What To Expect When Working With Me As Your Wedding Photographer
Chances are this is the first time you have needed to book a photographer and as such, you will have plenty of questions – this is good, I encourage as many questions as possible.
Finding a wedding photographer can be difficult. Admittedly there are thousands of us, but photographs are incredibly personal. I encourage you to look through your old family photographs of when you were a child or from when your parents were married. The same feelings you get from these images will be transferred to your photographs a hundred years from now when the next generations look at them and say ‘oh wow, Nan and Grampa were so stylish!’ – or just laugh at everyone’s haircuts.
Hug or handshake? I’m Liam, it’s nice to meet you.
Being new to this wedding game, you’ll likely want to know how it all goes down, what to expect and when. In this post I wanted to put together a timeline of sorts so you know what to expect right the way through from first enquiry to ordering a wedding album.
I aim to respond to all enquiries within 48 hours. If you haven’t heard from me, firstly check your spam box (enter your mobile number on the contact form to mitigate this) and if there’s still no message then I may be off in the wilderness somewhere. It’s quite common for me to take holidays that are in places with no phone signal or WiFi in order to escape from technology. I love modern life, but I also love getting back in touch with the world around me.
If I’m not available for your date I’ll send over a few other websites from wedding photographers who I know and trust for your delectation. I always check if they’re free for your date before sending so you’re not stuck in an enquiry loop!
I make a point of meeting every couple where possible face to face. This is really important. You may love my work, but in order for the whole process to work, you need to like me. Documentary photography in the real world is a very different animal, you don’t know anyone and are a casual observer. Weddings are different. They are intimate occasions and even though I don’t direct you, you need to feel comfortable in my presence and relax enough to let the real you come through.
Beer, tea, whiskey, coffee? All at once if it’s that kind of gig…
I like to get to know people, it helps me understand the vibe of the day and allows you to get to know and be relaxed around me. This underpins the whole process, you need to like me in order to trust me, and trust is everything.
Want to book? We’re a team now – Let’s do this.
I ask for £200 for your deposit and that you fill in my booking form. It’s really simple, names, addresses that sort of thing. Once that’s returned you are officially booked in, stamped, carved in stone, signed, sealed, delivered i’m yours for the day.
I’ve written lots of articles over the years with various tips and tricks that will no doubt help in the planning process. More than likely I’ll have mentioned most of them during our meeting, at least this you you will have them in writing and can refer to them at your leisure. They are mostly things to consider and how they can impact the timeline and or efficiency of the day. For example hiding when you exit the ceremony stops a receiving line forming for efficiency, but a receiving line ensures you get lots of pictures hugging and greeting your guests – once you have the info, you can then plan the best day possible.
During the build up
Send me any questions you may have, even if they’re not photography related. I’ve seen so many weddings that if I can’t give you a direct answer based upon lived experience, I will at least be able to point you in the right direction.
One month before the wedding
The remainder of the balance becomes due in this period, let me know when that’s been settled and I’ll confirm receipt.
Next I’ll need a list of any group photographs you would like as well as an agenda for the day. Be as detailed as possible with your group shot list, first and last names. The most efficient way to structure them is in family groups biggest to smallest, I can help with re-ordering for max efficiency.
The week of the wedding
I’ll send an email or give you call double checking that nothing has changed and that addresses, locations are all still correct and run through the plan one last time so it’s fresh in the mind.
On the wedding day
I’ll be there! That’s always a good start.
I aim to get to the first location earlier than we originally agreed for my own piece of mind so don’t be alarmed if I’m half an hour early. Traffic jams and cancelled trains have all featured in the past but I’ve equally never been late. I always go for the safe than sorry mantra and turn up earlier than needed.
For most of the day you won’t notice me. Even in small rooms with few people I’ll blend into the background, people often tell me they forget i’m there which is the highest compliment, not forgetting that i’m over six foot so I think that’s pretty good going.
Chances are we will need to be flexible on the timings, some things can run over, other things can take less time than you expect. Throw the weather into the mix and things can get interesting. I love rainy weddings, but that’s another story.
I’ll be moving in and out of the crowds documenting the day as it happens in front of me. I’ll make myself known again when it’s time for family photographs and couple portraits so I can take control of that and then blend into the scenery again afterwards – but in a cool way, like Batman would.
Later on I’ll be dancing with everyone else and getting into the swing of things photographing people on the dance-floor, if i’m not driving I’ll of course share a drink with all my new found pals and chums.
After the wedding
With your permission I’ll post a few images to social media, mostly Instagram so follow me here: https://www.instagram.com/liam_smith_photography/ There is no rhyme or reason to this, I have no social media ‘strategy’ and will post things that I think are funny/heartfelt/artistic. I can tag you if you wish, let me know.
Six weeks later
I will aim to have your images ready to go in a lovely box ready for the post office. It is worth noting that in some years it has taken longer than this as the summer months are the busiest period and I can shoot three weddings in a week. The other reason that it takes a little while is because I personally do all of the editing. This is not commonplace, but I take pride in handling the images from start to finish and delivering exactly what I saw and felt on the day through my pictures.
Once you’ve confirmed delivery I’ll send a link to the online gallery containing the same set of images. These can be downloaded and shared and friends and family can buy prints and or albums if they wish. I thoroughly encourage this as too few pictures ever get printed. I am equally guilty of this, but it does deny you the future pleasure of leafing through and album and remembering the old days. I full on curate my family albums, book one took four years, ha.
I love feedback.
I want to be the best possible photographer and deliver consistent quality. I would love it if you could email me with any ideas, thoughts and feelings. Learning is what allows us to grow and I want to be the greatest version of myself and you can help me get there!
That’s my timeline, I hope it has helped in some way.
It’s important to note that I am lovely, for realsies. And with that in mind, you can genuinely ask me anything. Gents this means you too. My job is to make you feel absolutely at ease. If you are thinking you could do with some help on how to stand or carry yourself or have a particular hang up, tell me about it and I’ll hook you up, don’t worry, we’re a team now, I’ve got your back.