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 firstname.lastname@example.org
To view more expert advice on a different topic, please select one from the list below.
Q. Our December wedding is going to be held in the late afternoon and I know we'll lose the light very quickly. What are the must-have shots?
A. Georgina Balmer says: The must-have shots are different for every couple and also photographer, as everyone's artistic eye is completely different. Low light is what makes winter weddings all that bit different, December is exciting as it's up to the photographer to challenge the light! You'll want photographs of the two of you and group photos in what light you do have as a priority, so bear in mind the time of sunset and plan ahead. However, low light can create lots of different kinds of images in comparison to a typical summer wedding. For example, the use of extra flash and different lighting can give a whole new dimension to the standard couples portraits. I also love a sparkler shot which works really well in low light conditions too!
Q. What advice would you give me on choosing my wedding photographer?
A. Timothy James says: Finding the wedding photographer that's right for you may feel like a daunting decision especially with so many to choose from but it doesn't have to be. Here are five simple questions to follow to help choose the photographer for your big day.
- What is your budget?
It may seem like an obvious starting point but knowing what your budget is for photography will help make your search easier. Regardless of what that budget is, you'll know which photographers and which packages are realistic options. And remember, cheaper photography doesn't have to mean less quality.
- What style photography do you like?
Whether it's reportage, fine art or moody monochrome knowing the style you like will narrow down the search for photographers who fit what you're looking for.
You don't need to have an extensive knowledge of photographic styles to know what you prefer; you could simply spend a small amount of time looking through wedding images online or in magazines and make a few notes on what you do and don't like. You'll quickly match words to those styles such as naturalistic, traditional, documentary, fine art, classical, and suddenly you'll know exactly what you want.
- How would you like to receive your wedding photos?
Would you prefer a digital download link, a boxed album or a collection of prints? Having some idea of what you'd like to receive when you first view your photos will help identify photographers who offer the packages that are right for you.
- Do they have a portfolio and recommendations?
It's essential to always look at the previous work of any wedding photographer you may choose to make sure they are of good quality and they fit effect you're looking for: this could be the photographic style you like but also whether they shoot candid or posed photos. Also check if they have recommendations or testimonials on their website to get an idea of other people's experiences of booking that photographer.
- Personality and trust.
It goes without saying that you'll spend a lot of time with the photographer you choose to shoot your wedding, and you're going to want that to be an enjoyable experience. You may get a flavour of their personality from their website but you'll know this best from meeting face to face and most photographers are happy to meet up and chat through their work and approach as part of the decision making process. If you like their personality it'll help you trust them when it comes to the big day.
Q. We're having a summer wedding, I'm concerned on our group images that the sun will be in everyone's eyes and it might all take too long... do you have any suggestions?
A. Samantha Davis says: When I work at a wedding on a beautiful, bright, summer's day, the sun shining and the Pimms flowing, it's sometimes difficult to drag the wedding party away to take group images.
I always find a great spot with a nice background, get a bit of blue sky and generally have the sun in the background/overhead (without casting shadows over guests' faces). I never face people into the sun at midday (which is generally when group images are taken after the ceremony). I purposely underexpose the images so that once I start the editing process I can bring out the image perfectly exposed with everyone's eyes open – the magic of knowing how your camera works and how to make photoshop do some of the work!
As a rule, I arrange with my couples prior to the day a list of their most-wanted group images. I always advise 'the fewer the better' for them and for guests. An album of staged group images isn't generally the most memorable part of the collection of images I take, however they are essential as not to upset family members who have travelled to your wedding and not seen you since you were 10.
On a summer's day the reduction in the amount of group images can be essential so the bride and groom don't feel bored and be left desperate to try their canapés or have a chat with their guests!
Q. We're getting married in a marquee. As the day gets closer, I'm starting to worry about the possibility of bad weather. How do we prepare for this and make sure we still get gorgeous images?
A. Samantha Davis says: With outdoor weddings becoming increasingly popular in the UK and the weather being variable to say the least, it's understandable that this may worry nearlyweds in the run up to their big day. But let me assure you straight away that professional photographers can work in all weather conditions. Our kit can cope with low-lighting without needing to use a big flash gun and if you did need to have your images taken mainly in the marquee you wouldn't be disappointed by the results.
I happened to do an al fresco wedding in a marquee last year in Ledbury. Terri and Scott were over from Chicago and their day went from beautiful sunshine to heavy rain. However, because they'd spent the time making their marquee incredibly beautiful and really put their stamp on it, the images turned out to be some of my favourite from 2018. Plus, we were treated to a beautiful sunset once the weather had settled!
Rest assured, by booking a professional, your images will have all the atmosphere and detail you desire.
Q. My partner and I hate having our pictures taken and you won't find a single selfie of either of us on our phones! Do you think we'd regret not having a photographer whatsoever to snap any part of our day?
A. Nicola Gough says: I think most people really dislike having their picture taken, myself included, so you're not alone. I'd say that a photographer is really important on your special day as they are not just taking photos of you two as a married couple, but also your guests, the venue and the details of your nuptials so you get to relive the big day over and over for years to come.
If you're nervous or anxious about the portrait side of things, choose a photographer who specialises in relaxed photography with a more documentary feel rather than one who does lots of staged images. Also, an engagement session can be a good way to break the ice with your photographer. Sometimes referred to as a pre-wedding shoot, this is a short portrait session that most likely lasts about an hour and takes place in the months leading up to your big day. It's the perfect way to have a practice run and you'll get to see how your photographer works and they get to see what you're like as a couple.
The most important thing to remember is to find a photographer that you feel comfortable with; they are the only supplier you'll spend all day with so do your research and choose one who not only creates work that you love but who can put you at ease and make you feel relaxed. The more relaxed you feel, the better time you'll have.
Q. I want our main wedding snaps to be timeless but I'd also like to include a few fun extras. What will be on-trend in the world of wedding photography in 2019?
A. Andrew Craner says: My first instinct with this question was to visit Google, I then I stopped myself. My advise, as an experienced wedding photographer is not to care about, or follow trends. Make your wedding day images bespoke to you and don't do the same as everybody else. In my opinion, images that capture real emotion or a fun moment will eclipse any on-trend posed shot, as I put all of my energy into capturing real, unposed moments. I also like to have some fun creating awesome bridal party group shots as well. Strive to book somebody who can capture your day as it happens, not recreate something that's trendy for only a few months.
Q. Our December wedding is going to be held in the late afternoon and it'll be getting dark by the time our ceremony ends. How will this affect our photography?
A. Victoria Amrose says: Winter can be a beautiful time of year to get married, I too was a winter bride and loved it! From a photographer's perspective it can pose challenges due to the low light and early sunset. As such it's imperative that you choose a photographer who's not only confident but competent at shooting in these conditions and has the additional lighting and equipment to deal with it. Also ask to see previous examples of winter weddings they have photographed to make sure they're experienced.
Choose a venue that offers beautiful indoor areas for pictures and your hired professional can get creative with lighting. Portraits by candlelight and the use of additional lighting outside in the dark can give your bride and groom images the wow factor!
If you'd love some daylight portraits, consider having a first look moment with your beau. This is becoming very popular and gives you an opportunity to spend time together looking your best ahead of the vows. Following the ceremony, also consider having a sparkler exit instead of confetti, which can look amazing.
Finally, make sure you pack something warm to wear in between portraits as it can get cold after dark and protect your beautiful bridal shoes by bringing along some wellies.
Q. My wife-to-be and I are excited about getting our photos back after the big day. How long does the editing process take and will it take longer if we decide to purchase an album too?
A. Andrew Craner says: The amount of time newlyweds might have to wait for images can depend on what time of year they tie the knot. I personally tell my couples that it will never take longer than eight weeks, even during the peak summer season. My clients who wed out of the prime wedding season tend to get them back in around two to three weeks. It won't take any additional time to get your digital images back if you're having an album, as the selection and design process comes after this. I ask my couples to favourite the images they'd like me to use in their album design in my online gallery – it's super easy! They get to view and approve an online proof of the album design before I hit the order button, so there's plenty of opportunity to request tweaks.
Q. My partner suffers with anxiety and although we're only tying the knot in front of a few of our nearest and dearest, the thought of him posing for our photos has sent him into a tizz. How can I find a photographer who will put him at ease?
A. Samantha Davis says: Fear not, there are plenty of ways for us professional photographers to relax an anxious bride or groom!
Firstly I, like a lot of photographers, offer an engagement shoot prior to your big day. I love these sessions because it really allows me to get a feel for the couple and the dynamics between them, but it most importantly allows them to get to know me.
This can be a great way to relax a person who is nervous as it gets them used to a camera. The photographer and the flow of a photo shoot is often eye-opening to my clients as they relax when they realise I don't want them to formally pose but encourage them to just interact with each other – this makes for the very best images.
For very anxious couples or individuals it might be an idea to choose a photographer who specialises in reportage or candid photography, keeping the posed images down to an absolute minimum.
Q. My husband-to-be is 6ft 4' and I'm a tiny 5ft in comparison. I think we're both a little worried about looking daft in our wedding photos. Are there any clever tricks we can use?
A. Clive Blair says: First of all don't stress too much about how you think you'll look to others. Your photographer's role is to capture the love and affection that will naturally be shown between you both. When you see that reflected in the images, the height difference will not be an issue. Saying that, in a few photos, to minimise the height difference, you could stand on tip-toes, if your feet are hidden under your gown, while your groom leans towards you to either kiss or cuddle you. Also, if there's a slope on the ground, you could be positioned higher up as you walk hand-in-hand with your new husband. Another trick is for your photographer to get one or both of you to sit down, but as mentioned, try to concentrate on enjoying your day and that will be the lasting memory you have as you look back on your wedding photos.