Archives for General Info

How to Get the Most From Your Wedding Photographer – 7 Tips for Awesome Wedding Photography!

Choosing a wedding photographer is a big (and often expensive) job that you want to get right first time. Once you have picked your date and booked the venue, the next thing to do is to start thinking about your wedding photographer. Good photographers are often booked years in advance so it is well worth doing your research and sending out a few enquiries early on.

Aside from the rings and the dress, your wedding photos will be your main reminders of the day and can even fill in parts that were a bit of a blur at the time, so it is worth getting it right! I have compiled my top seven tips for getting the best wedding photography, from booking the right photographer to ideas for the day itself. I hope that they help make the minefield of wedding photography a little easier to navigate!

1. Like your photographer

Sounds super obvious, but don’t just book someone because you like their pictures (although this is important!). If your photographer is not someone you are comfortable with, it’s not going to be much fun being around them all day. Whilst other wedding suppliers will come and go throughout the day, your photographer will be nearby the whole time – even when you are getting changed and saying your vows – so you need to like them. I always meet up with couples before they book and I don’t take it personally if I’m not the right person for them (although with all the couples I have met with, to date, have booked – so I must be all right!). If your photographer is the sort of person that you would invite even if they weren’t photographing the day, you are onto a winner!

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2. Relax and forget about your photographer:

Now that you’ve found someone that you like having around (yay!), just ignore them. Don’t worry, I won’t think you are being rude, it is just that the best natural photographs are definitely the ones when you have no idea they are being taken. Plus, you have much bigger things to be thinking about on your wedding day!

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3. Trust your photographer

So so important: your photographer is a professional and has been to many, many weddings and knows the drill. You chose them for a reason and they don’t need a long and detailed list of shots to take. I love all the touches that make up a wedding and will capture every little detail and moment of your day without being told to. That being said, it is always helpful to know of anything particularly meaningful to you such as a family heirloom broach in your bouquet or a relative who will be leaving early in the day etc..

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4. Leave plenty of time

Not just for the group shots (if you are planning on them) but during the rest of the day too. I will usually see a bride 2-3 hours before the service to get some candid getting ready shots as well as the dress, shoes and flowers before they are needed. This may seem like a long time, but the day will go by so fast and before you know it you will be dressed and being whisked down the aisle! So you may want to allow for some time to get photos before having to leave for the service.

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I usually recommend keeping group shots to around 7-8 different groups. Even though I work fast each shot can take around 5 minutes to set up and take, especially if someone important has wandered off! Before the day I will go through the list of group shots with the couple and advise on timings etc., so that you are not spending any longer doing group shots than is needed.

Wedding Photogrpahy tips-34Couple shots can also take as long or as little as your would like; some people want to leave more time to party and others are happy to try lots and get lots more photos. I don’t mind either way, but around 30 minutes is perfect for me to try a few different backdrops and give you a lovely range of images. Using the time before the wedding breakfast, when your guests are getting seated works well, as does later in the day when the sun starts to set and the light gets all lovely and romantic.

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5. Use lots of natural light

Natural light is so flattering and is always better for beautiful photographs. If you can, get ready in a room with as many windows as possible. If you have a professional make up artist they will most likely position you to face the light. If you want those dreamy, romantic shots then leave a bit of time just before the sun sets to pop outside for some shots.

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6. Have an engagement shoot

An engagement shoot is not only a fun way to spend a couple of hours but it is also a great way to get to know your photographer and get used to being in front of the camera. I find that when I do an engagement shoot for a couple, they start their wedding day much more relaxed and happy with me around, which is a big advantage for everyone and one less stress.

I am normally happy to do a free engagement shot for couples who have booked their wedding photography with me for this reason, plus it gets me out and about in the off-season! Another bonus: photos for possible save the date cards…

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7. Talk to your officiant about photography

Many couples really cherish the photos taken during the ceremony, partly because it is arguably the most important part of the day, but also because it can be a bit of a blur!

Wedding Photogrpahy tips-35Some churches will not allow photography during the service and some officiants who have had perhaps more ‘pushy’ photographers will naturally be a bit hesitant to allow someone free rein to take photos during the ceremony. It’s important to check beforehand and have realistic expectations for your ceremony.

Wedding Photogrpahy tips-41I will always introduce myself to the officiant beforehand and as a rule I don’t use flash and will move around subtly to get the best shots. Also, you don’t want to be staring down the lens of a camera when you are saying your vows, which is why I use a long focal length to be as far away as possible while capturing these beautiful moments.

Wedding Photogrpahy tips-27So if you are planning your wedding and looking for a photographer, just get in touch and tell me all about your day!

Alice x

Categories: Weddings and General Info.

2015 – Highlights of a Year of Beautiful Weddings!

I think I say this every year but what an amazing year it has been! Not only has it been my busiest year to date with lots of weddings, babies and engagements but I have also had the fun (and a lot of sleepless nights) of a very loud bouncy baby myself!

It has been such an honour to be a part of so many amazing wedding days and I am truly blessed to have had such amazingly cool couples to work with. Thank you all for making me feel welcomed and a part of your special days, there has been so much laughter (and a few tears!) and I have left every wedding feeling like I have been almost part of a new family for the day. I am so so lucky to love my job and can’t wait for all the wedding buzz to start again in 2016.

I will let the photos do the talking with my highlights of 2015, scrolling fingers at the ready…

 

Categories: Weddings and General Info.

Natural and Fun Wedding Group Photos

It is that time of year when I am busy meeting lots of new couples for next years weddings (yay!), I love hearing about all the plans and details of what to expect and when I ask what they would like from their photography the answer is usually “natural and relaxed photos”, which is great as this is what I do (and probably why they got in touch!). When the subject of group shots come up, most people seem to want to get them over with quickly, and generally don’t look forward to that section of the day. A lot of people don’t relish the idea of standing and smiling at a camera for ages until their jaws ache or are just plain uncomfortable with their picture being taken.

Personally, I love the group shots! They don’t have to be boring, dull and take ages. It is usually a point in the day when you have *just* got married and are deliriously happy surrounded by all your loved ones, who also want to take your picture! I think it’s important to have fun with your photographer so this is reflected in the more posed shots. It helps that I don’t boss people around or get you to stand for hours, I just make sure all the people you want in a group are present (sometimes with a bit of help from a friendly usher or bridesmaid) and capture you all at your most awesome and happy best!

The following are some of my favourite group shots from the last year, they are relaxed, happy and natural and I had a blast taking them-I hope the wedding parties felt the same way, but from their expressions I think they did! See what you think and don’t dread the group shots any longer!

Categories: Weddings and General Info.

What to expect from your wedding photographer.

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From your first search for a wedding photographer to getting your finished photos, wedding photography can be a bit of a minefield for an engaged couple. After all, it is probably the first time in your life that you have ever wanted to hire a professional photographer. So this post is to help guide you through the whole process. I can’t speak for every photographer, but this is my way of working and what you can expect from me.

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Firstly, wedding photography should be fun. Your wedding is one of the happiest days of your life and the last thing you want is to be bossed around by a stranger who you wouldn’t have invited if they weren’t taking photos! At this early stage only two things are really important:

1. You like the style of photos the photographer takes. This is easy enough to check out via the blog, website and Facebook etc.

2. You like the actual photographer. This is much harder to gauge over a screen which is why I love to meet all of my couples in person before a booking is made. You can decide if you want me around all day at your wedding (everyone that I have met with so far has booked, so I can’t be that bad to have around!) and I can get a feel for your vision of the day and how you want that reflected in your photos.

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Once you are happy with my style and me – phew! – it’s time to book. As long as I have your date free, all I need is a £100 deposit and a completed booking form. I won’t push you to book or do a hard sell; this is a big decision after all! However, if I get other enquiries for your date, I may give you a nudge to decide.

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Assuming that you have booked a few months in advance, there may be a slight lull on the wedding photography front, as I won’t need to see you again until much nearer the day. Although, I am always at the end of the phone or email if you need any further advice, want some help with timings, can’t find a cake maker (I know lots of fab people I can recommend) or you just want to share an awesome photo from pinterest etc..

Before the day I like to visit your venue with you. Even if I have shot weddings there before, your ideas and views will be unique to you, and I want to incorporate them into your photography. We will also go over any group shots that you want, decide on a wet weather plan (that hopefully won’t be needed!) and the timings for the day. It doesn’t matter if things run late (as they often do) or out of order, I will be there all day and can swing with the punches! The more I know about you and your ideas, the easier my job is and the more personal your photos will be.

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Once the big day comes around, depending on what you have planned, I will be around in the morning for all the bustle of preparations; the make up and hair, the champagne, the group hugs all the way through to your first dance in the evening. I don’t like to count the hours and will stay for all the events that we have agreed to – usually around 10 hours is enough for this but if you have anything else planned I would love to know and stick around!

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Whilst you’re still getting used to being married (take it from me it takes ages to sink in!) I will be busy looking through your photos and editing them all for you. I will put a small selection of photos on my Facebook page as a little preview so you can tag and share with your guests. Also I’m happy to send you any of these preview images in high resolution if you want to use them as your thank you cards. The rest of your photos will arrive on a USB stick in the post around 6-8 weeks later, although it could be less in quieter months. You will also have a password-protected online gallery with all of your photos and a lovely blog post featuring your best bits! All of the photos I give you will be in high resolution in both colour and black & white, with no silly watermarks. They are yours to use as you wish, so please print them out, hang them on the wall and enjoy them!

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If you have ordered an album, or have decided to after the day, the next step is to get that sorted. I will design you a proof, either from scratch or with your input using your favourite shots, and once you’ve ok’d it and chosen all the fun details like cover material, colour, fancy bags etc., it will be off to the printers and yours within 3-4 weeks.

I would definitely recommend an album for your wedding photos. It is such a lovely way to display them and share them with others; the quality is amazing and they will last a lifetime, so something to show the grandchildren one day! Some couples even like to ask family for their wedding album as a gift. I use the fab Folio albums in Yorkshire for my albums and have stacks of samples to look through.

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After all that you are done, married, with beautiful photos to remember your day by! I hope that this guide has been helpful for your wedding photography. If you would be interested in booking me as your wedding photographer, just get in touch with a few details about your day (date, venue etc.) either by email at alice@rowancoombs.co.uk, phone on 07591 702054 or by my contact form, and we’ll go from there.

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Categories: General Info.