As an Essex wedding photographer I meet all of my couples before their wedding, often two or three times. Many of my couples come to meet me before they book. It’s an ideal opportunity to have a look at the various sample albums that we have, mostly from Essex wedding venues and to put a face to the name. Realistically it’s a little more than that. Your Essex wedding photographer is one of very few suppliers that you will have a relationship with after your wedding day, so it really is critical that we get on well. I will be the person who will interact with all of your guests. I will be organised enough to get everything done that you require, without your guests feeling that they’ve waited forever for the photographs to be done. I will be happy and helpful all day when you need me and in the background working away unobtrusively when you think you don’t. When you come back from honeymoon seeing me and your photographs should be a highlight of your returning week, not the dread of having to encounter me again!! My relationship with you is a critical element to how you will feel about your photography.
The second time we meet is often for an engagement session. Engagement sessions are not a must have, regardless of what the magazines tell you. If you are already comfortable in front of the camera, it’s a benefit, but what I actually need is for you to be comfortable with me, which takes us back to the first meeting. If you really hate having your photograph taken, and trust me I hear that often, an engagement session can help to put your mind at rest as well as help to cement our relationship. They don’t take too long, we typically allow an hour and a half, of which about an hour is shooting time. That probably sounds like quite a lot and it is. It’s a huge amount more time than I will get with you on your wedding day, but there’ll be a lot of chat, hopefully a lot of fun and you’ll leave feeling absolutely confident that the photography on your wedding day will be a breeze and not the part that you dread!
Part of my job as an Essex wedding photographer is is to make sure the day runs as smoothly as possible and to time. Although I love documentary photography, which simply means that I document the story of the day, how it happens and when it happens, I am also very happy to photograph wedding portraits and family groups. This means that we need to make specific time for the photographs, without turning your wedding day in to a full blown photo shoot! This brings us to the third time we meet, which is for your final pre-wedding chat. This is our planning meeting. I try to organise this about two weeks ahead of your wedding, once you have all of you final plans in place. I want to work round your day, photograph the wedding that you have planned, not the wedding that I think you should have. We’ll go through the whole day, particularly the timings. We will look at the formal photographs that you want and make sure that we can fit them in to different sections of the day. I will make a who’s who of your families, bridal party and friends and we’ll identify your must have group shots together. It helps me enormously if I do this with you, rather than you coming to me with a list and it saves you a huge amount of time and heartache trying to figure out how to include everyone. Remember, this is my job, I do this all the time and I am here to help you.
The next time I see you is your wedding day! I will typically start with you an hour and a half before you leave for the service. It’s as you go in to the final stages of your preparations, so still time for the lovely hair and makeup shots and photographs of your dress and details, before you finally get to put it on and see the full result for the first time (I’ll capture that too!) Most of the time that I am with you before the wedding will simply be documentary photography, all the natural photos that you hope to get that will remind you of the excitement In the morning as you get ready. This is the point where my none photography skills sometimes kick in. There is no point photographing panic and occasionally, that’s what I see. A dress that can’t be laced or buttoned up, because beautiful nails make normal tasks impossibly fiddly. A buttonhole that refuses to be pinned in the right place, or stay upright. A tie that seems to be far too short, but just needs a knot rethink. Once, three zips in three dresses that broke on the bridesmaids, so I sewed them in to their dresses. If I do nothing else, I’m going to try to get you down that aisle on time and perfect.
The rest of the wedding day will mostly go in a blur of love, fun, happiness and partying. I’ll make sure that the formal and group photographs that you want before the wedding breakfast is served are done in plenty of time and that you still have time to enjoy your drinks reception with your guests. I’ll mingle effortlessly so that your guests barely even realise that I’m there and I’ll capture all of their happy congratulations to you. I’ll make sure that you can be sat on time so that your meal is enjoyed at it’s best and I’ll photograph the hilarity and the tenderest of moments in the speeches. If it’s a lovely summer’s evening I’ll borrow you for 20 minutes on the pretext of photographing you, but actually in the hope of giving you some precious time together away from the crowds and prying eyes and I’ll still get the shots that in years to come will remind you of how amazing your wedding day was. I’ll leave you when the party is in full swing and secretly wish I could grab a G&T and join in the dancing.
Then I’ll see you again after your honeymoon. We’ll watch a slideshow of your photographs together before choosing the album that you want and the photographs that you want to go in it. After years of fine tuning, we have the perfect way of making sure that the album that you get is exactly what you want, without you having to do too much work to get it! We go in to more detail about our albums and the process of choosing and design here. Then, just a matter of weeks later we’ll meet once more for you to take delivery of the beautiful album that we have created for you.
You might think that would be the last time that we’d see each other, but it never seems to quite work out that way. Over the years our goal has been to provide the very best customer service possible in our industry and we like to think that we manage to achieve this. The result is that hopefully, we’ll see you again, several times at several weddings of several friends, because when they are looking for their own Essex wedding photographer you’ll have no hesitation in recommending us!