The following are the most common questions I get from clients when planning photographs for their wedding. Over the coming months I will delve into some of these topics in more detail as each of them could be a blog post all on their own.
Q. Can you shoot on film, and why would you?
A. Yes, the reason is quality. As a professional photographer it’s my job to give you the best-finished product I can and with black & white in particular you can’t beat a hand print from an old fashioned negative. That doesn’t mean that I can’t get most of the benefits of digital technology. After being processed each film is then scanned, which means the images can go online and if necessary corrections can be made. Photography, as with any art form, is not about the fancy equipment -- what matters is how it’s used.
Q. How long does the photographer usually stay at the wedding?
A. The majority of weddings I shoot have me stay until the bride & groom leave which totals between 6 to 8 hours. If you are trying to economize and are having your event on a Saturday morning or on a Friday then please ask me about reduced rates for shorter weddings.
Q. We don’t want to keep our guests waiting at the reception while we take photographs. Should we see each other to get all the formal photographs taken before the ceremony?
A. The cocktail hour with its great food and drinks has taken the stress out of that problem. Guests are so busy enjoying themselves that they don’t miss the bride & groom. Now I am all about the “good light” so if the ceremony ends after sunset it’ll mean that you won’t get any natural light shots together so the you might want to consider seeing each other beforehand, so we can take some of those shots. We take no longer than 30 minutes to shoot the wedding party, family groups and the bride & groom after the ceremony, that should leave time for the newlyweds to relax for a few minutes or to join their guests.
Q. What percentage of black and white pictures should we have?
A. One of the beauties of using digital is that the photographer can decide in the editing stage if the image looks best in black and white, or in color. That decision isn’t permanent so you can always go back to the original color file if you wish. My theory is that the traditional shots should be in color and the candid, more artsy ones in B/W. A color photograph is often dominated by the colors of the bouquet, the dresses, the landscape etc., whereas a B/W print makes you concentrate on the mood or feelings of the subject. It's really up to you, B/W or color, the most important thing is that I capture the right mood for you.
Q. What is the difference between "candid" and "photo journalism"?
A. Not much. They are both informal photographic techniques. A shot can be posed but still have a candid look if the subjects are relaxed and acting naturally. Pure photo journalism is completely natural, often using a wide-angle lenses to capture not only the romantic stuff but everything going on around, good and bad.
Q. Our venue has very strict rules regarding photographs during the ceremony, what can you do?
A. This is not unusual, obviously we have to honor the venue’s requests. We can put the camera on a tripod and shoot with no flash. We may not be able to get in as close as you’d like but most venues are lit brightly enough to get very nice shots.
Q. Should we have kids in our wedding?
A. Absolutely. I’ve got four children so I’m a big fan. Kids make the mood far more relaxed and stops you getting caught up in perfecting everything.
Q. Do you allow family members to take photographs behind you?
A. At every wedding, most guests have their smart phone out trying to get the perfect picture or video. I am totally okay with this as long as it doesn’t interfere with the flow of the photo shoots or spoil the mood. Posing for one camera is enough for any couple, image having to smile for ten extra iPhones with each pose.
Q. What is a Polaroid Portrait?
A. About ten years ago I started shooting with an old-fashioned 4x5 camera on Polaroid 55 film. It’s a very unwieldy camera and extremely impractical but when you get it right the results are very cool. Each sheet gives a positive print (so you can see the image right away) and a negative which is 4x5”, it makes beautiful prints and also has the edge detail unique to this type of film.
Q. What is the Photo Booth?
A. It’s not one of those climb-in booths you see at every event. It’s just a dedicated portrait area with a plain gray backdrop that I set up at the reception. The camera is stationary so it’s up to the subject to create the art which is why we only take the photo when they are being creative; or stupid, funny, whacky, daring, inappropriate, obnoxious etc. It’s a great way to get memorable photos of your guests having a good time without the space restrictions of a booth.
Q. What is the Black Box?
A. Now if you want space restrictions, I have a 44 square inch box that we can set up at the reception. Who wouldn’t want to see your new mother-in-law crammed into a box?