How will your Wedding Photography work

A Little Explanation of how the Platinum Package works


Most of my wedding clients have usually never been married before and are unsure of how things will go.  I never mind explaining this in person or over the phone and I am always available to answer questions, but I wrote this little informal guide which explains how I work, what to expect and also explain the whole process from start to finish.

Firstly About myself

I am a full time photographer who lives and works in Wakefield, although from Wakefield I happily photograph weddings all over Yorkshire and Humberside. Its a lovely job to have, one day I’ll be in Hull, the next in Skipton, the next in York. I travel extensively and enjoy it very much. I never charge for traveling, I charge a set price and that set price doesn’t change regardless.  My Wedding Photography career has lasted over 10 years and in that time I have probably photographed over a 1000 weddings.  I am also an energetic photographer, many couples have seen me climbing trees to shake the blossom onto the happy couple whilst my assistant photographs the falling blossom,  jumping over walls to get a better shot, rummaging in bushes to give the shot a natural feel, lying on the floor to get a better angle and much more. To me this is what photographers do. I am not a stand there type of guy.  I want the best shot and if I have to be energetic to get it then its a no brainer.

At the same time I am professional, friendly and personal. Its one of the resounding things couples say in feedback. I’m not overly serious but at the same time I’m not going to act in an inappropriate manner, its your big day and as such I’ll be professional in my approach albeit usually quite relaxed.

The equipment I use is Nikon, all of the equipment I use is Nikon Professional grade equipment and the studio does hold Nikon Professional status on the equipment it possesses.  Why ? The simple reality is that a £2000 lenses will always produce better results than a £200 lenses. Your paying a professional, you should expect that professional to have the best equipment for the task. High quality equipment doesn’t make you a good photographer, but good equipment in the right hands is vitally important.

I am also recognised by the International Society of Portrait and Wedding Photographers, I hold 2 ranks, the 1st is Licentiate (LSWPP) which basically shows my work has been checked and is suitable for a photographer, the 2nd rank is Associate (ASWPP) which shows my work has been checked in more detail and is professionally recognised for excellence and is in the top 10% of all photographers world wide.  You can see verification of this HERE

Booking & Before the Wedding

If you like the work, are happy with the packages and pricing then your welcome to make a booking.  I keep lots of examples of work on the website and regularly update the Photo blog so people can see what I am doing, where I am working and get a good idea of my style and quality of work.  I also have a studio and office in Wakefield city centre where people are welcome to visit by appointment to meet me, see printed examples of completed works and generally just discuss everything.  Some people book online, some visit the studio, neither is a problem and neither is either any trouble.   If after seeing the work you are happy with what you see, then clients are welcome to make a booking.

I charge a £100 deposit for Wedding Photography, and £150 for Wedding Photography and Photobooth hire. This can be paid in the office, on the website, or over the telephone. Once a booking is made I work on a very simple, old fashioned booking system that has served me well for over a 1000 weddings. I simply get out my diary, cross the date out and write your names into the diary.  That way I can see at a glance what dates are available and whats booked making it impossible to ever become double booked.

After a booking, the plan is then to wait. The dates safe but its a little too early to plan things at this stage so we just wait until about 6 weeks prior to the wedding.  6 weeks is chosen because its at this point that couples usually have the final meeting with the venue. We can meet before this meeting, and I can provide advice on timings and how things will work, or we can meet after this meeting when you know the timings that the venue has created.

Its at this point where we talk about your wedding, Many weddings run along a similar path but each is different and unique in the details and its important we talk about these details.  This meeting usually lasts an hour, and is done at the studio in Wakefield. During the meeting we will talk about timings, locations, ideas, things important to you, Group shots and many more. Group shots are what most people consider the formal element of the wedding and everyone is a little different in what family connections they have, so by talking about the group shots I can get a clear picture of what you would like taking.

After this meeting its just a case of waiting again until the wedding day.

I always prepare for weddings, I always plan for weddings and I’ll always be professional but personal in dealing with weddings.

On your Wedding day

Once all of the planning and preparation has been completed, its time for your big day. Generally with the platinum package we arrive a couple of hours before the time of the Ceremony, My assistant will go to the bride to photograph her getting ready, capture all of the details such as shoes, dress, special items etc as well as capturing the mood and excitement.  I will visit the men or meet the men when they arrive at the ceremony for a few photographs.  During the ceremony things are very natural and as unobtrusive as possible. Unless absolutely necessary we don’t flash in the wedding ceremony as we don’t want to create any distractions or be noticed any more than we have to be.  During the Ceremony one of us remains at the back whilst one hides at the front so they can see your faces and other important details such as the exchange of rings.

Most Registrars / Vicars / Priests ask that no photographs are taken during the actual signing of the register (This is official policy) and as such we respect those wishes.  However once the legal documents are signed the bride and groom are usually then set up for a mock signing with a blank register in front of them.  Again this is standard practice and registrars will clearly let everyone know that photographing the actual register isn’t permitted in any way.

After the ceremony, I would usually suggest a confetti photograph (If people have brought some and the venue permits it which most venues contrary to popular belief do). After the confetti shots its usually time for a big group shot and then I’ll work through any family / group shots that you’ve asked for.  This is what most people consider the formal part of the wedding as up until this point the photography has been quite natural and merely photographing whats happening.   I will photograph as little or few group shots as you wish, For a rough idea of timings group shots generally on average take about 2 to 3 minutes per group shot. My recommendation would be between 6 and 10 group shots, so maybe 15-30 minutes.

Whilst one of us photographs the group shots, the other one will remain quite natural and seek to photograph what else is happening, capturing the moments you don’t see as well as the little details such as how the room looks, the little details in the room where you’ll be eating and much more.

Once the group shots are completed, its normally time for the Bride and Groom.  Every bride and groom are different, every venue is different but most couples wish for Bride and Groom pictures.  Some of the common things I hear from people is “I don’t like my photograph taking”, “I’m not a posey person”.  Thats fine, you are not alone, a lot of people are like you and its not a problem.  I would however suggest to try a few things and see how it goes. Normally couples have somewhere between 15 and 30 minutes of bride and groom time on the day. Some people only want a few minutes, some want more. Nothing is ever a problem. Everyone is different, I completely understand and instead choose to work with your strengths. Some people like traditional pictures, some like light hearted, some like it to appear natural, its not a problem I hear it all the time and know how to deal with it.

After the group shots and Bride and Groom,  Photography take a more natural turn again.

I’ll be there when you walk in for the wedding breakfast, I would have already photographed the room setup and look, cake and other details. Once you’ve entered the room and sat down I’ll leave the room whilst people are eating.  I’ll be back once the food has been cleared and its time for the speeches.  Again this is all very natural, we both work with a combination of wide and zoom lenses. This allows us to photograph how things look as well as zooming in close to capture the looks, cheeky smiles, tears and more.  Once the speeches are finished this marks the end of the more formal aspect of the day and my assistant will leave at this point to start backing up and securing the photographs.

I will remain and be around capturing anything that happen right up until the 1st dance has finished. I am open to any photographs the couple would like during this period, most people prefer just natural shots in this period although sometimes a beautiful sunset, or a unique night shot is available in which case I very happy to take them.

After the day

After the day, is just as important as what happens on the day and afterwards is where the bulk of my time is spent. It takes a day to photograph your wedding, but then several days to sort, process, develop and work on what was taken.  People commonly call this “Photoshopping”, I call it post production.  This is where I look through your photographs take out the ones where your eyes are closed, are slightly mis-focused, where someone has photo bombed at just the wrong moment  or just aren’t of an acceptable standard.

Then what I am left with, usually 400-600 images are then processed, edited and given professional processing over the course of several days. Some people like black and white, some like colour, some like various vintage tones. We would have discussed this in the pre wedding meeting so I know exactly what you like and would have followed your direction in post production.

After this, the images are sent to a professional photographic lab for printing at 6x4inch.  Once you return from your honeymoon I ask all couples to contact me. I’ll arrange for you to check the work. Once the work has been checked, you’ll be given the 6x4inch prints, the photographs will be uploaded to a web gallery, and you’ll receive the images in high resolution.  With  albums its not possible to provide the USB right away, the reason is that the USB sticks come from the lab and the lab tells me that they’ll only supply the USB’s when they supply the album.  If your a digital package you can have the images right away as the work has been finished.

I take pride in my work, care about my reputation and offer an amazing after service so if you wish anything changing I am only ever a phone call/text/facebook message/email away.  Although the work has been done, I am still happy to help if you require anything. I’m never going to say I’ve finished so go away, I’ll always provide help and support where possible for as long as possible.

I ordered a Wedding Album or Storybook

The next step is now to pick between 50 and 75 images that you wish to go into your album or storybook. Every printed Photograph has a code on the back, every image on the web gallery has the same code, this is how I identify your photographs from now on. The codes are usually A123 or B229. The letter tells me which photographer has taken the photograph and what number photograph it is.  So by saying A123 I can quickly go into your photographs and know what picture it is that your talking about.

Before we move on.. We both want to have more photographs in the album, and it is very competitive between us behind the scenes.  Whoever loses will be in charge of making cups of tea and coffee that day.  So when choosing your favorites remember whoever scores the lowest amount of photographs in the album is going to be the tea boy/girl that day.

Once you have emailed your album choices to us, they go into my design queue. From here I will arrange the photographs and create the layout of how the album will look, if you’ve any favorites that you would like big just let me know and I’ll make sure it happens for you.  Once the design is complete I’ll upload the proofs to the gallery for you to inspect, some people want to change a few things which isn’t a problem, Some people are happy to print right away.

The album is then prepared and sent to the lab for print and will return shortly as a beautifully printed storybook.

Then the end….

Once the album has arrived back at the studio we’ll let you know, you can come and collect it and we can say our goodbyes.