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!


Leyland Hotel Wedding Show 7th March 2010

I got a little reminder the other day from a lovely lady whose photograph I had taken at the Lancashire Evening Post Wedding Fayre at The Leyland Hotel.  She wanted to know where her photo was!!

So here you are, Jill, pictured with your scrumptious cupcakes.  And many apologies for not posting them sooner – I’ve had so many hassles with software and such a lot of work to process that the wedding fair thing took a backseat.  The only reason that Lytham Hall got a mention was because I had cracked the software problems by that stage!

Jill had a fabulous display of these lovely little goodies and you know how much I like cake?  Well, obviously –  I consumed a whole packet of French Fancies (special Easter edition lemon flavour) to myself this week in the space of 24 hours and 4 of those were in very quick succession….what an admission!   So you see, Jill and her special talents are very dear to my heart!  Her contact details are 01772 745936 mobile 07964 320175.  Go on, give her a call!

But also there was a really great wedding dress supplier, Susan Craig – from her card she doesn’t have a website but her telephone number is 01257 262737 and she is based in Chorley.  Anyhow, I liked her and I liked her dresses and shoes and stuff – so some of them are featured here.

There were also some great flowers there and, again, because it is quite a while since I did the show I have lost their details, but have a look below and if you like what you see give me a call and I’ll try and find them! 

And then obviously I took a few pictures of some of the people that visited my stand – there were some really nice ones too.  And I’m really glad to say that Victoria and her Mum, Carol below popped round a few days later and booked me to do Victoria and Mark’s wedding later this year at Park Hall.  It was actually the glorious shade of Victoria’s hair that got us talking in the first place – its this gorgeous auburn colour and it is entirely natural.  It really is!

And Jackie and Gerry Carter below stopped by too to talk about their wedding on 6th August next year.  Its going to be a busy month in 2011.

And finally a little thankyou to Garry Fishwick, the charming toastmaster that I met on the day, and who very kindly bought me a cup of coffee.  So I’m going to recommend him to you because, from talking to him, I really think he had a brilliant understanding of how a wedding day should run – and how he could play a part in it.  Visit his site at www.garryfishwicktoastmaster.com to get the low-down.  And what have you got to say?  Tell him Jo sentcha!