FAQs (weddings)

Suffolk Wedding Photographer FAQs

If you’ve got a few minutes to spare here’s some of the questions we get asked most frequently.  If you can’t see an answer to a question you have then please get in touch and I’ll try to answer it as well as I can.

What’s your style?

We would describe our style as Natural, Relaxed and Evocative capturing your day as it happens.

We will work effortlessly for you to make sure we record everything for you down to the smallest of details which you have doubtlessly spent a long time planning and which often seem to get overlooked.  We are chatty and encourage your guests to interact with us if they want too.  We are often asked by both our couples and their guests if we can just take a photo of this or that and we are happy to be approached and work like this (although we do not take any photos on other peoples cameras, phones, tablets etc).  The most frequent feedback we receive from couples after their day is that they have had lots of positive comments from their guests about us as well as that they hardly noticed us there at all on the day as we fitted in so well.  Our rapport with our couples and our energy and enthusiasm allows us to get the most beautiful photographs with the minimum of fuss and interference.

We think using terms such as Reportage and Traditional can be a little misleading (as they are often interpreted differently which makes it hard for comparison using just words alone).  We’d much rather you view our photographs are judge for yourselves as these alone will give you the best idea of our style and if it’s for you.

Does that mean you don’t photograph traditional groups and line-ups?

Not at all, we are happy to accommodate some traditional line-up’s and groups into your day as most couples want this.  We try to photograph no more than 10-15 groups in this way (where possible) as this keeps the time spent doing this at roughly 20-30 mins allowing you to enjoy your day to the full.  We don’t however work to long lists of specific shots e.g. bride looking at groom at x angle, make up being put on with reflection in mirror, specific people laughing together etc.  Our reason for this is that when you’re busy working of an exact list you stop living in the moment and capturing what’s really happening that makes your day so special.  It doesn’t mean we won’t capture those moments as we will, it just means it’ll be as and how they happen. The best and happiest moments of a day are very rarely pre-planned.  Whilst saying that we would encourage you to grab one of us on the day if you do want a specific shot with specific people and we will take it for you.  By keeping it spontaneous you won’t feel pressured into standing for hours doing long lists of photos and you will stay completely in control and be able to enjoy your day fully.

I keep hearing the term ‘Traditional Photographers’, is this you?

In our opinion, nope we’re not Traditional Photographers and equally we do not want to be. As mentioned in the previous question we do still incorporate some ‘traditional group shots’ (if you want them) into what we do. To us, traditional photographers in a true sense would take lots of formal and posed shots.  Every wedding would look pretty much the same to ensure they get these exact shots.  Whilst we’re sure they’d be beautiful posed photos we don’t believe that this is a true reflection of you or your day which is what we want to photograph and capture for you.  Traditional photographers also take a lot more time at every stage to ensure you are positioned perfectly at every stage of the day.  Whilst we can appreciate that this traditional style incorporating lots of very specific shots will suit some couples this isn’t us I’m afraid.  If this is primarily what you would like then we would bow out at this stage as we’re not the photographers for you and we would advise you to look at other photographers out there.

I’ve been told I should look for a Reportage Photographer, would you describe yourselves as this?

We don’t really fit this category completely either although we are much closer to this than a traditional photographer.  To us, a reportage photographer would cover your day in a journalistic fashion recording events for you exactly as they happen with no interference.  They would not interact or direct you but simply let events take their own course and photograph them as your day unfolds. Whilst most of your day we would record exactly as it happens we will take the two of you off on your own at some point and give you some direction for your photos as well as being involved with any group shots you may want.  We will also talk with your guests (if they want to talk with us) throughout your day which keeps the atmosphere very relaxed.  We should clear up that whilst we are happy to help if you want with things such as organising confetti, gathering people for group shots etc we do not control your day.  It is your special day and how you want to spend your time should be your decision.

After our initial meeting we will speak or see you again before our wedding?

We definitely will be in touch with you before your wedding to discuss with you your timings, group shots that you would like and the key people (bridal party, parents, brothers and sisters, grandparents) to ensure everything will run smoothly on your day.

Most of our couples prefer to discuss their final details over the phone with me (at a time which suits them) around a couple of weeks before their day when everything is finalised.  In the run up to a wedding there’s often a lot of last minute things for you to juggle and we don’t want to add to your list by insisting on a meeting when it’s not necessarily needed and a phone conversation is just as good.  However, if you’d rather have a meeting we can arrange this.

In our chat before your day we will also ask you to make us aware of any important details.  This includes things like divorced parents (so do or don’t stand them together in group shots depending on how you and they feel), people who have special needs/requirements in terms of photos and surprises that you have planned and want us to capture like a dove release, magician, practical jokes etc so we can position ourselves perfectly and equally not give the game away.

Can you help with our timings for the day?

Yes if this is what you’d like.  We are happy to give our input and opinions on timings.  We have photographed hundreds of weddings now and have a good idea on how long different parts of the day will take and if your timings are realistic. There are some areas where we think our input could be invaluable such as the best time for speeches (we would always advise doing all your speeches together rather than splitting them and are happy to discuss with you the reasons why if you want).

If we have evening coverage as part of our package do we feed you?

The short answer is no we do not require a meal to be provided for us but equally if you would like to feed us we would always be really grateful. During the meal is the only time where we will not photograph you and the simply reasons for this are: 1) most people would rather relax and enjoy their meal rather than be photographed eating and 2) we go away to give you all a little break from being photographed and have a bite to eat ourselves as by this time of day we too are very hungry (usually Sarnies and a flask of tea back in the car so we’re not far away should you need us).

Can you help us with our other suppliers?

We are happy to provide you with links to suppliers we’ve worked with and wedding venues we’ve photographed at.  Please have a look at both our Wedding Venues section and Our Little Black Book.  We would never recommend a company (or venue) that we haven’t worked with (or at) as very simply we don’t know what they’re like or how they work.

We love your photographs but are worried we have a very different wedding or budget to what we see on your website is there any point in us getting in touch?

Of course there is, please do still get in touch as we’d love to hear from you to see if we can help.  First and foremost for us is that you love the photos and feel we may fit in with your day perfectly.  If you send us an e-mail (or give us a call if you prefer) and tell us more about your day and what you’re planning or the budget you’re working with and we’ll consider it for you.  After all the worst we can say if we can’t help is no so you’ve nothing really to lose by getting in touch and potentially a lot to gain.

If we do choose you, who will photograph our day?

Very simply, we do!  You will get the two of us to photograph your day (unless you are very small numbers and you’d prefer just me on my own).  By both of us attending we can be in two places at once making sure we are seeing all that is going on it also allows the flexibility for me to go away and take a few with the couple alone whilst David will stay with your guests capturing what’s going on whilst you’re gone.  We don’t charge any extra for both of us to attend and this does not affect your price in any way.  Very occasionally, David is unable to attend a wedding and in this case I would work with one of my two other assistants who are both fab!  We never subcontract work though, if we’ve agreed to photograph your wedding then we will.

If we choose you and you’re sick, who would photograph our day?

As with all photographers I’m sure we’d have to be on our death beds to not turn up for a wedding.  So far, we have never not made a wedding and we hope to keep it that way.  There is the chance though that we could be hospitalised and in this case you would firstly be offered our Assistants who are perfectly capable of photographing your day and work in our style.  Secondly, we would instantly get in touch with all of our photographer friends and network locally to see if anyone can help out.  Lastly we are a member of the SWPP (The Society of Wedding and Portrait Photographers) and in a real emergency they have thousands of photographers who they can contact to see if they can photograph your day for you.  In the case of serial illnesses, if we come down with one and know ahead of your day that we will be unable to attend we would obviously let you know so that you can make alternative arrangements (which we can help with if you want).

I keep reading about insurance, are you insured and if so does this mean I don’t need insurance?

We most certainly are insured and we wouldn’t have it any other way.  We are both covered by professional indemnity and public liability insurance which protects us should something go wrong.  However, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider having your own insurance for your wedding day.  Your own wedding insurance would cover the two of you if due to unexpected circumstances you have to postpone or cancel at short notice and had suppliers to pay.  When unforeseen things happen unfortunately you would find that most of your suppliers would still require payment in full if it’s close to your day.  Some people may see this as ‘cashing in’ when circumstances have taken a turn for the worst but please do consider that most of your suppliers will have turned other work away to keep the date for you and that they will have their own mortgages, bills etc to pay for that are either fully or partially reliant on your payment.  I know insurance is boring and most of the time it feels like a waste of money but if something terrible did happen could you afford to pay all your suppliers in full without it? I think it’s definitely worth considering and we would advise you to look into it.

How many weddings do you take on each year?

In any year we try to limit ourselves to roughly 25 main weddings (although it’s often one or two either way) and a handful of much smaller (usually mid-week) days.  This allows us to give each couple the attention we think they deserve.  We could take on many more weddings than this and whilst it is sad to turn couples away once our diary is booked we do feel this works best for everyone in not spreading ourselves too thinly.  We want you to feel special and to we want to be able to share in the excitement and individuality of your day without you thinking you are just a number and in a long ‘to-do’ list for us.

I’m really interested in you photographing our day, how far in advance should I get in touch?

Ideally as soon as you can once you have your date (or if you have a few dates in mind).  We do book up months and years in advance which we’re really happy about but it does mean we turn a lot of people away for dates we’re already booked for.  We only ever take on one wedding per day and once the date is gone we will not offer it to anyone else.

If we are available for your date I would usually give you some more information on prices etc and if you want to we would arrange a meeting to make sure the rapport is right and that you’re happy with everything before you book.  Occasionally this isn’t possible to have a meeting as our couples live a lot further afield and so they choose to book us without an initial meeting to secure the date.  As long as we’ve had a lot of communication with you and think that we’re on the same page we will book you in for the date so don’t panic if we can’t have a meeting straight away.

We know we want to book you – what would the next stages be?

Once you know you want to book it’s usually very straight forward.  Firstly, let us know you really would like the date so we’re aware of it.  Next we would arrange a meeting as soon as possible with you so we can check that we’re a good match for you and your day and you can make sure that you’re completely happy with everything.  Once we’ve met you then just need to let us know as soon as you can if you would like to book the date so we can get you pencilled in the diary whilst the paperwork is sorted.  At our meeting we’ll give you some terms and conditions (we can e-mail these across in circumstances where it isn’t possible to meet) which you need to fill in and return to us together with your deposit.  The terms and conditions are hopefully designed to protect the two of you as much as they do us and there shouldn’t be anything that you would think is strange in them.  The deposit to secure your date is always £250 and this can currently be paid either by bank transfer or cheque.  When we’ve received both your signed terms and conditions and deposit we will confirm everything in a letter with you (and you’ll get a copy of the terms and conditions back for your records) and hey-presto the date is yours!

You mention weddings a lot, does this include civil ceremonies?

Absolutely, we love photographing couples and sharing in special occasions. In recent years we have photographed a number of same-sex ceremonies and do not discriminate.  If you’re in love that’s all that matters to us.

We’re very shy and have our reasons why we don’t want our images appearing online afterwards is this possible?

Yes, of course.  We have photographed many weddings and portraits over the years where people don’t want to be on the internet at all for various reasons (usually involving re-marriages, child protection issues, adoptions etc) and we’re fine with that.

Whilst as a matter of course in the terms and conditions you sign you agree that we can use your images for our publicity if you let us know that you don’t want them used in advance then we can adapt this for you.  There are usually varying degrees that people mean when they say they don’t want them online e.g. I’m happy for a password protected gallery online but would rather you don’t write up a blog story or use them in your publicity etc.  Alternatively, if you don’t want them ever reaching the internet then we will look at other ways of showing you your images (such as a viewing CD) and would respect this completely.   Just let us know your wishes if you have strong feelings on this before we get to the stage of popping them online.

I’m dreading it raining on my wedding day – what will we do if it does and will I still get photos?

This is often one of the biggest fears we see and sadly we can’t control the weather.  What we can do is look for breaks in it and the positives rain can bring.  We photograph weddings in the rain every year and you will still get beautiful photographs.  A rainy day often forces guests to be in a smaller area together which creates a very friendly and social atmosphere.  On a hot summer august day for example a quick rain shower can really bring back vibrancy to the plants and following the rain there’s often lovely light to work with. We’ll look for breaks in the rain to nip outside and even if there’s no breaks but you want to go out for your photos we carry giant golf umbrellas so we can still go out. In all honesty some of the rainiest, snowiest and stormiest weddings we’ve photographed have the most unusual and stunning photographs!

If your camera breaks what would happen?

We’d just carry on. We both have spare camera bodies, lenses, batteries, memory cards etc as well as a whole load of other useful things in our camera bags. It is highly unlikely it would happen (and fortunately hasn’t happened to us to date) but if it does we are prepared.

Other photographers we’ve seen offer to shoot all day and then give us the memory cards before they leave and they seem to be a lot cheaper offering thousands of images for me to take away immediately.  Can you offer this and if not, why not?

The short answer is no we don’t offer this. There are a lot of people out there in the current economic climate who offer what in the industry would be referred to as a ‘shoot and burn’ wedding.  What we offer goes far further than just taking your photos on the day.  Every image that is worthy of you seeing will be individually worked on, resized and colour-balanced all before you see it.  Every wedding from start to finish takes us between 40-60 hours of time to complete and we put a lot of effort into making sure every image is beautiful. Our albums and books are tailormade by the world’s leading manufacturers and are designed over many hours so that they are perfect for you.

There is a market out there for ‘Shoot and Burn’ but it’s not for us or the couples we work with.  To us it’s the equivalent of giving a bride the material and pattern for her dress and then handing it over and asking her to make it.  If she’s not a seamstress then the end results achieved will be very different to what the professional could have made.  Professional wedding photographers take a lot of pride in their work and will work tirelessly with you both before and after your wedding to give you the perfect images of your day.  This hard work, service and commitment will naturally be reflected in their prices.

Are you a member of any organisations and have you won awards?

Yes, we are a member of the SWPP (The Society of Wedding and Portrait Photographers) and yes, we have won various awards over the years.

We’ve booked you to photograph our day and were just wondering how soon after our wedding we’ll see the photos and how long before our finished album/book is ready for us?

In general, your photos will be online for you to view between 3-4 weeks after your wedding.  If you have a proof book in your package this takes approximately 4-6 weeks after your day to come back and when it arrives this will be sent to you together with your USB of images.  If you don’t have a proof book included then you will be sent your USB as soon as your images are online for you to view.

If you have included an album or book as part of your package we’ll start working on designs with you as soon as you’ve received your proof book.  We’ll ask you to choose a certain number of your favourite images (depending on your package) and once you get this to us we’ll start working on your first set of proofs.  We will then give you your proofs and we will tweak the designs, finalise covers etc with you until they are absolutely perfect.  Once you’ve agreed the finished design on average it will take a further 6 weeks for your completed book or album to be ready.

We try to complete all our weddings within 16 weeks of your day (where possible) and appreciate our couples promptness in choosing their images.  There are several reasons for the relatively quick turn-around.  The most important of these reasons to us is that we want you to have your finished product and enjoy reliving the memories of your day as soon as possible and we want you to be able to show off your day to all your friends and family.

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