How do I photograph a wedding?

wedding photographer for essex and suffolk
The Bride and Groom under the veil at Gosfield Hall in Essex

How do I photograph a wedding?

You may notice that most of my blogs are aimed at people who either already are, or want to be, wedding photographers so I thought it was about time I wrote an article which potential clients will find interesting as well.

I have chosen a wedding which took place in August last year at St Catherine’s Church and Gosfield Hall in Essex to use as the focal point for my explanation of how I do things.


My clients, Jessica and Stuart, got in touch through my “contact me” page on my website after a friend of theirs (whose wedding I had photographed the year before) had recommended me to them. We made an appointment for me to call on them for a chat about their day.

wedding photography for essex and suffolk
This is jessica and Stuart on their wedding day at Gosfield Hall.

A couple of weeks later we met to discuss their plans and really seemed to “hit it off”. I showed them examples of my work on my iPad and some sample Queensberry wedding albums.

wedding photographer for essex and suffolk
Queensberry wedding albums. In my view, the best available.

The wedding album samples proved to be quite important as they said they would be wanting a good quality printed record of their day. After a couple of hours I left to allow them time to decide whether I was the right photographer for them.

A couple of days later I was delighted to hear back from them. They wanted to meet again so that we could complete contracts and they could officially book my services for their wedding day. Contract completed, terms and conditions signed and understood and booking fee paid, I was officially booked!

wedding photography for essex and suffolk
I think that’s what they call “The Look of Love”!

The next time I met up with Jessica and Stuart was a couple of months before their wedding day. During the intervening period, Jessica had been in touch to ask advice on matters like make up (her own and that of her bridesmaids) and whether I was happy to take some very specific photographs she wanted.

Naturally I’m always happy to take photos that are specifically requested by clients and I was happy to give advice on the make up. I even offered a “test shoot” to see how her make up would look in photographs so that she could feel confident about it on her big day.

wedding photographer for essex and suffolk
The make up just perfect!

So we met at Gosfield Hall a couple of months before their wedding day and spent a couple of hours walking around this beautiful wedding venue, both in the main building and around the grounds.

We came up with two plans and a more detailed “time line” for when and where to take the requested photographs. Plan A was for good weather, whilst plan B was for wet weather. I think it’s sensible to have two plans as you never know what the weather will be like. We had a little practice shoot which was great fun then Jessica and Stuart advised me of the date they would be having a practice for their ceremony at St Catherine’s Church, which is on the edge of  the grounds at Gosfield Hall.


A few days before their wedding we met again. This time it was at St Catherine’s Church for the rehearsal of their ceremony. I always go to the rehearsal if possible for several reasons.

Firstly, it gives me an opportunity to introduce myself to the officiant. In my experience, they tend to appreciate the photographer making this effort to introduce themselves before the wedding day, when no one has time to chat. I realise that some officiants have had bad experiences with wedding photographers and as a result, can be quite strict with us.

I have found that by meeting them before the day, we can address any concerns they might have about how I conduct myself when photographing a wedding and I am often granted a little more freedom as a result.

Secondly, I have found different officiants have different ways of doing things. Sometimes the Bridesmaids walk up the aisle in front of the Bride, sometimes behind the Bride. Things like that which will influence where I need to stand to get the photographs my clients are after. Staying for the practice really does have benefits.

Thirdly I get a chance to meet all the main participants in the day. Bride and Groom’s parents, Bridesmaids, Best Man, Page Boys Flower Girls and anyone else involved in the day. That way, I’m not a complete stranger when it comes to taking their photos on the day itself.

Lastly it gives me a chance to go through their entire time line once more in case there have been any last minute changes. It also gives my clients the opportunity to ask any questions that they may not have thought of up until now.

The rehearsal is usually just a day or two before the wedding so it really does give us a chance to check nothing has changed from our earlier conversations and I think the more I see of my clients, the better. It tends to help them feel more relaxed around me.


The big day arrived and the weather was fabulous. I left home early as usual just in case there are any unexpected hold ups on the roads. There weren’t any, so I arrived nice and early at Gosfield Hall. As I was early, I had a chance to grab a coffee and a croissant with the Bridesmaids before the make up artist and hairdresser arrived.

wedding photography for essex and suffolk
The wedding dress hanging in the Bridal Suite at Gosfield Hall in Essex.

I set to photographing the dress, shoes, jewellery, perfume, flowers and all the other important little things that, when all put together, go to create the perfect day.

Then it was time to photograph the Bride (after the hair and make up are finished, of course) in some “getting ready” photos. Then casual photos of her and her Bridesmaids generally having fun.

wedding photography for essex and suffolk
Getting ready for the big day at Gosfield Hall in Essex

The Groom was getting ready at Gosfield Hall as well and he wanted some photos of him with his friends and family before the ceremony. So we made our way to the location in the grounds which we had identified during an earlier meeting (it was a plan A type of day!) and had some fun taking some photos before they set off for St Catherine’s Church.

wedding photography for essex and suffolk
Our Bride is ready for the day ahead!

I returned to see the Bride in the Bridal Suite at Gosfield Hall and we took all the photos she had requested, together with a few she had not! I arrange for Dad to come into the Bridal Suite to see his daughter in her wedding dress for the first time (always a special moment) and took the important photos showing his reaction.

wedding photography for essex and suffolk
Dad sees his Daughter in her wedding dress for the first time.

Then I photographed the entire Bridal party making their way down the stairs as they prepared to set off to St Catherine’s Church before making my way to the church myself.

wedding photography for essex and suffolk
The Bridal Party leave for the church.

I reached the church in time to record the arrival of the Bridal Party

wedding photographer for essex and suffolk
The Bridal Party arrive at St Catherine’s Church, Gosfield.

and the look on the Groom’s face as she walked up the aisle.

wedding photographer for essex and suffolk
The Groom watches as his Bride walks up the aisle.

The wedding ceremony went beautifully and I managed to get all the photos they had requested,

wedding photographer for essex and suffolk
The First Kiss, a must get photo!

as well as a few they hadn’t!

wedding photography for essex and suffolk
The “little touches” during the day that sometimes get overlooked.

Outside for the confetti shot! I organised all the guests into two lines and, on the count of three, the couple walked down the middle of the tunnel whilst being showered with confetti.

wedding photography for essex and suffolk
The confetti flies at St Catherine’s Church

 

Off to Gosfield Hall for the wedding breakfast and evening celebration! Once more I was able to reach the destination before the Bride and Groom, so I recorded their arrival at Gosfield Hall. We gathered together all the guests and set about getting all the “group” photos. Three cheers for the Bride and Groom. Hip hip……………

wedding photographer for essex and suffolk
The “Group Photo” at Gosfield Hall

I always encourage my clients to make a list of their “must get” group photos. Usually I can enlist the help of the Best Man with indetification and marshalling the guests to a location identified in advance so that we can get these photos done as quickly as possible. Let’s face it, the guests want to get at the drinks and canapés, they don’t want to be waiting around taking photos!

wedding photographer for essex and suffolk
Let’s face it, not all the group photos go according to plan!

Then I took the Bride and Groom off for some special “couple” photos which, when done correctly, can be a really fun part of the day.

wedding photographer for essex and suffolk
The photos don’t all need to be “serious”.

I usually get the Best Man or a Bridesmaid to bring along some drinks and canapés for the couple so they don’t miss out.

wedding photography for essex and suffolk
The Bride and Groom at Gosfield Hall

Several photos and lots of laughs later, they went to join their guests.

wedding photographer for essex and suffolk
The Bride and Groom pause for a kiss on their way to join their guests at Gosfield Hall in Essex.
wedding photographer for essex and suffolk
The Bride and Groom join their guests in the courtyard at Gosfield Hall in Essex.

After taking some casual photos of the happy couple chatting to their guests, I went to prepare for the wedding breakfast. After taking some photos of the room set up,

wedding photographer for essex and suffolk
The Wedding Breakfast room at Gosfield Hall in Essex

place settings, table centres

wedding photographer for essex and suffolk
Place setting at a wedding breakfast at Gosfield Hall in Essex

and some other important “finishing touches”, I made ready for the Bride and Groom’s announced entrance.

wedding photographer for essex and suffolk
The Bride and Groom are announced in for their Wedding Breakfast at Gosfield Hall in Essex

When everyone had taken their seats I made myself scarce so that they could enjoy their meal without having to worry about a camera lens being pointed at them. Having told the Bride and Groom exactly where they would be able to find me, I went to have a sandwich and cold drink (non alcoholic, obviously).

I returned for the “speeches”. Lots of laughter and a little “embarrassment” later, I had taken photos of all the main protagonists and the reactions of their guests.

wedding photographer for essex and suffolk
The Groom makes his speech at Gosfield Hall in Essex

Then, as had been requested by Jessica and Stuart, we went to take some more “couple” photos at a few locations inside the building.

wedding photographer for essex and suffolk
The Bride and Groom read their vows at Gosfield Hall, Essex.

The architecture is beautiful and we had decided to take advantage of that fact.

wedding photography for essex and suffolk
The Bride and Groom in the hallway of Gosfield Hall in Essex

For me, it was then time to set up my lights for the First Dance. Having set the lighting, we had the official “cutting of the cake” first before moving straight into the dance room for the dancing to begin.

wedding photographer for essex and suffolk
First Dance focussing on the hands

After a couple of minutes, they were in the middle of the dance floor completely surrounded by guests so out came my ladder (which was nearby and ready) so that I could still get photos of Jessica and Stuart.

wedding photographer for essex and suffolk
The Bride and Groom surrounded by their guests during their First Dance at Gosfield Hall in Essex

A few photos of the party in full swing with the guests having a fabulous time and I was finished for the day. Absolutely exhausted but boy had I enjoyed it.

I checked with Jessica and Stuart to make sure we had taken all the photos they wanted before packing everything into my van and setting off home.

I have tried my best to keep the “word count” down but I hope there is enough here to give you an idea of how I go about photographing a wedding. Quite simply, it’s a job I love and hope to be doing for many years to come.

wedding photographer for essex and suffolk
The Bride and Groom at the end of a fabulous day.

Photography as a business – dream vs reality part 11

Wedding photographer for essex and suffolk.
A “happy couple” pose for their wedding photos in Sydney Harbour.

I’m back again after an absence of over a month and I’m going to talk about my holiday in Australia. Now why on earth would you want to read about that and how is it relevant to running a photography business?

Well perhaps I should give it the title “Work / Life balance. Do you have one?” Stick with me and all will become clear. I’m no lifestyle coach but I hope relaying some of my personal experiences may give you something to think about and help you get the balance that’s right for you.


So my wife and I set off on what will probably be a once in a lifetime trip to Australia. We visited Melbourne ( the see relatives ), Sydney ( terrific city ), Uluru ( amazing big red rock! ) and Port Douglas ( to snorkel over the Great Barrier Reef, highly recommended ).

We were just driving into Heathrow Airport at the start of our trip when my phone rings. A new enquiry for a wedding later this year. I explained where I was and asked the potential client to submit a contact form from my website. I informed her I was available on her day and would get back to her on my return to the UK. She submitted the form and we have now arranged to meet for a chat.

We arrived in Melbourne. An email pinged up on my iPad enquiring about a date for next year. I formulated a reply and sent it. On checking my “sent” folder, there is no trace of my reply. It sometimes takes a day of two to show in the “sent” folder so I decided I would check it sent OK later on.

Now one thing that really surprised me about Australia is how difficult it was to get a reliable wi-fi signal. I kid you not. I don’t know if we were just unlucky and the places we stayed at were unusual in that respect, but it was like being in a third world country! On the odd occasions when we did get a signal, we had to pay extra for it in hotels. The best place for free wi-fi was the public libraries, if you can find one.

A couple of days later, we got a signal. I checked the emails. Another new enquiry to which I sent a reply. On checking my “sent” folder neither the reply to this new enquiry nor the one I sent a couple of days earlier were showing. What’s going on! I also found the enquiry form I have received a couple of days earlier was completely missing from my “in” box. Emails were simply disappearing from my email account!!!

Now I’m starting to get stressed. Not getting a booking because the potential clients prefer another supplier is one thing. Not getting a booking because they think I’m unreliable and don’t respond to emails (when in actual fact, I have), well that’s another. The last thing I want is a reputation for being unreliable.

Naturally I had set up an “auto reply” on my system informing clients of my absence and letting them know I would reply when I was able, but I was sending replies and through no fault of my own, I had no idea whether the potential clients were receiving them or not.

Couple of days later, another enquiry. Another reply sent. More emails vanishing from my email account. The stress levels are going up!

Now here’s the thing. I’m on my holiday. In the past when I was “employed”, I would have considered being called upon during my period of leave to be a very unreasonable intrusion on my personal life.

Yet here I was, on the holiday of a lifetime feeling stressed out and allowing “work” to ruin it. I would not have accepted such an intrusion lightly when “employed”, so why was I allowing it to happen when “self-employed”.


Those of us that are self-employed realise just how hard we have to work to make our business successful and earn a living. Sometimes we will go to extremes to ensure our clients are happy with the service we have provided and that we maintain our good reputation.

Then I thought to myself, hang on a minute. I left my previous job after over 30 years on my GP’s advice because the stress was affecting my health. I now consider myself lucky to be doing a job I love but, based on my previous experiences, I really should know better than to allow work to cause me so much stress during my holiday.

I have come to the conclusion that, whilst we need to provide a reliable and professional service to our clients in order to run a successful business, there are times when our clients need to understand that we are only human and when we are on holiday, we are on holiday. I can’t help but think it’s really important to have a good balance between our work ethic and the need for “down time”.

I decided to put the iPad away ( the auto reply will inform people that I will reply when I am able ), enjoy my holiday and ignore my emails until I returned from Australia. I believe most reasonable people will understand that we all need a break from work sometimes in order to maintain our mental and physical health. It’s no good turning up to their wedding feeling tired and in need of a break! Both our health and their photos will suffer if we do.

Let’s face it, none of our clients will attend our funeral if we work ourselves into an early grave and we will soon go out of business if our photos aren’t up to the required standard.

Now we’re all different. Some of us appear to enjoy stress and have a high tolerance level for it. For others, the level of stress we can deal with is much lower. My advice would be to ensure you are aware of your own tolerance for stress and don’t exceed it.

Personally, I have suffered very high levels of stress in the past and know from bitter experience just how ill prolonged periods of high stress levels can make you, so I will avoid it whenever possible.

Having said that, I don’t think you could ever avoid stress completely and there is an argument that some stress is actually necessary to maintain a healthy balanced life.

I know it can be easier said than done sometimes, especially when your job is also your passion, but I think we should all build “breaks” into our working life and stick to them. We also need to be aware of stress and the harm it can do and when things start to get too much, take action. It is my belief that you will be a better person and run a better business as a result to the benefit of both yourself and your clients.

After all, surely we should be “working so that we can live”, not “living so that we can work”.

wedding photographer for essex and suffolk
A happy couple having their photos taken on the Harbour front. Photographed from Sydney Harbour Bridge.

UPDATE:

So, remember the enquiries I was getting stressed out about during my holiday? Want to know the outcome?

I had two enquiries immediately before flying out to Australia who I was able to speak to on the phone, both of which have decided to book me. That leaves the two enquiries I received whilst actually in Australia.

I had emailed both of them twice, the second email explaining my difficulties and asking if they would be kind enough to confirm receipt of my replies. On my arrival back in the UK I hadn’t heard anything from either of them, so I sent them both one further reply from my office again asking if they would be kind enough to confirm receipt just so I was satisfied they had heard from me and didn’t think I had ignored them.

I can be almost 100% certain those replies must have reached them, but guess what. Neither of them had the good manners to let me know. I heard nothing from them.

The lesson. To me this just helps confirm what I have said before. When you are on your holiday, YOU ARE ON HOLIDAY. Stressing about your business doesn’t do you any good whatsoever and most of you clients won’t appreciate it.


That brings to an end my little series of articles about starting a photography business in the real world. I hope you have found it useful and enjoyed reading it. My intention at the outset was to highlight the things I did wrong  when I started out so that you don’t make the same mistakes.

If you would like to read a blog that has a more “scientific” approach towards starting a business, I recommend you read this blog on the ShootDotEdit website.

Back to part 1

Back to part 10

 

Time for a change? Registrars vs Celebrants

 

Wedding Photography for Essex and Suffolk
The Bride and Groom on their wedding day.

Time for a change? Registrars vs Celebrants.

What has prompted me to ask that question? Well, I am so amazed at the attitude of the Registrar who conducted yesterday’s wedding ceremony that I have had to interrupt my scheduled blogs and “share the experience” with you all.

I don’t want to use the word “story” because that may imply that the facts have been exaggerated in some way. No, what I am about to write is 100% factual and exactly as it happened without embellishment. You can then form your own opinion as to whether it is “Time for a change”.

First some background. The happy couple have lived together for several years and are in the process of modernising their home. The Bride’s Mum falls seriously ill with cancer, so they decide to put the house renovations on hold and arrange for their wedding to take place earlier than originally planned so that Mum can be there.

Their big day arrives and the weather, that one thing that none of us can control, decides to do it’s worst. The heaviest snowfall for several years leading to blocked roads and traffic chaos.  I live 15 minutes from the venue and it took me 1 hour 20 minutes to get there!

The Groom was due to arrive at 11.00am, the ceremony due to start at 2.00pm. The Groom arrives just before 2.00pm. The usual 40 minute journey had taken him 4 hours. The Bride was still on her way and whilst her make up and hair were done at home, she still has to get into her dress and do all the “finishing touches” when she arrives.

I speak to the venue planner who assures me he has spoken to the Registrar and there is no need to worry about the time. Apparently this ceremony was the only one that day.

A few minutes later the Registrar approaches me. I am “instructed” to not take any photos of the Bride whilst her Mum helps her get ready as to do so would cause further delay. ( I ignored her request. Why? Because those few moments when Mum helps Daughter put on her wedding dress are simply too special to miss out. Especially when Mum is so ill. Besides, I knew it wouldn’t cause any additional delay, I just photographed it “as it happened” ).

The Registrar then “instructed” me to be “as quick as possible” and only take a couple of photos of the Bride and Groom signing the “mock register”.

Anyway, the Bride arrives and starts to get ready. The Registrar comes to make sure I’m not delaying proceedings by taking “unnecessary” photos. I kid you not. She actually came into the Bridal Suit to make sure I wasn’t delaying things!

Finally we’re ready to go and the ceremony gets underway some 2 hours late. I can see from my EXIF data that it started at 1602hours and was finished by 1614hours. Talk about rushed, I’ve never seen anything like it. “Professional” in that the correct legal words were said it may have been. “Relaxed and fun” it most certainly was not and was completely devoid of any “warmth” towards the couple. No entrance music, guests were not allowed to photograph the “mock signing” and even the usual “Presentation” of the marriage certificate to the Bride did not happen. And this is their once in a lifetime ‘Special Day”!

When it came to the wedding breakfast I was made aware that there would be two readings in addition to the usual speeches. This was because the Registrar had told the couple just before their ceremony that she was taking the readings out of the ceremony as there wasn’t time for them!

Surely in these modern times there is no place for this “officious” attitude towards a couple on their wedding day. My wife has conducted many ceremonies in the past where they have started late. She makes light of it and always manages to turn it into a funny story that makes the guests and the couples laugh and puts the couple at ease. She never”rushes” the ceremony and she wouldn’t dream of “cutting out the readings” to save a few minutes!

In fairness to Registrars, I have worked with many over the years and this is only the fourth one I have come across with such an appalling attitude. The vast majority of them are very good at what they do and make the ceremony a joyous occasion, as it should be.

But I do wonder whether the small number of “not so good” Registrars are ever “held to account” for their work. As a celebrant, if my wife wasn’t good at her job and didn’t have the correct attitude, she would find herself out of work. Her clients interview her and if she isn’t exactly what they are looking for, they go elsewhere.

If you decide to use a Registrar, which incidentally costs £125 MORE than a Celebrant in this area, you don’t seem to have any say in which individual Registrar will conduct your ceremony. If you get one who doesn’t appear to like her job or is “having a bad day” and just wants to “gallop” through the ceremony as quickly as possible, that’s just tough luck. Once the ceremony has been held, you can’t go back and change it.

Personally, I think it’s time for a change. I believe people need to be made aware that they have a choice.

YOU DON’T HAVE TO USE A REGISTRAR FOR YOUR WEDDING CEREMONY.

And I believe that, when couples choose to use a Registrar, they should be allowed to choose which Registrar conducts their ceremony.

Perhaps then the small minority of Registrars who obviously don’t enjoy their work would find themselves having to look for an occupation more suited to their own personalities.

Wedding Photography for Essex and Suffolk.
The Bride and Groom go for a stroll on their wedding day.

My wife has asked suggested I mention the following. Should you choose to use a Celebrant to conduct your wedding ceremony then you must go to the Registry Office to have your marriage “Registered” to make it legally binding, similar to the way the law requires you”Register” a birth or a death.

Must Have Wedding Photos – Part Three

 

Must have wedding photos part three, the wedding breakfast and evening.

Usually the first photos to get arranged after your wedding ceremony are the dreaded group photos. Lets face it, all your guests want to do is get a drink, have something to eat and chat with the other guests. No one enjoys standing around waiting to have their photo taken. But chances are that having all your family and friends together in the same place at the same time is a very rare event, so you want to make the most of it.

I always advise making a list in consultation with your photographer and visiting the venue to identify locations for your photos before the big day comes along. This saves such a lot of time and saves your guests having to stand around waiting too long. You need a plan A for good weather and a plan B for bad weather. If you prepare properly and if your photographer is able to be assertive in a polite and friendly way, you will get the group photos you want done much more quickly than leaving it all to chance on the day.

If you don’t want your group photos to be all “stiff and starchy” a full of “forced” smiles, use a photographer who is good with people and not afraid to talk to them. I usually find a good old “three cherries for the happy couple. Hip Hip…” works wonders for loosening people up in front of the camera.

Wedding Photography for Gosfield Hall in Essex
Three cheers for the happy couple. Hip hip….

And when it comes to the smaller groups, you can have as much fun as you like. Let your imagination run riot and have some fun!!

Wedding Photography for Essex.
Have some fun with your group photos

After your group photos, think about the type of photos you would like of just the two of you together. Perhaps the two of you going for a stroll around the grounds.

Wedding photography at Dedham Vale Vineyard Essex
The newlyweds go for a stroll in the grounds.

Or something that makes the most of the location.

Wedding Photography at All Manor of Events in Suffolk.
Making the most of the location at All Manor of Events in Suffolk.

Maybe a more formal one, what I call a photo for Mum and Dad to put above their fire place.

Wedding Photography at Woodall Manor in Suffolk
Something a little more formal.

Maybe something a bit more romantic.

Wedding Photography at Woodall Manor in Suffolk.
Something more romantic.

Something to show off your wedding dress.

Wedding Photography at Braxted Park in Essex
Showing off the wedding dress

Or maybe you want to be more creative and come up with something a bit more original.

Wedding Photography at Gosfield Hall in Essex
Something a little more creative.

Or something that really takes advantage of the architecture or quirkiness of your venue.

Wedding Photography at Gosfield Hall in Essex
Servant’s bells hanging in the corridor serve as a reminder of days gone by.

Talk things through with your photographer. If they are good at their job, they will be able to take the style of photos that you want so you can remember your day, your way.

Usually, when you have finished you photos, it’s time to catch up with your guests before moving on to your Wedding breakfast. Talk through what you would like with your photographer. You don’t have to settle for all “boring” straight on photos.

Wedding Photography ay Gosfield Hall in Essex
Not all photos have to be “straight on”.

Putting a bit of an angle on the photo can make it look much more dynamic and interesting.

Wedding Photography at All Manor of Events in Suffolk.
Angles can make photos look much more interesting and dynamic.

And when people are making their speeches, that’s the perfect time for your photographer to take photos of your guest’s reactions. Terrific natural smiles and laughter ( providing your speeches are funny, of course ).

Wedding Photography at Braxted Park in Essex
The speeches are a great time to get natural photos of the guests smiling.

When the wedding breakfast draws to a close, that’s when your photographer will start preparing for your “First Dance”. A special part of the day not to be missed.

Wedding Photography for Colchester Essex.
The Bride and Groom enjoy their First Dance.

 

When it comes to your First Dance, you will find that the lighting is different for every venue. Some venues have their own quite unique way of doing things.

Wedding Photography at Milsoms Kesgrave.
Some venues have their own special lighting effects.

Some venues just leave the DJ to sort out their own lighting.

Wedding Photography at Hintlesham Hall in Suffolk.
Coloured disco lighting.

It might just be worth asking your photographer how he does things. If you want to maintain the “ambience” or feel of your venue, you don’t really want a photographer who simply lights up everything with lots of flash.

Wedding Photography at All Manor of Events in Suffolk.
Maintaining the ambient light during a First Dance.

Perhaps something a bit more romantic on the dance floor.

Wedding Photography for Colchester Essex
First Dance with a romantic feel – focus on the hands.

You might like to have some photos taken after your guests have joined you on the dance floor .

Wedding Photography at Gosfield Hall in Essex.
The Bride and Groom are joined on the dance floor by their guests.

Or perhaps you are going to have a “Father Daughter” dance as well.

Wedding photography at Gosfield Hall in Essex.
Father Daughter dance at the end of the day.

At the end of the day, why not finish off with a special photo. You could have a night time shot taken outside your venue.

Wedding Photography at Braxted Park in Essex.
A rather special night time photo.

Or, if you are having a fireworks display, make the most of it with a photographer who knows how to photograph fireworks to your liking.

Wedding Photography at Hintlesham Golf Club in Suffolk.
The Bride and Groom watch the fireworks display at the end of the wedding day.

Perhaps say it with sparklers!!

Wedding Photography for Colchester Essex.
Saying it with sparklers!

Maybe a photo of you walking off into the distance knowing that an exciting journey called “life” lies ahead of you both.

Wedding Photography at All Manor of Events in Suffolk.
The Bride and Groom walk off to face the future together as newlyweds.

Or simply have a photo of the two of you retiring at the end of the day.

Wedding Photography at Gosfield Hall in Essex.
The Bride and groom retire at the end of an exhausting but terrific day.

Whatever you choose to do for your special day, I advise you choose a photographer who is a good “fit” for you both. Who understands what you are looking for. Who is prepared to take some time to get to know you. Be prepared to work with that photographer. Be creative. You don’t have to have the same old photos that everyone else has. You are only going to live this day once, so make the most of it and have some fun with your photography.

This is part three. Don’t forget to check out parts one and two for more ideas.

Must Have Wedding Photos – Part Two

 

Must have wedding photos part Two, the ceremony.

For the second part of this 3 part blog on ideas for Must Have Wedding Photos I am going to concentrate on The Wedding Ceremony and immediately afterwards. Not all the ideas may seem appropriate to your day as all weddings are unique, but I think it’s always better to have too many ideas than too few. It might be best to agree with your photographer which ones suite your day beforehand, otherwise your wedding day could turn into a “photo shoot”.

So, you arrive at your ceremony venue

Wedding Photography at Seckford Hall in Suffolk.
The Bride arrives in her chosen wedding transport.

in your chosen wedding transport

Wedding Photography at Seckford Hall in Suffolk.
The Bride alights from her wedding transport.

get out and thank your driver

Wedding Photography at Seckford Hall in Suffolk.
The Bride thanks her chauffeur.

then make your way with your wedding party

Wedding Photography at Gosfield Hall in Essex.
The Bride with her wedding party approach the church.

to the entrance where friends and family are eagerly awaiting your arrival.

Wedding Photography at Seckford Hall in Suffolk.
Friends and family greet the Bride on her arrival.

You enter your wedding venue

Wedding Photography at Houchins Farm in Essex.
The Bride and her Father enter the Church.

As you walk down the aisle, your Groom can’t resist the temptation to turn and look. He sees you for the first time that day and the look on his face say it all.

Wedding Photography at Gosfield Hall in Essex,
The Groom watches his beautiful Bride walk up the aisle.

From this point on, the photographs your photographer is able to capture will depend to a large degree not just on their ability and equipment, but also on the Priest / Vicar / Registrar and how much “freedom” they allow your photographer during the ceremony. I will always do my very best to attend any rehearsal you may have so that I can build up a bit of a rapport with the officiant ( I have found this does help as they can see for themselves that I will treat the ceremony with respect and I am no longer a complete stranger to them on the wedding day ).

But even if the officiant is strict, there are certain Must Have photos your photographer should be able to capture. The placing of the wedding rings on the finger, both for the Bride’s

Wedding Photography at Woodall Manor.
The Groom places the wedding ring on his Bride’s finger.

and for the Groom’s.

Wedding Photography at Woodall Manor in Suffolk.
The Bride places her Groom’s wedding ring on his finger.

The exchanging of vows

Wedding Photography at Seckford Hall in Suffolk.
The Bride and Groom exchange their vows.

the First Kiss

Wedding Photography for Woodall Manor in Suffolk.
The Bride and Groom’s first kiss.

the blessing of your union

Wedding Photography for orwell View Barns in Suffolk.
The Blessing of the newly weds.

 

the odd amazing but unexpected moment,

Wedding Photography at Woodall Manor in Suffolk.
The Bride and Groom “High Five”.

the signing of the register with your bridal bouquet on display

Wedding Photography at All Manor Of Events in Suffolk.
Signing the register doesn’t have to be too serious. We all know it’s not a real one!

and with your witnesses

Wedding Photography for Maison Talbooth in Essex.
The Bride and Groom with their witnesses.

before you leave the ceremony as partners for life.

Wedding Photography at Houchins Farm in Essex.
The newly weds leave at the end of their wedding ceremony.

Then it’s time for the confetti to fly

Wedding Photography at All Manor of Events in Suffolk.
The confetti flies for the newlyweds.

before departing and making your way to your wedding reception venue for your wedding breakfast.

Wedding Photography at Orwell View Barns in Suffolk.
The Bride and Groom get on board their transport to make their way to their wedding breakfast.

Don’t forget this is part two. Take a look at parts one and three for more ideas.

Must Have Wedding Photos – Part One

 

Must have wedding photos part one, the preparations.

This Blog, the first of 3 on the subject, is intended for couples who want ideas on what images to ask their wedding photographer for so they are able to tell the whole story of their day. Budding wedding photographers who want ideas for what they should be photographing will also find it useful.

No two weddings are ever the same and not all the photos mentioned will be taken at every wedding, but it helps to have some ideas of what to photograph.

Why 3 Blogs? Because I divide a wedding day into 3 parts. Getting ready, the ceremony and the wedding breakfast / evening celebrations.

Wedding Photography at Gosfield Hall in Essex
The wedding dress hanging in the bridal suite at Gosfield Hall in Essex.

The wedding might not be until the afternoon but there is lots to do, and to photograph, in the morning. Perhaps some photos showing all the excitement of you and your bridesmaids as you have your hair and make up done while sipping champagne.

Wedding Photography at Gosfield Hall in Essex.
The Bride has her make up done in the bridal suite at Gosfield Hall in Essex.

Maybe your wedding dress on it’s hanger or, even better still, the moment you put it on.

Wedding Photography at Houchins Farm in Essex.
The Mother of the Bride helps her daughter into her dress at Houchins Farm in Essex.

All the little details like your jewellery and perfume.

Wedding Photography at Houchins Farm in Essex.
The perfume and jewellery on a wedding day.

The shoes bought especially for the day.

Wedding Photography at Hintlesham Hall in Suffolk.
The shoes bought especially for the day.

What about the confetti sitting there in a basket ready to be taken to the ceremony? The bridesmaids dresses all on hangers specially made for the occasion. Maybe there’s an exchange of gifts with happy surprised faces all around. All photos that, when put together, tell the whole story of your day.

The pretty flower girl, eyes wide open staring at your wedding dress whilst imagining herself a princess for the day. And the page boy has never looked smarter in his new suit.

Wedding Photography at Woodall Manor in Suffolk.
The pretty flower girl admires the beautiful bride at Woodall Manor in Suffolk.

Perhaps if your Mum or Dad is giving you away, a photo of the look on their faces when they see you in your dress for the first time. A special moment and a look that is never to be repeated.

Wedding Photography at Gosfield Hall in Essex
A tearful Dad sees his daughter in her wedding dress for the first time at Gosfield Hall in Essex.

Then, with your hair and make up done to perfection and your wedding dress looking just right, a few portrait photos before setting off.

Wedding photography at Gosfield Hall in Essex.
The beautiful Bride peeks from behind her wedding bouquet.

Travelling between venues? You make your way down the stairs to where your wedding transport awaits with your bridesmaids in tow.

Wedding photography at Gosfield Hall in Essex.
The bridal party make their way down the stairs.

If you’ve booked some special wedding transport to take you to the ceremony, don’t forget to get if photographed.

Wedding photography at Woodall Manor in Suffolk.
A photo of you with your transport is a must.

Don’t forget the Groom. It’s his day too! Chances are he will have been given his “To Do” list and heaven help him if he forgets anything. And he might be wearing a special gift bough for the day!

Wedding Photography at All Manor of Events in Suffolk.
The Groom wears a very special gift.

And he might like a photo or two with his party.

Wedding Photography at Braxted Park in Essex.
The Groom with his Best Man and Ushers decide on a Reservoir Dogs style photo.

Parents’ siblings or other family members nearby? Then perhaps a few family photos before you leave to walk down the aisle.

The list of possibilities is almost endless. Let your imagination run riot and be creative!!

Don’t forget this is only part one. Take a look at parts two and three for more suggestions.