Hi I'm Jonathan @ MrShutterbug Photography. I am a Surrey wedding photographer who specialises in capturing and telling the story of a couple's big day from start to finish.
With enquiry season well under way and my diary filling up fast with lots of meetings with excited couples to learn all about their big plans for their Surrey Wedding, I wanted to revisit a 2015 post entitled Top 5 Tips to get the best from your Wedding Photography in Surrey. I often refer people to this post but feel it now needs a little updating.
MEET YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER
Well we can't do anything if you haven't contacted me so you have taken the first step :)
Couples I meet these days tend to be specific in what they are looking for. Reportage photography otherwise known as documentary wedding photography is very high on the list. As a Surrey wedding photographer they don’t want Mr BOSSY boots ordering everyone around and generally making everyone's lives at the wedding a misery. Couples want a photographer who can literally blend into the background, be one of the guests and take shots that people don’t even know are happening. My Job as a photographer is to be discreet only to be noticed when organising formals and then disappearing into the background creating unopposed natural documentary style images.
Most of my pre wedding consultations either happen at the reception venue, cafe or a pub. It’s easy to meet, break the ice and get to know each other, discuss your special day in detail and discuss what is important to you and the style of photography you are after. Generally meets last about an hour by which time we have covered your big day in some detail and the ins and outs of what you are specifically looking for in a Surrey wedding photographer. If by the end of the meeting you decide my photographs and portfolio are awful and you simply can not get along with me and are depressed at the thought of having me as your wedding photographer then you are actually no worse off!!
Obviously I hope that's not the case and we hit it off but these things do happen, your photographer has to fit your personality as well as take amazing photo's. We have all heard about photographer's who have turned couples down because of Momzilla, it does happen.
FAMILY AND FRIENDS INTRODUCE ME DON'T BE SHY!!
Lets face it, having all your friends and family come together for your wedding is just one big excuse to party with all the favourite people in your lives.
So before the big day send me a list of your family and a recent photo of each member or closest friends. These are the people with whom i will be interacting with most throughout your Surrey Wedding and capturing as the story and moments unfold. By letting me know in advance I don't turn up blind and will already know who the main players are on your wedding day. It will make it easier for me to slot seamlessly in when I arrive on the day to photograph the brides preparations and best men and ushers looking after the nervous groom at the church wondering if his bride will show!!!
Introduce me, it makes shooting your big day so much easier and everyone is more relaxed around the camera which is exactly what we are looking for.
If there is someone who has travelled from overseas or who is extremely important to you then please do introduce me to them so that I know I need to get a few shots of this special person. It is not always possible to shoot every single guest at a wedding and if I miss that special someone out you’ll be disappointed.
EVERYONE LOVES CONFETTI
Leaving the church and getting the confetti shot is a must for most couples and as a Surrey Wedding photographer I love these shots despite the risk to my own personal health !!!
Here are a few tips to ensure we get a great shot. Get your ushers to tell all your guests to form a tunnel as soon as guests start to leave the church. Once the tunnel is made the ushers can distribute the confetti accordingly to each guest. Now it's time for you to walk through the tunnel and confetti pandemonium to break lose whilst I walk backwards and hope no one trips me up :)
The most hated part of any Surrey wedding is the formal photographs. For many this is the most stressful and boring part of the day, BUT it really does not need to be. This is usually where a good Surrey Wedding photographer defines their worth and is able to capture all those formals in an allotted time frame before the main reception or wedding breakfast kicks off.
Part of my wedding preparation with couples is providing a detailed questionnaire, In this I always ask for a list of the groups to be photographed and in what order. Keep it simple and up to a maximum of 5 to 6 groups. ( I aim for 5 minutes per group occasionally, well nearly always this is held up by that one person who has disappeared for a crafty cigarette or drink at the bar!!!)
I make 5 copies of your formal photographs list. I Keep one, one to your Matron of Honour, One to the Best Man and the rest to your Ushers. I get them to round up the relevant guests so that whilst i'm photographing one group the next is ready and waiting. Get the Ushers to Usher hence their name :)
I advise most couples to do the formals during the reception straight after the ceremony and before the wedding breakfast. I always photograph the formals away from the reception so that guests are not in the background. The first formal I always shoot is all the guests straight after the ceremony, this is because I have everyone's attention before they get bored. I aim to shoot all the guests in a big group usually from an elevated position so we are able to see each guest. Once this photo is shot we move swiftly on to the other formals thus making sure the process is quick and painful.
Apart from formal formals think of a few fun shots to have with your bridesmaids and ushers.
Remember I will have already scouted out a location for formals and agreed upon the location with you. By following this guide formals should be done inside 30 minutes hopefully quicker meaning guests don’t get bored and brides don’t get stressed.
Depending on the venue and timescales I always say to couples plan to be away from your guests for 30 minutes sometimes longer. This is definitely a time for the both of you to relax, The ceremony is over, its official your Man and Wife. I usually say let’s bring a bottle of champagne and 2 glasses for the both of you and try to just take a moment to enjoy what's just happened and decompress, after all you have been planning this moment for the past 12 months. I will leave you to chat, drink and have fun whilst photographing from a distance making the portraiture session more intimate and relaxed.
We usually have pre determined backdrops we have discussed so I can just take some relaxed natural shots whilst you enjoy the moment! Try and time your portraiture to be 30 minutes before sunset when light is at its best, if not don't worry I can just take some relaxed natural shots whilst you enjoy the moment!
I really enjoy documenting weddings and working with couples across Surrey and the Home Counties to create a beautiful, natural wedding story they love. My approach is all about having fun and blending in with your guests as if I was not there! My aim is to make you relax and enjoy yourself as it will show in your final photos :)
If you would like to know more about MrShutterbug Surrey wedding photography or chat please don’t hesitate to say hello. I’d love to know more about your wedding plans!