Wedding Photography FAQ

FAQ Details:

The following should answer all the questions you may ask of your wedding photographer:

Wedding:

Do you have the relevant insurance as a wedding photographer?

Yes we are both covered by Public Liability and camera equipment insurances on the day of your event.  

What experience have you got in order to be photographers shooting weddings?

We have been full time professional wedding photographers for over a decade and have nearly twenty years experience in the field working for such companies as Channel Four Television and the BBC. We migrated from film cameras to digital in the last six years when we felt the quality level was sufficient. Our experience in wedding photography and portraiture includes awards from the BJPP and Fuji Portraiture Award. We also have a background in post production using Photoshop and other skills and have been employed by many blue chip companies in this field.

In total we have photographed over 250 weddings.

Why should we choose you over any other professional photographer?

Choice of photographer is a very personal choice and the two main areas or photography style and price must be acknowledged as major factors. We are very organised and well structured and understand our clients needs well, so that before the day comes we know exactly what we are doing and with photographic talent to ensuring we get the images you desire from your special day.

We also pride ourselves in being easy to work with and the majority of feedback we get from clients is that they didn’t really notice us on the day, but are overjoyed with the images they received. There is nothing worse than a bossy photographer who gets in the way and ruins the flow of the day.

We are nice people and easy to get on with which cannot be conveyed from simple testimonials but we are happy to put you in touch with any number of previous clients who can attest to this.

A lot of our photographic customers from personal recommendation and wedding work actually become friends after we have photographed them and we are pleased that a lot people who see our work at a wedding go on to choose us as a result of our approach on the day and our images. This is very pleasing for us as it proves we are delivering high quality photography.

What is the process from signing up with you to the wedding?

After an initial meeting to discuss your wedding and show you some of our work, we can booked you in on receipt of a small deposit. We will then provide you with a written summary of this and provide an informal contract between you and us defining what we have agreed. Nearer the date of your wedding we can arrange a meeting with you at the venues  to go through the format for the day and decide key locations and photos.

We will then have further meetings leading up to the wedding to define requirements. The aim of these meetings is to do as much planning before the big day so that it runs smoothly and you get the end result that you desire.

A lot of our couples like to have an informal portrait shoot before their wedding so we can get to know each other before the big day, we do find that couples find this advantage so they feel a lot more calm and relaxed having their pictures taken on the big day.

 

How much photography will you shoot at my wedding?

The amount of photography you receive depends on how long we are booked for and the package we agree with you.  Our website price brochire shows the approximate number or images for each package but it roughly works out at 100 finished images for every hour in attendance. These will be presented to you on your personal website and on a copyright free DVD in high resolution format. Our range of wedding albums look fabulous  and there are lots of designs and styles to suit all budgets and tastes. Obviously you get to choose which photography is included in your album.

Some wedding photographers will quote very high numbers of images to book you.  Be warned this can simply mean they take the same picture from 10 different angles. We prefer to quality over quantity and cover as wide a range of subjects so you have a good variety of images from your big day.

I have to say I’m quite nervous about having my wedding photography taken?

You shouldn’t let this spoil your day as most people see themselves to be un-photogenic.  Most people in UK are not familiar enough with professional photography, and have bad memories of their professional school photos!  When being photographed by an experienced photographer the results are night and day.  We can explain the wedding photography process and make sure you look as beautiful as you feel on that special day.

Also we recommend that our couples have a pre wedding portrait shoot with us so we can photography both of you and you get used to having us photograph you, this seems to work very well for most couples and we certainly see evidence that couples are more relaxed on their big day with this approach.

When do you suggest we start looking for a photographer?

The majority of photographers worth their salt will only cover one wedding per day – us included.  Of course, this limits the number of weddings a wedding photographer can fit in.  Everyone wants to get married on a Saturday – so it is advisable to make contact with your photographer as soon as you can find the time, as the more popular dates towards August are sometimes booked years in advance.  Booking the wedding photographer should be right up your list with booking the wedding venue.

Do you have a style of wedding photography that you shoot?

There is only one style of wedding photography that we like to shoot – the style that pleases you both! Yes we have our favourite style (story book) but the day is not a wedding for us, but a record of your special day.  Most couples generally prefer more candid shots together with the contemporary formals based on our experience.

I have a family member who is a keen photographer – wouldn’t it be better if they took my wedding photos?

You could do this and they may be a decent photographer and very keen, but wouldn’t you rather entrust something as important as your wedding photography to a known professional? Who is fully insured and has a great deal of experience of photographing weddings. You should aim to be assured that you will receive professional wedding photography presented in a professional manner. A lot of time and money is invested in a wedding and it is important they you do not risk missing out on having a proper record of all that effort and love given to your wedding day. Priceless wedding photography entrusted to us need not be expensive.

Have you worked at our wedding venue previously or able to visit it before the wedding?

We hope to make wedding photography as unique as the couple themselves.  We will attend the venue with you ahead of the special day, this is key to our preparation. Regardless, we always give ourselves plenty of time to arrive at your venue and plan the environment for photographic opportunities. We always leave a good hour early to arrive at venues on the big day and the vagaries of traffic can cause unexpected delays – we have never been late for any of our 250 weddings.

Do you have a studio base?

Yes, we provide studio photographic services , from our office in Brighton.

What if it rains on our wedding day?

One can never be assured of safe British weather. As a professional wedding photographer we are equipped to deal with this, although electronic cameras mean that we cannot take photographs out in a downpour!  We would always look to make the most of it rather than complain. If you decide against using the outdoors then we will always have a plan B and C which will not be impacted by poor British weather.

Can we book you for Videography and photography at our wedding?

We can provide basic videography services for your ceremony and speeches for a small fee or we do have access to professional videographers. These are proper TV camera people with broadcast quality equipment and editing skills.

How much is it book you and what are the payment terms, what do we do next?

We ask just £50 as an initial non-returnable deposit to hold your date. The balance is then due in the week before the wedding date.  Payments can be made via BACS or using PayPal which accepts Credit and Debit cards.

Can we still plan our wedding coverage without meeting up with you?

Yes we do understand that it is not always possible given work and locations. In these circumstances, we are fine to discuss wedding photography over the phone or email.  We provide our customers top service before, during and after their event.

What kind of albums/photobooks are available?

We have albums, photo books and coffee table albums to suit all styles, tastes and budgets. Our flagship products are the Italian hand made Graphistudio albums which are a favourite amongst professional wedding photographers.

We have a  number of sample albums which can both demonstrate our work and also help you choose the album you require, all can be seen during our first meeting/consultation.

How many times can we meet prior to the wedding?

There is obviously the initial meeting to discuss your requirements and to ascertain whether we are your preferred photographer. Once we have been commissioned then we will visit the wedding and reception venues to ‘recce’ both for photographic suitability as this saves wasted time on the day of the wedding. 

Do you use good quality photography equipment?

Yes. We upgrade our photography and post production equipment regularly to ensure it is always state-of-the-art. Currently we are using the Nikon D700 and Nikon D200s camera bodies – both professional pieces of camera technology.  This is complimented with a professional suite of Nikon lenses.  You will be sure to receive the benefits of modern photography.

Do you shoot wedding photography on film as well as digital?

We have chosen digital since the quality of these cameras surpassed 35mm film cameras. Digital also provides us the flexibility needed by clients and we can use this in more situations than a film camera, enabling us to shoot faster and smarter to your advantage.   A film photographer will also charge you a fortune in print fees it must be said.

How long does it take for you to deliver my wedding photography or wedding album?

It depends largely on what you have selected as the output medium(s) of your big day. If you have chosen a DVD of wedding photography from the day this will be back with you within 3 weeks – usually 2.  If you also ordered an album, the creation, printing and delivery  takes approximately 4-5 weeks after you have chosen your images for inclusion.  Most couples normally like to leave this until they return from their honeymoon.  Do take your time in picking your favourite pictures.

Please tell me in which format I receive my pictures?

All photography is shot and managed in the professional camera RAW format.  Once processed by us they are converted into JPEG format for inclusion on your DVD in high resolution.  The benefit of such high resolution is the level of detail and the ability to print giant size output.  

What areas can you deliver coverage in?

We travel anywhere in South of England. We can travel further, but we charge a mileage fee of 30p per mile

 

Do you work with an assistant on the day?

Yes there is an assistant photographer who attends all the weddings with Carl O’Connell, both are full time professional photographers. This enables us to get a greater variety of image and also to ensure we can gain the images we need and want in an efficient and structured manner.

Why is Carl O’Connell Photography cheaper than many wedding photographers?

Our whole ethos is to deliver the quality expected in the wedding photographer market, at a cost that is realistic and reasonable to more customers.   We rely on word-of-mouth over advertising and avoid pressure sale scenarios.  With reduced overheads we can keep us all happy.

What happens should you fall sick on my day or otherwise be unavailable?

This is where we have a large advantage over the single photographer competition. If one of us was ill, the other would take the lead photographer role on the day with the other taking a lesser role. In extreme cases we have an agreement with another professional wedding photographer to cover each others weddings if a catastrophe did occur. I must stress that this is has never happened yet! The chances of us being ill are equal to the chances of the bride or groom being taken ill.   We all do our best to avoid this risk.

I’ve seen your packages for wedding photography but would like to include some more coverage.

Our packages are only an example and are completely flexible and can be altered by you, the packages on the website are there as a guide only to help you compare us with other photographers.  Talk to us about your requirements and we can arrange what is needed in a bespoke fashion at a competitive price.

 

What exactly do you call documentary wedding photography?

There is no exact definition I’m afraid. Or there are as many as there are photographers who profess it. Generally it is seen as being an approach that tells the story of your bid day in pictures.

Do you only photograph weddings?

Certainly not. As professional photographers are specialities include: portraits, actors portfolios, design and advertising and especially events!

What about portrait photography?

Portrait can be conducted in a spontaneous way, too.  We also love children and am always delighted to capture a moment in life of a happy family.

What do you recommend for wedding photographs: Black and White or Colour?

We are happy to produce the images and styles you are looking for from your big day. Sometimes it is nice to have a combination of both colour and black and white images.

Weddings are often very colourful – all the elaborate dresses, flowers, even make-ups can actually contribute to the photographs. It would be a pity to lose all that beauty. The same is often true for the wedding location: Think of flowers, foliage etc.

We recommend an enlightened mix of colour and black & white. Unless the couple has a specific preference, we will switch back and forth from black and white and colour to best suit the situation – in our judgment. For instance, an indoor ceremony will usually benefit from black & white: Ceremony locations usually are quite dimly lit, often by artificial light or a mix of artificial and daylight.

To sum it up: We will use whatever we believe best matches the situation and your preferences.

What do the online website look like?

Your personal wedding website contain all the photographs from your wedding. We edit very lightly, only taking out obvious rejects, e.g. blinks and duplicates and doing some gentle re-touching/editing where required. Please do share your website with your guests and family or anyone else you’d like to. Often people from abroad who were unable to attend your wedding find it a great way of sharing in your wedding day.

We also provide an online location where you can post instructions and directions for guests before your wedding.

How long does the photography take?

 

You remain completely in control of the amount of time we spend on photography during the day. We offer you both a series of meetings before the big day to find out exactly how you would like the photography to be planned around your day. We then provide you with a written itinerary of the times we have planned so that you know what to expect and can feed back any changes you would like.

How long do you stay during the wedding?

We have many flexible options to suit your requirements, including getting ready before the wedding, the wedding ceremony, after the ceremony, wedding speeches and evening receptions. Our starting package includes from just before the ceremony, capturing all the key moments – through to all day attendance from getting ready to the first dance.

What if we don’t want loads of  group photographs?

That is fine. You are completely in control of the kind of photography you would like for your day, some couples like a selection of group photos, other like us to capture just informal gatherings of guests enjoying the reception, and of course we can do a mixture of both. We can help you plan and guide you on how to avoid a long list of group photos.

What if I don’t like my photograph being taken?

We often find that the couples who tell us, when we first meet, that they do not generally like their photos being taken, actually enjoy the wedding photography on the day. We have a fun and relaxed approach and are confident of capturing you at your best which helps to put you at ease and enjoy the photography. There is a big difference between having your photo taken by us as professionals as opposed to what you might have experienced with photos taken by friends or family. We also provide you with a range of photos so that there will be plenty of styles and expressions to choose from.

What are the advantages of digital cameras?

Digital cameras allow us to take almost an unlimited amount of photographs, enabling an even better selection for you to choose from. Digital images also give us more control over quality and allow us to offer you both colour and black and white along with other creative effects for every photo that we take. Digital printing brings every aspect of quality under our control, so we can get consistently great results.

Are there any disadvantages with digital photography?

In the wrong hands digital images can suffer from poor colour or density, undue digital noise, unnatural sharpening, over or under exposure and loss of detail in the highlights or shadows. By hiring a professional you can have peace of mind that all of these issues will be avoided with the correct exposure, lighting, colour and density calibration and technical experience to achieve stunning results.

Do you do your own printing?

We control the quality of all the digital files for best colour and tone, with regularly colour calibrated technology. We work closely with a professional photography lab for consistently high quality photographic printing results. The time, care and attention to detail ensure you get great photos. By using a professional lab we ensure that the printed photos have the best chance of long term life without undue fading.

What digital manipulation do you perform?

We aim to offer you authentic images that are true to the original moment captured. The beauty and flair of our images are achieved in the way we take the original photo – by using the light, location, pose and composition rather than digital tricks.

We ensure that the digital quality controls of colour balance and tonal range are checked and adjusted to get the most pleasing result. Images may sometimes be ‘tidied’ if necessary – which may mean a slight softening of lines or skin blemishes where desirable.

As an additional option, to the original image, we may also present digitally enhanced photographs with artistic effects. At your request, we may also modify images to create a new photo, for example combining people from different photos or making significant changes to images at a small cost per image.

Can we check feedback from other customers?

Yes, we receive a great deal of positive feedback from our customers. You can view some of their comments in the testimonial section of the website.

Do you carry spare equipment?

Yes, we carry back up cameras and equipment, so that if ever a camera developed a fault we would have a fall back system ready to go.

How do we choose our photographs?

We aim to post your wedding photos on your website 2 weeks after the wedding. You can use the online options to select your chosen photos. Family and friends may also create their own independent reprint or album orders, please get them to contact us via the website for this.

When will we get our album?

Once we have received your final approval of proposed layout and which photos you would like, the album typically takes 4-6 weeks to be ready. In the case of special albums custom designed this may take longer and you will be advised accordingly.

What if we want photos in the future?

We archive all the images and keep backup copies for security. We intend to keep these images indefinitely so that you can come back for reprints many years after your wedding.

How much is a parent album?

Parent albums can be offered at a discounted price. These are great value because we have already completed the editing and quality control of images. For up to date prices please contact us.

How long will our photographs last?

Because we are using professional labs to do the final printing, we are using some of the best papers commercially available that are fade resistant and long lasting. We also archive your wedding images so if you ever loose or have an accident with your photos we can normally reproduce your images.

How else can we enjoy our photos?

We can offer various options for reprints, enlargements and framing. A popular request is for a multi frame where we can arrange several photos in one frame to create a great art piece for you home. We can also arrange thank you cards for your guests along with parent albums.

Do we have to have a wedding album? – can we just get a disc of images to print out ourselves?

You can do this and our packages do include this to keep costs down, however we do strongly recommend that you don’t get your own printing organised, the reason being that the quality of print you would get from an image on a disc would not be anything close to the professional quality we would produce from the same image. We have a very high reputation for quality and if you were to produce your own poor quality prints, not only would they look inferior but it would damage our reputation also.

Why do I have to pay for wedding photography before the wedding?

Most qualified photographers require full payment in advance of the wedding. Like all other professional services you are employing on the day, your venue, catering, flowers, DJ – payment is required on the day. Weddings are often very expensive affairs and funds are limited after the event, so these costs all need to be accounted for and settled before your wedding.

What is a pre-wedding Shoot?

A Pre-Wedding shoot, or engagement shoot, is a photo shoot before the wedding where you can get used to the camera, build confidence so you can relax on your wedding day. Also we will put the images online (password protected) and you can pick one to go in a frame for guests to sign around on the big day. The photo shoot will be at any location in the area. Let us know if you are interested in this and we can provide more details.

Our Wedding Location isn’t particularly scenic. Are you able to travel to a separate location for a photo shoot in-between the ceremony and reception?

Yes this is no problem. This depends on your wedding transport., but most providers are happy to do this if it is pre-arranged, and we are certainly more than happy to travel to multiple locations. Living near Brighton seafront we are often asked to take a trip to the beach to take photos of the wedding couple.

Will my guests be able to buy prints, other products or the disc of images after the wedding?

Yes. All images will be online with a chosen password by you. Prints are as low as £4.

What other wedding products do you offer?

As well as DVDs of images and various webbing albums we also offer:

o   Canvases of various sizes

o   Parents albums

o   Personal website address  for celebration of wedding

o   Prints (Framed or unframed) – various sizes

o   Posters

How can we send one of our wedding pictures into our local newspaper?

You are free to use your images for any purposes, your disk is provided to you copyright free.

I have a particular style of photography in mind, are you able to take similar photographs?

No problem, if you see images in bridal magazines that you like, bring them along to the pre-wedding meeting and we will do our best to reproduce them on the day.

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