Congratulations!! You’re engaged! You are about to embark on one of the most important, and exciting chapters of your life! A happy marriage starts with…you’ve guessed it… The big day. Your wedding! It is the day that most girls have been planning and dreaming about waaaaaaay before they even met Mr or Mrs Right. (sorry guys, its true) From the moment they first walked about the house with a pillow case on their head, making their younger sibling (boy or girl) be the groom, the dreams were set!
Now I am going out on a limb here, and suggesting that moooooost of the planning is being done by our brides here. It isn’t always the case, I have had some awesome ‘hands on’ grooms in the past. But generally, they like to nod and say “yes dear”. ‘Happy Wife; Happy Life’ guys….amirite?!
The one part of the planning that they do like to have a say on is actually the photography. Your Wedding Photographer is going to be with you ALL DAY. And pretty close. I’m like a very loveable third wheel. From the makeup and hair with the girls, and cufflinks and buttonholes with the boys, all the way through to kicking off the shoes and partying the night away. So, pretty big decision.
I have recently been in your shoes! Yup, although myself and my own Mr Right have been married for 9 years now, we are planning our vow renewal (I actually had to go back and change that from ‘I am planning MY vow renewal. Sorry babe) …
The most important part for me is the wedding photographer. I have to say that right? Well, when we got married, we had an intimate elopement on the beach in Florida. The only thing I regret is that we didn’t research photography and just booked the one that came with our package. The pictures looked nice on the site? WRONG. Our wedding photos are everything I try not to do. Posey, contrived, no thought for storytelling or emotion. They were literally clicked the button, and sent the images as they were.
I looked through well over 100 websites searching for our vow renewal photographer. I eventually contacted seven !! YES SEVEN, out of a hundred. There were 3 on my top list, but one stuck out. And I knew, because as soon as she replied and said she was available, I forgot about the rest.
So what was I looking for in a wedding photographer? I will go ahead and tell you what I think you should be asking yourself when looking for your perfect wedding photographer. Buckle up!!
Can I envisage ‘us’ in this portfolio of images?
If you are a camera-shy couple, you are not going to want posey style pictures. You are going to want someone who captures the day as it unfolds, and encourages you both to just be you. Let me do all the heavy lifting!
When I work with my couples, I have been watching you all day, working out how your dynamic is as a couple. When we go off to do your ‘couples shots’, I want you to be as relaxed with me as possible, and I literally just send you off for a walk. I already know where the light looks good and the scenery is pretty. I just need to add you in and make you both look marvellous and capture you in love!
My talent is making people who hate having their photos taken, LOVE THEIR WEDDING PHOTOS!
I would describe my style as timeless, documentary and storytelling yet whimsical and fun.
I am having a winter wedding. Does this make a difference with the type of photographer we need?
Absolutely. Winter weddings are just as beautiful as summer weddings and becoming very popular. My diary in December is often busier than July. The festive time is fantastic for bringing your families together and its often a ready made theme! Winter comes with a whole different set of photography skills though…
Light is limited. You cannot rely on being a natural light photographer all day. In the depths of winter, it is dark by 3pm. If you want outside pictures, you need a photographer who can work quickly and efficiently to get these for you.
Your photographer is going to have to be using a flash for at least 80% of the day. Make sure you have seen a full gallery of a winter wedding. Do you still like the look of the images?
You want a Sparkler Exit when the sun has gone down? These can be tricky to shoot! Make sure you have seen sparkler pictures!!
“Sheryl is an amazing photographer and worth every penny! Our wedding photos are stunning and probably make it look better than it actually was! She was lovely and completely unfazed by all our weirdness, the disasters with the weather, the timings and the fact we had to move the ceremony area last minute!
She worked incredibly hard and spent the whole wedding breakfast already editing photos on her laptop. She made the couples and group photos short and sweet and I hardly noticed her taking most of the photos- which is perfect as I get a little bit uncomfortable posing for photos. I would definitely recommend her to anyone! Thank you, Sheryl!”
I am having a summer wedding. I really want sunset photos. Do I need to consider this in my package? Can we extend on our package?
Yup, in contrast to winter, that sun is setting later and later. I shot a wedding on the summer equinox….they would be wanting to party at the time of sunset (9.30pm) so we did their photos as late as possible before the evening guests arrived at 7.30pm.
If you want me to start photographic coverage earlier or later than the advertised packages, please do get in touch and we can tailor make something just for you!
I am getting married in the UK. What do we do if the weather is changeable?
If you are looking for a wedding photographer in the UK, you already know that the weather here is well…. British! Its just as likely to rain on an August date as it is to be sunny on a November date. My advice is to remain as fluid as you can with contingency plans, and make sure you have seen pictures of all weathers in a photographers portfolio.
Some of my all time favourite images have been taken in foggy, stormy or hurricane weather!
It is very very rare that it rains ALL DAY with no break. But if it does, are you happy having your group pictures and couples pictures taken indoors? Something to think on when booking your venue. Are the interiors well lit and beautiful. If it does rain all day will you be happy with that as your backdrop for your photos?
I can only see a few pictures from lots of different weddings on a photographers website. Can I ask them to see a full gallery?
We want you to! We would much rather you asked lots of questions and we would love to show off full galleries to you. After all, that is our final product and we are very proud of them Every photographer has a few amazing couples that are more than happy to be ‘poster couples’ with their gallery, and I always ask their permission to share their big day.
I LOVE this wedding photographer’s style, but I don’t think they’ve been to my wedding venue. Does that matter?
Personally? NO! I travel all over the UK with wedding photography even though my local base is The Cotswolds, Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Birmingham, Oxfordshire and Bristol. There are so many wedding venues within these counties. Tell me what style/vibe of wedding you are having and I know I will have something similar up my sleeve.
Are you having a Church ceremony then a Barn wedding in Autumn? Tell me, I will find one or two galleries that I think you will like. Are you having a full festival in a field with a celebrant then 5 bands in the height of summer? I’ve got ya!
I know there are some ‘fashionable’ photography styles. I want my gallery to look timeless in twenty years.
A good wedding photographer will have a consistent and timeless editing style. Check their websites, but also their social media. You are likely to see images from the past weeks and months on their instagram… do they still look like they were taken by the same person as shot the ones on their website? You don’t want to regret the colours, style or theme of shooting/editing 30 years down the line. True colours and skin tones would be what I advice looking for.
How do I know if I will get on with our potential photographer?
Speak to them! I know we are all guilty of doing everything via email, private message DM’s, tagging on social media. You cannot beat the old fashioned ways to gauge a personal connection. I am happy to chat on the phone, Skype, zoom, FaceTime and answer all of your questions. I always try to meet with my couples in person before the big day, though geographically it isn’t always possible.
Where can I see or hear what other people have said about them?
I highly recommend searching for your wedding photographer’s Google Reviews. These are always genuine, you can see who is writing them and Google have their bots fighting fake and spam reviews.
“We would highly recommend Sheryl for your special day! She is very professional, a lovely person and a good giggle too! I (the bride) am not the most photogenic of people but Sheryl managed to catch some truly fabulous images.
She made us feel so relaxed and sometimes we forgot she was there in the room. You will not be disappointed!”
“To anyone reading this – book her now! It will be the best decision you make as part of your planning process. I’d even say it would be best to book Sheryl in first before anything else! She has SO much knowledge of the industry and all of her photos are so inspiring.
As soon as we saw Sheryl’s work, it only took 5 minutes of scrolling through her photos for us to know that she was exactly what were looking for. Her photos are so natural and atmospheric but also with an artistic flare. We had full confidence in her and that was before we’d even met her.
Sheryl was just amazing on the day. I really do feel like there is so much thought that has gone into every single photo and each one of them is perfect. I cannot believe how one person can capture so many photo-worthy moments all over the place throughout the entire day – it must be exhausting!
We have had endless compliments on our photos and I know both of my sisters will be booking her. We are so happy and we will never be able to thank Sheryl enough.”
I have heard of couples waiting up to SIX MONTHS and longer for their wedding photos. Surely I won’t have to wait that long?
Nope! With me, you will have sneak peek gallery on the eve of your wedding! Low season couples will have their full galleries back within 3-5 weeks and high season couples with have them in their inbox no later that 8 weeks after the wedding day. Its usually 4-6 weeks.
Once your wedding day is over and you have the sneak peeks, I like to step away from your files for a few weeks. This allows me to come back and look at them with fresh eyes. Sometimes I then realise there are some less obvious gems in there that may have been overlooked initially. This is very important in my personal editing process. I never ever outsource my editing. Every thing is shot solely by myself, culled, and every single image has MY sole attention. It has taken me 5 years to create the perfect editing workflow which is uniquely mine so my images are one of a kind!
“Sheryl is brilliant! We would highly recommend her to anyone wanting beautiful photos to capture a special occasion. absolutely loved the style and feeling captured in Sheryl’s photos when we found her online, and she did not disappoint on our wedding day. We really felt like she listened to what we wanted (I’m not very good at posing for photos!) and managed to capture the day and moments throughout perfectly.
Since receiving the final photos, we’ve looked through so many times and each time it feels like we are reliving the day. We’ve also had soooo many compliments and recommended Sheryl to every one of our engaged friends!
She was professional throughout and made me feel at ease on the day, with a perfect level of humour and a great voice to get everyone’s attention when needed!!
If anyone is considering Sheryl for their day, please go for it. We are so glad and grateful to have had her as our wedding photographer!”
I have a huge family. Can you handle them for the group pictures?
Again, check reviews and portfolios. I have been described as a loveable Sergeant Major when it comes to the efficiency of the groups. It is like herding cats! Someone has gone to the loo, someone is changing the baby. Aunt Maud has gone to check in and Nanna has gone for a lay down. There is always someone at the bar that is integral to the images.
I can round them up like a collie herding sheep, with a loud voice (I used to teach fitness classes) and a joke, we always get them done!
Our dog is our baby! Can we have them at our wedding for photos?
If your venue is happy with it, then I am the photographer for YOU!! I have 3 dogs, I have always had dogs, and I always have a special way of getting them looking at the camera!!
“We were recommended Sheryl by a friend and we could not have been luckier! She is so lovely and helped to bring my wife and me out of our shells. She’s also super great with dogs and had some lovely ideas for photos on our wedding day. Honestly one of the fondest memories from our day is spending time with her having our photos taken.
Also her photos are amazing, the edits are beautiful and she gets them out super fast. So happy to have had her as our photographer :)”
My brothers friend of a friend has a fancy pants camera takes some nice pictures, why shouldn’t I ask him to do my wedding photography?
Okaaaay this is a whole other ball game, and it comes back to saying ‘look for a full gallery’
A lot of people can take a nice picture. Some people can take an amazing picture. But can you really trust a novice or newbie to capture all of the moments that takes a seasoned pro YEARS to pre-empt? On the biggest day of your life?
Also, a professional wedding photographer like myself will have their gear, back up gear, and back up back up gear!! I never sell on older gear when I upgrade. I invest a LOT of money back into my gear yearly to make sure I am delivering the very best imagery I can produce.
I invest my time in training, both online and in person workshops to grow as an artist.
I am ready for fast changes of weather and light so that we never miss a shot. My lenses are optimum quality for the lowest lit church (did you know pretty much all vicars will ban a flash?) Helllooooo orange light and dark grainy shadows without the proper gear!
Should my wedding photographer be insured?
Absolutely. I am fully insured by PolicyBee and also a member of the SWPP (Society of Wedding and Portrait Photographers)
Most venues will now insist on seeing Public Liability paperwork for all vendors on site.
Finally…. how do I know if a photographer is LGBTQ+ friendly?
I feel very lucky to live and work in a country where this isn’t an issue. I don’t blatantly state on my site that I am LGBTQ+ friendly as as far as I am concerned it is the same as shooting any other wedding. But I guess its important to mention that I shoot people in love. End of!
Just a slight trumpet blowing note…Awards aren’t everything but they sure do help! Im ecstatic to have been recently named one of the Top 100 UK Photographers by SLR Lounge and also in the Top 50 UK Photographers 2017/2018/2019 by GoHen!
I have had my imagery featured in many publications in both print and online and it still makes me squeal every time!
I hope this has been useful in helping you to choose the right photographer for you. Remember there isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ answer, and just because your friend had a certain photographer doesn’t mean they will be right for you. If you are ready to speak to me about your wedding, I would love to have a chat. Just pop me an email via my Contact Page and we can get the ball rolling.
I can’t wait to hear about your plans and talk through any questions you may have. Check out my FAQ page in the meantime.