Apparently, Benjamin Franklin once said this. Oh, how I could have done with him being in the passenger seat of my car when the flipping thing wouldn’t start yesterday morning. Roughly around an hour before I was due at Alex & Gary’s wedding at The Talbot in Woking, Surrey, in fact.
So, one rather expensive Uber trip later and I arrived on time. Panic over.
My aim for the day was not only to capture some amazing photographs, but to take advantage of the rain and create one photo in particular that would make all the hassle worthwhile. So later in the day I set up a couple of flashes, and you’ll see the result below. Hopefully it was worth it.
A massive thanks to Alex and Gary for being brilliant company and for allowing me to drag them out into the rain to take the aforementioned photo. You’re both absolutely gorgeous, and I wish you a lifetime of happiness together!
I consider myself a very lucky boy indeed to be living in Kent – not only do I have access to some of the most beautiful countryside in England, I’m also within touching distance of some of the most stunning wedding venues this land has to offer.
One such venue is The Gardens in Yalding.
I recently photographed Alex & Alex’s gorgeous wedding there, and even though I’m in the middle of editing their photos I couldn’t resist sharing some of these with you already!
For some reason of late I just can’t seem to stay away from the seaside.
First of all it was Fae and Lewis’s gorgeous engagement / pre-wedding session down at St Margaret’s Bay near Dover, and a few weeks later I found myself in Ramsgate photographing the wedding of Rebecca and Luke. The ceremony was at the St Laurence in Thanet church followed by the reception at Ramsgate FC.
I first met them last year in a Ramsgate pub for a chat and a coffee (honest – I was driving). Usually when I meet couples it takes around 30 – 45 minutes to find out all about them, show them a couple of luxury wedding albums and tell them how I can help make their wedding even better through my photography.
Two hours after sitting down with Rebecca and Luke, I finally left before making my way home.
I always love meeting couples for the first time, because it gives me chance to find out exactly what they’re looking for, and to see if we click (pun well and truly intended).
So after meeting Rebecca and Luke, I knew that their wedding day was going to be exactly like them. Warm, down to earth and laid-back, which is precisely what it was.
A huge thanks to Mr and Mrs Simmons, and here’s to a life of wedded bliss!
The decor! I mean, look at these photos from Anne and Barry’s recent wedding – aren’t they just sumptuous? (The rooms that is, although Anne & Barry were lovely too, of course)
It’s just down the road from where I live. Hurrah!
When Anne & Barry asked me last year to photograph their wedding at Danson House, I simply couldn’t resist. It was also the first time I’ve photographed in the gorgeous Fleur de Thé Tea Room, and no doubt I’ll be popping back there soon to consume ridiculous amounts of coffee and cake.
Here are some of the highlights from the day, and a huge thanks to Anne and Barry and their lovely friends and family.
Yes! It’s that time of year again where photographers the length and breadth of the land lay down their cameras, clamber up onto the nearest table and proclaim, “LOOK AT ALL THE AMAZING PHOTOGRAPHS WHAT I HAVE DONE THIS YEAR!”
And there was you thinking I was going to be different – hah! No such luck…
I’ll be honest with you – I only photographed a very select few weddings in 2018 (for one reason and another, that I won’t bore you with here), but 2019 is going to be exceptionally busy and 2020 is filling up fast (I still have availability for both, so please contact me asap so you don’t miss out! Plug over…)
I’d also like to thank all the couples I’ve worked with over the past twelve months. Without sounding gushy (get the tissues ready) you’ve all been utterly amazing and wonderful, and if I could I’d build a little house at the end of my garden so you could all live there and I could pop in now and again for a cuppa.*
So without further ado, here are my highlights of 2018. Bosh!
*This isn’t strictly true, but hopefully you appreciate the sentiment 🙂
Or, “How To Find The Wedding Photographer Of Your Dreams”
Blimey, hiring any sort of professional is a minefield, isn’t it? Let’s say your car breaks down – how many of us (a) know exactly what’s wrong with the car, and (b) who to ask regarding how to fix it? Also, how do you know what questions to ask, to ensure you’ll receive good value for money and a repaired automobile?
Like I said, it’s a minefield…
Hiring a wedding photographer is no different – it’s a sizeable investment for our service, so it’s good to know exactly what it is we do, and exactly what you’ll receive for your aforementioned investment.
1) Why should I hire you above other wedding photographers in Kent, and what can I expect once I hire you?
The best way to answer this question is to look at my highlights reel (as I like to call it) as well as full weddings from start to finish, and if my style of photography is what you’re looking for we can schedule a time to meet up. There’s no obligation at this point – simply a chance to pop the kettle on and interrogate me regarding all facets of the service I offer. I’m happy to meet up a number of times if it means your mind is at rest regarding your investment.
Meeting up is really important! I need to find out as much information as possible about you – how you met, what happened with the proposal (was it heart-melting or toe-curlingly embarrassing?), how you love to spend your free time, what you’re looking forward to most about your wedding, and so on and so forth. I need to find out what floats your boat, because your wedding day is about YOU, not me!
Also, I need to make sure we’ll be a good fit – for example, you might think that my sense of humour is…erm…an acquired taste, shall we say (which is ridiculous, because I’m BLOODY HILARIOUS). On your wedding day I’ll be with you for around 8+ hours, so we really need to make sure we’ll get on beforehand 🙂
Once you decide to work with me, you can expect:
As mentioned above, lots of pre-wedding meetings or calls! I want to be sure that you’re totally comfortable with the service I offer. Also, I need to know timings / exactly what’s happening during the day and when, to ensure I capture all the important aspects of the day (and more)
You won’t even know I’m there – I prefer to blend into the background and photograph events as they unfold. Most clients often say that they forget I was actually at the wedding, which is exactly what I’m aiming for!
Continued support and contact – let’s say you decide to order another wedding album for a family member a year after your wedding…no problemo!
2) Can you guarantee my wedding photographs will be absolutely amazing?
Yes I can! That’s why I have a 100% guarantee – if you’re not absolutely and ridiculously thrilled with the service and photographs I provide, I’ll do everything in my power to make sure you are.
Have any of my couples ever not been completely and utterly thrilled? Nope. Will you be completely and utterly thrilled? Why, of course!
3) Why is wedding photography so expensive?
This is a question I hear a lot, and it’s a valid one. After all, most people think that wedding photography is an easy gig, and only involves pressing a button for a few hours.
Ah, if it only it were that simple. Here’s a brief overview of what’s involved:
At least two meetings (often more) to discuss timings, desired photos etc
Extensive photography coverage, lasting at at least 6 hours (and often longer). Only one break during the day for food, but on my feet taking photographs for the rest of the day
Taking beautifully composed and lit photographs using years of learning and experience. As good as digital cameras are, they still can’t find great light, compose photos or capture key emotional moments without human intervention
Editing and polishing around 400+ final images that capture the essence of your day
Designing a wedding album, ensuring the photos flow naturally and tell the story of the day
4) Do you have lots of satisfied clients and glowing testimonials?
I certainly do, and I pride myself on it. If you navigate through my site you’ll see lots of lovely quotes from happy clients on each page, and this is perhaps my favourite testimonial of all, from Holly & Rich:
“We think that having your wedding photos taken by Dan is like seeing your wedding day through the eyes of a friend.”
Do excuse me, I seem to have something in my eye *sniff*
5) What’s “Shoot and Burn” photography, and why don’t you offer it?
Shoot and burn is the process of capturing a wedding and burning all the images to a CD / DVD without any processing. It doesn’t involve correcting any funky colours (green people from sun bouncing off grass onto their faces for example), removing distracting elements (fire alarms / extinguishers anyone?), and definitely doesn’t involve designing or creating a luxury photo album that you’ll treasure for the rest of your days.
6) Do I need a second photographer?
Well, technically you don’t need one, but think of all the moments that it’s impossible for one person to photograph. Let’s say I’m photographing a tight shot of your first kiss – it’s a beautiful, tender moment, but I’m not seeing how your guests are reacting. That’s the assistant photographer’s job. He or she is also taking wide shots showing off the magnificence of the church.
7) Do I need a pre-wedding / engagement session?
Once again, you don’t need one, but I thoroughly recommend you arrange and take part in one. Firstly, you’ll see how I work and just how hilarious I am (see above), and secondly, you’ll have the chance to become used to someone pointing a camera at you for hours on end (which is a bit weird I’ll admit, hence why I’m this side of the camera). You can read more about why you need an engagement session here.
8) Will you view the church / reception venue before the wedding?
Of course! I like to visit a month or two before to take some test images, so I have a good idea of what sort of lighting conditions to expect. It’s also a good chance for me to form a mental image of where you’ll be during the ceremony, and where I need to be to make sure I capture everything! Finally, it’s nice to say hello to people working at the church or venue, so they’ll be able to put a face to a name on the day itself.
I’ll be honest with you – the majority of the weddings I photograph these days are civil ceremonies, whether it’s at a luxury hotel or a bespoke wedding venue. In fact, I can count all the church weddings I’ve attended over the last few years on the fingers of one hand, and I think that’s a real shame.
Of course, everyone has their own beliefs, values and opinions on religion and whether or not a church wedding is right for them, and it’s a very personal decision. However, I’d be amazed if anyone entered a church as magnificent as Christ Church in Erith and not have their breath snatched swiftly away.
So when Sharon and Martin asked me to photograph their church wedding, I jumped at the chance! I hope you’ll agree from the photographs below just how beautiful Christ Church is, and how fabulous Sharon and Martin looked on their special day. I wish them all the happiness in the world for their lives together.
I’d also like to thank the lovely folks at Christ Church for making me feel very welcome, and especially the resident priest Simon Archer. I mean, how can you not admire someone who takes a moment to grab a selfie with the happy couple? Respect!
Well, what an amazing year 2017 has been, and where on earth did it go? One minute I’m getting ready for a busy wedding season, and the next 2018 has loomed onto the horizon! I was lucky enough to photograph a number of weddings this year along with some fantastic pre-wedding sessions, which allowed me to build up a rapport with my couples, try out some new techniques to carry over into my weddings, and basically act like a 10 year-old child (nothing new there then…!)
As for the weddings, they’ve ranged from lavish affairs held in luxury hotels, to smaller intimate registry office weddings and everything in-between. One common element has been the amount and warmth and love at each and every wedding I’ve attended. In fact, I always make a point of meeting all my couples before their wedding day to ensure we’ll get on like a house on fire, and this also ensures I’ll capture some great images.
As for the camera enthusiasts of you out there, I currently photograph all my weddings using Canon gear (6D along with a 5D Mk ii which I’ll be upgrading for the forthcoming wedding season), along with Sigma 35mm and 85mm lenses (I like to keep things as simple as possible).
So, from the bottom of my heart, a huge thank you to all the couples I met and photographed in 2017. You were all absolutely gorgeous, and hopefully this is reflected in my favourite photos from the past year!
So that’s a wrap then – 2016 is done and dusted, and what a year it was!
I hope you’ve all had a fantastic Christmas then folks? Presents were what you wanted? Stomachs nice and full? Alcohol cupboard seriously depleted? I’m slowly winding down here after another hectic and hugely enjoyable year – lots of wonderful weddings, amazing couples and plenty of tears of joy and laughter.
I really can’t wait for 2017 and the weddings I’m due to photograph, but until then, I thought I’d share some of my favourite photos from the past twelve months.
A very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all, and I’ll see you in 2017!
Weddings are emotional events and take a heck of a lot of planning, so knowledge is power – the more you’re aware of potential pitfalls when it comes to hiring a photographer, the more you’ll know what to look out for, ensuring you receive the very best photographs of your wedding day!
Mistake 1: Not getting to know your photographer first
When you hire a wedding photographer, it’s a little bit like hiring an extra guest to your wedding. Although the difference is this guest will be taking photographs, as well as talking to and getting along with all your friends and family, staying professional and capturing images with a smile on his or her face. That’s why it’s important to meet your photographer first, or at least have a lengthy conversation on the phone with them. You need to know if you’ll like them important events of the day, as well as not upsetting Auntie Mabel immediately before the ceremony.
Mistake 2: Choosing a photographer solely on price
Let’s face it; in life you tend to get what you pay for. Take luxury cars for example. Would you expect to take a few thousand pounds down to your local Aston Martin dealer and return home with a brand new DB7? Or would you expect to pop in to your local Apple store to purchase a laptop, and leave with plenty of change from £500?
Of course you wouldn’t!
The same applies to wedding photography. Of course, this doesn’t mean you have to hire the most expensive wedding photographer out there (if you do, he’s called Jerry Ghionis, he’s Australian, he’s unbelievable and his prices start at around £10,000. Just thought I’d get that out the way first.)
Cheap wedding photography normally means low quality (not always, but you tend to get what you pay for.) Creative people tend to charge what they think they’re worth. Someone who charges £250 to photograph a wedding is basically saying, “I’m not confident in my abilities or the quality of my work, so that’s why I’m charging very little for all day coverage and a disc of images.” When you hire a wedding photographer, you’re not only paying for their time. You’re paying for their expertise, gained from photographing multiple weddings. You’re paying for their creative eye. You’re paying for the beautiful images they create. You’re paying for memories that will last a lifetime.
Mistake 3: Relying on a friend or family member who has a “nice camera”
Technology is amazing, isn’t it? Just think, ten years ago smartphones didn’t exist. Now everyone takes great photos on them and shares their efforts all across the Internet. Also, “entry-level” cameras are now way more advanced and cheaper than they’ve ever been, and to top it off “Auto” modes on these cameras are extremely intelligent and enable most people to take decent photographs. But are you happy to settle for “decent” on your wedding day?
You probably know someone who owns one of those swanky DSLR cameras. You know, the ones with the interchangeable lenses. Great pieces of kit, and as I said above, fabulous technology. But do they know how to really use it? Would they be able to take a sharp photograph in a dark church without a flash, without the resulting photo looking blurred? Can they capture a photo of your first dance by (a) using flash and (b) not making you look like you’ve wandered into a nuclear explosion? Ultimately, can you trust them to capture all these important moments…and more? Are you willing to take that risk..?
Mistake 4: Not being specific enough about the photos you want
I always ask clients when I meet them if there are any specific photos that they’d like. Some of them are so excited they simply say, “Oh, just take beautiful photographs through the day Dan, I trust you to capture everything!” Which is lovely, but not particularly helpful. Of course, I’ll photograph you getting ready. I’ll photograph the rings. I’ll photograph you looking amazing as you walk down the aisle. I’ll photograph the putting on of the rings. I’ll photograph the first kiss and the first dance, and more. However, believe it or not, I’m not a mind reader 🙂
If Auntie Mabel is flying across from Australia and it’s the first time in 23 years that you’ve seen her, and she’s not very well, and it’s vital that I take a photograph of her with you and your niece who’s just graduated…then please tell me!
Mistake 5: Prioritising products over the photography
Most wedding photographers offer various products as part of their collections, as I do. For example, I offer a folio containing a USB drive and prints, and a luxury handmade, leather bound album (which is utterly gorgeous. When you see it you’ll want one, believe me.) However, don’t lose sight of why you’re hiring a photographer in the first place! It’s the quality of their work. It’s the ability to capture images that you’ll treasure for the rest of your life. Not the products that they offer – you can source those long after your wedding is over, but you can’t replace mediocre photographs from that day.
Mistake 6: Thinking that because a photographer has expensive gear, they’re bound to take fantastic photographs
It really is no guarantee. I could buy a top of the range Aga, and believe me, you probably wouldn’t want to eat what I could create with it.
This anecdote sums it up best: When the author Jack London had his portrait taken by the noted San Francisco photographer Arnold Genthe, London began the encounter with effusive praise for the photographic art of his friend and fellow bohemian, Genthe: “You must have a wonderful camera…it must be the best camera in the world …you must show me your camera!” Genthe then used his standard studio camera to make what has since become a classic picture of Jack London. When the sitting was finished, Genthe could not contain himself: “I have read your books, Jack, and I think they are important works of art. You must have a wonderful typewriter.”
Mistake 7: Not considering an assistant photographer
Planning is everything when it comes to wedding photography. I’ll always try and meet the client and nail down timings – what time they’re arriving, when guests are due to arrive, when the cutting of the cake and first dance are due to occur, and so on and so forth. This means I can plan where I’ll be, at what time, and what photographs I’ll be taking when I’m there. However, I don’t have eyes in the back of my head (more’s the pity), and they haven’t yet invented a camera with a lens on the front and the back (well, there’s always my smartphone, but I don’t think you’d want me to photograph your wedding using that..!)
I always try and recommend my couples pays a little extra for an assistant photographer. This means you’ll obviously have two pairs of skilled eyes watching proceedings unfold – while I’m photographing the first kiss, my assistant is capturing the beaming smiles and tears of joy amongst your wedding guests. While I’m capturing the bride and groom walking down the aisle towards me, my assistant is capturing the reactions of your guests, the confetti throwing and so on. While I’m capturing a close-up of the cake cutting, my assistant is taking a wide photograph of everyone in the room.
Mistake 8: Leaving all the decisions to the photographer
As mentioned above in point 4, there are a number of “must-have” photos that I’ll always capture, although I recommend my clients to provide as much input as possible when it comes to their photographs. I’ll recommend poses and locations for your photos, but let me know what images you’d like. Set up a Pinterest board with wedding photos you love and share it with me (just bear in mind that if you pin photos from a beach wedding in Belize and you’re getting married in Bromley, you may be disappointed. Be realistic.)
Trust in my expertise, certainly, and the more ideas you can provide me with the better.
Mistake 9: Insisting on trendy photos
Around ten years ago “selective colouring” was all the rage – you know, a black and white photograph of a bride holding a bouquet, but the bouquet is in colour (it’s been selectively coloured in Photoshop). A couple of years ago it was vintage – desaturated / washed out photos of trendy couples holding Rolleiflex cameras. The problem with photographing in a style that’s currently trendy? It dates. Badly. In ten years time your photos will look “of a time” and definitely not timeless. After all, brown corduroy flares were hip at one point in history (so I keep telling myself as I once owned a pair. Anyway, moving on..!)
Mistake 10: Not realising just how important your wedding photos are (and will be in the future)
This is a summary of all the points above. Make sure you hire someone you can trust to capture beautiful wedding photos. Put quality above price. How do their photos make you feel? How does the photographer make you feel when you meet them? Your wedding only lasts a day, and memories fade over time, but your photographs should remind you of your wedding day for the rest of your life.