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


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


Sun's out

Sun's out

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!

Samantha Davis

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.

Raad Photography
Outdoor 365 Group
Raad Photography
Outdoor 365 Group