographers work as a team to cover weddings, but I generally work on my own and do this for a number of reasons. I want to be in the background of proceedings and don’t want the bride and groom to be distracted – this enables me to capture natural, un-posed images to help tell the story as it unfolds. It makes a big difference to have built up a working relationship with your photographer, and having talked everything through beforehand. The more interaction with a single photographer you have, the better the end result because you know each other. That said, I do from time to time have additional professionals shooting with me and this is easily arranged if you require more than one. The bottom line is that if you book me you get me – not some substitute or associate photographer you’ve never heard of.
All bookings have to be confirmed by signing a contract and paying a retainer, and I can’t hold dates open for people. As a business, I have to take bookings on a first come first served basis. It also covers you too because once you have completed a contract and paid the retainer you know that everything is in place and your date is secured.
First and foremost you must tell all your suppliers, including me. This should be done in writing and at the earliest opportunity. Unfortunately, in most cases the retainer is not refundable, unless I can rebook the date again. If the wedding date is within three months the whole amount will have to be paid, as I am very likely to have turned down other bookings for the same date. If you are cancelling in order to reschedule, then hopefully we can just move the date and nothing will be lost.
I am very lucky that, due to my position within the industry, I have a wide circle of colleagues who are at the same level and who could take over for the day. So far, this has never happened, but if it did, I would fulfill the rest of your package once I had recovered. If all else fails and something happens on the day which affects your coverage, I have indemnity insurance for your peace of mind.
For many brides the morning preparations are an important part of the day and they want it to be included in the pictures. The level of undress is entirely down to you and I will be respectful of your wishes. If there are any moments you don’t want to be photographed, they won’t be. Brides usually like to have the photographer around from the start, because they and everyone around them become more relaxed in front of the camera by the time the ceremony starts. Grooms also appreciate these pictures because they get a little glimpse of what happened when they weren’t there.
This depends on the pictures you want, and the size of the groups for the formal poses – so it can be from a few minutes to hours. As a benchmark, each formal picture will take about 3 minutes, but you also need to allow for people getting lost or drifting to the bar. I tend to limit my formal group shots to 10 or 12 because after that the bride and groom have usually had enough …. It’s their day after all, and they want to enjoy it.
This is an exciting day for friends and family, and most will have a camera with them to record the memories. I welcome this as it provides lots of opportunities for unusual coverage. It is only a problem if guests get in the way of important shots – like the procession down the aisle. Also, other people taking pictures during formal group shots can slow everything down by distracting the guests. Remember that at the end of the day you are paying your official photographer to get the photographs you want.
This can be very confusing when you start to look for a photographer and find out exactly when they’ll start and finish … so I make it as easy as possible. Full day coverage is from bridal preparations till the end of the first dance. It doesn’t matter if preparations start at 7.00 am and the first dance is 10.00 pm – there are no set number of hours with me. I also don’t charge any extra to cover speeches or to stay longer than anticipated. Full coverage means full coverage.
Setting a deadline is necessary so I can organise my schedule and give each and every customer the high level of service they require. Without a deadline some couples can take months to choose albums and designs, during which time prices can increase and the availability of albums can change. Also if couples don’t choose their album pictures fairly quickly, life soon takes over and it becomes a chore rather than a joyful experience.
As I shoot with digital equipment it is possible for any of your pictures to be converted to black and white from the colour original. Just discuss this with me as some may work better in one or the other. For album design I usually try and group colour or B+W on the same layout for consistency.
I will ask for a list from your proofs of those pictures that you want including in your album, and from this list I will design a layout that is then presented to you for approval. I think it important that we work together to get the finished result – but bear in mind that it is my job and if I think something won’t work I will try and explain the reasons why.
Colour correction is a computer process by which your wedding photographer adjusts the photograph with regard to balance, tone, brightness to enhance the quality of the final print.
This usually includes colour correction and the removal of any minor skin imperfections – you will still be able to recognise yourself, and this is why we use the word ‘minor’.
The matted wedding album is made up of pages in which photographs are hand-mounted to each page and surrounded by a matte, or border. Matted wedding albums can include one or more photos per page. A flush-mount album consists of photos or photo layouts mounted to the page without the use of mattes. The photos go to the very edge of the page, leaving no border. The flush-mount album style is sometimes called “magazine style” because the full-page layouts might remind you of a magazine spread, with numerous photographs assembled in interesting designs on each page. I provide both sorts and they are made by the best in the business. I am also able to provide albums that have a mixture of both and there are only two manufacturers in the world who provide this – both the best at what they do – and I have samples if you’d like to see them.
Your proofs help you decide on what pictures to keep for your album and I provide them as a set of boxed prints which are yours to keep next to your album. This means that the album can be dedicated to pictures you want included but you’ve still got copies of all the others.
The parent album is a popular choice and can either be a smaller copy of the main wedding album or one specifically designed just for them. I provide various options – just ask.
Why does my print look different than on your website?
This sometimes happens because of the size of the finished print. Different cameras create images of differing height and width, and this is called a ratio. Some prints have to be cropped from the original size to fit a particular album or a certain frame size. 8×10 for example is a standard frame size, but does not match the standard image from the camera – so the image has to be trimmed to fit.
Boudoir photography sessions are tasteful photos with a hint of sexiness. Every person has their own idea of what sexy is as well as what they are comfortable with. These sessions are cute, fun, sexy, flirty and even a bit sensual, but they always stay within your comfort zone. The pictures are often given as a gift for the groom before or after the wedding, and many of my brides opt for this as part of their wedding plans.