Choosing your wedding photographer

Congratulations, you’re engaged! Most couples know what they’re looking for when considering venues, the food and even any entertainment, but the choice of photographer can seem daunting as it’s unfamiliar territory for most people. Photographers don’t follow any set patterns when setting fees or ‘packages’ so couples often find it difficult to make direct comparisons. Here are a few pointers:

The first thing to do is to agree what you are both looking for at the end of the process. If one of you is expecting complete coverage of the day with all the details recorded but the other is just expecting a few group shots, then you need to do some talking before you start looking! Some couples want a professional, reliable record of the day but they do not want to spend too much time being photographed. For others, the photography is crucially important and an integral part of the day. Are you expecting a stunning set of portraits of the two of you (you’ll need to allocate time out of your day for this), or is that less important than one or two nice shots as long as the emotions of the day are captured? Or, do you want both?

Once you are agreed on this, viewing photographers’ on line portfolios for quality and style is the next stage. However, galleries represent the photographer’s best work, so it is important to see whole weddings to see how their style is transferred across the different requirements of the day. Do this when you meet or ask to be sent a Portfolio CD if whole weddings aren’t available to view on line. Wedding couples and guests are not on a photo shoot, but there to celebrate the day and party, so if you’re looking for a photo journalistic style of coverage then you should check out the photographers’ ability to capture those fleeting moments and your guests enjoying themselves.

Got your short list? Talk to them on the phone and meet if possible. You will be spending a lot of time with your photographer on your wedding day and so you should ensure you like them. Are they professional in their approach to you? Do you feel they will put you first or are you just another gig?

Finally you will need to think about your album, and of course your budget. The price of wedding photography often surprises prospective wedding clients, but wedding photography is a skill and the best can command high prices. Ultimately you and your fiance have to decide on the importance of high quality wedding photography to you, and consider whether it is a price worth paying.

The Queensberry Album

Why an album? Why Queensberry?

Having just come off the phone to a prospective client who was dubious about why they might want to pay for an album I thought it might be worth posting a few thoughts on the subject.

In this digital age almost anyone feels they can take photos – which is wonderful, as photos are perfect ways of reminding us of past events, emotions and friends. So it is with a wedding. However, these days photos often stay on the computer – hundreds and hundreds of them. But an album, especially a beautifully constructed wedding album will outlast the computers, to be passed on through the generations. It has a wonderful physical presence: just by turning the pages you can re-live the day quietly on your own, or share it with others.

I have included Queensberry Albums with my wedding packages almost from the beginning. There are many album suppliers on the market, and Queensberry certainly aren’t the cheapest, but they produce bespoke albums of the highest quality. I can design a client’s album around the pictures they choose – no preordained sizes for the photos, and each design is unique. The albums are classic without being traditional and most importantly for an heirloom that must last, durable and timeless. Their pricing also makes them pretty exclusive, but they really are worth the extra.

I’m in the middle of finalising this album for a lovely client who’s wedding day I was privileged to record last year – mostly in the pouring rain! I’m at the ordering stage, having just been given design approval. It will be 15″ square, with a Navy leather cover. The wedding invitation will be mounted into the album on the first page and the photos will be cut and hand-assembled in the album onto mist (cream) pages surrounded by an ivory mat. Stunning! A gorgeous permanent record of a beautiful day.

Love your dress – it’s not too late!

Celebrate the beauty of your wedding dress.

At a recent wedding, one of the guests came up to me in tears. She was very complimentary about my unobtrusive style – her tears were for the photos of her own wedding several years previously. She hadn’t taken as much care as she should have done in selecting her photographer, and the bolshy male she employed left such a negative impression that she couldn’t even bring herself to look at the proofs, let alone order any prints. All they reminded her was of him. It’s always distressing for me to hear such stories – unfortunately all too common. However, I do have a solution. The Trash Your Dress trend is sweeping in from the States. Not as drastic as it sounds, it is an opportunity to have the fashion style photos of you in your dress that you didn’t manage to get on the day. My style is more of a ‘Love your Dress’ experience. It’s never too late. This time, just enjoy wearing your dress – either with, or without your husband.