hints and tips for your big day
O R G A N I S A T I O N
I know you'll have a million things to think about when you're planning your wedding but telling me who and what are the most important aspects of your day will ensure that I capture the things most important to you. On the odd occasion couples have got back to me and said, " Jo, did you take any of my great grandma?" I reply, who is your Great Grandma? I haven't got a clue. If you don't tell me who the key people in your life are then I won't know to focus on them. Whilst I do try and capture 60% of your guests through mingling, speeches and group shots unless you specifically ask me to capture a specific person I will, undoubtedly, miss people out.
Having your photographs taken by a professional photographer is strange.
The control is taken away from you and what I tell all of my clients is that when you get your photographs back after your shoot, you may be a little disappointed.
You may well have seen beautiful photos on Pinterest, instagram and other platforms of couples madly in love with beautiful sunsets and amazing fashion sense, families laughing and giggling wildly. We don't all live in sunny California, or can afford to get married in a million pound exclusive venue so reality is that your photos will differ from inspirational ones you see online.
Reality is, we have our hang ups, we have bits about ourselves that we don't like. I get it, trust me, I do, because I felt exactly the same when I got my beautiful wedding photos back. I couldn't help go through them all and criticise myself, my hair, my nose, my backside. My husband said something to me that has stuck with me to this day and I always tell my clients.
Those beautiful, wonderful photographs, memories, show us, our family, our love, our day. Us. They show my husband looking at me, like he always does when I don't see. They show me as my parents see me and as they have watched grow. They show me. The person that my husband chose to marry and the person he sees every single day, for better or worse. He told me that when I pull a daft selfie face, he hates me, it looks nothing like me, so what am I doing? Then it hit me. Having your photograph taken by a professional photographer shows the real you, and the person who everybody in your life loves. A selfie face is just an impression of a duck! and whilst we live in a world where you can marry a microwave now, I doubt your other half wants to marry a duck. (I do chat rubbish don’t I)
When your children look back at your wedding photographs they will see you as they see you every single day. Not the selfie you. They will see their parents crinkles and laughter lines and double chins and snorty faces and everything they love about you. Just the way they will remember, surely this is more important than obsessing over a turkey neck?
Most peoples greatest fear is how to pose. I say don't. Well, I do, but then I gently direct you if I see fit. If I do a wedding then I often tell couples to hold hands, tickle each other, pick each other up, tell rude jokes, do whatever they do on a normal Tuesday night .... just be yourselves. Don't force yourselves to look like an instragam account if its not you. Hell, pick your nose like this due if that floats your boat!
JUST . BE . YOU
Group shots are wonderful, we need them, they form memories of our wedding day. However they do take a lot of time from your celebrations, often dragging guests from the bar to get involved. I suggest a maximum of 10 group shots with 5 or 6 being your priority shots, immediate family etc etc. These do not include bridal party shots or whole guest shots. Just the traditional family line ups. I suggest designing an itinerary and group shot list for your wedding guests so they know where to be and if they are required.
As I'm sure you are aware, it is 2019 and most if not all photographers edit their photographs in their signature style. If we didn't, then we would all be the same. I am no different. My editing style is a little desaturated, I don't like too many bright colours coming through in my photographs so I shoot underexposed (dark). I then apply a preset over the top to put the finishing touches to the image. I have a dislike for bright greens, and so I do put a little more effort into making my green desaturated but this should be evident across all of my galleries. Please please please ensure that you have seen a few different galleries of my work before you book me. It is important that you understand the editing style is not a choice, it forms part of my art. There are many other amazing photographers out there who shoot airy, bright and very contrasting styles so please do your research.
PRE SHOOT PREP
Pre Shoots are important, some photographers make them optional, prefer to offer them as part of my packages.However it is your responsibility to book them, I do get booked up very quickly. Within 50 miles is free but over this travelling distance will require fuel.
T H I N K
What to wear - Things to think about on your pre shoot. Wear something comfortable, that you feel confident in, I always suggest to plan your make up trial for the same day as your pre shoot - this way you can see how your make up will look on the day.
When to book - What time of year are you getting married? Do you want to replicate the colours that will be seasonal on your day to give you a feel of what the photos will look like or do you want to use the photos for save the dates? if you do, then you need to plan in the time to allow for this. The date is up to you, but I only do pre shoots on weeknights (April to September) or Sundays. I need at least 12 weeks notice and this could be subject to change if a late wedding booking comes in. November through to March is a little more flexible and weekends are an option.
Location - Where to go? if I have never been to the venue before then I would always prefer to do a recce. This isn't always possible (destination weddings) so I say choose somewhere that is personal and means something to you, where you got engaged, a family spot... something that means something.
Uses - You will get all the pre shoot photos in an online gallery, here you can use them for save the dates, invitations, signing frames, wedding decor.... the list is endless.
In this day and age we tend to post our whole world online, sharing moments and life events with family and friends. It is wonderful but it can also be daunting for some people. I understand this. You may have found me from seeing online posts, usually on Facebook. The truth is, that is my only marketing tool. I tend to post a 'sneak peek" within 24 hours of your wedding and I kindly ask permission to post a small selection of images upon completion of your booking form.
Of course, it is your right to say no and I completely respect and understand your decision to keep your wedding images private. I do however reserve the right to post detail and venue shots of your day to keep regular content on my pages.
When dealing with guests I always suggest that you politely ask that guests don’t post images online until the day afterwards, this means that they are fully emerged in your day rather than staring at a screen. Going unplugged is a preferred option these days, it also allows me to do my job properly. At times I have been barged out of the way when i’m lining up a shot, I also have an army of people behind me trying to steal my shots which is wonderfully flattering but you’ve paid me for a reason. (I’d hope)
Obviously working in the industry with a whole host of wonderful suppliers I see a lot and I am more than happy to recommend people if you have something in mind. Please contact me and pick my brains. Remember to give me a list of your own suppliers so that I can credit them and send photographs to them for their businesses.