We've just got engaged! What order should we book things in?
Obviously you need a wedding venue before you can confirm a date. After this it is advisable to consider your wedding photographer as these are the suppliers who get booked up the farthest in advance next. If your wedding venue has a few dates to choose from and you are also very set on one wedding photographer, it could be possible to chat to both suppliers simultaneously to find a date that both are available on.
How long in advance are you likely to be booked up if we get back in touch later?
Wedding photography bookings are a strange phenomenon and every year differs greatly. I have been booked up to two and a half years in advance in the past and have also been available to shoot a wedding at two weeks notice (that one, given, was an emergency situation!). I would say that a year to a year and a half is good. Six months is possible, but at this stage you may find that a lot of the wedding photographers you like are fully booked. In general, it is best to book as soon as you are able to confirm your date.
If we pay our deposit way in advance and something goes wrong, can we change the date of our wedding?
If I am available for your alternative date then it is no problem to transfer your booking over at no cost and at any stage in the planning I will always do whatever I can to help you out. If I am booked, then this is obviously impossible but I will be able to recommend some other excellent, trusted and experienced wedding photographers.
What happens next after we book and pay our deposit?
I am on call at any time to answer any questions you may have right up until your wedding. If I don't hear from you, I will be in touch a month or so before to arrange a pre-wedding venue visit a few weeks before your wedding. So, in short, if you do nothing, I will manage everything and will be in touch!
How much involvement do you have in the run up to our wedding?
As much or as little as you want or need! One thing I am often asked for is advice on timings and the order of events of the day. When planning with your wedding venue or wedding planner, they may give you a suggested itinerary. This often matches the requirements of all the suppliers, but it is also a good idea to discuss these with your wedding photographer before the timings are set in stone. Things can usually be finalised with the venue at the pre-wedding venue visit.
My suggestions will be based on your own personal preferences for how much bias you want to give to a certain aspect of your wedding day. If, for example, you want a long list of specific group shots then we may need to allow a bit of extra time for this as compared to a regular wedding itinerary. Or, if you prefer to spend more time with your wedding guests, then we can devise an itinerary that works around this to make sure that this time is not taken away from you. Every wedding is different and each couples' preferences may require an adaptation to give them exactly what they want.
What will we do when we meet before the wedding?
During your pre-wedding venue visit, we will go through all the timings of the day and discuss your personal preferences. It is also an opportunity for me to chat to your wedding planner or venue so they can relay any important information to me and visa versa. Once we have finished chatting over things, we will walk around the venue together to scout possible shooting locations for the 'cinematic' part of your wedding shoot. There is no time limit on this meeting and I often get carried away chatting to clients - it is also a great time to get to know each other a little more before your wedding day!
Do you do an engagement shoot?
I am completely open to doing an engagement shoot if this is your preferred option and will do this as part of your pre-wedding venue visit. My reasons for not listing this shoot as standard in my packages is because often the couples who enquire about this shoot are the ones who are the most nervous about having their photos taken. If this is the case then a shoot with just three people in an atmosphere that is very much less absorbing than you will find the one on your wedding may allow you to be hyper aware of the situation and I'm not convinced it is a helpful thing for camera shy couples, rather than letting me and the environment do the work on the day! Having said that, I will absolutely go with your feeling on this and if you decide you would like me to shoot before your wedding, I will include your engagement photos in your wedding edit when it is delivered to you.
We are nervous about having our photos taken. How will you be able to help us feel more relaxed?
I have been told by many couples or parents of couples that they are incredibly nervous about having their photos taken and I am very confident in saying that the following things will help you with this.
Firstly, getting to know each other during your pre-wedding venue visit helps a great deal. At the end of this meeting, I hope you will be familiar and relaxed and I will not leave unless I know I have answered all your questions and that you are absolutely happy with everything we have discussed. Couples often leave this meeting stating that they are feeling very happy and confident and I take great pleasure in that part of my job.
Secondly, the atmosphere of your day will absorb you so much that you will hardly notice your photos being taken. Couples who have told me that they are very camera shy have reported back that they didn't even notice me in their ceremony. I will absolutely get in some weird and wonderful places, venue and celebrant permitting, but I can reassure you that you will be so absorbed in what is happening that I will be the least of your focus!
When we go off to do some photos alone, which is often the key concern of the couple, I give minimal direction and never ask people to look a certain way or think a certain thing. Drama directing has taught me otherwise! Mostly, you will be chatting away to each other and chatting to myself in between locations in the same way that we will have done during your pre-wedding venue visit. I often forget that a couple ever told me they were nervous by this time as they always seem so natural by this point anyway!
Do you work with an assistant?
I am happy to work with or without an assistant, depending on what is appropriate to your wedding. It may be your preference to have just myself present or, if your venue is cosy, for example, then it may lend itself to less suppliers milling around. Alternatively, it may be useful to have an assistant due to lighting conditions, venue size, numbers, or what kind of coverage you are after. This we can discuss in the lead up to your wedding to choose what is best for your wedding day.
Do you have a strict cut off time?
There is no designated cut off time and I will usually plan anything up until about 9pm for an evening package. Sometimes things may get behind outwith your control, however, such as bands turning up late or speeches taking longer than planned, and I am absolutely not going to leave you stranded without a wedding photographer for what we have planned to shoot. Of course not!
How many images will we receive?
Obviously the package you choose, the amount of coverage you want and the amount of content to your day will affect the number of images I shoot. In general, I shoot everything I see and for a full day's coverage I will deliver between 400 and 500 images. I include duplicates of a select number of shots in black and white when the shots particularly lend themselves to it, but in general the number started refers to the number of different images that you will receive from your wedding day. If you would like a full set of black and white images, I can provide these also.
How long will it take to get our images?
This is affected by the season and in general I will always get your images to you as soon as possible. In less busy times, I can deliver an edit in one to two weeks, whereas in peak season I aim for a minimum of six. To cover myself for exceptional circumstances, my contract states eight, but in reality it should never be this long and I can also provide a small selection of images right after your wedding in the case that you would like to get your thank you cards out to guests pronto.
Do you need feeding?
The only time during the day where there is not a lot for the photographer to do (as well as needing a hard earned break!) is when you and your guests are eating and if you are able to provide a meal during this time then that is excellent. It is usual for couples to either provide instructions for the caterers to deliver a meal to the photographer from your wedding breakfast or to leave money behind the bar in a venue such as a hotel. If you are not able to do this for any reason, however, then I am more than happy to bring food and I will always check this arrangement with you beforehand to make sure I don't get caught out.
Our wedding is not the traditional format. How does that work in terms of your packages?
My packages are time based and so if your wedding day does not fit the traditional format I will advise which package it is equivalent to in terms of price based on how long you want me to stay for. When looking at the packages page on this site, bear in mind that wedding photographers work in terms of 'full days' that are more like 12 hours as opposed to your regular working day, so a 'half day' package will correspond to more than a few hours!
How do you work out your prices?
I have designed a spreadsheet that takes into account the amount of time that I will need to spend for a particular package based on how highly skilled the work is (photography and editing is a high skill job, for example, whereas album design is less skilled by comparison) and whether the work requires more or less expensive equipment and insurance, as well as an addition for overheads. After entering a set fee for each type of work, the spreadsheet pops out a number which gives me my rates. I see this as the fairest way to charge for a variety of adaptable wedding photography packages.
How many weddings have you shot?
I have shot around 50 weddings and have worked as a freelance camera op on many other film and photography shoots over the years.
How long have you been shooting weddings for?
I have been shooting weddings for four years and before setting up as a wedding photographer shot wildlife and human subjects as a hobbyist photographer for around 10 years.
Is this your full time job?
Yes, wedding photography is my full time job. I tend to shoot a busier period over the summer months and work on other photography, film and adventure projects over the winters. I find it is a great way to get into a real flow during the summer months, whilst having enough time to rest and recuperate (I love shooting weddings but it is also an intense job!) over the winter.
How many weddings do you shoot per year?
These days I shoot around 20-25 weddings per year. For me, this provides a good balance of getting in the flow of shooting whilst not feeling too rushed. I enjoy taking time meeting with clients, tweaking edits and generally having the time to give people my full attention and any more than around 25 I feel detracts from this.
Are you insured?
Yes, I have full equipment, public liability and personal indemnity insurance.
Do you have any photography qualifications?
Yes, I studied A-Level photography at Brockenhurst College and have a Master of Fine Art in Film Directing from Edinburgh College of Art, University of Edinburgh. Having said this, experience counts for far more than having a qualification, especially where weddings are concerned, and I know of several excellent wedding photographers with no formal qualifications but a bunch of experience and of several terrible ones with every qualification you can find! I am fairly passionate on a piece of advise on this front - beware of the photographer who baffles you with qualifications and spiel over portfolio to try and sell their services to you!
What happens if you are ill on the day?
This has never happened and unless my leg has fallen off I am highly unlikely to be ill enough not to shoot your wedding! If this did happen, however, I have trusted colleagues to back me up and I would take the responsibility entirely upon myself to provide a photographer to cover your day on my behalf.
Do you work to a set format?
Although there is a regular format to most weddings, no, I am entirely adaptable to your individual requirements and in the case of a traditional format or otherwise, I can provide advice and guidance on what to do when and where and help you make decisions in the planning and adaptably on the day to get the best possible shoot out of the conditions, timings and unexpected excitements that may occur on your wedding day!
How much time do you need to get everything done on the day?
Again, this all depends on your personal preferences and I will work with you in the planning to figure out how much time bias you want to give to each aspect of your day. For a traditional format, I usually advise to allow half an hour after leaving your ceremony to mingle with friends and family, who at this point are always dying to say hello, during which time I will sneak around getting candid shots of your guests. After this anything between one and a half to two hours is a healthy time within which to get group shots and a 'cinematic' shoot with just the two of you done before having more time to relax with guests or be called for dinner.
Do you have most of your experience in a set number of venues?
There are a number of venues that I do repeat work for but I am also always going to new venues all over Scotland and sometimes further afield, which is one of the best parts of the job! Many repeat venues change with the seasons and how you have adapted your venue and I always find there is a new way to be creative each time I visit, and seeing new shots in this way where they weren't there before is loads of fun! Similarly, new venues provide new opportunities to get creative. One of the most satisfying elements of capturing a wedding is in working out how the images of the day are specific to the wedding and the couple, irrespective of whether the venue is new or old.
What do you wear when you are working?
I will turn up to your pre-wedding venue visit in the same kind of dress that I turn up to your wedding in. This is a semi smart outfit that allows me to move about freely on the day, including long boots to accommodate rummaging around in bushes and mud to get the best vantage points and with extra quite soles to sneak around in quietly in during the ceremony!
In what style do you work in?
I am generally very observational in the way I shoot and only give a minimal amount of direction (such as telling you where you need to be) during the 'cinematic' shoot of your day and whilst arranging group shots with friends and family. If you look lost, of course, I will step in and help, but in general I like to capture natural moments as they happen and usually when people are not aware that the photo is being taken.
How much will you interact with our guests?
I will give your guests direction during any group shots and will leave them to enjoy the day otherwise. Depending on the vibe of your wedding and your own preferences, I can make announcements to the entire wedding party when needed or equally pass that job over to yourselves, a designated groomsmen, bridesmaid, or the Master of Ceremony to gather people for, say, the group shot of all your wedding guests.
Have you missed anything?
If so, please get in touch to flag it up to me and I will add your question to this page!