Category Archives: Chichester photographer

Aperture Priority – The Best Shooting Mode for Wedding Photography

Aperture Priority Example

Control of Aperture is essential for making an image like this successful

“Real Professionals Shoot Manual”

If I had a penny for every time I had heard this in a photography forum, I could have given up wedding photography years ago and bought my own island. The sad fact is that photography forums are not really a great place to learn about photography. More often than not one or two ‘strong characters’ will voice an opinion and then their acolytes will repeat it until all opposition is crushed. Forums are more about clashes of egos than real photography advice, with one or two notable exceptions.  Often the best real world choice is worked out by photographers in the field, not armchair enthusiasts with an axe to grind. I have shot in manual mode only for prolonged stretches and I do still use it if that is the best option, but for wedding photography or anything where things can unfold quickly, I find aperture priority the best choice.

My Journey away from Manual Mode.

Like most young photographers who started shooting film, I was taught to shoot in manual mode and a separate light meter. I used black and white film and slide film. Slide film has a very low tolerance for exposure error so measuring light with an incident meter was a must. If you don’t know, an incident light meter measures the light falling on a subject and disregards its tone, so the reading is always accurate. In an ideal world this is the best choice, trouble is, this isn’t an ideal world!

I have always loved street photography, and it is something I have done for pleasure for many years, but more often than not the lighting conditions are not ideal. In many ways this was my training for becoming a wedding photographer. For years I shot in manual, mainly because I used a rangefinder (A Voightlander Bessa R) and it only had a manual mode. This was fine when the light was consistent but a total pain if it wasn’t. I would meter and set my camera up for sunlight only to miss shots in the shade or vice versa. On days with broken sunshine the light would be a constant frustration and I would have to constantly refer back to my meter. In the end I spent more time checking my light meter than I did shooting pictures and I knew something had to change.

When I switched to digital for my 35mm work I started to play around with my technique to suit the new equipment I was using. I found that the in camera metering was good enough. Most of the time, I could let it do its own thing and the exposures would dead on. I had enough experience to know when they wouldn’t be, and in those situations I would override the camera. I found that using aperture priority mode meant I spent more time looking for pictures and less time worrying about camera settings.

Aperture Priority

Aperture Priority (or Av Mode) – The Speed Of Auto, The control of Manual.

When I started shooting weddings, I found that my aperture setting was one of the main weapons in helping me turn the chaos of a wedding into beautiful images. Aperture choice is one of the main determining factors towards the look of a photograph, and use it to blur out the busy backgrounds that can ruin wedding shots. Weddings move fast, too fast for for fiddling around with your camera if the light changes, so a degree of automation is a real necessity. Here are the reasons why I prefer Aperture Priority over Manual in a wedding environment.

Most of the time it’s just not possible to use a separate meter.

If you a positioned at the back of the church during the ceremony and the light changes, you can hardly walk up the aisle, take a quick incident reading off the bride’s face and retire back to your station. If you are using the camera’s built in meter there is very little point in setting the camera manually when the camera would set itself to the same way automatically. If I feel that the camera has got it wrong I use exposure compensation. That way if the light levels drop the exposure will still be correct.

Aperture Priority gives me my main control over the look of an image.

Depth of field can have a decisive effect on the look of an image. F2.8 will look very different to F11. Once the shutter is fast enough to freeze motion you can’t tell the difference between 1/500th and 1/2000th so Shutter Priority mode does not offer the same aesthetic control especially as your aperture will change in variable light and change the look of the images.

Modern Camera Meters Are Good Enough (Most of the Time).

Modern camera meters will get exposure right 95% of the time, so not using it can almost feel like an affectation. Weddings are hard work and it makes sense to let technology help you where appropriate.

I Can Concentrate on Image Making not Technicalities.

The less I have to worry about technical concerns, the more I concentrate on creativity. Ultimately creativity is what people are hiring me for, so I make sure I’m not getting to bogged down in the technical side of things. I’ve some up with a simple way of working that I can rely on and I stick to that.

Events move Quickly, and I Need to Capture them.

I’m not a fan of making the bride and groom repeat anything. I think you can tell when something is fake so I treat every event at a wedding as a one shot deal. That means I have to think fast, be flexible and react to things as they happen. I don’t have time to keep fiddling with my camera, so aperture priority gives me the perfect balance of control and automation.

It’s better in low light.

I can often find myself at the ragged edge of low light capability at weddings. If things are getting tricky, I use aperture priority to decide what needs to be in focus in the frame and then adjust ISO to get a usable shutter speed. This way I’m always at the best ISO I can get away with.

 

In Conclusion (and some Caveats)

I have stopped using manual mode for fast paced situations, but one of the reasons I can use aperture priority successfully is I have enough experience to know when the camera is likely to be caught out. If you are a beginner or intermediate who wants to take his or her photography more seriously, I still recommend a prolonged length of time learning to use manual mode on your camera. Too often today, workshops and online tutorials try to persuade you that photography is easy and you don’t have to know the technical stuff. Well unfortunately there is no such thing as a free lunch, and understanding photography at its most basic is still a necessary grounding in the craft of image making. Aperture priority is a great tool but it is not a replacement for a good photographic brain. The real skill in photography is learning what to do in a myriad of circumstances, and choosing the best compromise to suit the situation.

 

Happy Shooting!

Toby

I work throughout Sussex as a Wedding Photographer and Portrait Photographer.

I try to update my blog every week with useful advice for photographers and clients. If you would like to be kept up to date, like my Facebook Page.

 

 

 

 

 

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Southend Barns Wedding Venue Guide

Southend BarnsSouthend Barns opened in the summer of 2012. Since then it has firmly established itself at the very top rung of wedding venues in Chichester. It is located in Donnington, a village to the just to south of the city. This is a 10 minute drive or taxi ride from central Chichester. It is an ideal location if you will have a lot of guests staying in hotels in the area.

The venue itself consists of  three main areas. The Dairy Barn, which is the ceremony room with a capacity of 150. The Threshing Barn, which accommodates 150 for seated dining, and 200 for the evening reception. And finally the Milking Parlour which is a luxurious bridal suite. These buildings surround a large well tended lawn as well as a covered outside area named the Collecting Yard. The covered outside area is a great addition to a barn venue and unique in the Chichester area as far as I know. It is big enough to shoot small to medium sized group photos under. This makes the venue a lot more weather proof  (not that it ever rains in Sussex!) and the area is heated by a lovely wood burning fire on winter days or chilly evenings. The standard of decor throughout the venue is beautiful and well thought out. White walls and pale wood make the Dairy Barn feel light, airy and modern without losing any of its period charm. Exposed woodwork and high ceilings make the Threshing Barn an impressive sight for all your guests. The Collecting Yard has a really excellent level of furnishing for an outdoor area, and you could happily sit out there for hours.

Southend Barns

Southend Barns’ Collecting Yard and Gardens has a large sheltered area. Excellent back up if the weather is not ideal.

Southend Barns attention to detail is second to none.

From a wedding photographer’s point of view it is a very straightforward venue to work at, the decor has been well thought out and the attention to detail is excellent. I don’t think there is a single part of the venue that doesn’t make a nice backdrop to photos. Everything is close together so guests are always on hand for group photos. The gardens are divided up so you can photograph the bride and groom without all the guests looking on. This makes the couple far more relaxed, and really helps the photos.

Southend Barns

Just one of the many little corners that are great for photographing couples.

If you look on my Featured Weddings Page you can see James and Amanda’s wedding at Southend Barns in its entirety.

Milking Parlour

The Dairy Barn is bright airy and modern, The ideal venue for your ceremony.

Visit Southend Barns website.

 

Toby

I am a West Sussex Wedding Photographer. I also shoot  portraits and commercial work

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Also posted in Brighton wedding photographer, Chichester wedding photographer, wedding photographer, wedding photography

George and Leah’s Wedding, Upwaltham Barns.

 

gl1003

George and Leah got married right in the middle of last summer’s heatwave at Upwaltham Barns, right in the heart of the beautiful South Downs. I know how hard it can be to shoot in very hot weather, so my camera bag was weighed down as much by water bottles as it was by lenses. I liberally applied sunblock as well, as it is very easy to get burnt to a crisp without even realising it on days like this as I have learnt to my cost in the past. There is nothing worse than shooting groups, you start to feel that you are getting burnt, and there is nothing you can do about it!

Upwaltham Barns Wedding

I was particularly lucky at this wedding that I got an opportunity to shoot with George and Leah as the evening light  drew in and we got some really beautiful shots. One of the biggest challenges for a wedding photographer is dealing with available light, whether it is a gloomy Saxon church or shooting groups in the middle of the day. I have my tricks and things I’ve picked up over the years that help make the best of any situation, but a photographer has no greater ally than good light, and no light is better than the golden sunshine of a summer’s evening.

Upwa;ltham Barns Wedding

 

 

 

 

 

Ihave worked at Upwaltham Barns many times

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Also posted in Brighton wedding photographer, Chichester portrait photographer, Chichester wedding photographer, Sussex wedding photographer, Wedding Photographer Chichester, west sussex

How to Conquer Wedding Day Stress

Wedding Day StressWeddings are a big deal. That doesn’t mean that your day has to be overwhelmed by wedding day stress. Here are some simple tips to help you enjoy your wedding day to its maximum.

You are not alone.

I get nervous at the beginning of a wedding day. I worry about what could go wrong, what the weather will be like, or a guest straying into the shot at a never to be repeated moment. I worry because I want things to be perfect and you wedding photos to be the best they can be. I’m sure the caterers get nervous, the florist worries and the vicar prays he won’t fluff his sermon. Your wedding photographer, florist and event managers are probably just as emotionally invested as you are that the day goes well, so don’t think the responsibility rests just on your shoulders.  We all care about this stuff as much as you do.

Delegate. Delegate. Delegate.

Try to share the load of organisation with your wedding professionals and your friends and family. The more things that you delegate the easier your day becomes. Remember friends and family members love to be involved and are often flattered to be asked, so take advantage of this and everyone benefits.

Take time for yourself

Weddings can often seem like a never ending stream of people to say hello to and keep happy. Make sure your take five minutes here and there for yourself. Perhaps five minutes on your own before the ceremony or a short stop in the wedding car on the way back from the church.  A quiet moment to pause and appreciate the day can give you that all important inner calm that will stop your day going by in a blur.

Remember you can’t control everything.

Try not to worry about things you can’t control. I have photographed weddings in all weathers and rarely has the day been spoiled by a spot of rain or a chilly wind. Weddings are robust occasions and you’ll be surprised by your guests determination to have a good time. Couples often worry about family disharmony, especially if their parents have separated. I have shot dozens of weddings where the bride or groom’s parents have divorced, and there has never been a problem. The people that love you will find a way to call a truce when they now how important the day is to you.

The more you plan, the more stress free the day is.

Having a well worked out schedule can take a lot of the stress out of the wedding day. It might seem counter intuitive, but a well organised day feels more relaxed. Knowing what you are doing and when  is essential. Make sure all your wedding professionals tell you how long things will take , and make sure they are the kind of professional that is honest enough to tell you when things aren’t possible. At the sketchier end of the market suppliers will tell you anything to get your business, and then let you down on the big day. Make sure you have experienced professionals who know how everything works.

Remember your main objective.

As I have said to a lot of nervous brides as they get ready, as long as you finish the day married, the day has been a success. Nothing else really matters that much. So don’t let wedding day stress spoil your day. Enjoy the first day of the rest of your life with the person that you love.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Also posted in Advice for Clients, Chichester wedding photographer, Sussex wedding photographer, wedding photographer, Wedding Photographer Chichester, Wedding photographer reportage photojournalist brighton chichester., Wedding Photographer Sussex, wedding photography

10 Tips to help your Group Wedding Photos Run Smoothly

Group Wedding Photo

Group wedding photos are one of the potential logistical pitfalls at a wedding. They normally take place between the ceremony and the wedding breakfast, and  involve a lot of different shots compressed into a relatively short time frame. If things don’t run smoothly, guests get bored, caterers start to get anxious, and it can kill the atmosphere of the wedding.

Ideally, all your group shots should be agreed with your photographer at your wedding planning meeting. I usually advise my clients to set aside about 45 minutes for group photographs. Most wedding schedules allow between one and two hours between the ceremony and the wedding breakfast, around an hour and a half would be the average. So if you allow 20 mins after the wedding for everyone to have a drink and congratulate the newlyweds, 5 or 10 minutes or so to corral everyone for a confetti shot you generally have a total of one hour to fit photos into. I don’t like to schedule all of this time as it is important to have a bit of leeway in case people disappear or are just difficult to round up.  I prefer to work pretty quickly and keep things moving. Your guests’ enthusiasm can start to wane as you approach the hour mark. Luckily there are plenty of things you can do to make sure this part of the wedding runs smoothly, and is enjoyable for you and your guests. These are my top ten tips to ensure group photos don’t become a chore that frustrates you and bores your guests.

1.Make Sure You Have a List.

The first step into making sure your group photos run smoothly is to agree a list of photos with your wedding photographer beforehand. Your photographer can guide you as to how long he thinks it will take and advise you if you have missed anything. If you are pressed for time in your wedding schedule the best way to make sure you run to time is to not have too many small variations in your list, or combine related shots into one larger group. For example, shoot bridesmaids and ushers as one group instead of photographing them separately. I always bring two or three hard copies if the list to each wedding. One for me and another for whoever is helping me round people up.

2. Start with large groups and gradually send people away.

It’s usually best to start off with the largest groups as people are easier to round up just after the ceremony, and less likely to have wandered off. Also guests tend to be smartest early on in the wedding, and loosen ties and take off jackets as the day goes on. Things like that can be hard to spot in a group of 120 people! Whittle the groups down so that immediate family and closest friends are last, as they are usually the most invested in having photos taken with you.

wedding photography in west sussex

3. Ushers and Bridesmaids are Best for Rounding People Up.

I like to have someone to round up the the next group of guest while I am concentrating on the current shot. This should be someone who knows who most of the guests are. So if I say I need Auntie Mavis for the next photo, someone who knows what she looks like can go and fetch her. That’s why it is best to get an usher or bridesmaid to be the shot wrangler, it makes things a lot quicker.

 4. Can People get Refreshments while they are Waiting?

Whenever possible it is better to shoot groups at the wedding reception where guests can get refreshments while waiting to be photographed. If I shoot group photos at the church I tend to work to a fairly short list and then complete them at the reception venue, especially in the height of the summer when people can be waiting around in the hot sun without access to water. This is especially true if you have older guests or small children in the wedding party.

wedding photographer in west sussex

5. Prioritise Older Guests.

If you have elderly family members at your wedding make sure they are photographed quickly and are not left standing around for obvious reasons. If you can make sure there is a place to sit nearby, so much the better.

6. Keep your Shooting Location close to the Wedding Guests.

This can be a real time saver. If the groups are shot even two minutes from where everyone is gathering it will take a minimum of four minutes to find that missing person or go and get a missing bouquet. This time can really add up if you are shooting 20 groups. Always make sure that your shooting location makes logistical sense as well as being nice to look at.

sussex wedding photographer

7. Make allowances for complicated family situations.

It is sometimes the case that a bride or grooms parents might be divorced or remarried. Often both birth and step parents are attending the wedding. In situations like this make sure your photographer knows exactly who is who so he or she doesn’t inadvertently cause offense or embarrassment. Sometimes this means shooting extra groups so that everyone feels valued and included, other times it just means carefully arranging individuals so no one feels uncomfortable.

 

8. If your list is too long – split it up.

There is nothing that says you have to shoot all of your group photos in one long session. You can just as easily break the list down and shoot groups at different times during the day. Groom and Bridal parties before the ceremony, family after the ceremony, and friends after the meal can work well. Breaking group sessions down into 10 minute chunks can make the a lot more manageable.

9. Make sure you have a plan for bad weather.

If you are unlucky and it rains on your wedding day, having a contingency plan will worth its weight in gold. You might be able to use an indoor space or have a decent supply of umbrellas, but having a plan will put your mind at ease. Nothing guarantees that it won’t rain on your wedding day like buying half a dozen white umbrellas!

10. Enjoy Yourself

I often tell my clients it’s my job to worry and your job to enjoy yourself. Do all your planning beforehand and then let the professionals at your wedding look after you, that’s what we’re all here for. From my point of view the happier the wedding party is, the easier it is to take great photos of them. Keeping you happy makes my job much easier!

 

Tobias Key is a wedding photographer in Chichester, West Sussex. My dedicated wedding photography website is wedding.tobiaskey.com

 

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Portrait Photography Tips – How to Prepare for Your Portrait Session

 

Portrait Photography Tips

Portrait Photography is a team effort. You might have searched long and hard for a portrait photographer, and might love his work, but there are still things you can do as a client that will make sure your photographs as good as they possibly can be. These simple portrait photography tips will help you get the most out of your photographer. When I take a booking from clients, I like to go through this simple check list with them that ensures they arrive looking great, feeling fresh and are ready to shoot!

Scheduling the Portrait Session.

One of the most critical things to ensuring a portrait session runs smoothly is making sure it is scheduled at a time where your children are well rested and fed and if we’re shooting outdoors, that the light is good. The best light for photographs is in the morning or afternoon, generally it is best to avoid the harsh light in the middle of the day. For small children morning is usually better. If you want to shoot outdoors I normally confirm everything a few days before, if the weather is not looking good I try to reschedule a date within two weeks of the original one. In cases of illness, it’s usually best to reschedule too unless it is a family get together that can’t easily be repeated.

How to Dress

I don’t like to have too many firm rules about how to dress for a portrait sitting, but these are some guidelines that can help. It’s a good idea to wear solid colours and to make sure everyone co-ordinates but doesn’t match too closely, if it is overdone it can look a bit false, like a cross between a catalogue and a religious cult!

Avoid patterned clothes like narrowly striped shirts or herringbone patterns as they can cause funny optical effects at certain print sizes. Logos have a tendency to date quickly so it’s wise to be cautious with them. If you are buying new outfits for your children check that they are comfortable in them beforehand, and that shoes don’t rub. This is particularly important with small children who won’t able to soldier through a shoot, they’ll be unhappy and they’ll let everyone know in no uncertain terms!

If possible keep some changes of clothes handy just in case, and remember to dress for the weather, don’t wear clothes that will make you sweat in the summer, or freeze half to death in the winter. Make sure that if you shooting in cooler weather you have enough clothes to keep warm while setting up or between shots. It can often be cooler than you think in exposed areas, and if you’re just waiting for the light to change or moving to a new location, the cold can quickly catch up with you.

Remember – if it looks a bit creased in the mirror, it will look very creased in a photograph, make sure your clothes are well ironed and sit well on your frame.

Grooming and Make up

If you want to get your hair cut for the shoot, it’s best to do it a week before the shoot date, the same for any beauty treatments liable to leave you looking blotchy. Natural make up is best, remember that photography tends to enhance colour and contrast so heavy make up is best avoided and spray tans need time to fade a little. Small blemishes, cuts or spots are easily removed in photoshop, so if a pimple appears on the morning of the shoot don’t panic! As a portrait photographer I prefer the more natural look. Family portraits could well be up on your wall for many years to come so it is best to be slightly conservative in how they are styled.

Drinks and Snacks

It’s a good idea to have a supply of drinks and snacks for younger children, it keeps them happy and can be used as bribes if need be! Remember not to bring anything too messy that could bring the session a sudden halt.

Have Fun!

If small children are involved make sure you tell them how much fun you’re going to have and what a treat it will be. Children pick up on things quickly and if you issue dire warnings about bad behaviour or offer them bribes for being good beforehand, they will think of a photo shoot the same way they think of a trip to the dentist. Emphasise that the shoot will a fun experience, that they can play and run around, and that there is no pressure to pose and stay stock still. I try not to shoot children’s portraits under time pressure, so there is plenty of time for young ones to warm up during a portrait session. I’ve shot enough portraits to know not to panic if I don’t get a great shot straight away, sometimes everyone has to work your their way into the shoot. It’s important that children don’t feel pressured into performing, as it can really knock their confidence and makes them uncomfortable. Better to just be patient. The great shots will come with time.

Follow these simple tips and you will get photos that you’ll really love and your family will enjoy the experience too!

I have a dedicated portrait photography site with lots of great examples of portrait photography I’ve shot around Chichester and West Sussex.

 

 

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Portrait in the Sussex Downs

Portrait Chichester

I was asked by a new magazine to supply this image for an article they were doing on country fashion. It is a photo I made a while back for a local fashion designer, but after negotiating a fee and digging the image out from one of my many archived hard drives I set about giving it a fresh bit of retouching and sent it off to the magazine. Which then promptly told me they weren’t going to launch after all…

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Wedding Photography Styles Explained

Wedding Photography in Bosham

You’ve chosen your date, booked your venue and started shopping for dresses. Now you’re looking for a wedding photographer. There are a lot of styles of wedding photography out there, and while people in the industry might know these styles inside out they be confusing for couples.  Remember as well that not only are you picking a style of photography, but different types of wedding photography can make different demands on your time on your wedding day.

When picking the style of photography you want at your wedding your choice boils down to three things. What style of images you want, how long you want to spend with a photographer on your wedding day, and most importantly of all your own personality and comfort in front of the camera.

There are plenty of different photography buzzwords out there. Vintage, editorial, artistic or contemporary are just a few. Perhaps more confusingly they are used by different photographers in different ways. Ultimately it is up to couples to ask plenty of questions and do plenty of research before picking a photographer, and to rely on seeing full set of photos from completed weddings Do  not  rely on the  best five or six shots from several weddings to make a choice.

Wedding photography styles are a compromise between producing fantastic work and keeping to a timetable. A photographer might produce brilliant photos, but if he takes too long to produce them you probably won’t enjoy the experience.

Traditional (or Posed) Wedding Photography

Upwaltham Barns 2

A lot of people think of traditional wedding photography as endless stuffy group photos where everyone looks stiff as a board. Worse still, the different collections of people seem to go on forever. I think there is a fashion to be down on traditional wedding photography, but the actual working framework is still the same for most wedding photographers. The photographs may be more stylish but the actual experience on the day for the bride and groom is very similar.

There is always a trade off between the type of work a photographer does and the time it takes to shoot it. More formal posed photographs will take longer to set up and achieve. Any photographer who produces artistic posed work will need a certain amount of time to produce his best work. It is important that you find out how much time he will need, and work out how it will fit into your day. There are photographers who spend a couple of hours on formal shots. Make sure you are happy with giving over that amount of time on your wedding day. If you are not that comfortable in front of the camera you may find this type of photography more difficult. A good photographer should be able to help you and put you at your ease but for many individuals it can still seem a bit daunting.

Reportage Wedding Photography (Wedding Photojournalism)

Wedding Photography

If traditional is all about posed photographs, then reportage wedding photography is the opposite. It relies on capturing moments as they happen, and is more like a fly on the wall documentary. This form of wedding photography means that the photographer spends most of his time in the background, and so has become increasingly popular with couples. Weddings are also increasingly less formal than they used to be. Documentary wedding photography demands a different skill set from traditional wedding photography so you have to make sure that your photographer has the correct photographic background and can show you full weddings to back this up. Wedding photojournalism is more about a complete set of pictures from the whole day than a set of a dozen highlights. There are photographers out there who will jump on the latest bandwagon to gain business, but still use the same old style they always have. Wedding photojournalism is all about anticipation and being in the right place at the right time. It is not about closely directing people, so it puts many traditional wedding photographers outside of their skill set. There are some less ethical photographers who will use the latest buzzwords to improve their search engine presence, but still shoot the same tired old pictures.

If you are reticent about having your photo taken, wedding photojournalism is probably your best choice. The photography happens without you really realizing and you’ll look your natural best.

Although these two approaches might appear polar opposites, in reality most wedding photographers will offer a blend of these two styles. There are not many wedding photojournalists who don’t shoot at least some formal photographs and traditional wedding photographers will shoot informal pictures as well.  Find out what proportion of each a photographer likes to shoot, and better still ask them what they like to shoot the most – chances are this is what they are best at.

Vintage Wedding Photography

Vintage wedding photography is a style that has been coming into vogue recently, but in lots of ways its a hard one one to quantify. Vintage can mean anything from using old film cameras during some of the wedding to just a different approach to post production to produce ‘vintage’ looking digital files. There are some great photographers out there, but bear in mind that if you are receiving files that are heavily edited in a certain style, you run the risk of your photos looking rather dated a few years later. If I was hiring a vintage style photographer, I personally would want at least some of the wedding shot on film, I’m not a huge fan of faking things. As always ask questions, see examples and make an informed decision.

Editorial Wedding Photography

This wedding genre is inspired by the fashion editorials of glossy magazines, at it’s best it can produce fantastic high-end images. To produce this successfully on a wedding day the photographer needs to be highly organised, and would probably need an assistant to help set up some of the shots in advance, although that would depend on his or her style. Do your research to make sure that the time requirements for this type of shoot fit in with your plans. If you really like this type of photography but don’t want to devote too much time to it on your wedding day, consider booking a separate photo session after the wedding. Often describes as a trash or cherish the dress shoot, a separate photo session might be the best way to get the wedding day you want and the photographs you’ll love without losing a huge chunk of your wedding day. It also means that you and your photographer can pick the ideal time of day for the right light and you have scope for rescheduling if it’s pouring with rain. In many countries, particularly the US, high end wedding photography is evolving towards three shoots: the engagement shoot, the wedding day, and an editorial session. Don’t necessarily think that it all has to be done in one day.

Artistic or Fine Art Wedding Photography

Essentially an evolution of traditional wedding photography, this type of photography offers a contemporary take on the traditional set of posed photographs, although these are both terms that have been somewhat over used by the photographic community, so again do your research. At its best this genre can produce moving romantic images, but some photographers can over use the same poses, so it can feel a bit impersonal. Ask to see lots of shoots and don’t be afraid to input your own ideas at your pre-wedding meeting.

 

Conclusions

There are lot of styles of photographer out there, but the main thing is to look beyond the catchy buzzwords and look long and hard at portfolios. Ultimately it is the competence of the photographer you are hiring that really matters. Experience, personal service and professionalism are what ensure a consistent standard of photography from wedding to wedding, and the consistency and ability to deal with the different shooting conditions that present themselves throughout a wedding day. Their portfolio should show a good balance of shots from bridal preparations to the first dance. Ask questions about how much time they will need to complete those all important formal and couples shots, and work out how much time you are happy to give. Even with more observational styles, planning and communication before the wedding is vital to get the best results and to get them efficiently. Keep to the guidelines and you are sure to have a memorable wedding day with photos to match.

 

About my Wedding Photography Style

I work as a Wedding Photographer in Sussex, Hampshire and Surrey.

I predominantly work in the reportage style, but pride myself on being able to produce great formal pictures as well. I talk to couples and try to work with them so they get the right balance of photos they need, so sometimes I shoot hardly any formals while other times I’ll shoot an extra session of couples shots after the wedding breakfast. I’ve always found this to be a good way of breaking up the more formal pictures into manageable chunks of time, and the light is a lot better then anyway. I have had a lot of experience in both weddings and editorial/commercial work which has helped me gain a more flexible style, and to get the perfect balance between great results and the time taken to get them.

You can read more about my wedding packages or check out my portfolio.

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Also posted in Advice for Clients, Brighton wedding photographer, Chichester wedding photographer, Customer information, Sussex wedding photographer, Uncategorized, Wedding Photographer Chichester

I need a wedding photographer – but I don’t like having my picture taken!

There's no point hiding behind that flower. At some point I'm going to have to take your photo

There’s no point hiding behind that flower. At some point I’m going to have to take your photo

It may seem surprising, but for many of  the couples I work with, at least one of them will be nervous about having their picture taken. One of my main jobs as a wedding photographer is putting people at their ease, or at least making them a bit less nervous! You can have all the photography skills in the world, but when you’re working with people, especially people who may not of worked with a professional photographer before, interpersonal skills are even more important. Building a good relationship with my clients is essential to building trust, and if the people I working with trust me to do a good job, it will help them to relax.

If you are getting married soon these are my top tips if you are nervous  about being photographed.

Enjoy your Day

The simplest and best tip of all. You’ll love your wedding day and that joy will be written all over your face. Every couple I’ve photographed has had this particular glow about them, a combination of happiness and excitement that photographs really well. Your wedding is not just another day and the photos you receive will reflect that.

Most of the Time you Won’t even Know you’re being Photographed.

Most of the pictures I shoot at a wedding are not posed pictures. Most of the time while I’m taking pictures while you’re doing something else, little things like declaring you wedding vows or walking down the aisle!  A lot of the time you are not even aware of being photographed, so the photos are natural . These photos are also more ‘real’. nervous grooms look nervous, emotional mums cry and children try to take it all in. The fact that I’m telling a story rather than trying to create too many posed images means there’s less onus on the bride and groom to pull a happy face and pose for the camera. It’s a win-win. You get to enjoy your wedding day and get great pictures in the process.

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You are Going to Look your Absolute Best.

Remember that this isn’t just another day. Everyone is going to be dressed to the nines, hairdressers and make make up artists are going to polish you to perfection. You are going to look fantastic. On a day when you are going to look so great it isn’t it important to have a record of it? That’s what your photographer is there for.

Your Photographer is there to Help you.

As a wedding photographer, people tell me that they are nervous about being photographed all the time. Many couples will have never hired a professional photographer before, so don’t realise that being photographed by a professional photographer is very different to being photographed by friends or family. A professional photographer will know how to help you look your best and will offer advice and help where needed. Professional photographers tend to use telephoto lenses for portraits too so they’ll be further away which will help you feel more comfortable. I have photographed people of all shapes, ages and sizes, so very little throws me and I have plenty of experience of making all sorts of different people look their best. Unlike an amateur, I’ll be familiar with my local venues and where the best photo opportunities are. I have literally hundreds of weddings under my belt. I am here to help. If you have a side you prefer being photographed from or a feature you’d like minimised just tell me and I’ll oblige. Woken up with a spot or blemish on the big day? That’s what Photoshop is for.

Make sure you get a shoot before your wedding day

Preparation is key. That is why I always like to shoot with my couples before their wedding day. It can be an engagement shoot or a pre-wedding meeting at your venue, but I always like to photograph couples before their wedding day. That’s where I get a sense of how they are in front of the camera, and what I have to do to make you look you best. There is a time for coaching couples how to be photographed and that time is not your wedding day. By arranging a separate date with no time pressure, I can show couples how to stand, what to do with their hands and all the other things that turn an awkward photo into a great one. It also helps couples because by working with me beforehand they can see what I can do to make them look great, so they’ll trust me to do a good job on the day. They’ll relax a little bit more and worry a little less. That in itself makes the pictures better.

 

With a little planning and a bit of practice there is no reason why even the most photo-phobic bride or groom can’t have brilliant photos of their wedding day. The main thing is to communicate those fears to your photographer so he can help you. There are lots of things he can do to make your experience less stressful, and help you look your best. Remember photographers need great photos for their portfolios as much as you want them for your wedding album, so they’ll always be happy to help.

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Also posted in bride portraits, Sussex wedding photographer, Uncategorized Tagged , , , |

Wedding Venue Guide – Upwaltham Barns

Upwaltham Barns is a Sussex wedding venue about 8 miles outside Chichester, on the A285 towards Petworth. It comprises of three main buildings. The East Barn, which is the ceremony venue. The South Barn is  for the wedding breakfast and has an adjoining bar. Jasmine Cottage provides accommodation for the bride and groom to get ready and stay overnight in. This is all set in an absolutely stunning part of the South Downs, and there is access to the surrounding area to provide stunning photos in this beautiful landscape. Most of the weddings I have attended here have been around the 120 mark and it can certainly cope with that number of guests in some style.

Upwaltham Barns 2Upwaltham Barns

The great thing about venues like this is they really make the logistics of your wedding much simpler. The bride is able to get ready there, and there is no travelling between the church and the reception venue. That means that you and your guests get a relaxed day. You do not have to worry about about whether they can park near the church or what the traffic will be like on the way to the reception.

Catering is done in house by Nibbles2Nosh.  I’ve personally found the food is always excellent and the staff have always looked after me. Something that always really appreciated by us hard working photographers!

Upwaltham Barns _MG_0323Cla

I’ve always liked the feel of the venue, they always give a really personal service to every couple, and it never feels like anyone is just another client, which is some achievement when you think how many weddings a venue like this will do in a year. Upwaltham Barns have maintained consistent and very high standards for  as long as I have been photographing there.

Upwaltham Barns Website

 

I work as a full time Wedding Photographer in the West Sussex area, I also shoot Portrait Photography and Commercial Photography

Happy Shooting!

Toby

 

 

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Also posted in Chichester wedding photographer, Sussex wedding photographer, wedding photographer, Wedding Photographer Sussex, wedding photography, Wedding Venues