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


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


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

When it's time for you look for local businesses to help you with your wedding, take a look at our advertisements below. Most will have links to their own websites. These advertisements are updated regularly so please revisit often and mention Your West Midlands Wedding when making any enquiries.