Groom & best man waiting at church

Wedding Photography - Q&A

Questions often asked by clients together with my answers

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"Are you a full time Photographer"?

Yes I am. I run Hedgehog Photographic and photography is my sole source of working income. I have always specialised in wedding photography, but also accept other photographic commissions from businesses and the general public.

'Do you have Insurance"?

I have full Public Liability and Professional Indemnity as well as equipment insurance.

"How long have you been taking wedding photographs professionally"?

Over 35 years. A friend introduced me to photography while I was studying for my Engineering degree at Brunel University in 1970. I was enthralled and ended up studying photography and fine art as complimentary subjects at the same university. I took my first wedding in 1976 for a friend and soon after that began working as an operative for a well-known local photographer (my apprenticeship). Back then weddings were all on film and in black & white!

"Do you take the weddings yourself or hire operatives"?

I personally take the photographs at all my weddings. Photography is very subjective and it is the only way professionals can retain any artistic credibility. Customers book me on the strength of my demeanour, skill, capability and personality, so it is important they get me and not someone else. Very large social weddings and events may require me to be in two places at once and on those occasions I have, when necessary, used the services of a professional colleague. Customers are always welcome to request an additional photographer if they so wish.

"Why is wedding photography so expensive"?

For every hour I spend at a wedding I spend at least another six in front of my computer post-processing and optimising every single image to provide my customers with beautiful images. This works out a lot less than you would pay per hour to get your car fixed in a garage or hiring a gardener! You would be surprised how many photographers (including some professionals) just do not bother or put in a minimal effort into post processing.

“Quality is remembered, long after price is forgotten” (Gucci family motto).

"What do you mean by image processing/optimisation"?

I always expose my images with the aim to get the best result for the subject matter and envisaged final picture. This may often mean under or over exposing various shots during the wedding day. Later I will go through every single image and adjust/correct contrast and colour and where necessary crop and retouch any distracting elements. Generally, the images will be as seen on the day unless I have been asked to remove objects or produce some specific artistic effects by the customer.

"How many photographs/images will I get"?

I do not set any limits to the number of images I take, so the quantity depends very much on the length of time I spend at the wedding. Normally, for a small wedding where I only attend for a few hours, the number of images may fall between 80 and 150. If I stay for the reception and speeches the quantity may exceed 250. A full days coverage may result in between 400 and 1000+ images.

"What type of images will I get"?

TECHNICALLY..... the images will be high resolution Jpeg files on DVD or USB memory stick. These can be used to produce your own prints and/or albums and can also be used in various formats on your computers and TVs . Your image disk/stick will contain several directories, one will hold colour images and the other B&W versions. I will on request also supply low resolution versions of your images suitable for iPads, Phones, web, Facebook, and email use.

CONTENT AND STYLE..... they are normally a mixture of traditional-formal shots, together with some contemporary-informal candid images. Due to my oil painting background and art training I tend to include some 'classic' style images as well as the more relaxed/fun type pictures often requested. However, I will always adjust my picture taking to suit my customer's preferences, hence it is vital for me to know what you do and do not like.

ARTISTICALLY..... Digital images can be post processed to produce various effects including, vintage, chalk & charcoal, vivid, pastel, low & high key images. Although photographers use this technique to enhance the visual impact of a picture (and sometimes to pull attention away from what is generally a poor image!), it is nevertheless an activity that can and should be done after a decent well composed and captured image has been created the first instance. If a customer requires certain images to take on a visual theme produced by introducing as colour cast, or changes in contrast or saturation levels, then this can be done simply and quickly at a later date without destroying the original base image. I will if a picture warrants the use of 'soft focus' include an additional copy within the supplied images, and always offer to manipulate any images for clients to satisfy their specific display requirements free of charge and as part of any wedding package service.

"What happens if it rains"?

Apparently it's good luck if it rains on your wedding day! Some of my most romantic wedding images have been taken in the rain. The thing is to look on the positive side. For you, umbrellas keep you dry, for me they are a prop and add mood to a picture. It would be very unusual for the weather to be so bad not to get at least some photographs taken outside. I will always stay on at a wedding if there is a chance the weather may clear later. Several flash guns are always brought to a wedding, so I can set up a temporary studio if necessary.

"What happens if your camera fails"?

No professional goes to a wedding without backup equipment. I normally take three cameras and often use two during a wedding to avoid changing a lens and disrupting the natural flow of events. I also take a selection of lenses and flash units. As a professional you have to expect your equipment will fail occasionally, so when it does you must have backup kit ready to use so the day flows on smoothly.

"What happens if we or you are ill on the wedding day"?

If you have to postpone your wedding, the deposit can be transferred to any new date you book without any penalty. If you cancel the wedding due to sickness and rearrange on a day I am unable to attend, then your deposit will be refunded. In thirty years I have never missed a single wedding through illness. In the event of this happening I will provide a professional colleague as a stand-in to take the photographs. You will of course be free to source another photographer and in such a case your deposit would be fully refunded.

" How and when can we 'fit in' photography into our wedding day"?

It would be wise for us to discuss this early when you are planning your day. The reportage, informal and candid images are taken as and when things happen so do not disrupt the flow of the day. However, most customers still wish to have a selection of traditional family groups and some romantic portraits of the bride and groom and for those we need to set aside about 20 minutes each depending on the size of families and number of groups required. I like to think I work quickly and efficiently and with 'good humour' so guests feel any orchestrated photography is as natural and entertaining as any other part of the wedding day.

'Who owns the copyright"?

I give reproduction rights of all the wedding images to the bride and groom. This permits them to use the images in any way that wish. However, I maintain copyright ownership as per the Copyright, Designs & Patents Act 1988.

"We are having a special xx and also yy is happening on the day. Can you accommodate this"?

Generally the answer is Yes. I understand that every wedding is unique and I will go to great lengths to fit into your plans and capture your day the way you want.

"When is payment due"?

Usually a deposit of £100 is required to secure the booking. The balance is due after the wedding on collection of your image disk/stick or up to a maximum of six weeks after the wedding, whichever is the sooner. As I do not expect full payment until after the wedding, many couples take advantage of my 'Gift Vouchers' by putting them onto their 'wedding-list'. This way they can often afford a more comprehensive package and/or reduce if not eliminate their wedding photography costs.

"What happens after the wedding"?

Once I have finished post processing the images and created the wed galleries I will email the couple to tell them their picture galleries are live on the web and their image disk or memory stick is ready for collection/delivery. If you have order an album, these will normally be ready 2 to 4 weeks after choosing your pictures (and contributing to the design, if you so wish). Professional picture book albums can take between 4 and 6 weeks to complete the design, proofing, printing and construction processes.

" What now"?

If you have had a look at my web site and like my style you will now need to check my availability for your wedding date. Give me a few details about your wedding day so I can prepare a quote. If you wish to meet for a chat this can be arranged during the day or evening, when you can see more of my work and ask me as many questions as you like. If you later decide to book you can fill in the on-line booking form and post it to me with your deposit. (To be absolutely fair, for any day on which I have two enquiries the first booking form and deposit received will secure the day.) Nearer the wedding date we can arrange to meet to discuss the day in greater detail.

Finally.... and unfortunately, the first question many couples ask immediately after I tell them that I am already booked on their chosen day.

"Can you recommend another photographer "?

I am never keen to do this because photography is extremely subjective with every photographer approaching his work differently, so the most important thing is that they pick someone that will provide them with what they want. Their wedding is an important occasion and I would not wish to do or say anything that may contribute to spoiling their day. However, I do give them the following advice......

Photography is subjective so money will not guarantee you will get what you are looking, so I always recommend they short list several photographers, but not to book one until:-

1. They have met them in person and feel happy and relaxed with the individual.

2. They have seen and judged not only their best work, but examples of complete weddings.

3. They have discussed their needs with them and feel confident they can deliver on every count.(Feel free to use this Q&A list to help)

4. If a photographer comes recommended by someone, then ask to see their photographs and judge for yourself. It is your wedding and you have your own preferences and standards.

5. If prices are over budget, ask the photographers if they can modify their packages to reduce costs or establish if they have other means to reduce costs such as a gift voucher option to include into your wedding gift list. Some may even accept incremental payments.

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"Please feel free to email me with your questions....Ed"

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