After you’ve chosen the perfect venue and set your date, the next big decision will be who you want to capture your special day. Do not underestimate the importance of this choice, your photographs will be one of the only reminders you have looking back at your wedding day. Each photographer will have their own unique style and editing technique, so make sure you research well. If you feel that we could be suitable for your big day, then you’re ready to move forward. First thing to do is obviously make sure I am available on your date, I regularly take bookings 2 years in advance, particularly in peak season (May through to September) so don’t hesitate to get the ball rolling.
If I’m available, the next step is the initial consultation. This can be held anywhere you wish, usually I come visit you both at your home address, but I have been known to host wedding meetings at coffee shops, pubs, or even local parks. You may have arranged to see a whole bunch of different photographers, or have done enough previous research to just meet with one, either way the meetings are generally the same. I am not a salesman, I do not give the ‘hard sell’ and all meetings have no obligation to book, these first contact meetings are for us to meet face to face (emails and facebook messages are so impersonal) and get to know each other a little. I bring a collection of demo albums, go through what each of my packages include, point you in the direction of some of the other options I offer (such as a photobooth and the stop motion wedding video) and will answer openly and honestly any questions you may have.
If you are unsure what kind of thing you should be asking a potential wedding photographer, here’s a few pointers:
- Can I see an example of a full day package? Photographers will usually only share their best 5 or 6 images from one particular wedding, but you want to be safe in the knowledge that they will capture all the emotion and little details of your day.
- How many weddings have you photographed and what qualifications/experience do you have? With the accessibility of digital photography, the wedding industry has become heavily saturated with a broad range of ability levels, from the heavily qualified and experienced professional shooter, to the everyday ‘man with a camera’ who fancies earning a few quid on the side. Experience and knowledge of their equipment plays a massive part in how successful a wedding photographer is, would one of your guests who owns a ‘fancy camera with a big lens’ know all the hidden spots at your venue, or be prepared if the unpredictable British weather lets you down?
- What if your camera breaks? Every photographers nightmare, but it happens! So you need to be confident that if something unexpected were to happen, that the photographer has a back up solution. This is one of the (many) reasons that a good quality photographer is not cheap, top end photography equipment is expensive, but having to buy a back up to everything as well, you can imagine it drives my wife nuts!
- What if something happens to you? I was asked recently ‘what if you break your leg the day before our big day?’ Well the answer was I’d hop! Joking aside, what if the unforeseen happens? Is there a back up to not just the equipment, but the photographer himself?
- Are you insured? Photographers insurance covers a lot of things, what if one of your guests trips over a camera bag and gets injured? What if damage is caused to the venue because of the photographer? What if the photographer falls ill during the day and cannot continue, would you be compensated? A lot of venues will not allow a photographer to shoot your wedding without valid public liability insurance, so make sure they have this in place and are willing to send a copy to your venue if requested.
- Are my images safe? Three words……Backup, backup and back up again! How does your photographer ensure that if there’s a hard drive failure or corrupt SD card your precious images wont be lost forever.
These are just a few of the things to discuss on your initial meeting, a reliable, professional photographer will have no issue answering any of these questions, and anything else you may want to know.
After this meeting I leave you to talk things through with your partner, I ‘pencil in’ your booking for 7 days after the initial consultation for you to make a decision, meaning I wont take any inquiries for your date during that period. If you decide that Cribb Photography is the perfect match for you and your wedding, then we move forward with the booking and a digital invoice is sent to you. A deposit of £200 is required to secure your booking, once this has been paid you are safe in the knowledge that your wedding date is confirmed.
As time moves on, and your wedding quickly approaches (trust me, it will sneak up on you!) I am available to answer any more questions, and meet up again as much or as little as you wish. My aim is to make the photography side of things as relaxing and stress free as possible. If you have booked one of my full day packages, a pre-wedding shoot (also known as an engagement shoot) is included in the price. This comes highly-recommended, and is something I decided to include as standard from our own experience getting married. Being in front of a camera is very daunting to the majority of us (me included!) and the pre-wedding shoot acts as a practice run for your wedding day. The location is up to you, popular places include beaches, woods or parks, or could even be at your home or your wedding venue. During this shoot, we get to know what works best for you and hopefully get any awkwardness out of the way before the wedding day. You’ll receive approx 30-40 images with full printing rights on disc shortly after the session. To see examples of a pre-wedding shoot please visit my blog or my wedding portfolio page.
Approximately 2 weeks before the big day, we’ll meet up again to go through the final details such as timings, locations and any special requirements, and triple-check we know where we need to be and when. If you are having a wedding rehearsal at the church I’ll try my best to be there to introduce myself to the vicar and find out what limitations there are during the service (don’t worry if I’m not able to make it, I’ll send you with a few questions for the vicar) Please be aware that all churches are different on whether or not photos are allowed during the service, some allow complete freedom to the photographer, others will not allow any photos at all during the service. If this is important to you, please check with the vicar before booking the church.
All there is to do now is enjoy the final build up to your wedding, and I’ll see you again on the day at the arranged place and time. A detailed breakdown of the ‘typical’ wedding day (is there such a thing?) can be seen on my Packages page. Generally, I’ll be there from early in the morning to capture the getting ready stage, right through to the first dance and beyond. If you’ve included the Photobooth in your package this will be set up during the gap between the night and day ‘do’ and will run 8-11pm. As you can see it’s a long day, sometimes working 15-16 hours days, but I wouldn’t change it for the world!
After the wedding, I head home for some well earned sleep, then back up all your images. In the next couple of days, I’ll post a small preview for you on my blog and facebook page (if you allow me to), but the whole collection may take 4-6 weeks for completion depending on how busy I am during this time. I understand how excited you may be to see your images, so I’ll do everything in my power to get them to you as soon as I can. If you’ve selected my album package, I then request your favourite 40 images, which I then use to create your album, sending a proof version through to you for finalising before being sent to print. The album may take a further 3-4 weeks to arrive after your signing off the proof.