Caroline and John, 20th November 2009

We had so much stuff going on before Christmas and into the New Year that I have yet to post some of the weddings that we did at the end of 2009.

Caroline and John’s big day dawned bright and beautiful.  I had to drive through some fairly major puddles to get to the venue at Springfield House and all the fields around this lovely venue were awash.  Nevertheless the sun shone and, although a little parky at times, it was a really lovely day.

Caroline had this amazing pair of shoes – I can’t remember where they came from but they were really funky and had these sweet little cat creatures painted on the soles.

And one of her friends had this perky little fascinator  – she told me where she got it from but I’m sworn to secrecy!

The flowers came from Zime Design in Lytham.  They are listed on our favourites section on the website,  mainly because I think Catherine who runs it is a very pleasant lady.  But I think the deep purpley red of the lilies was fabulous and it was lovely to see a proper hand-tied bouquet.  (Its one of my pet hates to have plastic handpieces on a bouquet – they are never very effective and I ‘ve had situations where the flowers just drop out of them whilst the bride is holding them – so be warned).  Catherine and her team did a fabulous job.

Caroline was one of the easiest brides to work with – she never stopped smiling the whole time.   In fact, disconcertingly perhaps for John, she giggled the whole way through the ceremony –  but in the nicest possible way.  John said afterwards that he knew she would either laugh or cry – the emotion of the day sends people in different directions! 

Caroline and John had three of the nicest children and they were easy to photograph – no big tantrums and tiaras (though the hair pieces were very nice!).  They just got on with having a great time.  There were quite a few children there that day – a big family wedding – and they were all really well behaved.  Just nice kids to be around.

Sara is the lady who runs Springfield House.  She has had this fabulous venue for a few years now and has  made great improvements – lovely decor and fairly uncluttered despite being an older property.  The lounge with the open fire was really welcoming for the older members of the party and less noisy than the bar area.  Great for those who just wanted a little calm after all the madness and excitement of the day.

One of my favourite things about Springfield House  are the chandeliers which I think look lovely and sparkly, particularly for a winter wedding.   They are in the very welcoming entrance way, also with a grand staircase and under Sara’s eye it has been decorated very elegantly.  It makes for a very special and intimate wedding.

It would be really nice to be able to photograph groups on something other than the lawn – because during the winter the ladies heels are going to sink into the grass.  Which leads to the guests feeling a bit reluctant – so it would be good to be able to photograph from the room above the entrance way.  I did try to scramble through the 6″ gap but sadly even my weedy frame wouldn’t allow it.  So a ladder job it had to be (with my trusty assistant for the day, Marianne, holding it steady!).  But the resulting shot was good and I was pleased with it.

Caroline and John have been one of my favourite couples of the year.  They were really easy-going and seemed to embrace the day for all the right reasons. The light at the end of the day for photos was lovely – just golden and gave Caroline this lovely halo effect.  Her hair looked fab anyway.

Thanks for selecting Fotoamour to photograph your wedding and hope you have enjoyed your fabulous montage.  I’m looking forward to using some of the photos with that wonderful late afternoon sun in the gallery, when I get it updated later this spring.

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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.

Why do you want copyright of your wedding images?

When I’m doing wedding fairs or when people come to see me to book their weddings, often the biggest motivation for booking us is the DVD and copyright.  And I think you’re all missing the point.

Copyright is NOT what the majority of my customers want – its just what you think you want.  Actually, the important thing for you is the ability to print the pictures.  Mostly its to send them over the internet to friends and family or put on your mobiles.    Fotoamour gives you this ability but it isn’t called ‘copyright’ – its called ‘permission to use’ and it comes with restrictions.  You wouldn’t, for instance, be able to sell those images to a bridalwear company to advertise their wedding dresses.

In most instances, customers only ever want to use the images themselves.   So you don’t need copyright.

Often the reason couples want copyright is because they think they need it to print off their own pictures.  Or because they’re worried that the photographer will ‘lose’ them. 

Now then – think back to all those family snaps you’ve got languishing on your computer and tell me how many you have had printed and put in albums.  All of them?  A very few good ones?  Or maybe none of them?   Here’s a confession.  I am a photographer.  I take loads of pictures of my children.  The pictures are all on my external hard drive.  Have I printed any of them?  NO!!!

Ten years ago, when digital photography was just a twinkle in Mr Fuji’s eye, I was getting all these family snaps developed and printed.  I have albums and albums full of family pictures from those early days.  Some of them aren’t particularly great photos on a technical level.  Some are a bit blurry.  Some are a bit skew wiff.  (Obviously this was before my award-winning days!)   But there they are in the albums and, boy, do I love looking through them. (So do my kids incidentally). Everyone is precious to me, however blurry and however skew-wiff.

So is it about safe-guarding your wedding pictures?  I back up weddings on an external hard drive and a hard copy, and just for kicks, I have a back-up on a different computer at a different location.  Its pretty secure.  If your house or my house burns down I still have access to those files.

Now consider this because ITS MUCH MORE IMPORTANT THAN OWNING COPYRIGHT!!!

In an album you will have 80 images.  (31 images in the montage.) Each image will have been examined and tweaked to gain the maximum from it.   You will be presented with a fabulous finished piece which you will feel happy and confident to show to friends.  On a DVD you will get a minimum of 250 digital negatives.  Digital negatives, mind you, not album quality files.  To enhance them to that degree would take so much time that the cost would become prohibitive for my customers.  They will be a lovely reminder of the day but none of them will have been ‘finished’ to the same level as those that appear in an album or in a frame or just as a Fotoamour print.  If you print any images yourself from the DVD you will be showing them ‘in the raw’.  Unfinished. (Think about the cost of loose prints versus the cost of a DVD.  How many pictures do most of you actually end up printing from your own DVD?  Sometimes it doesn’t even add up financially either).

But for most of you the DVD will languish in the drawer.  In a few years time it’s format will be obsolete and it will be a pain in the posterior for you to have it converted to the format that is required to view it, or print from it.  You probably won’t bother.  Remember all those VHS wedding videos that are now unwatchable because technology has moved on apace! 

This is why my lowest priced package contains the montage and not a DVD.

Think about the purpose of booking a wedding photographer.   Its not only about taking pictures and a piece of plastic – how unromantic!  Its so much more than that.   Its about the finished piece and longevity and craftsmanship.

We are there to do the complete job. To translate the most important day of your life into a beautiful, precious, crafted piece – that you can go back time and time again to enjoy.  And it will be there for your children and children’s children to marvel at too.  

By all means have the DVD – but don’t see it as the B-All and End-All of your wedding photography.