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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Old friends

Its always great when your clients remember you.  Every so often I will hear from a couple, who got married a while ago, to tell me their news.

I’ve had three contacts this week within the space of 24 hours.  I thought I would just post a few photos here from their weddings to say ‘hello’ and thanks for being in touch.  Its always lovely to hear from you.

Firstly, Cathy and Mark, who got married in 2008 at Farrington Lodge emailed me to say ‘ Hi Jo – its our anniversary and just wanted to say hello. We’ve just been to Rhodes to celebrate our anniversary!’ 

Then Myra emailed too.  She got married to Jonathan in Liverpool in 2008 too.  Myra told me their exciting news – they’ve got a new baby!  And she’s wanted to know if some of her photos were still waiting for her to collect – yes, they are.  Safe and sound and patient!

And then, last night, Rosalind and Richard texted to tell me that they’d just had another little baby boy!  How cool is that?  I’m so pleased that my customers come back to me with news like that – it’s a privilege to be included on their particular mailing list!

I’m hoping to pop over in the next couple of weeks to say  hello to Michael Anthony who weighed in at a very respectable 8lb 5oz. 

Sometimes, just sometimes, you get clients that test your patience a little….. and then you get blown away by some of the truly lovely stuff like these three little bits of contact. 

Thankyou Cathy, Myra and Rosalind! x

Karen and Christopher 29th October 2009

Karen and Christopher exchanged their wedding vows on a wonderful autumnal day in October.  The venue was Farrington Lodge Leyland, where Fotoamour has photographed a number of weddings.   It is a nice venue with plenty of outdoor space – gardens that are good for photography.  I have only ever been in one bedroom with a four poster bed, which was certainly very pleasant.  It can’t have been that long since they updated the bar and built a patio and it has made a massive difference because previously guests were split between reception rooms – breaking up wedding parties into smaller groups and its not so good to get people mingling.  Now everyone gets to be together which is a good thing to get people from both sides of the family mixing.  It just makes for a much nicer atmosphere.

The cake was by Victoria Cakes of Chorley – contact 01257 234225 or have a look at their website www.victoriacakes.co.uk

I was really pleased with some of the shots I took of the couple together as the light in the wonderful gardens at Farrington Lodge was lovely.  Karen and Chris were also really easy to work with so I could take my time a little to make the most of the golden afternoon light.

Their daughter, Holly was just adorable – not one of those cheesy kids who grin every time the camera is waved in their direction.  Its really difficult to photograph camera kids  because you just don’t get anything of their personality.  Holly made me work but I loved loads of the pictures I got of her.  I know she’s crying here but she was stressed just before the wedding – too much going on, too much being asked of her.  I just wanted to give her a cuddle.

Then she decided to have some fun with me…..!

The pictures will be ready very shortly guys and I’m looking forward to seeing you soon.