The confetti has settled, the dress is hung up, and you're settling in to married life. There's one last thing to look forward to... your wedding photos! Making sure your photographer captured all the right moments is so important – from the reactions on your guests' faces seeing you for the first time on the day, that wedding breakfast toast, and your drunk relative busting some interesting moves on the dance floor... Your wedding photographs are something that you'll keep forever, so you have to make sure you choose the right person to achieve that for you.
We spoke with Paul from Paul Willetts Photography, to give you some pointers on what to think about when organising your wedding photography.
Hi Paul, thanks so much for agreeing to chat with us! First up, let us know a bit about you...
I’ve been shooting weddings since 2009 – I went full-time running my photography business in 2010 and haven’t looked back since! I’m based in Worcestershire and although my work has been UK-based, I would love to get into destination weddings, but as a husband and dad of 2 this isn’t always a good time… maybe in the future!
How would you describe your photography style?
It would have to be fun, natural and creative. I’m a people-person and love to chat whilst shooting (obviously not when I want to be incognito!) but I do like the people around me to feel comfortable whilst I’m there with the camera. I always find that the more natural photos are more pleasing to the eye and also the preference of the couples I’ve worked with.
What should couples look for when choosing a wedding photographer?
It can be a minefield finding the right person and it's not always about the photograph, but also about the person taking the photograph… and the price.
My advice would be to do your homework and look at at least one or two other photographers so you can weigh up the pros and cons before making a decision. Ask for examples of a photographer’s work and arrange a meeting so you can get to know the photographer and vice versa.
Another thing to consider when working with a photographer is exactly what you will be getting after the day – is it digital files, physical prints, or both? The costs will vary depending on this.
Do you have a favourite place or type of venue to photograph and why?
My favourite type of venue would be one that has lots of different aspects that can be captured at different times of the day. I love a sunset, and having somewhere where the sunset can be captured from is always a bonus.
Do you have a favourite photograph you’ve taken at a wedding? What makes it so special in your opinion?
There are so many photographs I've taken at so many wonderful weddings. My favourite photographs are often the ones which capture a true moment, one that cannot be captured in any other circumstance. For example, the one below taken in 2012. The bride’s Grandmother wasn't able to attend the wedding due to ill health and surprised the bride at the front of the church door just before she was about to go in. The expressions on their faces are priceless. I decided to put it in black and white to make it more emotive.
Is there anything you wish couples knew or would ask when it comes to wedding photography?
Make sure you know exactly how you want the wedding to run
Prior to the wedding, it’s a good idea to catch up with your photographer to go over the day from start to finish so they get an idea of what is expected from them and also what you can expect from them. Understanding how the photographer will work prior to the day, during, and after (waiting times for delivery of photographs etc.) is always good to ensure you’re not left in the dark and can manage expectations.
Let your photographer know about key players
If there are any important members of the wedding party that you would like group photographs of, make sure your photographer knows about them. Detailing this before the day means your photographer has a good idea of the people they absolutely should not miss.
Sometimes less direction can be best
Giving your photographer the freedom to shoot in their own style without feeling too restricted can often be for the best, as if they’re thinking too much about your requirements this could impact the quality of their work.
Be aware of guest photographers
These days, everybody has a camera, whether it's on their phone or their own DSLR camera. It's good to be aware of this and try not to let it take away from the true value of wedding photography. I often suggest that couples have an ‘unplugged’ wedding where no photographs are taken from the ceremony but I totally understand if a couple wants this. Saying this, some of my favourite photographs have been taken when other people have posed a couple up for a photograph and I have taken one from the side without them knowing... this is where the true reportage photography style comes out of which I'm a big fan of.
Thanks so much for chatting with us, Paul!
If you'd like to get in touch with Paul, just follow the links below:
Website : https://www.pwilletts.com/