When do I book a Wedding Photographer?

I have been asked this question over and over this year, “When do we get in touch again, when we need to book you?”

When I first started out in Wedding photography (5 years ago now) my answer to this question used to be “you want to book me for your wedding next summer? erm… anytime…. my diary is erm… not too cluttered… you should be okay…” I would then have had to go and buy a new diary…. as of course I had no idea what I’d be doing the following Summer!

Bride asleep Pendrell Hall

Luckily for me (and please don’t think I take this for granted) I could sleep soundly this year with a total of 35 weddings! Totally a dream come true.

Now my answer has changed to that question…. it’s never too early to enquire with the photographer that you want, about their availability. Some of my fellow photographers are booked up a whole year or two in advance! Personally, I have very limited availability for 2020 and 2021’s popular dates (Easter Holidays, Summer…Christmas!) are being snapped up!

I have just spent a really lovely hour with a couple who’s wedding at Redhouse Barn is booked for June 2021. We chatted about their plans, their likes and dislikes, weddings they have been guests at and noticed that some photographers are relaxed, easy going and got the job done… and THE OTHERS… they have heard horror stories of  photographers turning a newly married couples day into their Photo-shoot! Obviously with their day two years away not every detail is nailed down but they BOTH realise that photography is one of the most important aspects of organising a wedding and how important it is to choose the style of photography which suits you, very polished and staged, bright popping colour etc or muted tones, maybe candid, natural or earthy?

Of course how the photographer edits the images does depend on the time of year (light temperature for outside shots) what the venue looks like, style of the wedding etc and how the photographer puts together the story of the day. I have on my website a few real weddings (which my fabulous past brides and grooms have been good enough to let me publish) so that prospective clients can see how I cover the day as a whole (or at least a very good overview as I can’t post 500 images for every wedding!) I have chosen Spring, Summer, Winter weddings in different style venues from around England and Wales to showcase my style.

Most couples have their own ‘special images’ which they want captured. I encourage my clients to outline any important details which they do not want over looked. Sit down and talk to each other about the photographs, friends, family… images they have seen of newly-weds together, sunset images or night time using a flash to create a ‘halo’ (one of my favourite shots!!!)

I adore candid shots, it’s how I work best, sneaking about, photographing guests when they aren’t looking, natural smiles, capturing the actual wedding rather than a staged interpretation of the day.

Anyway… ‘stay on target Sam’

If you have a photographer in mind, call them, email them… it’s never too early. You may make someone’s night by just enquiring as to their availability! It’s so lovely to think that potential clients have seen my work and thought… “oooh I like that” you wont get a message back with my bank details and a contract form to fill in, as with all my clients I like to meet up for a cuppa and a chat first with no obligation to book so you can see that I may look scary but I am more or less harmless… if you feed me cake….. and Earl Grey Tea!

Collaborative shoot at Highbury Hall

Back in June 2018, I got together with a few of my favourite wedding suppliers  at Highbury Hall.

“Located only three miles from Birmingham city centre, Highbury Hall offers the best of both worlds. Excellent road and rail networks make it easily accessible, yet, with in a tranquil and secluded setting, you could be forgiven for thinking you were in the heart of the countryside”

This makes Highbury an ideal wedding location.

“Highbury Hall is the perfect wedding venue for up to 100 daytime guests for your civil ceremony and wedding breakfast with a further 60 guests for the evening reception”
Together with Make-up and Hair by Gemma, Toni from Lief Bridal, Judith of Pollen Floral Joy, Amy of Event Styling by Amy Victoria, Reana of Bee & The Bear Bakes and Kerry of Bouquet Chic Unique we got together to set up a photo-shoot for Highbury.

Gemma set to creating the beautiful flawless bridal look for our stunning model Miss Rosie Lea. She created a perfect ‘up do’ hairstyle with accessories by Kerry of Bouquet Chic Unique adding glitz and glamour with a beautiful crystal hair slide.

We were loaned stunning jewellery by Element Bespoke Jewellery, a wedding and engagement ring and a pair of white gold and diamond earrings. They specialise in wedding and engagement rings and hand-make all their commissions at their workshop in Birmingham’s Jewellery quarter.

Have you ever seen a more stunning model? thank you to Miss Rosie Lea for being our perfect bride!

Judith of Pollen Floral Joy created the most beautiful displays and bouquets for the shoot…

I think you will agree that Toni of Lief bridal made the best choice when it came to the dress and veil combination, it totally complimented the venue.

Amy of Event Styling by Amy Victoria decorated the beautiful balcony to make the most of the features of Highbury.

Judith made the most of the staircase with the stunning arrangements,

Top top the shoot off, Reana of Bee & the Bear Bakes created the most amazing cake inspired by the house and its decor… I have never seen such detail in a wedding cake.

Highbury is such a stylish venue, we really enjoyed working there and bringing our own ideas to the shoot. Thank you to Highbury |Hall for having us and from me personally to all my lovely talented friends for bringing your business knowledge to the table…

Marie & Darren ~ The Moat House (part 3)

It’s been so long since part 2 to my post on Marie & Darren’s wedding at The Moat House, Acton Trussell… this summer has been totally amazing and I have found myself totally unable to get into blogging! I will make a real effort now to get back into it.

once Marie & Darren had taken some time to talk with their guests, I took them for a walk around The Moat House grounds to take their couple shots. In the beautiful sunlight we managed to get some beautiful images.

Back at The Moat House, it was time for their Wedding breakfast with speeches first

time for gifts, friends and laughter…

time for all to gather around the cake,

take your places to watch the first dance…

thank you to Marie & Darren for letting me post some of their wedding images. X

Marie & Darren ~ The Moat House (part 2)

(part 2)

It was time for Marie to get into her stunning wedding gown

because Dad was ready to take her to the isle!

Marie was positively glowing and ready to finally marry Darren, so I got to the front to capture the moment she walked down the isle

lets take another look at that dress

we went straight outside for drinks and nibbles and group photos! paying close attention not to fall in the canal which runs along the side of the Moat House grounds

my total favourite confetti shots!

part 3 coming soon…

Marie & Darren ~ The Moat House, Acton Trussell

A beautiful sunny Saturday back in July I set out for The Moat House in Acton Trussell. Arriving in the bridal suite I set to capturing Marie and her Mum, Bridesmaids and a room full of children all egar to see the stunning bride… make-up artist Gemma Howard-Masters ( Make-up and hair by Gemma ) was putting the final touches to her perfect bridal look.

 

Marie had a lovely morning at The Moat House with bubbly and a few delicious doorstop sandwiches. Her best friends attempted to keep her away from the window when she spotted her fiance Darren!

Time to put on the dress…. a few details too….

 

part two coming soon….

Don’t put off what you can do today…

As this weekend sees the start of my insane summer of weddings… I want to remind you all that you can still take advantage of my current ‘Full Day/Platinum package’ price until September the 1st for any 2019/2020 date.

From September 1st my prices will be increasing for 2019 and will also include within my brochure, my 2020 prices, so I thought it only fair to remind anyone thinking of booking me…do so before September and you will save!

If you are looking for a photographer who wants 1…to capture your day, the real moments, the ‘vibe of the day’ 2…your real beauty, with a more candid or reportage style…. look no further, stop, I’m here!

Let’s meet up for a cuppa and discuss your big day!

Summer Family-Shoots

It’s at this time of the year, along with my hay fever…that I get lots of fabulous bookings for family photo-shoots.

I am so lucky that I have Warley Woods on my doorstep, a lot of the families who book me also have a special connection with Warley Woods, it’s such a fabulous retreat for all local residents…

I also like to photograph families in other locations and a new favourite of mine now has to be, The Confetti Flower Fields.

I’m really looking forwards to next Sunday, when I head back to the gorgeous field of flowers… to meet up with my families who have booked with me for this year.

I will be visiting the Confetti Cafe quite a few times too…. quite a few cakes will be eaten and cold drinks bought, especially when word is it’s going to be mega hot!

I’ll be there the following Sunday too… so I get to enjoy two beautiful days in the flowers….