Who should be attending the bride on the way to the church?

I am not going to make any friends with this particular posting.    But as a couple you really need to know exactly how to achieve the best shots at your wedding – and understand that some stuff is totally outside the control of your photographer.  

With that knowledge you can make decisions beforehand which will affect the look of your wedding photographs – if it is really important to you and if your photography is your priority.  And even though I may think pictures are important it isn’t necessarily the case for everyone.  I understand that  – really I do!  But finding out that things could have looked better by seeing it on your wedding photographs – well, by that time, its just too late.

Last year I photographed two weddings where I felt particuarly frustrated at the shots I couldn’t get.  At the first wedding I didn’t manage to get any shots of the bride arriving at the church door without the car company drivers in attendance. It was a beautiful wedding, lots of emotion and a very pretty church and angelic-looking kids.   An excellent wedding car company, two lovely drivers – but why did they feel the need to take on this ‘role’ at the wedding when there were bridesmaids around who could have done the job perfectly well?  And, sorry to say,  more prettily!

A group of bridesmaids lifting the skirts of the bride’s dress in a lovely procession to the church door is a beautiful moment to capture on camera – it has all the key people you need in there too.  So don’t allow the job to  be done by someone that you’ve only met once or twice – unless you really don’t care. 

At the second wedding the bride walked downstairs to greet her father – his first viewing of his daughter in all her glory – and there in the background the wedding coordinator smiling up at the camera.  Aaagh!  And no matter where I stood during those few moments,  I could not crop out the unnecessary personnel.   So frustrating, as I know that when it comes to your wedding albums, none of those shots will be chosen to go in your final selection.  In fact I don’t even bother putting them in the preview books these days.

As a B&G its up to you both to decide just how much attention you want from your suppliers on the day.  I know of florists who insist on being at the church to instruct on how to hold the bouquet.  Couldn’t that be sorted out at a pre-wedding meeting?   Drivers who insist on the ‘car shot’ with them in it?  Toastmasters who are more interested in the photo for their website than managing the crowds at your wedding.   

Go away, people!  This is an intimate moment – not a marketing opportunity!     

And the really good suppliers – these are the companies and venues that just get on with their jobs and don’t feel the need to dominate.  Their products and services speak loudly for themselves.  In fact, I’ve known businesses lose work because they are so ‘in-your-face’. 

I don’t have a particular gripe against wedding car companies – I have serious doubts about any wedding suppliers other than the photographer, the minister/registrars and possibly,  just possibly, the wedding coordinator at a hotel being present on the photographs in any major way.  I don’t understand why a wedding supplier might consider it to be part of their job description or why they would even want it   (I feel I have failed if I appear on any of the wedding shots when shooting as a team – I want to be invisible!).

So, just to reiterate….decide how much of a role you want your other suppliers to take.  If you have no problem with them appearing on your shots then just go with the flow and don’t be disappointed if you don’t get the shots you may have hoped for (Actually it may be that they are such a part of your day that you want shots of them anyhow).

But if you want to avoid this situation and get the pictures you want and that look nicest  – overcome your embarrassment and tell your drivers/florists/cakemaker etc that you want them to keep a low profile!

Hope I haven’t offended anyone here but sometimes you’ve just got to tell it how it is.   My customers don’t see the things that I do until they’re looking at their photos and by then its too late to do anything about it.  Only then do they realise why I risk life and limb by making posts like this!

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Lytham Hall Wedding Fair

Yesterday we exhibited at the Lytham Hall Wedding Fair which had been organised by Paul Rowley (of Rowley’s Catering and The Lindum Hotel) and his band of helpers – including the staff of Lytham Hall themselves and Jane at Flower Design.  Paul, being mercilessly tormented by his happy band of followers, is below.

There were loads of people I knew there and it was lovely to see some old friends and some new ones like Cheryl (below) from Too Nice To Slice.  Cheryl is organising a wedding fair at The White Church in Fairhaven, Lytham in October and I’m delighted to have been included in it.  It should be quite an interesting show, with it taking place in a church.

She had some great cakes and particularly liked the one in the foreground with the hydrangeas.  I love hydrangeas and peonies and full blown roses – all the blowsey flowers of summer.

We had enquiries for weddings in the Lakes and in London as well as a bit closer to home – so that is exciting!  There was one couple getting married abroad and I did my very best to persuade them to take  me with them!   Please note – I am happy to photograph weddings abroad.  Very happy.  Deliriously happy…. so please, someone book me to photograph your wedding.  Provided its somewhere hot – I wouldn’t be so happy to photograph your wedding in, say, Iceland. (Although actually, I would, because it would be fun! But you all know how I love the heat….)

This lady here, (I’m sorry Missus, I can’t remember your name but your husband is Mike and he did our double glazing!!)  makes delicious fudge and her company  supplies places like Harrods.  I must admit I do like fudge – there is a fabulous place in Grange-over-Sands that does beautiful chocolate fudge and I used to go there as a little girl.  So having Roly’s in Lytham is bliss to me!

This is Mo and Kelvin from Cloud’s Cars.  We do a lot of weddings with these two and other drivers that belong to their company.  There are a few weddings on this blog, like Jodie and Lee’s and Lauren and Peter’s that feature their cars.  

Because I’m not the sort of photographer who likes doing  The Car Shot or The Cake Shot kind of work (if you’re in tune with me you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about!) I don’t tend to get a lot of shots of suppliers in my photographs.  This is how I think it should be – a wedding is not an advertising opportunity for various different suppliers, if I’m being honest.  But sometimes I think that’s a bit mean – because people like Kelvin and Mo do a great job, really care about their customers and their cars look very nice.

So here are a few photographs of the catwalk show, some of the other exhibitors and a sad little picture of me talking to some of the people that visited my stand yesterday.  (Martyn is a wonderful photographer – and it is he that was taking the pictures yesterday BUT…when it comes to photographs of me I just wince.  Its a woman-getting-middle-aged thing.

This is the lovely lady from Sapphire Designs above – you can’t really see the invitations she designs very well.  But they were very classic and elegant – I am quite keen on pure typography as I trained as a designer and I just like the look of words and letters and how they sit together (I know – its a bit sad!).  And a lot of her invitations were just typography with a bit of glam thrown in.  Very nice and worth checking out.

The catwalk show was put on by Dreamcatcher in Kirkham.  They have some lovely dresses but I was disappointed that my favourite Audrey Hepburn dress wasn’t being modelled – I mentioned it in a previous blog.

The Hall was dressed beautifully by Jane and Jason and their team at Flower Design in St. Annes.  We no longer work very much with them – in fact I can’t remember a wedding that Fotoamour did with their team last year – but there is no doubt that they are very good at floristry.  Really liked the mismatched tea service that they used to dress the tables.  Flowers were good too – you can see some of them in the catwalk pictures.

Howard Wing is a singer that I haven’t had much contact with – generally now I tend to have left the proceedings before the singer starts their stint in the evening.  So I had heard a lot about Howard but not met him.  What a really nice bloke he is – really unassuming.  And you know how I like people who are not always wittering on about how fantastic they are.  So do,  please, consider Howard if you are thinking of booking someone for your reception.  He is a great singer.  And just really nice with it.

And finally …. here I am.  In full flow.  Talking. Talking. Talking.  I try and get bookings  by beating people verbally into submission!!  Only kidding.   

I talked to many of you yesterday who hadn’t actually booked venues, or who asked me advice on different hotels and wedding venues, and I know that some of you will be looking at this blog following our conversations. 

I am true to my word.  You don’t need to have booked Fotoamour to get advice from me on venues or other wedding stuff – I am happy to pass on what I know for free.  I just want to make sure that you get the best day and the best service from your other suppliers.   The number is 07960 531477 or email me at info@fotoamour.co.uk

And I am flattered that so many of you are reading this blog and taking my advice on getting the best people to help you with your weddings.    Thanks for popping in!

Jo