DO YOU HAVE ANY PHOTOGRAPHY MAKE-UP TIPS?
Now I’m no hair or make-up stylist, but I have picked up a few things along the way. Not all of this may be right and not all hairdressers will say the same thing – so take it all with a pinch of salt. This is by no means an expert opinion – this is just bits and bobs that I’ve picked up over the years.
Avoid glossy lipstick, and consider foundation or powder that will reduce the chance of having a shiny face. Regular light touch ups of powder throughout the day are recommended, especially if it’s hot. Please note I have seen mineral and shimmery makeup cause unflattering effects with flash and reflect the light. Waterproof mascara is a must as a lot of brides can end up shedding a few tears throughout the day, even when they think they wont!
A neutral or beige lip colour can look lovely and natural, but with an ivory, cream or white dress, there is a risk of looking washed out. I always suggest to get your make up pre-done a good while before the wedding and take a few snaps of yourself with it done in your dress, just so that you can live with it for a while and think about any changes you may want to make. It’s better to be safe than sorry! When lip liner is used, try to match the shade of your lipstick perfectly as again, this can end up being extenuated in photos.
The prettiest and most beautiful bridal make-up comes from a flawless skin base – so don’t be afraid to spend a little time and money finding the right foundation that will last throughout the day and stand up to sweat, mud and tears.
Your eyes are the most expressive part of your face, and you’ll be amazed at the difference well-groomed eyebrows and some skilfully applied shading can make. Since your eyebrows naturally frame your eyes, they can give your entire face a lift and make you look years younger. Try to avoid heavy pencil as it can show up more with flash than you can see with the naked eye. We can always do a test run for your bridal make up if need be. Neutral eye colours will enhance the eye, but don’t be afraid to use a little smoke or sparkle – it can look stunning. Individual eyelashes or extensions are great for lifting and accenting the outer eye area, without looking as obvious and unnatural as strip applied ones. and don’t forget to use waterproof mascara. There may be tears! Black eye-liner can sometimes come out looking a little harsh in photos, so always make sure that you smudge it out and blend it in well to prevent any hard lines from being accentuated by photography lighting.
Always have a make-up test run before the big day so that you don’t end up saying “I hate it!” and having to get it redone as this can end up shunting the schedule for the whole day. The same goes for hair! A light dusting of powder over a man’s face can really help if they are prone to shiny or greasy skin, and it goes without saying that the same goes for women too! Once your makeup artist has gone home and you're getting on in the day, it's' always useful to ask him or her for any tips to help you keep your makeup topped up throughout the day to ensure that you always look your very best.
If you are doing your own makeup and hair, it's always advisable to do a few tests if it's drastically different to what you wear on a day to day basis. There's several differing opinions on doing your wedding makeup, and wherever you look you will read different things, but the best advice that I can give you after seeing several brides doing it themselves is to use what you are comfortable with, and if you're buying new makeup that you don't normally use, make sure you test it out in lots of different conditions to see how it will fare with heat, sweat, tears and longevity throughout a whole day.
The most important thing with makeup is to be comfortable and confident, so go with whatever makes you feel great, even if it's not necessarily what's in fashion at the moment or what other people want you to wear. Being confident on your wedding day is one of the most important things - you will feel so much more relaxed around the camera i you feel great on the inside and the outside!
If you are going makeup free, consider using a light dusting of translucent powder on your face to minimise shine in photos and to help stop sweat showing on hot days, and a very light coat of waterproof black or brown mascara that's matched to your natural eyelash colour will help your eyes pop in photos without making you look like you are wearing makeup at all.
DO YOU HAVE ANY OTHER BEAUTY TIPS?
If you shave any visible areas the night before please make sure you exfoliate to avoid any ingrown hairs. Shaving is best done 48 hours before the wedding unless your hair regrows very dark and fast. If you're in doubt - talk to a beautician who will be able to advise you on the best method to remain hair free without leaving you with any sort of shaving rash or ingrown hairs.
Please don't wear a bra in the morning if you are wearing a strapless dress, or if your shoulders are on display, as it can leave red marks which can show up in the photos. Also avoid wearing any sort of tight fitting pyjamas which can leave marks if you're having bridal preparation coverage and you are going to change out of your pyjamas once photography begins.
Don't be afraid to contour, but please keep it light and natural as it can show up on camera more than it does in real life, and it can end up looking unnatural. Again, if you're using a powder, please use a matte powder to avoid it reflecting the light from flash. The trend at the moment is for lots of highlighter to be applied to the cheekbones and other areas of the face as a form of contouring, but this can be heavily exaggerated with the flash that photographers use, so please try to pick a highlighter that isn't overly shimmery.
The less the reflective a highlighter is, the better - you want it to help define and highlight your features but you don't want to end up looking like it's sweat in the photos! Any good make up artist will know which products are camera safe and which aren't, so it's always worth checking with your make up artist beforehand, especially if you're getting married or having your reception in a dimly lit venue and flash will be needed. Please make sure your make up is blended down your neck and if you are covering tan lines or scars, please use a matte powder or foundation to avoid it showing up when flash is used.
DO YOU HAVE ANY HAIR TIPS?
Always test the style out beforehand and wear it for at least the length of your wedding so that you can see how your individual hair holds up to the style. Try not to dye your hair a drastically different colour before the wedding – if you change your mind later on and decide that you preferred your old or natural colour, it’s almost impossible to fix in post processing without it being obvious.
Remember to try and make your hair dye complimentary to your skin tone if you are taking the plunge and dying it. Adding fine highlights and lowlights can make dyed hair look more natural, and less flat in black and white images.
Real flowers can be weaved into wires and worked into your hairstyle, and this is a romantically timeless way to show off your choice of flowers for the day, and to really set off a beautiful hair style. Don’t be afraid to go for a little height with the wedding hair style – it can be very flattering for most face shapes, and it almost always makes a bride feel elegant and poised to have a little more stature on top. It can really balance out your silhouette combined with big heels.
If you’re opting for a natural, almost messy hair-up style – remember that it has to last all day and night, and that it will need some help to do so. Your stylist or hairdresser will be an expert at getting natural up-dos to stay in place and I strongly advise that you try it out for a day before hand – just to make sure that it won’t fall out half way through the day. If you can’t decide whether to have your hair up or down – why not have both? Ask your stylist to create some curl or volume first, then create a soft and natural up-style that can be easily let down later on in the evening.
HOW MUCH CAN WE FIT IN ON OUR WEDDING DAY?
We can fit whatever you want into the day as long as time allows for it! It’s your day, and I’m your photographer so I will endeavour to make sure that we fit in all you must have photos and all the bits in-between. The only thing to bear in mind is that if you want to make drastic changes to the schedule on your wedding day itself, or even in the planning stages, sometimes other shots or desired photo locations may have to be sacrificed to make time for the new ones that you want to implement.
A typical wedding with coverage from the ceremony to the first dance will have ample room to fit in most sorts of photo opportunities that you want - you can usually fit in a large amount of family and guest group photo shoots, bridesmaid and grooms men photo shoots, a 30-45 minute bride and groom intimate shoot, plenty of candid shots of the day in between the main events, photos of the venue and wedding breakfast tables, coverage of the speeches, candid photos throughout the evening, cutting the cake and the first dance. This will obviously vary depending on each weddings schedule - each wedding is unique and there are no "one size fits all" options for weddings -that's why I offer such a tailored and luxury bespoke service to cover each wedding the way you need it to be covered, and I provide invaluable help with the planning and scheduling so that you can be sure you know exactly what we can fit in on the day.
Another great tip to ensure that we can fit everything into your day that you have planned is to give everyone a start and finish time - make-up artists, beauty technicians, hairdressers and any other professionals can then ensure that they stick to your schedule, and although with things like hair and make-up it isn’t always possible to stick to a schedule, it at least helps them to plan in advance as most professionals will be able to tell you how long your desired styles will take during your consultation or the practise run.
If you are wearing a very large or trailing dress, or high heels, please bare in mind that a 5-minute walk to a location can in reality take double that, or even more, especially if its rough terrain that you need to walk over! I always recommend leaving ample time between events in your wedding schedule with plenty of time to relax in-between and enjoy the day. This way, if something does run over, you aren’t going to be running to the table whilst dinner is getting cold. Although that would make some interesting wedding photos, it’s not the most enjoyable way to spend your day, and a happy couple means beautiful photos. I don’t want you to get stressed or be rushed.
In order to allow for an intimate photo session of the bride and groom, I will need at least half an hour of your time alone at a location of your choosing. A female helper can be useful here to be on hand to touch up hair and makeup, as these shots are some of the most important of the day. Please remember to schedule walking or driving times into the day to get to the location for the intimate posed shots.
For family and group shots, plan for about 5 minutes per photo - this is just an estimate; it can sometimes take longer, due to family members not being there at the right time, arranging people so that they can all be seen, blinking, children running off, etcetera. This is especially true when there are lots of photos with young children included, as although they are some of the best posers out there and make some beautiful additions to a wedding day, they are also by far the hardest to keep still! Please remember to schedule walking or driving times into the day to get to the location for the formal group shots.
For family and group shots where you are having a large number of different groups or a large amount of shots, I always advise my couples to pre-assign two or three family members or friends who know everyone that you want in the group shots to round them up for the photos. Getting people where they need to be for the photos is by far the most time-consuming part of group shots. Assigning some helpers for the day can save a lot of time and heartache, as I won’t know if someone is missing from a shot unless someone tells me that they are! If you want to assign more helpers for the day, then please go ahead. The more the merrier, but the minimum that I would recommend is two. Please ensure that your chosen helpers can identify everyone who you want photographed, as I won’t find out until you tell me after the wedding that someone was missing, and although missed shots can be retaken after the wedding, it’s just not the same.
Another point that is worth mentioning is to try to appoint helpers that get along and will work well together, as the last thing that you need is a power struggle over who gets to be in charge, and yes, this really has happened before!
Please ensure that your chosen helpers are on hand to ensure the presence of all the family members and friends that are required for your formal wedding photos. On the day, it always pays to have people overseeing the group shots, as I won’t know who everyone is and people could be missed out of the shots if your helpers aren’t there to help organise them.
Before the wedding inform the people that you want to be in group photos of where and when they will be needed for pictures, and give your helpers a list. I can provide a list for you if you like, printed and laminated for you without you having to worry about arranging that yourself.
DO I NEED TO PREPARE MY GUESTS?
Please make sure that any camera-shy guests that you want photos of are willing to have their photos taken to avoid disappointment and wasted time having to persuade people to cooperate. Teenagers in particular can be rather funny about this, and time spent persuading someone to have their portrait taken is less time for other people, on what is already going to be a time precious day..
Another great tip is to let all of your wedding guests where and when they need to be around for family and friend group shots. This can really help ensure that the day runs smoothly, as if uncle Bob is at the bar when the photos are about to begin, it's going to take while to find him and get him back to the area that you have chosen for your photos.
WHAT IF WE run LATE?
Lateness is not a problem. I'm there to make your day special, and I never double book a wedding so you won't catch me trying to run off because I have to be somewhere else. Some photographers double book weddings on the same day so they can end up tied down to leaving at a certain time or they risk missing the next ceremony later on - this is especially common with shorter coverage where the photographer is only there for a few hours, for example with registry office weddings that don't book coverage for the reception afterwards.
I never do this, and you can be assured that when you book me, you get the whole day marked down in my diary as booked, not just the hours you have planned for your wedding. The whole day you book is devoted to your wedding, even if it's planned to finish in the early afternoon. I want you to be relaxed on the day, even if we run over schedule. A relaxed and stress free bride and groom produce the best photos, and almost all wedding venues are understanding of lateness or schedules overrunning.
I'm a naturally calm person and I will run with the ebb and flow of events on the day without fretting about timings as long as your plans aren't in jeopardy. You can relax knowing that I won’t say “It’s 9pm, I’m leaving now. It’s your fault your wedding ran over, it's my home time!”, as I will always stay late if we haven’t got the shots that we wanted and I'm always happy to put in overtime. Roughly 50% of my weddings in 2017 asked me for more time on the day than they had originally planned, and I didn't say no to a single one of them!
WHAT IF WE WANT EXTRA Photos ON THE DAY?
Then there are no extra charges! You're paying for my time, not a set amount of images! If at any point during the day you would like a particular photo taken, don’t hesitate to ask. Nothing is too much trouble for me, and nothing that we plan is set in stone. Weddings often change on the day compared the planning process, so it's all part of my luxury and bespoke service for me to be able to think on my feet, quickly and in a creative way to capture those fleeting moments that deserve to be in your wedding album. I will never limit the photos that we take during your wedding photography. If you make time for it, I make time for it, it’s as simple as that.
My clients are never paying for a set of particular images with my wedding packages and I would never charge a client more money for extra photos that are taken during our time together. I want your wedding to be as stress free as it possibly can be so you can relax in the knowledge that if you ask for me for to take a photo on your wedding day, I will take it, and I won't just take the photo, I will make sure that it's taken in the same creative and unique style that the rest of your wedding photos are taken in!
I will always do everything in my power to capture what you want in the most creative and beautiful way possible, and if a client, guest or family member asks me for photos during a wedding, I will always stop and make time for them if I'm not supposed to be somewhere else and it doesn't impede on your schedule.
I FEEL AWKWARD KISSING IN FRONT OF THE CAMERA!
Kissing is always a beautiful thing to take photographs of - passionate kisses can make some of the nicest memories in a whole wedding album, and when taken in the right way, they can be really flattering, and even creative! Some people are worried about looking bad when kissing in front of the camera, but it really depends on the angle that the photo was taken and how you were kissing. It is true - not all photos of kissing are flattering and some do make it into the "photo bin" because they don't look so good, but it's rare. Slow and passionate kisses produce some wonderful images and if you look through my portfolio you will find lots of images of couples kissing - that look great!
A perfect example of why you should kiss in front of the camera is of a couple that I photographed in the summer in 2017. The groom leant in and gave the bride a peck on the forehead - it may not seem like anything spectacular, but it was everything to the bride and she burst into tears when she saw it and realised how beautiful that memory was to her. The groom kissed her on the forehead at least once every day. It was a one of the things that he did throughout their life together that never failed made her day a little bit more special, and seeing that intimate part of their daily routine incorporated into their wedding day, stood by a lake wearing her big fairytale white dress was such a special touch for her and it made her wedding photography just that little bit more personal, because it included something that was so small, but so special to her, and that's all part of my job as a luxury and bespoke wedding photographer - I love to capture the tiny details that will make your wedding photography that little bit more unique, and that's where knowing my clients really pays off - I always love to ask my clients if there's anything special to them that they would love to have included in their wedding photos.
One thing that I will say is when kissing in front of the camera, please try to make sure that whenever you kiss, you make it a really long and emotional kiss. The slow and emotional kisses make the tear jerking memories. When kissing in front of a camera or in public, couples often opt to go for a fast peck, but fast kisses can blur movement on the photos in dimly lit areas and they often end up looking like they lack emotion, even if they don’t. A long and drawn out kiss usually shows so much more emotion and passion in images, and it's a lot more fun for you guys too!
Kissing can be a really fun thing to incorporate into family photos too - one that I really love is when the couple kiss and the kids all cover their eyes! Kissing doesn't have to be embarrassing - after-all - you're celebrating your love on your wedding day, so you shouldn't ever feel shy about kissing in front of the camera - all of your guests have come to your wedding to see you celebrate your love, and they expect you to have a few kisses throughout the day!
I'm NOT PHOTOGENIC!
I've worked with so many couples and people that have said that to me, yet they have all been pleasantly surprised when they see how good they look in the photos afterwards! It's completely normal to feel a little nervous in front of the camera, but try to relax because I won’t process any unflattering photos. and I always make sure that my couples look great in their wedding photos. It's my job as a wedding photographer to look at a scene as a whole, people included and to make sure that everything looks perfect, so I will constantly be on the look out throughout your wedding photography to ensure that you're not posing in any unflattering ways or that your make up hasn't got smudged, or your hair isn't out of place, and that's all a part of my luxury service.
Try not to worry about it on the day, and try not to feel self-conscious. If you have any particular body hang-ups, make sure that you let me know before the wedding and I can try and work around anything that bothers you or makes you feel self conscious. It’s my job to make you all look good, and that extends to guests and family too - I will always give people subtle directions to help them with posing to ensure that everyone shows off their most flattering sides at all times and always looks their best in your wedding album, so that you don't have to worry about how everyone looks - I do that for you.
If you look through my portfolio, you won't find any photos of couples or their guests looking unflattering - I do everything that I can to ensure that brides, grooms, guests and family all look their best in their photos, and if they don't look flattering, I resign the images to the "photo bin" so that your wedding album looks as amazing as you had hoped it will be.
Part of my luxury and bespoke service is ensuring that not only the couple, but the family and guests look as good as possible in all of the photos - that sometimes involves me looking out for smudges make up, hair that's fallen out of place or people posing in ways that simply aren't flattering. My role often extends beyond a photographer, I've been known to help touch up make up, tidy hair, straighten a grooms buttonhole and smooth down a brides dress so that she always looks her best during the photos, and that's all part of the luxury and bespoke service you will receive from me at your wedding - I'm much more than a wedding photographer to my clients - I'm a friend who is there all day at your side ensuring that the day runs smoothly and that you look your very best throughout your wedding day!
Whilst having your photos taken, please make sure that you don’t rush, you look at the camera, and most of all, try to relax. Please try to act naturally around the camera when you’re having your photo taken, especially when I’m taking candid shots. The more natural you are with your new partner, family or friends, the better the photos will look.
DO YOU KEEP A BACK UP?
I always keep a back up copy of your finished photographs, the length of time varies depending on what package you go for, but I always put a minimum term in my contract to ensure that if anything should happen to your copy of your photos, I can provide you with another copy free of charge. Due to the extreme size of photos that are taken by a DSLR, I don’t indefinitely store them because I would need thousands of hard drives to store all of the weddings that I do per year, but I will keep them for at least the time stated in the contract, so that you a chance to back up your photos yourself.
If you lose your copies of your photos, I will always let you download them again completely free of charge. I don’t believe in charging clients for this service, accidents do happen and it's unfair to take advantage of that to try and make a profit from your clients and that's all part of my luxury service. I only charge if clients want physical media replacing - like USB drives or DVD's.
I always recommend keeping your own back up copy of your wedding photos because hardware can and does fail. I always advise keeping more than one copy of your photos. My top tier packages not only give you a digital download, but also a USB drive, a DVD and my clients always have the option to purchase additional DVD's for a very reasonable price so that you can keep multiple copies of your wedding album. If you are going for a package that doesn't include a USB or DVD, these can be purchased separately to ensure that you have multiple ways to store your files.
I would also recommend uploading your photos to a cloud based secure service, keeping a copy on your computer, and keeping a copy on the USB drive that you will get from me once your photos have finished being edited. I would recommend Microsoft One Drive as you get 1TB free with an office subscription and most people have one of these already. One Drive has never failed me yet, and I’ve used it for years.
I also use Google Drive, which again, has never failed me, and you do get a good amount of free space just for signing up for an email account with Google and they are also very reliable. Google and One Drive would be the two cloud services that I recommend first and foremost, but there are also lots of other cloud based storage options like Drop Box for example, but some of these services do not offer enough space for free to store the average wedding album on without compressing the files.
I also provide my clients with smaller sized web versions of the photos for use on social media and to store on devices with smaller storage spaces, like phones and tablets, so as a last resort if your wedding album is larger than the storage you have left on your cloud drive, you can use the smaller copies of the files to upload to the cloud to ensure that you at least have one copy of your wedding photos backed up online.
DO WE GET PRINTING RIGHTS OF THE PHOTOS?
Full printing rights are included with every single photo shoot or wedding. I don't believe in tying you down legally to having your prints done with me for the rest of your life, so as standard, all of my services come with full personal printing rights, for life.
Some photographers put clauses into their contracts to prevent you from getting their photos printed at any print shop or website as a way to try and make more money out of you in the future and prevent you giving prints to your guests after the wedding that aren't purchased through the photographers, and there are ways to embed your copyright into the photos so that even without a forged physical release, you can still get caught out as the files contain the information inside them when they are processed through our specialist photography editing software.
This is a practise that you still see with some older photographers because a few years ago, wedding photographers would make most of their profit through the prints they sold after the wedding and by removing your rights to print, it forced you to buy your pictures through them for largely inflated prices. My parents had this clause with their wedding photographer and I think it''s a horrible practise, as they only have one copy of their wedding photos and they paid hundreds of pounds for the prints - which back when they got married was an extortionate amount of money!!
This is something I will never change, so you don't need to be worried about ever getting the rights to print your photos revoked - once you have paid for your package and any extras you ordered - you own the full printing rights to the photos - for life, and that's all a part of my bespoke service as a luxury wedding photographer.
ARE THE PHOTOS EDITED?
Luxury and bespoke hand editing is always included in the price of your wedding or photo shoot. All of my clients photo are luxuriously hand edited and processed to tweak them to look the best that they can. I spend 2-3 weeks editing each wedding by hand, and my editing is bespoke to each individual wedding.
I give each and every photo the hand edited luxury touch to ensure that your wedding album is as unique as you are - and that it's creative, modern yet also timeless. Editing photos is what sets me apart from other photographers - natural photos look great and some photos look best left natural, like group shots for example, but creative editing is what I specialise in, and it's what I love doing the most. I am truly in my element when I sit down on my computer to start tweaking your wedding album to perfection and I am known by my family to work well into the night just because I love doing it!
Each wedding is different, and they all deserve to be captured and edited beautifully. I always consult my couples before editing begins to ensure that they get the styles and colours that they want - I've edited albums in completely natural styles before and likewise, I've edited albums in a completely creative way before. Most clients opt to give me complete creative control over editing their album which means that I decide what style and colour suits each individual photo depending on the subject, lighting and scenery.
Manipulative editing like airbrushing, spot removal, teeth whitening etcetera is a chargeable extra as its so time consuming. Charges for manipulative editing vary depending on the particular services required. Any manipulative editing can either be paid for at the same time as your original package, or it can be ordered and paid for after the wedding, so don’t worry, if you look at a particular photo and decide that you want it manipulated, it can always be added as an extra service after the wedding and I charge very affordable and reasonable prices for beauty retouching.
To read more about my hand editing service in more detail, please head over to this page for more information.
ARE YOU QUALIFIED?
I have three degrees - in photography, wedding photography and photo editing. Not only have I got the qualifications to back me up, but I also go to great lengths to keep up to date with the latest advances in photography and the wedding world.
I subscribe to most wedding magazines, and almost every photography magazine that you can buy, and I constantly buy new books and scour websites, blogs and social media to ensure that I'm never left behind with the latest trends, technology advances and techniques.
Because I keep myself up to date with new photo techniques and editing styles, you can be assured that my work will never be behind with the times and you will get the advantage of a creative wedding photographer who has learnt with digital cameras and is not stuck in the past in a rut being reluctant to accept modern techniques and styles.
Technology has moved very fast in the last decade or two and it's so important to let your skills and techniques move along with it so that you are always improving your services as a photographer. A great example of this would be for you to look at your parents wedding album, especially if they were born back in the 70's or 80's - the photos will look so old and outdated compared to what we can produce now, even though the photographer at the time was probably a very highly skilled professional wedding photographer - that's why it's so important to not only keep learning and developing yourself as a photographer, but to also keep purchasing new equipment to keep up with the latest technological advances in photography that allow us to push the creative boundaries of wedding photographer further than ever before.
DO WE GET YOU ON THE DAY?
I don't employ or hire any other photographers or trainees, and I don't outsource any wedding photography to other people, so when you book with me, you can be assured that it's me that you're getting as your wedding photographer. When you pick a photographer, you want the wedding photographer that you hand picked, not a substitute or trainee who may not be as good as them.
It's always worth being wary of photography companies that employ staff, as you can look through their portfolio, fall in love with their images and style, but the photographer that you end up getting on your wedding day may produce completely different images to those that you fell in love with in the first place - this is the reason that I don't employ other photographers. Not all companies do this - a reputable wedding photography company will offer you different portfolios for the different members of staff so that you can see each individual photographers work before you book them.
You never have to worry about booking me and getting a different photographer on the day - although it would be a great business decision to employ photographers to work for me, I don't believe that it fits in with my luxury and bespoke business model. It would enable me to earn a lot more money throughout the year as I'm constantly asked to cover weddings on days that I'm already booked for and I'm always having to turn clients down, but I like to ensure that all of my clients get the personal luxury and bespoke touch that I have worked so to hard to create, and the only way to do that is to ensure that I'm the one that captures and edits the photos, and I'm the one delivering the top quality photography services that my clients expect.
WHAT IS YOUR POLICY ON BOOKING FEES AND CANCELLATION?
I ask for a non refundable booking fee for all of my weddings and photo shoots, the price varies depending on which package you go for, or what price you are paying if you have a bespoke and tailored package. The booking fee is always a fair and small amount in comparison to your final price, and it just ensures that the date is booked in my dairy for you and is not available for any one else. The booking fee also pays for planning, organising scheduling, communication, meetings and all planning services behind the scenes, and this is why it is non refundable if yo cancel your wedding, as the services that the booking fee covers are all carried out before the wedding day itself.
If your wedding is cancelled within enough time for me to book in another client then there are no cancellation fees, but if your wedding is cancelled at short notice, there are cancellation fees as it's almost impossible to book in another client at short notice due to the nature of weddings being booked so far in advance. My cancellation fees are fair and are not excessive, and they vary on how long before the wedding you cancel. If you rearrange your wedding for a different date, there are no fees as long as I'm not already booked in for that date with another client.
There are no hidden charges or fees, and everything is clearly laid out in the contract so that you don't have any nasty surprises or hidden costs on the run up to your wedding day.
WHAT IF YOU CAN’T MAKE IT TO THE WEDDING?
Wild horses couldn’t stop me! I've never once missed a wedding and I don't plan to ever change that record!Unless I end up in hospital or with a broken leg, I will do whatever I have to do to get there.
If my car breaks down and my break down cover isn't able to make it on time, I always carry cash with me to pay for taxis, and if I can’t get a taxi, I would find a way to get there. I always carry the phone numbers of the important guests with me, so I will always have a direct line to your VIP guests should anything happen to me on the way or I get lost. I also service my car more frequently than Audi recommends to ensure that it's well maintained so that break downs are very unlikely, luckily it's never broken down and I picked my Audi solely on it's reliability and the space it has in the boot to store my wedding photography gear! German cars are known for their reliability, and in my line of work, that's very important! I also own a second car to ensure that if anything should happen to my car before your wedding day, I have another car to jump into to get me to your big day!
If I become ill, I take some painkillers and forget about it for the day - I'm a true professional and I don't let my personal circumstances effect my quality of work or my professionalism. I don't pull sick days, ever, and I don't often get ill which is very lucky given my profession!
I haven’t missed a wedding yet and I don't plan to ruin my perfect attendance record! I do of course have a section in my contract regarding what would happen if I were unable to attend a wedding in extreme circumstances - I would always give my clients a full refund if I couldn't provide cover - I know several local photographers who I can call to see if they can provide emergency cover if it ever came to it and I also have a few friends who I have provided emergency cover for in the past when they have been unable to attend weddings, so I always have a few favours that I can call in should I be in a situation that extreme that I couldn't physically attend your wedding myself.
ARE THERE ANY OTHER THINGS WE NEED TO KNOW?
In regards to your dress code - it's always worth letting me know if you have special theme or you have limited certain colours or styles. I will always dress appropriately for weddings. You won’t catch me turning up in jeans and a t-shirt. I almost always wear something easy to move around in like plain black leggings and a smart top, blazer or something similarly smart, as a dress can be too restrictive as I spend a lot of time on my knees or crouching down. Depending on what equipment I need to bring on the day, I will either bring a waist bag, a shoulder bag, a rucksack or a modular waist belt and harness. I don't need my bag with me at all times of the day, but during time sensitive parts of the day, it allows me to grab equipment without having to run back and forth from my car. It allows me to carry large amounts of equipment that I need throughout the day, and more importantly, access the equipment quickly and easily without having to halt the day to run and grab a different lens or a flash gun. It also allows me to attach the camera itself to the vest or harness, taking the weight off my neck and making me more comfortable during long weddings, and it makes the camera more secure. It’s not the most fashionable thing in the world, but don’t worry, I don’t plan to be in any of your photos!
Another fairly important point is that I need to be able to park reasonably close to the venue. If I can get my car close to the entrance, I can have quick access to equipment that I can’t carry with me at all times, like my tripods and umbrellas for example. It’s not the end of the world if I can’t park right outside, but it certainly helps with shortening travel times to and from the car if I need to get more equipment. Alternatively, if parking is a long way from the venue itself, we can always arrange to have a non-photographically essential guest carry and watch vital equipment, or leave it with the venue staff.
If the day is 6 hours or over, it's always appreciated to be given a meal when you have your wedding breakfast. Wedding photography is a long and physically demanding job, and the average wedding is a long day to work without any proper food. This is especially important if the venue is out in the countryside, as if I have to leave to buy food on the day, depending on the location, it can take 30 minutes or so to get to the nearest shop or establishment that serves food, as a lot of wedding venues are out in the countryside with little to no amenities around them. I don't for anything over the top, a basic meal is fine, I don't expect a full three course meal, although I wouldn't say no to one! I don’t normally eat with the guests, venues will usually arrange a location for the wedding staff to eat on the day, and they will usually provide a separate and cheaper meal for vendors. Some venues even provide food for staff for free. It’s worth checking with your venue about this one. It’s the industry standard to ask for food on a long shooting day, and if food is not provided, then one to two 30 minute breaks need to be provided to allow me to leave to buy food or eat a packed lunch/dinner in the car.
I will use selected photos from your wedding on my website, adverts and brochures. I won’t use all of them, as if I did, clients would have to spend days looking through my portfolio! I post several wedding images across multiple social media platforms and my website like any other photographer.
For every referral that a past client makes that books me for their wedding or photoshoot, I give the client that refereed them a money off voucher towards a photoshoot with me. The amount of the voucher depends on the services booked by the referral and vouchers can be stacked, so if you refer enough people, you can bag yourself a free or heavily discounted photoshoot! When you refer someone to me, make sure that you ask them to tell me that it was you that referred them. I always ask a client how they heard about me so that I can monitor the effectiveness of advertising.
YOUR PRICES ARE OUT OF OUR BUDGET RANGE, CAN WE GET A DISCOUNT?
I regularly offer discounts to my wedding clients throughout the year and I also run lots of special offers and discounts. I know that planning a wedding and keeping it all under your budget can be hard when there's so many different aspects to think about, so please don't hesitate to get in touch if you would love me to cover your wedding but you can't afford my package prices. I’m always happy to put together a bespoke package for my clients to suit a range of budgets and help you when you fall in love with my work, but you can't afford my set package prices.
There are several ways that I can reduce the price of your package, by altering aspects of the packages I can tailor each one around you and your wedding budget individually, all you need to do is get in touch and ask.
WHAT OFFERS & DISCOUNTS ARE YOU RUNNING CURRENTLY?
I regularly run offers and discounts throughout each year, so it's always worth checking my investment page for my current pricing and discounts.
Here is a list of my current offers and discounts that I'm running in 2018:
10% off all weddings in the winter and on weekdays
10% off all weddings booked in for 2018
I have a few spaces left in my diary for 2018, so if you are lucky enough to have your wedding on one of the days that I have left free in my diary, I'm happy to be able to offer you a discount on your last minute booking.
I know how hard it can be to keep your wedding under your budget, so I'm always trying to run new offers and discounts to enable my clients to save a little on the photographer that they love, so that you can book me, for less.
WHY DON'T YOU OFFER DISCOUNTS IN THE SUMMER OR ON WEEKENDS?
Summer weddings are where the bulk of my earnings are made for the year- not many people get married in the winter or on weekdays, so by offering this discount to my clients I have been able to reduce my workload in the summer an spread out my work across the year more, allowing me to change my business model in 2018.
I now offer a luxury and bespoke service - helping with planning, scheduling, the creative vision and so much more, and by reducing my workload and being more selective about which weddings I will take on, it allows me to offer my clients a truly luxury and bespoke service from the very first email, right through to the end where their photos are delivered. Many photographers will take on so many weddings throughout the summer that they are working 24/7 to keep up with their workload and often clients photos will go onto an editing pile and wait up to 6 months or more to be edited. The clients that I work with are looking for a luxury service and don't want to wait for months and months for their photos to be edited, and because I offer a luxury hand editing service, I need to be able to offer my clients my full attention - never working on two weddings at once.
The reason that I don't offer discounts on weddings booked in for weekends is that they are the most popular dates of the year, and as a photographer, you earn the bulk of your earnings for the year in the summer weekends. By offering a discount on winter or weekday weddings, it enables me to work less in the summer and spread out my work throughout the year so that I have a little time in the sunshine to enjoy with my family!
Take 2017 for example - I didn't get any time off in the summer at all, I was working every weekend and I felt like I missed the summer completely - so by offering discounts on the colder months and weekdays, it enables me to be more selective about how much work I take on in the summer and it enables me to have a little time to myself and offer my clients a truly luxury and bespoke service - giving them my full attention and only ever working on one wedding at a time without making my clients wait months for their photos to be delivered.
2017 was my busiest year ever and I ended up working 24/7 to keep up to date with my work, so in 2018 I have taken a new approach to my business model and I have changed the way I take bookings throughout the year - I've limited how many weddings that I will take on at any one time so that every client gets my full attention, and they get a truly luxury and bespoke service. This new business model allows me to take on less work through the summer, give my summer clients more of my time without me working through the night, and for me to take on more winter and weekday weddings to spread out my work across the year.
Weekday weddings aren't that common, so I always offer a discount on a weekday wedding. As a photographer, your diary is normally full of bookings for Saturdays and Sundays, but not so much in the week, so this offer is to encourage people who are having weekday weddings to book a photographer, as often weekday weddings are cheaper for all wedding services, so I feel that a photographer should offer a discount too. If you're saving on your wedding venue because it's a weekday, why not save on the price of your photographer too?
Winter weddings are a lot more rare than you might think - a photographers diary is full for most of the warmer months, but not many people get married during the colder months for obvious reasons, but there's no reason that a winter wedding has to be a bad thing - I've covered some fantastic weddings in the winter that have featured some beautiful fashion pieces to keep the bride warm, and some beautiful venues with big roaring fires to keep the guests warm and cosy throughout the reception. As venues often offer discounts in the winter, I feel that I should too, as if you are saving on your venue and your catering, you should also save on your photographer too.
A lot of photographers won't offer discounts in the winter or on weekdays, but personally, I feel that if the venues and the rest of the wedding services are offering a discount, then I should be too. Some people get married in the week or in the winter to save money, some do it because it's the only possible time that they could get their families together, and some do it because winter is their favourite time of year - but no matter what the reason is for your choice - I like to make sure that my service falls in line with the rest of the wedding industry and it's pricing, so I have recently introduced a similar discount system to most top end wedding venues and award winning caterers to enable you to get married for less, and to get the photographer that you want, for less.
Despite me not offering a discount on weekend weddings, I am always happy to try and tailor my packages to your budget if my prices are a little too much for your wedding budget. Please don't hesitate to get in touch and have a chat about a bespoke wedding packages tailored to your day, and your budget.
WHY ARE YOU OFFERING A DISCOUNT FOR 2018 BOOKINGS?
As a photographer, you tend to get booked up a year or two in advance, but there are always a few gaps throughout the year left in your diary, and a lot of people plan last minute weddings for various reasons and only enquire a month or two before their wedding - so to try and fill the limited gaps I have left in my diary for the year, I've introduced a 10% discount on bookings made for 2018 as it's so last minute.
By booking in advance, my clients get a lot of help planning, organising and scheduling their day, but when they book in at the last minute, they are reducing the time spent with them planning and organising their wedding, so I can offer a discount without compromising earning an hourly wage.
This doesn't mean that my last minute clients get a lesser service, it's just that as it's so last minute, the amount of communication is less than when you are talking to a client for a year or two, so over the time period I am spending less time keeping up to date with their plans as they are made, and any changes to the wedding, as last minute bookings are usually finalised pretty quickly so they don't require so much communication and so many meetings.
My last minute clients still get my luxury and bespoke service and my full planning and scheduling service, but as it's so last minute, it takes a lot less to plan everything as it's usually done so quickly compared to a wedding that is planned out slowly over a year or two.