5 Basic mistakes couples make

1. Under Appreciating the Importance of Photography.

You should maximise your budget, you should put a lot of importance on your wedding photography. Why? At the end of your special day the cake will be eaten, the flowers will wilt, the venue will be cleared and all you will have are memories. What better way is there to capture and hold those memories so you can show family, friends, grand children, than through images.

We hear a lot of brides focusing on creating their dream wedding, focused on getting everything perfect, but they forget that it is for just one day, and they don’t think or maximise their budget and employ a wedding photographer to capture their day, their perfect wedding they have dreamt about and spent months planning and creating.

Make sure you capture your day and your perfect wedding. It is the one think you will have when your day is over that will last forever.

2. Last Minute Bookings & Disappointment

You have set your budget for your photography, you have maximised it the best you can so you can afford the best photographer you can get. All ticks so far, however you leave it, you don’t make a decision and then when you realise you still need to hire someone, you can be left disappointed when the wedding photographers you wished you had hired are fully booked on your day.

As with your wedding venue, as soon as your wedding venue and the date is confirmed, you should be booking your wedding photographer. No matter what your budget the best wedding photographers will be taking bookings up to 2 years in advance, so don’t wait a couple of months before your big day and be surprised they are booked up.

My advice is as soon as you have your date and venue, get your photographer and get them booked

3. Photo Lists

When you pick and hire your perfect wedding photographer you pick them because you love their style, you pick them because you feel comfortable working with them, and you pick them because you trust them.

If there are a few nice shots you would like, family shots, mum and bride etc then let your photographer know, but don’t tell and show them every photo you would like. You are hiring them because you trust them, because you have seen full albums of work and love their style. There is no need to give them a long list of shots you want, trust them to do their job and capture moments that even you won’t have thought about, or even expected to happen let alone be captured. Let your wedding photographer capture real moments and use their years of experience to produce the best story of your day.

4. Pockets… empty your pockets.

I’m are talking about grooms, the best men, in fact anyone that has pockets, do you want your wedding photos of your groom or guests with bulging pockets, shots of them with their wallet, keys and phone imprinted on the side of their trousers. I thought not If you are the groom do you need your wallet? Do you need your keys? And if the most important people in your life are there with you on this special day then why would you need your phone? So empty your pockets and enjoy the day, store them somewhere safe and forget about them

5. Put your phone away

Always an interesting topic but we feel wedding photos can easily be ruined by shots of the bride and groom walking down the isle to a sea of camera phones being held up too. Weather you ask your guests not to do it or not, perhaps ask them to have a cut off point, you can take photos if you wish up to this time, then please put your phone and camera away and enjoy the rest of the day with us.

These are just 5 things that I hear about when it come to wedding photography and mistake and stories I have found out about with couples. So make sure you consider and think about these so you don’t fall down these traps and make the same mistakes.

Do I choose my Photographer on Price, Quality or Personality?

As far as products and albums go, ALL photographers carry the similar albums, we generally use the same labs and design tools. Yes, some photographers will argue that their albums, or prints or design is better and yes it might be to some degree but essentially it’s all similar. If your photographer doesn’t carry a product you saw some where else they can get it. Don’t base your decision on a product, base it solely on the work and the personality. The only thing you, as a client you need to see is that the work you love is consistent across a few years of weddings and that they have been shooting long enough to truly have the skill set and not just be pointing the camera with a “spray and pray” mentality that they might walk away with the shot. Do your research! Look through the entire site, check out their social media pages, look for real reviews and any awards for the photographer. Disregard all the hype, the fancy websites, the marketing materials etc. Do you like the work he presents to you? Do you think its value for your money he is going to charge you? If so take a meeting and find out if you think the personality amazes you as well as its so important that both of you get on with your photographer.

To me it’s all about the work and building a relationship. It doesn’t mean that my way is the best way, it’s just how I do things. I have one of the greatest jobs in the world, I get to drink my coffee at home and not in traffic, I get to travel different locations within the UK and some times abroad seeing amazing locations. I get to photograph people on the happiest days of their lives. It’s not just a job, it’s a lifestyle and taking the wrong clients is just as bad for me as it is for them. Meeting them in person ensures that we have a connection, email just won’t cut it, so my advice is meet the photographer, like him, like his work book him ASAP, as photographers only carry out one wedding per day book early usually 12 months in advance -delay and you maybe dissapointed and have to take second best.

Why not contact me and arrange a 45minute presentation in your own home?

The Best Wedding Magazine

County Brides wedding magazine – has everything you will need for the perfect wedding. Full of ideas and features for the bride and bridegroom and, unlike other wedding magazines, it is not just packed with adverts for wedding services, but helpful articles and advice for brides and bridegrooms to be. It includes the very latest in bridal and bridesmaid fashion, menswear, hints and tips for the bridegroom, honeymoon ideas and much, much more.
For more information visit http://www.countybrides.com
County Brides wedding fayres – we organise a series of wedding fayres, with many of the Northwest’s leading wedding suppliers on hand to offer advice and hints and tips for your special day. Each wedding fayre has catwalk shows featuring, wedding dresses, bridesmaid dresses, mother of the bride and menswear.
For more information visit http://www.countybrides.com/cb/fayres-events/
County Brides wedding awards – vote for the suppliers that went the extra mile to make sure that your wedding day was the day of your dreams.
To vote visit http://www.countybrides.com/awards
Everything you need to know about planning a wedding from wedding experts.

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Wedding Fayres

Dates for your diary where I will be in the coming weeks;

17th Feb. 2013 Waterside Warrington 12 till 3pm

3rd. March 2013 Walton Hall, Walton Gardens Warrington 12till 3pm.

ABBEYWOOD ESTATE WEDDING FAYRE 23rd February 2013
Delamere Cheshire CW8 2HS.

Park Royal Hotel, Stretton Warrington 12 till 4pm.

Please come along and say hello and chat about your wedding.

Choosing a Photographer

Tips on Choosing a Photographer.

1. Experience Level – Has this person photographed other weddings? Does he/she do this for a living or a part time income? Does he/she belong to any Professional Bodies In this industry, photographers come and go daily. A brand new one may be good, and everyone has to start somewhere, but do you want to trust your once in a lifetime event to a newcomer?

2. Photographic Style – Are the images that you are shown his work? what you would like to see? Can you picture yourself photographed the same way?

Is there a satisfactory mix in different styles? There are “buzz” words flying about everywhere about photojournalism, formal, classic contemporary, and so on. All colorful adjectives aside; do YOU like it?

3. Truth in Advertising – Is this the photographer that will be photographing your wedding or will they send in whom ever is available. Don’t be shocked, this happens more often than you can imagine. Be certain that you know who photographer is going to be there and see HIS/HER work and meet them.

4. Personality – Is the photographer that you meet someone that you can get along with? Is the “chemistry” there? People have walked away from hairstylists and tailors for less. This is a person that you are going to spend most of the day with; the most important day. Could you handle it? Does he or she seem service oriented?

5. Appearance – Ask the photographer how he/she intends to dress. The last thing that you want is a conflict at the wedding about the photographer wearing a sweatshirt and jeans with trainers at the Church or Reception venue. Is this person well groomed?

6, Price Range – Although, the last thing you want to do is shop by price, is this person within your budget? If not, is he or she worth the difference? A lot of times we tend to surpass our budget constraints to get what we really want. If you see and like it, you’ll find a way. In any case, make sure you understand what everything costs, including reorders.

7,Offering – Whether it’s a la Carte or packages, do you understand what you get? Is there any room for changes and will it cost to do so? Sometimes the packages are fixed, sometimes they can be customized, in any case, ask. How much time will he spend? What if you need more time? Make sure that you know what’s coming .

8. Delivery – How long does it take to get your proofs back, your finished album, your bridal portrait, etc.? Go ahead and ask. Some photographers take months to deliver your proofs. Be sure of how long things take to turn around.

9. Contract – Do you understand the contract. Is it fair? Is everything spelled out? When it comes down going to court, only what is WRITTEN really counts, not what was promised. Make sure that you have no doubts before signing. Read it ALL.

What about deposits and payments? What does it say about cancellations and the photographer not being there? If you are not sure, ask!. If the photographer protests, ask him why? This is one area NOT to take lightly. You could be disappointed for a long time.

10. References – A personal reference is always the best and people love to talk. Get a list of references from the photographer and check them out personally. A photographer who doesn’t have references or is afraid to give them to you is not the person that you need to hire.

Need more help? give me a call to discuss your wedding or e mail me alanhardingphotography@gmail.com