A category full of blog posts and articles to do with wedding photography.

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Why I Love Wedding Photography

With wedding season almost in full swing and my calendar filling up fast, I couldn’t help but think about how much I love what I do. Thinking back to when I took the plunge and became a full-time wedding photographer actually gives me goosebumps. It was such a daunting time, but deep down I knew it was right and I’m so happy I did.

Over the past 16 months, my work as a photographer has developed from a passion in what I do, to an absolute love and I have to thank the amazing couples I’ve worked with for that. I find it such a privilege capturing those magical moments and giving them to a couple to treasure forever.

There are so many things about wedding photography that I love, but there are some things that truly stand out for me:

The Excitement

As a wedding photographer, I do get to miss all the chaos and stress that often comes during the build-up to the big day. What I love is being part of the excitement. I love to see the range of emotions that come when a couple’s planning finally comes to fruition, from love to pure joy it’s an amazing experience being in the midst of it all.

The Relationships

Since beginning my journey into wedding photography the relationships I’ve made with my couples is something I treasure. From the first point of contact to meeting the couple, engagement shoots and communication right up to the big day, I love how natural it feels capturing each and every moment when the wedding arrives., due to the relationships we’ve formed. From often being so closely involved a couple’s magical day, I must say I always take something special away on a personal level too.

The Challenge

Wedding photography is definitely a challenge I love. From the technical to the editing it’s these challenges that drive my passion. With every setting being different from weather to lighting I am always learning something new. I’ve also learnt how important it is to always be on the lookout for the emotions most will miss. Every wedding is unique and you never know when the most tender and emotional moments may come, finding those is a challenge I love and it certainly keeps me on my toes.

The Memories

One of the most wonderful parts of my job is that I am capturing memories to be adored for a lifetime, the I do’s, the first dance and the big family shots are always loved. However. it’s not just the notable moments I look for, I am always mindful that throughout a day the whole wedding party will go through a range of emotions, and being able to capture these often raw moments, give the best memories for my couples too, and their families. It’s touching to know what I do will be passed through generations for years to come, to be able to give that to a couple is something I will always love.

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Why Does It Take So Long To Get My Wedding Pictures?

One of the questions I’m asked most about the weddings around North Wales and Chester I shoot is, “When will I get the photographs?”

The thing is, there isn’t one specific answer. It depends on many factors, for instance, if your celebration takes place during the height of the season when I am out shooting back to back weddings, it can take up to 9 weeks to get your photographs. Couples often wonder why, so here’s my short guide to what happens to your photographs after the Big Day.

I shoot literally thousands of pictures of your wedding. That may sound excessive but remember, one photograph captures a tiny moment of the day.

Once I get back to the office I then have to download and view the pictures. I look at each frame in great detail and this can take hours. Imagine looking at 1000 pictures and you take 30 seconds to look at one image, that’s 8 hours of work alone! Once I’ve looked through all the pictures it can take another few days to decide which will make the final cut of around 600 photographs. This is often tricky as there are so many good shots.

Once I’ve chosen those 600, it’s now time to start editing them. Because I am so passionate about delivering each couple with stunning memories of their day, I don’t like to rush this process. I would never want to compromise on quality!

So, what does editing involve? And why does it take so long to do?

Editing photographs is a creative process that brings out the very best of the images taken. This can include things like:

 

  • Cloning – removing exit signs or the odd wine glass that’s been left lying around. At one wedding I had a beautiful picture on the Menai Straits but had a tree coming out of the groom’s head! It was such a good shot I really wanted to use it, so I spent a few hours editing that one image. It was totally worth it.
  • Dealing with colours – this is a bit difficult to explain but as an example, church colours can be quite yellow and difficult to work with as it can make everything washed out. It takes lots of time to reduce the yellow tones, so everyone looks a more natural colour.
  • Cropping – I may decide after looking at certain shots that are quite wide and include lots of background that they might actually look better as a close-up. Getting the right composition is really important on any photograph.
  • Black and white or colour? – should a photo be colour or black and white? It may seem like a simple decision, but believe me, it isn’t!
  • Saving a gallery – once all the photographs are edited and I’m happy with them I put them into a digital gallery for you to see. Each photograph is a big file and so this process takes hours.
  • Backing up images – I like to have 3 backups, one on my iMac, one on a hard drive and one on the cloud. This in itself can take a long time, a good 3-4 hours per back up.

I think we are so used to taking photos on our smartphone and instantly uploading them to our social media pages we expect that it will be the same with wedding pictures. Editing your wedding photographs is truly a labour of love – and you can’t hurry love!

 

Below, you can find some before and afters to see what I’m talking about.

 

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Why You Need To Hire A Professional Wedding Photographer

I often get asked is it really necessary to have a professional wedding photographer these days when smartphones have such good cameras and apps that can make your pictures look awesome. Or maybe Uncle Bob has offered to take some snaps for you on the day with his fancy new camera. Friends and family offer their services in good faith,  but wedding photography is more than having a  decent camera and an ability to take a good shot. It’s about having an eye  to capture those special moments, to tell the story of your day – as well a s all the technical expertise.

When I am booked by clients to shoot their wedding, I am as invested in their day as much as they are. I can’t wait to take pictures of the preparations, capture that moment when family see the bride in her dress for the first time or catch the groom wiping a tear from his eye as his wife-to-be walks down the aisle. A professional will have scouted out the best places to take photographs and where the best light will be at a certain point in the day. The pictures that usually get the biggest reaction are candid moments I’ve spotted, when the bridal party or guests didn’t even realise they were being snapped. This is where a professional makes all the difference, we already know what shots we are looking for and make sure we get them. It’s why I love what I do.

Being a wedding photographer isn’t just about knowing how to compose great shots or make the best of the light and location. There are moments when I have to take control and organise lots of people for group shots, get guests to relax whilst they have their picture taken, even show people how to pose! Being able to communicate and get the best out of people so you have the best wedding photographs possible is a real skill that Uncle Bob may not be able to pull off. (Sorry Uncle Bob!)

I’m lucky that I’ve never had a wedding where equipment has failed but should the worst happen on your wedding day and a camera stops working, or a memory card crashes, I always have a Plan B. I carry extra equipment and have contacts I can call on in a real emergency.

Imagine walking down the aisle, the special music you chose is playing, the flowers adorn your venue, your husband-to-be is waiting nervously and everything looks perfect – but all you can see is a sea of people holding up their smartphones, looking into their screens and not at you! Smartphones are a blessing in our modern world, but can be a curse on your wedding day. You want your guests to be fully present in this once-in-a-lifetime moment. A professional photographer will know exactly where to stand to get the best shots as you make your way to your groom and capture people’s reactions on seeing you in all your finery.

I know couples who have been upset when guests take photos during the ceremony. It’s the most intimate and important part of the day, full of emotions, and can be ruined with well-meaning people who just want to get a picture of you both. Many brides and grooms ask their vicar, registrar or celebrant to ask guests to refrain from taking any pictures so that they can take in every moment of the ceremony they’ve been invited to attend.

Having a professional photographer at your wedding is a big investment, but it’s an investment that will give dividends forever, and be one that you will look back on without regret… And Uncle Bob can relax and enjoy the occasion without worrying he left the lens cap on!