Another gorgeous Queensberry Album leaves the studio…

I’m always so busy September through to the new year, and never seem to have time to blog, although my FB page does get updated with the odd thing or two…anyway, here’s some photos of a fantastic Queensberry album that the client wasn’t expecting until January, but which left the studio on Christmas Eve and was delivered by my octogenarian parents on their way to my sister’s! That’s customer service for you!

Another hand-made Queensberry Album finds its home

Just delivered a beautiful hand-made Queensberry to James and Kitty.
The flexibility and bespoke nature of this stunning product means that invitations, orders of service (see left) and menus, can all be incorporated into the design.
The Order of Service sits next to a photo of the church and the menu next to mouthwatering photographs of the food.
The invitation is placed next to a photo of the gorgeous venue which I went to early that morning so I could photograph it in the best light.
The quality of the album is amazing – a real heirloom. The cover is in smooth Burgandy leather with a photo motif.

Perfect day – perfect memories

“What greater thing is there for two human souls than to feel that they are joined… to strengthen each other… to be one with each other in silent unspeakable memories.”

George Eliot
English novelist (1819 – 1880)

Dear Kate,

We both wanted to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for our beautiful wedding album and parent albums. They have definitely been the icing on the cake following our very special and awesome day. I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face looking through the album as it brought back so many wonderful and happy memories. We were truly blown away by all the finishing touches…the case for our album, the calendar, the little book from you. Both of us said we were over the moon that we picked you as you really delivered well beyond our expectations. Thank you Kate, for everything!
All the best, Wendy and Wayne

Another beautiful Queensberry album

A small intimate wedding on one of the hottest summer’s day imaginable. Rhinefield House in the heart of the New Forest was the spectacular setting for the moving ceremony and the sumptuous wedding breakfast. With a Sage cover, this Queensberry Album will have ivory mats, and the photographs will be mounted on grey pages which will give a soft border to each one.

"They are absolutely beautiful, I am thrilled…"

Another beautiful Queensberry Album delivered to its home, together with two digital copies for parents.
The digital copies – 7″ x 5″ – are faithful replicas of the Feature Album, covered in the same ‘Baby Blue’ Leather. Each one even features the flip pages which I designed to tell the story of the ceremony on one spread. Delivered in their own soft bags they are the perfect gift for parents.

There is nothing to beat Queensberry’s quality. Expensive? Yes. But you get what you pay for. I guess I could offer my clients cheaper covers, mass market binding systems and standard size images and layouts. But I don’t give my clients average quality work so why put it in an average quality album?

Close ups of the Baby Blue Leather cover – really soft and feely – embossed with my clients’ names and wedding date; the Feature Album pages to show the page mounting of the photos (ivory mat on grey page); the first page, which has all the key details of the wedding day; the edges of the album pages, beautifully finished to last a lifetime of handling.

Latest Queensberry Album

I’ve just said ‘goodbye’ to my latest Queensberry Album. Absolutely gorgeous. Cover in Twilight Silk (the most vivid deep blue – stunning), ivory mats and delicate mist to surround the photos.

Hand-made to order for me in New Zealand – mine for a brief moment then – whoosh! – out the door, and on its way by courier to Chantal and Mark. Their wedding was in Shrewsbury Castle and was a wonderful day of laughter – even the formal groups were fun. This shot made the album!

Advice on Choosing Your Wedding Photographer. Recent Publicity – Wedding Venues & Services

Featuring one of my favourite informal photos from Elissa and Michael’s wedding, I contributed to a piece in this summer’s Wedding Venues & Services magazine: Ask the Expert

What interested me most on reading it was that all five of us featured – some of the top names in the wedding photography world – gave essentially the same advice to prospective clients seeking to choose a wedding photographer:

See at least two complete recent weddings; you get what you pay for in photography – the better the photographer the more they charge;

see client testimonials as well as wedding photography; check experience, & whether the photographer is full or part time;

check they have client liability insurance (an absolute must have);

choose someone you get on well with;

look for passion and emotion in the images;

choose a reportage photographer with great care, not all ‘reportage’ images are flattering – make sure they can also take the other type of shots that matter e.g. groups, lovely portraits of the couple.

In terms of trends, each of us picked our own trend, but I agree with all of them:

1. Image manipulation – there is currently a fashion for heavily manipulated, fashion style images.

Whilst I think this can work well for a portrait shoot, for a wedding I offer this style to clients on one or two photos only from the hundreds taken. I prefer wedding photography to be ‘real’ rather than fake, to tell the story of the day. When I do show such an image I usually recommend that it is a stand alone image, rather than one put in the album.

2. The best of both worlds – Not just reportage or portraiture.

More Brides are realising that posed photographs don’t have to be stiff and formal and that reportage shots aren’t necessarily relaxed! The best photographers are combining both, I certainly do.

3. Trash the Dress – the big trend coming in from the USA.

This is becoming more and more popular both with my existing clients and with Brides who have used other photographers for their wedding.

4. The importance of the classic wedding album

Digital only packages are popular, but invariably clients realise that a wedding album is more than a collection of photos – it’s an heirloom, and a repository of their memories of an extra-special day.

Sumptuous in Chocolate Leather

I’m just sending off a really lovely Chocolate Leather bound album to two super people, Sarah & David.
This is a classic album with a subtle twist, where the bespoke flexibility of the Queensberry product has enabled me to design the album to reflect the colours of the wedding and the intimacy of the day.

Their autumn wedding had a lovely bronze and orange theme, so the rich chocolate leather is perfect, and a softer option to black. The cover features a small image of the couple, and the colour theme is carried through with ivory mats and the photographs mounted onto chocolate pages.

On this first right hand page, instead of a traditional ‘title’ I mounted Sarah & David’s wedding invitation into the square space – so just a thin cholcolate border shows – and then placed three small square images taken from different sections of Sarah’s bouquet, as accents underneath.

The wedding at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Hyde Park, London, was an intimate affair for close family and friends. The album relects this, in particular on the pages featuring the speeches where, using the option to include a ‘flip’ page, we can see both the Bride’s speech and the whole speech sequence all at once. Capturing the reaction of guests during this time is one of my favourite parts of any wedding.

Recent publicity – You & Your Wedding

Lindsey and Adam were married in a stunning chateau in France, and although overseas weddings are on the increase the bespoke ones exporting a UK-based photographer (and in this case disco too!) are still quite rare. Not surprisingly, such an unusual day became a feature wedding in one of the UK’s top Bridal magazines.
Lindsey and Adam were fantastic clients to work with – very organised with their preparations (essential if you’re going to travel abroad to get married) and very calm throughout the action-packed weekend. Even the unexpected rain, which meant that the ceremony had to be moved inside at short notice left them unfazed.

The lovely thing about overseas weddings from a photographic perspective is the opportunity to take photos in completely different light to the type we usually get in the UK. A real treat!

The basic ingredients of the celebration are also a bit out of the ordinary – from the way the table is laid, the flowers arranged, or the cake is presented.

See more photos of the day in the wedding portfolio section of my site:

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.