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

 

Moments that matter

Moments that matter

Q. What should we expect from a pre-wedding shoot and is it worth booking one?

A. Claire Roige says: When you mention a pre-wedding shoot or an engagement shoot, I think most people envisage cheesy posing that looks a bit silly and doesn't feel like them. Dismiss that notion immediately because that's not what we're going for!

When I book clients in for a pre-wedding shoot it serves three main purposes; we get to know each other and build a rapport before your wedding, we will test out a few different posing ideas so we can see what works for you and what kind of 'looks' you like and finally you will have some lovely images to incorporate into your wedding plans. The first two points are (in my opinion) the most important. Weddings are hectic; there are so many moving parts and lots of emotions going on, so if you already know your photographer well, feel comfortable around them (and maybe have a few inside jokes), then it'll feel less like having a stranger in the room with you.

Your wedding day will go very quickly, therefore it can save a bunch of time if you and your partner already know which kind of photos you like and how you're going to pose. It also makes it way more fun!

Claire Roige, Claire Roige Photography
www.claireroigephotography.co.uk

 

Counting the pennies

Counting the pennies

Q. We want to book our photographer and were wondering how we can keep the price down without compromising on quality?

A. Paul Davies Photography says: The first thing you need to do is decide on a realistic budget. You can pay anything from £500 to £2,500 or more. Keep in mind that the most expensive photographer is not necessarily the best and the cheapest may not be the worst. Start by speaking to any friends or family that have recently been married and find out what they paid to give you an idea of the cost.

Next, decide how long you would like your photographer to be at your wedding. Do you want preparation photos, a full day up to your first dance, or just to the wedding breakfast and speeches? This can help lower the price.

Before reaching out, check out a photographer's website to see if their style fits what you're looking for.

Remember to send as much information as possible to a photographer when asking for a quote and keep in mind that if it sounds too good to be true then it probably is!

Paul Davies Photography, Paul Davies
www.paul-daviesphotography.co.uk

 

Ready, set, posr

Ready, set, posr

Q. Is it worth having a pre-wedding photo shoot?

A. Megan-Sian Vickery says: A pre-wedding shoot is a perfect opportunity for you to meet your photographer while they're working their camera. See how you interact with each other and ask yourself, are they someone you feel comfortable around? Could you spend all day with them?

Having your photo taken is not something people do every day, and you might feel uncomfortable just at the thought. That being the case, a pre-wedding shoot offers you the perfect opportunity to feel at ease in front of the camera so that when the big day arrives, you'll look and, most importantly, feel comfortable. If you have any questions or worries, a pre-wedding shoot can help ease your mind.

Megan-Sian Vickery, Megan-Siân Photography
www.megan-sianphotography.com

 

Picture perfect

Picture perfect

Q. What should we take into consideration when booking our photographer?

A. Ian Gilbert says: There are many things to take into account when looking for your photographer, but here are a few of the main ones:

Are they busy? Do they post new work on their social media pages and websites frequently?

Ask to look at previous galleries. An active photographer is a busy photographer, and that brings experience for every eventuality, whether it be rain or shine, and also some amazing creative images and ideas. They will know what's happening before you do. This may be the first time you have done something like this, but for a good photographer, it may be their 500th.

Do they have great reviews? It takes time and effort to leave a review and only truly happy customers will go that extra mile and sing the photographer's praises. If they do not have many reviews, then that may be something you want to take into consideration.

You need to click! You're going to be spending the whole day with the person you choose, so do you get on? It will show in the images if you have a connection with your photographer and they put your mind at ease.

Are they fully insured? If they were to knock the cake over, damage part of the venue, or even not deliver your images, they must be covered.

Ask what happens if they get ill? It happens so do they have a backup plan? A good photographer will have a close group of other photographers who all help each other out if need be.

Do they carry spare equipment? You get one shot at capturing your once-in-a-lifetime day and cameras are massively complex devices and can and do fail, so it's worth asking.

Ian Gilbert, Emotion Picture Photography
www.emotionpicture.co.uk

 

Cutting the costs

Cutting the costs

Q. I want lovely photographs, but am limited by our budget. Do you have any suggestions on how we can save money?

A. Claire Roige says: Start by getting your FBI cap on and doing some research into what style of photography you like and what approach you want your photographer to have. You're going to be with this person, up close and personal, for a very long and emotional day, so you need to have faith in them and feel comfortable around them to get the most out of your wedding photos. Here are a few ideas to help try and save those pennies:

- Make a list of the events you most want to be photographed on the day. Can you squeeze all of those into three or four hours? If so, ask your photographer if they offer smaller wedding packages with just a few hours of coverage – most of us do.

- Ask about payment plans. These are becoming increasingly popular as an affordable, convenient way of paying, particularly if you're booking one to two years in advance.

- If you own a business, you could offer a service that your photographer may benefit from in exchange or as partial payment for their work. Maybe a car service or web design, anything really. As long as it's proposed respectfully, there is no harm in asking.

- You could look for a photographer who is new to the world of weddings and is building their portfolio. However, if you do this, make sure that they are insured, confident and experienced with their camera and have backup equipment. This can be a riskier option, but if you ask the right questions, it could be a great win-win for you and your novice photographer

Claire Roige, Claire Roige Photography
www.claireroigephotography.co.uk

 

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
www.paul-daviesphotography.co.uk

 

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
www.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
www.1visionphotography.com

 

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
www.paul-daviesphotography.co.uk

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.