Ray Lockyer Photography: Blog http://www.raylockyerphotography.co.uk/blog en-us (C) Ray Lockyer Photography raylockyer@ymail.com (Ray Lockyer Photography) Thu, 19 Feb 2015 20:09:00 GMT Thu, 19 Feb 2015 20:09:00 GMT http://www.raylockyerphotography.co.uk/img/s/v-5/u685206486-o476271844-50.jpg Ray Lockyer Photography: Blog http://www.raylockyerphotography.co.uk/blog 120 80 Photograph Your Own Wedding (25) Editing in Lightroom http://www.raylockyerphotography.co.uk/blog/2012/12/photograph-your-own-wedding-25-editing-in-lightroom Now we ar After LightroomBuffalo Wedding Photography e ready to start selecting and processing our images. My image editor of choice is Photoshop’s Lightroom although, I also have Aperture which is Apple’s equivalent – there are of course other brands available.

I begin this process by uploading my first sub folder (normally Bridal Preparation) into Lightroom. In the Library element of Lightroom I look at every image individually and ‘flag’ those images that I consider good enough to merit further processing – I do this by using the ‘pick’ function (p on the keyboard).

It is worth mentioning that the selection process at this stage is very important and worth spending a little time on as the number of images that you select at this stage will determine how long this process is going to take to complete. I am almost embarrassed to say that my ‘Lightroom’ stage will normally take me at least 3 full days and yes you can infer from that, that I am rubbish at selecting my own photographs or more accurately I find it so difficult to overlook any image that even slightly resembles a good image.

So in an effort to preach something that I find hard to practice, be disciplined at this stage and only select those images that fall into the ‘wow’ category.

Having flagged those images that I consider good enough to make it through to the next stage, I now select all of those flagged images and move them into the ‘Develop’ Section of Lightroom.

I consider that this is the most important stage of the whole wedding photography process. It’s great to get that exposure and composition right in the camera as this will reduce your time in Photoshop immensely but for lots of reasons that  is not always possible. For example I will deliberately under expose images shot in low light conditions so that I can achieve the speed I need – I would much rather have an under exposed image that I can correct in Lightroom than a blurred image that I can do nothing with.

So, this is the place to get that exposure just  how you want it and also allows you the opportunity to straighten and crop your images. Don’t under-estimate the value of cropping - the crop you apply to your image can turn an average image into a stunning image and I also believe that straightening an image and correcting converging verticals are a couple of routines that will set your images aside from  those captured by the average wedding guest.

Lightroom is a brilliant piece of software and very user friendly – there is little point in taking you through my Lightroom process – if you have Lightroom you will have developed your own method of working but basically I just start at the top of the sliders and work my way to the bottom until I have the image just as I want it.

I save each image processed through Lightroom to a new sub folder on my desktop i.e ‘Bridal Preparation – After Lightroom’.

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raylockyer@ymail.com (Ray Lockyer Photography) Bath Bridgwater Burnham on Sea Castle Cary Chard Cheddar Crewekerne DIY wedding Photography Dorchester Dunster. Frome Glastonbury Hindon Honiton How to take your own wedding photographs Ilchester Ilminster Minehead Porlock Portland Shaftesbury Shepton Mallet Sherbourne Sidmouth Somerset Somerton South Petherton Sparkford Street Take your own wedding photographs Taunton Washford Watchet Wedding Photography Wellington Wells Weston super Mare Weymouth Yeovil http://www.raylockyerphotography.co.uk/blog/2012/12/photograph-your-own-wedding-25-editing-in-lightroom Mon, 03 Dec 2012 20:40:11 GMT
Photograph Your Own Wedding (24) - The Day After the Wedding - The Backup http://www.raylockyerphotography.co.uk/blog/2012/10/photograph-your-own-wedding-24---the-day-after-the-wedding---the-backup

Before getting stuck into the actual processing of the images that you have lovingly captured the day before first there is a bit of ‘housekeeping’ to tackle. Photographers and in particular wedding photographers are paranoid about losing their precious images and so at the first available opportunity we perform the ancient ritual of ‘backing up’.

I have an imac with 1tb of memory and attached to the imac I have two separate external hard drives both with 2tb of memory. One external hard drive is used to back up the imac hard drive and the second external hard drive is where I archive completed weddings.

This is my routine:-

On the imac I create the main folder for the wedding.

I then create a sub folder for each camera into which I upload the images from the cameras used at the wedding.

Due to my own particular paranoia I do not delete the images from the cameras until I am absolutely certain that I have a retrievable backup.

I then burn all of the images uploaded onto the imac onto DVDs – this normally involves anything between 5 and 8 DVDs.

So, at this stage I have one set of images on the cameras, one set on the mac and a third set burnt to disk. I now, still with a little unease, feel in a position to reformat the cards on my cameras.

With all of the backing up complete I am now in a position to start processing the images. As you will have probably gathered by now I tend on the side of anal with these things but bear with me. I first of all create a number of further sub folders on the imac – one for each phase of the wedding day i.e. Bridal Preparation; Groom Preparation; Arrival at the Church; The Service etc etc. I then go through the sub folders where I uploaded the originals images from my cameras and move the images from these files into their sub folders according to the appropriate part of the day. So for example all of the images from each camera relating to Bridal Preparation will all be brought together in the one folder.

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raylockyer@ymail.com (Ray Lockyer Photography) Bath Bridgwater Burnham on Sea Castle Cary Chard Cheddar Crewekerne DIY wedding Photography Dorchester Dunster. Frome Glastonbury Hindon Honiton How to take your own wedding photographs Ilchester Ilminster Minehead Porlock Portland Shaftesbury Shepton Mallet Sherbourne Sidmouth Somerset Somerton South Petherton Sparkford Street Take your own wedding photographs Taunton Washford Watchet Wedding Photography Wellington Wells Weston super Mare Weymouth Yeovil http://www.raylockyerphotography.co.uk/blog/2012/10/photograph-your-own-wedding-24---the-day-after-the-wedding---the-backup Wed, 10 Oct 2012 18:37:02 GMT
Photograph Your Own Wedding (23) - The First Dance http://www.raylockyerphotography.co.uk/blog/2012/9/photograph-your-own-wedding-23---the-first-dance  

Unless the bride and groom are planning a special event during the evening or after the reception such as a firework dispaly etc., the First Dance is usually the last element of the wedding day that we photograph.

We feel this is a good point at which to stop taking photographs as it allows the bridal party and guests time to enjoy the evening celebrations without the worry of being ‘caught on camera’ enjoying themselves.

Also, a wedding day is a long and tiring day for a photographer and by now you will have probably been on your feet for the best part of 12 hours and the cameras around your neck will feel like lead weights. I guarantee by now you will be ready to pack up your equipment.

However, even though by now you will be quite tired you have to give the First Dance as much attention as any other part of the day. For many couples the First Dance will form an important part of the day – your couple may have even spent a great deal of time putting together a First Dance routine to perform on their wedding day and as such they will be expecting that the photographs you take do justice to their efforts.

I normally check with the couple at our pre-wedding meeting if they have prepared a ‘special’ First Dance and if they have I try and get a feel from them for the type of routine they intend to perform.

Bear in mind that you will more often than not be shooting the First Dance in low lighting conditions – low lighting is my personal nightmare – I don’t mind dealing with low light scenarios when I have plenty of time to provide a solution but at a wedding when everything has to be done at break neck speed and it has to be creative and of the highest quality I have to say it worries me.

Ok let’s say you have 3 minutes to get your shots – the lighting conditions are at best poor  – the fastest shutter speed you can achieve is well below that for which you can handhold the camera and even if you could handhold the camera it is so dark that your auto focus is having problems identifying and focusing on the subject and as a consequence when you press the shutter your camera either it doesn’t fire or there is a massive delay before it finally locks onto its target and deems that it is now ready to record your image by which time of course the shot you wanted to capture is long gone and you end up taking the back of the bride’s head.

Fruchterman_F221 You will need to find the best solution for your situation with the capacity of your equipment but a few things to consider are:-

Try using your manual focus – it’s sometimes better to get a slightly out of focus shot than no shot at all

Try cranking up your ISO – most modern cameras now have incredible ISO capabilities – although my D3 can achieve an ISO rating of 25,600 I rarely go above 1,600 as even with the incredible picture quality of Nikon you can start to see evidence of unwanted noise.

You could use a tripod so that you can achieve slower shutter speeds but I find this too restricting – I like to move around the floor with my couple as they perform the First Dance.

You could also try using a video light – I always carry a video light with me. The down side of a video light is that comes with a fairly hefty battery pack which will probable provide just enough extra weight to finish you off completely – still it is only for 3or 4 minutes or so and it will provide you with enough light for your subjects as well as help you with your auto focus issues.

If however, your couple are planning a fast first dance then even the above suggestions may not provide you with a solution.

By the way if you find a great area to shot your First Dance don’t be afraid to ask your couple if you could ‘mock up’ the dance – when the images are in the album no one will actually know if the music was playing.

With the First Dance in the camera, all of your images have been captured – pat yourself on the back, it may have been a long and tiring day but you can say your goodbyes safe in the knowledge that you have put together a set of photographs that the couple, their family and friends will love and treasure for generations to come.

In many respects with the shooting finished the easy part of the job has been completed – now the real work begins – processing the images and creating an album/photobook.  From beginning to end I normally expect to spend 40 to 60 hours on a wedding – todate we have probably clocked up about 10 to 15 hours.

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raylockyer@ymail.com (Ray Lockyer Photography) Bath Bridgwater Burnham on Sea Castle Cary Chard Cheddar Crewekerne DIY wedding Photography Dorchester Dunster. Frome Glastonbury Hindon Honiton How to take your own wedding photographs Ilchester Ilminster Minehead Porlock Portland Shaftesbury Shepton Mallet Sherbourne Sidmouth Somerset Somerton South Petherton Sparkford Street Take your own wedding photographs Taunton Washford Watchet Wedding Photography Wellington Wells Weston super Mare Weymouth Yeovil http://www.raylockyerphotography.co.uk/blog/2012/9/photograph-your-own-wedding-23---the-first-dance Wed, 26 Sep 2012 20:12:01 GMT
Photograph Your Own Wedding (22) - The Speeches http://www.raylockyerphotography.co.uk/blog/2012/9/photograph-your-own-wedding-22---the-speeches  

Be prepared for the speeches – the speeches can provide you with some of the best and most uninhibited photographs of the wedding. Outside of the service itself I believe the speeches are the centre-piece of the wedding day.

As we are all aware your speakers will either dread the speeches or relish them – either way they will normally deliver a performance packed with humour and pathos.

 If you have good speakers and believe me there are many, they can play their audience like a musical instrument – get your speech right at a wedding and you will never find a more receptive audience.

A wedding is a highly charged and emotional day and it only takes a few well chosen words to have the bride, groom, bridal party and even the guests rolling in the aisles with laughter or more often than not swallowing hard in an attempt to try and prevent the inevitable flood of tears that accompany a Dad in the act of finally relinquishing a much loved daughter into the care of her new husband or the best man who reduces the assembled audience to a sobbing mess with a few well chosen words about how stunning the beautiful bride is looking.

Capturing these emotional moments are a key priority for the day – you must be alert - it is important to ‘get the picture’ and not get so caught up in the emotional moment that you forget that you are there to capture and create those images that will, at sometime in the future, rekindle all those emotions again and allow the viewer to relive these special moments.

I always make a point of capturing each speaker in the throes of their speech and it is a trademark of ours to shoot head and shoulders of as many guests as possible reacting to the speeches – this makes a fabulous double spread in the album.

As a final tip be especially prepared for the best man’s speech – anything could happen they may even stand on their chair and deliver their speech in a pair of orange furry trousers – unlikely I know but it could happen!

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raylockyer@ymail.com (Ray Lockyer Photography) Bath Bridgwater Burnham on Sea Castle Cary Chard Cheddar Crewekerne DIY wedding Photography Dorchester Dunster. Frome Glastonbury Hindon Honiton How to take your own wedding photographs Ilchester Ilminster Minehead Porlock Portland Shaftesbury Shepton Mallet Sherbourne Sidmouth Somerset Somerton South Petherton Sparkford Street Take your own wedding photographs Taunton Washford Watchet Wedding Photography Wellington Wells Weston super Mare Weymouth Yeovil http://www.raylockyerphotography.co.uk/blog/2012/9/photograph-your-own-wedding-22---the-speeches Thu, 20 Sep 2012 18:31:18 GMT
Photograph Your Own Wedding (21) - Cutting the Cake http://www.raylockyerphotography.co.uk/blog/2012/9/photograph-your-own-wedding-21---cutting-the-cake  

There is no set time to cut the cake – it seems to take place at different times according to the couple. However, in terms of photographing this event it can prove to be one of the more difficult shoots of the day. It is not unusual for the cake to be tucked away in a corner with very little room available for the couple to actually cut the cake and even less room for the photographer. For those that are brave enough you could attempt to move the table with the cake to a more suitable location but I have never had the nerve to do this – I don’t touch the cake – if somebody is going to throw the cake on the floor it’s not going to be me.

So often it is a matter of photographing the cutting of the cake where you find it but even so there are a number of things to bear in mind when you photograph the cutting of the cake.

I tend not to get too hung up on the which hand goes where on the knife but I do make sure that the brides ring hand is last on the knife so that her ring is shown on the photograph.

If there is room available I try and move around the bride and groom as they cut the cake to provide some alternative angles for this shot. I will also try and capture a few close ups of the hands (and rings) as the couple ‘cut the cake’.

The cake cutting is a popular shot for the guests to take so be aware of this and allow the guests in to take their shots after you have finished. Don’t let this opportunity pass though – photographing the guests, photographing the couple can make a great image.

Also be aware that cakes now come in all sorts of shapes and sizes – tiered fairy cakes are currently popular. I have a lot of ‘cake cutting’ stories but my favourite is probably the one pictured above where the couple built a mini mountain of profiteroles and fairy cakes and then proceeded to pour white and milk chocolate over the whole lot from a couple of watering cans – great fun!

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raylockyer@ymail.com (Ray Lockyer Photography) Bath Bridgwater Burnham on Sea Castle Cary Chard Cheddar Crewekerne DIY wedding Photography Dorchester Dunster. Frome Glastonbury Hindon Honiton How to take your own wedding photographs Ilchester Ilminster Minehead Porlock Portland Shaftesbury Shepton Mallet Sherbourne Sidmouth Somerset Somerton South Petherton Sparkford Street Take your own wedding photographs Taunton Washford Watchet Wedding Photography Wellington Wells Weston super Mare Weymouth Yeovil http://www.raylockyerphotography.co.uk/blog/2012/9/photograph-your-own-wedding-21---cutting-the-cake Mon, 17 Sep 2012 19:19:06 GMT
Photograph Your Own Wedding (20) - The Receiving Line and the Wedding Breakfast http://www.raylockyerphotography.co.uk/blog/2012/9/photograph-your-own-wedding-20---the-receiving-line-and-the-wedding-breakfast   

The Receiving LineWildHorses_032615-1456

The Receiving Line is also another ‘optional extra’ at weddings – for some weddings it forms an important part of the wedding day and can take anything up to an hour to complete and for others it is not even included as part of the day.

If your couple decide to have a receiving line you should try and position yourself so that you can capture faces and expressions. The Receiving Line often throws up some emotional reactions when family and friends finally get the opportunity to personally congratulate the happy couple.

These images are often filled with emotion and often find their way into the album. Try and anticipate which guests and family members are going to provide you with those ‘special’ images and then get yourself into a position where you can capture faces otherwise there is every chance that you will photograph the back of the head of every person that has attended the wedding which, as a rule, do not make interesting images.

The Wedding BreakfastAJA_0178

The wedding breakfast is normally an opportunity to put down the cameras – I always explain to my couples that I don’t take any pictures during the wedding breakfast itself. People chewing food does not make for good pictures and quite rightly most people do not want their picture taken whilst they are trying to eat.

So it’s a good opportunity to take a well earned break – by now I’ve probably been on my feet for 6 or 7 hours and those cameras are very heavy.

Always looking after my interest Lyn will ask our couples if they could provide me with water throughout the day and something to eat, like a sandwich for example, during the wedding breakfast – this is very much appreciated as there is very little time during the day to attend to eating and drinking and come to that, any other little jobs that bring relief during a long working day.

Make the most of this opportunity as it will be your last chance to eat, drink or use the facilities before you finish.

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raylockyer@ymail.com (Ray Lockyer Photography) Bath Bridgwater Burnham on Sea Castle Cary Chard Cheddar Crewekerne DIY wedding Photography Dorchester Dunster. Frome Glastonbury Hindon Honiton How to take your own wedding photographs Ilchester Ilminster Minehead Porlock Portland Shaftesbury Shepton Mallet Sherbourne Sidmouth Somerset Somerton South Petherton Sparkford Street Take your own wedding photographs Taunton Washford Watchet Wedding Photography Wellington Wells Weston super Mare Weymouth Yeovil http://www.raylockyerphotography.co.uk/blog/2012/9/photograph-your-own-wedding-20---the-receiving-line-and-the-wedding-breakfast Mon, 03 Sep 2012 18:28:40 GMT
Photograph Your Own Wedding (19) - Throwing the Bouquet http://www.raylockyerphotography.co.uk/blog/2012/8/photograph-your-own-wedding-19---throwing-the-bouquet  

The throwing of the bouquet can take place at any time after the wedding ceremony. As a rule, for those brides that want to throw their bouquet, it normally seems to take place either directly before or directly after the wedding breakfast.

If the couple have engaged a Master of Ceremonies for the day then they will normally make the necessary arrangements and organise guests. However, if there is no MC then it normally falls to the best man or the photographer to sort things out.

For this shot there are a few things to consider, such as: –

Location – there needs to be enough height for the throw to take place – if the throw is to take place outside then make sure that you are not shooting into the sun when the bouquet is thrown into the air – find a location where you can get a good shooting vantage point

Camera settings - you may want to consider shooting on speed priority and increase your camera speed to freeze the action.

General – decide on whether to shoot the throw or the catch or if you are trying to capture both which one will be your point of focus. It may be worth asking the bride to go through a few ‘practice throws’ before she actually releases the bouquet – this gives you a few opportunities to get your shot but of course the money shot is capturing the bouquet either in the air or just as its about to be caught. If the bouquet is dropped be prepared to capture the scramble that could take place – if you are lucky – I mean if a scramble were to occur!

Don’t underestimate the bouquet throw – it can be a tricky shot to capture and be sure the bride will want to see photographic evidence of any scramble that takes place to claim the bouquet.

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raylockyer@ymail.com (Ray Lockyer Photography) Bath Bridgwater Burnham on Sea Castle Cary Chard Cheddar Crewekerne DIY wedding Photography Dorchester Dunster. Frome Glastonbury Hindon Honiton How to take your own wedding photographs Ilchester Ilminster Minehead Porlock Portland Shaftesbury Shepton Mallet Sherbourne Sidmouth Somerset Somerton South Petherton Sparkford Street Take your own wedding photographs Taunton Washford Watchet Wedding Photography Wellington Wells Weston super Mare Weymouth Yeovil http://www.raylockyerphotography.co.uk/blog/2012/8/photograph-your-own-wedding-19---throwing-the-bouquet Tue, 28 Aug 2012 19:26:29 GMT
Photograph Your Own Wedding (18) - Those 'special' Bride & Groom shots http://www.raylockyerphotography.co.uk/blog/2012/8/photograph-your-own-wedding-18---those-special-bride-groom-shots  

Very often after the ‘formal’ photographs I will take the bride and groom off to take some ‘special’ shots – the sort of shots that you will see in wedding magazines. These can be beautiful images but you need to be well prepared to make the most of this small window of opportunity. First of all you need to establish with your couple well before the wedding if they would like to have these photographs taken. If they are happy with your suggestion then you need to make sure that you have sorted out what, how and where you are going to take these shots well before the day of the wedding.

It is worth reminding you at this stage of the no.1 criticism of wedding photographers -  that too much of the wedding day is taken up with wedding photographs. So we need and want these stunning images but we have to be quick about it – we don’t want to take the bride and groom away from their guests and family for too long therefore, I would suggest that this session should take no longer than about 15 to 20 minutes.

However, having stressed the need to be quick – this session can be a wonderful moment between photographer and the bride and groom and you should not give the impression of being rushed.

This is an opportunity to create a series of tender and romantic images that will form the centre-piece of a very special photographic tribute to the bride and groom on this, their special day – it is important to create an atmosphere to suit the occasion.

I will normally try and find 3 or 4 locations in and around the venue where this ‘photoshoot’ can take place. Most of the images taken during this session will be ‘posed’ or set up by you – make sure you are prepared. I like to mix the obviously posed pictures with those that, although set up, look natural and as if they occurred spontaneously and you just happened to have been there and captured a tender moment with your camera. To get this right takes practice – don’t leave it until the day of the wedding before you try this for the first time.

As wedding photographer you have to be all things to all people – often many of the people you will photograph on the day of a wedding are not used to having a camera pointed at them and they may behave in a way that does not necessarily capture them looking their best – it is part of your role to change that. The best case in point is the bride – brides can be very nervous on the day and a nervous bride does not take a good picture – you need to put the bride at their ease – you need to be cheery – good humoured and most of all in control. Tell your bride how beautiful she looks and how knocked out her groom is going to be when he sees her.

Other members of the bridal party also need to be encouraged to relax in front of the camera and you will need to use your sparkling personality to bring this about.

However, for this session you are trying to create a romantic atmosphere and this may require that you lower the decibels – when posing and positioning the couple try to speak quieter than you normally would.

You still need to tell the bride how fabulous she looks and how well she is doing – you may also want to tell the groom the same but don’t be surprised if you get a thick ear.

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raylockyer@ymail.com (Ray Lockyer Photography) Bath Bridgwater Burnham on Sea Castle Cary Chard Cheddar Crewekerne DIY wedding Photography Dorchester Dunster. Frome Glastonbury Hindon Honiton How to take your own wedding photographs Ilchester Ilminster Minehead Porlock Portland Shaftesbury Shepton Mallet Sherbourne Sidmouth Somerset Somerton South Petherton Sparkford Street Take your own wedding photographs Taunton Washford Watchet Wedding Photography Wellington Wells Weston super Mare Weymouth Yeovil http://www.raylockyerphotography.co.uk/blog/2012/8/photograph-your-own-wedding-18---those-special-bride-groom-shots Sat, 18 Aug 2012 19:22:09 GMT
Photograph Your Own Wedding (17) - The Formal Shots http://www.raylockyerphotography.co.uk/blog/2012/8/photograph-your-own-wedding-17---the-formal-shots   If you weren’t able to organise a confetti throw at the church you may want to speak to the bride and groom to see if they would like to do that here at the reception venue.

Either way this is a good time to get those ‘formal’ shots in the camera. A lot of couples these days tend to favour the ‘reportage’ style of photography – this informal style allows the photographer to put on a long lens – stand back from the action and capture images almost without the subjects knowing that they have been photographed and as a consequence you can capture some superb natural looking shots.

However, for all the benefits of reportage photography, in my experience Mums and Grans still want those traditional pictures, so that they have something to put on their wall or sideboard as a memory of ‘their’ special day.

For this session of photography you need to be particularly organised. One of the biggest complaints I hear about wedding photographers is that they spent too much time taking their photographs and it is normally this part of the day that they are referring to.

So you need to be prepared.

If you have visited the reception venue before the wedding you should have already determined where you are going to take the ‘formal’ photographs if the weather is fine and where you will take the formals if the weather is foul.

MSV_1619 You may have a list of formals shots to be taken as provided by the bride and groom – if you don’t I tend to have a mental list of the shots I want to take. If your pre-planning has gone according to plan you will have requisitioned an usher (or someone similar) at this stage to help you gather together appropriate groups as you need to photograph them.

I tend to start with the large group shot of everyone – this means that those people that are not required for any of the other formal shots can slide off and have a drink. Needless to say, as stars of the show, the bride and groom appear in all the formal shots.

My unscripted list of formal shots is something like this:-

  • The whole group shot
  • All friends and family of the groom
  • All friends and family of the bride
  • The close family of the groom
  • The close family of the bride
  • Parents of the groom with bride and groom
  • Parents of the bride with bride and groom
  • Both sets of parents with bride and groom
  • Bridesmaids with bride and groom
  • Groomsmen with bride and groom
  • Bridesmaids and Groomsmen with bride and groom

There are many versions of the above list which can include brothers, sisters, aunties, uncles, grandparents, hens and stags etc. However, if your couple don’t have a preference this list will certainly form the basis of a good selection of formal photographs.

Of course when you have your pre-wedding meeting with your couple it is important to find out (discretely) if parents are still together and if not is there anything about current arrangements that you should know about so as to avoid any embarrassing situations on the day.

You will be rewarded with much better images when photographing your ‘formal’ shots if you can be a little more creative than just standing you group shoulder to shoulder in the ‘prison line up’ formation. You may need to practice this – getting those really good looking and natural shots of your groups is a lot harder than it looks. I suggest looking at examples of how the best wedding photographers do it and then practice and when you’ve finished, practice some more – grab some willing friends and see what shapes you can make – make a note of those that work and use them on the day.

Always bear in mind the fact that the most frequent complaint about wedding photographers is that they take too long – we spent all the wedding having our photographs taken.

So not only do you have to take stunning images, that are really creative but you have to do it quickly as well.

In order to do this you must have, a mental list of which groups to take, where you are going to take the photographs, how you are going to arrange each group and a good knowledge of your camera so that you can quickly change settings as the need arises. These criteria should be applied if the formal shots are taken outside in good weather or inside if it is raining or too cold.

Oh and be aware, to set up and take a formal shot can take up to 3 minutes per shot and so if your couple want 20 formal shots we are talking about the best part of an hour - just make sure that your couple are happy to make this sort of commitment for the formal shots.  

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raylockyer@ymail.com (Ray Lockyer Photography) Bath Bridgwater Burnham on Sea Castle Cary Chard Cheddar Crewekerne DIY wedding Photography Dorchester Dunster. Frome Glastonbury Hindon Honiton How to take your own wedding photographs Ilchester Ilminster Minehead Porlock Portland Shaftesbury Shepton Mallet Sherbourne Sidmouth Somerset Somerton South Petherton Sparkford Street Take your own wedding photographs Taunton Washford Watchet Wedding Photography Wellington Wells Weston super Mare Weymouth Yeovil http://www.raylockyerphotography.co.uk/blog/2012/8/photograph-your-own-wedding-17---the-formal-shots Sun, 12 Aug 2012 19:18:38 GMT
Photograph Your Own Wedding (16) - Arrival at the Reception Venue http://www.raylockyerphotography.co.uk/blog/2012/8/photograph-your-own-wedding-16---arrival-at-the-reception-venue  

At the reception venue I try and resist the urge to fill in any spare time by immediately photographing the venue and reception area. My priority at this stage is to photograph the bride and groom’s arrival. I especially want to get them both in and around the car. I have been caught out before by over enthusiastic drivers that drop the couple off and are gone before I have time to take my shots. So now I wait.

After the arrival shots, it is not unusual for the wedding party to be served a drink with canapés or something of the sort. This is a lovely relaxing time for the couple – everyone takes their turn chatting to the happy couple, sharing a joke and passing on their best wishes.

I take advantage of this opportunity to capture some nice relaxed and informal shots of guests and bridal party interaction – it is also a good opportunity to photograph the reception area whilst it is still looking at its best. The couples (well to be fair it’s normally the bride and the Mums in my experience) spend a lot of time and money putting together the table decorations and wedding favours etc.  - some reception areas are just stunning - the amount of work and effort involved in putting together such a display is extraordinary and as such I feel it is important that their efforts are recorded and that the photographs match the quality of the reception presentation. It goes without saying that it is important to get these images before the guest are allowed in and disturb arrangements.

After the reception venue has been photographed I will return to the wedding party. From a photography point of view this is an important part of the day. Many ‘reportage’ images will be shot during this period – put on your long lens and quietly go about your business. Concentrate on the Bride and Groom but don’t ignore the rest of the wedding party and guests – if you stay alert you can get a host of great looking natural shots of your wedding party enjoying themselves.   

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raylockyer@ymail.com (Ray Lockyer Photography) Bath Bridgwater Burnham on Sea Castle Cary Chard Cheddar Crewekerne DIY wedding Photography Dorchester Dunster. Frome Glastonbury Hindon Honiton How to take your own wedding photographs Ilchester Ilminster Minehead Porlock Portland Shaftesbury Shepton Mallet Sherbourne Sidmouth Somerset Somerton South Petherton Sparkford Street Take your own wedding photographs Taunton Washford Watchet Wedding Photography Wellington Wells Weston super Mare Weymouth Yeovil http://www.raylockyerphotography.co.uk/blog/2012/8/photograph-your-own-wedding-16---arrival-at-the-reception-venue Tue, 07 Aug 2012 20:13:52 GMT
Photograph Your Own Wedding (15) - After the Service http://www.raylockyerphotography.co.uk/blog/2012/7/photograph-your-own-wedding-15---after-the-service  

Directly after the service is a fabulous time for both bride and groom – all those nerves have disappeared – finally they are both married and everyone wants to congratulate them. Ok you have a lot of images still to capture during this session but I like to give my couple some space during these special moments. Anyway, it’s a good time to capture those natural shots involving lots of hugs and kisses.

When appropriate, you may want to start organising a few pictures of the bride and groom. You may want to go back inside the church and take some images there or remain outside, especially if the exterior of the church provides a pretty backdrop for your images.

How many images you take at the church really depends on your research earlier in the week when you took a look at both the reception venue and the church. Whichever provides the best backdrop will ultimately determine where the majority of ‘formal’ photographs are taken.

In my experience in the majority of cases the reception venue provides the best location for taking the formal photographs (if they are required). However, I always like to take any opportunity to get the formals in the camera – so I will often take the bride, bride and groom, bride and groom with bridesmaids and groomsmen and if you have the time and they are up for it I will also try and squeeze in the parents. However, it is important to judge the mood and not to push your luck, it is easy to get carried away with the moment and become over enthusiastic – I need to keep reminding myself that this is a wedding and not a photoshoot.

I like to leave the church whilst the bride and groom are still there so that I can get to the reception venue before them in order take them arriving in or on their transport.

On occasion I am lucky enough to agree with the bride and groom a ‘stop off’ somewhere en route between the church and the reception. If your couple are prepared to make a stop this can provide you with some of your best shots of the day – so it is important to be prepared. Travel the route to the reception before the wedding and identify any locations that would provide you with those wow images. All you have to do then is try and persuade your couple that it would be a good idea to make this small diversion on the day – don’t be disappointed if you get knocked back on this idea – some brides and grooms are also of the opinion that this is their wedding day and not photoshoot. No harm in trying!

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raylockyer@ymail.com (Ray Lockyer Photography) Bath Bridgwater Burnham on Sea Castle Cary Chard Cheddar Crewekerne DIY wedding Photography Dorchester Dunster. Frome Glastonbury Hindon Honiton How to take your own wedding photographs Ilchester Ilminster Minehead Porlock Portland Shaftesbury Shepton Mallet Sherbourne Sidmouth Somerset Somerton South Petherton Sparkford Street Take your own wedding photographs Taunton Washford Watchet Wedding Photography Wellington Wells Weston super Mare Weymouth Yeovil http://www.raylockyerphotography.co.uk/blog/2012/7/photograph-your-own-wedding-15---after-the-service Fri, 27 Jul 2012 19:06:08 GMT
Photograph Your Own Wedding (14) - The Service http://www.raylockyerphotography.co.uk/blog/2012/7/photograph-your-own-wedding-14---the-service  

Ok it’s the main event and now we really have to move up a gear – no opportunities for a second chance everything now has to be right first time and performed quickly. The service, in my mind, is without doubt the most important part of the day. It is the session that is charged with high emotion – many couples have by now invested an enormous amount of their time and money to allow this moment to take place – it is my prime concern to record it properly and by creating images that everyone concerned will enjoy visiting and revisiting for years to come.

The Service, along with the speeches, is one of the occasions during the  day when all of those suppressed emotions finally reveal themselves - sometime with tears of joy and sometimes in unexplainable fits of laughter. Whichever it is you must be ever vigilant – potential images will come thick and fast during the Service and you must make sure that you are in position and ready to capture those moments.

During the service I will take most of my images with my 70mm to 200mm lens. This will enable me to get some nice tight close up images that will capture every facial expression and reveal the emotions of both bride and groom.

It is worth mentioning at this stage that it is an unspoken rule in wedding photography that you do not use your flash during the service – it therefore helps, in what is often low light conditions, if you have a fast lens where you can open up the aperture.

Towards the end of the Service and after your couple have been officially married they will be invited to ‘Sign the Register’. Again, this is a traditional shot that you will more often than not be expected to take. Take some time before the wedding working out how you would like to set up the couple for this shot. You may want to include the witnesses as part of your composition or even the parents.

Directly after the Signing of the Register I like to position myself at the church doors ready to capture the Recession – the couple leaving the church after they are married is a much more relaxed affair and again makes for some great pictures.

All weddings are different but very often the bride and groom, along with the bridal party, will wait at the church entrance allowing family and guest the opportunity to pass on their congratulations as they file out.

If it is possible (and allowed of course) this is a good opportunity to organise the Confetti Throw.  You will have to work quickly but it is possible to organise the guests into a corridor just outside of the church - with those guests that have confetti on the side of the corridor that has the breeze in their backs. As the bride and groom exit the church you can orchestrate the throw. Again you have to get this first time as a confetti throw can only be done once.

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raylockyer@ymail.com (Ray Lockyer Photography) Bath Bridgwater Burnham on Sea Castle Cary Chard Cheddar Crewekerne DIY wedding Photography Dorchester Dunster. Frome Glastonbury Hindon Honiton How to take your own wedding photographs Ilchester Ilminster Minehead Porlock Portland Shaftesbury Shepton Mallet Sherbourne Sidmouth Somerset Somerton South Petherton Sparkford Street Take your own wedding photographs Taunton Washford Watchet Wedding Photography Wellington Wells Weston super Mare Weymouth Yeovil http://www.raylockyerphotography.co.uk/blog/2012/7/photograph-your-own-wedding-14---the-service Thu, 19 Jul 2012 18:51:50 GMT
Photograph Your Own Wedding (13) - Arrival at the Church http://www.raylockyerphotography.co.uk/blog/2012/7/photograph-your-own-wedding-13---arrival-at-the-church  

IMG_7683 I always see a wedding as a series of 8, 9 or even 10 photoshoots  stitched together end on end. Each shoot is as important as the last – there is no room for a poor or mediocre one– all sessions must be treated as equal and all must be of the same high quality.

Therefore, although there is not a lot of time, if any, between sessions it is important to quickly reassess the last one– just to make sure that you have taken all of your planned shots – quickly run through in your head what you intend to take in the coming session and most importantly that your cameras are set up for the new session. You learn these lessons the hard way – I always remember shooting a Service on aperture priority – forgetting to change the camera setting when I came out into the bright sunlight and of course because I was using my flash to fill in shadowed faces my maximum sync speed was restricted to 250th second resulting in quite a few over exposed shots before, thank goodness, I realised.

So, regularly check your camera settings throughout the day – you’ll only make mistakes like the one above once but it is a hard way to learn the lesson.

Ok you’re at the church (or the location where the service is to take place) – if you have a second photographer working with you, he or she will have already taken a lot of the guests arriving and hopefully some of those lovely nervous images of the groom and best man as they await the arrival of the bride. This is also a good time to get some shots of the church. If you intend to prepare a photobook or album for your bride and groom these types of pictures can make great background images. Throughout the day I am constantly thinking about shooting images that will look good in the photobook.

This is a difficult part of the day as I am constantly drawn into the church with the opportunity of taking some great images of the groom waiting for his bride but on the other hand I don’t want to miss the arrival of the bridesmaids and more importantly the bride. This is a judgement call and very much depends on time available and the distance you have to cover in order to do both.

There are many occasions on a wedding day when you know that some great images are likely to present themselves. The arrival of the bride is one of those moments. Everyone is nervous, lots of people are waiting to catch their first glimpse of the bride, the bridal party are all fussing around the bride – these are all the ingredients for good pictures- try to resist jumping in and organising things too quickly – let these things unfold for a while in front of your lens – more often than not you are rewarded with some great images.

However, some traditional shots are expected at this stage as well and you would be best advised to get these in the bag. Father and bride in the car, bride getting out of the car, father and bride by the car, bride and bridesmaids, and the whole bridal party forming in readiness for the procession up the aisle.

As soon as you have these images in the camera you have to get yourself quickly in position inside the church – leave the bride with her final preparations – your 2nd photographer can take any remaining images of their preparations.

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raylockyer@ymail.com (Ray Lockyer Photography) Bath Bridgwater Burnham on Sea Castle Cary Chard Cheddar Crewekerne DIY wedding Photography Dorchester Dunster. Frome Glastonbury Hindon Honiton How to take your own wedding photographs Ilchester Ilminster Minehead Porlock Portland Shaftesbury Shepton Mallet Sherbourne Sidmouth Somerset Somerton South Petherton Sparkford Street Take your own wedding photographs Taunton Washford Watchet Wedding Photography Wellington Wells Weston super Mare Weymouth Yeovil http://www.raylockyerphotography.co.uk/blog/2012/7/photograph-your-own-wedding-13---arrival-at-the-church Sun, 15 Jul 2012 20:24:42 GMT
Photograph Your Own Wedding (12) - Groom's Preparation http://www.raylockyerphotography.co.uk/blog/2012/7/photograph-your-own-wedding-12---grooms-preparation  

Often the groom and the bride prepare themselves in completely separate locations - so far apart that it is not practical to shoot both Groom and Bridal Preparation. We overcome this problem by engaging the services of our associate photographer. Along with other shooting responsibilities during the day, our associate photographer will have complete responsibility for shooting the Groom’s Preparation. If the bride and groom are preparing themselves at the same location or very close to each other then it may be possible for me to photograph both but this is unusual.

So,  a lot of what I have mentioned with regard to Bridal Preparation can also be applied to the Groom’s Preparation. However, there are a number of significant differences.

Bridal Preparation images tend to be more romantic, elegant and even sensual – whereas the Groom’s Preparation images tend to be more fun. However, grooms are starting find their voice and they too are starting to indicate that they would also like some of those stunning macho male model images that you see in fashion magazines and why not it is about time that we males had the opportunity to contribute to the selection of ‘magazine’ shots taken on the wedding day.

As with the Bridal Preparation images it is important to have a clear plan of the groom preparation images that you want to take and which you feel fit the brief of the bride and groom. If you are not used to setting up portrait shots, then look though images taken by other photographers, select the images that you feel fit your style and fit the brief and then practice, practice, practice. On the wedding day you cannot afford to practice, you have to get it right first time.

Lastly, the other thing to remember of course is that the Groom or Best Man is more than likely to have the rings – I like to us this opportunity to get a nice creative shot of the rings.

Ok, Groom and Bridal Preparations complete, it’s time to pack up, get in the car and without breaking any speed limits get yourself to the church to take the guests, groomsmen, bridesmaids and brides arriving. Take a deep breath for the next three or four hours its non-stop – lots of decisions to make and very little time to do what is required.

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raylockyer@ymail.com (Ray Lockyer Photography) Bath Bridgwater Burnham on Sea Castle Cary Chard Cheddar Crewekerne DIY wedding Photography Dorchester Dunster. Frome Glastonbury Hindon Honiton How to take your own wedding photographs Ilchester Ilminster Minehead Porlock Portland Shaftesbury Shepton Mallet Sherbourne Sidmouth Somerset Somerton South Petherton Sparkford Street Take your own wedding photographs Taunton Washford Watchet Wedding Photography Wellington Wells Weston super Mare Weymouth Yeovil http://www.raylockyerphotography.co.uk/blog/2012/7/photograph-your-own-wedding-12---grooms-preparation Wed, 11 Jul 2012 19:57:46 GMT
Photograph Your Own Wedding (11) - Bridal Preparation (Part 2) http://www.raylockyerphotography.co.uk/blog/2012/7/photograph-your-own-wedding-11---bridal-preparation-part-2  

In more cases than not and it’s always a surprise to me, that bridal preparation tends to be a fairly relaxed affair. It is not unusual to have a professional hairdresser and makeup artist in attendance and they play their part in relaxing the bride throughout the morning. However, hairdressers and makeup artist are not privy to your schedule and are probably working to their own timetable.

Therefore, left to their own devices hair and makeup have the potential to over-run and as a consequence could ruin your plans for those stunning morning shots. This can often be avoided by having a quick chat with the hairdresser and makeup artist and explaining your timetable.

Hair and makeup can and will take time but in my experience the biggest and most unexpected thief of time during bridal preparation is the putting on of the wedding dress. In more cases than not the previous fittings of the bridal dress were undertaken in the bridal shop with skilled and experienced assistants on hand to help. On the morning of the wedding it’s normally down to a willing bridesmaid or the mother of the bride to lend a hand, neither of which have probably put on a wedding dress themselves in a long while. So, factor in at least half an hour for the putting on of the dress and probably three quarters of an hour would not be unreasonable. This can really put you behind the clock if you under estimate how long this will take.

 I like to take some shots of the bride and bridesmaids as they are getting ready – it goes without saying that any shots taken at this stage must be respectful and with the brides/bridesmaids knowledge and consent.

Most of my bridal preparation shots however are taken when the bride is completely ready. You will want to impose your own personality on the wedding day by developing your own photographic style and list of potential images. What I take and where I take my images vary according to conditions etc. from wedding to wedding – no two weddings or brides are ever the same and therefore you have to be a little bit careful about being too prescriptive about what you will and wont shoot but it is important to have a plan and some ideas for contingencies should that plan prove unworkable.

I like to take a selection of images inside the house, in the garden and with the car. In addition to the impromptu photographs taken during bridal preparation I like to include a number of informal but posed shots that will include the bride, the bridesmaids, the parents and a combination of the above.

I love the opportunity to be creative when shooting these ‘formal’ photographs but I am also aware that Mums and Grans often prefer the traditional wedding photographs. Therefore, it is probably safer to try and achieve a mix – this way you stand a better chance of keeping everyone happy

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raylockyer@ymail.com (Ray Lockyer Photography) Bath Bridgwater Burnham on Sea Castle Cary Chard Cheddar Crewekerne DIY wedding Photography Dorchester Dunster. Frome Glastonbury Hindon Honiton How to take your own wedding photographs Ilchester Ilminster Minehead Porlock Portland Shaftesbury Shepton Mallet Sherbourne Sidmouth Somerset Somerton South Petherton Sparkford Street Take your own wedding photographs Taunton Washford Watchet Wedding Photography Wellington Wells Weston super Mare Weymouth Yeovil http://www.raylockyerphotography.co.uk/blog/2012/7/photograph-your-own-wedding-11---bridal-preparation-part-2 Mon, 09 Jul 2012 18:17:25 GMT
Photograph Your Own Wedding (10) The Wedding Day - Bridal Preparation (part 1) http://www.raylockyerphotography.co.uk/blog/2012/7/photograph-your-own-wedding-10-the-wedding-day---bridal-preparation-part-1  

Ok the big day has arrived all of your equipment is prepared – you have  sorted out your shooting plan for the day and you have a selection of ‘setups’ that you can use to photograph the bride, groom, bridesmaids, groomsmen, parents, guests and a mixture of all of the above.

I always make sure that I am ready in plenty of time - the car is full of petrol, I have my satnav set up and I have all the postcodes I need plugged in. I load the car early and have a last run through some of my favourite wedding images. I also try and commit to memory the names of the bridal party and the parents of both bride and groom.

As you will gather from the following description of what is expected from your wedding photographer on the day of the wedding, taking pictures forms only a part. It is of course a given that you will provide the bride and groom with some fabulous images at the end of the day but as you will see a wedding photographer is expected to provide those little extras that ensure that your couple have the fabulous and unforgettable day that they deserve.

First up, if you intend to take bridal preparation pictures make sure that you arrive on time. There is a good chance that the bride is going to be nervous – she has enough to worry about on the morning of her wedding without the additional worry of where her wedding photographer is.

In fact a big part of a wedding photographer’s day is making sure that the bride and groom feel relaxed. If you achieve this not only will they enjoy their day much more but you will also get much better images. I can’t stress enough how important this is.

When I arrive at the bridal preparation venue I like to spend 5 to 10 minutes just looking around - seeing which rooms have the best light – which are the best sized rooms with the most space to take bridal preparation pictures and if there are any props - lights, chairs, mirrors etc that can be incorporated as backgrounds to your images.

I also like to look around the garden, again to find the areas with the best light and where will provide me with the best back drop for my outside images. If you are taking groom preparation images then it’s possible to look further afield for outside images but for bridal preparation the back garden is usually far enough – don’t forget that dress is not only heavy, it can be quite difficult to walk in – don’t expect too much from your bride.

Also be aware that your bride and bridesmaids have just gone to a lot of trouble and expense to have their hair and makeup lovingly applied – the last thing that they want is for that hard work to be ruined by a an over enthusiastic photographer trying to drag the bridal party out into the garden for photographs on a windy or even worse, a rainy day.

The English weather is notoriously unpredictable – remember the 3 contingency plans that you developed a week before the wedding – assess the weather conditions and employ the plan to suit. Whatever the weather conditions always be upbeat – the bride and groom are probably more concerned about the weather than you are – they don’t need doom and gloom from their photographer.

Keep an eye on the time – don’t hassle the bride but try and make sure that you keep roughly on course according to that itinerary that you put together with the bride and groom a couple at the “2 months before the wedding” stage.

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raylockyer@ymail.com (Ray Lockyer Photography) Bath Bridgwater Burnham on Sea Castle Cary Chard Cheddar Crewekerne DIY wedding Photography Dorchester Dunster. Frome Glastonbury Hindon Honiton How to take your own wedding photographs Ilchester Ilminster Minehead Porlock Portland Shaftesbury Shepton Mallet Sherbourne Sidmouth Somerset Somerton South Petherton Sparkford Street Take your own wedding photographs Taunton Washford Watchet Wedding Photography Wellington Wells Weston super Mare Weymouth Yeovil http://www.raylockyerphotography.co.uk/blog/2012/7/photograph-your-own-wedding-10-the-wedding-day---bridal-preparation-part-1 Wed, 04 Jul 2012 20:16:07 GMT
Photograph Your Own Wedding (9) - The Day Before the Wedding http://www.raylockyerphotography.co.uk/blog/2012/7/photograph-your-own-wedding-9---the-day-before-the-wedding  

The Day before the Wedding

Unless the marriage is a civil ceremony there will normally be a rehearsal at the church and more often than not this is arranged on the day before the wedding day. I always ask if I can attend the rehearsal as it allows me to get a better idea of where the bridal party will be standing and sitting on the day – where its planned to sign the register  – where the readings will take place and more importantly what photographs the minister will allow me to take and where he or she will let me stand to take them.

The rehearsal is also often a good opportunity to meet the parents for the first time which is very useful, especially as shortly you will be invited into their home to photograph the bridal preparations and the giving away of their daughter.

This normally completes my planning for the wedding.

However, I have a pre-wedding routine that I go through on the day before a wedding with regard to my equipment and it goes something like this.

First thing in the morning I start the ‘battery charge’ – no this not some form of military manoeuvre – I have in the region of 20 odd rechargeable batteries that have to be charged.  Every available power socket in the upstairs of the house is requisitioned for charging and it normally takes most of the day and part of the night to complete.

I will also go through all of the equipment I intend to take with me on the day which, to be fair, is almost everything bar the kitchen sink. I do tend to work on the principal that it is better to have it available in the car just in case I need it.

Probably the most important job the day before the wedding is the preparation of my cameras and lenses.

I always reformat my memory cards before every major photoshoot and for me there is no more important photoshoot than a wedding.  I also check all of my camera settings – it is so easy to leave your camera on a strange setting from the last time you used it.

The same routine applies to my lenses – I first of all make sure that all of my lens switches are set to the correct positions and then I go through the routine of cleaning all of the lenses.

I also like to just have a look through some of my favourite books, magazines, internet sites and some of my own wedding pictures just to refresh my memory regarding some of my favourite poses. I think this is so important – you need to have all of your favourite shots in your head so that when you’re on your way home after the wedding you’re not kicking yourself because you forgot to take one of your favourite shots.

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raylockyer@ymail.com (Ray Lockyer Photography) Bath Bridgwater Burnham on Sea Castle Cary Chard Cheddar Crewekerne DIY wedding Photography Dorchester Dunster. Frome Glastonbury Hindon Honiton How to take your own wedding photographs Ilchester Ilminster Minehead Porlock Portland Shaftesbury Shepton Mallet Sherbourne Sidmouth Somerset Somerton South Petherton Sparkford Street Take your own wedding photographs Taunton Washford Watchet Wedding Photography Wellington Wells Weston super Mare Weymouth Yeovil http://www.raylockyerphotography.co.uk/blog/2012/7/photograph-your-own-wedding-9---the-day-before-the-wedding Sun, 01 Jul 2012 19:14:15 GMT
Photograph Your Own Wedding (8) - The Week of the Wedding http://www.raylockyerphotography.co.uk/blog/2012/6/photograph-your-own-wedding-8---the-week-of-the-wedding  

The Week of the Wedding

It’s the week of the wedding and now is the time to start organising your thoughts and plans. I will refer to my notes from our initial meeting with the couple – I need to remind myself of key issues such as – how many bridesmaids there are – are the bridesmaids adults or children – this all helps me think through how I can group them for the ‘formal’ photographs and what shapes I can make with the people available.

How many groomsmen will there be – what about parents – are there any parent arrangements that you need to be aware of – how many guests are expected – uncles, aunts, grandparents, special guests or guests that are travelling long distances to attend. The groom’s parents are just as important as the bride’s parents and therefore it is important that you end up with the same amount of shots of both sets of parents.

These are all photo opportunities of which you should be aware. It makes more sense to think about how you are going to group, pose and photograph people before the wedding rather than on the day when the bridal party or guests are standing in front of you waiting for you to organise them.

During the week of the wedding I will always visit the church or the venue where the wedding service is to take place and I will try and plan my visit so that it is roughly at the same time as the wedding. This will give me an idea of where the sun will be in the sky on the day of the wedding so that I can find the ‘best light’ for the outside shots. I make contingency plans for, clear skies, cloudy skies and rain. Each will provide its own shooting problems and will require alternative strategies and shooting locations – think them through and be prepared – on the day it will be you that the bride and groom turn to and ask “what would you like us to do now?” – you must have the answer.

If possible I like to walk in and around the church and sort out in my own mind where, if allowed, I would like to take my photographs – which include the service and any images that I plan to take after the service.

I go through the same process with the venue for the reception if it is different from the venue for the wedding ceremony and similarly the venue where the bride and groom intent to get ready. I usually to this opportunity to photograph the church or reception venue – it’s one less photograph to take on the day and they can make good background images for the album. I always have the wedding album in my mind when taking wedding photographs.

I will drive the route from the church to the reception venue – occasionally I spot a location that would be fabulous to stop with the couple to have some ‘special’ bride and groom shots – wedding magazine type shots. If we have time, if the weather is right and more importantly if the bride and groom agree then we could ask the driver to stop off en route to take some impromptu shots – these can turn out to be some of the best shots of the day if you are lucky.

Preparation is the key – I cannot stress this enough – don’t leave anything to chance.

Oh yes and during the week of the wedding I become a fervent visitor of the BBC weather forecast site and pray a lot!

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raylockyer@ymail.com (Ray Lockyer Photography) Bath Bridgwater Burnham on Sea Castle Cary Chard Cheddar Crewekerne DIY wedding Photography Dorchester Dunster. Frome Glastonbury Hindon Honiton How to take your own wedding photographs Ilchester Ilminster Minehead Porlock Portland Shaftesbury Shepton Mallet Sherbourne Sidmouth Somerset Somerton South Petherton Sparkford Street Take your own wedding photographs Taunton Washford Watchet Wedding Photography Wellington Wells Weston super Mare Weymouth Yeovil http://www.raylockyerphotography.co.uk/blog/2012/6/photograph-your-own-wedding-8---the-week-of-the-wedding Thu, 28 Jun 2012 18:52:48 GMT
Photograph Your Own Wedding (7) - 2 Months Before the Wedding http://www.raylockyerphotography.co.uk/blog/2012/6/photograph-your-own-wedding-7---2-months-before-the-wedding 2 months before the wedding

We always plan to meet our couples 2 months before the wedding – this is an important meeting and serves several purposes.

First of all, it is an opportunity to run through the itinerary for the day. By now our couple have a pretty good idea of what is going to happen on the day and when it is likely to happen but you would be surprised the number of issues that have not yet been completely thought through, even at this late stage. Either way it allows our couples, sometimes for the first time, to run through a detailed itinerary of the events for the day.

We make a note of the itinerary and send them a copy a few days later – most brides really appreciate this.

The amount of time that certain things take on the wedding day are sometimes grossly underestimated -  for example putting on a wedding dress in the shop with the help of the expert is very different to suddenly being confronted with several layers of petticoats, lacings etc on the day with only Mum or a bridesmaid to help and as such it is not unusual for a bride to take well over half an hour to just get into the dress!! Your bride may well have a hairdresser and makeup artist at her home to help her prepare for the big day. It does not matter how many times I suggest, and we agree, that the bride and her attendants and family are ready at least half an hour and if possible an hour before they need to leave for the service to enable me to capture some really special moments.

I try and encourage the bride and groom to have a pre wedding shoot.  This is well worth the time and effort as it helps our wedding couple to get used to being the centre of attention and posing in front of a camera. I always provide them with a photobook, especially prepared so that it can be used as a guest book on the book day. 

Most couples are not natural ‘models’ and they can feel rather awkward in front of the camera –it is part of the photographers skill to put them at their ease and help them feel comfortable and confident. It is important to ‘pose’ your couple correctly – so that they feel comfortable and look good. There are much better qualified photographers than me who have written numerous books on ‘how to pose your bride and groom’ and it is essential that you familiarise yourself with these techniques and practice them at every opportunity. Your bride and groom may express a preference for informal photographs but I have not attended a wedding yet where there is not a call for those traditional ‘formal shots’.  Even if the bride and groom are not that keen on formal shots, Mum and Gran certainly will be. When this happens you will be expected to organise where and how people stand as well as organising the bride’s train and veil, all whilst carrying your expensive camera equipment round your neck.

When shooting the ‘Formal’ pictures try and be creative – create different shapes – try and avoid the ‘prison line’ up of yesteryear. I know it is difficult – you probably have a maximum of 3 minutes for a formal shot before the bridal party or guests get restless and this is not a lot of time to organise a wedding party, who are not used to posing, into a creative group. Look at what the top wedding photographers are doing and practice a number of their ‘set ups’.

 

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raylockyer@ymail.com (Ray Lockyer Photography) Bath Bridgwater Burnham on Sea Castle Cary Chard Cheddar Crewekerne DIY wedding Photography Dorchester Dunster. Frome Glastonbury Hindon Honiton How to take your own wedding photographs Ilchester Ilminster Minehead Porlock Portland Shaftesbury Shepton Mallet Sherbourne Sidmouth Somerset Somerton South Petherton Sparkford Street Take your own wedding photographs Taunton Washford Watchet Wedding Photography Wellington Wells Weston super Mare Weymouth Yeovil http://www.raylockyerphotography.co.uk/blog/2012/6/photograph-your-own-wedding-7---2-months-before-the-wedding Mon, 25 Jun 2012 19:06:06 GMT
Photograph Your Own Wedding (6) - The Initial Meeting http://www.raylockyerphotography.co.uk/blog/2012/6/photograph-your-own-wedding-6---the-initial-meeting

The Initial Meeting with the Prospective Bride and Groom

Often our first meeting with a prospective bride and groom can be as much as a year, even two years before their wedding. At this point in time our couple may have booked the venue but probably not a lot more.

However, we use this opportunity to find out what sort of day the couple are planning, what sort of photography they like – do they like traditional photography with lots of formal and posed pictures or do they prefer the less formal approach which provides a more ‘natural’ feel to the photographs.

We have spent a lot of time determining how we ultimately want to present our photographs for our brides and grooms and after a lot of research we decided that we’d like to team up with Graphistudio – one of the foremost photobook providers in the world but unfortunately, for our one off would be wedding photographers, this product is only available to professional photographers. 

Either way it is a good opportunity to sort out with the couple how they would like their images presented. I have to say that my least favourite option is to provide the couple with a CD of my images, for a number of reasons – 1) because I have heard so many tales of people receiving a CD of images, putting the CD in a drawer and it never seeing the light of day again, and 2) you are never sure who is going to print your images and whether the eventual printer of choice will do your treasured photographs the justice they deserve. 

I also use this opportunity to mention to the couple (usually the bride) that she may want to leaf through her favourite magazines and save the pictures she likes to show me at our next meeting. This will give me some idea of the type of photography that the couple prefer.

It is a big commitment and responsibility to take someone’s wedding photographs. Let’s face it how many times in your life are you fortunate enough to be the centre of attention, wear the most beautiful dress and have the opportunity to employ a makeup artist and hairdresser to make you look your stunning best.  Not many that is for sure and it is important – no essential that as the official photographer you make sure that your images of the bride (and groom of course) are as fabulous as they both deserve.

So, if you are a friend or family member and have agreed to be the photographer for the day I would suggest that you agree with your couple what their expectations with regard to ‘your‘services’. We normally use a contract for this purpose but you probably won’t want to be that formal but having said that getting something in writing is not a bad idea - after all you want to remain friends after the wedding – I say this because memories are fallible and a year down the line it is not always easy to remember exactly what it was that was required or agreed.

So a few things to consider include: –

Timings – when will you be expected to start taking photographs and when will you be expected to finish.

What you will be expected to photograph – bridal preparation, groom preparation, guests arriving at the church, bride and bridesmaids arriving at the church, the service, formal photographs after the service, confetti throw, bride and groom leaving the church in the car and arriving at the reception, formal and family photographs at the reception, special photoshoot of the bride and Groom, casual and informal  photographs during the afternoon of guest, photographs of the reception venue before guest arrive, the receiving line, throwing the bouquet, cutting the cake, the speeches, the first dance, evening guests arriving, the evening entertainment and if there are any special arrangements like fireworks etc.

What post processing your couple will expect – colour correcting, straightening, cropping etc.

How will your couple want the photographs presented? Are they happy to receive a disk of unprocessed images or are they expecting a complete set of processed images presented in a photobook or album.

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raylockyer@ymail.com (Ray Lockyer Photography) Bath Bridgwater Burnham on Sea Castle Cary Chard Cheddar Crewekerne DIY wedding Photography Dorchester Dunster. Frome Glastonbury Hindon Honiton How to take your own wedding photographs Ilchester Ilminster Minehead Porlock Portland Shaftesbury Shepton Mallet Sherbourne Sidmouth Somerset Somerton South Petherton Sparkford Street Take your own wedding photographs Taunton Washford Watchet Wedding Photography Wellington Wells Weston super Mare Weymouth Yeovil http://www.raylockyerphotography.co.uk/blog/2012/6/photograph-your-own-wedding-6---the-initial-meeting Fri, 22 Jun 2012 18:24:17 GMT