Thankyou for choosing me to capture your special day. I'm absolutely thrilled and cannot WAIT to meet you both (if we haven't already met!) As you've probably already seen, I'm all about keeping it chilled and natural with a few quirky things thrown in along the way. I like to have as much fun as possible with you on your wedding day so I'm literally up for anything you have in mind - I also have a few ideas of my own!
Now that you've made the decision to have me as your photographer, I'd just like to take this opportunity to give you a bit more info around what I'm about and how I like to approach each wedding day to make sure it goes as smoothly as possible. Things rarely run exactly to plan but I want you to know that's absolutely fine and I always do my best to get the BEST photos no matter what.
For me - bridal preparation is one of the most important parts of the day. Being present at bridal prep allows me to capture those extra special moments between a bride & her best friends, it allows me to understand the characters of your nearest & dearest and most importantly build a rapport with the bridal party so that when I'm doing things like arranging the group family shots later on in the day, I know who to speak to and they know who I am and what's required. From my own experience, there's a lot of emotion during this time, and I honestly don't feel like I'd be doing my job if I didn't get to capture those moments for you.
I can arrive as early as you want me, usually this is when the MUA or hairdresser arrives but if you want me earlier for any reason, that's absolutely fine. It's all part of the job!
Now we all know that boys leave everything last minute however, that doesn't mean I'm not up for flying over to wherever the groom is to get some snaps of them getting ready. It's your hubby's day too and he's with all of his best mates, getting ready for the biggest day of his life. Obviously, I can't be in two places at once so if you'd like groom prep and it's too far for me to travel between destinations, we can discuss a second photographer for that part. I want you both to look back on your pictures and remember the feelings and emotions right from the very start!
Eek! You're literally about to walk down the aisle, one of my favourite parts of the day! (They're all my favourite to be honest). Before your big day, we'll discuss the finer details such as where you're actually legally getting married, how you're getting there etc so don't worry about that for now. The only thing I ask is - if you're getting married in a church, it's really important that you check what the rules are with regards to wedding photography inside the venue. This includes;
- Can the photographer stand at the front next to the vicar?
- Can I use my flash?
- Are you allowed to do a confetti throw on the grounds of the church?
- Are there any other things I need to know about your specific church e.g. formalities I might not be aware of?
I can't be held responsible if upon arrival at the church I'm not allowed to take any photos (this has been known to happen).
When we arrive at your venue (if we've been at church), I'll leave you alone to mingle with your guests for half an hour or so, you've just got married, the last thing you want is to pulled away for photos!! So go and enjoy yourselves for a bit will you!
Once you've done the rounds and hugged Aunty Sue, Uncle Phil & ALL of your twice removed cousins, I'll grab you for the group photos. This is often very stressful because everyone is everywhere so it's fundamental that one bridesmaid & groomsmen or suitable family members who know everyone are briefed on the shot list so they can help me gather everyone together. I like to get this done as quickly as humanly possible so I may raise my voice, but rest assured, I'm ok I'm just trying to get it done so you can get back to your alcohol, food & friends!
Once the group shots are done, we'll do some smoochy, soppy "just married" shots & then I'll let you go. After that, if we've previously discussed quirky / sunset / evening shots, I'll just grab you for those throughout the night - no more than twice.
Before the wedding day, I'll ask you to send me your group shots list. If you're not sure what this means or who should be included please let me know so I can provide you with examples. As per the T&Cs, you may provide me with a shot list but you may not get all of the photos on the day, this could be due to a number of reasons such as;
- One of your parents is at the bar and refuses to tear themselves away from the champagne
- No-one can find your sister & the best man
- Family members refusing to be in the photos (this DOES happen regularly)
- Family members who aren't on the shot list insist on being in the photo (this also happens regularly)
This being said, it's my job to try and make it happen so I always do my best. I just need you to understand if things don't quite go to plan on the day. I know from my own experience that it can be awfully stressful, to the point where you just give up and tell the photographer not to bother (I also do my best to avoid this situation because I know how upsetting it can be when you realise you don't have the photos you wanted).
So, it's now time for you to eat, drink & be merry (and if you're the groom probably be feeling a bit nervous). However do not fear, it's never as bad as you think, because this point you will infact already probably be quite merry! You will either be having the speeches before or after the meal and I'll only be photographing the speeches - no-one wants a picture of their mates shovelling food into their mouth.
I often get asked about whether or not I want to be fed so just so you know, I NEVER refuse to be fed. However, this isn't in your contract so you are not obliged to feed me. Just let me know either way so I can get my husband to make me some salmon paste sandwiches if required.
Guests arrive, party starts, cake cut, first dance - over & out....But I always stay for AT LEAST half an hour after the first dance. This is the first point when everyone gets on the dance floor and I must admit I love the night time shots because everyone's a bit more relaxed and up for a bit of a flirt with the camera. If you need me to stay for anything specifically after cake cut & first dance please let me know in advance.
Within your T&Cs most points are covered however there are some questions that seem to always crop up, here they are...
When do we do the pre-wedding shoot...?
I like to do this around 2 months / 1 month before. By this point, you will know exactly what the running order of the day is so once we've done your pre-wedding shoot we can run through the finer details of the day as well.
Do we have to do a pre-wedding shoot...?
No, you do not :)
Can we have a second photographer...?
Yes, the cost of a second photographer is £150 all day. If you only want a second photographer for certain bits of the day, please discuss this with me and we'll figure something out.
When do we pay the remaining balance...?
Around one month before the wedding.
How long do I have to wait for my photos...?
I always aim to post around 40 photos within 48 hours on Facebook for you to share with your family & friends (not guaranteed - totally dependant on workload) and after that it's around 6-8 weeks.
How do I access my photos...?
I use an online gallery called 'Pixieset'. This tool is password protected but you can share the link with anyone you want and you can download / buy prints as soon as you have access. As soon as you have access, please 'favourite' TEN photos that you LOVE - As part of your package, you will receive a keepsake box with ten prints in so the sooner you can do that for me, the sooner you get your special little box.
What if I decide I want an album...?
No problemo! I have a referral scheme set-up with a lovely chap called Martin Hambleton so once you have your USB, you can liaise with him to create your album.
Why didn't you get photos of this person & that person...?
My style is documentary which means I capture events on the day as they happen naturally, this doesn't include trying to take a picture of every single person that's attended the wedding. Obviously i'll try to capture as many people as I can but it's not always feasible. If there's specific people you want in shots, please let me know before hand so I can get those shots for you.