Monthly Archives: January 2015

Exhibiting at the Reading Town Hall Wedding Fair

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It’s that time of the year again where I’m joining many professionals at wedding fairs to meet and help couples make their wedding day the wonder they dream of.

I’ll be exhibiting this Sunday at the Dream Wedding Fair in Reading Town Hall!

Reading Town Hall is conveniently located in the centre of Reading with easy access and it’s a beautiful venue to have a look around.

It’s the perfect place to gather some inspiration for your wedding day, find the people to help you turn your dream wedding into reality and also see a fantastic Fashion Show at 13:00.

If you’re considering me for your wedding day, you can meet me and see many of my beautiful printed albums and photographs. I have even more of an incentive to come visit me this Sunday, a surprise! I’ll be running a competition on the day and have some special Wedding Fair offers too. To find out more, I look forward to meeting you tomorrow at Reading Town Hall. The wedding fair will be open from 11:00 to 15:30 with a fashion show at 13:00.

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Is it worth having two photographers?

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Is it worth having two photographers at your wedding? Why would you?
As usual it depends on the size of your wedding and preferences, although having two has a higher cost it also comes with certain benefits.
Some photographers work as a standard as a team of two. You’ll find that it’s usually a team of man and wife although there is the odd exception here and there and they usually cost around £1800.

For those who offer themselves as a sole photographer, you can ask them if they can add a second shooter and some may say it’s not their style while some may say they’re more than happy to. Adding a second photographer will cost you around £250 to £400 normally varying depending on who you’re asking and I strongly advise in this case to make sure your photographer has worked with the assistant before so they know they’re reliable, match style, can assure quality and work well together.

As many others I prefer the a la carte option. I’d rather give couples the option and inform them of what adding a second shooter means so they can make an informed decision if that’s right for them, but enough of the introduction.

Here are 5 reasons why it’s a fantastic idea to have 2 photographers:

1. The other side of the morning: You can get images of your groom’s morning or mucking about, them getting ready, empty church or grounds, and the guests arriving at the church.

2. Variety: You can get more variety in the images as the day’s events are being followed by 2 cameras. You have more chances of getting informal images of all your guests with 2 since one person can only be in one place at a time. While your main photographer is taking you away for your private photoshoot (anything between 20min to 1h depending on their style) you’re missing quite a lot of photo ops and the same goes for when your group photos take place. Furthermore, with 2, while one is keeping an eye on guests mingling at the cocktail hour, the other is capturing all your details or reception room before they all go in.

3. Gone missing: As is true in many situations, it’s easier to fix a problem if you prepared in some way for it in the first place. What if your main photographer gets lost in an area without reception, gets stranded with a broken car waiting for the AA in the morning on the way to you or in an accident or stuck on the motorway? (gloomy I know, but worth considering the possibility) If things out of their control and unpredictable were to happen and they go missing the second shooter can take front row and keep things on track. They should usually agree to keep in touch so your second shooter will be able to know if something’s up and they need to switch locations.

4. Travel to the ceremony: This can face traffic jams to or even worse depending on your venue after your guests have arrived: parking issues. If you reach the church before your photographer, no problem! Their partner is already there so nothing is missed.

5. Backup of crucial moments. If a memory card is damaged, lost, stolen or fails beyond recovery there’s a second set of all the images.

All this being said, a single photographer can capture a wedding beautifully and it can all go out without a glitch so consider the impact of having one or not before making a decision. 1 and 2 will always be an added benefit of having a second shooter whilst 3 to 5 are insurance policies.
The bigger the wedding, the more strongly I advise on having one though as a general rule just because of the sheer size that would have to be captured. The usual drawbacks are: the fee for having one and having to pay for the second photographer’s meal as well (if there are any I’ve missed, do let me know so I can add them to the list).

Finally, a few questions to help your decision:

1. Would you like to see the guys getting ready too? (it’s sometimes possible for one photographer to cover a little of both if you’re getting ready at the same venue)

2. Would you like the extra safety?

3. Would you like to see the expressions of your loved ones as you walked down the isle?

4. Would you like someone to keep an eye on your guests while you’re away?

TIP: ask to see a wedding your photographer has shot with their second photographer to see if the style/quality match or if you can tell the difference at all.

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In loving memory of my beloved Arnie

What questions should I ask a wedding photographer?

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I often see bridal magazine articles, blog posts or articles on wedding planning websites instructing brides what to look for and what to ask photographers before hiring one. They’re meant to help and some of them have good points and questions you really should ask, but a lot of them omit an important part of arranging your wedding photography in questions that don’t give you a way to find about the person who actually is behind the camera, what they’re trying to achieve or the way they’re trying to achieve it in.

For example “What do you wear to a wedding?”, “Can others take photos? How about at the same time?”, “What style are you…photojournalistic, documentary?” and the list sure does go on, ranging from useful to ridiculous.
While it’s important to first ask if they’re available in the first place, if you interview several photographers and ask them a vast majority of the recommended questions, a lot of them will get you the same response if you ask 2 or 20 photographers. The main objective is to see if this person is actually passionate about what they do. It’s important to know if they’re insured and what equipment they have. But you’re also spending a lot of time on your wedding day with them around so get to know them to find out if you’re happy with this and figure out if you can let go and trust them to capture your day artistically.

They don’t reveal much about the person and what their aim is. Defining a photographer’s work by pigeonholing it to one approach like photojournalistic, fine art or documentary would narrow their ability to convey their style in the first place as a lot of them can blend elements of approaches. You can tell if you like their style by the images you see and if you’re considering them you really should take some time to have a good look through their portfolio.

If you’re trying to figure out is how they are on the day and the best way of getting that answer would be to ask them to walk you through how they photograph a day or show you the full set of images from a wedding. Ask to see testimonials and reviews if you’d like as well.

Going through their blog posts or asking for access to a past client’s gallery to see the entire day is also a good option for figuring out if the style and their approach to the wedding is for you.

Here are a few questions and requests I recommend asking your photographer so you know if you like them as a person as much as an artist:

What’s your favourite part of a wedding?
Ask for advice on times or other little things. This will give you an idea of how involved they are and their knowledge.
What’s the worst thing that happened to them at a wedding or what’s the funniest? A time where they were caught off guard.
Why did they want to be a wedding photographer in the first place?
What do they do in their free time?

It’s important to know the standard information and I could go on with suggestions, but following on with questions like this will give you a clear insight into the passion of the person behind the camera. If you’re a bride looking for the best photographer for your wedding day, the best way to find them is to ask questions that allow them to reveal their vision. If you can be inspired by the person in front of you and connect with them you will not only find someone to document your wedding day, but you’ll have the confidence to trust on the day that your hard work in making a memorable day will be justly covered and it will be easier for you to relax in front of the camera. Someone being passionate about what they do doesn’t mean necessarily that they’ll not blend inconspicuously in the background, just ask about their approach and you’ll know for sure. If you want them to blend and you’re not sure if they do, you can always ask them or if you’re happy for them to be an active part in the day, just reassure them they can!

If you take anything away from this post let it be that finding a passionate photographer leads to more care and dedication to your day and the way you remember it.

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Just for fun here are some old photos from behind the scenes some dating as far back as 2008:
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Yes, I was waist deep in a little pond to get the image I wanted

:)

Wedding Photography Competition

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I’m starting a competition on one of the best wedding blogs around and a personal favourite. Before you go any further, the answer is yes, it’s Rock ‘N Roll Bride.

I can barely wait to hear from all the readers of Rock ‘N Roll Bride and hear the stories, the plans and feel the excitement of the quickly approaching day! The more I can see how passionate and creative they’re being about the day and their competition entry, the more touching their story, the more likely it is they’ll win. It I can get there by car, plane, hiking or anything apart from riding a bike (since I never learnt how to) and it’s taking place in 2015, it qualifies to enter the competition!

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It starts today at 3:00 and ends on the 14th of February.

I’ll be giving one lovely couple a full day of cover on their wedding day plus an Engagement Shoot with all their images delivered on a beautiful personalised DVD or USB as the preference might be to make how they store their images as unique as their day is.

The top prize is worth £1200, but it doesn’t end there. A second couple will be winning £500 VeVi Voucher (I like how that sounds) redeemable against any of the covers available and to the sweetest meet cute, I’ll be happy to offer an Engagement Shoot (or Rock The Frock shoot as the preference might be)

Be sure to check back on the blog to hear about the winners and I’ll be featuring their amazing day and story on the blog too ^^

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How to get the perfect confetti image

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One of my favourite parts of a wedding without a doubt. Do you want some advice on how to get that memorable image you long for and can’t wait to frame?

Check in advance:
If you have your heart set on having it done at the church or at the venue, be sure to ask in advance if you’re allowed to have one and if they have restrictions on where you can have it. I bet you didn’t know you have to ask for permission and that some places don’t allow it! Shocking right? I couldn’t believe it as first either and I’ve seen a couple of weddings where they had the surprise on the day of not being able to have it done where they would have loved it to happen.

Type:
There are different types. Some aren’t biodegradable and places might not allow those in particular. The biodegradable ones can be shapes from paper or dried flower petals. The best thing about the petals is that you can mix and match and even select them in your wedding colours.

Bring your own:
Sadly, not a lot of guests these days think of bringing confetti to the wedding so you might end up with not enough to have a confetti image at all. It’s better to bring your own and have your bridesmaids hand it out when it’s time. That way you can even keep it in theme.

Composition:
Make sure it’s not all too big or not too small.
If you choose something like lavender you might have the unpleasant situation of swallowing them or getting them in your eyes. They won’t show up very well in photos either.
Going on the other side of the scale and getting dried rose petals means they are fairly heavy so they don’t go too high in the first hand as well as falling to the ground quickly disappointingly enough.
Rather than using one type, add some variety in the colour, shape and size of it. That really adds a wow factor! (Have a look on eBay for purchasing it. You can get great variety and it’s not expensive at all)

Extra
Have a little extra. Once you’ve got your action image running down the isle of petals, why not have a confetti shot with just your closest family members or a group of your choosing?

In waves
Whoever is distributing the confetti can ask your guests to keep some confetti in each hand not in a cone if that’s what you’re giving out so it spreads out better and ask them to throw one handful as you’re approaching them and the other as you pass them. As long as a few follow this advice you’ll get some great results. This gives a continuous flow and the best results.

When?
You can plan to have your confetti in a few places depending on where you’re allowed to have it and your preferences. Here are a few suggestions:
A la France: Did you know that in France the couple leaves after the rest of the guests only to be greeted by all their loved ones throwing rice (which isn’t allowed in this country). So many emotions this is a great occasion to have it arranged. To put a spin on it, you can leave the church first and sneak around the corner to wait for the signal by the other door for a couple of private minutes immediately after the ceremony. While people are getting together, you can nip around the church for a few minutes by yourselves and come back out through the church when ready. This is usually quite quick to organise. As people exit the church, they are handed confetti and the photographer arranges them as they come out of the church.
When you get to the reception: Have a 20min drive with your new spouse. By the time you arrive to get out of the car the same should have been arranged. However, for this option you need to be on time. The quests won’t want to be sitting around waiting in a line for long.
After the group shots: Everyone’s already there! While the last big group image is done you can have someone giving some away the confetti and do it then

I hope this brings you the magical image you’re dreaming of.

In loving memory of my beloved Arnie