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


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


Snappy snaps

Snappy snaps

Q. How do I choose my wedding photographer?

A. Martyn Norsworthy says: I've been photographing weddings now for 28 years and my advice to couples looking to select their big-day snapper has always been the same. Firstly, rapport is everything because the images might look amazing but make sure you meet your photographer before the day and that you like each other! You'll be spending plenty of time together on the day so consider how comfortable you both feel around them and how relaxed they will make your guests feel.

Secondly, look at complete weddings that they have photographed. This might sound a bit silly but when you're viewing albums and portfolios, it's always wise to see full real weddings rather than styled shoots because the time constraints are different. Look for continuity of quality of the images and good editing skills.

Read the testimonials because this is a great way to see other customer's reactions to how their experience was with the photographer, good or bad!

Enquire if they're full-time professionals or semi-professional because you might find it's difficult if they can't devote their full attention to your special day if they have other commitments.

Finally, ask about insurance. This is a question that many don't ask but they should have full indemnity and liability insurance that's very important for you and your guests.

Martyn Norsworthy

When it's time for you look for local businesses to help you with your wedding, take a look at our advertisements below. Most will have links to their own websites. These advertisements are updated regularly so please revisit often and mention Your Devon and Cornwall Wedding when making any enquiries.

Pengersick Castle
Outdoor 365 Group
Sarah Chapman - Independent Celebrant
Boveys Down Farm