Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
The same questions are often asked by couples when they are choosing their wedding photographer; here are the more common ones.
I hope they’ll give a sense of who I am, why I do what I do, why I love it, my approach, but, most importantly, hopefully provide some reassurance.
I fell in love with photography because, amongst other things, I found deep satisfaction in capturing people in their unguarded, candid moments; either deep in solitary thought or, in the presence of another, entirely engrossed in eachother. Both are found in abundance at weddings.
Also, having been in the Army, I also love a formal occasion and the sense of ceremony, ritual and tradition. Each wedding has a different take on that formality, but they are all equally interesting photographically.
And, let’s be honest, who doesn’t love a party? Even more important after a year of lockdowns…
Fundamentally, a wedding is about two people, in love with each other, and formally acknowledging that in front of their family and friends, as well as taking solemn vows before each other.
This is why weddings are so much more special than just ordinary events, and why I love them – a huge amount of time and thought goes into them, they are filled with happy, glamorous people which always makes for good photos, and, most importantly, I can give the couple some gorgeous photography to remember it.
The day I get bored of photographing weddings, is the day I give up photography!
Prior to the day, the photographer is just one of many suppliers that a couple is thinking about; the pressure is off me then. There is nothing for me to do, other than show up at the right time, in the right place, with the right kit, and in the right order of dress – morning dress btw, always!
That dynamic entirely changes once the wedding is over; everyone’s attention falls firmly on the photographer. I’m always very aware that that output will be reviewed by you and your families for time immemorial. Consequently, the one thing you will always truly remember about your wedding will be the photographs.
The vicar fluffing his lines, your aging aunt embarrassingly calling your new husband the name of your previous boyfriend, warm beer or the cold food, or any number of other possible disasters just won’t be important in ten years time – only the photographs will be.
And that is quite some responsibility for me.
All too often, after their wedding, I’ve spoken to friends who weren’t happy with their photographer or what was produced, and I’m completely gutted for them. I can see the pain in their eyes knowing that their memories are just that – memories, and not something that they can look at, share and enjoy for the rest of their lives.
Why do I write all this? Well, the upshot is that whilst weddings are fantastic days, with great opportunities for me to get some breath taking shots, have fun, and be an integral part of a very special day, that is all tempered with a serious weight of responsibility and pressure that I put on myself to deliver; not just what you’d expect from me, but something more than that – something that you will look at with a sense of pride and joy forever after. In short, I aim to give you back something of ‘your day’ to you every time you look at the shots.
Eliciting that emotional response from you is what makes wedding photography not just simple event photography, but, in my opinion, a form of art.
I’m very honoured to be asked to photograph a wedding, and although it is a minor role in the ‘cast’ of the day, it is also quite a high-profile one, with plenty of opportunity to ‘get it wrong’.
I am always very conscious that a bossy, overbearing or poorly dressed photographer has the potential to upset a bride and groom and/or the guests on their wedding day – I have seen it at weddings where I’ve been a guest and it really is super un-cool.
Discretion and professionalism are always foremost in everything I do for any couple.
My aim is to be seen but not be seen, to engage where required, and simply to just make sure the day is recorded as perfectly as possible; if someone says to me that they thought I was a guest, or asks me how I know the couple, I know I’m doing my job properly – always simply trying to be another guest with a camera!
So, trust me, the last thing I want to do is get in the way; it is as mortifying for me as it frustrating or upsetting for you!
Unfortunately, wedding photography is not cheap but as with anything in this world, you pay for what you get. I also charge everyone the same, regardless of whether you are a prince or pauper – I feel that is only fair.
My prices are set by the cost of living, rent, tax etc etc so please don’t embarrass us both by having to turn down your request of a discount – I hate saying no to clients.
Having said that though, all the items in the packages have individual prices so if there’s anything there that you’d like to add or remove from them, do just ask – I’m delighted to generate a bespoke quote for you.
If you feel they are too high, I am genuinely sorry. However, before you go any further with your quest to find a wedding photographer, you should read this blog post by one of the best wedding photographers in the UK about the cost of wedding photography, and the reason it’s so high. It’s relatively old now but I hope it’ll give a slightly different perspective.
Engagement photography has been around for a while, but full-on portrait sessions are a relatively recent thing that has started happening in the wedding industry, and I entirely see why it would be viewed as being a bit kitsch and unnecessary.
It does, however, actually serves quite a useful purpose in that we will get to know each other a bit better – always useful given that I’ll be so close to you both through your wedding day. Getting to know you both as a couple, learning to read you and your faces, understand a bit about who you are, hear ‘your story’ as well as, from a practical point of view, discuss the finer plans and timings for the day is time really well spent.
There is the option to have a large, framed photograph with a ‘signing mount’, so that on the day, your guests can then sign the actual picture which acts as a brilliant record of who was there.
So yes, whilst it can seem a bit of an odd thing to do at first glance, it can also be a lovely keepsake, add some further photographs your collection, serve as a guestbook for your day, but most importantly, prove a useful exercise for us all in getting to know one another.
Always an interesting discussion, this one; it normally is just a logistics thing – bottom line is that I simply can’t be in two places at once so it usually depends on your locations and what you want covered.
As the official wedding photographer, before the actual service starts, my priority on the day lies with the bride, her bridesmaids and her preparations. There are usually some formal shots in the garden or drawing room, with and without her father, mother and team. There will likely also be some shots required of the setting up / marquee if that is what you’ve decided to have.
At this point, time is always tight. To then get over over to photograph the Ushers’ Lunch, wherever that may be, and back again to the bride can be time-consuming and a bit of a gamble. I would probably also miss the guests’ arrival at the church.
A second photographer negates this whole problem; whilst I remain with the bride, the second photographer will be in attendance to the groom and will head to the church with the ushers after taking some formal shots of them after their lunch. This will mean that they will be able to get photographs of the church pre-wedding, inside and out, and the guests as they arrive at the church, leaving me to get the shots of the bride, her preparation and departure from the familial home.
It also helps with particularly large weddings – if you have 130 people plus at the church and reception, then as try as I might, I simply am not going to see everything or manage to photograph everyone, so a second photographer at the reception means that candid moments, as well as trying to capture everyone at least once (always an aim – never a guarantee), becomes decidedly easier.
Of course, this is entirely academic if the church, house, ushers’ lunch and reception are all within 3 minutes’ walk of each other and I can zip back and forwards with time to spare. As I said, usually a case of logistics.
I’m always batting around with my hair on fire – it is very normal for me to jump on a plane to take photographs. Having photographed all over Europe, Africa, and America, weddings in unusual and wonderful places are great fun and always give the opportunity to take some awesome and very different photographs; so I’m always pleased to photograph wherever I am required.
If you are worried about cost of hiring an international photographer, don’t be. Flights are very cheap when booked far enough in advance. Give me a shout to discuss it further if you are planning international nuptials and I’m sure some arrangement can be made.
I would also add that if you are getting married abroad, it is also normally sensible to ask an English-speaking photographer to do it – the language barrier when trying to describe photographic requirements can be simply unbridgeable…!
Any car travel either within the UK (calculated from London) will be charged at the HMRC rate of £0.45 a mile, as worked out by a quick postcode calculation on Google Maps. Abroad, I’ll need a hire car.
I’ll be honest here again and say that in the UK summer, I prefer to camp – if I’m allowed, I’ll bring my tent and sleeping bag and pitch it in a nearby field!
If circumstances don’t permit, then yes, I will need somewhere to stay if I’m travelling any distance to get back home, and that will be added to the final quote as well.
However, I certainly don’t expect anything especially lavish (always aware of cost); somewhere with a bed and a shower is a perfectly fine.
Yes, of course I will, but sadly it won’t neatly be half the cost. I normally spend 4 or 5 full working days for a typical wedding, and, of that time, only one day is the actual wedding itself. Thus, photographing only half a wedding sadly doesn’t simply halve the time I spend on it.
So, if you would like me to do that, absolutely I can and will – let’s talk exact timings and then I can give you a revised price, but please don’t be surprised if it is more than you are expecting.
Yes! I absolutely can organise your wedding video. It won’t be me actually filming it, but I will oversee the team, filming and production oo make it happen for you. Prices will obviously depend on a number of factors, including timings and outputs, but we can discuss all that as is required.
Absolutely; you’d be amazed how quickly working in the business you build up a directory of good suppliers, and you’d be even more amazed how often the same ones pop up time and time again.
I can help with caterers, marquees, booze suppliers, bands, DJs, florists, make-up and hair, cake, printers and pretty much anything else that you are going to need for your wedding – just ask.
If my testimonials and portfolios aren’t sufficient, then yes of course I am able to provide references from previous brides – again, please just ask.
As late as you want me to… dawn?!
Seriously though, parties have a habit of going on into the wee small hours and I absolutely understand that, but I will normally aim to draw stumps at midnight, especially if I have some travelling to do.
If there is an amazing going away planned for the bride and groom after that time, then it might be good idea to discuss my staying for it for a small extra fee, but I’ve found that midnight is usually plenty late enough.
Essentially though, the answer is as late as you’d like.
We’ll do some posed formal shots on the day as a matter of course, both before the bride leaves for church, and some group shots after the marriage (mantelpiece shots). I also aim, if possible, to get 20 minutes or so alone with the bride and groom after the service for some posed portrait shots. However, this is a ‘nice to have’ and entirely depends on how you feel about the idea.
If you want a (very quick!) formal studio shoot at any point during the day, this is definitely possible – I can bring lights, a backdrop as required, and any other equipment necessary but this is obviously extra and there is a cost associated with it.
As a default setting, I do everything I can to avoid using a flash on my cameras anyway as they are excellent at taking shots in anything up to near total darkness and it’s mostly unnecessary and distracting.
But winter weddings also make for some very atmospheric photographs so it also means that darkness, evening or mid-winter weddings are not a problem. Think of them more as an opportunity to be creative; not something to be feared – lots of candles is usually the answer.
So this is a fun little extra I can organise for you and it’s worked well in the past… I provide lights, put the camera on a tripod and give a remote shutter release to your guests who thenn entertain themselves. Granted, it’s not a smart London taxi or likewise, but it works well, is hugely entertaining for your guests, and the output is a short two-minute video set to music. There are other options on the output front, but do ask.
The pricing doesn’t include fancy dress, but I’m quite happy to source that as well if you wish for a small extra fee.
I’m looking into providing a system for instant printing of shots, but currently I am not able to do that. However, I do know a number of really good photobooth companies and would be happy to recommend one if that’s the way you wanted to go.
Contractually, I have 90 days to produce the photos. However, in reality, I usually aim for about 2-3 weeks, but that depends hugely on the time of the year – middle of the summer is pretty manic so it might take a little longer. I’d like to get them back to you as soon as possible after you arrive back from your honeymoon.
I can also easily produce a first cut of 10-20 photos within a week or so for social media purposes should you wish. From that first cut you can then also choose a thank-you card.
The price that I quote always includes the full set of digital images from the whole day. I deliver them to you via a download link straight from my website. If you decide that you only want a few images digitally (ie not the whole set), and want to have more actual prints, then let me know and we can have that conversation.
The full gallery will remain online for one year and you can come back, browse and buy more prints whenever you like. It will also remain open to your family and friends should they want a print or two.
After a year, I will take it down, but if you ever need the photos, please just ask and I can re-upload them or resend them to you.
The website is also entirely geared for e-commerce (including all major credit cards, PayPal and will ship anywhere in the world) so ordering prints is really easy and straightforward.
There is a wide range of prints, framed prints, canvasses and other wall-hangings, as well as straight electronic downloads – I can help and guide you on all of it.
I don’t normally offer it but if you are desperate to get your images on a USB stick, then that can be arranged – CDs, I’m afraid, are now a thing of the past as they simply don’t have the capacity.
The simple answer is I will own them but you are free to do what you like with them within a couple of parameters.
It runs a bit like this: the law of the land says that any artist (draughtsman, painter, sculptor, photographer) always owns the copyright to anything that they create, and this is true even if you are working under commission.
The artist in question has two options to allow people to use their work: to either ‘assign the rights’ (which effectively gives away that copyright and they no longer own that piece of work), or give/sell a ‘licence’ for someone to use their image, in specified ways, for a specified length of time.
There are two types of licence; private and commercial, and clearly the commercial licences are sold for more. When you receive the finished digital set from me, I will give you an indefinite licence for private use.
In other words, I’m not the assigning rights of the pictures to you, and I still own them. If I weren’t to do that, you would be within your rights to take them and sell them to Hello! or elsewhere and I wouldn’t be entitled to a dime – clearly not the cleverest thing to do!
In practical terms, by retaining the copyright of the shots, yes, I am entitled to use the shots of your wedding in my public portfolio, in order to market my own work. I hope that this isn’t a problem, and certainly after we’ve worked together and you’ve seen the finished set, I hope you’ll be so delighted that you’ll be happy to let me use them to further my business.
If it is a problem, let me know early in the process and we can work out a way that works for all of us. In the past, I’ve chosen the shots I want to use and got the couple to sign off in writing on the ones I’ve chosen – that avoids any misunderstanding and seems to be a good compromise.
To add to this further, I’ve photographed some of the richest and most private people in the world. If you’d like me to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement with all of this laid out, please let me know as I’m quite used to it.
However, to be clear, as a default, yes, I will continue to own any images or video that I generate from the day unless discussed otherwise.
As a default, all the photographs I take and upload will be in secure and private gallery with a password which you can share as you wish. If you want the gallery to be open so you don’t have to email everyone the password that’s very easily done.
Regards photos that your guests take (as opposed to me), if you aren’t the type of couple to create a hashtag and encourage the posting of shots on social media, there are three things I recommend:
1 – Print a privacy request in the wedding admin instructions to the effect that you would like to keep your special day private, and that you would be grateful if people could refrain from publicly posting them as the day progresses or, indeed, later.
2 – Ask the vicar to make a ‘parish notice’ in church to the congregation to the same effect before the entrance of the bride.
3 – Ask me to create a gallery behind the same password wall to which your guests can upload their photographs directly. I can generate a link prior to the wedding and I would also suggest a quick email round to all guests a week or so before the wedding. You could even putting it in the wedmin instruction.
These three things should ensure emphasis is placed on privacy before, yet still allowing an outlet for everyone at the wedding to see the shots of everyone else.
I can give them all to you, and you can then upload them to your own account when you choose, et voilá… privacy protected.
Photograph albums are easily done; you can either decide to have one as you book me to take the photos and receive a discount on it, or you can decide once you have seen the shots for full price.
The albums are of the highest quality produced in the country, using British materials (genuine leather for the covers) and the highest standard of craftmanship, they genuinely are exquisite.
As with most things though, and with such a high-quality product, there comes a reasonable price tag. If you view it, however, as an investment for the rest of your lives, then that ‘reasonable’ becomes even more reasonable still.
The prices, sizes, formats and design of all albums can be discussed as we go through the booking process.
No problem, and have them ready for you on your return from your honeymoon so you can crack on with the writing.
Fill out the form on the homepage which will give me some of the basic information and from there I can organise a formal quote.
If you would like to meet, I’d be delighted to set up a face-to-face meeting or by Zoom/FaceTime – whatever suits you.
The quoting process is all done through this website, and you’ll be presented with the quote, a wedding photography contract, a payment schedule and payment details. I do everything online so all you have to do is log on to your account to view it all at any stage.
A 50% deposit is required to confirm the booking and once that is transferred and the contract is signed, you officially have booked your wedding photographer.
There will also be one more online form for you to fill out nearer the time to help me gather up all the more specific details into one place.
After the deposit, I ask clients to pay the balance in two instalments – the first six weeks prior, and the second three weeks prior to the wedding day and I’m able to split it up further if that would make it easier for you.
All invoices are paid via bank transfer – I don’t accept cheques.
Please don’t worry if this all sounds complex – we’ll be chatting constantly and I’ll guide you through the whole process so there’s no need to worry.
Finally, I just want to emphasise how flattered and honoured I will be to if you ask me to photograph your wedding day. I know it shows a great deal of trust in me and is no small task. It goes without saying that I will do everything I can do deliver images that evoke the emotion, fun and happiness of the day for you to forever treasure.
Should you decide that I’m not your man for this task, I completely understand. Wedding photography is a very, very personal thing, and you need to be entirely happy with your choice.
That said, I promise you, if you have a wedding, I know I will justify that choice.