Today I have an absolute delight of a wedding, as we head over to Essex...
It’s nearly the weekend, only a few hours left before you can pack up and go home and start having fun! Before you head off though you have just enough time to catch up with Boho bride Alison as she talks about the search for her photographer, and what choosing the right photographer has meant for her. It’s always interesteding to read about people’s perceptions of wedding photography, but also very refreshing and reassuring when someone like Alison realises the importance of finding the right photographer.
I can’t believe we are back here again already! It only seems five minutes since I wrote the last blog, not five weeks! Time is going so very quickly at the moment and the wedding is fast approaching. I can’t say I’m stressed about it as all of the big things are sorted and have been for some time. I am however starting to think I need to maybe get back into action. I think doing bits as I go along or see things has helped spread the load quite a lot. I keep seeing about people getting stressed and I thought that would be me – it is making me wonder if I’m not doing things that I should be doing though.
I finally got the save the dates printed (will talk about those at a later date) and have started handing them out. We bought flower girl dresses for my nieces – Debenhams had a sale on again. We will also be meeting our ‘marquee man’ in the next week or so to go over what we want as there a few changes there (again, will waffle about that at a later date) and we are going to meet the vicar next week – don’t really know what to expect on that one and am just a little worried I’m going to get asked all kinds of God-related questions that I won’t know what to say to. Oh and most excitingly we have been and changed our honeymoon destination – and will now probably spend more money on that than the rest of the entire wedding – a friend did say to me that the honeymoon is two weeks and the wedding just one day so by my calculations it seems a good way to go….
Anyway, there’s a little update but I thought I would talk this week about photography. After booking the church (not that that was going to be an issue as being a small village church they aren’t exactly inundated with bookings) photography was one of the things high up on my priorty list. I love looking at photos, and to me, although we will have the memories of the day, the photos are the only thing that we will have to be able to physically look back upon. I knew I wanted something a little different to the usual “normal” wedding style. I wanted something with a nice relaxed and natural feel to fit in with the day. I had a few photographers in mind and made enquiries and got prices etc. Just when I had nearly made my decision I had mentioned to my mum about finding a photographer and she told me that I should look at the work of a girl called Laura who she used to work with. I thought I may as well and there would be no harm in looking at another.
I went on to the website of Laura Rhian Photography and was absolutely blown away with the images. She has a natural relaxed style with a bit of a vintage look which I absolutely loved. Anything else I had already seen just didn’t compared to Laura’s images. I called her up and we arranged to meet. She came along with a sample photobook that she had done and information about the packages she had available. When it came round to discussing dates our day was the only saturday she had left in June next year. It was quite a while ago that we booked this and I was really surprised by just how far in advanced photographers (as well as venues etc) get booked up. We paid the deposit there and then so my mind could rest that we had things sorted. We chose the package that would give us all day coverage. I love seeing the reportage style photography that captures moments throughout the day. Included in our package was the offer to take up an engagement shoot. I had never really thought too much about this and it wasn’t something I ever thought I would particularly want or need. When Laura explained that it was a good opportunity to get used to having your photo taken and being put into ‘natural’ positions etc it seemed like a great idea as neither Joe nor myself are particularly natural in front of the camera.
We had the engagement shoot earlier this year in summer – on probably one of the hottest days we had! We had it at Joe’s parent’s house in and around the fields – this seemed a good option as it would provide a nice natural backdrop and also allow Laura to see where we will actually be having the wedding. We went into the fields and Laura got us to play some word games with each other to capture our different emotions and reactions. This felt like a really odd thing to do at first but then it seemed to make perfect sense. It takes your mind off being photographed and allows you to act natural- laughing, smiling, thinking… being in love! We both feel much more comfortable thinking about having our photos taken on the day after having the engagement shoot and I think we will both just relax into it a lot more.
I chose not to have an album included in my package. This is purely down to me being a designer and wanting to do that myself. I am hoping to have two albums put together in the end. Firstly I want to create a more traditional album containing the group family shots and obviously some of me and Joe! I love everything about old wedding albums – the box, it being wrapped in tissue paper, the album – whether it is card or fabric covered, the photos inside the card mounts and the tissue paper between each page. To accompany this I would like to create a more modern ‘photobook’ that can contain more of the shots of things happening throughout the day – some of the more informal shots if you like. This is something that we will have to make ourselves do. We went travelling in 2009 and still four years on we don’t yet have the photobook created that we have kept doing bits at. Editing your way through four thousand-odd photos is not as easy as you first think – so I may still call on the service of Laura with a wedding album yet!
Laura offers a photobooth option in her packages too which we were excited to add to our package. She brings along a selection of props for guest to dress up and have photos taken – we thought that might be a fun thing to do for a little while in the afternoon and then maybe again in the evening when the night time guests arrive – a few more photos for the photobook.
On the topic of photography we are also planning on putting some disposable cameras out on the tables for guests to take pictures amongst themselves. My sister did this at her wedding and found it a great way of capturing some shots of everyone having a good time. It’s also a good idea if you are only paying for a photographer to cover a shorter period of the day. No doubt there will be some bum photos to sensor by the end of the evening…
Through the process of looking into photography we have seen a whole range of styles and execution – I think it is partly true that you get what you pay for but saying that some quite expensive looking photographers don’t have (in my opinion) particularly great shots. At the end of the day, anybody with a camera can say they are a wedding photographer. You need to make sure you research, see examples of their work and meet the person too. You don’t want to be photographed by somebody who is ordering you around or getting on your nerves!
For me, I don’t think that photography is an area you can scrimp on – but you still need to make sure you are paying for quality. Laura was exactly what we wanted and her pricing was extremely reasonable. She has been really helpful along the way too and when I read things that brides have said who she has worked with it reassures me even more that I made the right decision. When I hear people talking about wedding photographers and they say “but how can they charge that for just one days work” I feel a bit annoyed for the photographers – it’s not just a case of someone taking a few snaps and then putting them on a disk. There’s hours of work that go into the preparation and then the selection and editing of your pictures. And that’s not to mention all of the help, advice and support they can offer leading up to and throughout the day. And the main thing – knowing what will work and what won’t, knowing how wedding days pan out, knowing how the light changes and when to take which photos, the angles, the composition, the styling – in short there is so much more that goes into good photography than just clicking a camera. Ultimately it depends on what importance you put on your photos – but your wedding day is one day that you will never do again and you can’t go back and capture those moments again when you decide after that you should have invested a bit more into the photos rather than the hundreds of pounds you paid for chair covers etc. You want to be able to look back on it for years to come. Well, I know we do anyway – flicking through the tissue paper divided pages!…