Camera ready

Camera ready

Q. We're both a bit camera shy and are feeling anxious about photos on our wedding day, but also want a lovely album to look back on. Can you offer us some advice?

A. Flynn Guard says: Simply be yourselves. Our job as wedding photographers is to capture your day as it happens, as well as doing our best to look after our couples. I personally like to tell a story when shooting as your day unfolds and simply want you to be you. There is really no need to feel awkward in front of the camera, as with my documentary-style shooting, you'll barely know I'm there most of the time! It's important to get to know your wedding photographer before the big day. An engagement shoot is the best way to do this, as is meeting up or exchanging phone calls. This will all help to put you at ease in front of the camera. On the day itself I may prompt my couples with simple tasks such as, “Hold hands and walk towards me.” All nice natural actions to get the best out of you and your photos. You're not expected to be super models for the day, so the best thing you can do is to relax and enjoy. It's part of our job to make sure this happens (we don't just take photos). Try to soak in as much as possible, then you can enjoy your album for years to come.

Flynn Guard, Flynn Guard Photography


Snap happy

Snap happy

Q. I've never had professional photos taken before. How can I feel relaxed and happy in front of the camera on my big day?

A. Leah Webber says: I get asked this question a lot – so you're not alone! I spend time getting to know my couples, and use a little trick to help them to relax: talking about how they met. This is when the magic happens, as they start reminiscing about their first date and how they fell in love and soon there are real emotions, cheeky grins and private jokes.

On the day, just be yourself and enjoy the moment with your partner – embrace each other, share a kiss or simply take in the scenery. If you feel awkward, communicate this to your photographer as it's their job to make you feel at ease. I take my couples for a walk and let them wander off without me while I capture them holding hands, giving piggybacks and giggling together. If your relationship is full of love, laughter, dark humour or bad jokes, then I want to see those things – this is the real you.

As a documentary photographer, I'm here to capture you. Not the person you think you should be or the person who feels they need to hide their teeth when they smile or suck their tummy in when I take a photo. I just want to see you. After all, isn't that how you feel in love with each other in the first place?

Leah Webber, Wildflower Photography


Caught on camera

Caught on camera

Q. What are the key photo opportunities during the day that we should schedule time for?

A. Tracey Horton & Jodie Barron says: One of the best things about booking an experienced photography company is that they will take on these responsibilities for you. Your venue will help you plan your timings and your photographer will get the most out of your day without it feeling like a photoshoot.

As well as key moments such as walking down the aisle, signing the register, throwing confetti, making speeches, family portraits and the first dance, it's all the bits in between that make your day unique. We love to capture the unexpected moments too: the excitement of getting ready, tears of joy and times of laughter. These are the images that weave your story together.

Our favourite time for some bonus pictures around your venue is after the wedding breakfast. The sky and light is different at this time of day, and you can catch a beautiful sunset or use sparklers to dramatic effect. Our packages also include a make-up touch up for the bride, so this is an ideal time to have a refresh before the party too!

Tracey Horton & Jodie Barron, Powder and Pearls Photography


Through the lens

Through the lens

Q. My partner and I don't like having our photo taken. How can we relax on the day?

A. Jo Hansford says: We hear this so often – it's pretty much the norm! A big part of our job is to keep things as relaxed and fun as possible, so we can capture authentic moments. Here are our top tips for camera-shy couples:

- Choose a photographer whose style and personality you like. Ring them and have a good chat, or even better, meet for a coffee before booking. How do you feel when you spend time with them? Did you have fun and did they understand you?

- Have an engagement shoot. We definitely recommend this to nervous couples – it's a great way to get to know your photographer, learn about how they work and create some gorgeous non-wedding images.

- Remember to be yourself! We love to see you in the moment, having fun and just being together. There will only be a few times during the day that we will ask you to look at the camera.

- Plan well, but then relax and let go! We love having a detailed plan and shoot list to work from. This means that on the day we can worry about organising groups and managing timings – not you!

- Trust your suppliers. You booked them for a reason, so just relax and enjoy the moment.

Jo Hansford, Jo Hansford Photography


Capturing memories

Capturing memories

Q. We still want a photo booth, even though our wedding will be much smaller than originally planned because of COVID-19 restrictions. How do we make sure it's safe and fun?

A. Craig Cheber says: Here are some points for you to consider…

- Check with your provider what safety measures it has introduced and if it works with your plans. Is your venue able to facilitate any additional space requirements? Will your deposit be lost if lockdown measures affect your day? Will there be a limit on the number of people using the space?

- Find out how many events your provider has attended under new restrictions. As with anything, practice makes perfect, and a reputable company with experience working in this way will ensure a smooth and professional service.

- Many companies will be removing reusable props from their packages, so why not get creative and incorporate your personalities with hats, scarves masks and novelty sunnies? This will add a fun element to the day and give you incredible photos!

- 'Tis the season for a discount! The events industry has taken a massive hit, resulting in 95% of our bookings being cancelled or postponed. We understand that for 15 or 30 people it will be difficult to justify the usual expense, so many events have gone ahead without a photo booth. A better option would be to ask for a discount based on your current needs. For example, you could ask for a shorter time period and not to have a guestbook.

- We would recommend one of our open photo booths to make sure groups of people are not having to crowd into an enclosed space.

Craig Cheber, Booth Nineteen