EXPERT ADVICE

FAQs and 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 We're clueless when it comes to photography. Is there a list of shots we should ask our photographer to capture?
A Jamie Le Beau-Andrews says: Yes, there are several shots that you can ask your photographer to try to capture to ensure that all the moments and details that are important to you are captured. Many photographers including myself may use a prewedding questionnaire which gives you the opportunity to request which moments, details or portraits are important to you, but if a photographer doesn't provide a questionnaire, then definitely give them a list, here are a few examples:
1. Getting ready shots: Ask your photographer to capture candid shots of you and your wedding party getting ready, including putting on make-up, getting dressed, and adjusting accessories.
2. Reactions: If there's a particular reaction you're looking forward to, like a family member seeing you in your dress for the first time or a response by someone opening a gift, make sure to let your photographer know where and when this will be happening so they can capture it.
3. Ceremony shots: Make sure your photographer can capture important moments during your ceremony, including exchanging vows and rings and your first kiss as a married couple, and check if there are any restrictions regarding photography beforehand that would prevent your photographer from being able to get these moments. If you're planning anything different, like having a pet carry the rings or a confetti throw exit when walking back down the aisle, let your photographer know beforehand so they're ready.
4. Group shots: Many photographers have a standard list of group shots they usually take that work within your timeline. Speak to your photographer beforehand and determine how many group photos you can squeeze in within your allocated time, always starting with the most to least important in case you run out of time.
5. Reception shots: Ask your photographer to capture candid photos of your guests enjoying the reception, as well as critical moments like the first dance, toasts, and cake cutting.

By providing your photographer with a list of shots you want, you can be assured that your special day will be captured in a way you will cherish forever.

When choosing a photographer, it's a good idea to ask to view a full gallery from a recent wedding, just so you can see what kind of photos they usually take on a typical wedding day.

It's also worth thinking about the kind of photos you don't like, such as: 'I don't like the idea of cheesy poses or fake smiles'; or 'I'm not worried about having any photos of the food or my shoes'. This will ensure your photographer need not waste any precious time taking photos that have no interest to you.

Jamie Le Beau-Andrews, Le Beau Photography

Capture the moment

Capture the moment

Q I have an upcoming engagement shoot and I'm terrified. Where should it be, what do I wear, what should I do!?
A Jordan Bright says: The first thing I'd say is that it's okay to be nervous about the shoot. Being in front of the camera isn't normal for anyone and your engagement shoot is about learning to get comfortable, getting to know your photographer and how they work plus learning what you like and don't like so when it comes to your wedding day, you're going to have confidence that you'll have images that you love. As photographers, we want you to enjoy yourselves as much as possible and if you're having fun, then so are we.

When it comes to your engagement shoot, you have complete freedom in terms of location. We always recommend picking somewhere that's sentimental to you both or a place that represents your relationship, this could be a nice woodland walk, the local beach or even an arcade. We have a backup list of recommended locations for our couples if you're still struggling to choose.

In terms of what to wear, I'd try to avoid having too many bright and lairy patterns. Go for something a bit more neutral so the focus is more on you as a couple rather than what you're wearing. That being said, it's your engagement shoot if you want to be loud and proud, go for it!

Jordan Bright, Capture House Weddings

Say cheese?

Say cheese?

Q Lots of photographers offer an engagement shoot, but we don't really like having our pictures taken as a rule and don't know if it's for us. What are the benefits?
A John Payton says: Engagement shoots offer many benefits to marrying couples. Firstly, it's the perfect opportunity to be photographed by your chosen photographer without the inevitable pressure of the wedding day. It's a chance to have fun, chat, get to know each other and take some lovely photographs. It's not essential this happens, but growing an early relationship with your photographer will always make a difference to the experience on the wedding day. Trying out a photoshoot before the wedding also breaks the ice and means couples will generally be more relaxed in front of the camera when the wedding day portraits come around. My photography is all about natural, relaxed moments but even so, there will always be an element of posing here and there, so if you have the opportunity to practice with your photographer, and get some gorgeous photos before your wedding, then I highly recommend doing so.

John Payton, John Payton Photography

Snap happy

Snap happy

Q Choosing our wedding photographer is proving harder than expected. What should we look for to know we're making the right decision?
A Rob Moore says: Selecting a photographer is one of the biggest decisions you'll make in the run-up to your big day. Why? The pictures are usually the only thing you'll keep after your wedding… other than your spouse!

The first thing to consider is whether you like the way the photographer takes their pictures, asking yourselves if you prefer a traditional shoot or something documentary in style. The initial meeting is also important before you commit, as you need a photographer that you like as a person. You're going to spend hours with them on a very emotional day, so you need to 'click' to work together well.

You should also take time to look at their wedding work on their website and social media. Read through the photographer's blog if they write one, to understand them on a more personal level, and listen to other brides, grooms and suppliers. Reviews are there for a reason; they'll tell you the true experience of others and hold a lot of detail about what to expect.

Rob Moore, Rob Moore Photography

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