Christmas proposal ideas

With Christmas nearly here, people all over the country are preparing to pop the question - and who could blame them? The beautiful Christmas lights are on, the mulled wine is flowing; it’s a truly fabulous and romantic time of year. The possibilities of how to do it are endless but we thought we would mention a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing! Of course, all that really matters is that your other half says yes so whichever way you do it, we wish you all the best and of course, a merry Christmas!

Use the Christmas Tree

Who doesn’t love to unwrap presents under the Christmas tree? This is an exciting time for anyone so why not use the tree to help you with your proposal? You could hang the ring on the Christmas tree for your other half to find or burying it at the bottom of their stocking. You could also hand it to them when decorating the tree and watch their face wash over with shock and excitement when they realise what you handed them was not an ornament. 

A Series of Gifts

Why not buy a number of small presents, which may not cost much but are meaningful to the two of you and let your other half unwrap one after the other. This will hopefully result in some laughs and giggles. Then end the unwrapping with your engagement ring as the last present. 

On the Doorstep

This is quite a classic proposal idea, especially around Christmas and great if you prefer to have some intimacy as it’s likely to be just the two of you. Ensure your door is nicely decorated and maybe include a mistletoe too!

A Christmas Day Experience

Plan a day (or night) of Christmas activities such as ice skating, yummy meal, listening to some Christmas carollers; let the Christmas spirit take you. Then end the day with the best part - your proposal!

How to get the most out of a Wedding Fair

With the date for the Casa Hotel Wedding Fair quickly approaching, we wanted to share some tips on how you can get the most out of attending a Wedding Fair.

Get there early

These events can get very busy, especially at the bigger venues, so try to get there as early as possible to avoid the afternoon rush. It’s no fun trying to squeeze past hordes of women who all want to look at the same thing and there is nothing worse than waiting half an hour just to speak to a supplier you are interested in.

Dress Appropriately

This might be a long day so stick to your flats. If you are interested in buying your dress at a fair, do ensure you bring heels with you, preferably in the same height as the ones you will want to wear on your special day. On that note, also ensure you wear comfy clothes. If you want to try something on it’s best to make sure you can easily slip things on and off. Also, bring a large bag. You’re going to be given lots of flyers and brochures from exhibitors and need an easy way to carry them.

Speak to suppliers

These guys have the expert knowledge in their industry so ask any questions you might have. While this is probably your first time (and hopefully your last!), the suppliers attending have probably seen hundreds of weddings so there won’t be anything they can’t answer. And don’t be afraid of stupid questions - they have heard it all!

If you find a supplier you really like and get on well with be prepared to put down a deposit. Remember, they may book up with couples now planning 2-3 years in advance so don’t run the risk on missing out on your favourite supplier.

If you choose to put down a deposit, make sure you negotiate a discount first. Suppliers will expect a little bit of haggling on the day as long as you don’t take the mick.

Be Inspired

A wedding fair is a great way to experience wedding related products before your big day and dedicated sections for wedding flowers, wedding décor and wedding beauty will help inspire and entice you during your day out.

Ensure you charge your phone the night before so it doesn’t die on you, leaving you unable to take pictures.

Enjoy the bubbles/freebies/goodybags

Wedding fairs are there to have fun so take your time and have a glass of bubbly with your friends or husband to be. Don’t turn down any cake samples either - you never know what you might miss out on! Lastly, make sure you pick up a goodybag filled with flyers, offers and perhaps a free gift or two. You can study them at home once you’ve had a chance to digest your day!

And don’t forget - come and see us at the Casa Hotel Wedding Fair (Handford Lane, Yateley GU46 6BT), this Sunday 23rd September 2018 from 11am until 4pm!

Survival guide for a Hot Summer Wedding

With temperatures in England finally climbing and making us feel like summer truly is upon us, we thought it would be a good time to share some of our tips on how to make the most out of this heat!

Start drinking early!

By this we actually don’t mean alcohol, rather decorated pitchers with fruit-infused ice water which could be served straight after the ceremony. This will keep your guest cool as well as hydrated and will avoid anyone getting too tipsy before you even had a chance to hear the speeches.

 Ensure you don’t burn your guest’s behinds

Wooden and metal chairs can heat very quickly in hot temperatures which can become uncomfortable to sit on. Having chair cushions or slip covers will prevent your guests from feeling like they are sitting on hot coals.

Stay away from liquid makeup

To avoid any make-up mishaps when it is hot, go with powder-based make-up. There is nothing worse than having to run to the bathroom every 10min to ensure your foundation isn’t running off.

Give your guests a pair of sunglasses

Why not consider giving your guests sunglasses as a wedding favour? Most of your guests’ bags may be too small for sunglasses and nobody wants to have to squint for a whole day. Sunglasses can be purchased for a reasonable price at most high-street clothing retailers so this could be a reasonably priced option.

Put your hair back

Especially with a long mane, your head, neck and face may become too uncomfortable if you leave your hair down. Let air get to your skin and breathe with a tied back or up-do. If you are considering putting flowers in your hair, consider that they won’t have a water source and may therefore wilt quickly.

Being a Wedding Guest SUPERSTAR

You have been invited to share the most special day of someone’s life with them and of course you want to do anything you can to ensure their day goes off without a hitch! Here are a few hints and tips on how to be a Wedding Guest Superstar.

1.       RSVP as soon as possible

When you are invited to someone’s wedding RSVP as soon as you possibly can – don’t leave it until the deadline or even thereafter! The bride and groom are so excited after all their planning to receive the first RSVPs, so why not be the guests to give them that joy? Also, the couple need to make a seating plan and organise the number of meals – the sooner they can make these arrangements the easier for them. Also, RSVP for all the people on the invitation. Only if it says your name “and guest” is it polite to RSVP for a +1. If it says “and family” your reply should make it clear which of your family members will be attending.

2.       Be on time

Never be fashionably late to someone else’s wedding. Only the bride-to-be is allowed to make a show stopping entrance at her wedding. Everyone else should arrive early for the ceremony and be seated by the time the ceremony starts and the bride walks down the aisle.

3.       Avoid wearing white

This is especially important for female wedding guests. Don’t wear white. Just don’t. And please don’t ask the bride if it’s fine to wear white (“because you’ll be beautiful anyway so it’s not like I’ll draw attention from you”…). The bride might feel pressured to say yes but then feel awkward and resentful. Put yourself in her position – asking her just wouldn’t be fair. Similarly, avoid wearing black. If a number of guests make the same move, the event might quickly look like a funeral. And, unless the couple specifies otherwise, it's best to leave your ripped jeans, T-shirt and flip-flops at home.

4.       Don’t take pictures during the ceremony

Having loads of cameras thrust in your face during the ceremony is very distracting and something most venues will even ask you to refrain from. This is such a special moment – take the time to treasure it with the couple. Remember, there is a hired photographer who knows how and when to take the best pictures without distracting the couple or the wedding officials. Before you know it, the ceremony will be over and during the signing of the wedding book, you can take those treasured images.

5.       Be careful when throwing confetti

When throwing confetti ensure you stand back far enough and throw it up and over the couple. If standing too close it is easy enough to hit the couple in the face – something which does happen and if the confetti goes straight into their eyes it will ruin any beautiful pictures the photographer might be able to take.

6.       Monitor your alcohol intake

This probably goes without saying but with alcohol flowing freely on these joyous occasions, it is very easy to have one to many. Whilst there is nothing wrong in having a good time, no one wants to be that guest who makes a complete fool of themselves and no wedding couple wants to deal with a friend or relative who is disrupting their big day because of alcohol.

Easy View Photography presents SidiousArt.com

Every now and then, Easy View Photography likes to focus on a particular theme for shoots that we do because we enjoy the subject, we find the lighting of interest or we just simply want to give something new a try. Being a huge Star Wars fan, Andy has been keen to experiment with the original Kenner collectibles and has developed somewhat of an obsession with creating portraits of these vintage collectibles within what he would see them to be their natural habitats.

Over the last few months, while refining his skill in shooting these images, Andy has created an entire collection which is now being presented on it's own website - https://www.sidiousart.com.

Please have a browse and feel free to provide us with feedback either via the website or via our new facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/sidiousart.

We hope you like our creations!

How to save money on your wedding photography

It’s all very well and good for a photography business to tell customers that they should hire a professional wedding photographer to capture their special day but when on a tight budget, this may well be easier said than done. We therefore thought it would be useful to highlight some of the ways you can save on your photography:

  • Choosing an off-season wedding will help with the budget greatly. Many photographers will consider offering discounts for off-season weddings as these dates are less popular and they are less likely to get booked up quickly. These off season months are November to February and if you contact your chosen photographer and ask them if they could offer some reduction for those months, few are likely to say no to a little reduction. 
  • Book a digital package only. Although it’s nice to have albums, frames and videos, they are items you don’t necessarily need. You could always ask for photography vouchers from your guests as a wedding present and then pay for an album, frame or video this way.
  • If you are still unable to make your budget reach, why not ask friends or family to contribute to the wedding photography as a gift? Most parents or grandparents would be willing to help with the cost of the wedding instead of buying a present as not only do they know it is something which is wanted and useful, it also saves them hours or running around shops trying to find something you might like.
  • Do you know someone else who is getting married and looking for a photographer? If so, ask your photographer if they would consider giving you a referral fee. Then if the other couple also books with your photographer, you may be able to get another £25-50 off your own wng package.
  • Ask your photographer if they take payment plans. Some photographers will allow you to pay in instalments so allowing you to spread the cost of payments. Here at Easy View Photography we have had a number of clients who paid for their photography in this way as this can take away the pressure of having to come up with the entire sum at once.

More reasons why Professional Wedding Photographers are SO important to have

In our previous blog ‘Why Hiring a Professional Wedding Photographer is SO Important’, we highlighted the importance of why you should hire an experienced professional for your big day but we thought it would be worthwhile to highlight some other reasons too which we hadn’t mentioned:

  • A non-professional won’t carry the relevant back up photography gear with them whereas a professional will. This means that if anything goes wrong with one of their cameras, then they will have another one with them. As these cameras cost thousands of pounds, it is unlikely that your friend will have another one spare somewhere. This also means that professionals will know what to do if the battery runs out or other equipment fails as they will have a back-up plan in place.
  • Your guests won’t always know how to light a dark venue such as a church, country home or barn. Going from a dark venue to a light venue requires you to monitor the light constantly and react by changing ISO, aperture and shutter speed. The same would apply on a particular rainy day and even if it is very sunny.
  • Hiring a professional photographer who doesn’t have experience of weddings can also result in a bad experience. These people won’t know the general running of a wedding day, what happens when and where they need to be for the bet shots. Yes they may photograph landscapes beautifully but do they have experience of moving from group shots to close up shots of flowers all in the same breath?
  • If you get a friend, family member or one of your guests to take the photos, are they really going to be committed to the whole day? Guests will get drunk and a friend with a good camera may not realise the full impact of a wedding. Professionals can start any time from 10am-11am and some don’t finish till 10pm-11pm. Do you really think your friend will keep going for this time? Chances are important shots may well be lost as your friend gets bored and wanders off to enjoy themselves.

If your sole reason for not wanting a professional wedding photographer is cost, why not consider some budget saving tips which we will outline in our next blog?

Why Hiring a Professional Wedding Photographer is SO Important

Easy View Photography’s wedding page already touched upon the importance of having a wedding photographer but due to the amount of questions received about this, this blog is dedicated to looking at this subject a little closer. Of course it is tempting to ask a friend with a decent camera to take pictures or even leaving the picture taking to guests. It might even be tempting to hire a non-wedding photographer to take pictures – after all, if they can take cute images of friends at a party is this so different?

As a photography business, we have heard many of those suggestions, and unfortunately, we have also heard many horror stories as a result. All too often couples end up disappointed with the end result and with the images being the only lasting memory you will have of the day, these memories will end up being tarnished by the negative experience of reviewing badly taken images. As it is impossible to re-create these images, those beautiful memories will be lost forever.

The only reason that has ever been cited to us as to why a couple wouldn’t choose to have a wedding photographer is the cost associated with wedding photography. While we appreciate that it constitutes a fair amount of the wedding budget and some people might only have a small budget, we have also heard comments such as “it’s a lot of money for just one day”. Well, this isn’t accurate. A Photographer will meet with you for an initial consultation, they will then have to email you before the wedding, they will listen to your plans and answer your questions. Then on the day of the wedding they will be with you for 10-12 hours. After this, they will edit your wedding, going through the thousands of images they took and cutting it down to 500 (ish) images for you to look though. All these images will be edited individually; this process can take weeks.

Not only is there the time, there is the cost of running their photography business. Most photographers will shoot with 2 cameras each costing thousands. They will carry a multitude of lenses each costing hundreds of pounds, some thousands, flash guns, spare batteries, memory cards among a whole host of other technical kit. All in all wedding photography isn’t cheap because it isn’t a cheap business to set up, run or maintain.

Still not convinced? Keep your eyes peeled for the next blog.

What to Expect from your Family Photo Shoot

Getting comfortable

While most children are used to having their pictures taken, having a family photo shoot is usually a new experience for them. All of a sudden, there is a stranger standing in front of them with a big camera and an even bigger lens which can be super exciting and daunting at once. It is therefore important that in the first few minutes everyone becomes comfortable with one another. In the past, Andy has achieved this by telling children that he “needed help” setting up the camera or finding a good spot as most kids will love the attention and the opportunity to explore a little. If a child is particularly shy, it can sometimes help to show them the camera and ask them if they can see it “wink” when the shutter clicks.

First poses

Once everyone is settled and feeling comfortable around the camera, we try to get the images and poses we want done straight away as children in particular become easily bored or frustrated. If there are any particular poses you must have or images you have seen which inspired you, please share them with us as soon as possible before the actual shoot as that way these will be done first. Early on, kids won't mind sitting on laps or smiling, however, this cooperation seldom lasts for long.

Do not stress!

Even with the best intentions,  sometimes a child won’t cooperate even for the first posed photo and although it’s understandable that a parent might feel stressed when this happens, it’s important that you continue to look at the camera and not down at your child who may be pouting. Having a professional camera allows a photographer to take a large number of clicks within a short amount of time and more often than not, Andy is able to elicit a cheeky grin from a child while taking pictures. It would be a shame that if during that brief moment where the child smiling, his or her parents are staring down in distress instead of looking at the camera. And if your child is really not cooperating at all, Andy will just get up and say, “We’ll get one in a few minutes. Let's explore” which will lighten the mood and allow everyone to relax before trying again.

Keep moving

When doing a family photo shoot, it’s important to keep moving as little kids won’t let you stop moving anyway. We don't expect to be able to sit and adjust a pose for more than 20 seconds but instead will tell children (and their parents) to hug or tickle or kiss on the cheek and click away. After that, we will get up and walk to another spot where we have the kids picking flowers or throwing leaves or climbing a tree It is important that we let the children interact with the location and the more the adults join in the better. While moving along will provide a variety of photos, it also allows everyone to release some energy making it possible to try for posed pictures again.  

Take a break

While family photo shoots should be short and sweet, there may be times when breaks are needed and if snacks are on hand, even better. Small snacks that don't make crumbs are the best for these occasions such as pieces of fruit, fruit snacks or trail mix as they can be eaten quickly and won't smear all over faces. Cookies or crisps on the other hand can make a big mess as crumbs will be everywhere – on faces, fingers and cloths.

Booking Family photoshoots – How it works

When considering booking a family photo shoot, we are often asked how it works and what the process is. Well to make it easy we have created a 50 second video which explains the process in 7 simple steps: Family photo shoots – How it works video

Of course we will always be on hand if there are any questions which may well pop up and do review our blog page as this may well provide you with some great insights; the blog on What to Wear in Family Photoshoots is particularly popular.