Even though I am a London based documentary wedding photographer, I am happy to shoot a wedding anywhere in the world. So when Anne and Alex asked if I’d be prepared to be their Tampere wedding photographer I said two things: “Yes, of course,” which was quickly followed by, “So where is Tampere?“
Looking to find the right wedding photographer for your wedding day? Well, I thought it would be helpful and useful to give you 5 tips on how to do so, and take some of the confusion and headache out of your wedding planning..
Not all wedding photography is the same. Different wedding photographers have different styles and different approaches. So you need to think about what kind of style and approach you want for your wedding photography.
Whilst there are a few different styles, it largely falls between a traditional approach and a documentary approach.
Traditional Wedding Photography is a more formal and directional approach. The traditional wedding photographer will guide you through different set ups and poses. They will make suggestions to get shots which are well composed. They will also spend a lot of time setting up portraits and group shots, often using off camera lighting to get the perfect images.
Documentary Wedding Photography or wedding photojournalism/reportage, as it’s sometimes also called, is more informal and relaxed. The wedding photography using this approach won’t direct or set up moments. Instead, they will unobtrusively document the real moments and emotions as they naturally happen. Whilst they will also do some portraits and group shots, they’ll spend less of their time on these. This more natural, storytelling approach is the kind of the wedding photography I specialise in.
There’s no right or wrong style. It ultimately comes down to what style would suit you best. However, it’ll help you to know what style you prefer when you start looking for the right wedding photographer.
It’s fair to say that your wedding photographer is likely to spend more time with you on the wedding day than any other wedding vendor. So in finding the right wedding photographer you need to find one whose personality is going to match yours too.
Just as importantly they’ll need to get along with your wedding guests and also be a compatible fit with your other wedding vendors and suppliers.
So it’s only sensible to meet in person with a wedding photographer before you book them. I always recommend to any potential wedding couple that we meet up for a coffee (on me of course!) first, where we can talk through your wedding plans and how I would approach the wedding. I also bring further examples of my work along and it’s always relaxed and informal. So not only do you get to learn more about my approach, you get to know if we’re likely to get along on your wedding day.
I’m delighted to say that nearly every wedding couple I meet in person goes on to book me as their wedding photographer. Watch me in action at a real wedding here.
Wedding photography is demanding and challenging, and with it comes great responsibility. There’s only one chance to get it right – you can’t have the wedding day again. So you need to make sure that your wedding photographer has experience in shooting weddings.
Just because someone takes nice landscape photos it doesn’t mean they will be able to handle the pressure of the quick moving, fast changing demands of a wedding day. Different venues, different lighting and different weather can all challenge a wedding photographer.
Other considerations here are whether the photographer has won any awards for their wedding photography? But a note of caution, awards are everywhere these days, some which are simply paid for. So ask about the awards, research them online if need.
I’ve won a number of awards for my wedding photography through the Wedding Photojournalist Association and its sister body the Artistic Guild of the Wedding Photojournalist Association. These are qualifying bodies and well respected awards within the industry.
I’m also now into my 8th year of wedding photography and I’ve shot many different weddings, big and small, from Finchley to Finland. That experience means the risk of something going wrong with your wedding photography is massively reduced.
You’ll often find wedding photographers talking about photography being their passion. I actually believe that passion is something demonstrated rather than simply declared.
You need a wedding photographer who is passionate about getting the best photography from your wedding day, rather than simply seeing it as a job and means to get some extra cash. So ask about other photography they pursue. Do they show a love for and knowledge about the history of photography. Is it something they felt compelled to, doing it as a hobby or for the love of its art form.
Or did they simply get a camera and saw it as a tool to start making money? Will they approach your wedding like a production line, joining the dots but lacking creativity and drive.
Of course, you’ll have a certain budget for your wedding, but don’t make the mistake of trying to find the right wedding photographer based on price alone – this is always a route to wedding disaster.
Professional wedding photographers will have invest heavily in their kit. For example, I shoot every wedding with 3 professional camera bodies and at least a minimum of 5 lenses. This means if something goes wrong, I’m not relying on 1 camera or 1 lens.
Equally, professionals will have invested in insurance, which includes professional indemnity and third party liability cover – something that protects you as a wedding couple too. They’re more likely to belong to professional bodies and a regulated in that way.
Whilst it may be tempting to go with a photographer offering cheaper prices, it’s likely they’ve cut costs somewhere along the line, be it cheaper, lesser kit, no insurance or don’t belong to a professional body.
Wedding photography is certainly one of those things where you get what you pay for. In fact, wedding magazines often report that the number one regret of recently married couples is that they never paid more for their wedding photography.
The Right Wedding Photographer
I hope those 5 tips help you in making decisions in finding the right wedding photographer. It can often be a bewildering and confusing thing to do, but just thinking about these different considerations will make things easier for you.
If you’d like to have a chat with me about your wedding plans and how my natural unposed documentary wedding photography would fit your plans, then drop me a message via my contact page or give me a call on 07920 422144.
Thanks for watching and reading!
I often talk about being at war with the wedding photography obvious. As a wedding photographer that may seem a little unusual. So what do I mean by that and, just as importantly, what does that mean for you as a couple looking for a wedding photographer? That’s what I discuss and explain in this video.
A Democratic Approach to Wedding Photography
I must admit I did take and change a famous quote by fine art photographer William Eggleston who once talked about being at war with the obvious. By this he meant everything and anything was entitled to be photographed – not just those usual cliches. He often said he was camera lens was completely democratic.
As a street photographer who shoots weddings, I come to weddings with a similar approach. I avoid all those cheesy cliches and tired old traditions often associated with wedding photographer. I’m looking for fresh, original and authentic ways to photograph your wedding. To document your wedding as it really is, rather than an artificial and faked version of one.
Unobtrusive Wedding Photography
So I am going to be as unobtrusive as possible during your wedding day. I won’t interfere, bark instructions, stage fake moments or ask anyone to say cheese. I will remain discreet and document the real moments, real relationships and real emotions of your real wedding story as it evolves naturally.
Yes I’ll take some portraits and group shots. After all, even if you didn’t want any, it’s likely your family will want some for the wall or mantelpiece. However, I keep these to a minimum and get them done as quickly as possible. 99% of my time will then concentrate on getting those natural moments from your wedding day.
It’s Your Wedding Story
I want to photograph your wedding story rather than create some fantasy version of what people think wedding photography should be like. That means documenting whats unique to your day, warts ‘n’ all. I’m not going to photograph your wedding with an identikit template that was used at the last wedding or will be used at the next. I want it to be as unique as you are as a couple.
I’ll also photograph all those moments and stories you don’t see happening on your wedding day.
So that’s what I mean by being at war with the wedding photography obvious.
If that such an approach sounds an ideal fit for your unique wedding story, then I’d love to chat with you about your wedding plans.
Check out my current wedding photography prices and services by clicking the button below.
A fun same sex wedding in the Vale of Glamorgan
It’s not everyday you photograph a wedding that’s also being featured as part of a TV series. However, that’s exactly what I faced with Dianne and Kathy’s the Bear Hotel Cowbridge wedding in the Vale of Glamorgan in Wales.
A Mature Wedding Story
This small and intimate Maybridge Community Church wedding down in Worthing, West Sussex was different from your average wedding in a number ways. After all, it’s not everyday you get asked to be the wedding photographer for a couple who are in their 70’s – as Elisabeth and Pete were.
I hope you all had a lovely Christmas Day or at least had a relaxing day if it’s not a holiday you celebrate. Well, it’s Boxing Day as I write and I’m all about turkey and mince pied out!
The festive season is a nice time for me to relax a little after a wedding year, that has taken me from Wales to Finland, Northern Ireland and Islington, as well as many places in between.
It also means I can start to reflect on the weddings that are coming in 2019.
Father Christmas was also very kind to me this year, bringing me a number of photography items for my stocking:
First off, there were two photo books. The Colour Work by Vivian Maier and The Christmas Tree Bucket by Trent Parke.
For those unfamiliar with Vivian Maier, her wonderful street photography wasn’t discovered until after her death in 2008 – when a collector found thousands of negatives in a lock up in Chicago. The Colour Work book is the first to examine the colour photography legacy she left.
Trent Parke is a contemporary documentary photographer and member of the illustrious Mangum photo agency. His book is a warts and all documentation of his family’s Christmas down under in Australia.
Both books are fantastic and will be vital additions to my rather large photo book collection.
I also got a nice retro looking camera strap, which will replace the horrible branded Olympus strap on my EM1 Mark II camera body. I was also very pleased to received a nice new backpack for day to day stuff.
So that was my Christmas. How was yours? Did you get anything you were really excited about?
Or perhaps you got engaged or are planning your 2019 wedding? If you are and are looking for a documentary wedding photographer with a relaxed, unobtrusive and stress free approach, then I’d love to chat with you.
Just click on the box below to send me a message.
See more of my every day life in my It’s My Life blog posts
So when Nicola and Jamie told me they were having a Southwark Cathedral wedding and then a boat trip down the River Thames, to a rowing club in Putney for their evening celebrations I just knew I had to be their wedding photographer.
After all, being a London wedding photographer I was excited by the prospect of capturing so many iconic London locations as a wedding backdrop.
You may be looking for a London wedding photographer but I need to be very clear that I’m definitely not just another wedding photographer. In many ways I see weddings a little bit differently. Of course you may be wondering what I mean by this?
So here are 5 reasons why I’m not just another wedding photographer.
The wedding first dance is one of those must have photos from your wedding day. Being a documentary London wedding photographer I will capture it in its most natural and beautiful state. I want to document the essence of you as a new married couple right there in that romantic moment.
Now of course I will never direct what you should or shouldn’t do, as I want to capture what a first dance means to you. But I thought it would be useful to give you five tips to make sure you get the most awesome wedding first dance photos from your day.
Why I Love This Image
This Wicksteed Park wedding photo is a perfect example of why I love staying on beyond a couple’s first dance. Once wedding guests have had a few drinks, it’s time to let their hair down and get uninhibited on the dance floor.
Indian Wedding Photographer in Croydon, London
How I came to be Inderdeep’s London Indian wedding photographer for his Sikh Maiyan Celebrations is slightly unusual. I had a number of years before documented his sister’s baby shower celebrations, so his mother reached out to me to see if I was available for his actual Indian wedding ceremony. I was and she went ahead and booked me but unbeknown to her, the father of the bride had also booked another wedding photographer.
Yes I’m a documentary London wedding photographer. However, there’s a misconception, often fueled by wedding photojournalists ourselves. It’s that documentary wedding photography cannot (or should not) include posed portraits or traditional group shots.
A Long Tradition of Photojournalists & Portraiture
Son and Daughter Day
In honour of today being International Son and Daughter Day (11 August) I thought it would be nice to share with you some wedding photography of brides and grooms with their children on the wedding day.
As a documentary wedding photographer I love to photograph those special and unique bonds between people and there is none closer than the relationship between a parent and child – young or old.
Bonds, Relationships & Emotions
Of course, it being a wedding day often makes that relationship even more intense and, excuse the pun, sharply focused. Emotions often run high as parents forge a new relationship together of which their children will form a central part.
So when I document those often powerful private moments between a bride or groom with their child, I’m recording a truly moving and intimate piece of family life. It’s all part of your wedding’s real and unique story.
Being a natural and genuine moment it’s heartfelt and raw, in a way a posed or set up wedding moment could never capture or recreate. As a wedding photojournalist I truly value the integrity of such moments.
So What Is Son and Daughter Day?
You may be wondering what Son and Daughter day is. To quote from the Days of the Year website, it is:
“…the perfect opportunity to set aside some time to reflect on the joy that children bring to your life. Whether sons and daughters are young or old, teenagers or toddlers, the bond between parent and child is like no other on earth and this annual celebration ensures the miracle of bringing new life into the world is never forgotten. Though the origins of Son and Daughter Day are unknown, it is celebrated widely across the world simply by parents spending time with their children and letting them know how special they are to them. The best gift to give on Son and Daughter Day is the gift of time. If your children are still living at home, take some time out of your schedule to truly enjoy their company. If your children have moved away, make sure they return so you can spend quality family time together.“
So share with me and celebrate Son and Daughter day with this very small selection of wedding photos featuring brides and grooms with their kids on the wedding day.
Book a Documentary Wedding Photographer
Do you enjoy my unposed, candid and natural documentary wedding photography and how it captures real moments and genuine emotions from the wedding day?
Then I’d love to chat with you about your wedding plans and how I can document the real and unique wedding story from your day. Although I am a London wedding photographer I do service the whole of the U.K. and destination weddings overseas.Contact Me Now
Or, if you prefer you can call/text me on 07920 422144.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Tanya and Steve were having a low-key and intimate wedding at Wicksteed Park in Northamptonshire. As part of this they wanted a Northamptonshire wedding photographer who would blend into the background, capture all the natural moments from the day and simply allow them to enjoy their wedding day as they should – with their friends and family.
I love a Highdown Vineyard wedding. As a wedding photojournalist I’ve shot there a number of times and it’s without doubt one of the best wedding venues in West Sussex. So when Sienna and Phil asked me to be their wedding photographer there, I just couldn’t wait to get started!
The evening reception is one of my favourite parts of the wedding day, and this Frilford Heath Golf Club wedding reception was no different.
It’s Time To Celebrate
The great part about the evening reception is that everyone is ready to have fun and party. The serious part of the wedding day is out of the way, everyone’s been fed and the drinks are usually flowing. It’s the part of the wedding day when the couple can properly celebrate their tying of the knot.
As a wedding photographer I always stay beyond the first dance – at least for an hour minimum but often longer – to document all those great expressions, great emotions and, yes, even those great dance floor moves.
Frilford Heath Golf Club Wedding Reception
Here a joyous bride has grabbed hold of an elderly wedding guest and is getting her disco groove thang on.
You simply can’t create that kind of emotion on her face or the genuine nature of the moment. As a documentary wedding photographer I want to capture all those real moments as they happen. I’m not looking to set up, stage or even fake a fantastic moment like this.
It’s All About The Colour Too
Also I love the colour. From the pink hat the bride has put on through to the disco lights that surround the dance floor. The colour and freezing of the moment is assisted by using a flash – something I’ll only revert to during the dancing in the evening.
It’s nice too to have colour splashed across the frame. Too often wedding photojournalism is associated with black and white photography, so it’s nice to show off colour when documenting the wedding story.
So that’s why I love this image of from a Frilford Heath Golf Club wedding.
Book Me For Your Frilford Heath Golf Club Wedding
Are you having a wedding at Frilford Heath Golf Club in Oxfordshire? Or perhaps you want a relaxed, natural and storytelling photography approach to your wedding day?
I’d love to have an informal chat with you about your wedding plans. You can call me on 07920 422144 or send me a message via the contact form below.
I look forward to hearing from you.
I previously shot Andrea and Nick’s Nigerian Wedding Blessing at St Anselm’s church in Tooting Bec in the London Borough of Wandsworth . So as a Wandsworth wedding photographer it was great to be back there again a week or so later for their formal wedding day, before moving on to Wandsworth Town Hall for the evening celebrations.
There’s often a presumption that wedding photojournalists are only concerned with documenting people at weddings and that we don’t really bother with wedding detail shots. Well, that’s why I’ve chosen this photo of a wedding cake at the Marriott Meon Valley Hotel and Country Club near Southampton in Hampshire for inclusion in my Why I Love This Image series.
Wedding Details & the Wedding Photojournalist
As an experienced wedding photographer I realise the importance of details shots. After all, you have spent a lot of time, thought and money on choosing the smaller details of your wedding day. It’s only natural you will want a documented record of these. And a wedding photojournalist is there to capture all elements of your wedding story.
But when I shoot the wedding details, such as a wedding cake, I also like to include some context and, wherever possible, some storytelling too. There’s definitely no reason you can’t pull all these elements together, as this wedding cake shot demonstrates.
The Wedding at the Marriott Meon Valley Hotel
The wedding cake take’s centre stage and I’ve taken a slightly lower perspective to add a little drama – as well as eliminating some of the less desirable things like table legs and carpet. Beyond that you have waiters serving food to the wedding party at the Marriott Meon Valley. This inclusion, ensures the wedding cake is set within the story of the day, rather than just another anonymous wedding cake from another anonymous wedding. And by having it in black and white, it really compliments the strong graphic nature of the image.
In my opinion it really adds to Sam and Kevin’s unique wedding story and that’s definitely why I love this image.
Contact Me To Discuss Your Wedding Plans
So if you think a wedding photojournalism approach would be ideal for documenting the individual and special story of your wedding day, then I’d love to chat with you about your wedding plans. Likewise, if you’re getting married at the Marriott Meon Valley near Southampton in Hampshire then lets definitely chat.
You can give me a call or send a text to 07920 422144. Or send me a message to my contact page with details of your wedding and I’ll get straight back to you.
It’s one of those things I regularly get asked as a wedding photographer by couples: “Can we have the RAW files for our wedding photos, please?”
Of course, it’s a reasonable request and I fully understand why couples would ask for the RAW files. However, there are good reasons why I don’t provide my RAW files.
But first of all, you may be wondering what a RAW file is? Let me explain…
What Is A RAW File?
In a basic sense, as described on Wikipedia:
“Raw image files are sometimes called digital negatives, as they fulfill the same role as negatives in film photography: that is, the negative is not directly usable as an image, but has all of the information needed to create an image.“
In technical speak a RAW file is an uncompressed file that contains the raw image data. It provides the image data exactly as it was captured by the camera, without loss of quality and without compression. It then needs to be converted to an image file, such as a JPEG, via software. This gives much more flexibility and control in editing he final image, as no information has been stripped out the image – as would happen if the image was shot as a JPEG in camera.
Why Couples Often Ask for the RAW Files from their Wedding Photography
OK, you say, but why would a wedding couple ask for the RAW files of their wedding photography? After all, it sounds like a lot of effort having to convert it to a JPEG before it canbe shared online or printed off.
In my experience, there’s usually 3 reasons why a couple may ask for the RAW files:
- They want to re-edit the images themselves.
- By offering to edit the images themselves, instead of the wedding photographer, it may mean a discount in the price.
- They simply think they have “purchased” the RAW files in the price of their wedding photography collection and it belongs to them.
Why I Don’t Offer My RAW Files
All of these reasons are understandable, but let me address them and explain why a professional wedding photographer wouldn’t (or shouldn’t!) give their RAW files to a couple.
- The way I edit my images and their final “look” is all part of my brand identity. That identity is part of why a couple will book me in the first place. I edit the images in a distinct style. In many ways, my edited images are my “shop window” to the world. So I don’t want images out there that are edited in a different way. That risks damaging the brand identity I have built. In other words, it’s potentially damaging to my business.
- Aside from the point above, how they are edited is important to my business reputation, a RAW file would be – if I even did contemplate selling it – infinitely much more expensive than the JPEG files. Why? Especially if it takes away my editing time? That’s kind of wrapped up in the following third point.
- In effect, when a couple books a wedding photographer they are not buying ownership of the images. Instead they are being granted certain reproduction rights for those images. But the copyright of the images remains with the photographer. By not giving up the RAW files it ensures the photographer maintains control over what happens with those files and ultimately their brand identity. To give that up would require a fee that would likely be far too expensive to make it worthwhile for the couple. Ultimately photos are my business and to give up the RAW files is akin away part of my business.
It’s Not That I’m Depeche Mode, But…
It might be easier to compare RAW files with the original sound recordings a music band or artist make. When you buy their music on CD, Vinyl or as an MP3 you don’t get rights to the original sound files, so you can remix the music as you want or even sell them on. No you get certain rights to playing and enjoying that music. It’s exactly the same with RAW files and your wedding photography.
So I’m not being difficult or precious when I say I don’t give away or sell the RAW files. It’s for very sound business reasons.
However, you do of course get beautifully edited high resolution JPEG images from which I’m more than happy for you to print and share freely. The only restriction is that I request you seek my permission if you are going to sell those images commercially – which I’ve never encountered from wedding photos!
Let’s Have a Chat About Your Wedding Plans
I hope you found that informative and understand the reasons why I don’t provide RAW files. If you are getting married and are interested in my documentary wedding photography approach, then I’d love to have a informal and non-obligatory chat with you about your wedding plans.
You can send me a message via my contact page (I will usually get back to you very quickly) or you can call/text/WhatsApp me on 07920 422144. I’ll be delighted to hear from you.
Still Have Questions?
If you have any more questions about my wedding photography, you can find answers in my Frequently Asked Questions. If you don’t find the answer you’re looking for, then please feel free to send me your question and I’ll do my best to answer it for you.
As people may know by now, my personal street photography is very important to me. Not just as a creative outlet but also in my approach as a documentary wedding photographer. It’s why I have on occasion been dubbed the “street photography wedding photographer.”
Urban Street Diving
So I’m delighted to have had some of my street photography featured on the Urban Street Diving (USD) website. It was also nice to have been interviewed as part of the article. Andreas, the guy behind USD had asked me a couple of time if I’d do a contribution for the website. The idea being to do a very short and brisk shoot in a single location.
So being a Wallington wedding photographer I decided to go out to try and shoot some street photography around Wallington. You can see the results and read the interview me over on Urban Street Diving.
The Street Photography Wedding Photographer
So why is street photography so important to me as documentary wedding photographer?
Well, when it comes to your wedding photography story you want the real story of your wedding day being documented. That will include all those emotions, gestures, glances and moments that will evolve naturally throughout your wedding day. As a wedding photographer you have to be alive to these moments happening – anticipating when and where a genuine moment will happen.
Street photography helps me hone that skill. If you can capture such moments in a candid and consistent way, over time, in public of strangers then it really helps when it comes to documenting your wedding story.
So being the street photography wedding photographer really does help me capture the real story of your special wedding day.
Contact Me About Your Wedding Day
If you would like to chat with me about your wedding plans and how I can deliver those natural, candid and unobtrusive wedding photos you crave from your wedding day then send me a message via my contact page. Alternatively you can give me a call, or send a text, via 07920 422144
If you’d like to see more of my candid street photography you can do so at my street photography website.
So if you’d like a street photography wedding photographer you know exactly where to come.
When Andrea and Nick told me they were planning a traditional Nigerian wedding blessing a week before their actual wedding day, at St Anselm’s in Tooting Bec, London, I just knew I had to include that in the wedding photography package I offered them.
After all, as soon as I think of traditional African weddings I immediately think vibrant colours, song, vibrant colour, dance and, did I mention, vibrant colours – everything that my documentary wedding photography approach would love to capture.. And I definitely wasn’t disappointed.
Once again, one of the top regrets of newlywed couples is having not spent enough on a wedding photographer for their wedding day. Of course, being a professional wedding photographer you’d most probably expect me to say that.
But don’t take my word for it. Recent survey results by The Registry Site, as reported by In Style magazine confirms:
Holiday Inn Brighton Wedding Photography
It’s hard to believe that it was back in July 2013 that I photographed Steph and Dan’s Brighton wedding. I can still recall quite clearly all the moments, emotions and stories from the day, as if it were only yesterday.
So I thought I’d look back and select my five favourites from all the wedding photos I shot that day and explain why. So in no particular order:
Arad & Brian’s Same-Sex Wedding
As a wedding photographer I was delighted to be chosen for Arad and Brian’s same sex wedding, as a result of being found on Instagram by Arad. Arad a keen photographer and lover of photography himself knew he wanted a very candid and storytelling approach to his and Brian’s wedding day – and it was my natural wedding reportage photography on Instagram that led him to me. The wedding was going to be split between the wonderful Pump House in Battersea Park and at the cool Bluebird Restaurant on the Kings Road in Chelsea. As a London documentary wedding photographer they really were London wedding venues I dream of shooting at.