My approach to wedding photography

29th November 2010
I photographed my first wedding as a favour for a friend and very quickly realised I had a passion for capturing the emotion of a bride and grooms big day. From that moment I decided to pursue this wonderful area of photography further and worked alongside some established wedding photographers to gain valuabe experience. During each wedding I aim to capture key moments of the day in beautiful detail whilst working as unobtrusively as possible.

Why pay for a wedding photographer?
Why indeed, with the advent of digital photography more and more people then ever before have cameras and those cameras are getting pretty clever, almost to the point they’ll take the picture for you. It’s not surprising then that wedding couples will ask friends to take their photos rather than pay for a photographer.
But look at it this way, you pay good money for a cake that gets eaten, flowers which wilt and a posh car that you sit in for probably no more than half an hour. Why economise on the one thing which often becomes the only lasting memory of your big day. Sure you could still just get friends to take some snaps but won’t they prefer to enjoy the day themselves. So that’s why you’re better off hiring a photographer. The job of photographing a wedding isn’t all that easy either, you’re on the go from start to finish, making sure you capture all the key moments, the must have portraits and using your trained eyes and ears to spot those great candid shots before they happen. That’s why you need a photographer who can concentrate fully on the task and who knows how to get the best from the working environment.

But why does it cost so much?
There are lots of reasons. Firstly a wedding photographer often spends a lot more time on one commission than people realise. We spend time with our customers before the wedding to make sure both parties are happy working together. Often a wedding photographer will do some pre wedding shots to get an idea of how a particular couple will behave in front of the camera, after all we want to give the best results we can. And giving the best results involves using high-end equipment, which costs a lot of money, but even the best kit can break down so back up equipment needs to be ready to use. All this expensive equipment needs to be kept up to date and needs to be insured. Insurance is also needed for public liability and professional indemnity, not that a professional photographer is going to let a customer down but there’s always that minimal chance of circumstances beyond our control.
Back to the subject of time, there’s still work to be done after the big day, editing and processing images then building the album. Of course you want the best quality album or prints you can afford, I use a professional lab for my albums and printing and quality comes at a cost.
So that’s why it’s worth investing in a photographer for your big day.

What can you expect from Michael Halliday?
Before your wedding we will meet up to discuss your individual needs, I will also carry out a pre wedding shoot which helps to establish a great working rapport and will provide a set of beautiful lifestyle portraits to compliment the images from your big day. Leading up to the wedding I'm always available to discuss any aspect of the commission. When you place a booking your wedding becomes my sole priority for that day. I will arrive by the agreed time and I'm yours till the last shot is taken regardless of whether it is a simple civil ceremony and reception or the full day from the bridal preparations to the first dance.

How quickly are the images ready?
There are some photographers who will have the first proofs upoaded to a website by the following day. In my view that is way too soon, after a full day working the last thing I want to do is start looking through the shots, I'd rather approach this part of the commission feeling relaxed and refreshed. Each and every image needs to be viewd before the fist selection is made, then begins the process of any retouching and colour correction required. A small selection of images my be enhanced with subtle effects whilst others may be converted to black & white. Only when the full set is complete will I upload to a password protected web page where they can be viewed or, if you prefer, a DVD slideshow can be provided. I will never keep a client waiting longer than is neccessary but will never compromise quality by rushing a job.
Then it's up to the bride and groom to select which images they'd like in thier chosen style of album. Again I approach this stage with the utmost attention to detail and will not submit a design for printing until I'm happy with the layout.

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