Category Archives: Thoughts

Wedding group photos

wedding group photo at the Renaissance Hotel Kings Cross

I think it was about time to write a blog post about wedding group photos, also known as “formals”.

I don’t tend to put these photos on my website, not even often on my blog, and I don’t even show them much in private viewings with clients either. I show my formal wedding group photos too little I think. I guess that I think everyone knows how these pictures looks like, or that they can get a bit boring and samey sometimes…I don’t know, I don’t think that many people have been ever wowed by a wedding group photo, or at least it is something that doesn’t happen often.

wedding-group-photos

These probably won’t be the photos that will put a smile on your face remembering the moment (as opposed to candid photos) but I absolutely agree that some need to be taken. Wedding group photos are the ones that tend to end up in the mantelpieces the most, so they are a must for nearly all of my clients. But I will tell you a secret… I don’t know a photographer yet that loves to takes these pictures.

Being completely honest, it is not my favorite part of the day. I believe that part of the problem is that is the moment when I have to became the “bossy” photographer I am not. Organising big groups of people and get to take these photos in the shortest amount of time is not an easy task.

My priority is to take these photos quickly so the guests and bride and groom can go and enjoy a little bit of the drinks reception too, instead of being posing for endless photos for most of the time.

To get this, I advise my clients to keep the list short (8-10 group photos is a reasonable number and I would say my average) and luckily I normally get the help from the best man or the bridesmaids, who can help to gather people.

So…these are some of my wedding group photos, which have been hidden for quite a while, it was about time to show some of them!

wedding-group-photos

wedding-group-photos

formal wedding photo taking at Chelsea Town hall

two wedding group photos

wedding-group-photos

two wedding group photos

two wedding group photos of bride and her bridesmaids

Not all the group photos have to be the same or boring, I actually tend to take some a bit fun or different if I see the group is in the mood.

bride and groom with wedding party showing their colorful socks

bride and groom and wedding party jumping

fun wedding group photos in front of the Big Ben

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Good reasons to get married in winter

As a wedding photographer I have most of my work concentrated from April until October, with less inquiries for the rest of the months of the year. However, it is getting more and more common for couples to organise a winter wedding. And there are good reasons to get married in winter, you may want to consider them, just keep reading below this Christmas wedding photos…

newly-weds hugging each other in leadenhall market with christmas tree on the side

 

Weather itself can be one of the reasons. I know, it doesn’t make sense without giving it a little bit of though…when asking a couple of one of my winter weddings last year why they had chosen November, they told me that it was because when people get married in summer they expect the weather to be nice and they rely on it too much.

But let’s face it, sometimes it is not. Last year it was raining all summer. You couldn’t imagine how many umbrella shots I got!

You can still have a great day and beautiful wedding photographs with bad weather and rain, umbrellas are actually  a very nice prop for wedding photos. But somehow couples are a bit disappointed if the weather is not good in summer.  People who get married in winter on the other hand are not relying on weather for their wedding. They are likely to think the weather is going to be bad, so they are normally happy because it is not as bad as they thought it would be rather than disappointed.

Another good reason to get married in winter is that winter is very romantic! Snow, Christmas trees, candles…they all look wonderful and are so pretty… My only recommendation as a photographer is you are considering a winter wedding is to get mariied in the morning so there is still natural light for some time (specially for the group shots) for more natural results.

Wedding vendors have also more availability in winter, since summer is the high season, so you will get more chances to get the wedding vendor services you would like to have and some of them probably would also offer you a small discount.

No matter the month of the year or the weather, your wedding day will be a beautiful day!

 

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Professional wedding photographer vs friend

This is a post a little different from what I normally do. Most of the time I post photos from my engagement shoots or weddings so people looking at my website can have a deeper insight into my work. Today I will post no photos, today’s subject is: professional wedding photographer vs friend. These are my thoughts about what I think about this and the dangers of couples getting married having a friend taking their photos instead of a professional photographer.

I also understand that if you are reading this by chance, you may think that I am writing this just to get me or other colleagues photographers more work. However, what it pushed me to write this post is a meeting I had yesterday. I had an email three or four weeks ago from a girl who got married last year and because she got married abroad she was not organizing the wedding herself. Someone organized for a couple of friends to be in charge of taking the photos of the day. She told me by email and on the phone that she hated her wedding photos so much…and wanted a photoshoot here in London with her husband dressed the same as on their wedding day to get some beautiful photos.

Unfortunately, we will have to leave this photoshoot for another time, but for now, what she couldn’t wait for, was to have some of her wedding photos fixed, so I am in charge now of “fixing” some of her wedding photos, even though I don’t often do retouching services for clients who have not booked my complete photographic services.

Her wedding venues were gorgeous, but the light used was not the best to say the least, on-camera flash used in most of the photos, which gives a lot of harsh shadows. I am just brightening the photos up, contrast and  tone correction and simple things like that. Unfortunately there is not a magic bottom to change the light, and those shadows will stay. Basically, retouching will make the photos less bad and not so painful to look at, but no retouching turns a bad photo into a good one, this is why I say “fix”. Notice the quotations.

This is the first experience of someone coming to me distressed about their wedding photos and asking for help. A friend of mine didn’t have such an horrific experience, but got married abroad in an intimate ceremony years ago and they didn’t think about having a photographer, now that she sees lots of wedding photos because of me, she regrets not having them.

Wedding photography is hard, you are outside, then two seconds later you are in a dark church, you need to adjust your camera settings very quickly! I would even say that for a professional photographer who does other type of work can be quite difficult and challenging.

There is this widespread idea of good cameras taking good photos. I can say that from the photos showed to me by this bride, one of the cameras was a Canon 1D, not bad… however, it is not just the camera but the skills of the photographer and at a wedding being quick is very important too. Would an unexperienced amateur photographer be able to deliver wedding photos as a professional? Well, that’s quite unrealistic. If you are having an outdoors wedding with gorgeous light all day long you may get lucky and the difference can be not as painful, but otherwise…if your wedding photos are important for you, you should go for a professional.

Shooting a wedding is hard work on the day and it takes a long time to finish the work (editing), it is unlikely that a friend is going to do a week’s worth work too. I can work on my photos as much as I need to as I am being paid for that, but would I spent many hours editing hundreds of images if Iweren’t? probably I wouldn’t do as much as I wouldn´t have the time.

It is also clear that a person who does something often has more experience and resources that someone who doesn´t and obviously that shows.

I think it is important to be realistic, most of the times you get what you paid for. Consider how important are your wedding photos for you and make your decision accordingly. Should you take the risk or not? I wouldn’t do it obviously, I am a photographer and images are very important to me, capturing something so important beautifully would be a must. But not everyone has the same perception about photography, so if you are not bothered too much about photos and it is not important at all, then you may risk it and go for a friend… What I try in this post is opening the eyes of people who expect and would like to have beautiful photos that they are important to them but trust in a friend instead of a professional wedding photographer thinking  only in finances as if that fact didn’t matter at all. The reality is that someone who doesn’t make a living of photography won’t have the equipment of a photographer or the skills or the expertise in 99.99% of the cases.

I really felt sorry for this girl and how unhappy she was! and remember when something is done for free (and friends) you don’t really have any right to complaint, have you?

I hope all this makes sense and it is not seen just as something that obviously a photographer has to say, I have tried to give an opinion from my heart and I hope is valuable for someone out there.

Thanks for reading!

 

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