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Category Archives: Thoughts and Rambles

Bride and veil - Cambridge wedding
Well, let’s start off by saying that nobody actually really needs a wedding photographer! We’d love to think that we’re vitally important and an indispensable part of any wedding but, all you actually need to get married is love, a registrar and a witness or two. The rest of the paraphernalia associated with weddings is just add – on fripperies peddled by the wedding industry!


O my goodness the bitterness! Sounds like I have just talked myself out of a job – if so please feel free to leave now!


However most of us are a little softer and more romantic than this and, quite rightly so, want a forever record of what will be one of the most important days of our lives. If this is the case then the photography becomes incredibly important, it’s definitely a luxury but one that it’s important to get right.


So, if you are at the stage of thinking that you should have a photographer for your big day here are three quick and easy top pointers to help you on your way to fining the perfect fit!


1) Style – Decide what sort of style of images you like and the type of approach you prefer. This can be quite complicated especially as a lot of photographers work in a bit of a mix or hybrid of styles. However basically you need to decide if you want a more traditional approach with lots of family groups and set up bride and groom shots, a more editorial or fashiony approach where again the shots are set up or posed to a certain extent but have a much more contemporary edgy look or a photographer who has a more documentary, natural approach and will essentially photograph the day as it happens.


The easiest way to do this is to have a good look through wedding blogs, photographer’s websites and social media looking for the types of images that appeal. Making a Pinterest board can help you to define what you like and you then need to find some photographer’s who fit. Don’t get too bogged down by the terminology mentioned above, it doesn’t really matter, it’s much more important to get a photographer who’s style appeals to you.

Groom waiting for wedding Sidney Sussex College Cambridge
2) Budget – Always a bit of a sticky moment! So, pick yourself off the floor and pull your bottom jaw in and make a realistic budget for your photographs. Some sources suggest 10% of your total budget – is life really that black and white? – I’m not so sure. Some couples cut back on other aspects of the day because the photography is so important to them and fund it that way and others, for whom it is less of a priority hire a cheaper photographer or don’t have one at all. My personal feeling is that we are a luxury and there’s not really any point in having cheap second class luxury – you will never regret hiring a great photographer and will forget the financial outlay pretty quickly. Bad wedding photographs will blight you for years afterwards though. Hire a great photographer or don’t bother at all? I think that’s basically what I’m saying, it’s a bit drastic but good advice.


The other thing that will take a bit of sorting out is exactly what you get for your money. A good baseline to use for comparison is how much each photographer charges for them to photograph on the day and to provide you with a disc of images. A vast majority of photographers offer this as their basic service but if you can’t see this then ask – most of us will create some sort of bespoke package to your requirements and our prices may well vary depending upon whether your wedding is in our out of the main season, is a weekday or weekend or whether we are fully booked or not around the time of your big day.

Wedding greetings
3) Personality – You really do have to get on with your photographer. They will be in close proximity to you both for a lot of your wedding day and you have to feel comfortable with them. It’s really important that you meet in person or at least Skype or even chat on the phone before booking to check that there is a connection between you. Often this is the most important ingredient in the mix and I have been told by countless couples that they booked me because they liked me. Nice! I hope they liked my pictures as well but it’s good to know and if we all get on it makes the whole process so much more natural, enjoyable and easier!


I hope that’s given you a few pointers to help you on your way!


If you are looking for a photographer whose clients often book because they just like him, has great photographic style and will hopefully be in your budget then GET IN TOUCH. I’m always happy to chat!



The small print… we agree to the terms and conditions?…….yah, yah, blah,blah! How many times do we just tick in the box or sign at the bottom without reading it at all?!


Bride and groomIt’s so easy to do but wedding photography contracts are there to protect both parties and to make sure that there is agreement. It should be clearly written to avoid miscommunication and should set out the rules of engagement for both sides.

Yet, often this isn’t the case. There is confusion, there isn’t a contract at all or it doesn’t really cover the things that it really ought to. There are many variations and clauses and as many different contracts as there are photographer’s lens caps but here are a few of the most vital points that can cause confusion.


A model release clause

What? I’m a model? Oh daarling I didn’t realise!

Well not quite! – With the explosion of online media and wedding blogging many photographers now ask you to sign a clause in the contract that gives them permission to use your photographs for publicity purposes. This might mean showing images as part of their portfolio, submitting images to wedding blogs or using them on social media. To a certain extent a lot of photographers feel that it’s their right to use them as they took them but it’s important to realise that the images are a record of a very private and personal day and that brides might not want that plastered all over the internet.


If you have strong feelings about this discuss it with your photographer – they should be very happy to accomodate your wishes and it’s perfectly reasonable to ask for your images to be kept private.


Release of Copyright

This can be a bit of a sticky one.

Bride getting into a wedding carHistorically photographers have copyrighted their wedding images to prevent people from printing them themselves and photographers missing out on the extra revenue that this might generate. Recently we have all shot ourselves in the foot over this and started giving couples all of the digital files to print from – now sometimes this comes with a cavaet……maybe they are for personal use only, printing can’t be done within a certain time after the wedding etc etc etc.


The thing is to check with your photographer and check exactly what is written in the contract regarding this. Again most should be understanding and flexible and, to be honest, copyright is extremely difficult to enforce anyway but it can be a matter of principle for some and should be checked out and completely understood.


Cancellation or illness

This could potentially happen on both sides. Couples do cancel weddings, people do get ill and the unforseen does happen.

So what does actually happen in such a situation? It should be clearly stated on the contract what happens if there is a cancellation – check up on the financial position in this eventuality. What would happen if the photographer is unwell and can’t make it ti the wedding? There should be a clear contractual agreement in case of the worst case scenario. You also need to check that the contract is to your satisfaction in this respect. Are you happy with what could be the potential outcome in this eventuality? Are you reassured?


Wedding flowers


Feed me now!

It’s a bit cheeky but a number of photographers demand that they get a hot meal on a wedding day!

Yes, it’s fairly commonly written into contracts that not only do you pay them to be there but you need to feed them as well! Now you may have your own views on this but be prepared for it, it’s relatively common practice so don’t be surprised if it crops up. Personally I think is a bit cheeky and don’t have it in my contract – luckily I’m often offered food and it’s gratefully received but I certainly don’t expect to be fed!


I hope that has cleared up a few questions on some of the most common contractual points. If you have any questions or you are considering entering into a contract with a photographer to photograph your weding then GET IN TOUCH with me – I would love to hear from you!


Reflection of bride having her make up applied


It seems to me (although it would do because I’m a photographer!) that most couples prioritise photography and then possibly think about having a videographer afterwards or later in the planning process. I guess that if I was a videographer I might have a different view as I’m sure that there are couples that will prioritise videography and then maybe choose a photographer but I do get asked a lot as to whether I think it’s a good idea to have a videographer or not in addition to myself at the wedding so, in an attempt to crystallize my thinking onto the written page as it were – here goes!!


Firstly, I think it’s important to imagine how you would like to remember your day.

Watching a video is a very different experience to picking up a photograph album for example. With an album you can dip in and out, spend a moment with it and then go away however, with a video you essentially have to sit down and watch it, possibly from beginning to end as it’s not really the sort of thing that you might dip in and out of.

This has advantages in that watching a video becomes much more of an “occasion” and maybe a more emotionally absorbing experience but you might, eventually, use a video less than a set of still photographs – particularly if they are readily accessible in printed form. There is also something about the tactility and immediacy of a printed image, a timeless quality that will stand repeated usage.


Secondly, how many times might you watch it??

Now I can only talk from personal experience here but I’m not a great one for watching films over and over, basically because I know what happens and the experience is less absorbing each time I watch ( I think although there are some films that become more emotionally involving with familiarity though) so it might be that having a wedding video doesn’t stand repeated viewings in the same way that photography can. I have a bit of a theory on this which is that a video feeds you the story and is, to a certain extent, a literal representation of what happened on the day. A good photograph should act as an aid memoir……it can evoke emotion, you have to use your imagination and fill in the story around the image, for me at least a photograph is a creative spark whereas a film is like being spoonfed.


Thinking back to looking at my parent’s wedding album as a child I would pore over the pictures, imagine the atmosphere and spin stories in my head about what happened just before and after the image was taken. When it transpired that they had an old Super 8 film of some of the day it actually shattered the whole romance and illusion of the day for me. A slightly extreme example perhaps but that’s how it was for me – food for thought……….

This is starting to sound really anti video and that really isn’t my intention!


wedding speeches at Longstowe Hall Cambridge


I have seen some completely awesome wedding videos that have been created with sensitivity, loving care and complete skill and craftsmanship. The sort of films where skilful use of images, music and recordings from the day are put together with such brilliance that I have had a tear in my eye and it hasn’t even been my wedding!


Surely something like this is the perfect compliment to stills photography – you have the best of both worlds.


To a certain extent why should a fantastic wedding video not replace the stills photography? Do you really need both? It might be a good idea to invest the amount of money that you would have spent on both videographer and photographer in being able to afford just one awesome videographer, or just one awesome photographer?


So, I think I’m saying it depends on you and how you feel about the end result and how you think you might want to re experience your big day. But one thing that I am categorically clear on though is that it is ALWAYS a bad idea to hire a cheap videographer.


If you don’t have the budget just get a friend to do it (this is very common). You will probably get something fairly basic but it won’t cost you anything. I can tell you that there are few things at a wedding that are worse than a bad videographer. They can be intrusive and always in the way, they can make my life much more difficult than it need be and, if you have ever seen a bad wedding video, you will realise that the hassle just isn’t worth it.


Conversely having a good videographer can be fantastic, we will often liase closely and work as a team to cover as much of the day as possible and the results should complement each other brilliantly. I also really enjoy working with someone else on the day and a good videographer will realise that we are on the same side and not in competition at all!


If you are in a bit of a videographer dilemma I hope that has been helpful and given you a few things to think about. I’m very happy to recommend a fantastic videographer, just get in touch and I will do that. If you are looking for a great stills photographer who is videographer friendly then drop me a line!