More important questions to ask your wedding photographer.
This is the second Q&A section for HeadOverHeels Photography with more detailed answers to those listed in the Top 10 Q & A section together with answers to some less frequently asked questions..
Remember, any photographer who loves what they do will welcome questions about him or herself and what they have to offer. It shows us that your wedding photography is important to you. Besides, we photographers love to talk about photography!
I have listed them in the order I have found to be the most popular. Some of the answers may look a little lenghty and I make no apology for that because I want to answer your questions with complete openness and honesty and that often requires more than a simple "yes" or "no".
It is my hope you will find them useful, informative and refreshingly honest. You might even find yourself saying "Well, I never would have thought of asking that! But come to think of it, it's worth knowing".
It's important you choose the photographer that is right for you and your day, so get answers to the questions that really matter to you.
How would you describe your "style" of wedding photography?
I could write a fairly lenghty article about photography styles and their interpretation but I'm guessing you do not want to spend all day reading just to answer one question, so I will try to be brief.
There are lots of buzz words used to describe styles of wedding photography. You have "traditional', "photo-journalistic", "reportage", "documentary", "candid", "posed", "comtemporary", "avant garde" and so on. The thing is, these terms often mean different things to different people and meanings change over time. An image taken in what was considered a"contemporary" style 20 years ago is unlikely to be considered "contemporary" today.
Currently, all these terms can really be reduced to four (arguably five) groups with similar meanings:
"Traditional" includes "posed", "conventional" and "classic".
"Reportage" really has the same meaning as "photo-journalistic", "candid" and "documentary".
"Contemporary" could equally be referred to as "fashion", "editorial", "illustrative", "creative", or "modern".
"Fine Art" and "Avant Garde" could arguably be catagories of their own.
The circumstances in which the photograph was taken can also change a person's opinion on what "style" was followed at that time. Let me explain by way of an example. A beautiful photograph of the Bride as she arrives in her wedding car for her ceremony. She has a wonderful natural smile on her face and is waving through the car's open window at her Bridesmaids. How would you descride this "style". Is it "Photo-journalistic"? "Candid"? "Documentary"? ( which really all mean the same thing ).
What if I tell you that, without the Bride knowing, I had arranged for the Bridesmaids to stand where they were and politely asked them to make sure they waved and smiled at the Bride when she arrived. I had also asked the Chauffeur of the car to make sure the Bride's window was down and to stop opposite where the Bridesmaids were standing so that she could see them. Does that make this photograph "Posed"? "Traditional"? "Classic"?
It most definately isn't "Photo-journalistic" or "Candid" in the strictest meaning of those terms because, whilst the reaction of the Bride is spontaneous and natural, the circumstances under which it was taken had been "stage managed". It's the same photograph, yet the name given to it's "style" can change simply by the method used to capture it.
So does the name given to it's "style" really matter? Whatever you call it's "style", it is still a beautiful photograph of the Bride as she arrives for her wedding ceremony waving to her Bridesmaids with a wonderful natural smile on her face.
I have seen even the most experienced photographic judges at competitons have differences of opinion on "style" and which catagory a particular competition entry should be in. Should it be in the "wedding contemporary" catagory or the "wedding avant garde" catagory? If some of the most talented and knowledgeable photographers in the world can't agree, how are the rest of us supposed to?
I believe it is fair to say that a good wedding photographer will be able to take photographs in a variety of "styles" and will know which to use at various moments during your day.
My advice is to not get too focused on the buzz words being used nowadays. Simply look at the photographs in a wedding photographer's portfolio and just ask yourself the simple question, "Is this the type of photography I want to see in my wedding album"? If it is, does it really matter which word is used to describe it's "style"?
If you have read my homepage you may have noticed I have used some of these "buzz words" myself. I would rather not have to use them but we live in a world where Search Engine Optimisation is necessary for you to be able to find my website. Explaining why I have used them would involve me writing another short article!
True story: During the Wedding referred to above, there was a bit of a mishap. Many of the guests were staying at a nearby hotel. When the Bride arrived for her ceremony, the guests had not. The coach company who were due to collect them had mixed their dates up and the coach hadn't arrived. The Bride said that the Registrar had indicated it was imperitive the ceremony started on time as she had another wedding to go to. I could see the Bride was getting very concerned, and rightly so.
Whilst the Father of the Bride started sorting out alternative transport for the guests, I went to liaise with the Registrar to find out how much time we actually had. Then I took the Bride off with her Bridesmaids for a photo session. It took her mind off what was going on and we had some fun taking some great photos. Meanwhile, the guests all made it safely and the rest of the day went well.
The next day the Bride's mother got in touch with me. She said "Thank you so much. You really saved the day. My daughter was about to go into a complete meltdown".
Perhaps one of the questions you should be asking any photographer is "Would you help in a crisis if something goes wrong?" Most experienced photographers will be able to give you some examples of where they have and how they helped.
I feel really awkward in front of a camera. Will that show in my photo's?
I realise I have already answered this question on my Q & A page but I get asked it so often I believe it is worth repeating here. You really are not alone. I often get asked this question. It might be worded differently, such as "I never look good in photos", "I get nervous when having my picture taken" or "I hate having my photo taken", but they are essentially based on the same fears. ( I'll let you in on a little secret. I really don't like having my picture taken either, so I know exactly how you feel ).
This is one of the reasons I always say choosing the wedding photographer that is right for you and your day is so important. A Photographer who you can have fun with, who relaxes you and makes you feel comfortable and at ease. Your photography shouldn't feel like a "chore" or something your are dreding, it should be an enjoyable experience and a fun part of your day.
It is why I like to spend some time with you and include a practice shoot for anyone who wants one. We get to know eachother a bit better before your day and you get to see just how much fun can be had when taking your photographs. It's about creating the right atmosphere so that you can relax and enjoy the experience. I'll say it again, it really is about choosing the photographer that is right for you.
A lot of the photographs on my website galleries are of couples who were worried about how they would look in their photos. Look through them and then decide for yourselves. Do they look nervous and uncomfortable, or do they look like they are enjoying themselves?
We like the selected images on your website but do you have images of an entire wedding we can view?
As I have already mentioned, I have slideshows of many complete weddings available for viewing on an iPad or computer, together with sample Wedding Albums so that you can see the quality of the end result in print. There are also lots of galleries all dedicated to one wedding at a particular venue.
A bit of advice for when you look at a wedding photographer's portfolio. The vast majority of photographers are honest people, however there are two things you need to be aware of.
Firstly satisfy yourselves (as best you can) that the images in the portfolio were taken by the photographer you are talking to. It has occasionally been known for a photographer to include images that were taken by someone else in their portfolio, passing them off as having been taken by them. Not only is this copyright theft, but they are deliberately misleading you and the images of your day may not be up to the standard of those you were shown.
Secondly, some photographers attend "portfolio building days" where they take images of models pretending to be brides and grooms. These images will have been taken in ideal conditions where the photographer has time to get everything "just right" rather than during the course of a wedding when time is very short. Also, the photographer may well have been acting under the instruction of a very experienced wedding photographer at the time. In effect, being taught how to take good wedding images.
Whilst you can get an idea of what the photographer can produce in these ideal conditions, (providing they can remember what they were taught on the "portfolio building" day) it may not be a true reflection of what that photographer can consistently achieve on a real wedding day. Perhaps most importantly, what they can achieve on your wedding day. There is absolutely nothing wrong in showing you these images as examples of their work, providing they are open and honest about the circumstances in which they were taken.
Please don't think that there are lots of photographers willing to mislead you in order to get you to book them. The majority will be completely honest about the standard of their work because they do not want you to be dissappointed with your images. But I am not the only one who has come across these dishonest and misleading practices being used by a small minority.
I can assure you with compete honesty that the images I show you will all have been taken by me and will all be of real couples during their wedding day.
Who will be photographing our Wedding?
Simple answer, me. You will not get someone you have never met before, unless I'm seriously ill.
What happens if you are seriously ill then?
Firstly I would like to say that I have NEVER failed to keep a booking. I do however have to accept that one day something really serious may happen to me which prevents me being there.
This is where my being an active member of The Society of Wedding & Portrait Photographers can be a real benefit.
If a member suddenly falls ill, we call on other members to take their place confident in the knowledge that the wedding photographer covering for me is a true professional.
What do you mean by being "an active" member of The SWPP?
What I mean is I don't just pay a subscription fee so that I can call myself a member. I assist with the judging at their international image competitions, with the training of other photographers at their week long annual convention in January each year, participate in their training courses and contribute regularly on their advice forums.
This also helps me stay up to date with the latest techniques and developments in the Wedding Photography Industry.
Do you charge extra for the high resolution digital files?
As I've already said in Q & A, that's an easy one to answer. No. High resolution digital image files suitable for printing by both yourselves AND your guests are included in the price. I retain copyright and provide you with written permission to print as many copies as you like for your own use and that of your family and friends, provided that use is not for commercial purposes. In other words, you can do almost anything you like with with your photos besides sell them - something which I don't think you would want to do anyway!
As explained in the Top 10 Q&A section, if you would like to have "files suitable for use on social media" as well as the high resolution files, just ask. I am happy to provide them free of any extra charge.
Can you explain "copyright" to us and who owns it?
To learn who owns copyright of a digital image I advise you read the guidance given by the Intellectual Property Office. Being a Government based website, I believe it can be trusted more than any advice given by some other sources. You can find it here.
If our Wedding lasts longer than expected, will you stay? Is there an additional charge?
This is my main reason for not charging by the hour. I have photographed weddings in the past where the schedule has slipped so that the First Dance is later than was planned.
If you hire a photographer who charges by the hour it can be a problem. Say you hire them for 10 hours because you want your preparations covered right up to your first dance. You expect the photographer to start at 10.00am and your first dance is scheduled for 8.00pm. That's the 10 hours they are contractually obliged to cover.
Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond your control, time slips on the day. You have to reschedule your first dance for 9.00pm. The photographer is leaving at 8.00pm, so what do you do. Photographers will probably stay but they will more often than not want to charge you extra for this, somtimes as much as £200 to £300 per hour. You're in the middle of your wedding day. You're not going to be able to get another photographer to cover it, so you end up with either another bill to pay or no photographs of your First Dance.
In my experience when the schedule slips it is often the fault of a supplier, not the happy couple. I feel it grossly unfair to present you with another bill because of something which simply wasn't your fault.
In these circumstances, if you have hired me to cover your First Dance, I will stay the extra hour without any extra charge. If coverage of your First Dance is included in your package, I will stay and cover it even if it is later than planned due to someone else's mistake.
Who will be editing our photos?
In order to maintain "quality control" and my artistic vision of how a photograph should look, I do all my own editing. If you take a look at the photographs displayed on the various galleries here on my website, you will see what I mean by that. You can expect the editing of your final photographs to be of that standard. If you would like further explanation why not contact me so that we can arrange to discuss it in more detail.
How long after our Wedding Day will our photographs be ready for viewing?
If you are going away on honeymoon for a week or more, they will be ready on your return providing I do not suffer an unfortunate accident or am not gravely ill, something over which I have no control.
In the past I have always had my client's images ready for viewing in their on-line gallery within two weeks of their Wedding Day and regularly make them available within just one week. It is my intention to maintain that level of service.
Your wedding album will take a little longer. You will need time to choose which photographs you would like to include and then approve the design. Only when you are happy will this be sent off to the printers and book binders for your wedding album to be made.
Will there be an archive of our photographs and how long will we have access to them?
I always advise that you make backup copies of your photographs or, better still, have them printed. There is a saying in digital media that, unless there are at least 3 copies of something, it doesn't exist. Your online gallery will remain available for at least a year so you and your guests will have pleanty of time to download copies.
I make five copies of all the wedding photographs I take. Four are stored locally on my own hard drives (in case of hard drive failure) and the fifth copy is stored "off site" just in case.
I still have copies of every wedding photograph I have supplied to past clients. I intend to keep them for as long as I am a photographer and will still keep them after I retire. They say that, as with artists and actors, a photographer NEVER retires!
You say you are a "qualified" Wedding photographer. How does that benefit us?
You often see letters after a photographer's name indicating they have a qualification but not many people understand their significance. Let's face it, not many people actually need to, but you are looking for a wedding photographer to take some of the most important photographs of your life, so it might be useful for you to know how being qualified can be of benefit to you.
In an industry that is largely unregulated, such as Wedding Photography, how can you have confidence that the person you are considering hiring is up to the job? Most professional photographers would like to see more regulation within the industry, myself included, but currently the best you the client can do is find out whether that person has undergone training with a highly regarded body and has a recognised qualification. The benefit to you is that you can then have confidence that person can provide the service you are hiring them for. The SWPP is a highly regarded body in the industry and it is my hope that my qualification will give you confidence in me as a professional photorgapher. Confidence that I have the ability to provide you with beautiful images and a professional service from start to finish.
What does the qualification actually mean?
The letters after my name are LSWPP. That stands for Licentiate of The Society of Wedding and Portrait Photographers and is an Internationally recognised qualification relating specfically to Wedding and Portrait photography. To gain this qualification five "Fellows" of photography, all amongst the most highly qualified wedding and portrait photographers in the UK, have examined my work and unanimously agreed that it is:-
"Of a professional standard demonstrating the ability to creat images of excellence".
They go on to outline their criteria:
"We are looking for images that show the applicant is in full control of the medium. The images should show correct camera technique, full control of the lighting and the final production of the finished image. We expect to see that the photographer is in control of the subjects portrayed and in the case of people, that they are posed in an attractive manner and good expressions obtained".
They have all agreed that my Wedding photography meets those criteria.
You can see my successful qualification panel on the SWPP website.
Added to that, I have successfully completed The Societies' judging course, which is necessary to allow me to formally assess the work of other wedding photographers when they apply for qualifications or submit competition entries.
Are you a "recommended supplier" at any venues?
Your chosen venue may have a list of "recommended suppliers", and you may be considering using them. After all, these suppliers will have been "vetted" by the venue and are familiar with it, no? That may be the case but there is a growing practice which I personally find distasteful and believe you should be aware of.
I have been approached by three venues asking me if I would like to be on their "recommended suppliers" list. Obviously I can see some advantages to me by being on such a list but I can see one big disadvantage for my clients. That is, the venues wanted to charge me between £200 and £300 for each client they recommend me to. If I agreed to those terms, I would have to charge you, my client, between £200 and £300 extra for my services just to cover that additional cost. I would not be providing you with a better service to justify that extra cost as that money would go straight to the venue owners and you probably wouldn't be aware of it.
Let's say you decide to use the venue's recommended photographer, videographer, florist, caterer, wedding car hire, dress supplier, chair cover supplier and so on. With commission fees of £200 to £300 on each recommended supplier, the cost can soon mount up to many hundreds of pounds.
Some, including venue owners, would say it is simply good business practice. After all, they have to make a profit as any business does otherwise the business will fail, but I believe there is a difference between making a fair profit and taking advantage of people. I would emphasise that not all venues adopt this practice but it is becomming increasingly common as they seek to increase their profits.
So I would say by all means use their recommended suppliers if you think they are worth what they are charging, but I believe you should be made aware of this growing practice so that you can make a fully informed decision.
Do you ever have any "Special Offers".
That question is not as straightforward as it may first appear. Let me explain.
We all expect to get value for money when choosing a supplier, and most of us love a bargain. But what is a bargain?
I'm sure you must have seen this subject covered on consumer programs on TV where companies artificially raise the price on something for a month, then advertise it as a "Special Offer - For A Limited Time Only" at the price it was originally. Then, when the "Limited Time" expires, they simply extend it. It's a sales trick whereby you actually pay what the company wanted to sell it for in the first place, but they make you believe you are getting a "bargain".
Every business needs to make a profit if it is to continue trading. When I see "Limited Time Special Offer" with any business, the first thing I ask myself is, why are they having to provide a "Special Offer"? In all probability, it is because either:
1. They originally charged an artificially high price as mentioned above or;
2. Based on the quality of the service and product being provided, they were not giving good value for what they have been charging and therefore are not getting enough work to continue trading. So, in order to generate some business, they are having to reduce their prices.
The problem with that is, if they are not making a profit on these "Special Offer" prices, they will probably cease trading as no business can exist if it is making a loss. So they then end up having to "cut corners" and reduce their service so that they are still able to make some profit.
When you are looking at booking a supplier a year or maybe longer before your wedding you need to ask yourself, is it much of a bargain if the supplier is no longer in business when your wedding day comes along and they don't turn up? Believe me, I have seen it happen. Every year I get a few enquiries with short notice because something like this has happened. I have attended conferences where this subject has been covered and learned that the most common cause of failure for photography businesses is setting prices at an unstainably low level.
I would also ask you to consider this. How would you feel if, having booked your wedding photographer at their full price, you find out a month later that they are offering £200 off for a limited time!
I have been very careful about setting my prices. My overheads have been reduced to a minimum and my prices set so that I can continue in business for the foreseeable future. I want to provide a high level of service and high quality product for my clients and I have set my prices so that I can provide that very important "value for money" ALL the time, not just for a "Limited Time Only".
So, the simple answer to the original question is no, I do not provide "Limited Time Special Offers'. What I provide is great value for money ALL the time.
We're having a rehersal before our Wedding Day, will you be able to attend?
Providing I'm not already booked on the day of your rehersal, I will be there.
I like to take the opportunity to introduce myself to your wedding officiant so that he/she knows who I am and that I understand their "rules" for photography.
It also gives me the opportunity to see exactly what you have planned for your big day and meet all your friends and family that are taking part. I do not charge extra for this.
Do we need a second photographer?
That depends on the level of coverage you want. For most weddings it isn't necessary, which is why I offer the services of a second photographer as an upgrade to your wedding coverage. That way you only pay for one if you really need or want one.
What's the different between a "photographer's assistant" and a "second photographer"?
A photographer's assistant is exactly that. Someone who is there to assist the principle photographer, and I will usually have an assistant with me. A "second shooter", or "second photographer" is a photographer in their own right capable of working independently of the principle photographer. If you are paying for a second photographer that is what you should get, not a photographer's assistant who has been given a camera for the day in order to take a few extra images.
Do you expect us to provide you with a meal on the day?
Of course not. I leave it up to your discretion. I will admit that, for those weddings where I am required for the full day, a hot meal will be very much appreciated, but not expected. When some venues charge between £60 and £120 per head I don't think it's fair for me to expect a meal. Something you might like to know is that most popular venues do offer a service where they provide suppliers like photographers with a single course hot meal at a very reduced price which is served in a nearby location during the wedding breakfast. Besides, I will be far too busy and not have the time to sit down for a large meal.
A relative/friend of ours has offered to do my wedding photography for us, so why should I pay for a wedding photographer?
I know that it really is very kind of your relative or friend to make such an offer because I know the responsibility and trust that is being placed in them and just how much work is involved. With there being so many things to pay for, saving money by not having to pay for your photography can be very tempting.
I would only advise you to ask them the same questions as you would ask me. Your Wedding Day is one of the most important days of your life, filled with so many "firsts". The first kiss, the first dance. You will exchange vows for the first time only once. You will walk down the aisle as newly weds only once. So many moments that cannot be recreated. There's no time to experiment. They have to get it right first time, every time.
Unfortunately, I know of families who have fallen out when there have been problems with the wedding photography. It's a simple fact, and I don't mean to be unkind but, just because "Uncle Bob" can take a fabulous landscape picture when on his holiday, doesn't mean he can make a fabulous job of photographing your wedding day. And if the photos don't turn out the way you expected, you can't go back and do it all again. If something goes wrong, how will you feel? And how will "Uncle Bob" feel if he has let you down?
Every year I receive a couple of enquiries very close to the wedding day. When I get chatting to the couples I ask why they are looking for a photographer so close to their day. I then learn that they had a friend or relative who had agreed to photograph their wedding, but they changed their mind. ( It's usually either that, or the photographer they hired has gone out of business ).
I can imagine what has happened. The friend or relative has agreed to do it as a favour to save them having to pay for a professional and they have probably done it with the very best of intentions. Because their friend or relative doesn't want to dissappoint them, they have gone away to try and learn how to photograph a wedding only to find there is a lot more to it than they thought. They simply didn't appreciate the amount of work that goes into it or the photographic and people skills that are necessary to do it correctly. Because they care and don't want the couple to be dissappointed with their photographs, they drop out and ask them to hire a professional.
Please, take the pressure off "Uncle Bob" and let him enjoy your day like the rest of your family without having to worry about making a good job of your wedding photography.
But we have so many things to pay for. Is it really wise to invest in a professional wedding photographer?
Only you can decide whether it is right for you to hire a professional. To be honest, it really all depends on how much importance you place on your wedding photographs and only you can answer that question. To help you decide, I have written a page on my website called Investment which I hope will help you make an informed decision about whether it's a wise investment for you and why professional photographers have to charge what they do.
How many weddings will you photograph in any given week?
I only accept an average of one booking per week. After you have added together the time spent on consultations, venue visits, the rehearsal, photography on the big day, processing the images and designing the wedding album, an all day wedding will be around 50 to 60 hours work. I feel that, if I were to accept more bookings, I wouldn't be able to spend the time on your day that you deserve. You can read more on this subject in my about me section.
A lot of photographers say they are "award winning". Have you won any awards?
I could truthfully put a big banner on my homepage advertising the fact that I am an award winning wedding photographer. The thing is, when you look at wedding photographers' websites these days, it looks like most of them are "award winning" and therein lies the problem. Although it is no mean feat to win a competition, there are so many "award winners" it has almost become meaningless to couples searching for a photographer.
What are these "awards" anyway and what do they mean? A photographer who wins a prestegious international wedding photographic competition can say they offer "award winning wedding photography". So can a photographer who wins a competition at a local camera club. Needless to say, the former is a far better indication of their skill level than the latter, though both might have taken an awesome photograph.
Hardly a week goes by that I don't receive an invitation to enter a photographic competition. There are so many of them these days that, in my humble opinion, their value has become deminished. Enter enough images into competitions and the chances are you will eventually have a photograph that is worthy of winning one. Added to that is the fact that it shows the photographer has managed to take one truly awesome photograph. The standard of imagery in competitions can vary greatly with some of them being exceptionally high so I take absolutely nothing away from their achievement, which they can justifiably be very proud of. The thing is to you, the customer, is it any guarantee that they will be able to take lots of awesome photographs for you on your wedding day?
Added to that is the cost of entering some of these competitions. You may already have read that I try to keep my business overheads to a minimum so that I can provide you with genuine value for money. By the time you have had the images professionally printed on the best quality paper, with the best quality mounts, and paid the entry fees it can add up to many hundreds of pounds to enter competitions. A business cost that I would have to pass on to my clients when it is unlikely to be of any real benefit to them.
I believe, and I know that many of my colleagues agree, that a recognised qualification is a better indication of the abilities of a photographer. Why? Because a qualification is only awarded when the photographer has demonstrated an ability to take good photographs consistently. I had to submit images from 10 different weddings when I applied for my qualification and they all had to be of a high standard, not just one of them.
I know I am repeating myself here but I strongly advise when you are looking for a wedding photographer look at their body of work, not just a few images. Check to see that they are able to provide high quality photography consistently, rather than the occasional great image.
Can you give me a 100% guarantee that I will get exactly the photographs I am after?
Honestly, no. And neither can any other photographer. I will do everything I possibly can to make sure you are delighted with your wedding photographs. I have taken all the steps I can ( reliable equipment, insurance, reliable mode of transport, a back up plan in case I am unwell and so on ) to ensure you are happy but there are things I cannot control, such as the weather. I also cannot guarantee an accident or something totally unexpected will not happen, and neither can anybody else. Such things are very rare, but no one can guarantee they won't happen.
Taking the weather as an example, I photographed a wedding one July where the couple had planned on having all their group photographs taken outside in some lovely grounds. Well, it rained, and when I say rained I mean it was reported on the news the next day as the worst July storm on record. Needless to say, plan B (I always have a plan B, just in case) came into play and we took the group photographs elsewhere. Were the couple delighted with their wedding album? Yes, they were. There were lots of umbrellas on show, but it was still their big day and the photographs just brought big smiles to their faces. They didn't get the photos they had planned on, but they did get photos that reflected their big day and they loved them.
The 100% guarantee that I CAN give you is that I will go above and beyond in my efforts to make sure you have fabulous photographs of your day.
So if no photographer can give a 100% guarantee, how do you choose one? Look at their portfolio and make sure you like what you see. MEET THEM! Ask as many questions as you like, including those shown on my website. Make sure you get on with them, that they are able to give satisfactory answers to all your questions and make sure they have back up plans in case something unexpected happens. Above all, make sure as best you can that they will give of their very best for you on your day.
You have some really good testimonials on your website. How do we know if they are genuine?
We've all seen the testimonials that go something like "......... we are really pleased with our photos......" K & M, Essex. What does that tell us? Firstly, what was said before "we are really pleased with our photos" and what was said afterwards. The missing words being indicated by the ......... And who are K & M, Essex?
It looks to me like the best part of the testimonial has been written, with the rest left out (perhaps it wasn't quite so complimentary) and I have absolutely no chance of ever finding out who K & M from Essex are to check it is genuine.
I have shown testimonials in their entirity. Nothing left out. I also give the couple's names beside a photograph of them, meaning their identity isn't in doubt. With social media being what it is today if it wasn't a photograph of the couple, or if they had been misquoted, they would soon quite rightly raise objections to what I have written.
It takes years for a business to build a good reputation. Again thanks to the power of social media, that reputation would be destroyed overnight if, having made the couples so easily identifiable, I was anything less than completely truthful about what they had written.
I have kept the cards and emails couples have sent me with their testimonials. They have all been given freely, I don't ask for them. Plus I never publish a testimonial without checking the couple are happy for me to do so with their names and a photograph alongside it so others can see they are a genuine couple. I hope, now that you can see the lenghts I go to in order to be transparent about this, you can feel confident that all the testimonials on my website are absolutely genuine.
What is an "Unplugged Wedding"?
You can find out about Unplugged Weddings on this information page.
We already have our wedding photos. Can you make a wedding album for us?
Providing you have written authority to print copies of your photos for your own use (so that you would not be breaking any "copyright" laws) I would be delighted to design a wedding album for you. For more information just look at my Wedding Album Design Service.
Now for something a little lighter.
If you have read this far you could probably do with a little fun. All this serious stuff can be quite heavy going, so here is a section I hope will make you smile.
Whilst we photographers should take what we do for our clients very seriously, I believe we get the best from them when we have a sense of humour and therefore shouldn't take ourselves too seriously.
Warning. This must be read with a large dose of humour!!
Here is a list of things you might hear a photographer say, and what they actually mean.
The photographer says "I take natural unposed photos". Translation: "I don't know how to pose people in a flattering way and not make them look awkward".
The photographer says " I work only with natural light". Translation: "I have absolutely no idea how to use flash properly".
The photographer says "I'm a reportage wedding photographer". Translation: "Having to herd wedding guests into shape for a formal group portrait, let alone actually speak to them, absolutely terrifies me".
The photographer says "Just stand how you feel comfortable". Translation: "I really don't have a clue how to pose you for this picture".
The photographer says "Just try and relax". Translation: "Please don't make me tell one of my bad jokes. I'll probably mess up the punchline".
The photographer says "I don't want to show you the image on the back of my camera. I'd rather you wait to see the finished image". Translation: "I hope I can fix this in Photoshop!".
The photographer says "The lighting is all wrong here". Translation: "I really don't have the time to set up lots of lighting gear to light it properly".
The photographer says "I do minimal editing". Translation: "I have no idea how to use Photoshop properly. Sure, I can move the sliders up and down a bit, but that's about as far as it goes".
The photographer says "You don't have a double chin". Translation: "Well, you won't have when I've finished in Photoshop".
The photographer says "I'm completely self-taught". Translation "I'm not paying that much for professional training! I'll buy a few magazines and make do with them".
The photographer says "You look amazing in this photo". Translation: "I'm a photographic genius!".
I do hope this brought a smile to your face. As with all humour, there is an element of truth in these translations. But I do believe we photographers should be able to make fun of ourselves from time to time so please, don't take them too seriously.
There you have it. More "in depth" answers to the most popular questions I have been asked together with answers to some of the less frequently asked questions. (Plus a little bit of humour right at the end). You may think that some of my replies are just "scare mongering" but I promise you, that's not the case. All my answers are truthful, factual and based on my own experiences over the years. I hope you find the answers really helpful and informative.
If you have a question that I haven't answered, please just
and I'm confident I'll be able to provide you with one.
Kevin Taylor LSWPP
Wedding Photographer for Ipswich, Suffolk & Colchester, Essex UK | Questions and Answers about wedding photography in Suffolk & Essex