Expert advice about photography

Here is a selection of Q&As from An Essex Wedding magazine whether it be about flowers, hair and makeup, fashion, wedding themes, health & beauty, cakes, stationery, legal advice. If you would like your question answered by our experts, please email it to editor@anessex.wedding

 

Snap happy

Snap happy

Q. With so many photographers to choose from, what factors should we consider to help narrow down the search?

A. Michael Briggs says: I always say that taking photographs is just half of my job, the other half is to make sure the wedding day goes as smoothly as it possibly can. Being a photographer is the most intimate and personal role at a wedding. They'll be with you throughout the whole day, so it's important to have a warm connection with your chosen expert.

Shortlist a few photographers whose style you admire and meet them over a coffee. A face-to-face meeting is the best way to find out if your personalities are a good fit.

Michael Briggs,Michael Briggs Pictures
www.michaelbriggspictures.com

 

Caught on camera

Caught on camera

Q. My friend has recommended booking a videographer, but we're nervous about being in front of the lens. How do we relax and enjoy our day?

A. Alex Moore says: Being filmed can be a nerve-racking experience, and not everyone is comfortable with it. In fact, most of our couples have this worry. My advice is always the same: forget we're there. When the day comes around, you'll be focussing on so many other things that the camera becomes a distant memory.

We always aim for natural footage and we rarely stage shots. This is to ensure the video is a true reflection of your day as it unfolds. We're never too close and we always remain respectful of everything else going on, while capturing the natural flow of the wedding from the nerves in the morning to the celebration in the evening. I guarantee you'll almost forget we're there on the day, and the memories you'll have to look back on will make it so worth it.

Alex Moore,Wedding Video Essex
www.facebook.com/essexweddingvideo

 

Summer lovin'

Summer lovin'

Q. We're having an al fresco wedding in summer. How can we make the most of this in our photos?

A. Scott Miller says: At this time of year, you must make the most of the long summer evenings. Arrange a shoot with your photographer for later in the day to capture images with that soft golden light. In the height of summer, the sun doesn't set until gone 9pm, so make the most of the golden hour after your first dance. This is the perfect time to capture the most incredible newlywed portraits.

Scott Miller,Boutique Wedding Films & Photography
www.boutiqueweddingfilms.uk

 

In the picture

In the picture

Q. There are so many photographers to choose from. How do I decide who's right for me?

A. Amanda Hutchinson says: Firstly, note which images you're drawn to when researching in magazines, Instagram and Pinterest. You'll soon start to see a consistency in the type of images you like, whether that's light and airy, dark and moody etc. From there, you can start researching photographers who shoot in that style.
My biggest piece of advice is to meet a shortlist of photographers whose work you admire. It's important to get to know them and see how well you get on together – after all, they'll be with you throughout the most important day of your life. Ask to see a full wedding gallery, so you can check that their work is consistent through a full day's coverage and not just a highlight reel.

Amanda Hutchinson
www.amandakarenphotography.co.uk

 

Caught on camera

Caught on camera

Q. My partner and I are nervous in front of a camera. A friend suggested having an engagement shoot - is it worth biting the bullet and having one?

A. Emma Hammond says: Lots of couples feel anxious about this – it's not every day you're professionally photographed! While you may feel unsure about a pre-wedding shoot, it'll be a worthwhile investment of your time.

I promise it's not as scary as you might think, and you may even enjoy it. You get to spend quality time together and you'll have a beautiful memento at the end of it. Most importantly, you'll be practising for the big day. These shots allow you to get to know your chosen photographer, which will help you gain confidence in a relaxed environment with no pressure. It's perfect preparation for being in front of the lens on the most important day of your life.

Emma Hammond
www.bloomwoodphotography.co.uk

 

Picture perfect

Picture perfect

Q. We don't want to spend hours posing for photographs. How do we make sure that all of our loved ones are captured?

A. Anna Marie Cooper says: No one wants to waste precious time on their big day posing for endless photos, and most photographers would much rather be getting those fantastically natural moments of love and laughter.

Timing is key here. I tend to get quite involved in the running order and make sure we can fit all the great photo opportunities in. Up to two-and-a-half hours between your ceremony and reception is ideal so you can get a shot of everyone together as well as a number of pre-planned formal shots. Please note, these don't really have to be formal – why not have fun with them and show your personalities? I'd also recommend planning in time to chat with your friends and family so I can get those candid moments. A team of two shooters really helps to make the most of this time.

I love to capture unposed shots of the newlyweds. Ask your photographer to plan these around pretty spots at your venue and work out times to get the best light. Finally, make sure you choose a professional who values the same things as you. For me, it's the laughs, looks and quiet moments that should be filling your album.

Anna Marie Cooper
www.photographybyannamarie.com

 

A moment of calm

A moment of calm

Q. What are your top tips for staying relaxed in front of the camera?

A. Peter Carruthers says: Lots of couples are nervous about being in front of the lens. We help our brides and grooms to feel less conscious by creating a moment, rather than a pose.

We'll take you away from the action for a while and calm everything down. It's a great opportunity to have a few minutes together amid all the chaos and excitement to reflect on the day and realise it's all about you as a couple. We want you to be comfortable and enjoy spending time together so we can get some lovely laid-back images. Your day will be busy and it'll go really fast, so these moments are very important.

Peter Carruthers
www.carruthersandhobbs.co.uk

 

A picture of you

A picture of you

Q. My fiancée and I starting to look into which photography style we want – what are the big trends for 2019?

A. Ayshea Goldberg says: I've found for the past couple of years couples have been looking for a more relaxed style of photography. Whereas this wedding season they want images that tell a story in a very authentic way. They want to look back at their photos and know that their guests had a brilliant time too.

There's less of a requirement for formal portraits. Instead, lovebirds want to see themselves having fun, smiling and looking gorgeous on their big day.

The key for me as a photographer is to make the images appear effortless and natural. I find the perfect backdrop and prepare the area with additional lighting and props, so newlyweds walk in feeling like there's been no additional work done.

Ayshea Goldberg
www.ajg-photography.co.uk

 

Snap decision

Snap decision

Q. My wife and I can't decide on the type of photography we want for our wedding and need to book a professional ASAP. What do you advise?

A. Ayshea Goldberg says: My advice is to do a little homework first – find out if there are any wedding fairs in your area coming up and go along to them. Meet all the photographers there and look through their sample albums to see what shooting, posing and editing styles they use. Ask questions and let them explain what they do and their approach. If there aren't any fairs in your local area, then do some research online, looking at different professionals and the styles that they have in their portfolio. Following photographers on Instagram is also a great idea.

Then I'd suggest setting up meetings with a couple of photographers to sit down and chat properly. Ask in more detail about their styles and get them to explain any terminology that isn't clear to you – we're happy to explain what we mean by reportage and fine art. We'll talk you through how we achieve our images and you'll be able to decide if that fits with your desired result. By looking at complete wedding albums you'll be able to see how a style flows and whether it works for you.

Ayshea Goldberg
www.ajg-photography.co.uk

 

Pretty as a picture

Pretty as a picture

Q. We're looking for a photographer for our nuptials and have no idea where to start. How can I ensure they're professional and what type of questions should I be asking them before making a decision?

A. Anna Marie Cooper says: When searching for your photographer, it's really important to meet them, and to see their albums.

You can find people initially by asking friends or venues for recommendations, looking in magazines, like this one, or by searching the web. Just remember the photographer's website is a showcase of their best images, but you can't tell if they're the right fit just from that. When you meet them, you should be looking for:

- TRUST You'll spend a lot of time with your photographer on the day. They should be personable and calm. Are they trying to understand who you are and what is important to you?

- STYLE How do their images look and feel? Are they posed or natural? Personally, I think it is important to capture a balance of the two, that way you're really capturing the story and get people looking their best. You must ask yourself if you like a posed or natural look? Is this photographer a good fit for your choice? Will they take your ideas onboard?

- EXPERIENCE Ask them how they handle difficult weather or light. Do they have a variety of albums with a good number of images in? Have they shown you enough to know they're reputable, and can handle your day with ease?

- BUDGET Some photographers offer albums, digital prints, or a mixture of the pair. I'd steer away from purely digitals as I know too many people that still have their wedding day sat on a USB. A beautifully captured story in an album is something to be treasured and can pick you up on a grey day.

Decide what you both want at the end of the day? I've never heard one regret from couples that receive a stunning album.

Good luck! There's lots of help out there to get you started!

Anna Marie Cooper
www.photographybyannamarie.com

 

Don't sweat the small stuff

Q. My husband-to-be suffers with anxiety and although we're only tying the knot in front of a few of our nearest and dearest, the thought of posing for our big-day album has sent him into a tizz. How do I find a photographer who will put him at ease?

A. Adam Prescott says: Finding a professional photographer will be key, as they'll have many photo shoots under their belt and will be able to adapt their approach to help you. Ideally, I'd be looking for a photographer who specialises in documentary or reportage style photography, where they capture the day without you really noticing they're present – try to keep any formal shots to a minimum. Opt for a more natural approach catching you as you interact with your guests.

You'll soon know upon contacting your supplier if they're going to be the right fit for you both, take the time and look at their portfolio – especially if they do other forms of photography other than weddings as this shows a wider set of skills and the ability to adapt to different situations.

Also discuss the little things that will help to put him at ease like, does the photographer use a silent camera during the service? What will they be wearing, as you want them to blend in as a guest and not stand out! Also, don't be tempted to ask a friend to do your photos as this invariably ends in tears.

Adam Prescott
www.aprescottphotography.co.uk