Cambridge Wedding Photographer | Lightworks Photography » Andrew Hind Cambridge Wedding Photographer

Wedding guest dressing up for a photo booth

 

I love my job and generally go home with a happy little glow of satisfaction in my heart at the end of a wedding day. This is usually accompanied by aching legs, mental fatigue and an almost overwhelming desire to put my feet up! Therefore, if you are going to ask me if I provide a photo booth for the evening then I’m afraid the answer is a resounding “no” for all of the reasons stated above!

 

I’ve often thought that it’s a bit of a shame not to offer this as a service as I do actually quite like the idea but if I was to be the photographer it would be a bit weird to spend the whole of the wedding day quietly observing and recording to then turn into a crazy photo booth photographer in the evening! There is also the issue of equipment and logistics so, for me at least, it doesn’t really make sense!

 

Having observed over the last few years quite a large number of photo booths in action I know for a fact that their success often lies in the hands of the person who is running it. Not all of your guests will feel completely at ease acting up and trying to be funny in front of a stranger – especially if they are actually taking the photographs – they can also be quite expensive either with up front costs or with extra print costs so it can make sense to have a go at DIYing it! Obviously it is much cheaper and your guests may well feel much more comfortable running it themselves and the results that you get ie hilarious photographs of everyone letting their hair down, could well be much better than you would get with a pro booth.

 

So, don’t be daunted by the idea of what on earth to do to get your DIY photo booth show on the road – I’m here to help and guide you!!

 

1) Beg or borrow a fairly decent camera preferably with a built in flash – an oldish digital SLR would be perfect and you might find that you can borrow one quite easily or they can be bought on Ebay for relatively little money. You will also need a sturdy tripod to mount the camera on and a long cable release – this will allow your guests to take pictures of themselves if they want to although it’s good fun for it to become a bit of a group activity and for everyone to take pictures of each other! Make sure that you have a decent size memory card for the camera and that it’s batteries are fully charged – possibly with spares.

2) You will need some sort of make shift background. It doesn’t have to be anything particularly exotic and could be anything from some old curtians to some printed plastic sheeting – it will need to be a reasonable size though as people will want to have their photographs taken in groups and probably standing up so you will need a fair bit of material. Take some time over this as nothing looks worse than photographs where the background runs out at the edges of the picture. Whatever you choose will need to be hung up as well and most of the time a combination of clothes pegs, gaffer tape, long bean poles and lengths of wood combined with a bit of ingenuity will do the trick.

3) Props. Go to town here, the sillier the better! Again Ebay and borrowing is the best bet.

4) Making it all work. Have everything ready to be put up an assembled by a couple of competent bridesmaids and/or ushers during the meal. Also make sure that they have had a trial run and have set everything up before, made sure that it works and looks good! During the speeches announce that there will be a photo booth and that you would love it if all of your guests would have a go in it at some point over the evening. The designated helpers can encourage people and help people to get the ball rolling in the early part of the evening and then it should fairly much run itself.

5) Afterwards you need to make sure that you safely download and back up the images. You could potentially load up a photo gallery of them so that everyone can see themselves or possibly use the pictures as little cards or gifts – whatever happens keep them safe!

 

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    There’s something really lovely about being recommended to photograph a wedding and, in Chris and Emma’s case, I had been asked back after photographing Emma’s sister Holly’s wedding three years ago. Emma knew how I work really well and it’s great to be part of a day where the bride and groom really get my style and approach and just let me get on and “do my thing”! It was also bound to be a great day as they were getting married at Harston church which is a lovely building with a very nice church yard and also having the reception at Longstowe Hall – I love Longstowe and photographing there is very much like playing on my home ground so it was set to be a fantastic day!

     

    There are lots of photographs of Longstowe Hall and it’s lovely grounds in the full set of images but for me weddings are all about people and some of my personal favourite pictures are below. My favourites are all about human interaction and emotion, there are laughs and smiles and a few funny little moments as well – I particularly like the one of one of Emma’s bridesmaids painting her toe nails – I don’t think I have ever taken a similar picture before and it’s a little detail that just appeals to me. I’m also very fond of the picture of Holly and family where their little girl is pushing a brightly coloured toy onto here Dad’s face – a funny little moment and nice for me as I last photographed them at their wedding three years previously.

     

    Emma and Chris’s first dance was fantastic – choreographed and laced with intense concentration, moments of peril and a massive reaction from all of their guests when it was over.

     

    I remember walking back to my car at Longstowe after I had finished for the day exhausted but with a warm little glow inside. These days, where everything just falls into place are what make my job amazing.

     

    Wedding preparations CambridgeMorning preparation for a weddingWedding bouquets reflected in the glass of a wedding carBride arriving for a church wedding near cambridgeWedding ceremony at Harston church cambridgeGuests outside harston church CambridgeConfetti and bride and groom outside harston church near CambridgeWedding reception on the lawn at Longstowe HallWedding speeches in the marquee at Longstowe Hall CambridgeFirst dance on the dance floor at Longstowe HallAmazing first dance at Longstowe Hall

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      Bouquets reflected in a wedding car window

       

      “How many pictures will we get from our wedding?”

       
      This is an extremely common question and is sort of a “how long is a piece of string” type issue! Bear with me for a moment whilst I skirt around the question a bit and then I promise I will quote some actual real numbers towards the end!

       

      Firstly it’s probably helpful for me to explain a little bit about how I see and shoot a wedding day – I will generally photograph about 600 or so “moments” at an average wedding. I’m talking about interactions and storytelling moments and things happening and that type of image. For each moment I will often take two, three or more frames – often trying to improve the composition, timing or expression each time – so that from an average wedding I might come home with between 1000 and 1500 shots of “moments” plus a number of more static record shots like pictures of the cake and flowers and family photographs etc.

       

      Once I start editing the first thing I do is find the best frame of each moment and this generally leaves me with a rough edit of around 5/600 images. Now logically, and to a certain extent, it would make sense to pass these 600 or so pictures on to the bride and groom however I then do a further edit. I’m ensuring that there are no duplicates, the quality is consistent and that there aren’t any images that don’t say anything, add to the coverage or simply aren’t needed. I consider it part of my professionalism to ensure that it’s me rather than the bride and groom who goes through everything with a fine toothed comb!

       

      The resulting set of images is usually between 250 and 300 depending on the size and length of the wedding. Now I do know that many photographers provide many more than this and that there are some that provide less but that’s the number that, to me seems to balance and work well. Have you ever tried looking through several hundred photographs? It’s incredibly time consuming and really not necessary and, even for a fantastic wedding they are going to become repetitive.

       

      Also, for me, I’m not trying to give you an all inclusive every second blow by blow account of the day. The 300 pictures will be key, quality images that will distil the essence of the day and record the key moments, interactions and emotions that are particular to you – I’m not particularly interested in providing couples with 15 images of their wedding cake all taken from different angles! I can also ensure that each image gets the time it deserves in the digital darkroom and a reasonable number of images gives me an opportunity to individually hand grade each picture until it is as good as I can possibly get it!

       

      So, there you have it! The quick answer is 250 – 300 and the longer answer is above. After the wedding I’m always very happy to change pictures from colour to black and white and vice versa and always happy to look for a picture of Auntie June if there isn’t one in my initial selection.

       

      If you’re planning your wedding and looking for a photographer then give me a shout. I’m always happy to answer questions, help where I can and generally chat wedding stuff!

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