Should we let a relative or friend photograph our wedding day?

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Should we let a relative or friend photograph our wedding day?

So [Uncle Tom] has some shiny, expensive camera equipment and has offered to photograph your wedding for a very small fee. Should you? It doesn't really matter which family or friend’s name you insert here, both us and our fellow photographers hear this question regularly. The answer, really, is simple: it’s up to you. 

 

But there’s a few things you should consider before you go down this route…

 

1.       Are they an enthusiastic amateur or a seasoned pro?

If Uncle Tom has been a professional wedding photographer for years, then, well there’s not really a need to ask the question... Uncle Tom is more than qualified! If not, beware. Professional wedding photographers might make it look easy, but it isn’t. We have trained, honed our craft, and have the experience gleaned from many years behind the camera to be able to know how to make the best of challenging situations, respond quickly to changing light conditions, time constraints and adverse weather. With that experience comes a knowledge of what works and what doesn’t and how to pose you to look your best.

 

2.       Even the most experienced wedding photographers get nervous.

That’s right. We might’ve done this on many occasions, but we’re still nervous under that calm exterior. Why? Because photographing someone’s wedding is a huge responsibility, and with that comes a certain amount of stress – even though we enjoy it! Are you comfortable putting that sort of pressure on a relative or friend? Shouldn’t they be relaxed and enjoying the day with you?

 

3.       Is Uncle Tom skilled at post-production?

Photographing the wedding day itself is only part of our job. We will spend the next few weeks sorting, editing, retouching and styling your photographs to ensure they look their very best. The post-production phase takes many hours and, again, is a very skilled task.

 

4.       What if there’s a problem?

Let’s assume that you decided Uncle Tom was up to the job. He photographed your wedding day and then after the event he presents you with a set of digital images. You’re disappointed. The quality isn’t what you expected, the style isn’t what you’d hoped. What do you do? Would you be comfortable having that discussion with Tom? Or do you stay eternally regretful?

 

5.       Can Uncle Tom design a wedding album?

We work on the basis that photographs should be printed. Digitals are great; you can look at them on screen, on devices etc. But photographs are taken to a whole different level when they become ‘present’, touchable. That involves producing an album; something we include as a standard element of all our wedding packages. Designing an album involves creativity, and understanding what photos sit best together on a page, to complement each other.

 

6.       Is Uncle Tom insured?

Oops, Tom knocked over a (very) expensive antique vase at the wedding venue while he was lining up to take a photo of you. He just didn’t see it. But Uncle Tom, unlike most professional wedding photographers, doesn’t have public liability insurance, so the venue wants you to foot the bill. Ouch.

 

So in summary, should you ask Uncle Tom to photograph your wedding? It’s up to you. And it depends on the standard you expect. Make sure you weigh up the pros and cons and consider carefully before you make a decision. Your wedding day will go quickly, but your photos last forever!

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Leanie wins Bronze award in Classical Weddings at BIPP North West Photography Awards 2017

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Leanie wins Bronze award in Classical Weddings at BIPP North West Photography Awards 2017

We are very pleased to share that Leanie (one half of One Fine Day Wedding Photography) has won the Bronze award in the category of Classical Weddings at this year’s BIPP (British Institute of Professional Photography) North West Photography Awards.

The BIPP Awards are held annually, and recognise the best amongst the fantastic pool of talented photographers across the North West.

Leanie’s photo, ‘Leaving as man and wife’, was selected for the Bronze award in one of the most competitive awards categories. She said: “This has to be one of my favourite photographs from our 2016 weddings, taken at the Laura Ashley Belsfield Hotel in Bowness-on-Windermere. It followed a beautiful, extremely heartfelt service, and the happiness just jumps out at me from the photo. I’d stepped right back to allow the doorway to frame the bride and groom naturally as they left after the service. It’s a very stylish shot, and perfectly suited to black & white. I'm absolutely thrilled to receive this award.”

Leanie’s Bronze award-winning photograph, ‘Leaving as man and wife’. © One Fine Day Wedding Photography 2016

Leanie’s Bronze award-winning photograph, ‘Leaving as man and wife’. © One Fine Day Wedding Photography 2016

Leanie is a qualified member of the British Institute of Professional Photography (BIPP) and has received several consecutive awards in previous years in the categories of Creative, Reportage and Classical Weddings.

Leanie with BIPP North West Chairman, Ioan Said.

Leanie with BIPP North West Chairman, Ioan Said.

What is the BIPP?

The BIPP is the leading qualifying and governing photographic body based in the UK. It is a not for profit organisation that delivers education, qualifications and professional development to working photographers.

The photographic industry is unregulated – photographers don’t have to be a member of BIPP in order to call themselves a professional, but qualified BIPP photographers have had their work professionally benchmarked and assessed.

In the last few years the photographic profession has witnessed an explosion of amateur photographers charging for their services in their spare time. Professional photographers who are qualified through BIPP are:

  • Experienced and know how to handle challenging circumstances.
  • Bound by a code of professional conduct.
  • Qualified by the BIPP and assessed against strict criteria of professional competency, creativity, composition etc.
  • Professionally insured.
  • Entitled to have the letters LBIPP, ABIPP or FBIPP after their names.

 

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    Why I love bridal preparation (and the importance of photographing it)

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    Why I love bridal preparation (and the importance of photographing it)

    In this post, Leanie reflects on the unique time spent photographing wedding hair and makeup…

    Richard and I often talk about what a privilege it is to be wedding photographers; to capture the story of such a special and personal occasion. It might sound clichéd, but it’s true. For me, documenting this story generally begins early, in the morning, with the arrival of the hair and makeup artist. To be invited into the bride’s personal space, often a bridal suite, is indeed a privilege. There’s nothing quite like capturing this time with the girls in the morning – it’s wonderful, relaxed (most of the time!) and fun. It’s also often emotional, and full of excited anticipation, setting the tone for the day – I’d go so far as to say it’s my favourite time of the day to be behind the camera.

    Whilst I will have already met the bride by the time the wedding day comes around, I won’t have met her bridesmaids, or other female members of the family. This time spent with them in the morning helps everyone to feel at ease with me walking around with a camera, so much so that after a short while they often forget I’m there. I find that this helps everyone, throughout the rest of the day, relax and not feel conscious of the camera.

    Occasionally in the morning it’s just me and the bride, which makes the setting even more personal, and a great opportunity for us to get to know each other better. On occasions like this, I often end up wearing more than my photographer’s hat – I’ve helped more than one bride into her wedding dress! Other times there will be literally a dozen or more ladies squeezed into a room, all frenzied excitement and a small degree of chaos and panic dampened by the flowing prosecco. Those are the times that I find myself tripping over shoes, avoiding collisions with small children, and generally trying not to get in the way! But whether the atmosphere is quietly intimate, or buzzing, there’s a simple truth: getting ready has to be one of the best parts of a wedding day. A time for the girls to get together, get pampered – the ultimate girly hang out. As their photographer, I get to document it all – the transformations, the laughter, the tears, the dress reveal… and what a wonderful story it tells.

    We’ve heard on too many occasions, “I wish I’d had my bridal prep photographed.” It’s such a big part of the whole day, in itself taking so much planning, and yet only a handful of people actually see it. Like the ceremony, it’s a part of the day that deserves recording in all its glorious detail. After all, you only do this once!

     

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