I know that choosing a photographer is not something most people do that often so I hope this page can answer any questions you may have.
How would you describe your approach?
It's informed by work for many years as a photojournalist. I’m telling the real story of the wedding day, with a calm and thoughtful approach where composition, lighting and natural moments count for more than rushing around and snapping away.
I'll be watching for beautiful light and anticipating natural moments from getting ready in the morning until the party on the dance floor late into the night. I don’t set anything up and I don’t ask people to pose. Your pictures will be real and unscripted and this is why they will mean so much to you in the future.
We will take time for a short wander for some pictures of the two of you - it’s actually a nice quiet moment for you together, probably your first minutes alone as a married couple. We will keep this bit natural too - not stiff and formal but relaxed and spontaneous. You’ll be chatting and laughing together so it won’t really feel like posing and I won’t keep you away from your guests for ages either.
But doesn't almost every wedding photographer work in a documentary style these days?
Yes, many do, (and many more claim to) but I bring the experience of 15 years as a photojournalist for The Times. I have covered the war zones and news stories from all over the UK and around the world. You learn to think on your feet and adapt to the situation while the pressure is on, whilst staying aware of everything going on around you. Operating the camera is second nature, all your mental effort is directed to capturing the moment, and anticipating the next one, whilst still using the best light and concentrating on composition. This is just as true on the front line as it is at a wedding. To me a wedding day is a story, much like an assignment for a newspaper or magazine, and I bring the same skills to every wedding I photograph.
Will you organise everyone on the wedding day?
My approach is to photograph the day as it unfolds naturally, so I won't be asking people to pose, setting up shots or organising the running of the day. Having said that I'm always happy to help out where necessary, and over they years I've helped zip up a few wedding dresses, popped a few reluctant Champagne corks and sorted out more buttonholes and corsages than I can remember!
We would like a few groups shots too.
Even when you are looking for natural documentary photography, it’s fine to have some group shots! Weddings are important milestones when families come together and these photographs will become the historical documents of the future. I suggest just a few though, (up to ten or so is great) as they take up time that you could be enjoying with your guests. I’ll make it fun - I’m not bossy or shouty, and nobody likes hanging around for ages, so it won’t take long, then everyone can get back to the party!
Do you include a second photographer?
In general, my clients prefer a low-key approach to the photography, so I usually work alone which allows me to be unobtrusive and blend in with guests. Most of the weddings you see on my website will have been my work alone. At the beginning of the day I prioritise the bride's preparations but I can usually photograph the groom at that stage of the day too - even if at different locations, in which case I would leave enough time to capture some great shots of the boys before the ceremony - usually having a drink to steady the nerves! I really only recommend a second photographer at larger weddings and when I do use one I only use those I trust to work to my style and standard. A second photographer costs £500.
What can we do with the photographs - do we have the copyright?
You can do what you like with the photographs for personal use, so this means you can print them, share them with family and friends and post them on social media, but you can't sell them! I'm very happy to provide photographs for free for your other suppliers too, but I ask that you refer them to me.
Do we get the full-size, high-resolution photographs?
Yes, the photographs are full-sized high-resolution files without branding or watermarks. Your friends and family can also download the photographs from the private online gallery and there is a facility to order prints.
Are you insured?
I have public liability insurance and professional indemnity insurance. I use professional cameras and lenses, and I carry spares of everything in case of equipment failure. My cameras take two memory cards, so every shot is automatically saved on separate cards. These cards do not leave my possession until they are backed up on to multiple hard-drives in my office. I also usually back up to my laptop during the wedding breakfast.
What cameras do you use?
I usually bring three cameras with me to a wedding. I use two professional Canon 5DMklll bodies and a smaller discrete Leica. I bring a wide selection of lenses, but my favourites, and the ones on my cameras most of the time are Canon L-Series prime lenses, the 50mm f1.2, 24mm f1.4 and 135mm f2.0. For the best quality I always shoot in RAW format.
We have a candle-lit ceremony in December. Can you work in low light?
Yes, definitely. If there is enough light to see, then there is enough for me to work and capture the atmosphere of the scene without destroying it with a blast of flash.
Will you need to come and visit the venue?
I actually prefer to have fresh eyes on the day. Visiting a venue in advance is of little benefit as the weather and time of year will almost certainly be different.
As I don’t set photographs up, my strength from years of experience as a documentary photographer is to make the best use of the light and environment as I find it. However, I do usually arrive at the venue early on the day and have a good look around to get the feel of the place and identify some good spots for the portraits and the groups.
Do we need to feed you on the day?
I ask that you provide me with a hot meal if coverage extends beyond the wedding breakfast. It’s a long day on my feet so some hot food is very welcome. However I do appreciate that it may not always be possible, in which case I ask you to let me know beforehand.
Can we see testimonials from other couples?
Yes! There are loads of testimonials here. I also usually include a verbatim testimonial from the couple in the blog post of their wedding on my website. If you scroll through some recent weddings, you’ll see what they have said. Also most of my work comes from recommendations, so I guess the fact that I'm so busy is a testimonial in itself!
Can we meet you before we book?
Yes of course, but it’s not compulsory. These days most people prefer to chat over Skype or FaceTime. If you would like to meet, it’s a great chance to get to know each other. I’d love to hear all about your plans for the day and I can show you some more of my work and a few albums. I usually meet clients at my home in Epsom, Surrey where we can relax and chat over a glass of wine, but I can pop into central London too if that works better.
Could we order an album at a later date?
You can order an album at any time after the wedding. In fact this is what many of my couples do.
Can you offer us a discount, as that’s a little bit more than we wanted to spend?
I’m lucky that I have more wedding enquiries than I could ever take on, so I don’t generally discount my prices.
Your wedding photographs are a priceless and unrepeatable record of your day and they are the only part of your wedding budget that will last a lifetime. So it’s definitely worth getting the photographer you really want.
What if you are unable to make it due to illness or something?
It has never happened, but of course there is always a chance, so I have a backup plan in place. I am part of several networks of great photographers and I would do everything possible to find you a replacement who works in a similar style, even at short notice.
We're having a videographer too.
That's great. I'm really happy working with videographers and film-makers. I can even recommend some.
Ok, we would like to book – what do we do now?
Head over to the contact page to let me know and I’ll send you the booking form and contract. There is a £500 deposit which secures the date for you. If you would like to meet first to get to know each other, that’s great. We can meet in London or Surrey. When I’ve received the signed contract and deposit then the day is reserved for you and any further enquiries for the date are turned away. The balance is payable one month before the date of the wedding. We will stay in touch periodically before the wedding date, and schedule a short phone call in the week before the wedding, just to confirm final timings, locations and any other details.
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