FAQs and expert advice about photography

Here is a selection of Q&As from Your Devon and Cornwall Wedding magazine whether it be about flowers, hair and makeup, fashion, wedding themes, health & beauty, cakes, stationery, legal advice. If you would like your question answered by our experts, please email it to editor@yourdevoncornwall.wedding


Snap happy

Snap happy

Q. We're both interested in photography so how can we ensure amazing wedding photos?

A. Jennifer Jane says: Meet the expert: Jennifer Jane is an award-winning, luxury fine art wedding photographer based in Devon capturing timeless and elegant, yet relaxed photographs.

Jennifer says: Many elements go into planning a wedding, from deciding on the dress and flowers to the cake and entertainment. But top of this list, after booking the venue, should be the photographer. Your wedding day will go by in the blink of an eye and the photos will be the one permanent and lasting reminder so you'll want them to look amazing and reflect the love, joy and happiness from the day. Your chosen photographer will capture these elements but there are a few things that you can do yourselves that will help your photographer deliver those incredible images.

- If you're having getting ready photographs taken, pick a spacious room that offers plenty of natural light, turning off any overhead lights and lamps and opening any curtains or blinds. When your make-up artist and hair stylist are at work, sit facing towards the window so that your face will be lit by soft light.

- It can be easy for the room where the bridal party are getting ready to look cluttered so keep an eye on the background and every so often, have a quick tidy. You don't want empty glasses, plates or carrier bags and rubbish making an appearance in the background.

- The details are just as integral to the wedding as everything else. Many couples love to see these images weaved together as part of the story of the day in their finished album. If you'd like your dress, shoes and flowers photographed, put these together with any other details you might like captured such as perfume and jewellery. If your dress comes on a plastic hanger, replace it with an ivory padded one which will look much nicer in the shots.

- If you're planning on having confetti thrown at your wedding then let your photographer know in advance. They can arrange your guests quickly and efficiently after the ceremony and if you supply the confetti yourself, opting for natural petals looks so pretty.

- It's good to have a few formal family photographs. To get the most out of these, keep them to a minimum of between six to eight without too many people in them. Formal pictures can take between three to five minutes per photo, so the more you have, the longer they'll take. If you give your photographer a list of the groups you'd like, they'll be able to whizz through them.

- One of the best things that you can give your photographer that helps them to achieve the most amazing wedding images is time, especially the period between the ceremony and the wedding breakfast. During this time, you'll be having your confetti shot, formal photographs (perhaps including an entire guest picture) plus those of you both as a couple and greeting and socialising with your guests. It's also the time when your photographer will capture your table set-up and cake, whilst the light is still optimal and nothing has been disturbed. If you give yourself a minimum of two hours, that'll be enough time to achieve all of these aspects without feeling rushed.

- When it comes to the speeches, there's been a recent trend for having them at the beginning of the meal (to get them out of the way) or to split them between courses. I still believe that the best time for speeches is at the end of the meal. By this time, the empty plates and glasses have been cleared so your photos won't include these, and your guests are more receptive to giving your speeches the attention and laughter they deserve, resulting in beautiful pictures of happy guests.

Jennifer Jane,Jennifer Jane Photography


All in the detail

All in the detail

Q. We're having a small, intimate wedding this summer and want a photographer who can capture the finer details and precious moments as they unfold – can you help?

A. Suzanne McFadzean says: Meet the expert: Suzanne McFadzean is an Axminster-based, yet national wedding and portrait photographer specialising in elegant and timeless documentary-style wedding photography. Suzanne says: It's important that a couple and their chosen wedding photographer get along well and have a good rapport because this is what helps create wonderful wedding photos! Your photographer is going to be there right from the start of your day and often until the evening so choose with care! With years of experience under my belt, I can help each couple through their special day capturing those intimate, often unseen moments that keep the memories alive forever. It's important to have the portrait pictures and family images along with those of the finer details that so much work goes into preparing.

Because each wedding is very different and requirements vary, it's important to settle on a plan for the wedding photography that best suits your needs. I offer three wedding photography packages, Bronze, Silver and Gold, plus a bespoke service should couples want a multi-day celebration or even a destination wedding. My Bronze package allows for a short day of photography between three to five hours which is ideal for a mid-week winter wedding. My Silver package includes a full day of photography from the bridal preparation to the first dance, a pre-wedding shoot (which is a great way of meeting and building that initial relationship with your photographer) and a ten-page luxury album, plus more. Finally, my Gold package offers (but is not limited to) a 10-hour day of photography, a luxury 20-page album, two smaller parent albums plus 10 mounted and boxed prints (in addition to the online gallery and USB stick containing all of the high resolution edited images). Even with these packages, nothing is set in stone. It's best to start with a chat about what you're planning and what you both want and to be sure that we get on well.

Suzanne McFadzean,Suzanne McFadzean Portrait and Weddings


Let there be light

Let there be light

Q. We have postponed our wedding until late autumn following the recent restrictions, and want an afternoon ceremony. How can we fit in our couple and guest photographs before it gets dark?

A. Julie Louise Sum says: Julie says: One of the most important things needed for wedding photography is light. With more couples postponing their ceremony dates until later on this year, I'm reminding them to consider the light outside and how it can alter the flow of the day when choosing a new time. During the winter months, the light can drop from as early as 3.30pm and a change can be noticed within ten minutes. If a couple gets married at 2pm, I have to think about how quickly we can realistically take the photographs after the ceremony, taking into consideration that guests will want to enjoy a welcome drink and couples won't want to feel rushed. I must manage people's expectations with their requests in terms of what can be achieved.

There are some things that couples should do when choosing their new date and time:

- Consider the ceremony time with the sun going down (your photographer will be able to guide you on this).
- Think about how much relaxation time is required following the ceremony.
- Consider having indoor photographs and where these might be suitable within the venue. Wedding coordinators usually have good advice about this.

There are always ways to work with weddings where the light will be limited, even if it means getting a night shot for some extra magic. Some of the things I consider are:

- Prioritising couple portraits first and then taking any group images indoors.
- Allowing for travelling distances between changes of venue, for example from a church to a reception venue.
- Measuring the light outside one week before the big day to see exactly what time I have to work with.
- Opportunities to add additional light sources so that I can take creative images outside or look at innovative ways to capture romantic images indoors, for example in a candlelit barn.

The logistics of the day may have to shift slightly and open communication between the couple and photographer is key but either way, the day should be happy and fun no matter what the light and weather are like.

Julie Louise Sum,Julie Louise Photography


Making memories

Making memories

Q. Please can you advise us what to look out for when booking our wedding photographer?

A. Mike Lister Photography says: Meet the expert: Mike Lister is a Plymouth-based wedding photographer specialising in capturing those little details and precious moments.

Mike says: Here are some of my tips on what to watch out for:
• How active is your chosen photographer on social media, for example, on Facebook, Instagram and blog posts? Most love to share their most recent work with others so this will give you an insight into their style of work. Look for complete real weddings, not just a few selects.
• Check out online reviews from previous customers. Your experience may differ but it's a good start to find out what others are willing to say about them.
• Do they have any professional training or accreditation? Photography is a craft and someone with this shows that they have a passion for it and that it isn't just a job to them.
• Do you get on well with your photographer? They're going to be with you all day so you need to make sure that they bond well with you both.
• Pick a photographer whose style you admire. If you love black and white images, then find someone that specialises in that. Here are some other questions to ask:
• Do they have a plan B? This is vital incase there's an issue with the equipment or the weather is bad.
• What's their favourite part of any wedding? It's really good to get to know your photographer because it's such a personal day.
• Do they have any recommendations for other local suppliers that you may still be looking for? Wedding photographers meet plenty so they may know or be able to recommend good ones for you.

Mike Lister Photography