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Another lovely bit of feedback

I took some wedding vow renewal photos at Bagden Hall, near Huddersfield the other day. After I had sent the happy couple their pictures they were kind enough to send me this comment. I was quite blown away!

Hi David,

Thankyou again for being so accommodating on Friday, many people commented how helpful and easy going you were, which obviously put everyone at ease in front of the camera.

We had a lovely time in the evening, the weather obviously stayed pleasant and I think everyone enjoyed themselves!

Thankyou for the photographs, they are fantastic, we are really pleased with them all and it was especially nice to receive your email today with the link to view, on our actual 10th anniversary!

Thankyou so much for your help from the first email I sent. We will be pleased to recommend you to anyone looking for a friendly, knowledgeable, creative photographer.

Best wishes,

Donna and Carl


Engagement Photoshoot

Just thought I’d drop some pictures in here of an engagement photoshoot I did recently. Chris and Clare were a bit nervous to start with, but they really got into it by the end.

Wedding Fair at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Come down to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park Wedding Fair to meet me and talk about what I can do for your wedding photography. The details are below…

Wedding Fair at Tankersley Manor

I’ve got a load of new albums to see today at Tankersley Manor. The fair is open from 10:30 to 15:30. It would be lovely to see you here!

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Wedding at Oulton Hall

I recently photographed a wedding at the lovely Oulton Hall for Katie and Alex. It was a beautiful day but one moment stood out in particular. Just as Katie was walking in Alex took a deep breath ready to turn around and see his bride for the first time that day. I think I captured it quite nicely. Let me know what you think in the comments.

 

Favourite wedding photos from 2013

I was just looking back at some of my favourite wedding photos from last year and I thought I would share some with you. I’ll explain why I’ve chosen each photo and a little bit of the story as well. These aren’t necessarily the best photos I’ve taken from last year but they are the ones that explain what excites me about being a wedding photographer.

This was taken at York Racecourse in the Autumn. It’s a great venue but the only place we could take pictures outside was on the balcony overlooking the grandstand. It’s a stunning building, however all the glass, steel and concrete could have made the pictures look a little cold and clinical. However as I said this was Autumn, the sun was setting and bathing everything in lovely warm tones. So I asked Beth to stand in the middle of the balcony and used the glass behind her to reflect some of that lovely sunshine onto her back, while the details of the dress were picked out by the sun to her front. I just love this picture as Beth and her dress looks amazing in this contemporary wedding picture.

This was taken in the Three Acres in Emley. The groom, Mark, who’s closest to the camera, was waiting patiently for his bride and all of a sudden the room went quiet. I just managed to get a couple of frames that really captured, I hope, the feeling of nerves and anticipation on his face. It also helps that they were facing a large window which helped create this lovely moody image.

This was actually the first wedding of the year for me. It was in the Lake District in January. Just getting there was an event in itself! I was really excited about the photos as we had a lovely layer of snow and I had loads of ideas for beautiful scenic pictures. Then it started raining. And raining. And raining. This usually isn’t a problem as it rarely rains all day but this time it just wasn’t giving up. Now some people may have let this upset them, but Helen and Paul had other ideas! They borrowed an umbrella and a pair of wellies and just went outside. So this makes it onto my favourite photo list as it sums up what I think is the right way to approach a wedding. Helen and Paul were there to get married and celebrate and they weren’t going to let the weather get in their way!

You may recognise Beth from the first picture again! This was during the ceremony in a fantastic Roman Catholic Church just outside of York. I had carefully and quietly walked down to the front row during a hymn so I could get some side on shots. As the ceremony continued I took a couple of pictures and Beth just turned and glanced straight down the lens at me. I should say I had a long zoom lens on and didn’t use flash so other than the click of the shutter I wasn’t being obtrusive. I’m always really careful to be respectful during the ceremony itself. I managed to get a single frame off before she turned quickly back and this was the result.

Do I have to explain why I like this one? Sarah and Neil had spoken to me before the wedding day about some ideas they’d like to try with their wedding photography. They even created me a little ‘mood board’ of picture ideas! So obviously they were up for spending some time having fun with the photos. I had brought along the empty frame and we just wandered round the grounds having fun! Everyone chipped in with suggestions for more and more shots and we just giggled the whole time. So if you think that wedding photos have to be boring group shots where you stand in line like a firing squad, have a look at the photo above and get inspired!

So that’s a small sample of my favourite wedding photos from 2013. Quite a mixed bag really, but each with their own story, I’m really looking forward to seeing what 2014 will bring!

Wedding Fayre at Cedar Court Hotel in aid of Wakefield Hospice

Hi,

Come and meet me at the wedding fayre (or fair if you prefer) at the Cedar Court Hotel in Wakefield this Sunday 2nd March. I’ll be there with my display stand showing off all my lovely photos and display albums. So please come along and have a chat between 11am and 4pm.

You can see more details here and here

Last of all don’t forget that the event is organised by Wakefield Hospice. Please try and support them by either coming along to the event, donating at one of their charity shops or donating to them directly!

Thanks so much and I hope to see you on Sunday!

David

Five tips for choosing a wedding photographer

1. Choose the style you want

This item is number one on my list for a reason. It is the most important thing to consider when choosing your wedding photographer. Fact. Let me explain why. Let’s assume for a second you have an unlimited budget, I know you probably don’t but bear with me. How would you choose which photographer to have then? I’m pretty sure you would base it on their photographic style alone, not on how many pages they give you in an album or whether you go for the Platinum or Silver package (more on that later…)

So back in the real world, where you have a limited budget, why do people start obsessing over how many pages they get in the album, or how many hours the photographer will attend instead of really thinking about the style of photography that they want? You’re not going to look at your album filled with pictures that aren’t to your liking and think “Well that’s OK we got ten more pages than with that other guy” are you?

So my advice is, find some photographers and really look at their photos. Ask to see previous albums and question them about their style. It’s a highly competitive market out there, so whatever your budget you can find someone whose photography you will love.

2. Don’t get sold on packages

Meh. That is my first thought when people start talking about packages. Gold this and platinum that and you can’t have that unless you buy this optional add on. I just don’t get it. I know it makes it easier to compare one photographer against another, but you’ve just read the first point and you’ll be choosing by the photographer’s style now won’t you?

When I’m at a wedding fair and people start asking me about what I include in my packages, they often look confused when I say I don’t do packages. Maybe I’m not a good businessman (although I’ve been doing this for 8 years now and grown every year) but I just don’t see the need for packages.

When I started out I thought “What do people need from their wedding photographer?” I narrowed it down to three questions you should ask:

a)      Do I like their style?

b)      How long do I want them to take photos for?

c)      Do I want an album?

So assuming you like my style here’s what I offer. You can book me for a half day or a full day. Then you get to choose which album you like. There are no limits. If you want to book me for half a day and then have the biggest album the world has ever seen. Brilliant, it’s yours. If you want me there for the full day and want no album at all. Fine, that’s cool too.

So don’t get confused by comparing packages and obsessing over the millions of variations of included ‘stuff’ that other photographer’s package together. Choose what you want and ask for it. Most photographers are self-employed and will happily alter things for you. Or you could choose one that doesn’t start with packages in the first place…

3. Meet face to face

Here’s a fact for all the brides to be out there – It is quite possible that you will spend more time with the photographer on your wedding day than your new husband.

Obviously that’s a bit of an attention grabbing headline but if you think about it, it’s very true. The photographer is the only common thread through the whole wedding day. Hairdressers come and go, florists just drop stuff off, Vicars and registrars barely make a dent on the day (other than doing the important bit) but us photographers are there all the time. So it is vitally important that you get on with them and that the photographer can get on with you and everyone else, even that Uncle you don’t like that you only invited because your Mum told you to.

So make sure you meet face to face and have a chat, see if you ‘click’. Sorry for the photo pun. But I can’t stress how important this is because it could be a very long day otherwise…which brings us nicely onto point 4.

4. Check their history

I don’t mean that you should call their exes or anything, but look if they have reviews on their Facebook page or have some nice comments on their website. Be direct and ask if they could provide references from previous weddings. Like I mentioned above you’re going to be with the photographer a lot and how they manage people is a very important part of the job. So if you can’t find anyone who will say anything nice about them, it’s probably best if you steer well clear. If you can find someone who has a lot of comments like this then I think you’re on the right track.

5. Pick a professional

Time to be a little serious. Would you let someone with minimal experience have a go at your plumbing because they’ve had a ‘bit of a go’ before? Would you let someone fiddle with the brakes on your car because ‘they’ve read a book on it’? If you’ve answered yes to either of those questions, good luck.

So why do people employ complete amateurs to take their wedding photos? I know it’s not as life and death as failed brakes on a car but really? I have met a number of people in my time in this business who have said they had a mate take their wedding pictures. Every single one said they regret it. That’s not scare mongering, it’s not a proper survey either, it’s just my experience.

Whichever photographer you choose should have experience in multiple weddings, at different times of the year, in different weather conditions and at different venues so they have the skillset to cope with whatever is thrown at them.

I was going to list out the skills that an experienced professional photographer should have but I realised it was going to be an extremely long and potentially boring list. Needless to say I have learnt a lot through my experiences and I continue to learn every single time I take part in a wedding.

Sorry to be serious but your wedding photos are important and they should be taken by someone who knows what they’re doing. If you’ve read all this and you’re still thinking you’ll let your mate do it, let me know how you get on.

PS Check that your mate has public liability insurance in case he injures someone while he’s working for you. And backup equipment in case his ‘posh’ camera breaks right at the start of the day. And a network of backup photographers in case he’s taken poorly at the last minute. And a proper backed up storage solution for all of your wedding photos.

PPS I have all of the above…

 

So that’s my advice on how to pick your wedding photographer. I hope it helps, I understand it can be confusing and a bit scary with everything else that you need to book for your wedding day but please just get in touch and ask some questions. I’d be happy to help.

Great comment!

Hi all,

I’ve just had a lovely comment back from Samantha and Mark who’s wedding I did at The Three Acres in Emley. I just thought I’d share it with you and a couple of pictures from the day.

Hi David, we would like to thank you for helping make our day extra special. You put everyone at ease with the photographs and made it fun.

I love getting comments like that, which I am fortunate enough to get a lot, as I put a lot of pride and effort into making sure everyone has a good time while I’m taking pictures. Talking of which, here’s a couple from Samantha and Mark’s big day.

Special and Different Photography goes mobile!

A good bit of news for existing and new customers! Due to an upgrade of our photo proofing software (we’ve moved to HTML 5 if you’re interested) you can now view your proof images on mobile tablets.

So while you’re sat on a bus, at work, in the hairdressers or wherever you can pull out your iPad, Nexus, Kindle etc and show everyone your lovely pictures while shouting ‘Look at my wedding photos – they were taken by the best photographer in the world!’

The shouting is optional.

Anyway, I thought you’d like to know…