Your guide to your Wedding Photography
I can make a camera-shy person, feel entirely comfortable, in my presence. That's a promise! I PUT THIS SKILL UP THERE, WITH MY ABILITY TO USE MY CAMERA.
You may be surprised to hear that over 80% OF THE COUPLES THAT I HAVE PHOTOGRAPHED TOLD ME THEY WERE EITHER AWKWARD OR UNCOMFORTABLE IN FRONT OF THE CAMERA WHEN THEY GOT IN TOUCH.
I'M PLEASED TO TELL YOU, all of those people told me later, that it wasn't as bad as they expected and they love the outcome of the experience. MOST EVEN SAID, THEY FOUND HAVING THEIR WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHS TAKEN WAS FUN.
The thing is, I totally understand, I also feel like this and often used to say that I didn't enjoy having my photo taken, because I just DIDN'T KNOW WHAT TO DO IN FRONT OF THE CAMERA. It was exactly this feeling, that drove me to photograph people how I do.
I'm a pretty reserved character and I if I'm honest, because of this, I like to work in the most unobtrusive way. I'm totally uncomfortable telling people what to do or how to be, this works in my favour as it helps me create a true interpretation on your day. If you need a bit of help during your portraits, I'll be able to tell and I'll simply ask you to do something fun or insignificant and the rest is over to you. Everyone reacts differently to a certain prompts and directions, THIS IS THE BEAUTY OF MY CRAFT.
It's my job then, to capture your reactions for you
YOU MAY HAVE NOTICED, in most of my images there will be someone, if not everyone, NOT LOOKING AT THE CAMERA. It's not an accident, this is something I love, it shows characters within you: The thing is, I'm aiming to CAPTURE THE MOMENT, THE ATMOSPHERE AND THE ENERGY OF THE DAY and to do this, I'll be taking photos of your friends and family engaging in one another's company, I'm not walking around asking you to look at me, so I can take the photo.
Take a look for yourself, in the slide show below or hop over to my blog to see the real weddings I've captured.
If you like the stories I've photographed so far then see below, here's some more things you may find this useful.
DID YOU KNOW I LIMIT THE AMOUNT OF WEDDINGS I TAKE UPON EACH YEAR?
This is why i do this...
I absolutely love the people I get to work with, the emotion of their day and the kick I get, from delivering moment-heavy galleries them at a later date. Because I value the people I work with and enjoy seeing them more as friends, rather than clients, I prefer to work with less people and spend more time with them. I like to get to know more about the people I photograph and what makes them tick, so I can produce my best work for them. There is nothing better than knowing you've done the best you possibly can for someone, these are your memories and I'M IN CONTROL OF CAPTURING WHAT YOU REMEMBER.
This is a big responsibility and it's not one I take lightly.
I want to do the BEST job for you and to do that, I need to give myself time to grow, rest, learn and enjoy life too.
Effectively, I'm doing less, better and totally enjoying every minute.
Things to think about, when choosing your Wedding Photographer
"We have just received our wedding photos and they have had us in tears all over again (good tears of course)!!! Fiona is an absolute dream to work with, she had me at ease through the whole thing and she is one of the loveliest ladies I’ve met. Her work is incredible and to capture the little things that I missed on the wedding is just lovely to see. Thanks so much Fiona for capturing our day, the pics really are amazing."
Everytime I get an email or a review from clients like this it really makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside, like I have
The best job in the world!
REALLY, it has got to be the most beautiful, rewarding job and I love it!
Something you need to think about is: When your guests have gone home, all the confetti has settled and all the cocktails have been consumed; the rings, the photos and each other will be the only thing left to hold. You'll be able to remember together every time you look at your photos, put them on your walls and share them with everyone you love, both now and in the future ahead, even when you're old.
Taking this in to consideration, I think this makes your photographer's job really, important and you need to make sure you choose the right person for it. Did you know, you'll potentially spend more time with your photographer, than any other person on your wedding day? Remember your photographer is there from the get-go until all the dancing.
You're putting your story in whoever's hands you choose, so they need to be a person who you trust and that you'll be comfortable being around. Make sure your photographer has a similar vision to you, because when you choose them, you shouldn't really need to think about anything else after that: Here's a few things you might want to consider when choosing them:
If you choose to ask me to capture your wedding day, I will of course be ecstatic, I will be eager to find out about all of your plans and meet you both in person before the day where possible. I'll be aiming to document your day in as natural way as possible, capturing: tears, smiles and connections; my hope for your photos, is that you look through them and relive the day, time after time, after time. I want you to feel something inside, when you look at them, like when all the hairs on you arms stand on end and they get pimples all over them. My hopes are for you to laugh, cry and rejoice, when remembering the day together.
How I achieve this
When I photograph a wedding: I like people to feel comfortable around me and for that to happen I like to try to blend in with the crowd, I'll dress in something nice and I won't be in your face. I like to get dressed up and love to hear all the stories your guests choose to share about how they know you and your journey so far.
I don't like to boss anyone around, so I'll spend the majority of the day capturing you and your guests from a distance, that way you can concentrate on having fun after all, that should be all you need to worry about. I try my best to work around you, your venue and the other suppliers to try and help things move as smoothly as possible. This is easy when I'm with you most of the day, as we should have plenty of opportunity to capture the atmosphere along with some nice portraits too.
We'll get together just before your day, so we can plan how to do this and then you can leave everything in my hands.
Directing over Posing
OK, as I've already told you 80% or more of the couples I work with tell me they don't like having their photos taken, lots of them tell me that this due to them not knowing how to pose for camera. I understand what you mean, I have no idea either and usually it would involve me pulling a ridiculous face, where one of my eyebrows is an inch higher than the other, and pulling out my 'peace' fingers ✌🏻 🙈 😂 Hmm, I'm not sure this is the best advice to give you, do you?
With my first trick in the hat out and it being totally useless lets go with my second one shall we? I'll direct you rather than pose you, the reason being, if I give you an action to do or get you stood somewhere together and then ask you to do something I'll get a reaction. The reaction is exactly what we want for your photos.
It works like this, if you are busy thinking about doing something, it also subconsciously distracts your mind and you hopefully forget about the camera. I might ask you to do some crazy stuff, but that's part of the fun and everyone finds the process so much fun. I'll find somewhere pleasant to position you, then I might fluff you outfits and polish you shoes or ask you to hold the flowers in a certain place (if you have them) and then you do the rest.
On your wedding day you don't get much time to yourselves anyway so I find lots of my clients tell me after that it was really nice having a few minutes to themselves. Initially I like to take 15-20 minutes of you time before the food where we can get some portraits so we have them and then if the conditions are right I love to take you again. Generally, I'll grab you when the sun turns golden, about an hour before sunset and then maybe after dark if you're up for it-only if you are though, if you'd rather not, that's fine too.
I tell my couples to chat and I'll move around to capture you doing just that, there's so much for you to tell each other and usually there's some funny stories to tell one another about the getting ready part of the day, this creates natural, laugher and smiles which are just what we want. I may also ask you to wander along somewhere together or climb a tree and dangle from it upside down (only joking about the tree part) and whilst you do it I just ask you to chat or look at one another whilst I snap away.
The movement gives your photos authenticity.
How long do the photos take?
Ironically, I like your photos to take as little time as possible, but that is up to you, I really believe on your wedding day you want to spend the ultimate time with your guests, I mean that's why you invited them. With this in mind, I will always let you mingle after the ceremony for as long as I can and whilst you are doing this I'll be photographing the atmosphere of the day, you with your guests having a great time along with bits and bobs of the venue and your details too. I tend to say about 20-30 minutes for the formal'ish photos, if I have a runner and then as I said above about 15-20 minutes for your photos of just the two of you. It can be fun to get some photos of the bridal party too, these only take around 10-15 minutes this said, I like to stagger our photo sessions giving you breaks in between so you can chat with the guests along the way. I really want you to enjoy doing your photos with me and I think the best way to do this is to keep the session short and sweet.
Your Formal'ish Photos
What are they and why do lots of my couples tell me they don't want them... These photos can take ages if you don't prepare for them, they can involve lots of standing around, waiting for people, plus when they are done they can look awkward and lifeless, but you're doing them for your parent and the grandparents too if you're lucky enough to still have them around. I always say to my couples, be selective, make sure you think about who's going to be really upset if they don't get their photo with you, did Auntie Barbara and Uncle Mike travel from the other side of the world to see you get married and you were so busy chatting to everyone else, the brief bit of time you spent with them you weren't photographed doing so? Well that's why we have formal'ish photos! I ask my couples to send me a list of groups they'd like doing on the day and I also ask that you give me a "runner" too, so they can gather people whilst I take the photos. If I do the gathering, it can take forever because I literally have to go around asking your guests who Bill and Bob are or do they know Dot and Jen and then before I get everyone to one place they've all dispersed again. It's like herding cats 🙈 and all the while you're stood there waiting.
I agree that's not what you want to do on your wedding day, so with a helper who's familiar with people these shots can be done in 15-20 minutes usually, I tend to find the best time of day to do them is whilst the drinks and canapés are going around, because everyone is pretty much in the same place. I always choose somewhere near where everyone else is, so people aren't getting dragged away and so you aren't either; generally, I think it works best to start them about 15-30 minutes after you arrive at the venue or have come out of your ceremony, otherwise people start drifting away. I don't like doing them instantly, in view of the fact, that people want to say, CONGRATULATIONS to you first.
These photos don't have to be dull and boring either, they can be fun and they make the best presents for the people involved. I never force couples to have these done, it's totally up to you and for those who worry that 6, 8 or 10 of them won't cover everyone; remember, I'm there for you the whole time I'm with you, if you're with your uni friends or the ones you travelled the world with, shout me or drag them over to me and ask. I love it when people ask me to take their photos, it's my job and it makes it even better when I get asked. When photos happen this way they are a lot more fun too as it's a spontaneous event nobody gets change to worry about what they are smiling like because they probably already are.