What you need to know about pre-wedding photography

I often have couples ask me what a pre-wedding shoot is and it’s simply a photo shoot offering the couple a chance to get together with me in the run up to the big day, usually at the wedding venue, and to have some fun portrait photos taken.

Why should I have a Pre-Wedding shoot?

Now, some couple’s may ask why they should invest in this. Well, there are several reasons to book a photo shoot in the run up to the big day:

  • You have the chance to get to know me so you are more comfortable spending a large portion of your wedding day with me and especially for those who are a little camera shy, this is a great way to find out your likes and dislikes and for you to get an idea of how I work with the camera.

  • You can have some beautiful and natural images taken of you and your fiancé which can then be used on your wedding invitations, your guest book or as a slide show at your reception.

  • Having your pre-wedding shoot at your wedding venue also means that the pictures are thematically linked to your wedding and you can use the time to seek out perfect photo locations and get to know the venue.

  • Lastly, getting together before the special day allows us to discuss some of the important details like the order of the day, timings, particular image request and any ideas you may have in regards to your photography on the day.

From experience I can say that your time will simply seem to fly on your wedding day so it’s important to be happy with your photos as these will hold your most cherished moments for the rest of your life. To discuss booking a pre-wedding shoot, please get in touch.

We also have a couple of examples of a pre-wedding shoot here to view.

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!

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.

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.

Winter Weddings

Autumn and winter weddings are becoming increasingly popular with couples wishing to tie the knot and understandably so. Many wedding suppliers and venues are able to offer great discounts during these quieter months. It is also the perfect time of the year for honeymoons to exotic destinations such as the Caribbean and places like Thailand.

So while these points make a perfect argument to book your wedding during the months of November to February, there is normally one thing on a couples mindthat makes them feel uneasy – the weather (and with that the lack of light!).

Thankfully as an experienced wedding photographer, Andy doesn’t break out in sweat when faced with shooting a winter wedding. Quite the opposite is true. With the English weather being so unpredictable, light and sunshine is never a guarantee even in the summer which means a photographer must always be prepared. Difficult situations often bring out the most creative results and when faced with dimly lit settings, you can search out areas usually or areas that may otherwise have gone unnoticed. Shadows can be equally as intriguing as light. Of course, with it becoming darker much sooner, this also allows for some great twilight images which could otherwise be missed in the summer.

 The same also goes for "Bad weather”. With rain come umbrellas (the quintessential British accessory) and a certain energy that is only caught when people are trying to get from A to B without getting wet. And for those who are not afraid of a bit of rain, it is possible to capture some great images with rain drops in them. From experience we can say that it hardly ever rains solidly all day  and when it does stop, streets have been given a shimmering coat where subtle reflections give the images a new dimension and puddles have formed which show the most fascinating reflections.

If you decide to book a winter wedding, a experienced wedding photographer is key to getting some good images from the day. Not only will they have a “good camera” but they will also understand what is technically required of them and the structure of the day and how the light behaves throughout that day.

5 Things Your Wedding Photographer Wants You to Know

In 30 years from now, as you are re-counting your wedding day for your children and grandchildren, you will bring out your wedding album to show them just how beautiful the day was. Your wedding photos are truly something you will hold dear for decades to come. Great wedding photographers know this and therefore take their jobs incredibly seriously. We want to make sure you get the best possible pictures of your special day and have the following tips to ensure this happens:

1. Your wedding is about you. Do what you want.

Don’t feel constrained by tradition, or allow yourself to be pushed around by your wedding planner/mother/mother-in-law - do what you want on your wedding day! A wedding is about you and your partner. Everything else might be important, but secondary.

2. Good photos take time

Good photos rarely happen in 30 minutes, so allocate a reasonable amount of time to get them. This doesn’t mean that you have to take hours out of your special day, though it’s wise to consider taking 1 to 2 hours for your post-ceremony images. While this can seem like a lot, the time does tend to fly and considering the overall length of the day, it only takes up a small amount of your day.

3. Your dress is probably going to get dirty

If you resign yourself to the fact that your dress will get dirty, it will be much easier to come to terms with it when it happens. Dresses and shoes are very expensive but you don’t want to be worrying about them all day. Your photographer may take you to some tricky locations - those beautiful images of newlyweds strolling in sunlit fields don’t just happen – you may need to trudge through some muddy fields and climb over a fence or two.

4. Consider banning mobile phones and tablets at the ceremony

Mobile devices held up in the air during the ceremony can not only cause distractions but also interfere with your ceremony photography, after all, you don’t want to be looking at images of all your friends and family pointing mobile phones at you rather than actually paying attention to the proceedings. It’s not too much to ask of guests that they hold off from taking their own photos during the ceremony, and instead simply enjoy the occasion.

5. Give yourself some time alone on the dance-floor

For your first dance with your partner, make sure you allow yourself a bit of time alone together on the dance-floor. Savor it - it’s a minute or two that you should enjoy alone. First dances always make for some beautiful photos and if your bridal party joins the dancefloor too early, you may miss out on that one magic image that could be a treasure to you for the rest of your life.

We hope these tips have come in handy and if you would like to have a chat with us about your big day, please feel free to contact us.

How much does Wedding Photography cost?

When it comes to weddings, there are a lot of things to think about and before you start off, it is important that you are clear on your budget. How much are you looking at spending and how are you going to split it across all the different areas such as venue, food, dress, suit, shoes, flowers, drinks, cake and not forgetting wedding photography?

The average UK wedding photography cost is £992 so it’s important to shop around and see what all the different wedding packages consist of. To make things easy we charge a flat rate covering the entire day, from the pre-ceremony right through to the first dance and it is then up to you to choose whether you would like a frame, album or video. This can significantly reduce the cost for a couple if they want to create photo album’s themselves for example.

What could reduce the cost of your photography?

Time of the year - if you have your wedding in the off season, so in the winter months, then you are likely to get it slightly cheaper as photographers may be willing to do a special deal as many couples look to get married in the spring and summer months.

Coverage – fewer photos can reduce the cost, and by this I mean less time capturing. So instead of the full day you hire them to just capture the ceremony and maybe post-ceremony, so instead of the whole day they are just there for a few hours. Before deciding to go with this option, think about the day you are planning, think about the story you want to be told via photos. How are you and your bridesmaids getting ready - do you want photos of you all getting ready? What about the groom? Do you want photos of the cake cutting or the first dance? Don’t jump the gun and only hire your photographer for a few hours just to save money, think about the whole day and the photos you really want.

Presentation – once the photos have been edited and are ready to go, how do you want them? If you want your photographer to produce a beautiful album for you to relive and tell your wedding day story then this would be an additional cost to just getting all your photos on a CD.

Engagement shoots – this is an optional extra but it is a great way to help get comfortable in front of the camera and around your photographer. It will help you feel more relaxed and calm in front of the camera when having photos taken on the big day itself. As well as a bit of fun you also get some lovely shots of you and your partner, perfect for going on wedding invites or your save the date cards. As we think this is an important aspect of wedding photography, we provide this free of charge for any full day of coverage.

What about a cheap Photographer?

What about the Photographer who can do it for £450? As with anything in this world, there is always something cheaper no matter what it is. However, usually you get what you pay for. Professional cameras and lenses cost thousands of pounds; just because someone has an SLR doesn’t mean it’s going to produce a beautiful image. Experience is also important; photographers need to know where to stand and when to stand there. If you miss that first gaze, that shot is lost forever. Picking a photographer who has done 50 weddings and has received good reviews is clearly a saver choice than someone who has only done a handful.