One of the most important things you are going to book for your big day is your wedding photographer. Even though a wedding generally lasts for a day, your photos will be your lasting reminder, and you’ll want to make sure you’ve got all the shots you want and every magic detail captured
If you’re struggling to know where to start, take a look at our real weddings category, find a style you like and look for the photography credit. It’s one of the best ways of finding the best!
Simply choose from our ‘Wedding Photography’ posts below to start planning your wedding like a pro
While there is a place for staged shots that look exactly that and the obligatory group photograph from above, there is also plenty of opportunity to make your group photographs more natural and fun!
As couples continue to break from tradition in almost every element of their wedding days, here are five ways to do it with your group photographs…
Whether you walk, run or jump, moving while your photograph is being taken will help you to feel more natural and relaxed. Rather than holding a rigid smile and pose, you’ll have something else to distract you with, so, even if you’re jumping on cue, your expression will be more natural. Let’s not forget the greatest moving group photo of all – the confetti shot! Here’s all you need to know to get that fairytale photo just right.
PROPS TO YOU
Don’t be afraid of introducing props into your group photographs. While this again involves a staged element (would you be holding a heart shaped umbrella like that normally?), it gives you something else to interact with. Have your photographer keep snapping while you arrange yourselves, and just have some fun! Let the shots capture your high spirits as newlyweds – find the perfect props in the Wedding Ideas shop.
TURN YOUR BACK
Group photographs might traditionally mean a carefully lined up arrangement of the bride, groom, bridal party and family members, front on, but that’s not the only way to do it. And, while this may be a useful photo to look back on to recall each of your guests, but it can also appear overly formal.
Mix things up a little in your group photographs with smaller numbers by turning your back or turning towards each other rather than facing the camera directly. Not only does this add another dimension to your photograph, it will also give you the chance to show off the gorgeous details on the back of your and your bridesmaids’ dresses! And remember, you don’t all need to do the same thing here, in fact, it’s better if you don’t!
You might have noticed a bit of a running theme here – subtle staging in a more relaxed, natural style can really help to give the more boring staged shots the boot while still getting everyone in that needs to be. It can be as simple as arranging your group members in a variety of more casual poses, some sitting, some standing, and with a mixture of people looking and laughing with each other and others making eye contact with the camera.
And if we’re talking bridesmaids-only photos, these are the ones you just have to get with your best girls.
CENTRE OF ATTENTION
While the bride and groom are often in the middle of group photographs, these are also opportunities to allow other aspects of your wedding day to become a focal point. Have you got a wow-factor venue? A feature wedding car (check out these 5 ways to feature your limo in your photos!)? Gorgeous flower arches? Then why not highlight your more special surroundings in these group photographs? You chose your venue, flowers and décor for a reason, after all!
Getting a limousine to provide transportation for your wedding can be stylish and fun, but its uses go beyond taking you from point A to B. Here are 5 great ways to include a limo into the pictures taken during your special day!
Entering or Exiting
A picture featuring the husband, bride, or both in the doorway of the vehicle can be a great way to show excitement for the ceremony, or the beginning of their new life together.
This picture can feature either just the happy couple, or include the bridesmaids and groomsmen. Another fun thing the passengers can be doing is waving out the back window, like they would do leaving the ceremony to say goodbye to their friends and family. This also the perfect opportunity to show off the interior of your ride for the day.
Beside the limousine
A picture along the side of the limo can be great for pictures meant to include a large amount of people. The long side of the vehicle is perfect for this because anyone being included from groomsmen to family members can fit within this background. Taking the picture from an angle along the side is also a great way to add perspective to the picture, and take advantage of the reflections off of the paint. This picture may be best taken with everyone lined up alongside the limousine.
In front of the hood
The front of the limousine is great for individual photos or for pictures of the couple. The two can lean against it casually or simply stand in front of it. The subjects of the picture can even lean against the front corner, and the picture can be taken from an angle to add depth and perspective by showing off the rest of the limo.
This photo opportunity is a classic. It’s great for pictures of small groups or individual shots to have the couple coming out of the sunroof like they’re joyriding. This picture can be taken close-up to capture the fun of the moment, or from farther back to show off the vehicle. This photograph is fun and light-hearted.
Make your memories a reality with the new Polaroid Print Store App, the creator of the world’s first instant camera, has released Polaroid Print Store, a brand new app for the iOS iPhone and tablet that transforms cherished photo memories into real-life Polaroid styled printed products!
The app is the only official app of its kind and offers a number of ways to display your photos. From packs of 12, 24 or 36 glossy Polaroid prints all stored inside a keepsake box, to mini prints, stickers, canvasses, framed prints, magnets, or even the accordion style Pic Book, which has nine Polaroid prints all connected together.
The prints look and feel like the original Polaroid Camera Instant Prints, with heavy thick laminate front and back, originally styled black photographic back, original barcode detail and a glossy high quality photo print finish.
The app is simple to use; all you need to do is choose the photos you want to print from your phone, Facebook or Instagram and select how you want your photos to be printed. You can even edit your photos in the app before you send them off to print, by cropping, adding captions, and making them truly personal. So why not create packs of prints for your walls, as gifts for friends, for parties, as name places at weddings and any other creative ideas you can think of.
Once your photos are ready, have them delivered to your home or to friend’s as a present. For the UK, shipping times are 3-5 days from receiving an order to being delivered to your door. The Polaroid Print Store is available now in the UK on the Apple App Store. You can purchase all items on the app using a credit card, PayPal or Apple Pay.
You may have heard about the fabulous TwoBirds dresses designed for Bridesmaids of which, offer 15 style ways to help you and your maids create different looks depending on your theme! – Perfect for all shapes and sizes, your girls can choose the style they are most comfortable in and shows a little of their individuality within a larger group!
These versatile gowns allow the perfect opportunity to alternate small details and recreate your look as you transition from ceremony to reception! Inspired by this idea, we caught up with Amanda from Dantuma Photography who has teamed up with Swan Brides, Groom Hire and Alcumlow Vintage Farm to demonstrate 3 different bridal looks from the different necklines. Providing the finishing touches were Flowers on the Cobbles, Kreative Hairdressing, Sarah Dunn Make-up and Time for Sweetpea.
B o h o inspired
In keeping with the Bohemian style we used the cream Two Birds dress from Swan Brides and chose the “Knotted Tank” wrap which made it soft, floaty and in keeping with our whimsical feel. Make-up was kept to a minimum with a natural blush to the cheeks; it brings more attention to the eyes. Hair was kept to loose waves making it soft and romantic which complimented the floral head piece perfectly. The look was finished with a olive tweed blanket with pea green tassels from Tweedmill. Armani our model bride looked stunning!
Our setting was next to the beautiful lake at Alcumlow Vintage Barn, a very special location which felt so peaceful and magical. The beautiful grasses and lakeside was the inspiration for our floral headpiece, bouquet and buttonhole from Flowers on the Cobbles, which used English grown flowers and foliages where possible such as the delicate Tanacetum Daisy, Asparagus fern and Jasmine foliage. This created a natural wild look with a whimsical touches.
No Bride is complete without her groom, welcome Daniel who was our “Mr Darcy” for the day with wavy dark hair wearing a olive tweed waist coat with matching bow tie from Groom Hire, he complimented our Bride perfectly.
L o v e in a Shepard’s Hut
For this look we wanted to push the boundaries and do something for the more edgy bride wanting something a little less conventional. We were inspired by a Shepard’s Hut and wanted to create a romantic gypsy style to appeal to Bride’s & Groom’s looking for an unfussy yet flattering alternative theme.
Gill from Kreative Hairdressing styled Armani’s hair to make the look pretty and playful to suit her gorgeous long locks by creating a loose side French plait with wild floral details. Make-up by Sarah Dunn Make-up complimented this look by using a warm colour palette to create a natural, rosy glow.
Our Groom adopted a real relaxed and casual look, with his sleeves rolled up to reveal tattoos, paired with bow tie and stark red braces instantly created a less traditional look and incorporated real personality with just a couple of vintage style choices.
B a r n Glam style
To create a more glamorous evening look we choose the Grecian Twist middle back wrap style for our Two Birds dress and to complete the look hair was worn up with a crystal headband for a Gatsby glam feel. Her hair loosely pinned to create height and volume complimented a more formal elegance and enhanced the feature of the headband. Our Groom wore a dinner suit in royal blue with a black edged trim and bow tie.
A juxtaposition of both rustic and delicate, the barn theme is complete with this stunning paint palette iced cake designed by Time for Sweetpea accenting a robust elegance in tones of ombre buttermilk yellow and detailed with 3 halo’s of fondant flowers and sprigs of greenery.
It is amazing how you can create different looks with the beauty of having just one versatile dress! As there are 15 different ways of wearing the Two Bird dresses so many more looks are possible with a touch of your own personality! We would love to see your style!
This week on our Instagram we’re celebrating the anticipated launch of our SPECIAL issue with 16 extra pages of real brides and the inspiration for their unique day details! Plus, you can find the perfect dress neckline to suit you AND your closest bridal boutique to try it on at!
Deciding on a theme for your reception? Our special issue is brimming with reception style ideas from our real brides and grooms for sophisticated, festival-themed, DIY, outdoor, white weddings and many more!
Follow our countdown pictures on Instagram until Wednesday 3rd August when we will reveal in full our Florida Keys cover couple who won their wedding! Be sure to get your copy of Wedding Ideas special issue!
A bright naked cake adorned with flowers always goes down a TREAT with Wedding Ideas and this stunning sponge and cream filled tower is no exception! It is the delicious looking vision we all dream of when it comes to cutting the all-important wedding cake – when indulgence is totally allowed! This summery vision, layered with tropical fruits and seasonal berries is no less lavishly decorated with a blooming array of wild feel flowers, shortbread love hearts and lashings of billowing cloud-like cream – If this doesn’t scream summer we don’t know what does!
Pretty petals courtesy of the The Real Flower Confetti Company reveal the real brides SPECIAL issue of Wedding Ideas, featuring our happy Florida Keys cover couple with a coral and lavender colour palette!
As you know, we love a great competition giveaway at Wedding Ideas and this week we have paired up with the team at Rollasole to bring you the chance to win your wedding Rollasoles for your bridal party so you can dance the night away in comfort AND elegance! Whatever your style, these handy roll-up flats come in a variety of colours, metallics and patterns, including spot which we adore! For this fab prize for your girls, simply FOLLOW, LIKE and REGRAM to #Rollasoleboxcomp on Instagram or FOLLOW and RETWEET on Twitter! The winner will be picked on Friday 5th August! Good luck!
Our favourite idea for a personal touch to your day comes as a gift to the father of the bride! Make your own and give it to him on the morning of your wedding and we’re certain he will well up at this DIY token that he can cherish forever.
The search for ‘THE’ photographer is over! At YPW Photography you can conveniently search via the three most important factors – location, budget and style of photography – it’s a breeze! They will prioritise your basic requirements in order to save you precious planning time and make sure you find a photographer that get’s you and the vision you have for your life-long wedding album. From there it’s down to taste and style and who you think fits the bill – either way a YPW search is definitely worth a go!
Autumnal tones bring this Sheffield Botanical Gardens shoot to life, mixing soft gold hues with luscious greenery.
In our amazing August issue 163 Wedding Ideas brought you this botanical bride shoot photography by Jess Petrie and her team of collaboratives, which included Alison Jenner who we have worked with a lot in past photoshoots featured in our mag. Alison says “Having worked on weddings with Jess before I already adored her style of photography. Her use of natural light and beautiful attention to detail is evident in all her images.”
Charlier Brear and Kate Halfpenny dresses fitted the model Esme perfectly and Alison complimented the look with soft up-dos or loose curled hair to suit the relaxed style of a botanical bride. Accessories of the bride were minimal furs, soft metal jewellery and bare feet. The autumnal light was a dream for Jess Petrie to photograph – with the light starting to turn golden.
Both Joseph and Esme the models oozed so much style between them which is evident in every shot. The nod towards a 70’s soft bridal feel suited them both perfectly.
Leafy foliage and rustic florals inspire this Botanical shoot and the components that went with it including the stationary, cake and flowers. Vaas the florists of the photoshoot created bouquets that featured natural shades with lots of foliage to blend into their surroundings. Vaas also created gorgeous flower crowns and side accessories that were easily adaptable to different hairstyles. The cake was simple and understated, decorated with floral clusters and greenery which suited their theme perfectly! Carla Corrado supplied natural and replaced stationary that fitted our botanical brief.
See and read more on page 62-66 of our amazing August issue!
From a wedding photographer’s perspective, preparing for a wedding is so much more than just arrival and departure times. It is more than where you bought your frock from or putting oh so pretty shoes next to a bottle of perfume (well it should be anyway).
Tell your photographer what is important to you…
How do you tell someone you barely know, everything they need to know to make it possible for them to photograph a day that is part of your family history? Capturing moments that represent the direction you are choosing to take your family in, because of the love you have for one person?!
How do you tell someone you have had a brief meeting with, what you really don’t like about yourself, and how you so deeply want to make sure they don’t capture what you perceive to be your biggest flaw?
Do you think you can feel comfortable telling this person you are investing so much in, you want to make sure capturing photos of you and your partner with the older generations of your family at your side is one of the most sentimental and important parts of your day?Will they will support you, and strive to breathe life into your photographs with care and kindness? This type of photographer is sometimes hard to find easily, so just how do you go about finding them?
As a little girl, I remember flipping through my parent’s wedding album. It’s slightly worn box, the silly noise the box made as you lifted off the lid, the pattern on the tissue paper between each mounted picture. It is, however, the clarity of one major thing which significantly remains, I loved how young my Dad looked in these pictures (he travelled a lot when I was a child so having those around me was very precious, a comfort when he was on the other side of the world). My parents’ album is after all a beautiful reminder of the love that made me exist in this world.
These memories made me want to create something of real value for my future brides and grooms, This first booklet in the Ikonworks ‘Your Wedding Experience’ series, is about something we all want – timeless, unique, and gorgeous wedding photos.
A couple that Tasha has been working with for their wedding next year:
“Oh my goodness! It has been so helpful, and I’ve been able to see not only how important this journey Tasha is about to take us on, but also how much there is to think about. Especially, when you strive to document your wedding day not just for your generation, but as a family heirloom for all your future generations. It also highlighted, how critical it is to talk through the process and plan it together, carefully”.
This wonderful new resource will, I believe ensure you have heirloom worthy wedding photos, either using Ikonworks as your photographer or planning for your photographer with this download to hand!
Perfect photography is about capturing passion, love and beauty in a single click of the shutter. Working through this download will show there is so much more to the process.
The aim is to get you thinking about…
The look of your venue and styling, and how you can make these things work to their fullest potential. How incorporating your style, personal relationship memento’s, beautiful family heirlooms, alongside the mix of your personalities, will ensure your wedding is truly unique.
How you personally feel about certain things, have you talked about unplugging your ceremony, have your taken photographer referrals from friends, are you a nervous person, and do you find it hard being the centre of attention?
What do you want most from your photography?
What is the nicest thing your photographer has said online this week, and why knowing this demonstrates you are connected and invested in them, making it easier for them to achieve those pure, authentic images for you both.
What does Romance and Love mean?
This is the time when you find a few photographers you like the look of with your other partner. Review their work, check out their website, read their blog posts, look at the work they have featured, read the testimonials they have for their work on their website and on social media.
Go through the research process then observe, make sure you keep an eye on the social media of the people you are researching and considering (book mark it for easy access).
Make a shortlist
She, he, they… are you impressed, did they wow, can you picture in your mind having them less than three metres away from you for a whole day? Did they at some point over the previous week say something in their online presence that made your heart race, close your eyes and imagine your wedding day?
However you found them, go with your instinct and if something is bothering you either take the time to iron it out in the next part of the process or discount them, don’t just hope it will go away, because it probably won’t.
I wrote about this recently, I have placed a link to a few brilliant articles at the end of this post – don’t go now though, but do take a look later.
Nice coffee and a chat
The restorative powers of a good cup of coffee and an inspiring chat with perhaps two or three photographers (not at the same time clearly) is a good place to go next. Did you like how the meeting went, did you get all the answers you wanted, did you feel connected to the person you met with and do you feel confident now that they are the person/people to capture your wedding, perfectly? If so, now you….
Email them, say you love them and ask them for a formal quote based on your conversation. This is to be fair an obvious part, you love one of the photographer’s, the quote works and you want to go ahead and book them. N.B. Please remember to let the other’s know you are going to book someone else, and always let them know why. Please make sure you follow the meeting with any questions you may have, check the details in the quote they provide you, check the terms and conditions you are provided (at least twice) and then sign on the dotted line.
Now is the time to cover the nitty gritty either face to face, over email, or on the phone. A good photographer will be fully briefed upon arrival. A quick introduction is always good, but most of the time we should be capable on the day of taking all the knowledge we have and shooting your day effortlessly. Preparation is therefore key, even for the most simple of days.
A quick email to make sure that everything has been checked over, and is in place. Making sure the photographer has everything they need information wise. Once you have checked timings with your other suppliers provide a second update.
Nice chat, and site visit
An exciting chance to get together, a time to cover the reasons you fell in love with your venue. Tell the photographer the things you don’t like, talk about the things you do like.
General regular updates, suggestions on groups shots (if you want to do them). Updates on styling, and other plans. Confirm final timings, the list of group shots, who are runners, helpers, key guests, VIP’s and the other key suppliers.
Make sure you breathe at this stage, you cannot live these wedding plans every minute of every day.
OMG, it’s really happening
At this point remember to try and relax, let your photographer re-assure you and those around you. By now they should be very much a person who can do this for you, and they should if you are connected be willing to do so.
Vows and kisses
Be wrapped up in the moment of getting married, your day will go by so quickly. Work together, be honest, if you don’t feel comfortable tell them, and if you need a break tell them.
Excited photos, hugs, more kisses, dancing, laughing, more kisses
Embrace everything that happens now, have a few glasses of fizz, kiss your partner often.
A pretty Pantone photoshoot (as seen in our AUGUST issue) to inspire brides-to-be for the ultimate Pantone wedding colour scheme! Louise, bespoke bridal blogger behind And So To Wed, a bridal blog all about unique and handmade touches, teamed up with florist Pamella Dunn and accessories expert Betty Timbo of Bespoke Vintage Castle to showcase the best of Yorkshire’s wedding creatives in their Pantone-inspired shoot.
Models Jack and Terry were the perfect duo for this alternative styled rustic wedding shoot! The high neck translucent dress with long sleeves was from The Bridal Emporium. Rose Quartz and Serenity Blue, Pantone colours of the year, added an elegant touch to the rural landscape of venue Swinton Park.
Instead of taking the traditional festival themed wedding route, the team styled the rustic setting and Yurt venue to be stylish, glamorous, and totally sleek. With fine art detail,chic, vintage and couture bridal influences, they wanted to inspire couples and highlight the talented Yorkshire businesses involved.
Piped and pink silky cream and Ombre blossoming peonies were the superb finish to this naked cake! With 9 layers of precision, the leafy foliage added to the relaxed avant-garde rustic theme.The metallic composition against the cool tranquil pretty Pantone colours made for the ultimate place setting!
Inspired by Pantone? You can see more gorgeous photographs of this shoot in the August Issue on sale now for more pink, pearly and delicate powdery blue pops to incorporate into your day!
In our latest issue 162 we speak to Kim and Ant, a husband and wife team, from Struth Photography who tell us the ‘must-have’ shots you NEED to ask your photographer to capture so you don’t miss any of the beautiful moments of your big day! Here we give you four of our FAVOURITES from their top tips…
THE FIRST KISS
Ceremony pictures are a must, after all that is the part where you get married! Kim and her husband Ant capture the first kiss from two angles; from the end of the aisle and from the front!
THE CONFETTI MOMENT
There is so much love, laughter and joy as the bride and groom leave the ceremony. Both Kim and Ant love to capture this moment with confetti dancing around the happy couple!
The bride’s family, the groom’s family, your friends – there are a lot of people that want their photograph taken with you on your day. Don’t forget about the people that have been their throughout the whole experience with you – your bridesmaids! Kim likes to take you and your girls off and capture fun shots of you together.
The most important shots of the day are of you and your new spouse together! Kim and Ant like to sneak you away together, once in the daylight to capture you both in your chosen venue with all the surroundings, and then again in the night to capture some fun, unique images using dramatic lighting! We can’t get enough of this shot!
To read even more about what shots are a must on your day go to page 102 of our July issue.
Rebecca Douglas Photography is here to tell us all about her experience of shooting in Iceland. It seems to be on the bucket list for so many people to visit with the excitement of the possibility of seeing the northern lights and being awe-struck by the incredible landscapes, it is easy to see why so many couples are opting to pop the question here, remember their trip with a couples’ portrait session and for some eloping and experiencing the magic of their destination wedding there.
Iceland is such an incredible country. From the bustle of Reykjavik black sand beaches, the wonders of the Golden Circle through to the glaciers and iceberg lagoons, it is somewhere like nowhere else I have ever travelled and it has totally stolen my heart! I have been fortunate to travel here and explore for some extended periods of time as well as weaving in some photography work too.
I love getting to know couples and getting excited with them about their travel and shoot plans while they are in Iceland. Paris and Joe had an engagement shoot there in March and said I would say that the thing I loved most about the experience was Iceland itself. Everywhere you turned there was something new to see, from waterfalls to Icelandic ponies. Driving around and being surrounded by lakes and hills and then as you start to climb all you can see for miles is snow. It was one of the most breath taking places I have ever been and we were lucky enough to have a brilliant photographer capture it all for us.’
There are so many jaw-dropping scenes and such a vast change in the season’s weather between spring and summer, couples are spoilt for choice about when to travel. So many people have the bucket list item of seeing the northern lights in their minds and its best to travel between October and March to be in with a chance of seeing the skies light up at night.
On a recent trip, it was a joy for me to catch up with one of my couples who married in 2013. Daisy says “From our wedding day to our coincidental meet in Iceland, our experience with Rebecca has been truly awesome! The first time we met Rebecca we felt relaxed and like we had known her for years and when we had the shoot in Iceland that’s still exactly how we felt. 2 and a half years on from our wedding we are still in touch and hope to be for years to come, we couldn’t have chosen a better person to capture our day and just so happen to be there to book for a photo shoot on our best holiday so far too!”
With Rebecca’s extensive knowledge of travelling in Iceland and the stunning images she creates, she would be an excellent choice to take with you to capture some unforgettable memories in this beautiful country. You can find out more about her work here.
Our very own writer Tasha from Ikonworks (you can see her articles here), a cherished supplier of Wedding Ideas (you can read about her here), and fabulous Hampshire photographer is offering our readers a very special offer.
10% off all Ikonworks wedding collections, please mention Wedding Ideas at initial enquiry – quoting IkonWIM10%
Your booking (secured with a deposit, as well as signed terms and conditions) will preferably be in place before the 30th of June 2016.
This offer is available for weddings taking place before the 31st of December 2017. Please check your date is available upon enquiry.
Whilst located in Basingstoke, Hampshire, I am willing to travel the length and breadth of the country and beyond for my clients. The reason for this is because I absolutely love weddings, “I’m a romantic soul, and I simply love being trusted by my clients to shoot their wedding day, whilst they celebrate with their friends, family and guests. Shooting the sublime details and gorgeous style you plan into your wedding day is one of my favourite moments – sentimental details, awesome shoes, gorgeous flowers, whatever it is I will find a way of incorporating these things into stunning images for you to treasure and remember.”
I am a people person, someone nurturing and reassuring, and I constantly strive to ensure you feel totally at ease as we capture your story, your moments and your images. My images are elegant, soft and feminine, and I specialise in abstract, beautiful photography and I have worked hard to perfect a true signature style over the years. I love natural light, blue skies and my favourite time of year is late autumn/early winter.
How did I get into wedding photography?
I joke that this has to be my calling, because Ikonworks is actually my second career. I was an executive PA for 16 years prior to this, but my husband’s gift of an entry level Nikon when our son was born was my first heart stopping step into an industry that my world now revolves around. I went to college whilst working full time, and was taught by one of the funniest, dynamic photographers I know – she enthralled me, and made me totally re-think what I wanted to do, and where my professional life was going. Ikonworks was founded in 2009, and I rebranded in 2014 with the help of a rather fabulous web designer by the name of Danny Fontaine. I have worked very hard since then to refine the business and work on what I hope you see, which is my complete dedication to my clients and my industry.
What inspires me when it comes to my work?
I am inspired by what I see around me within the wedding industry, and I immerse myself in it, meaning I am constantly surrounded by innovative and beautiful imagery (vintage to modern day), hardworking and committed industry suppliers and some of the most inspired business owners I have ever had the privilege of working alongside. People like Hannah from Hannah Elizabeth Bridal, Danielle from Penton Park, Marie from Isabella Weddings, and of course Tracey from Chanticleer Brides. These are the people who inspire me on a day to day basis because they strive, as I do, to ensure your wedding day is absolute perfection.
Where do my prices start?
My weekday (Monday to Thursday) wedding photography coverage starts at £670. My weekend collections start at £1650, there are two collections available both include a beautifully produced wedding album, an Ikonworks gift pack, a video of your images available to download, and an online gallery. Complete collection information is available here, or can be downloaded for you to keep at the end of this post.
I am asked this all the time – what advice would you give to Wedding Ideas readers who have yet to choose a wedding photographer?
Pick very carefully! These photos are the only thing you’ll really have left after the wedding, apart from your outfit, some cards, and possibly a guest book. These pictures are priceless, never forget that.
Check if they have insurance! Boring I know, but so very very important. I do incidentally!
Make sure you click! I’m a huge advocate of pre-wedding shoots, and I strongly believe they can serve as very useful bonding time between the client and photographer. As a photographer it is so important to get a feel for how someone interacts with the camera before your big day. The other significant thing is a photographer mainly deals with the bride to be through the planning process, having this time therefore allows for the groom to get to know the photographer as well. When you think about it, this is hugely important and makes sure he does not feel self conscious in front of a camera wielding stranger on your big day.
Make amazing first contact! Yesterday I wrote an article for Wedding Ideas on just this subject – take a read of it here and be inspired… There is loads of information in it, from not only me but other stellar photographers from around the UK.
To find out more and make the most of your 10% discount, please contact me via my website here.
You are newly engaged, and about to take a giant leap (or so it may seem) into the big, diverse, trendy, confusing, colourful, blogged, tweeted, instagrammed, inspiring, Pinterest crazy world of wedding planning! Your friends are begging you for information, everyone around you is volunteering ideas and opinions, and you casually say “it’s ok we have it covered”, because actually you have got it covered.
There are so many articles online to read, so many wonderful blogs and magazines, sign ups to get free this and that, and enter a competition to win that. However, what you really need to do is start reaching out to people and, suddenly it’s all a little bit real.
You have done your “we’ve got it covered” research online as well as at a couple of wedding fairs, and you have narrowed the vast selection of photographers available to you, down to an inspiring few. The feel you want for your amazing “we do” day appears to be covered perfectly from their public online persona, and they look like the right type of creative wedding person or people you are interested in hiring. So what’s next?
I am writing this today with my photographer head on, rather than my Wedding Ideas writer head on in the hope that this will help guide you from this stage to the next in a way I have found very few articles online cover. Does that mean that this advice is missing off the web, not at all – but I thought what it did find needed a refresh.
As a wedding photographer, every enquiry I receive is different and can happen on social media, via my website form or simply via email and each one requires different consideration, a different reaction and of course a carefully worded response. Like any wedding supplier, I absolutely love receiving enquiries, especially when they feel as though they have had time taken over them. Some clients have approached me telling me how their husband to be dropped down on one knee in the middle of the busy office reception area after popping in on the way to an appointment. Some have simply given me an outline of their day, and some have kind words about how they love my work, can’t wait to work with me, and links to ideas boards, perhaps the odd “this is what we are looking to do”. Some however, are a little harder to connect with “how much do u cost?” on Facebook messenger really makes a reply quite difficult.
Today, along with a few rather amazing friends of mine, I would like to inspire you into putting as much time and effort into your first enquiry as possible. Therefore, making sure you give us extra inspiration to allow us to reply and wow you, moving mountains and making it completely impossible for you not to book us as your wedding photographer.
Contacting wedding photographers is as much about finding out a price for their services, as it is to ensure you have the right fit personality, ethically and service expectation wise. There are approximately 50,000 wedding photographers in the UK alone, and these are just the tax registered and insured ones (which of course are the only ones you should really consider for your own peace of mind and protection). After you have found a few perfect ones that “float your boat” here’s how to make an amazing impression, and get the most out of that all important first enquiry.
By telling me a little more about your plans, you allow me to engage you and inspire you. All the photographers in this article take huge pride in their client service abilities. You may find that we have different sets of information we can send you, different articles we can highlight to you for dare I say “homework” ha ha, and certainly different replies and sets of advice we can give you. Some of my absolutely favourite client bookings have come from couples who have wow’d me with their first email. Ensuring that by return I can demonstrate to you how much I adore my job, will then in turn inspire you to be excited about booking me and result in us working together in a much better way. Photography is ultimately about being creative, and when you as clients inspire us you enable us to produce our very very best work.
When you first get in touch the two key things I need to know are your date and venue to check if myself or one of my team is available and covers your wedding area. But I’d love to know a lot more – tell me all about the day you are daydreaming of and each other. What is it you are getting the most excited about? Why is it you are so totally in love with your bride/groom-to-be? What is the most important thing to you about your photography? What style day are you planning? What dress/shoes are you wearing? What is making the day personal to you two?… in all honesty you can’t share too much information. I love getting to know my couples so the feel like friends on the wedding day and comfortable in front of the lens. Building that relationship and getting to know each other from the first email is wonderful.
As photographers, we know most people enquiring will have a number in mind allocated to the photography part of their overall wedding budget. I have been married for fifteen years this year, and I remember planning my wedding. Funnily enough, it’s actually the terrible experiences I had with my wedding photography and photographer that taught me exactly what NOT to do in my business for my clients. We know couples sometimes have:
Exceptional reasons for a tight budget
An overall dislike of having their photograph taken, perhaps because they have had a bad experience, meaning it’s with a feeling of obligation they book a photographer rather than a feeling of we would love pictures of our amazing day
The thought that having a photographer is a luxury, and therefore something that needs missing off the list
Perhaps they read this rather bland and unhelpful BBC article, leaving couples believing every wedding supplier is a rip off merchant, putting premiums on anything with the word wedding in?
It is absolutely worth in your approach to your dream “we’ve got it covered” list of wedding suppliers saying what your budget is. There is nothing worse as a supplier than going through the process of quoting with a client, to then find out that the gap is just too big to bridge – it leaves everyone feeling disappointed. As I sit and write this, I’d like to also say;
Most photographers have their prices on their website, so if you know they are slightly out of your price range, please make us aware of this right at the start of your approach. Simply saying, if you want to save money, get married on a weekday in autumn is very short sighted, and quite insulting to wedding professionals across all specialities. All quality, reliable, committed suppliers still have things like indemnity insurance, advertising, marketing and website costs, and thousands of pounds worth of kit to insure, service and keep updated – this does not stop just because we are not shooting for a weekend. If the price is out of your budget, but you feel your style or what you love about their work is a perfect match, do speak to them but explain why and send them an awesome first email, you can but ask. If you have however, opted for the first Saturday in July, and you are booking in April you may well be disappointed.
Taking all this into consideration it is also very important to consider this is the other side – Cat from Wild Connections highlights the following,
We know how much weddings cost, many of us are married as well, so we do understand. However, we also see this market from another perspective, from the other side, the side that’s not highlighted where lots of talented wedding industry professionals struggle to make a living, because they don’t charge what they should.
This is sadly very common, and articles like the BBC one really don’t help highlight that a large percentage of wedding suppliers (especially photographers) are not able to rely on their businesses as their sole income. I hasten to add this makes them no less professional, or hard working, or talented, we have mortgages, rents, childcare and bills exactly the same as you.
If you have a specific budget you need to stick to do share it when you enquire. Don’t be afraid to get in touch with a photographer even if you think they might be out of your budget. Many are happy to discuss options and if you are having a week day wedding or a wedding that requires shorter coverage you can often make it work. We photographers aren’t ogres, if someone loves the work we do and passionately wants us to capture their day, but has a smaller budget we will discuss what’s possible. This is why sharing information about you and your wedding can help us to get an understanding of what’s important to you.
Some photographers have full prices on their websites, some have a start price and some don’t have prices at all. Either way, get in touch with the photographers you like to ask for more details. Most will have a brochure or something they will send you with full details about what packages they offer, what’s included and what are optional extras. If you have your venue booked include that in your enquiry. It will allow the photographer to check to make sure travel is possible and if any extra costs might be incurred to travel, should it be a distance from their home.
When you enquire about prices or discuss budgets with us, please be polite and remember we are small business owners who do everything ourselves, put in a lot of hours and are trying to make our businesses work the best we can. We take our work and our businesses very personally and want the couples we work with to have a wonderful experience. We know that not everyone will be able to afford the prices we charge, but it’s not nice when people are rude and make it appear like we are money grabbers (which I have had in the past). If the budget really and truly doesn’t fit just reply nicely, say thanks and let us know we are out of your price range. You never know, we may know other photographer we could recommend to you who could offer you something that fits what you are looking to spend.
I can only say to you what I did when I was looking for my wedding photographer. I know this is going to sound totally biased because I am also a photographer but when I started hunting, prices were not something I even considered. First and foremost, I selected photographers whose work I actually loved and whose personalities resonated with me through their websites and blogs. When I messaged the ones I wanted to meet, I told them what it was about their work that I loved and why I thought they would be a great fit for my own day. It didn’t even occur to me to say, “Hey, how much do you charge?”! I totally get some photographers may simply be right out of your budget, but here’s the thing… book them early enough in advance and you can afford just about any photographer you like!
Can we have a discount?
“We don’t want someone shooting all day”, “we are eloping”, “we are marrying abroad and having a party when we get home”, or “we just want a few hours and it’s a really small wedding”. All of these things are superb, and I don’t know many photographers who would not want to be involved, shooting your incredibly personal intimate wedding. I have just shot a wedding for a couple, their two lovely kids and two witnesses, and they popped off to have afternoon tea at a gorgeous hotel afterwards. There is in this case a difference between asking for a “bespoke package” and a “discount”, and approaching a photographer explaining your need for a bespoke package, stating you love their work but have more individual requirements is a much better way of making this type of approach.
Fiona says –
This is very much a follow on from discussing your wedding photography budget. Everyone has a budget for their wedding photography, whether its £1000 or £5000, so as business owners we know that money can be a deciding factor.
If you are thinking of asking for a discount there are definitely right ways and wrong ways to do this. Point blank, asking when you first enquire isn’t the right way to do it. You have to remember, we are small business owners. For the most part we are doing everything in our business ourselves and we have to make a profit or we won’t have a business after a year or two! When we set our prices we do so bearing in mind many factors; the number of weddings we take on in a year, the level of experience we have photographing weddings, travel costs, insurance, training, equipment…the list goes on. It’s not a figure plucked out of thin air with the intention of fleecing unwitting brides and grooms! We want to deliver a top class service and to do so for each of us, that’s a particular cost per wedding.
With all that in mind, however, very few of us will have an issue with someone asking if we can ‘do anything on the price’? This is a nice way to approach it as it’s opening a conversation. That’s what it needs to be. If you really love someone’s work but truly don’t have the budget, then explain this to them. Talk about your wedding, your plans and why this person’s photography means so much to you. It might be that the photographer can’t take the price down, but they could add something in for you, such as extra hours or prints or an album. They could add value to the package, which makes it worth more to you overall. If you are looking to reduce costs, then consider less hours’ coverage. That’s often the easiest way to bring the package price down. Sometimes we just can’t budge on the price, but sometimes it’s possible. Don’t feel you can’t ask, but ask in a way that is polite and friendly. I have done special packages for couples when their wedding was at a venue I really wanted to work at or when their wedding was on a week day.
If you go wading in saying the package is too expensive and can it be reduced because another photographer down the road is charging £200 less, you are not likely to get very far. No photographer wants to feel that they are in a bidding war or they are being compared to someone else purely on price. We are creative people who value what we do so want to feel that our work means something to you.
I don’t as a rule offer discounts as I feel that it’s unfair to my other clients who have paid full price for the same service. Having said this, I do offer bespoke packages for clients who require something different to what my core packages provide. If you are wanting a discount or bespoke service, I think it’s best to go through the pricing guide first, then send the photographer an email outlining what you want and why. Sending an email saying, “I like your work but I don’t want to pay full price for it” is probably not going to get you what you want. However, I’ve had clients who have sent me amazing emails outlining their situation, why they want a different option and why they would like me to cover their day. When I’ve received emails like this I have generally been more than happy to work something out for them. For me, if you are honest and sincere about your circumstance, I would be more open to accommodating you.
What are the big no nos
I’ll go back to the “how much do U cost” message on Facebook, there was no date, no venue, not even an “are you available”. Therefore giving no information that could help a photographer to come back to the client with an answer to that question, I would say this therefore is a big no no! Personally, this approach felt as though the couple were not really interested in my services and could have been contacting any photographer, with any style not really knowing there can be huge differences between Ikonworks and the next one on the Google page under “Hampshire Wedding Photographer”.
“I’m not very photogenic”, “I already hate the idea of having my photograph taken, but you need wedding pictures right?” and even “I don’t know why I am contacting you, I don’t actually even want a photographer, but my mother says it’s important”.
As a passionate business owner, photographer and general lover of most things bridal, hearing these things quite literally breaks my heart. The quote below is from an amazing photographer in the US, by the name of Sue Bryce – she asks the question
“What will your children feel when in 20 years from now they go looking for photographs of you and there are none?”.
At one of the happiest points in your life, your wedding day, why would you not want professional, timeless, gorgeous images captured? Please put aside your doubts and worries, take the time to find a photographer who makes you feel magnificent, then trust them to do their job with the passion and integrity I know all of us this article feel. I promise you will not be disappointed, so make your first approach a positive one putting aside your worries.
It’s always great to have an organised couple who have a clear idea of what they want, but what makes the heart sink is when there is a list of every single shot that needs to be taken, I’m not talking about the group shots, we absolutely want to know those, but it’s when you’re given a list of things like “bride having makeup done, bride walking down the aisle, the ring exchange, the kiss, etc”. All professional photographers will be well versed in the running order of a wedding and we just love capturing all those events and moments, we tend to not need to go off a tick list. The only deviation from this is if you are having something “out of the ordinary”, it’s important to give your photographer the heads up!
We know that couples have budgets and there are wedding vendors out there for every budget, please don’t be offended if we can’t work within our budget, our prices are based on experience, our business model, service offered, etc. It can be off putting when a couple enquire and complain about the cost of photography and that they don’t want to spend much on their photographer. For us, that’s sad to hear, we are lucky to work with couples who value photography, but it’s not always the case for every enquiry that comes in.
The final point, which we’ve thankfully not experienced, but know others who have, is where upon enquiry the photographer has been provided with a Pinterest board of images that are so far away from their style. You need to book a photographer based on their style and love that style, a photographer’s style has been perfected over a long time. This cannot be easily “switched off” to shoot like someone else, if you love light and airy images, look for someone whose portfolio is full of images like that, if you like high contrast or someone who just shoots in black and white, look for photographers with that style.
I still get really excited when somebody wants to book me for their wedding, but sometimes I meet with couples face to face, or spend weeks emailing them, helping them with all of their questions. But as soon as I send them the contract and ask for a deposit to fix the date, it’s radio silence. I won’t be offended if you’ve decided to book someone else, but please take the time to drop me a quick email to let me know your decision.”
She also goes on to say “Please also don’t send a Pinterest board of what you want and ask me if I can re-create it. Hopefully you’ve chosen me because you’ve seen my website and you love my style. By sending me a list of shots from Pinterest, you’re basically asking me to try and copy somebody else’s work instead creating something beautiful and unique just for you.
There are questions, and then there are lists
I just Googled “questions to ask your photographer” and got just over 24.5 million hits (yes, really), each article or blog post may spin it or word it a little differently but they are all going to say the same thing really. At this point I remind you of the section above, about it all being in the details, and inspiring your photographer and it is for exactly this reason I write this post. Instead of asking about watermarks, or the supposed Nikon vs Canon silliness, and copyright in your first approach tell us something we can connect with, something exciting, something about you’re wedding that literally takes your breath away and keeps you up at night with excitement. We seasoned professionals will at the right time tell you all the important “business stuff”, in the serious part of the conversations, promising you and reassuring you, that you initial instinct was correct, and you are making the right choice booking us.
I like to know that my couples have really thought about their photography, and that they too understand the importance of it and how the decision will be one you live with forever. The type of questions I’d expect to be asked, that are important are:
What does a real wedding look like? I will always showcase my most favourite images on my website, but it’s important to me that my couples can see how I photograph a full wedding so they know exactly what to expect. I will happily show full wedding galleries, whether I am asked or even if I’m not. I like to be completely transparent with potential clients so there’s never any confusion over the final product.
How do you prepare and plan for our wedding day? This is a great question, and one I would recommend all couples ask photographers because being a GREAT photographer, isn’t just about the style of imagery you produce. It’s not just about your manner and how nice you are. You have to be INCREDIBLY organised and prepared for anything, including delays, weather, emergencies, the lot. If you don’t have an organised photographer, this could impact your wedding photographs. I produce a fully planned out wedding schedule with all my couples, and if we can, do a recce of the venue to ensure we are all on the same page.
How do you protect our photos and our imagery? Some people never think to ask this, but I always like to be asked it and like to tell my couples so they can be assured that they can trust me to not just turn up and take great photos, but that I will do everything to protect my equipment AND therefore their photos, whether that be with regular servicing, insurance and shooting on multiple cameras and back up cards. Your wedding is safe with me.
So the absolute essentials are:
Both your names
Include your date
Tell them about your venue
Include your email address, your phone number and tell them a good time to call
Tell them about your wedding
If you are wanting bespoke, mention that
If you are on a budget, mention that
Have you been referred by someone, if so who do I have to thank
Jasmine Star is another US photographer, brilliant blogger and entrepreneur, she says
Photographers don’t all need to be flattered, but that we don’t mind it either and that an email saying “prices and packages please” sends a very different message to “I love your work, and hope you can photograph my wedding”.
Something key to think about is this;
Hiring your wedding photographer is not like hiring someone to clean your windows or fix your car – this is where compromise really isn’t an option and good enough is not enough.
Finally and I think one of the key things to take into consideration, i’d say
If at any stage you decide not to go ahead with your enquiry – please don’t leave us hanging with deafening radio silence. A simple email, letting us know you have found another photographer is perfectly fine and we will not be offended.
Hi, my name is Tasha and I am the owner of Ikonworks. Photography allows you to capture life stories, and our photographs become our collections of memories. Capturing a wedding day for a bride and groom is about the couple, their family, and the people in attendance. My ability to capture the beauty of a single moment, allows me to tell the story of your love story, your nervous smiles, your celebratory kisses, your kind glances, and your gorgeous “I Dos” with grace, kindness and a gentle touch”.
I’m Philippa and I’m passionate about dreamy light, thoughtful and creative details, and people who love each other. I use a very relaxed, unobtrusive yet friendly approach in my photography which allows me to tell a story and capture people’s personalities and emotions in a romantic, beautiful, authentic way. I achieve this through my reportage candid style mixed with natural, stylish portraits and a keen eye for beauty. I believe that wedding photography should not just be about photographing ‘stages’ of the day, but about telling an emotive and authentic love story. I live in London & work throughout the UK and abroad.
I’m Cat and I launched Wild Connections for couples that love the great outdoors, and want to incorporate their love of nature and sense of adventure in to their wedding day. Whether it’s getting married in the amongst rolling sand dunes in Norfolk or on a snowy mountain top in the Alps, I’ll be there to capture your next great adventure as you enter in to the awesome world of marriage. I don’t like labels, but guess I’d say my work is a mix between lifestyle and photojournalistic photography; I’ll mostly be working away in the background, letting the magic happen. My couples often want a non-traditional wedding, and aren’t afraid of taking a trip of the beaten path and getting a little bit dirty in pursuit of some epic photos. I’m based in Innsbruck, Austria, but being from the UK originally, I love weddings in the beautiful British countryside.
Hi, I’m Fiona. Photographer and all round super organised person behind Fiona Kelly Photography. I truly love photographing weddings. The people, the place, the fun, the laughter, the mad dancing, the tears of joy and you two…the fabulous bride and groom! It’s all about you and capturing your wedding day story with all the bits that make it your unique day. I photograph beautiful and natural images you will treasure. Photos that bring back amazing memories of a very special day. All done with a big smile on my face and in a very relaxed and unobtrusive way.
My name is Hannah and I am the owner of Hannah McClune Photography. Myself and my team specialise in gorgeous wedding photography. We love to tell your wedding story in a modern, relaxed and romantic way. Based in Reading, we cover the South of England and for the right wedding, sometimes further afield or abroad.
Hi! I’m an Essex based wedding and portrait photographer but I have passport and will travel! I shoot weddings in a very natural and relaxed way, preferring to capture and record what is going on around me rather than set up and pose scenes to photograph. You should be enjoying your wedding day and let me do the rest! I would say my style is honest and real with just a hint of quirkiness thrown in for good measure. Just think of me as an extra guest with a very important piece of equipment! Come and say hi, look around and maybe invite me to your day. I can’t wait to meet you.
Amanda Karen Photography is an Essex and London based wedding photography duo, we are a husband and wife team and we bring our fine art portraiture and natural relaxed photography to wedding couples, ensuring their wedding day is beautifully captured. We genuinely feel like we are really lucky to be doing what we do, how many people can say that their job is to spend the day with people on one of the happiest day of their lives, surrounded by their friends and family and celebrating all that is great in life. It may sound soppy, but its such an honour that our couples entrust us to document their day, to ensure that for generations to come there are beautiful images of the day, it’s not just memories of the couple, but of the whole story.
Maxeen is a Fine Art wedding photographer based in London, and available for weddings worldwide. She has a passion for travel and adventure and loves capturing images in a beautiful and natural way; truly reflecting who you are as a couple – whether it be on a windblown cliff top somewhere exotic or in a gorgeous church in the city.
We all know festivals as loud and muddy places, but you don’t have to recreate Glastonbury to be a festival bride.
Embrace an outdoor wedding with a less structured, more easy going hairstyle – we think carefree tousled curls look effortlessly beautiful. Add an abundance of flowers and why not be daring and scrap the bouquet for a large wrist corsage? It keeps your flowers with you through the day and doubles up as a pretty accessory.
An evening costume change to a metallic gown will allow you to put on your party shoes and really let your hair down. If you keep your makeup base clean with warm peachy colours in the day you can add a pop of pink with beautiful blusher and lipstick in the evening, allowing your makeup to really glow in the dimmer light. Also, why not try adding a gold liner to the bottom lashline to give a subtle hint of festival glamour to your evening look?
Body art is a unique way to maintain the carefree festival vibe, keeping your look fun and flirty. A bubble machine can be used instead of confetti – bubbles make a great photo opportunity but are also kind to your surrounding environment.
In case you haven’t yet had the good fortune to experience the Bahamian landscapes, and taken your own holiday pictures, have a look at the feedback from other travellers who’ve been lucky enough to see The Islands Of The Bahamas.
It seems that it’s hard to take a duff shot, and images certainly don’t need tweaking, as demonstrated by the research of booking agent BusBud who found that the paradise-like landscape of The Bahamas boasted the highest percentage of Instagram uploads with #NoFilter. Visitors and astronauts alike have enthused about the breath-taking views and the colours of the ocean. Astronauts Chris Hadfield and Karen Nyberg both posted their favourite shots of The Bahamas while astronaut Scott Kelly wanted to save a spot on the beach and showed his youngest daughter the most beautiful place from space via video conference.
Picture yourself in some island chic, whether toes-in-the-sand casual or uber-stylish, there are locations and hotels to suit every taste, simple island style to designer hotels. In The Islands Of The Bahamas there are so many great backdrops. Whether yours is a destination wedding, honeymoon or special anniversary or vow renewal, make your images truly memorable. It’s easy to book one, two or even more islands where the real scene-stealers are the pink, white and golden sand beaches. Special garden locations such as the Garden of the Groves on Grand Bahama Island or the Versailles-style gardens at One&Only Ocean Club on Paradise Island with its own 14th century cloisters offer colourful floral displays.
Let nature dominate your lens and take a plane down south to The Exumas to see if your aerial shots of the cays can encapsulate the Bahamian Blues – the colours of the ocean.
Not only the landscapes and seascapes of The Exumas are captivating, some of the natural phenomena found in the islands make for some very special holiday selfies. The swimming pigs on Big Major’s Cay, also now known as Pig Island, are certainly not camera shy as they swim out to the boats bringing visitors to the island and scrounge lunch of bread and vegetables.
Similarly, the iguanas on Allan’s Cay, a little further north in The Exumas chain, are used to visitors and scurry forth for a closer look, and grapes, if they are lucky.
The flamingos on the very southern island of Inagua are happy finding their own food in the shallow ocean flats, this colony of West Indian flamingos is the largest in the region and at over 50,000 strong, outnumber the local Bahamian population of Inagua by over 60:1. Although Inagua is rather remote with just one little hotel, so you may find it easier to visit the little marching group of flamingos at Adastra Gardens in Nassau, where it’s much easier to get close enough for a photo.
All this photography can be thirsty, and hungry, work. Make sure you take a break to experience some of the new locally made Bahamian rums, beers and edible treats which are easy to find in the heart of Nassau. The Rum Runners Passage experience with Islandz Tours and the Tru Bahamian Food Tours ‘Bites of Nassau’ tour offer very tasty trips through the culinary and historical past of Nassau.
Find out loads more information about The Bahamas at The Bahamas Tourist Office and the best of the best trips and excursions for the Islands.
Fashion trained and inspired Photographer Leah Henson enlightens us about the style of her work and experience in the photography Industry. Particularly her fashion influences that have led her to create atmospheric and edgy compositions for a truly memorable wedding day shoot, capturing every emotion!..(And there will be alot!) For the couple wanting to WOW with their wedding album like no other, Leah talks style and look for your wedding shoot, how to prepare and how to capture the real you on your big day!
I absolutely love Manchester city centre. I love how many strange little alleyways there are seemingly leading to nowhere, the colourful graffiti-swamped walls and the myriad of different styles of architecture. When I was planning this bridal shoot, I knew I wanted to do something unusual, something I’d never done before. I quickly realised how perfect the contrast between the dresses and the urban location would be; delicate, authentic vintage dresses against modern city centre buildings with pre-war architecture nestled in.
Working as a wedding photographer is incredible. It’s amazing to see two people in love share such a wonderful day with their friends and family. One of my favourite parts of the wedding day is when I can get the couple together for some portraits. This is one of the only parts of the day they get to spend (almost) alone and gives them a little break from the hustle and bustle of the day.
In my work, I always try to give the portraits a little bit of a fashion photography edge as I started my career in fashion and portraiture. This styled shoot really allowed the team to be as creative as possible with three dress changes and as many different location changes as we could fit in!
It always pays to take a risk with locations on your wedding day and an urban location will give you totally untraditional, unique photos that you’ll treasure.Through this shoot, I hoped that brides could see how wonderful vintage dresses are.
For the price of one modern dress, you’re able to grab yourself three totally different, unique vintage dresses – no better way of making a statement at your wedding than utilising outfit changes! It’s unlikely that you’ll see someone else wearing your authentic 1950s wedding dress at another wedding and it’s amazing to think of the stories behind the dress too.
Wedding Ideas last featured Chanticleer a number of years ago, I am therefore delighted to be able to take responsibility for featuring this wonderful British bridal wear designer again.
Chanticleer is known for its gorgeous feminine collections of stylish and handcrafted wedding dresses, and the “Shakespeare in Love” collection is no different; it perhaps pushes the designer’s usual style and approach just a little further. Tracey continues, without fault, to offer the same ethereal, feminine, and graceful characteristics to brides in this collection, featuring dreamy designs with lace embellishments, exquisite necklines, brocade, and floral and sequin elements on soft tulle and organza – all signature elements of this wonderful designer.
I have a rather personal connection to “Shakespeare in Love”, having been asked by Tracey to photograph it for her. This followed a beautiful editorial shoot we did together at the Hampshire venue Penton Park, celebrating its first open day in 2015. Photographing this was not only a career highlight for me, but also allowed me to apply the gentle touch I take with my beautiful brides to capture some wonderful images for a lady who is as passionate about Chanticleer as I am about Ikonworks.
I am very proud Wedding Ideas is able to provide support to designers, and offer a platform promoting the incredibly talented British bridal wear creatives we have in this country to our readers. Personally, I am even more delighted to write a feature like this for first time, as not only have I been able to photograph a beautiful designer and her extraordinary creations, but I have been able to photograph her working with a bridal client at a designer day, and work with her to create images of her Cheltenham studio for her website. I remain inspired by her ability to do something very special for each of the brides I have watched her work with. Tracey has an inbuilt ability to understand, interpret, and create something perfectly bespoke for each bride, from a brief conversation at the start of a consultation.
I asked Tracey how she would describe a Chanticleer Bride:
“A Chanticleer Bride is a woman who knows her own mind and style, who has a vision of what she wants but who needs me to inspire her creative side.”
Working with a small, highly trained team, which combines over 60 years of bespoke bridal wear experience, Tracey’s focus on quality craftsmanship ensures that all of her designs are British made under her careful supervision. She said says: “It’s really important to personally ensure the second-to-none quality of every gown leaving our studio, which is why I appreciate the work of my trusted team so much. All of our dresses are not only made in Britain, but crafted by our close-knit expert team”
“Shakespeare in Love” provides brides with classical, elegant, and timeless gowns, certain to never go out of style, in an array of silhouettes, styles and fabrics, which include the addition of a soft pink and stunning rose to the iconic pallet of Chanticleer shades of ivory.
Tracey told me: “The Shakespeare in Love collection encapsulates the beauty and fragility of a love story from a bygone era, represented by style icons include Shakespeare’s ‘Juliet’ and ‘Ophelia’ ; both of whom are strong passionate woman. These character-filled dresses are all very close to my heart for many different reasons.”
The gown named Rosalind, featured below, is Tracey’s favourite. She explains: “This was partly because I was out of my designer’s comfort zone in terms of the fabric [the dress] demanded to be made from, and also because there was something that just kept drawing me to ‘her’ design.” Rosalind is the heroine of Shakespeare’s As You Like It. Her character is intelligent, witty, warm, and strong, and she possesses an unshakable integrity.
With the collection drawing on such inspiring female characters, Tracey wanted to make sure each dress was a perfect addition to the other seven significant Chanticleer collections. Chanticleer’s collections are launched each year in the autumn; whether it’s the ‘Blue Ribbon‘ collection inspired by the romance and celebration of 100 years of the Titanic, or the ‘All That Jazz’ collection, inspired by a Caro Emerald jazz song, Tracey mainly looks to media, film, music and current culture to bring beautiful and creative designs to each collection. The 2014 ‘Anniversary‘ collection was inspired by period dramas and historic influences, while 2015 ‘Eden‘ Collection embraces everything ‘Floral’, entwining both Vintage and Art Deco in beautifully feminine styles, combining lavish 3D fabrics, soft antique spot tulles to delicate beaded laces.
The Chanticleer brand celebrated 25 years of UK design and manufacturing last year; a fantastic achievement. Tracey talks about her career highlights being the purchase of the Chanticleer brand at just 27 years of age, and her absolute delight at being successful in ensuring brand moves as effortlessly as her dresses into the 21st century. She says, “Each year pushes my creativity. Every year I feel the label becomes more successful, vibrant and recognised within the industry, ensuring brides associate their special day with our gowns.” I asked Tracey what her motivations are when it comes to designing. She replied: “I’m inspired by the every day, real woman, her soft femininity, her perfect imperfections and her graceful attitude.”
What is the Chanticleer signature style? Kate who organises everything for Chanticleer, from the designer days and photo shoots, to the wedding fayres, and the press coverage says, “Classic, traditional and timeless – consisting of beautiful corsetry and romantic gorgeousness.”
Personally I think one of the standout parts of the Chanticleer experience is having Tracey herself involved in an integral part of your design process. The re-assuring interaction between the designer and client is extraordinary to behold, and I only wish I had had access to this when I selected my wedding dress 16 years ago. The meticulous step-by-step process, from the initial design to dream dress, is unique in so many ways.
I asked Tracey: “If you were not a bridal designer, what would you be?” She replied: “I honestly cannot imagine my life without being wedding dress designer. It is something I simply adore, and having our brides select Chanticleer for their special day, and feeling their faith in our designs, skills, and brand gives me goosebumps every time. When we receive pictures from our brides after their wedding day, it honestly makes us very, very proud.”
I am looking forward to putting together a collaborative article from several designers and stockists soon, which will feature the perfect advice for a bride selecting her wedding dress. When I asked Tracey what important advice she would give to the Bride setting out to find her perfect wedding gown she said, in a heartbeat: “Always, always be true to yourself; don’t try and please everyone else. I am there to work with you to create something extraordinary, ensuring that when you look back at your wedding pictures in twenty years time you still feel as special, as beautiful as you did when you exchanged rings and said “I do”.
“The Shakespeare in Love” collection begins at £1,195. Should you wish to learn more about any of the designs you see in this article today, please contact the Chanticleer Boutique directly here, or call your nearest Chanticleer stockist – a full list of stockists can be located here. You can also follow Chanticleer on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and catch up with all the news on their blog here.
Laura Ward of Brides of Winchester says, “Chanticleer has been a leading design label since brides of Winchester opened 6 years ago. Our brides love the level of flexibility in Tracey’s gowns, which allows them to express their individuality, ideas and vision. Each Collection includes gowns with fabulous corsetry that Tracey is so well known for, whilst her exacting attention to detail produces simply the most beautiful handcrafted wedding gowns that are every girls dream for their big day!”
The photo shoot
Kate says, “After months of planning, we decided to shoot our 2016 ‘Shakespeare in Love’ collection at the fabulous spooky Woodchester Mansion, in Gloucestershire. Tracey and I visited the Mansion in September and were hugely excited by the stunning natural light and the contrasts it created against the unfinished interiors of the mansion. The charm of the Cotswold stone enhanced the natural beauty of a time gone by, and ensured we literally had everything we wanted in a venue for the shoot.”
She went on to say “Bringing on board the gifted Tasha Newland of Ikonworks in Hampshire ensured we would have exquisite images to share with our Brides and Stockists, perfectly representing the collection. We were totally blown away by Tasha’s amazing photos at the ‘Penton Park’ shoot back in July, especially the gorgeous image of our ‘Peony’ dress from 2015 ‘Eden Collection’. Using the lovely and artistic Sharon Dawson from Eyecandy hair and make up and the super creative Will Eagles of Cream Hairdressing also ensure our already gorgeous models Sophie and Rachel transformed into our Shakespearean characters flawlessly. In addition, using Flowers by Ellie for the flower crowns, and Rachel Simpson Shoes completed the looks we envisaged when first designing this gorgeous collection.”
For the bride who couldn’t decide, a soft high neck tulle dress with sweetheart neckline, illusion tulle keyhole back flows onto a delicate lace column skirt. Added to this detachable soft tulle over skirt with detailed embellished satin belt. Option to purchase as separates.
The graceful Lady Montague features a sequin lace bodice with bateau neckline and full length lace sleeves. A sweetheart corset flows onto a soft organza A-line skirt. The lace and sequin flower belt adds a touch of sophistication to the overall gown and nips in the waist.
Stunning high waist A-line satin gown with soft lace bodice and cap sleeves. The V-neckline adds a little drama to the overall softness of the dress and pleated waist detail nips the waist in magically.
Romantic high neck gown with fluted tulle sleeve decorated with sequin and diamante floral motifs on shoulder. The floral tulle gives an illusion brocade feel to the soft A-line skirt.
I’d like to thank Tracey and Kate from Chanticleer for allowing us to share these images with you today, and I sincerely hope you find something you love, and are inspired to get in touch with this wonderful British design house.
Congratulations! You’ve booked your wedding photographer and are now one step closer to seeing your dream day come to fruition – (excitement is an understatement!) Whilst photographers understand how brides are busy people and the reason they have placed the trust of capturing their story in the safe hands of the professionals, there are just a few considerations to bare in mind that are paramount but are often overlooked in the busy lead up. Kayleigh Adams (Photography), charming Cotswolds-based Wedding Photographer, visionary organiser and big day enthusiast (as well as fellow university friend!) has hi-lighted for us from her wealth of experience some preparatory ideas (and reassurances!) to ensure you can enjoy your day to the maximum. And in turn take away the best possible captured photographs with vision that in years to come the details of moments you forgot about… will make their way back to you!
Savour YOUR day! – not somebody else’s
Ironically, one of the most important things to remember and a real encouragement of Kayleigh’s whilst documenting the day, is to forget her existence – almost completely! Apart from a few traditional if you like or customary group shots (which would be discussed and noted by Kayleigh beforehand) she will do well to blend in with the festivities in order to catch the opportunities that show you as natural as possible. The composition for a wedding to be captured through a series of images has shifted to focus on the photographers ability to stage the emotion and story with the subject oblivious and totally absorbed by the day! (and of course by your new husband or wife!) – after all we are all there for the both of you.
The ‘centre of attention panic sprint’ down the aisle
The moment you take your last steps as ‘Miss’ down the aisle, whether you like the attention averted to you or not, this is undoubtedly a surreal and truly poignant walk not only for the bride but the loved ones who want to admire and see you happy or emotional (usually a mix of the two!) as you make your way to greet your imminent husband-to-be. And where capturing these emotions on camera are concerned, for Kayleigh the key is timing and pace! Although you may feel like you are going backwards, in her experience we cant stress enough to all our brides how your pace will effect the outcome and range of photography opportunities taken.
As much as a slice of time for your guests and your partner to admire the vision of you in your tumbling white waves, you should take this time yourself to reflect and take in how u feel too! Take in your surroundings and show the expression in your face gravitating towards the only other face in the room that does and should matter at that precise moment. Smile!- feel emotion, enjoy the music you chose and why you both chose it! Put simply, the slower you walk the more time you have to take in this magical milestone and more to the point, precious time for Kayleigh to capture you in awe of it all!
Have the time on hand at all times!
Quite possibly the most obvious and silly of reminders for an event dictated usually by impeccable organisation months in advance to the big day… However, we know better than anyone how time can run away. That is why small details like making sure the venue/house you and your bridal party will be getting ready at, has a clock in front of you so that you are always aware and aiming to be ahead of your schedule!
As far as photography is concerned, keeping within allocated time and even a little to spare will encourage a relaxed atmosphere among the bridal group and enable Kayleigh to capture you relishing in your transformation and the definite sense of excitement building through her series of pre-ceremony photos which are a beautiful contrast of informality, comfortability and seemingly unposed for.
Confetti is a biggy!
The notorious confetti shot is a classic ritual for the closure of any wedding ceremony! An absolute must and favourite of Kayleigh’s to draw personality from, making each and every one of her real wedding shoots unexampled and intimate to their story. Capturing the perfect confetti strewn couple can be achieved easily with a bit of good old team work and direction by Kayleigh herself when it comes to throwing! Although the soft fluttering motion of the confetti is sure to follow the newlyweds as they take their first steps as husband and wife, the best shots will have the bride and groom stationary and the guests throw all together into the air above.
More importantly, the inevitable finite fall that comes with confetti whether you have chosen paper or petal confetti determines that naturally the higher it can be thrown vertically (not horizontally) the longer Kayleigh will have to snap away your momentary magical blizzard! – Kayleigh will be sure to unite her technical skill and vision for composition to hi-light in one composition a balance between you and your hubby! (the stationary subject) and paint a sense of motion amidst the flurry of color!
Setting up camp for ‘unexpected moments’
It seems crazy today how effectively public speaking and public displays of affection put the fear of god into newly weds and their loved ones at their own wedding! – The one day in which you are totally allowed to open up, cry, laugh, dance outrageously, embarrass your kids and be embarrassed by your parents, best man and bridesmaid! For all of these priceless moments, Kayleigh particularly wants to show preparation (discretely) not only for the expected, but the unexpected surprises along the way.
By giving her the heads up on any secret details that may later be an unravelling surprise right in front of the bride and/or Groom’s eyes, Kayleigh can be in prime position with the appropriate equipment better suited to the execution and photography subject in order to capture a sure picture moment that you will definitely want to look back and remember!
Often caught in the hype and extravagance that we associate with weddings, for us ladies in particular it is easy to be swept away in the whirlwind that is the dream day you have always pictured for yourself! And why shouldn’t you! And whilst we want all your hopes and dreams to be fulfilled, sometimes its good to stand back and think about your desires as a duo and what is going to mark the couple you have become. Whether it be a trip down memory lane in some way or a place of significance, Leigh Trigg of Vita Vestra Photography shares a refreshing perspective for what getting married will really mean to you..
I recently watched a documentary on ‘The Babies born of the Black GIs and English women in the early 1940’s during World War II’. What got me thinking wasn’t the mixed raced relationship but how, in the depths of the darkness of war-ridden Britain, the unknown of whether your street or town would be blown to pieces at any moment, love can blossom, even if it was a matter of weeks, love’s light can shine through. It can survive and flourish in situations where even hope is lost. So in the 21st century is it any wonder that love can be exhibited in the form of marriage anywhere, even in your local pub?
As the wedding season comes around again, I wanted to show you that you don’t have to spend tens of thousands to marry the person you love, but you don’t have to suffer a beauty-less, classless wedding as you can see from Daisy and James’ beautifully simple yet elegant wedding from September last year.
I have been to many weddings in my time, so from the moment I arrived to photograph Daisy getting ready and saw her home made bouquets of delicate white flowers wrapped in hessian and blue ribbon, I knew the little touches you expect to see at any wedding would be scattered in abundance.
The ceremony and reception venue was the Bayshill Inn, 85 Saint Georges Place, Cheltenham a local pub for many but on this glorious day in late September it was a wedding venue, exclusive hire for the event and no less than any grand hotel you’d expect to pay thousands for, for a Saturday wedding. The large marquee in the pub garden was partially set up with head table and a few guest tables to allow the guests and bridal party ease of access to the freshly decorated ceremony room.
Legalities had been arranged prior to the event, so Daisy and James simply had to announce their love and vows in front of their small congregation of guests. Daisy’s Grandfather was a local celebrity, former Cheltenham Town goalkeeper “Mr Lido” Ron Coltman MBE. So in consultation prior to the day, Daisy and James had organised for us to visit the Lido for some photographs. The Lido staff were extremely helpful and organised for Mr Coltman’s iconic bicycle to be accessible. Although the Bayshill Inn had space for the photographs, the Lido was sentimental and visiting this location for the Bride and Groom was a personal touch and something to treasure forever.
The three course meal at the wedding breakfast was traditional pub food, the main was the nation’s favourite, fish and chips. The staff at the Bayshill Inn, Cheltenham were efficient and the food looked like it was being served at a stylish bistro.
If you were sat in the marquee at the hessian fringed tables you would never think you were in a local boozer. Everything was right, from the centre pieces to the charity badge favours, the theme ran perfectly throughout. The whole event was intimate and fun, including elements as you would expect from the ceremony to group photographs and speeches. The Great British weather was very kind to Daisy and James on the day, you would think that the wedding was in the height of summer not the cusp of October.
I personally love rustic and vintage, Daisy and James pulled it off perfectly, even the public walkway next to the pub had it’s charm of autumn colours beginning to appear in the leaves of the trees, the wrought iron railings encasing the tree trunks and running opposite the warm red brick of the pub wall was picturesque. I think they alleyway symbolises the start of the journey down a path for the newlyweds, with their beautiful daughter Bella, from a rustic beginning which was their wedding day.
By using local pubs with function rooms you can save money, enable your guests to have food and drink and help local businesses!
Pub venues in and around Gloucestershire ideal for Weddings!
A gentle flutter of confetti over a newly married couple is a long tradition most couples choose to have on their wedding day. Of course, the best confetti for both photos and the environment is natural petal confetti. Couples only usually have enough for one throw, so how do you ensure you get the magical confetti photo you have been dreaming of?
The confetti shot is one of the most requested by wedding photographers and capturing that moment isn’t as easy as you may think. Shropshire Petals share their 5 top tips on how to get the perfect confetti photo.
1. Discuss your confetti photo with your photographer – Ask to see examples of confetti photos your photographer has already taken to give you an idea of their style. They will probably know the best spot to have your confetti moment, taking into consideration where your venue allows confetti. They will be able to discuss options with you according to lighting and the surroundings, which will all help when it comes to choosing your confetti colours.
2. Choose the best petals for throwing – there are different types of natural petals that can be used for confetti. The best for throwing are small petals such as delphinium or wild flower petals as they are light, which means they fall delicately and slowly. Smaller petals rather than large ones such as roses or hydrangeas will ensure your photographer has plenty of time to capture the magical moment. However, if you are set on a colour only available in larger petals, you can add these to smaller petals to give a colourful, textured effect to your photos.
3. Choose the right colours – this might sound simple, but you will need to consider where your confetti moment will take place – is the background light or dark. Choose colours that stand out with your background, so light or brights for darker backgrounds and darker, mixed colours if your photo is to be taken in an open area.
4. Calculate how much you will need – as a guide, usually about half of your guests will throw confetti. However, depending on the type of shot you want – a photo full of petals or a light shower – you will need to know how much to order. Make sure you have plenty for your guests to throw if you want a fuller shot. You can use the confetti calculator on the website to help.
5. Make sure your guests know how to throw! This might sound ridiculous, as everyone knows how to throw, but remember you only get one chance (unless you have ordered more than enough for a few shots) to capture your confetti moment. The key in a perfect confetti photo is in the throwing. Delegate a member of the bridal party to organise the shot by getting them to ask guests to stand close to each other and throw as high as they can, which will create a perfect flutter – you don’t want confetti thrown directly in your faces!
Tip! If you want a confetti photo taken from above, ask your photographer to take it standing on a ladder or on a balcony above you, for a contemporary confetti photo with an interesting angle.
And it’s as simple as that! Remember to relax and enjoy your perfect moment and cherish the confetti shot forever.
We caught up with Rebecca Douglas to find out 5 reasons why she is a definite contender for your wedding day Photography!
Her natural and romantic style
Rebecca is known for her warm hearted and relaxed approach which helps her create natural and romantic images. You can be sure that having your time together in front of the camera will be more about hanging out with your other half and having a blast, leaving you with a collection beautiful and authentic moments to cherish for a lifetime.
She is a story teller
Everyone tells you your day will fly by at the blink of an eye and its true; the little moments that spark so quickly, all gather together to tell your wedding day story. Rebecca is an expert at blending in with your guests like a friend and capturing the things you didn’t even notice. Honest imagery that really connect you back to the moments they were created is at the heart of what Rebecca does, you can really feel the authenticity breath through her work.
She’s known for her night time photography
Rebecca really knows how to use light – her images are mind blowing. She has been recognised with industry awards and even by Nikon for her use of off camera flash to create some totally epic and individual night time images. What ever the weather or season you can be confident that she will be totally rock it and create you some wow images!
Same day preview of your day
Rebecca gets so excited about each couple she works with, you can see this in everything she does. When she finishes capturing your day, she backs everything up and hand picks some previews on social media that you can then see and share straight away. There is no better feeling than sharing a few of your professional photos the morning after your wedding, leaving you to get excited about the rest of
Super speedy editing of your whole wedding collection
And wait for it, here comes the good bit…..the wait to see your whole wedding collection is minimal. Rebecca is one of the fastest in the industry, you can expect to see your wedding day, beautifully edited and full of wow, within 7-10 working days!
Just think, you could be drinking cocktails on honeymoon, looking through your day or know you have something amazing to look forward to when you come back from your honeymoon.