FAQs and expert advice about photography

Here is a selection of Q&As from Your Bristol and Somerset Wedding magazine whether it be about flowers, hair and makeup, fashion, wedding themes, health & beauty, cakes, stationery, legal advice. If you would like your question answered by our experts, please email it to editor@yourbristolsomerset.wedding


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


Caught on camera

Caught on camera

Q. We're starting to get anxious about having a camera on us all day. What can we expect?

A. Steve Lee says: I totally get this as my wife and I were the camera-shy types! Combined with a busy wedding-day schedule it can feel a bit much. Fast forward 15 years and I now use my natural skills to put my couples at ease. Here's what to expect…

- I always have an initial consultation with my couples on FaceTime or Zoom, followed by a face-to-face chat over a coffee. This means you'll see a friendly face on the day and not a stranger.

- For brides, I'll create some fun and relaxed shots of you getting ready with your party. You'll be completely comfortable surrounded by your best girls, so the formal shots will flow smoothly from there.

- I create a chilled-out atmosphere with the grooms. Having a bit of banter is an excellent way for me to capture the bond between a group of friends. As we go outside, we can get some more formal shots too.

- For the couple portraits, I always allow a 20 to 30-minute session shortly after the ceremony. During this little breather, I can get some intimate portraits. It's a great opportunity for you to be yourselves as you take a stroll around your venue, whispering to each other or being playful and getting the most romantic images.

Steve Lee, Steve Lee Photoworks




Q. My friend suggested having an engagement shoot - is it worth it?

A. Heather Bailey says: Not many people like being in front of the camera initially, but an engagement shoot is a great way to practice and capture some of that pre-wedding excitement. Many people say to me that they think engagement shoots are a bit cheesy – and I'll admit I thought the same before I did them! You can capture some incredible shots that look like they're from a romantic film – all without feeling awkward.

I provide my couples with a rough plan of the shoot, and reassure them that we can stop and get a drink (or ice cream!) at any point. I have some incredible zoom lenses that allow me to get natural shots from a distance, so you don't feel like you're on a photo shoot. It's the same unobtrusive way I shoot my weddings. I don't heavily direct the shoots; if you're a cuddly couple, then go for it! If you're not, and you fancy some less adventurous poses, then I can create some low-key shots to suit you. All my couples are different, so my pre-wedding shoots are too.

Most importantly, it's an opportunity to work with your photographer before the big day; essentially a trial run to help you get the best images. You'll also have a collection of wonderful memories to look back on over the years.

Heather Bailey, Heather Bailey Photography & Films

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