Redundant umbrellas

We were threatened with a repeat performance weather-wise on Saturday when Fotoamour had two weddings booked.  Luckily both our couples got away with a slightly cloudy, slightly breezy but otherwise dry day. 

Katie and Paul got married at Combermere Abbey in Shropshire.  This was a last minute booking – in fact it came in two weeks ago when their previous photographer became unexpectedly unavailable.  Things were helped enormously by the presence of a wonderful lady, Andrea Swift, who runs Fabulous Day – a wedding planning company.    According to our photographer she was a true star and everything ran like clockwork.  We hope to work with her again as it made our job very easy.

As a photographer having to back out of a wedding is your worst nightmare.   If you use your own name to promote your business then it is reasonable that your customers would expect you to be present at their wedding.  If you are taken ill it means that whoever steps in is a second choice.  

At Fotoamour we don’t work like that.  We have several photographers available to work with us and, although you’ll know in advance who we’re going to send on the day, you don’t book Fotoamour based on the personality or reputation of the individual photographer.   Fotoamour gets booked because of our  great photography, our easy no-fuss way of working and our generous packages and affordable fees.

So last minute bookings are something with which we can cope easily.   And if one of our own photographers is taken ill it means that we always have someone at the ready to step in.  Someone whose work you will have already seen on our website too.

Combermere Abbey is a lovely spot and Katie arrived in the most magnificent coach and white-plumed horses.  Magnificent.  The ceremony took place in the Glass House with the formal shots taken outside in the Orchard.  At this time of year ripe apples hung on the trees but I suspect in the Spring when the blossom is out the place has an altogether different look. 

Some will be faintly green tinged at the delicious Jimmy Choo shoes that completed Katie’s outfit – I certainly was!

Stephanie looked utterly beautiful at her wedding to Thomas at The Willows Church in Kirkham on Saturday.  This is a great job for a lady photographer because you get to see all the best in gorgeous dresses, shoes and jewellery and Stephanie was wearing the most beautiful antique jewellery as you can see below.

The Willows Church has some of the most lovely light in which to photograph.  Father Paul Johnstone was very kind and delivered a beautiful service.  I was allowed to photograph from the front of the church and I have got some lovely pictures of the couple.

The cars were by Elite Wedding Cars and they were pretty special, especially the one that Stephanie and Thomas travelled in.  The guys who drove them were also very nice and nothing was too much trouble.

We got to the venue on time and, having done all the group shots at the church in case the weather didn’t hold up, the bride and groom had plenty of time to mingle with their guests before being called for their meal.  The room looked exquisite with flowers by Flower Design UK. 

We are out again 3 times next weekend with weddings in Rochdale, Liverpool and Lytham.  Busy, busy, busy!

Be back soon.

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Photographers and Videographers

This is how it works……………….you look at the pictures that a photographer has in his portfolio and the ones that you really love are the ones taken from the front during the ceremony. 

They show the couple gazing lovingly at each other whilst they say their vows.  You can see a tear in the brides eye as the emotion of the day hits home.  Sometimes even the groom looks overwhelmed.

That emotion is what you want your photographer to record ……….. its so beautiful and so poignant. You book that photographer because those are the shots that you want in your album.  

HOLD ON!!!!

There are some key issues that you really need to understand here.

Firstly, the minister or registrar doesn’t always allow the photographer to shoot from a position where those shots are possible. 

Why?   Don’t ask me!  I simply don’t have a clue why it is that some ministers like my lovely Rev. Clitherow at St. Cuthberts in Lytham, or Rev. Phillips at The White Church or the simply wonderful minister at St. Helens in Churchtown near Garstang last Saturday allow photographers to do this, whilst some minister won’t. 

There is no legal problem with photographing from this position.  When it comes to signing the register that is a different matter because photographing the register is illegal (though I’m not quite sure why it should matter if I am photographing the event happening from 10 foot away -its not like you can actually see any paperwork – but its the law.  And the law is the law.)

But some ministers put their foot down and decide that the photographer can only photograph from the rear of the church.  I have been to churches where there is no photography allowed at all inside the church with the exception of posed ‘signing the register’ shots.  I have even photographed at weddings where the photographer wasn’t even allowed in the church – and I was ‘supervised’ by a very officious warden to ensure that this was the case. 

You can only summise that some clonking great idiot of a photographer had been there before, using flash willy-nilly and jumping up and down – rather than staying put discreetly in the shadows.  They must have had some dire experiences which have informed their decision on the matter.

It does beggar belief, however, that whilst the photographer may have restrictions imposed in this manner, the videographer does not. 

Do be aware that churches often charge a fee for your videographer to be present.  They do this because the music during the ceremony is being recorded – or so I understand it.  DON’T QUOTE ME ON THAT! So it is justifiable that your videographer should be present where all the action is happening.    That’s fine and dandy.

But if this isn’t the case, why would a videographer be allowed full rein whilst your photographer is banished to the rear?   And if this is also the case, you should be aware that this is not the fault of your photographer – but it is the personal choice of the minister.

This is all why there is sometimes a bit of rivalry between photographers and videographers which can have a negative impact on your day.  If you have booked a videographer, and you have a nice benevolent minister, be aware that they will have set up their stand in the best spot before your photographer appears.  So if it is photography that is the priority YOU should ensure that your videographer knows where they should be working. 

This should not be the responsibility of the minister OR your photographer.  It is down to you to make it happen.  The worst possible thing that you want is your suppliers squabbling about who should have the ‘top’ spot – and at Fotoamour we won’t hang about to argue.   We will simply allow the videographer to go ahead even if you have told us you don’t want this. 

This is why it is in our contract that we will shoot only from the rear of the church unless we have written permission from the minister.  Obviously if we turn up on the day and we’re given freedom to do our best work from the front, that’s what we’ll do.  But we simply won’t argue about it with your other wedding contributors.

And another thing……………….! 

Fotoamour is often booked because of our discreet and informal ‘fly on the wall’ photography.  You will usually only get one photographer because, in this way, it is kept pretty low-key and not at all like a paparazzi stampede.  The only exception would sensibly be if you were having a very big wedding with masses of people.

So why book a two-man videography team if you want sensitive, inobtrusive coverage.  Because I can guarantee that there will be one guy at the front of the church (meaning no space left for your photographer to squeeze in and capture the ‘you may kiss the bride’ shot)  and one at the rear – and they usually have stonking great cameras wedged on their shoulders and a massive tripod which I usually fall over as I’m backing up the aisle photographing you on your way out of church.  Well really!!!

And you always end up with loads of shots in your preview book with videographers on them instead of guests!

I’ve nothing against videographers in particular.  In fact, some of the nicest people I know are videographers.  Some of the most professional and creative wedding suppliers I know are videographers! 

BUT…………..  you have been warned!

Raindrops……….

I had a wedding at the weekend which took place at a great church, St. Helens in Churchtown near Garstang and then on to Barton Grange Hotel.

It poured down but Carla and James did the absolutely best thing and just went for it big time.  So lots of lovely umbrellas, dresses held high and big smiles and big laughs.  The photos are fab.

Because the weather was so miserable the minister allowed us to take the groups inside the church which made life a little easier and Barton Grange allowed us to do the confetti shots there – Rob, the events manager (I think that’s his role) was ever helpful with his megaphone, gathering people together and organising the shot for me.  The service at The Barton Grange is second to none.

So, although it wasn’t perfect weather, I think it turned out to be a perfect day for Carla and James.

Helen and Colin Fox collected their photomontage, thankyou cards and preview book from me recently.  Helen’s Dad was a photographer before he passed away and it was very important to Helen and her Mum that they chose the right photographer. 

No pressure on me then!  I’m desperately relieved that they loved the work that I presented them with.  

To be honest, it was not a difficult day to photograph simply because it was so well planned by Helen and Colin.  The little bridesmaids were angelic, so pretty all in their sparkly fuscia frocks, and they had great flowers by Cheshire Flowers.  The venue was also simply beautiful.  Adlington Hunting Lodge near Wilmslow was idyllic – the gardeners have obviously been busy there because the borders were gorgeous.  A great spot for a wedding.

This coming weekend we have Stephanie and Thomas who are getting married at The Willows Church in Kirkham followed by their reception in St. Annes.  Katie and Paul are having their ceremony at Combermere Abbey in Shropshire which looks lovely too. 

Lets hope the weather is a little kinder this weekend!

Another four weddings – where’s Hugh Grant when you need him?

Koo and Mark

Koo and Mark

Since I last blogged we’ve had another four weddings.

Mark and Koo got married on Sunday 8th July at The White Church, Fairhaven.  We love the White Church. We love David Philips, the minister there too.  How cool is he?! 

It was a glorious day, the bride was gorgeous and it was all very relaxed and informal.  The reception was in Portofino’s in Lytham.  I particularly like receptions in restaurants.  Its a good indication that the couple are into their food and the decor is just that bit different and interesting.

Jane and Ben

Jane and Ben

A couple of weekends later Jane and Ben got married in a downpour.  Its always a pity when that happens but it is something that simply cannot be controlled.  Fortunately, and quite rightly, it didn’t dampen the spirits of the bride and groom.  The reception was at Fylde Rugby Club which is always a very friendly place to be.

The following weekend Jacqui and Dennis got married at the Manchester Airport Hilton Hotel before jetting off on their honeymoon the next day.  This is a couple that laughed all day and thoroughly enjoyed having all their family and friends around them.  The hotel was great, and I particularly liked the events manager who supervised their wedding.  He was very helpful and always attentive to Jacqui and Dennis. 

You quite often find that hotels that are not known quite so well for being ‘wedding venues’ have great food and great service.  As an observer of other peoples weddings, it seems sometimes that the places that have weddings every single weekend can sometimes lose sight of the things that really matter – like those I’ve mentioned – in their anxiety to get another couple through the ‘system’.   

 

Not a very especially interesting blog today.  I’ll be back very shortly with some more information that might be more inspiring!