Expert advice about photography

Here is a selection of Q&As from Your North West 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@yournorthwest.wedding

 

Picture perfect

Picture perfect

Q. We're looking for a wedding photographer, but we're a bit worried about booking someone online that we've never met. Do you have any suggestions?

A. Simon Kearsley says: Here at Creative Camera Photography, 95 per cent of the time we won't take a booking unless we've met the couple.
- I understand your hesitation, after all, you don't know if they're a real person or company unless you've met them. We have a studio and always encourage our couples to come have a brew and chat about their day before booking.
- It's important you get on with your chosen supplier. If you don't have a connection, then you won't get the best outcome from your time with them. You're going to spend most of your day with or around your photographer, so make sure you like them before you book.
- Sit down with them and decide whether or not you'd avoid them at a family party. If the answer is yes, then keep on looking until you find someone that's the right fit for you.

Simon Kearsley
www.photographerbury.com

 

Winter romance

Q. My hubby-to-be and I are worried about having our pictures taken on our big day. We're not the best posers but would love a few snaps in the venue's wintry grounds. What would you suggest we do?

A. Vicky Dubois says: I hear this question a lot, so don't worry, you're not alone. Most people are nervous in front of the camera, myself included. The best advice I can give, speaking from my own experience and working with numerous shy couples, is to find a photographer who you're comfortable with. Having a friendly and honest relationship is a huge part of the service a photographer should offer. Knowing what your likes and dislikes are is also incredibly important, and it means you'll feel comfortable enough to tell your photographer when you've had enough and need a break.

Vicky Dubois
www.vickydubois.co.uk

 

Walking in a winter wonderland

Walking in a winter wonderland

Q. My wife-to-be and I are getting married next December, and we're worried about the weather ruining our photographs. Do you have any suggestions?

A. Aaron Gilpin says: Working primarily in soggy Cumbria, this is a question that comes up a lot with my clients. Try not to worry there are lots of ways to deal with inclement weather.

- What most people would consider a poor weather forecast can often result in fantastic photographs. The most dramatic light always comes before or after heavy rain showers. I would choose a mixed forecast over a bluebird sky every time.

- Be prepared and purchase wellies and colourful brollies.

- A carefree attitude goes a long way. Your wedding is only going to happen once, so don't be afraid of getting the most out of the day.

- Be flexible with dates for your pre-wedding shoot. It rarely chucks down non-stop for an entire day, and there are often breaks in the rain that can be used for photographs.

- When choosing a photographer, ask what they would do if it rains. They should have several strategies up their sleeve to ensure quality pictures whatever the conditions.

- Wet weddings are often more sociable as people tend to gather together inside, often around the bar. Resulting in some great photo opportunities.

Aaron Gilpin
www.gilpin-photography.co.uk

 

Hold me close

Hold me close

Q. Our December wedding is going to be held in the late afternoon, and it'll be getting dark by the time our ceremony ends. How will this affect our photography?

A. Mark McNeill says: December is a wonderful time of year in which to tie the knot, as the trees still have autumnal leaves and the atmosphere is magical.

As a wedding and astro photographer, I use special lenses and tripods to capture low light images. If you want to wow your guests, you could even arrange a firework display – that will look fabulous in your pictures.

Mark McNeill
www.markmcneillweddingphotography.com

 

Especially for you

Especially for you

Q. Lots of photographers offer an engagement shoot, but we're camera shy and don't know if it's for us. What are the benefits?

A. Jo Greenfield says: - An engagement shoot is the perfect way to combat any worries you may have about your wedding photos. Use the experience to practice posing and to connect with your photographer. Your chosen supplier will quickly learn what you're both comfortable with and use their expertise to make you feel relaxed.

- It's beneficial for you to see your photographer's editing style before the big day. Initially, you're probably going to hate your shots because it will reveal all your imperfections. I'll be the first to admit that I hated my wedding images, but once I saw the way my husband looked at me, I began to get really emotional and saw them in a whole new light. I didn't have an engagement shoot, and it's one of my biggest regrets.

- If your supplier offers a pre-wedding shoot as part of their package or as an extra, take them up on it. Your pictures are a big part of your day, and knowing what to expect will make the process a lot less daunting.

Jo Greenfield
jogreenfieldphotographer.com

 

Moments that matter

Moments that matter

Q. We're looking for a wedding photographer, but we're a bit worried about booking someone online we've never met. Do you have any suggestions?

A. Jo Greenfield says: In this day and age, the majority of photographers will have a good online presence. Look at their work and do some research into them as a person. Most use Instagram stories to give you an insight into their life, and others will have about me sections on their websites.

Once I've received an email enquiry, I send over six full galleries that are on a password-protected part of my website. Potential clients then have two weeks to have a good look through, ask any questions and, most importantly, contact other photographs to get a comparison.

Finding the right supplier is a balance between budget, images and personality, so it shouldn't be a quick decision. However, be aware that most book up quickly.

If you're apprehensive, ask to meet up or have a Skype conversation to run through any queries you may have.

Jo Greenfield
jogreenfieldphotographer.com

 

Love through a lens

Love through a lens

Q. We're getting married next July and want the pictures to reflect the season. What do you suggest?

A. Mark Copeland says: Summer is a great time of year to get married; the days are longer and the weather is glorious. Here in the North West, we're spoilt for choice when it comes to venues. Many offer outdoor ceremonies and are surrounded by fields of long grass and oak trees that look stunning in photographs.

Perfect blue skies and uninterrupted sun can create challenging conditions. When choosing a photographer, ask how they intend to tackle these issues. Do your homework, and ask to see examples of their work taken in similar weather conditions.

Mark Copeland
www.envisionimages.co.uk

 

Picture perfect

Picture perfect

Q. We're clueless when it comes to photography. Is there a list of shots we should ask our photographer to capture?

A. Kellianne Newiss says: - I love the getting-ready shots; it's the calm before the storm, and all the girls are together enjoying themselves.

- The first look with the bride's dad or bridesmaids is a beautiful moment.

- Guests throwing confetti is always fun and full of laughter.

- The first kiss and walking down the aisle as husband and wife are both important moments.

- A group snap is a great way of making sure the whole wedding party is photographed.

- Couple pictures are essential.

- The speeches reveal fantastic emotions, from tears to laughter.

- Taking photographs at sunset isn't always possible, but if you have a few minutes, I'd definitely recommend it.

- Make sure your chosen supplier captures your first dance.

Kellianne Newiss
www.kelliannephotographer.co.uk

 

Capture that

Capture that

Q. We're getting married soon, and I'm worried that I won't be able to look natural in the photographs. What should I do?

A. Jo Greenfield says: Try to be natural with one another and forget your photographer is there. Brides, in particular, are often self-conscious when they have their photos taken and are quick to judge their appearance. Remember these photographs are for you and your family. Your loved ones will want to see you looking happy – this means double chins, wrinkles and silly expressions are perfectly OK. Try to capture your emotions rather than focusing on your flaws.

Be aware of your chosen supplier's style, as heavy editing can affect the finished product.

Jo Greenfield
jogreenfieldphotographer.com

 

Snap away

Snap away

Q. We want lovely photographs, but we're limited by our budget. Do you have any suggestions?

A. Christina Davies says: - Sit down and go over your budget. Work out a maximum price you can afford and research local suppliers.

- Don't go for the cheapest or most expensive option; look for someone you like, and make sure you meet them in person before booking.

- If you find a supplier that you love but can't afford their services, ask them if they can create a bespoke package that covers the most important parts of your day.

Christina Davies
www.fish2.co.uk

 

Capture the moment

Capture the moment

Q. We want lovely photographs, but we're limited by our budget. Do you have any suggestions?

A. Mark Copeland says: - With so many photographers around these days, it's easy to get overwhelmed and make the wrong decision. Remember some suppliers aren't full time and haven't been professionally trained. The cake will get eaten, the flowers will eventually wither, but your photos will remain, so be picky and get the best you can with your budget.
- Enquire and see whether your chosen company offer partial coverage. If so, decide what parts of the day you want to capture the most.
- Some of the more established suppliers often have trainees who can be hired. They will shoot in the same style but for a reduced price. You'll also have peace of mind knowing that they are backed up by a professional outfit.
- Keep in mind that you'll spend more time with your photographer than anyone else on the day, so it's important you feel comfortable around them.

Mark Copeland
www.envisionimages.co.uk

 

Snap away

Snap away

Q. We're set to tie the knot next summer and I'm worried I won't look natural in the photographs. What should I do?

A. Lucy Smith says: - Most couples feel nervous about their big-day photographs, but try to enjoy the process. I suggest you book an engagement shoot. This will help you relax in front of the camera and get to know your supplier better.

- Each photographer has their own style. Make sure you've looked at their work in detail before booking. Talk to them about your expectations. I ask my clients to show me an image they like, so I can get a sense of what they're looking for.

- It's important you get on with your supplier. They're going to be around most of the day, so you need to feel relaxed around them. I have made some great friends with people who start as clients, and I've gone on to photograph their lives through the years.

Lucy Smith
www.smithimaging.co.uk

 

Showered with love

Showered with love

Q. We're looking for a wedding photographer, but we're a bit worried about booking someone online we've never met. Do you have any suggestions?

A. Meg Kerr and Nikki Griffiths says: Thanks to the internet, meeting your supplier in person isn't essential. In fact, 30 per cent of couples who hire us do so without a face-to-face meeting. Before booking, take the following into consideration:

Recommendations
- Look at previous examples of their work, and make sure you like their style.
- Research reviews on social media to see what other clients think.

Personality
- It's important that you feel relaxed on the day, so find someone you feel comfortable around.
- If you're finding it difficult to meet in person, you could organise a FaceTime session or a phone call.

Experience
- Check that they have a back-up plan in case the equipment fails.
- Ask about insurance. We provide ours in a package along with questionnaires about timings and shot lists.

Cost
- Don't make a decision based on budget alone. Remember, you get what you pay for! Some photographers may be cheap, but that will show in the quality of their work.
- Look for a professional who offers payment plans and doesn't push for a deposit straight away.

Venue recommendations
- Don't be afraid to look beyond your venue's suggested suppliers. If the company hasn't shot at your location before, don't panic! Any professional can adapt to any setting.
- Go with your gut, and make sure all of your concerns have been dealt with before booking.

Meg Kerr and Nikki Griffiths
www.twoforjoyphotography.co.uk

 

Freeze frame

Freeze frame

Q. We're getting married in December, and we'd like our photographs to look wintry. Do you have any ideas of how we can achieve this?

A. Amy Newton says: The festive season is full of gorgeous colours, including warm reds, bold greens and sparkling silvers.

- If you're lucky enough to have snow fall on your big day, then make sure you're wearing sensible shoes.

- Speak to your photographer about timing to ensure you make the most of the natural light.

- Purchase umbrellas in case it starts raining.

- Candles, wooden décor and berries will add a wintry atmosphere to your photographs.

Amy Newton
www.cherishedmemoriesphotography.co.uk

 

Snow is falling

Snow is falling

Q. We're getting married next Christmas, but we're worried about the weather causing problems! Do you have any suggestions?

A. Lucy Smith says: My mum always used to say there's no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing. Keep this in mind, and remember that as long as you're prepared for the possibility of rain and snow, then nothing can ruin your big day.

- Buy white umbrellas. These act as natural defusers and create a lovely glow. Avoid coloured versions, as these will have the opposite effect, creating dark shadows.

- Invest in some wellies. They will look great in your photographs and ensure your shoes won't get ruined.

- Talk to your photographer and check they have the necessary equipment to capture gorgeous images in all conditions. Ask to see samples of their previous work before making any decisions!

Lucy Smith
www.smithimaging.co.uk

 

Don't rain on my parade

Don't rain on my parade

Q. We're getting married in a marquee. As the day gets closer, I'm starting to worry about the possibility of bad weather. How do we prepare for this and make sure we still get gorgeous images?

A. Lauren Elliott says: It's normal to worry about the possibility of rain on your big day, but try to have a positive mindset.

- Find a photographer who thrives in all weather conditions. Look through suppliers' websites and social media until you find someone suitable.

- You'll need to prepare for the fact you might get a little wet and that your dress will probably get dirty.

- Speak with your photographer beforehand and check that they have some nice umbrellas to shelter you both – these also look great in pictures.

Lauren Elliott
www.laurenelliott.co.uk

 

Snap happy

Snap happy

Q. My hubby-to-be and I are worried about having our pictures taken on our big day. We're not the best posers but would love a few snaps in the venue's gorgeous grounds. Do you have any advice?

A. Nik Bryant says: This is a common concern that most couples face, but try not to worry! The more you think about it, the less relaxed you'll look in your big-day pictures. Enjoy your time together, and remember your photographer will help if you need a little bit of direction.

Nik Bryant
www.nikbryantphotography.co.uk

 

Snap happy

Snap happy

Q. We're looking for a wedding photographer but we're a bit worried about booking someone online that we've never met. Do you have any suggestions?

A. Christina Davies says: It can be overwhelming organising your wedding but I recommend you meet your suppliers in person before booking. You'll be spending most of the day with your photographer so it's important you like each other. If you're finding it difficult meeting you could organise a Skype session or phone call to make sure you're comfortable around them.

Christina Davies
www.fish2.co.uk

 

Picture perfect

Picture perfect

Q. We're getting married this summer and want some amazing couple shots both in the venue and at the nearby beach. Do you have any ideas of how we can get some beautiful shots?

A. Chris Higgins says: It's important you think carefully about what style of photography you want to capture. There's lots of different options to choose from so take your time and do some research before making a decision.

- When planning your big-day schedule try and leave roughly 20 minutes free for some intimate couple shots.

- If you want gorgeous images then we recommend you go to the coast where you'll get an unobstructed view of the sky.

- If you have to travel between venues this could be the ideal time to stop and take some pictures. Speak to your chauffeur or wedding car company and make sure they're happy for you to make the detour.

- Make arrangements for your guests to be entertained while you're having your photographs taken. A magician is always a great choice, they provide some light-hearted fun and will keep your guests laughing for hours.

- Speak to the staff at your reception venue and make sure they're aware that you'll be taking some time away from the wedding party so they can arrange your wedding breakfast accordingly.

- Most wedding photographers are flexible but ensure you chat to your supplier beforehand to make sure travel costs are covered.

Chris Higgins
www.h2photography.co.uk