EXPERT ADVICE

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

The Look Of Love

The Look Of Love

Q My friend had two photographers at her wedding, but we're not sure what the benefits are. What do you suggest?
A Huw and Dale says: Weddings are busy days with lots going on, usually in multiple places at once. While a good photographer knows where they need to be to get the shots that you want, they still can't split themselves in two. When your photographer is shooting the formals, they could be missing important moments or funny candid shots with the rest of the guests. This is where a second photographer becomes invaluable, as they can capture moments otherwise missed.

A second photographer also gives a second view of the day; your main may be at the front of the church while the second is at the back, and your main may be capturing close-ups of the speeches while the second is capturing the audience's reactions.

Ask your photographer if they offer a second shooter, and if they do, ask questions such as: How long have they been shooting weddings? Have you worked with them before? Can I see some work they have shot for you? A word of warning: don't be tempted to find your own second photographer. Besides potentially offending the person who is going to capture the most important day of your life, photographers need to work with people who know their style and how they work. Most professionals will have someone they can immediately suggest, and this will be someone they work well with, meaning your photos will have a consistent style. While a second photographer may not always be necessary, especially if you want a more editorial look, if your focus is on documenting your wedding through candid images, then a second photographer means more of your day can be captured with more wonderful memories to look back on.

Huw and Dale, Huw & Dale Photography

Strike a pose

Strike a pose

Q I'm camera shy and am worried it will show in my big-day pictures – what should I do?
A Amy Maynard says: Lots of people feel uncomfortable in front of the camera, but there's no need! Find a photographer that you feel comfortable with and let them know your anxieties surrounding wedding photography. Ask any questions that you may have and meet up with them for pre-wedding consultations so that you can get to know them on a personal level. If you don't feel comfortable with your photographer, then this will show in your images.

Some photographers specialise in natural, documentary-style images, capturing natural shots throughout the day; this is the style of photography I would suggest for anyone feeling nervous about their wedding photography.

Do some research and create a moodboard of images and share it with your photographer so they can get an idea of the images you like.


Organising a pre-wedding shoot is a great way to get to know your photographer and warm up before the big day. It also gives you an idea of how your photographer works and allows you to experiment with different shots.

Lastly, just relax, have fun with it and don't take yourself too seriously. Take some deep breaths, and try to forget your photographer is there; this is the best way to ensure you look natural in your images.

Amy Maynard, AJ Photography

A moment in time

A moment in time

Q What questions should we ask a photographer before booking?
A Amy Maynard says: Your photographer will probably cover most of the information, however, don't be afraid to ask questions to relieve any concerns you might have. Write a list of everything that you want to ask to ensure you don't forget anything. Here are some questions to consider asking:

How long have you been a wedding photographer for, and can we see some galleries of your recent weddings? It's good to know how much experience a photographer has and a feel for their style. If you don't like their approach, you aren't going to want to book them.

Will you be shooting my wedding yourself? You don't want to make a connection with a photographer only to have a stranger turn up on your wedding day. Some photographers work in teams and may be shooting multiple weddings on the same day.

What's included in your packages, and are the images available copyright free? Be sure you know what is included in each package before you commit, and choose which suits you best. Do you want unlimited images that you can use on social media and for printing? Be clear about what you want from your package, and confirm everything so you don't have any extra costs later.

Don't forget to ask yourself some questions, such as do you feel a positive connection with this photographer and their work? Are you confident in this photographer, and do you trust them to photograph the happiest day of your life? If you're going away from meeting a photographer with worries, you may need to get back in touch and ask more questions. Alternatively, it may be worth speaking with another supplier and go with your gut feeling.

If you love their work and feel confident, then get them booked up before someone steals your date!

Amy Maynard, A.J Photography

A tender moment

A tender moment

Q Are black and white images still popular, and should we have them?
A Amy Maynard says: Black and white wedding images are absolutely still popular! They are classic, romantic and timeless. Black and white images create a certain mood, and I don't think this style of photography will ever be outdated, as it has a vintage, elegant feel to it.

I love a high contrast black and white image to document those emotional moments. Colour images are obviously more vibrant, however black and white images move the focus onto people's faces and their emotions. By taking away the colour, it gives the viewer the chance to recognise some of the finer elements in the photograph.

Amy Maynard, A.J Photography

Hold me close

Hold me close

Q My wife-to-be and I are getting married next spring and would like some shots that reflect the season. Do you have any suggestions?
A Kate Richards says: Spring weddings are perfect for capturing photographs as its the season of growth and new life, with the world bursting to life with flowers. Depending on the month you're getting married in, you'll have a huge selection of blooms growing, so take advantage of them and look for areas of your venue with plants in abundance or take a trip off site to find some beautiful flowers.

My favourite month is late April when the cherry blossoms bloom. These pink and white flowers can be used to create a frame, included in your bouquet or featured throughout your décor. This is also the time when bluebells spring to life which can add a lovely carpet of colour to your portrait shots.

Kate Richards, Kate Richards Photography

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

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

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

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

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

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