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


The look of love

The look of love

Q. There are so many photographers out there – how do we decide who's right for us?

A. Michelle Williams says: Picking your wedding photographer is an important decision. There are thousands of suppliers in the UK, so how do you make the right decision for you? I've put together my top tips:

Style – A professional photographer will have developed a style so look for a supplier who matches what you want. For example, I work with a fine art approach, seamlessly combining photojournalism and lifestyle portraiture.

Experience – Weddings are very different to a fashion or styled shoot, they're often fast-paced and require a photographer to think on their feet, to have observed the art of seeing and being able to react to those moments in an instant. Knowing your camera gear is critical to this, it's a live event, and an experienced professional will know where to be at the right time to get those stunning shots.

Consistency – It's important your photographer's style flows, it should show a level of consistency in the editing and the way they shoot. This is essential when it comes to albums and prints. Wedding photography isn't just about a few stunning photos, it's about a beautiful story and memories you can treasure.

Variety – It's important that you see a variety of images, not just 30 of their best.

Testimonials – Can you view testimonials and past reviews?

Back up – Does your photographer have back-up equipment? They should have spares incase anything fails.

Trust and relationship – Whenever possible, I like to meet with my couples, it gives us a chance to get to know each other and an opportunity for you to see some of my work in print. You should feel relaxed around your photographer, resulting in fun and creative photos on the day.

Michelle Williams,Michelle Williams Photography


Capture the moment

Capture the moment

Q. A friend of ours had two photographers on their wedding day. What are the benefits of this – should we do the same?

A. Clive Blair says: To get the best coverage, opt for two photographers as they'll be able to capture your day from different angles. For example, if you and your partner like the idea of getting ready shots but are in two different areas, one photographer can stay close to the groom and his side of the family while the other can follow the bride. Throughout the day, one person can concentrate on the bridal party as they walk down the aisle, while the other can get the groom's reaction as he sees the bride for the first time in her dress.

Even when the couple is together chatting to guests, having two photographers is a bonus, as one can look for all the incidental things happening that would otherwise be missed. Having a second photographer can act as another pair of eyes during the formal photos to make sure everyone looks their best and help round up your guests to speed up the process. They will also act as a backup if anything were to go wrong on the day.

Clive Blair,Clive Blair Photography


Capture the moment

Capture the moment

Q. Our wedding is fast approaching, and we need to book our photographer, but we're a bit worried about booking someone online that we've never met. What should we ask before booking?

A. Eric Webb says: Before booking, remember they will be capturing the most momentous day of your life, so you have to keep their artistic style and professional skills in mind.

Look at their portfolio. An efficient cameraman is in a position to provide a wide range of styles that showcase the bride and grooms personalities and love for one another. Check your supplier can provide the outcome you desire.

Ensure you run a check on all their pictures and not just the ones they have handpicked from their online gallery. This will help you get an idea of their image quality. Irrespective of whether you're searching for an expert in an informal style or someone with a contemporary technique, you should do your homework and shop around accordingly.

It's essential to have a good relationship with your supplier. As a couple, you'll be placing your trust and faith in them, so it's vital you feel relaxed around them. Make sure that you feel a connection with them, otherwise, your discomfort will become apparent in the pictures. If the specialist is approachable, then the guests will also be at ease.

It's of utmost importance to choose a photographer who can handle the job even in challenging situations. They should have the ability to cope with the constant pressure so that treasured moments aren't missed. It's a prudent idea to get in touch with a supplier who has some prior experience with your wedding venue. If not, they should take time out to explore the location beforehand.

Getting hold of a competent photographer requires intensive research. You should also keep the pricing structure in mind but don't make your decision based on this alone. Make sure they have a solid reputation in the industry, and you may even want to get in touch with some of their past clients.

Eric Webb,Hereford Photography


Through the lens

Through the lens

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!

Georgina Balmer


...The photographer

...The photographer

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.

Timothy James