FAQs and expert advice about photography

Here is a selection of Q&As from Your West Midlands 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@yourwestmidlands.wedding


Hold me close

Hold me close

Q. My wife-to-be and I are both camera shy and are feeling anxious about having our photos taken on our wedding day, but also want a lovely album to look back on. Can you offer us some advice?

A. Paul Mc Ardle says: Allow me to let you in on a little secret, 95 per cent of couples that I have enjoyed photographing over the years also, initially, were just like you, so take comfort in the knowledge that you're not alone with this concern. So, where do you start?

Choosing the right person to be your photographer is the first step towards overcoming your anxiety. Research reviews, how did the photographer you are considering make other couples feel?

Now that you've chosen the right person as your photographer, why not arrange a pre-wedding shoot? Get all those feelings out of the way so that you don't have to deal with them on the most important day of your life. With the right person behind the camera, they will go out of their way to make you feel comfortable and the experience fun.

Whether or not you have had a pre-shoot, remember that you chose the right person to begin with, and they're going to give you the personal space to enjoy your day and make you feel comfortable throughout. The most anxious part for couples on their wedding day isn't the morning preparations, the ceremony or even the formal family photos, it's the dreaded, both of you on your own with your photographer. If you're naturally touchy-feely, then hug and feel or if you're naturally full of kisses and sweet words, then kiss and whisper. After that, let your photographer take you both for a little walk to some lovely spots and just see what happens along the way. The point is to forget about the camera and your photos, that's your photographer's job and don't forget, you chose this person because you liked them and not just their photos.

Paul Mc Ardle, P & S Photography


The look of love

The look of love

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

A. Amy Perkins says: Choosing your wedding photographer is a big deal, and making sure you have the right person is a must. They will be there with you right from prep through to the first dance and beyond, so it's essential you feel relaxed and comfortable around them. Get to know your photographer and see if you click. Take them up on any meetings or virtual calls that they offer and book a pre-wedding shoot if possible. This is a great way to see how they work and prepare yourself for your big day, and feel more at ease in front of the camera.

Your photographer shoud be your extra bridesmaid, your wingman, and your timekeeper, they will be there to support you and advise you on anything you're not sure of.

Have a clear idea of the style you want for your day. Most wedding photographers have their own look, so making sure they're the right person for you is key. Some have a documentary look, and others are more traditional offering posed pictures.

Don't be afraid to ask to see a full gallery. Most photographers have example galleries that they can send to you so that you can get an idea of how your gallery may look.

Most photographers have their own editing style, some are light and airy, and others are darker and warmer. So bare this in mind when looking at their portfolio. Lastly, don't be afraid to ask questions!

Amy Perkins, Humblebee Photography


Ready, steady, pose!

Ready, steady, pose!

Q. My wife-to-be and I want to find the perfect photographer. How do you suggest we go about this?

A. Heather Rees says: Finding the perfect photographer can be tricky as there are so many to choose from. Look online for examples and see what sort of style you gravitate towards. For example, is it light and airy or documentary? Once you've decided on this, begin searching for photographers with that style.

Listen to any recommendations from your venue or loved ones. It's reassuring to know someone has worked with them before and that they deliver a high-quality product.

Lastly, meet any photographers you have short listed face-to-face or call them for a chat. You will spend a large amount of your wedding day with them, so it's important you gel. Do they put you at ease? Does the conversation flow? The more relaxed you are with your photographer, the more natural your photos will be.

Heather Rees, Heather Rees Photography


The one for me

The one for me

Q. We're a bit camera shy and are feeling anxious about having our picture taken on our wedding day. Do you have any tips to help us look relaxed in the pictures?

A. Nicola Gough says: Firstly, everyone is a bit nervous in front of the camera, it's totally normal to feel a bit anxious. The biggest thing you can do to help with this is to choose a photographer who puts you at ease and makes you feel comfortable. Have a chat before the wedding to go over any worries, and they will be able to help you.

It might be worth having a pre-wedding shoot too, this is a short photo session before the wedding, which will help you get used to having your photo taken.

The main thing is to relax and trust your photographer. They will put you in the best light, guide you through any poses and help you look relaxed.

Nicola Gough, Nicola Gough Photography


The look of love

The look of love

Q. My wife-to-be wants to book a pre-wedding shoot. Is it worth the money, and what should we expect?

A. Eve and Jason Reeves says: We love a pre-wedding shoot! It's a great opportunity for you to work with your photographer before the big day, especially if you're feeling a little apprehensive about having your picture taken.

You can choose the perfect location; it could be where you first met, a favourite place or a relaxed walk around your local park. It's a great chance to chat about your wedding plans as they snap away.

Throughout the shoot and your wedding day, we love to capture natural shots that show who you are as a couple. A pre-wedding shoot is a lovely way to prepare, as we get the chance to see how you are in front of the camera, and we can even guide you on how to pose if need be.

The photographs taken can be made into a signing board or guest book for your wedding guests to leave well wishes.

Eve and Jason Reeves, Shepherd Photography


Planning SOS

Planning SOS

Q. Our wedding has been postponed due to COVID-19, and we need to book a new photographer. What do you suggest we ask before booking?

A. Charlotte Mail says: We've all had to adapt and be more flexible after so many postponements. If you have no choice but to move your wedding date, most photographers should be happy to reschedule, providing they're available. Here are a few key questions to ask:

- What is your policy if we're required to postpone our wedding due to the pandemic?

- Will there be any changes in price if we are postponing to the following year?

- What is your policy regarding deposits in the event that you're not available on the date we would like to postpone to?

- It's also important to check what the photographer's backup plan is if they were to fall ill on your wedding day. Like myself, most suppliers will have a network of fellow photographers that they can contact if they're unable to shoot your wedding.

- When you're ready to book, your photographer should send you a contract to complete. Always read the content carefully before signing, and don't worry about asking any questions if you are uncertain about what the terms mean.

Charlotte Mail, Charlotte Mail Photography


Counting the pennies

Counting the pennies

Q. We want lovely photographs but are limited by our budget. Do you have any suggestions on how to save money?

A. Daniel Raad says: Start by finding a photographer within your budget. Average wedding photography for a full day can be around £1,200 in the UK, so plan your budget accordingly to ensure you get the best.

Book early. Photographers usually have an early booking discount if you contact them a couple of years in advance.

If you find a suitable photographer, but they're out of budget, ask them to reduce the coverage. For example, instead of covering from preparation to the end, you can ask them to cover from the ceremony up to the cutting of the cake. Less time means there will be fewer photos overall and should therefore be cheaper.

Another way to reduce the cost is to ask for an online gallery rather than a printed version. It can save up to £500, depending on the album prices.

Most photographers offer a discount to couples who have been referred by previous clients.

Daniel Raad, Raad Photography