Jenna and Kiale

Jenna and Kiale got married in the Lancaster House Hotel in, where else, but Lancaster!  It wasn’t a particularly fabulous day weather-wise so we took some shots in the corridor between the main hotel and the rooms.  Sounds awful but the light was lovely and I was really pleased with the results.

Here is one of those images.  See you wouldn’t know, would you?  Just shows what you can do with a limited amount of space!

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Fiona and Sam

This wedding was a few weeks ago now but just thought I would post a few pictures from it to keep you all up to press on what I’ve been shooting.

I really liked this shot above – just as Fiona was arriving at The Barton Grange Hotel.

And this shot too – above – where Sam is just a bit overcome but Fiona is just having a ball as she walks up that aisle!

Fiona was the most glam bride – she really did look fantastic in her cheeky little fascinator hat.  A really unusual alternative to the veil thing.  And it suited her big brown eyes (and her face shape incidentally) down to the ground.

Their little girl was such a cutie too – not too sickly sweet but a proper little girl.  Some kids are just too confident but this she was a really nice child.

Whenever I pointed the camera at this young man he glowered at me!  It was quite intimidating sometimes!  But that’s the advantage of being behind the camera – you can take refuge behind it sometimes!

I had a bit of a laugh with the final group shot – I get bored sometimes with doing all the same thing and I just like to play around with groups a bit.  It depends how ‘up for it’ the people involved are – but this crew were all pretty good natured about it all.

Just some more shots from the day – I hope you like them.

 

Fiona and Sam were just a really nice couple – easy to work with and pleasant.  And of course the wedding was at the lovely Barton Grange.  Rob, Tom and Genevieve and all that bunch – great fun to work with.  Thanks for your kindness there.

Recommendations…again

Just want to show you the latest review I’ve had on FreeIndex.  Val and Guido got married last year and they had a wonderful day in Southport.  Two of the nicest people I’ve met – I just so like them!

So here is what they wrote about me on FreeIndex…..

“Using Fotoamour for our wedding photographs was one of the wisest moves we have ever made. The photographer Jo Pearson put everyone at their ease and the photographs she took that day are amazing. She is like a breath of fresh air to photography, innovative, a perfectionist and extremely friendly. Would highly recommend them, you get extremely good value for money. Val and Guido Valentini. 

Ah….thanks Val and Guido.  

I only need another 43 good reviews on FreeIndex to become their No One Wedding Photographer.  So if you feel inclined to write something nice about me and Fotoamour….. the website address is www.FreeIndex.co.uk

Here are some more pictures from Val and Guido’s day last year.

Article in The Times #2

Another cracking article in The Times On Saturday ‘Vicars to treat wedding guests as their dearly beloved’  (page 24).  The basic message of the piece is that The Church of England are telling its ministers to have a more welcoming and friendly attitude to wedding guests. 

Does this also extend to wedding photographers?

I have recently been at two ceremonies where the ministers, albeit very pleasant, made it abundantly clear that photography was not on their agenda.  The reason given was that it would distract the couple and their guests from the purpose of the occasion.  But the couples involved had booked a photographer, me, specifically to record the occasion.  Photography may not have been on their minister’s agenda – but it was very much on their’s.  After all, they had paid a professional to be there. 

Now I am a church-goer myself – not quite so much recently – but certainly in the past few years when the children were small I have attended church ……er…. religiously.  I did this because I believe in a great many of the values that go hand in hand with religion and I wanted those values to be reinforced, by someone other than me, in my children.   Alongside that, the fact is that there is a good grounding in geography, politics and history to be had too.  Not bothered about which particular brand – I was more interested in how welcoming a particular church was. In these times, when a large percentage of the population don’t see any point in making it legal, it occurs to me that a little positive marketing might be the thing required to promote marriage as A Good Thing.  And crucial in most marketing campaigns is good imagery. 

So why are the clergy, particularly CofE, so ANTI wedding photographers?  And photographing from the front of the church?  I know that you might have had some idiot photographers using flash at inappropriate moments, or moving around during the ceremony instead of staying put (we don’t do that!) but surely, with a few ground rules in place, this can be sorted out?  One of my favourite churches is All Hallows in Bispham where they issue the bride and groom with paperwork to be passed on to the photographer, stating the church’s wishes.   In return, provided you are a professional photographer, you can more or less photograph anything.  Catholic churches seem to be pretty easy-going whereas Scientology churches are particularly twitchy when it comes to photography.  Asian ceremonies are chaotic, with the official photographer being only one of a multitude of people clicking away!  I don’t really understand why some ceremonies are different to others – presumably they all believe in promoting marriage?

Those moments when the vows are being said, when the emotion of the moment results in a little tear shed, when there is humour as it gets to the bit about  ‘if anyone here present….’  well, those are the bits that really sell the idea of getting married!   If you don’t allow photography, and I’m talking about from the front of the church rather than from the back, you won’t get any of those special moments recorded.

So why haven’t some ministers/vicars/reverends caught onto this yet?   If you use fabulous imagery you’ll sell the idea of marriage in a church to someone who might have gone down a different path!  Then they are on your database for life!  And you can encourage them to stay within the church for christenings, Mums and Toddlers, funerals …. and blimey, they might even start attending your Sunday services too!

I’d also like to put in a particular mention for two local churches who have ‘letting’ ministers (and who also do a very good sermon too!)  – St. Cuthbert’s in Lytham with Andrew Clitherow and The White Church in Fairhaven with David Phillips.  Two lovely vicars – two very popular churches.  With good reason.

PS. ‘Letting’ ministers?  When our youngest was little (or more little than he is now) he used to call us ‘unletting’ parents.  It’s stuck!

The Big Book

Those of you who went to the wedding fairs in the autumn may remember me showing you a much larger album with a perspex cover and heavier weight leaves. 

Similar in weight to a Graphistudio album (and sometimes known as a storybook album) but British-made, which is important to us.  We design all our albums ourselves and avoid using templates or specifing the number of pages included – we tend to work to the image.  This means that if you have a fabulous picture in your selection we will give it the platform it deserves  rather than cram it onto a page with a dozen other pictures.  The production costs to us are more but the result is far better.  So, as a Fotoamour customer,  you’ll have something that is totally unique and very beautiful.

We have decided to make this album available to all our current customers, including those who have had weddings but not yet ordered their albums – a letter will shortly be sent out to you giving details on price, etc.

You can see from the photographs that these are very substantial and very beautiful albums.  My feeling about such books is that they merit  a large number of photographs so just anticipate that you might want to add a few more to your 80 images or you may want to book additional hours of coverage.

If you have already booked a package containing a coffee table book but want to upgrade to The Big Book we can do this for an additional £500.  If you prefer to build your own package from the A La Carte section The Big Book is priced at £1000 and includes the first 80 images.

Some more news is that at Fotoamour we will NOT be putting up our prices to accomodate the VAT increase.    Any price changes will come into play this time next year, 2011.    We may introduce new product lines and services above and beyond those we currently offer and which you may want to add to your original package – but these will be extras rather than standard.

Happy New Year to you all!

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.

Wedding album delivery times

I’m checking out a few online wedding directories at the moment and reading some of the advice given about wedding photography and what you should expect from us.  Some valid points I must say – but some of them are written from the point of view of someone who knows nothing about processing wedding pictures.  Mainly in relation to realistic timescales, for instance.

One of the issues that I think couples have quite often with their photographers is about delivery times of albums.  It is an issue that I am sympathetic with my customers about, but to which there are clear answers.

You should understand the way that the system works.

It is unusual for your photographer to be able to get your images back to you in any form before about 4 weeks.   It can be done  if you are their only customer – want to be in that position?

Something that could delay this is the volume of weddings the photographer has on his books, the manner in which the images are presented to you ie: finished/unfinished, on disk or in a preview book.

Once the preview images are back with you receiving a finished album depends on the amount of time that the couple take to select their images.  In some cases this has been as long as two years with Fotoamour – in fact there are some guys out there who still haven’t selected their images for their book!  This is something that guests at this particular wedding don’t understand and for which the photographer will quite often get the blame.  But this is down to you – the customer – to make up your minds.  As photographers we cannot be held responsible for that.

If your photographer designs the albums themselves, rather than outsourcing this process, this will have an impact on how long it takes to get that album back.  Generally the more input (and care) your photographer takes him/herself the longer and, by definition, the more expensive the process will be.

You should also take into account the time of year – from April to August  you’ll find the process is quicker.  After this you’ll find that it takes longer, as your photographer will have to deal with customers on a first come first served basis.  And wedding couples have a habit of getting focused when they realise that Christmas is looming and know they will want to show off their pictures to visiting relatives.

But it is also the time when your photographer will be gearing up for the Christmas portrait market and their workload will increase.

So if you got married in September, OK’d your album images by early October you would imagine that it would take only a few weeks to get the album back.  Not necessarily so.   I quite often find that in October/November time I am inundated with album selections from weddings taking place 6 to 12 months earlier – and they are prioritised on a first come/first served basis.

Once the design has been completed the album is then sent off to the manufacturer to be made.  But they will have several hundred other orders to complete – because their photographers also have the same ordering patterns.

Over the Christmas period most of the large album manufacturers tend to close down for a two week period.  Immediately afterwards they are indundated with orders for sample albums for the big upcoming Spring wedding fairs. 

These two events alone will delay the production of a wedding album.  Wedding albums can take anything from 6 weeks to 3 months to get turned around depending on the time of year.  Add to that a minimum of 4 weeks for you to receive your originals and you are looking realistically at a timescale of 3 months at the very least after your wedding to get your finished album.

Now I know that there will be customers of mine who are laughing at that very notion of such a speedy turnaround.  I quite often take about 6 weeks to get the originals to my customers and it can often take 12 weeks to get the album returned.

Add to that a couple of months for the couple to come back to me with their selection, a couple of weeks for the Christmas break and all of a sudden we’re looking at 6 months before the guests are even getting a sniff at the album. 

It sounds terrible, doesn’t it?  But its realistic and its also the most important piece of work that you’ll probably ever commission in your life. 

So try to be patient