FAQs and expert advice about photography

Here is a selection of Q&As from Your South Wales Wedding magazine whether it be about flowers, hair and makeup, fashion, wedding themes, health & beauty, cakes, stationery, legal advice. If you would like your question answered by our experts, please email it to editor@yoursouthwales.wedding


Snap happy

Snap happy

Q. How long before the wedding should we book our photographer and is it worth organising a pre-wedding shoot with them?

A. Paul Davies says: Before the pandemic, most couples would book their photographer around a year before the wedding, but this has all changed over the past year. I'm currently getting bookings for 2023 and 2024 as I think couples are finding it hard to get a date for 2022 due to the knock-on effect of weddings being postponed over the last 16 months. Nearly all of my availability for the popular dates in spring, summer and autumn particularly during school holidays in 2022 were booked up months ago. To get your first or second choice photographer, you will need to book early!

It's a good idea to book a pre-wedding or engagement photo shoot with your chosen photographer if either or both of you are not very confident in front of the camera. This will give you an idea of what to expect on your wedding day, so hopefully, you will feel a bit more relaxed when it comes to your portraits.

Paul Davies, Paul Davies Photography


Moments that matter

Moments that matter

Q. We're clueless when it comes to photography. Is there a list of shots we should ask our photographer to capture?

A. James Matthews says: Having a photo checklist depends on what type of photographer you're looking for. A traditional photographer will take posed photographs, while a candid photojournalistic may not take any. Some will take a combination and may ask you for a list of essential shots. For example, you might want a group portrait with your family and another with your guests. The internet is loaded with sample lists to help give you some ideas. Talk to your supplier and they will be able to advise you whether or not they require a shot list from you. Most photographers will have lots of experience and will know what pictures to take.

James Matthews, Eyes2Me Photography


Snap happy

Snap happy

Q. Most photographers offer an engagement shoot, but we're camera shy and don't know if it's for us. What are the benefits?

A. Michael Lundbeck says: We usually do the engagement photo shoot around four to six weeks before the wedding day. This is so we can chat about the day, but the main point is to get to know each other.

- As it may have been more than 12 months since you have seen or been in contact with your photographer, it's a nice way to touch base.

- Use the time to get full details about the timings of your wedding day.

- Get to know your photographer as they would be following you all day, so it's very important that you get on.

- It's very important to find out how your supplier works, as it will help everything flow better on the day.

Michael Lundbeck, One Vision Photography


Love through a lens

Love through a lens

Q. What should we ask a potential photographer before booking?

A. Paul Davies says: The first thing you need to do is a little research. Ask friends and family for recommendations and look at various websites to get an idea of what style you like. Every photographer has their own technique, so if you want a particular look, check to see if it's something they can offer.

- We tend to get booked up 12 to 18 months in advance, so start by seeing if your chosen supplier is available on your date. It's important you meet in person to find out more about their work and decide whether you gel with them. Ask to see a few wedding albums of the whole day instead of just a few select pictures.

- What are their packages and prices? How much is the deposit and when does the balance need to be paid? Find out if there are any extra costs for a second shooter or travel expenses. It's also worth looking at their packages and seeing if they offer half or full-day options.

- Do they have insurance? All professional photographers should have Public Liability and Professional Indemnity Insurance.

- How long do they stay? I usually start around two-and-a-half hours before the ceremony and stay until an hour after the first dance or later if there are fireworks.

- Have they shot at your venue before? If I haven't, I would usually go and check it out beforehand and speak to the wedding coordinator.

- Do you need to feed them? Usually yes if they're staying after the wedding breakfast. A lot of venues will feed the photographer, but some will charge you.

- Do you need to make a list of shots? Most do the standard groups, but if you have something in mind, ask your photographer.

- Finally, I always recommend that the happy couple take out wedding insurance just in case they have to cancel or postpone. It's very cheap and could save you a lot of money in the long run.

Paul Davies, Paul Davies Photography


The look of love

The look of love

Q. We're looking at photographers and were wondering what questions we should ask before booking?

A. Andrew Cockerill says: This is a question I see pop up all the time on social media. Start by talking to your photographer, and get to know each other on a personal level. This is important as you'll be spending more time with them on your wedding day than you will with your husband!

- If your photographer can't attend your wedding, do they know someone who can fill in last minute?

- Make sure everything is in writing, and you understand how the final product is going to be delivered to you. Some photographers provide albums and digital files as part of their package and others deliver them via The Cloud or USB. It's important you know exactly what you're getting to avoid disappointment.

- Find out how much additional products cost as you don't want any surprises when it comes to paying the bill.

- The amount of photos you get varies, but it's always good to ask, so you know what to expect before booking.

- Anyone can show you a portfolio of 40 or 50 images, but you must see a full gallery to get a true representation of what you'll be getting on the day.

Andrew Cockerill, Andrew Cockerill Photography


Snap happy

Snap happy

Q. How can we ensure our photographer is the right fit for our big day?

A. Carmel Teresa Mccabe says: Never be afraid to ask questions. Have a good idea of the type of things you want from your photographer and make a list of what's important to you, such as do they offer albums and is a second shooter an option?

Make sure your chosen supplier is insured and enquire about their cancellation policies just in case the worse was to happen. Do they have back-up equipment and how many hours of coverage do they offer? Finally, always go through the contract thoroughly before signing!

Carmel Teresa Mccabe, Carmel Teresa Mccabe

When it's time for you look for local businesses to help you with your wedding, take a look at our advertisements below. Most will have links to their own websites. These advertisements are updated regularly so please revisit often and mention Your South Wales Wedding when making any enquiries.