How to avoid making the flash your enemy

Taking the perfect photograph isn’t always as easy as we think. More often than not, we press click, wait for the flash then look back to see a flat, blown-out image. Suddenly, the flash has become our enemy. However, there is a way to master the flash on our cameras. A way for us to utilise the flash as our friend.

Once you understand the art of the flash, you can manipulate it to create a huge range of different outcomes. That being said, there are more than one kind of flash to consider here. Clifton Cameras has looked at a handful of those to help you become a better photographer.

To begin to understand the flash, it is important to have some knowledge regarding the exposure triangle, as you’ll need to understand how light affects your photographs, since flash photography means there are two light sources to consider. It is all about experimenting to get the correct balance between the natural light in the scene you are shooting and the light given off from the flash itself.

The Pop-up Flash

The ‘pop-up’ flash is available on a variety of cameras including the Canon EOS. It is useful for creating dramatic lighting on a fixed subject in your shot. However, this is not always the most useful of flashes. Its fixed position means you are limited to where you can point the camera. Pointing the flash away from your subject leads to a risk of everything looking like part of the background. There means you risk of losing the subject. There are a few things you can do to save internal flash imagery.

Do not use pop-up flash for the following:

  • Shooting large scenes outdoors: The flash won’t be powerful enough and you’ll end up getting bright foregrounds and completely miss whatever it is you’re trying to shoot.
  • Gigs: Flash will not only distract the performer, but you’ll also end up with awkward, flat photos.
  • Street photography: The bright, startling flash of a camera is a great way to announce your activity to the world. If you’re trying to get candid shots, turn your flash off.

A Flash Diffuser

One way to prevent these kinds of image problems is to use a flash diffuser which will essentially ‘soften’ the light from the flash. You could even make your own by using a light, thin translucent material over the flash. This helps to prevent deep shadows or bright, unwanted highlights.

External Flash Guns

You can buy an external flash gun to really get the most out of your flash photography. It can be fitted to the hot shoe of your camera to give you a great deal of control over your flash. They can be quite difficult to learn how to use but the features can be most beneficial to achieving your perfect photograph.

There are five main features to the flash gun:

  1. A mode selection button that allows it to switch between manual, full auto and more
  2. A rotating head that allows you to point the flash where you like
  3. A zoom function which is often calibrated to your lens, but can be adjusted to change the spread of light
  4. A rotating head that allows you to point the flash where you like
  5. A charge light which will refill after each shot. If you need full power flash, wait til it is fully charged

Off-centre Flash

The external flash gun means you can start to experiment with the flash and position to flatter your shot with softer lighting. For example, you can hold the flash gun to the right of the camera to create a soft lighting on the right side of the subject, which balances out the light that is coming from the left side of the subject. Alternatively, when there is no bright light in the shot, the flash gun can create a dramatically lit image.

You can use more than one flash gun at a time to create a huge variety of exposure settings. You can manipulate the flash to create the perfectly lit shot so when you press click, wait for the flash and look back to see your photograph, it is exactly what you wanted.

For more articles like this, take a look at Clifton Cameras’ onsite blog.

Best data Recovery Tools for Many Different Types of Media Storage

Getting a data lost is something annoying for many people, especially if the data is very important or something crucial. If you are experiencing that kind of thing, then you might want to consider using the full version of Disk Drill Media Recovery. This kind of applications is surely one of the best things that can help you recover the data that you have lost. That is because this kind of application can help you recover any kind of files and data that you have on your media. You will not need to worry if you lost the data or files from the external media storage. That is because this application can surely recover all of your data.

For your consideration, there are some data and files that cannot be recovered. That is because those files and data have been fully deleted from the media storage. However, if you have just lost the data or files that you think is important, then you will need to use this application as soon as possible. That is because if the files have been deleted for a long time, you might not be able to recover the files just like what you want.

What is photography

Photography is a mixture of many things like science, arts and mathematics. Practice is one of the most important things to focus on while taking images. Photography takes too many things into consideration to deliver a magic image with elegance and creativity. Photography has been used everywhere now, it plays a major role in every industry to provide a better visualization of products and services. An electronic device called as the camera does all the work of processingto give out a real image. There has been lots of advancement in the technology with respect to the camera, as it has good demand.

There are many mobile phones today, which comes out with a decent quality of images. Photographs are the only way to remember history and videos have been a part of our life these days. We have seen and compared ourself only by looking at our old photographs and we have enjoyed a scenic view of our location long back.

Photographs are usually a visual artwork, it is all about how we capture an image at the right time making it more meaningful and attractive. An idea or a concept should always be there in mind before going ahead with the camera to capture, Every image you capture should have an idea of few and intension for a few minutes to deliver a meaningful or a photograph.

What is a camera and how does it work

The Camera is an electronic device, which can be used to capture photographs and to record videos. The most important part of the camera is Lens and it is used to focus the object. The camera captures every image with the help of a lens and they are advancing pretty quickly for a decade now.

The camera works on Light, wind and movement. A decent quality camera would not have the capability to capture images without much light and with movement. A good quality camera works by adjusting the light and capturing the vision quickly to cheat the movement.

Today lens is far more advanced than 1980s. Most of the cameras are available at a reasonable cost and the lens can be chosen as per requirement and budget of the individual, As these lenses give out a huge amount of difference while capturing images and the quality of images.

Photography in Boston

Boston is a beautiful place and has been known for its impressive landscapes and a place for Americans to know their nation’s history. Photography in Boston gives out a different feeling, as the city is filled with some of the finest buildings of the last century. Few of the best Boston photographers says that they have not explored and made use of the city, as the city is filled up with shooting spots.

Boston has an another name called the Athens of America, as it carries a lot of memories of freedom movement. A best photographer in Boston would always make a good image to a better one with his experience and skill set. One day of photography in Boston can let you capture different genres of styles with maximum satisfaction in place. Some of the best Boston photographers say that the city gives an opportunity to capture the oldest baseball stadium, which is still in use. As the city is peaceful and friendly, A room for photographers is always available to use their creativity to capture images in his own style.

Hiring a Wedding Videographer: Factors to Consider

Planning a wedding can be quite overwhelming, especially if it is your own. You will obviously want your wedding to be the best day of your life, and thus, you want everything to be absolutely perfect. You will obviously want a lot of pictures and videos of the big day. Therefore, hiring a wedding photographer and a videographer is very important. However, since it’s such a big day, it’s important that you make the right decision and hire a professional photographer and videographer for the job. Here are a few important factors that you must consider before making the decision.


Experience plays a very important role when it comes to wedding photography. You need a professional videographer to shoot your wedding video in Sydney. When you first sit down with any videographer or photographer, the first thing that you need to ask them is whether they have prior experience in making wedding videos.

Simply shooting the video is not enough. The wedding videographer will also need to edit the video afterward. The best way to find out about a videographer’s work is to ask them to show you samples of their previous projects. This will give you an idea of whether the videos are good-looking or not. Excessive editing can also ruin the picture, so it’s important for you to make the right decision.


Do you really want to spend a fortune on the wedding video? Before you hire any videographer or photographer, it’s important for you to set a budget and then request quotes from different videographers. Obviously, the prices vary depending upon the package you choose. Most videographers offer different packages to their customers, ranging from basic wedding videos with simple touches, to full-scale wedding coverage that includes extensive editing and detailed videos and photo packages. Setting up an appropriate budget is essential, since there are many photographers who charge a fortune. Obviously, spending a considerable portion of your budget on hiring a photographer or a videographer isn’t a wise move.


Before you hire any wedding videographer, it’s important for you to read reviews and find out what previous customers have had to say. This will give you an idea about whether the videographer can actually deliver on the promises. Many videographers that offer their services online also have separate sections where you can read reviews and find out what customers have to say about the company.

Since your wedding is such a big event, it’s important that you take due care when hiring a new wedding videographer. If you already know somebody who’s well-established in this business, you should definitely use them. Find a videographer by taking up lots of references. This will make it easy for you to make an informed decision about whether the individual is capable of shooting a memorable video for your wedding. You should also ask them about the formats in which the video will be delivered.

Equipment for Wedding Photography

Wedding Photography EquipmentWedding photography is a huge responsibility which you have to get right in the first go. This calls for the need to have all your essential camera equipment ready. This article will list out the equipment you need to get your wedding photography assignment in the right direction. Unlike still life photography, wedding photography is an uphill task. You not only have to pay attention to the minute details, but also have to appease the bride and groom with satisfactory pictures. After all, the wedding pictures are not something everyone takes lightly. Besides, wedding photographs are the only means for a couple to reminisce their wedding day long after the actual day has passed. All this just points us in one direction―of getting the perfect shots during a wedding photo shoot. For this, you need not just a camera but a lot of other equipment as well.

Given below are the essential equipment that every photographer, a wedding photographer in particular, must have in his/her photography kit.

One of the most essential equipment for wedding photography is a good full-frame DSLR camera. Wedding photography demands superior definition, detailing, and sharpness for which you need to possess a full-frame 5D camera. For obvious reasons, it is always better to carry an extra camera body with you at all times, especially for weddings. After all, you wouldn’t want to run out on business or customers because your primary camera decided to give way in between a photo shoot.

» Cameras like Canon EOS 5D, Canon EOS 5D Mark II, Nikon D800, Sony a99, Nikon D600 among others can be your companion for photo shoots.

Camera Lenses
Owning a camera is not sufficient to call you a professional. You also need a variety of lenses to go with the main body of the camera. Candid photographs taken during receptions require long-bodied lenses that will be able to zoom into the subject without actually intruding. You will need wide-aperture lenses that will allow you to shoot at lower ISOs in low light settings. You could place your bet on a 24-70mm f/2.8 lens and a 70-200mm f/2.8, for delivering perfect intimate details of shots taken both indoors and outdoors. You will also need macro and fisheye lenses for a couple of shots during the event.

» Popular choices are the Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens, Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS II USM Lens, Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM Lens, and the Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art Lens.

Flash Units
Wedding photography calls for working with natural light settings; however, one cannot rely on natural and ambient light to click photographs. As a photographer, it is always recommended that you carry your own light source. You could breathe life into those pretty wedding portraits set in low light with an additional source of light. Use of digital flash or slave flashes along with your camera flash should effectively bounce the light and produce soft directional light. Besides, flashlights can effectively light up nooks and crannies that your inbuilt camera flash won’t reach, and effectively provide you with a side light for enhanced photographs. Shoe-mount flashes can rotate to any angle, thus, giving you the variation you need to get the best light. Slave flashes, on the other hand, can be connected to the camera using a cable extension. Needless to say, it is always better to have an extra flash unit in hand during wedding ceremonies.

» When choosing a speedlight, rely on a SB-800/900 or 580EX II; however, even a SB-600 or 430EX II will do the trick. Canon 600EX-RT, Nikon SB-910, Sony HVL-F60M, Vivitar 285HV, Canon 580EX, Nikon SB-700 are some of the best flash units you can lay your hands on.

Flash Diffusers
Using flash units will allow you to take great pictures; however, the pictures could also include harsh shadows cast behind the subject and overexposed or unnaturally lit subjects. You could use different flash bouncing techniques and even control the flash output from the camera, but the easiest way to eliminate harsh lights is by using flash diffusers. Using a flash diffuser allows you to attain more natural-looking pictures by canceling out harsh lights and shadows that become a part of the picture when using flash. Depending on your needs, you could use flash reflectors, umbrella reflectors, and flip-up flash diffusers.
Battery and Charger
Attaching a flash unit to the camera is sure to drain out your camera battery faster. When shooting for grand ceremonies, it is always advisable to carry along extra batteries as well as a battery charger to immediately replenish the used up batteries.
Photo Filters
Photo filters alter the way your camera lens views the light. They can reduce glare, alter the hue, block out haziness, change the appearance of reflections, and will also protect the camera lens from scratches. You can sharpen those black and white wedding portraits and enhance the hues of colored photographs with colored filters. In short, filters will help you as a wedding photographer to add dimension to the photographs.
Memory Cards
Wedding photography employs taking loads of pictures for which you need to have a good storage capacity. It is imperative that you should have additional memory cards with you just so that you do not restrict yourself from taking great pictures. Remember, the more you experiment and go about taking natural pictures, the happier your clients will be.

If you are going to be experimenting with vintage cameras, it is imperative that you keep a couple of film rolls in hand. This will ensure that you do not run out on rolls and extra storage space at all times.

You Will Also Need :
-Wireless Flash Receiver
-Remote Cord
-Camera Battery Grip
-Battery Grip
-Photographer Bag

Do not forget to put in a tripod or monopod stand, as well as an additional battery grip into your kit. You would need a couple of super clamps to hold the slave flashlights in place. That about covers the essentials you need as a wedding photographer.

20 Tips on How to Choose a Wedding Photographer

How to choose a wedding photographer

With so many wedding photographers, so many prices, and styles choosing the right wedding photographer can become quite a big and unwieldy task for the modern couple

To begin with, the internet makes things easier, because you can see lots of work side by side, but this does not immediately let you know the most important bits of information, which will in the end determine the best choice for you

20 top tips for choosing a photographer

#1 Who ever you choose, you must click with them

A website will only go part of the way of finding out about attitude and the person.

You will be with your wedding photographer, on your special day from dawn to dusk in some cases, inviting them into your dressing room, while you are getting ready. The photographer will then work with you and your family through the day. You need to find someone you trust, and get on with

#2 Who ever you choose, you must click with them

Yes that’s point one! But it is point 2 as well. Anyone shooting your wedding needs to get the best out of you, and this ultimately is a mix of communication, and camera craft. You need to be confident your wedding photographer can guide and instruct you and your family during the poses and group shots. If they make you smile, put you at your ease, the job is half done

#3 Know that wedding photography is both a business and a vocation

Wedding photography is a business, and professional wedding photography is one of the hardest and stressful disciplines in the photography game. You need to choose a photographer, who is a good in business and photography. I am not talking about profits here; I am talking about the way they run the business. You need to look at the business and think – will they be here in 5 -10 years time, when I have lost my disk, and I want a re-print.

#4 Can you communicate with them easily

Like all wedding suppliers, you need to know – can you communicate with them easily. A hotmail account and a mobile phone number are a giveaway. Look for a landline number, open in office hours. Ask yourself – how quickly do they reply to e-mails, and at what time of the day. However, remember we don’t work 7 days a week, and we don’t answer the phone if we are shooting a wedding. It is not uncommon for busy wedding photographers to take off a day in the week

With a wedding photographer, you need to be clear on this issue, because unlike nearly all of the other vendors, you will be communicating a lot with the photographer a long time after the wedding

#5 Choose what style you like

There are a number of different styles of wedding photography ranging between stiff and formal, through to totally documentary (nothing at all set up). There are also photographers that pull in aspects of other photographic disciplines such as fashion, fine art, avant-garde etc.. On top of that, there are a number of ways the photographs are processed, ranging from standard colour, black and white to totally gimmicky processing.

Before you seriously look at choosing a photographer, choose the style you want first

#6 Matching a photographer to the style you want

This is obvious, but more often than not, the photographer is chosen for another reason, and their style is foisted on the couple. You need to know that good professional photographers can change the style they shoot a little from shoot to shoot. However you do not want to choose a formal photographer to shoot a reportage style etc. Most of us are in the middle, and lean one way or the other.

Look at the photographers work, try and look at whole weddings if they are available, and if many weddings are available to view, look to see that the photographer does shoot in the way you want.

#7 Portfolio shots are different to general wedding photographs

Photographers choose images for their portfolios because they are either the best of the best, or they fit a certain format, or both. They tend to be dramatic, show stopping images. The 99.9% of the images the wedding photographer shoots are the ones you need to be interested in..

#8 Recommendations

Nothing is better than a recommendation, but nothing is worse than an unqualified recommendation. If someone recommends any wedding supplier or wedding photographer to you, then you need to know: have they actually shot the wedding yet? What is the relationship between the photographer and the person doing the recommending? I am often approached by venues, wanting a 10% cut, so that they can recommend me. I always say no. This goes on a lot

If you get a recommendation from a happy couple, who have had the album, and enjoyed the service provided from start to finish, then go with it, but still ensure you like the person and style.

#9 Deliverables

Getting the wedding photographs shot is the most important thing. If you have little money, invest in getting the day covered before investing in products.

All other products – albums, canvases, prints – need to be considered separately. What is the photographer’s attitude to longevity, and quality in the products? Your wedding album should last generations if it is made properly, and will last a few years if poor quality materials are used. Consider this to be an investment.

Do a little research first – find out about acid free materials and pigments, and why using them is important.

On the subject of deliverables, find out how reprints, albums and products are delivered, and if online galleries are provided, and if reprints can be purchased online.

#10 Get a short list and have a meeting

If you can get a very short list of photographers, and go and meet them at their studio. At the meeting you need to cover a few key things. Look at complete wedding albums. Are there any surprises, or inconsistencies? Look at the quality of the work, does it match the website? Do you click with the photographer? Does the studio and business look efficient and organised?

If the photographer is coming to you, ask them to bring a few complete albums, but remember they take up a lot of space and are bulky.

With sample albums, expect to see fingerprints, dings and the like, they tend to get carted from pillar to post, and lots of people thumb through them.

#11 Make sure the photographer shooting your wedding is the photographer you are booking

There are a number of industry practices you need to be aware of: Firstly there are networks of photographers, run from a head office. You may look at the website and see stunning images, but that doesn’t mean the local chap they send is any good.

Secondly, A small number of unscrupulous photographers actually use stock images or copy images from other photographers sites. This is done to defeat the chicken and egg problem that photographers have when they are starting out and have no portfolio.

Thirdly, a number of the better photographers actually run their businesses like hairdressing salons – i.e. the name on the door is the award winning hairdresser, you can pay so much for the junior, and a little more for the executive, and the full rate for the owner – however the style book contains only the best work from whoever.

#12 Award winning photographers

There are 1000’s of awards, and nowadays all photographers seem to be award winning. If they are saying this – find out what award, what photograph, and when. Don’t be too swayed by awards, look at results – real wedding photographs in albums, and use your own eyes and judgment.

#13 Professional qualifications / letters after names

Be very clear to find out exactly what the letters mean. In most instances, the photographer sends in 12 mediocre images with a “joining” fee, and all of a sudden they have flashy letters after the name. If you see this, go to the website, and find out how the photographer joins, and find out if it is merely a commercial organisation that promotes photographers, or a genuinely educative organisation promoting excellent photography.

#14 Contracts, deposits, copyright, pricing

Good professional photographers have this sorted, and have an immediate view. No contract – alarm bells. Discuss releasing the wedding photographs on disk, and what the copyright issues are. Discuss the pricing, and pricing for things that are sold afterward like re-prints, and copies of disks.

#15 Attitudes to backups

Film used to last for ages, decades. Digital has issues, disks degenerate, hard drives crash. A photographer’s attitude to backup is vitally important. As a minimum, the images shot at the wedding, and the photographs produced after editing need to be properly backed up, on and off site. If the wedding photographer can’t immediately tell you his or her process for backing up then an alarm bell should be ringing.

#16 Do not be swayed by today’s fashions

Do look at your mums wedding photographs – some things done 20-30 years ago, look cheesy now – faces in champagne glasses, spot colouring etc. We can all do these tricks, but do not let the fizz and polish sway you between one photographer and another. The most important thing they can do is shoot the wedding photographs properly in the first place.

#17 You do have to pay for quality

If the price is stupidly lower than al of the others, corners will be cut. This will be in equipment, processing time, quality of materials. Often people who have full time jobs doing something else, view shooting weddings not as a full time job, but a s a way of earning cash on the weekend, so the price is set low to attract anyone who wants to pay. While this works for a few weddings a year, you need more commitment than this, because as they get busier, something needs to give, and it isn’t normally the day job.

#18 Ask what backup kit / contingency plans they have

Any professional wedding photographer worth hiring will be able to immediately tell you this. You need to cover – what if a camera breaks or stops working? What happens if the photographer gets ill on the day? What happens if the weather is bad?

The correct answers are – I have a full duplicate kit (and some), I have a network of professionals I can call on at the drop of a hat to cover for me, I know the venue, I have a plan, I will do XYZ.

#19 What to look for in the photographs

When you look at wedding photographs, and you are comparing photographers ask: Has the photographer got the attention of the subject? (Ignore if the photograph is purposefully a candid). Are the eyes, and face sharp? Is the background distracting? Are the poses natural or awkward looking? Do the photographs work well as a set in terms of colour, skin tones and lighting? Are there annoying traits like every background blurred, or every image heavily tilted? On the straight images – are the key parts of the shot straight and parallel to the edges of the photograph?

#20 Get the balance right

The relationship, meeting and conversation you have with your wedding photographer needs to be two way. In other words the best place to be is where you bounce off of each other creatively. If it feels like your potential wedding photographer is telling you what he will do and need to the point where you feel you are changing what you want, or if you feel you have to spoon-feed the photographer with ideas – then you have the wrong photographer.

Tips For Finding the Right Wedding Photographer

Finding a the right wedding photographer for your big day should be a fun and exciting experience. It will help if you’re armed with some insight on photography and common questions to ask. As a professional wedding photographer with over 15 years of experience, I’ve met with many potential wedding clients. While everyone’s taste varies, the goal is always the same, getting the best photographer for you and your budget.

Now that most photographer’s portfolio’s are available online, a good portion of your work is already done. With a click of the mouse, you can view work from as many photographers as you can stand. A good way to save time in your search is to think about other weddings you’ve attend and photos you viewed in the past. Did you like the photographer’s style? Was it studio, candid, photojournalism or a mixture? Most good professionals have experience in various fields of photography but specialize in a certain style.

Studio photography usually encompasses traditional poses with lights and backdrops. A good portion of these shots are pre-determined and take place in a controlled situation. You’ll still get a fair share of candid shots too but the focus here is on portraiture. Does the photographer have good command of the lighting? Look for harsh shadows under the eyes or on the walls or backdrop. Are the posed images stuffy or casual and fun? Taking these tips into account will help you find the right studio photographer. Having a photojournalist cover your wedding day will give your images a more spontaneous feel.

While a photojournalist will have you pose for some of the traditional portraits, the more creative ones will be environmental portraits. The key to a good environmental portrait is the location, lighting and background. When you view a photographers portfolio, pay special attention to the location portraits. Did the photographer choose an interesting location and composition? What’s going on in the background? Do the bride and groom stand out? Available light can make a portrait special too so take note of light, shadows and the photographers ability to mix various light sources. Also, look for candid moments and emotions. Do the images look staged or real?

Now that you’ve decided on the style that’s right for you, it’s time to meet with the photographer. The most important question should be, who’s shooting my wedding? If you viewed a certain portfolio, you’ll want that photographer to show up the day of your wedding. Outline what’s included in your wedding contract, date, time, cost, and additional services. How much is the deposit and will it hold the date? Does the photographer double book dates? Do you get a copy of the images on CD and the right to print them? What is the refund policy?

You’ll undoubtedly have questions of your own and you’ll gain some experience if you meet with several of the wedding photographers Chicago has to choose from. Bring your future spouse and don’t be afraid to have a family member or friend tag along too. This is a big decision and you want to make the right one.

Top Tips For Choosing Your Wedding Photographer

Getting married is an amazing experience. It is a day filled with emotion, joy, happiness and sometimes a little sadness when a family member or friend who is no longer with us is not there to share our special day.

As professional wedding photographers we know how stressful arranging your wedding day can be. With so many photographers around, where do you start? What do you need to know when looking for a wedding photographer? With prices ranging from a few hundred pounds to many thousands, how do you know if they are right for you?

It is a simple fact of life that with the arrival of digital cameras, many people now call themselves a “photographer”. Over recent years there has been an explosion of people offering their services as wedding photographers, many of who have never received any training, have no insurance, do not use professional equipment and do not have sufficient backups in place to cater for any eventuality.

A professional photographer will have all of the above and this post is a quick “Help Guide” to the things to look for and the questions we recommend you ask when choosing a wedding photographer. Grab yourself a cuppa and get comfy. This is not a definitive guide, merely a general overview of what to look for.

Looking for a Photographer:

Personal Recommendations: Have you been to a wedding recently? What did your friends think of their photographer? As a Yorkshire wedding photographer the majority of our clients come from personal recommendations from either Bride and Grooms who have used us, or from Venues that know the quality of the work we produce and the fantastic value for money we offer.

Google And Other Search Engines:

A quick search on any of the major search engines will produce a mind numbing amount of choices. For example, if you type into Google the search terms “Wedding Photographer” it will return millions results. Simply going through each result would take you years, so as a general rule of thumb, stick with those on page 1 or page 2. The reason for this is simple: If they are on page 1 or 2 then they have taken the time to ensure that their website is well designed, optimised and placed, to ensure that their products or services are easy to find for prospective Bride and Grooms.

Choosing A Photographer

As soon as you have decided on a date, have booked your wedding venue and received confirmation then book all other services required for your wedding day as quickly as possible. Leaving it to the last minute to book your wedding photographer is not a good idea.

Many Bride and Grooms start looking for their photographer the day they get engaged.


The first thing to do is look at a photographers website but do NOT be fooled into thinking this is the be all and end all. Always concentrate on the images and not the website design. These days for a few hundred pounds you can have a real classy looking website designed. Never forget that a website only shows the content that the photographer WANTS you to see. You will only generally see the best images, the ones they want to use to showcase their abilities so take a good look around the website. Have a look and see how many different weddings you can see. If there is only one or two, have they only photographed a few weddings? Also how much information does the photographer give you? Are they up front about their prices or do you have to go in and see them to find out how much they charge? Do they give you specific detailed information about their services?

Also be VERY wary if they say they are a member of a “Professional Trade Organisation”. Some trade organisations only require photographers to pay an annual subscription fee to join then allow the photographer to use the Organisations logos on their website. Indeed some organisations have absolutely no joining requirements, you do not even have to own a camera and your Granny, who has no idea about photography, could join if she wanted. Do your homework and check out Trade Organisations carefully as they are not all the same.

Some are for full time professionals only and Members are required to undergo evaluation, inspection and have insurance documents checked, others simply let you pay a nominal amount and declare you to be a “Professional Photographer”. Remember that the photography industry is not regulated and anyone can claim to be a “photographer”.


If it seems too good to be true, chances are it is! Many photographers just starting out tend to charge really low prices and only cover their costs. Many see your wedding as a way of building a portfolio of wedding images. Now this will not apply to all budget priced photographers but as a general rule of thumb, if the price seems really low, then there is a reason for it, so try and find out what it is.

For many Bride and Grooms, price ends up being the determining factor. You spend hundreds, if not thousands on the dress, the venue charges a small fortune, then there are the cars, the Grooms attire, Bridesmaids dresses, the cake, the flowers – cutting costs on your wedding photography can result in poor wedding photographs resulting in huge disappointment and photographs of the day that you simply do not want to look at.

Remember it is a one shot event – to get everyone back to retake the photographs will be time consuming and very expensive.

Make An Appointment:

Until you go meet the photographer, you will not be fully informed if they are the right person for the job. At the meeting ask to see photographs from AT LEAST five recent weddings. Ask if the photographer has worked at your venue before and if so ask if you can see some images from that wedding. Ask to see the demo albums – is there a good range to choose from? Does the photographer have letters of recommendation from previous clients, if so ask to see them. Does the photographer work from home or from a Studio?

During this meeting there are some really important questions to ask, a few are detailed below:

Q. How long have you been trading and how many weddings have you photographed? If the answer is “6 months and 2 weddings, both of them friends of the family who I did not charge because I need the experience and the images for my portfolio” – is this the right photographer for you?

Q. Are you insured?

All professional photographers should carry Professional Indemnity and Public Liability insurance. If they do not then tread carefully.

Q. What are your prices, and what do I get in my package?

Seems a silly question to ask right? Well no! There is nothing worse than handing over your hard earned cash only to find that after the wedding you are not getting what you thought you were. Is there an album in the package? How many hours coverage do you get? What additional products are included in the price? Does the price include image editing? Do you have an overtime fee if we run over?

Q. Do you contract out your wedding photography service?

Picture this scene….. you spend months researching photographers, finally decide on one, get them booked then on the wedding day, someone you have never met before turns up to photograph your big day. How are you going to feel? Angry?

Make sure that the person you book with is the person who will attend and take your wedding photographs. Sounds simple I know but you will be surprised just how many photographers sub contract out their work to other, often inexperienced and uninsured, photographers.

Q. Is this your full time job?

Many photographers have full time jobs and photograph weddings on a part time basis so may not necessarily be available to answer your questions or emails during normal working hours. If you have a last minute question, it may take some time to get a response or you may not be able to schedule meeting times that are convenient to you.

Q. Do you provide a written contract?

It is absolutely critical that you receive a written contract detailing your exact expenditure and what products/services you are getting.

Q. How many weddings do you cover per day?

If the answer is anything other than ONE – be careful. Many photographers will cover more than one wedding a day and this can lead to problems at YOUR wedding. What if the first wedding runs late? This will mean that the photographer may be late to yours.

Q. Can I see some of your work / view the demo albums?

Make sure you have a good look at the photographers work. Look at image quality, look at album quality. Looking at images of babies, sunsets, buildings or family portraits will not give you any idea of their abilities as a wedding photographer. Also ask the question “Is this from a real wedding?”. You will be amazed just how many photographers use images taken on training days in their portfolios. They attend a training session where a Trainer sets up the shot then tells the photographer how to take it. The image may be amazing but can they reproduce it during a real wedding with all the pressure and stresses involved?

Q. What backup equipment do you bring to the wedding?

It never fails to amaze me that photographers still attend a wedding with only ONE camera! If that camera breaks down what are they going to do? Pop out their mobile phone and carry on shooting?

Q. Do you do a pre-wedding site visit?

Have you ever been to a wedding and when it comes to having the photographs taken, it is absolute chaos? Uncle John has gone to check in, Aunty Flo has nipped to the loo, your Best Man has popped to the bar. Surely the Bride and Groom should have been a bit more organised shouldn’t they? Well actually no!

This is down to the photographer and not the happy couple. Site visits allows photographers to create a plan for the day and are a critical component to the overall planning of the day.

Q. What “style” do you photograph in?

There are different styles such as Traditional, Reportage, Photojournalistic, Fashion, Glamour – does the photographer photograph in the style YOU are wanting? Do they do it weekend in, weekend out, or are they trying to photograph in a way they may not necessarily do on a regular basis. Get this bit right and you will love your wedding photographs as you will receive what you expected. Get it wrong and you could end up hating them.

Q. Will you put my wedding photographs online for our guests to see?

The majority of photographers now do this as standard though some still do charge extra for it. Check if there any additional costs involved.

Q. Do you do a pre-wedding meeting?

A professional photographer will prefer to sit down with each and every Bride and Groom at some point before the big day to discuss the day itself. Topics covered may include things like what photographs are to be taken and where, any special requests by the Bride and Groom etc. This helps ensure that the day runs as smoothly as possible.

Q. What will you wear when photographing my wedding?

Again seems a silly question right? You will be surprised how many “professional” photographers turn up to photograph a wedding dressed in jeans, t-shirts and trainers. Smart business attire is the norm but do check!

Booking Your Photographer:

As soon as you have decided on the photographer who is going to cover your big day… PHONE THEM! It is not unusual for photographers to work on a “first come, first served” basis and there is nothing worse than doing all the hard work only to find that someone booked your date 2 hours earlier.

Many photographers will require you to pay a retainer to secure the date. This will be either a fixed amount or a percentage of the total package price and will be deducted from your total photography costs.

Remember: Make sure you get a written contract which details the amount you are paying and what you are getting.

One final thing to think about: Personality. Chances are that your wedding photographer will spend more time with you than any of your other suppliers. Can you spend a whole day with them? Can you work with them for an extended period of time? This is a point that is often forgotten about!

Hope this has helped and if you are getting married in the near future, I hope you have a wonderful day!

Tips For Choosing Your Wedding Photographer

Weddings are a joyous occasion when family and friends come together to celebrate and toast the happy couple. Planning your wedding day is an all consuming project and there are various guide books to get you off to a productive start. One of the main items on your checklist will be choosing a wedding photographer to record the special moments and capture the atmosphere, wedding dress, bridesmaid’s outfits, wedding party, venues and guests. Photographs are tangible, they don’t go out of date with changing technology, and provide a lasting memory for yourself and future generations to view and cherish.

Tips to help you choose a wedding photographer

It is a good idea to have a clear overview of what you need from your chosen wedding photographer. Questions to ask your self include:

  • Would I like a traditional or more contemporary style? Should the emphasis be on formal or un-posed shots?
  • Do I require photography taken at home on the morning of the wedding?
  • Will all the shots be in colour, or some black and white or maybe others using effects such as sepia toning? Is this something I am happy to leave to the photographer to decide?
  • Would I like a copy of the photos on DVD?
  • Do I have any special family shots that need to be taken on the day?
  • What is my budget?

These questions will help you to create a brief for the photographer when you meet. By establishing this clear brief you will ensure accurate comparative pricing, and on appointment, be sure that the event is captured to suit your requirements, and not those of the photographer.Finding a photographer

Once you have booked your wedding day and venue, you can start creating a list of photographers to contact. The sooner you do this the better as top photographers get booked up quickly. Recommendations from friends and family are a good starting point, as you can get a first hand account of the photographer’s character, the service provided and their reliability. You can also do a Google search on the Internet for photographers in your local area or in the location where you plan to get married and view their website for additional details.

Contact photographers to qualify your list

To achieve superb quality photographs it is important to find a full time photographer who is well qualified, experienced and, ideally, has previous experience of work in your chosen venue. Make initial contact to check availability on your wedding day and then arrange to meet at your home or their studio. It’s a good idea to take along a friend or family member to get another impartial opinion on the photographer and his work.

Viewing the photographers work

You need to feel absolutely sure that the photographer you choose will capture the essence of your wedding and be able to coax out the best smiles from you and your guests.

  • Do they have a flair for making the ordinary appear beautiful
  • When viewing samples of the albums, ask yourself, “Do the people in the photographs look happy, relaxed and comfortable?” Postures should be confident and hand placements should look natural.
  • Are you able to have a good rapport with the photographer and does he explain things clearly. This is an important aspect as you and your guests will need to take instructions from him regarding pose and positions on the day.
  • Do you like their style and do the images tell the story of the Wedding Day?

Questions to Ask

  • Confirm that the photographer you meet will be the one actually taking the photos on the day.
  • Has he taken photos at the venue before? – ask to see examples.
  • Does the photographer have professional indemnity insurance to cover the cost of retaking your photographs if something goes horribly wrong?
  • Does the photographer have backup equipment and is it of the same quality as the primary equipment?
  • Who will process and develop the film and prints?

Comparing quotesMake sure you ask each photographer to quote for the same job, working to your brief, allowing you to make a fair comparison of quotations. It is important to understand what you are paying for so check the quotation carefully to establish what is included and what is treated as extras. You will find that you generally get what you pay for, and that more experienced photographers may charge more for their services. Emphasise that the quality of print is most important, and establish whether there will be use of digital photography and if so whether photos can be enlarged or edited. Once you are happy with your choice, ensure you return the signed contract and get the booking confirmed in writing. If booked well in advance, phone a week or so before the big day, to ensure everything is in place, and to fine tune arrangements.

On the day, why not also buy disposable single use cameras and leave them on the dining table for guests to capture their own unique take on the wedding. This is a great way to capture more relaxed moments later in the evening when the official photographer has left.

Three Killer Digital Photography Tips

When taking photography, it can be hard to capture that perfect shot. Experts will tell you to practice, practice and practice some more. But what they really should do is give some solid advice as to what you should be practicing. This article will give you three digital photography tips that you can practice and start seeing results fast.

Tip Number One:

The first tip is pretty easy. Keep it simple. That’s all.

What I mean by this is that you should try to keep your photo as simple as you can. Now, when you master simplicity then you can make more complex shots, however, try to keep it simple right now. To keep it simple here are some guidelines

-Get closer to the subject you’re photographing. This will make the subject more pronounced and stand out more. It will also make for less clutter as the subject will take up more of the frame

-Get Down Low and Shoot up. This will make the shot simpler since you won’t have all that clutter behind the subject and only the sky.

-Get Higher and shoot down. This will make it so the background is the ground and not the cluttered background that would usually be there

-Use a shallow depth of field.

Tip Number Two:

The second tip is a little more detailed. Basically, keep everything that isn’t of importance and minimize or remove it. For example, if you photograph a subject that is green and there are bright red objects of unimportance around this subject. Those red objects are of no importance and are distracting the viewer from the true subject. Get rid of those red objects, unsaturated them in an editing program, do something so that the picture isn’t so complex and confusing.

Tip Number Three:

Have a solid concept you want and stick with it throughout. Have you ever written a paper and been criticized that it goes everywhere? The same can happen when taking pictures. You want your picture to be focused on primarily one theme. For example, the theme could be peace. You could have a picture of a couple at a beach enjoying a drink. Now, if there’s a homeless man in the background that’s going to be distracting from the main theme of peace.