Wedding Planning

Twenty Questions to Ask Your Wedding Photographer

Firstly we must say these are not questions we advocate asking your wedding photographer.

But so many of us have come across prospective brides who have read THAT Blog by the wedding magazine … Questions to ask your wedding photographer.

Many of these questions are already in our contract and our wedding leaflets, but here are our answers for anyone who may also come across the same blog.

Your Wedding Photography is going to be a decent sized purchase and you probably want to ensure you are asking the right things. Some of these questions will definately help on your quest to finding the right photographer, and some of them will not, here are our answers to these questions.

#1 What Does Your Package Include

If you met us at a wedding show and have one of our leaflets, this is on the leaflet.

Lensi Photography Wedding Packages

Lensi Photography – example front of leaflet

A number of digital  images (depending on which package you have), 2 photographers, albums are priced separately. We do not compete on price, but not the quality of our work, if price is a main factor in your consideration there will definitely be cheaper wedding photographers you can commission. If your choice is based on style, someone you can gel with, quality and professionalism, you are int he right place!

#2 How much does it cost?

A basic package starts from £1600, all the various options are shown on our wedding leaflets. These include pre wedding shoots, albums of different sizes, Wedding Magazines, extra photographers, monograms, programme designs and a whole host of things.

Lensi Photography Wedding Packages

Lensi Photography – Example front of wedding leaflet

#3 When will we receive the images

This is a useful question int he twenty questions to ask your wedding photographer. All of this is listed in your contract with us. We have a turn around of 3 months which also depends on you the clients okaying albums and changes as quickly as possible, or this may delay the timeline. However we also deliver 10 – 15 of our favourite moments from your day within 24 hours (48 if we are shooting the next day). This way, the first images you upload to social media or share with friends via WhatsApp, will be professional ones, not phone ones.

#4 How will we receive the images

On a USB pen OR digital download

#5 Are there videographers you prefer to work with

In some cases yes. The main thing is that everyone is respectful of each other, giving each other the space needed to do the best for the couple. This may include shooting on longer lenses so that both photographers and videographers can get the best images for the couple on the day.

#6 How would you consider your photography style

We would say amazing! But that is for you to judge, your wedding will be a mixture of natural documentary moments, styled shots, groups shots, details. We used natural light, flash and constant light. A full recipe of what is needed to get the job done and we feels makes and amazing set of wedding day images. Unless you understand photography all of that will probably not mean much. So again let our work speak for itself. The link shows a preview of our 24 hour preview.

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Wedding Photography by Lensi Photography

Another way we would describe our style is ‘clean’, no matter what chaos is going on around the images, your day (through your images) will look calm, serene and full of joy. We are the photographers that will move that bag from beside the chair, tell you that your necklace is not straight or a curl is out of place. We will also produce probably your favourite portrait of yourself … ever!

Birmingham Wedding Photography

Birmingham Wedding Photography

#7 How many photographers shoot the wedding

All our weddings are shot by two photographers. This was both the bride and groom get full cover from their preparations to ceremony.

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Faux Flowers, M & Wedding by Lensi Photography

There is also no having to sprint down the aisle to get two different shots for the photographer, and as a wedding is generally something people have planned for years , in the event of a photographer say … spraining an ankle on the day, which is unlikely, but not impossible … the wedding will still be covered. It works like an insurance policy.

#8 Would you need a place to keep your equipment

The most expensive equipment will be on me (my cameras) there is usually somewhere safe or within eyesight that it can be kept during the wedding

#9 Who will be shooting my wedding?

We do not give jobs out to other photography companies or farm them out to other photographers. If you hire us your wedding will be shot by us. The only reason the main photographer would not be at your wedding would be the same reason you would have to miss a wedding.

A burst appendix, an accident, a serious illness etc. If this were to happen, just like with any other vendor, we would give you the option of allowing us to find a replacement, or a full refund. This has not happened to date, it is very rare. Just like the bride we know who had to leave her own wedding immediately after the vows due to illness. Its rare, but not impossible.

#10 When will I receive a written contract? What is the cancellation policy

Once you confirm that you would like us to shoot your wedding a contract will be drawn up and sent out, once this is signed and returned along with paying the deposit, your wedding is booked!

cytonn-photography-GJao3ZTX9gU-unsplash

The cancellation policy is outlined in the contract, the initial deposit is non refundable.

#11 Have you ever been to our venue?

Do not worry. A lot of brides ask this, but it is not necessary for us to shoot your wedding.

Think about this, does the DJ need to be familiar with that venue before to play well? Does the make up artist need to be familiar with all the faces they make up to make up a good face? The image below was our first wedding at this venue, to a creative photographer it is clear that this area would mae a beautiful photo.

Wedding Photography by Lensi Photography

Weston Park Weddings by Lensi Photography

 

As photographers we have shot all over the world. Venue visits can be arranged if you feel really strongly about this, there is a fee for doing this as it is another day out from shooting.

#12 What camera do you use?

Unless you understand DSLR cameras this is not such a useful question in the twenty questions to ask your wedding photographer.

Most photographers change their cameras at different times, as they do lenses. The cameras have no bearing on how good or not your photos will be. Some photographers have the best equipment but are still learning, and some do not have the latest equipment but are masters of their art.

Examples of the workalexander-wende-D1HtB-o7eK8-unsplash are a much better way to judge the professionalism of your photographer. That said we do use digital cameras and not film.

#13 Will you work to a list of photos we want

If there is one MUST HAVE photo of the day for you. Such as a photo or your nan, mom and you together, a best friend from your childhood, your new numberplate, let us know.

Female Wedding Photographer Birmingham

Female Wedding Photographer Birmingham

Other than that, as seasoned wedding photographers we know what we are doing. Look at our previous cover, it is enough o show you that with two photographers, we do not miss anything. As a recent bride, I understand the importance of wanted to see EVERYTHING afterwards, the food, the guests mingling while you were not around , the emotions from family and friends that you were not privy to while you were at the alter … trust us we know what we are doing.

#14 Timetable

There is no specific timetable as such we work to. It will depend on what package you have booked, along with what time your wedding day/ start and end. When we are close to your wedding date we will go through your timetable with you to ensure enough time has been allowed for your photos and that we start at the right time.

#15 If the Wedding Breakfast goes over time, will we pay extra?

This depends on the package you have. With an unlimited package no, with a 10 hour package yes, this is all outlined in your contract.

#16 Are images retouched?

Most images you see online are retouched in some way. All of our images are edited, which usually includes conversion from RAW to JPEG and may include minor whinges in exposure or white balances, cropping etc. Extensive retouching may be charged as an extra.

Wedding Photography by Lensi Photography

An Edited Image – Wedding Photography by Lensi Photography

For example the bride who wanted the scaffolding taking out of the church because they were having rennovations on the outside. This is specialist work and will be sent to an editor at a cost of £50 per hour. We also will not take out something that you have permanently, so for example if you have a tattoo that you would prefer not to be in the photos, it cannot be taken out of all 500 images for example. We will also not change the shape of your face or body for example. You are beautiful as you are!

#17 What are your payment terms

This is a useful question in the twenty questions to ask your wedding photographer, as everyone knows where they stand. We accept 50% deposit secures your booking, once we have this, we then take that date out of our diaries and we belong to you! (for that day).

The other 50% is due 4 weeks before your date. Similar to most wedding services, the venue, caterer, florists, venue dressers etc all payments are completed before the wedding, this is one less thing for you for worry about.

#18 Do we pay travel costs

This is all outlined in our contract. For weddings within a 50 mile radius no. For weddings outside of this, travel and accommodation may apply. We do not take risks of working for possibly 16 hours then having a 2 hour drive home, or even getting stuck in traffic on our way to you in the morning, this is why in some circumstances accommodation will apply. Again do not worry, although the Ritz is amazing, Premier Inn will do!

Travel and accommodation for your wedding photographer

The Ritz is not needed

#19 Are engagement / pre wedding shoots included in the package?

These are extra. Some couples have them, others do not. Some couples have a whole day shoot abroad, others have a half day shoot, for this reason they are not included as standard.

Pre Wedding Photoshoot Birmingham by Lensi Photography

Pre Wedding Photoshoot Birmingham by Lensi Photography

 

Our couples can have as much or as little as they would like.

#20 Could you recommend any new trends?

Our style is not to shoot the latest trends, so we do not shoot a dinosaur chasing you, or your husband standing far away as though he is being held in the palm of your hand. You will get a mixture of emotions, natural documentary photography, styled photography, posed group shots and detail shots of your shot.

Now that you have had all of these twenty questions to ask your wedding photographer answered … go ahead and give us a call or email to book us. It will be one the the best decisions you make for your wedding!

Ten Things not to spend on for your Wedding

Ten Things You Do Not Need to Spend Money on for your Wedding

Save Money on Your Wedding

Firstly this advice is not for those who can afford to have everything they want at their wedding. If money is not a worry have a huge cake, designer shoes, ballet dancers while you are walking down the aisle.

You can have your names personalised on everything in sight, a whole room of fresh flowers, everything that weddings now have to offer as the event of a lifetime.

But that IF this is not you; if you do need to save money on your wedding, if you have a budget that cannot stretch to the most lavish of everything, these are a few things we have come across from our experience of covering weddings. Five things you do not need to spend money on for your wedding.

  • Wedding Favours
  • Weekend Weddings
  • Specialist Wedding Shops
  • Paper Invites
  • Designer shoes
  • Fresh Flowers
  • Stuff that is only used one for an hour or so
  • Gimmicks
  • Wedding Cars
  • Cake

Save Money on Your Wedding #1

1# Leave the Wedding Favours

As much as you may love the idea of the crystal heart with your names and wedding date etched on that your guests can treasure forever. The honest truth is … very few will.

Your wedding date is the most important date to you naturally. Your wedding date however is not the most important date to your guests, no matter how much they love you. The truth is as much as your toil and stress over your favours, in many weddings we shoot; they end up as children’s play things within minutes of your guests sitting at the table.

Save Money on Your Wedding #2

2# Getting Married on a weekday

Saturday is the most expensive day to get married. Yes, the same venues cost different amounts on different days! Sundays and week days cost a lot less. So you may be thinking “but will my guests turn up?”.

No matter what day you hold your wedding on their will be some people who are not able to attend.

Saturdays and Sundays are now working days for many people, so weekends are no longer the free days they used to be.

Lots of couple also get married abroad who do not seem to have problems with their friends and families taking off 2,3 or more days to attend their wedding. Try not to over think it. The people who need to and want to be there will be.

Save Money on Your Wedding #3

3# Shop in Non Specialist Wedding Shops 

Wedding Hair Jewellery

Is a wedding tiara massively different to any other tiara? Compare the difference for yourselves. Buy one from a high street shop and compare them to others in bridal shops. The most expensive ones are no doubt of a a superior quality. It is up to you if the difference is enough to warrant the price difference. The average priced bridal ones however are not hugely different.

Everyones favourite High street accessories shop Claire’s has some amazing finds in their  ‘Hair Swag’ range. These range from £5 to £20. You would expect to pay £100 – 200 for a tiara or similar accessory in a bridal shop.

Wedding Hair Accessories, save money on your wedding, tips for brides to be

Hair Swag from Claire’s – £9 – 20

Another option is to use other accessories such as necklaces and pendants.

save money on your wedding, wedding hair accessories

Claire’s Accessories Wedding Hair Jewellery image by Bandele Zuberi

This bride did exactly that with Claire’s Accessories Jewellery. The head piece came to a total of just under £20. If you are a savvy online shopper, stores such as Etsy also have a great range.

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Faux Flowers, M & Wedding by Lensi Photography

Save Money on Your Wedding #4

4# Cut the Paper and Save The World!

Think of the last wedding you attended when if you invite and Save the Date You were given? If you still have this, that is fabulous! If it is in a treasured box of similar items from various years, even better!

However, if you cannot remember when it was left a month after putting the date in your phone diary. Then you have just discovered how quickly your hard earns money that was spent on invites or save the dates, so quickly ends up in the bin.

Consider a digital invite  / save the dates instead. Create a private FB group and send out an event, make a video that you WhatsApp to everyone, create a design that to WhatsApp to everyone.

Many people do most things on their phones now, so this is not unusual.

You will also be helping to save the planet as the rate of deforestation is alarming!

Save Money on Your Wedding #5

5# Ditch the designer shoes

Sometimes we are socialised into thinking you have to spend more on everything for your wedding. After all it is a special once in a  lifetime day!

Bridal groups and blogs are awash with brides blogging about their dream wedding shoes. You will no doubt have seen quite a few Laboutins in these groups. These designer shoes start from £700.  But bridal shoes are often hidden under a long dress  … where no one will ever see them.

Brides often ending changing into comfy shoes or flip flops as soon as they get to their reception, if not for their walk around the wedding venue for their couples photos.

Shops like TK Maxx stock a great range of FC UK and Blue By Betsey Johnson Shoes from January of each year leading up to the wedding season. ASOS also stocks Blue by Betsey Johnson at different times of the year. The great thing about these shoes is that if you are superstitious, the bottoms are painted blue, so it covers your “Something Blue”.

Bargain Wedding Shoes, save money on your wedding

Blue by Betsey Johnson – Wedding Photography by Lensi Photography

These beauties were £29.99.

Save Money on Your Wedding #6

6# Fresh Flowers

Fake it.

There is no doubt real flowers are amazing.

But if you are looking to cut on your budget fake ones will be a fraction of the price, and will have a very similar look. Greenery table runners for these two tables were prices at £1700 for this wedding. These ones came in at £300 for these the head table flowers, top table and aisle / pew end flowers.

The amazing Home Bargains and The Range have a great range of flowers that look a lot more expensive that they are. If you are having a red / autumn theme look to buy their valentines range at Home Bargains at the start of each year.

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Greenery Runner by Bandele Zuberi

Save Money on Your Wedding #7

7# Recycle

What happens to the flowers used in your ceremony, as aisle ends or to decorate the alter etc?

After the ceremony they are not needed again. But you still need flowers for the reception tables, top table etc. Why not just reuse the same flowers? Yes you will need a trusted friend or coordinator to move these for you, but it makes complete sense.

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Faux Flowers, Home Bargains by Bandele Zuberi

This top table arrangement started the day as aisle / pew ends for the wedding ceremony, and ended the day here. They too were fake / faux from Home Bargains. Approximately £55 for the top table and pew / aisle ends.  Rather than watch them wilt away a few days later after spending thousands, they can be re- gifted or sold on.

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Faux Flowers Top Table by Bandele Zuberi

Save Money on Your Wedding #8

8 #Gimmicks

We can all get influenced by social media, things that look great, sound like a great idea, seem to make sense but are actually quite costly, possibly gimmicky and not have any real value.

Disposable cameras is one of these.

The idea of disposable cameras on each table for guests to capture what is happening on their table.

Amazon sells packs of 5 cameras for around £50.

Say you have 100 people at your wedding thats already a cost of £100. Then their is the cost of developing them approximately £5 each. The quality of these is not great.

Many people struggle with getting great digital images even when they can see the outcome immediately. Imagine images from from a camera where your guests can not see the final photo!

You may end up paying to develop a lot of unusable images.

In actual fact most people carry around a much more powerful and sophicated camera in their hands, that you can get table pictures from for free!

Ask your guests to take photos on their phones and send them you after or sign up to to a wedding sharing app.

Save Money on Your Wedding #9

9# Cars

A wedding car may cost £3 – 500 for 2- 3 hours hire.

A prestige car from your average car hire company can cost you this much for 3 or 4 days hire. This may not work if you want a vintage car; but if you are happy to travel to your wedding in a prestige Jaguar, Mercedes or Range Rover, this could be a huge saving.

It would also mean not having to worry about car is going back before you finish doing your couples photos or if anything runs late.

For example Europa Car is showing a Mercedes C Class at £400 for three days hire. Granted, of course you will not get a driver with that. You may have to rope in that friend or uncle who owes you a favour, but you will also have a prestige car to get home in the next day or drive around in a a couple days after your big day.

Save Money on Your Wedding #10

10# Cake

If you can afford a cake, of course there are some amazing designs. We have shot so many beautiful cakes. But if you are looking at cutting another corner, the famous wedding cake is another way you can save.

Wedding photography by lensi photography, wedding cake, wedding tips, wedding planning, wedding saving, wedding budget,

Wedding Photography, Wedding Cake by Lensi Photography

The thing most couple want from this is a photo of them cutting the cake, after all its tradition.

We have however shot many a wedding where after this shot was taken, the cake was not cut. The worst cased scenario was a couple who took a 2k cake to the kitchen to be cut, it was never cut and shared out because of running late, it was forgotten about in the venue kitchen, then thrown away the next day.

Some couples are opting to save on their cake with alterntives such as Jelly Towers, Cake Pyramids and Pizza Towers!

jelly-stand-bompas-parr-15fa2b2

Jelly Tower, Wedding Saving Tips

tiffin-00f055e

Cake Slice Pyramids, Wedding Cake Alternatives

Pizza Tower, Wedding Cake Alternatives

Pizza Tower, Wedding Cake Alternatives

In contrast to all these savings. There are also many things we would say are important to spend money on or that you definitely need for a wedding.

See our blog post on Ten Things You DO need to spend money on for your wedding.

Lensi have been full time photographers for 10 years. This blog was written from that experience and also from a personal point of view as a recent bride.

If you want to preserve your quest for bargain hunting during your wedding planning. Consider your very own personalised Wedding Magazine. More than an album, it will document the stories behind the beautiful images, on your wedding planning journey.

This is how a page in your own personalised wedding magazine that documents your bargain hunt may look.

Ten Things TO spend on for your Wedding

COMING SOON

No Photos in Church Please – Wedding Photography

“No Photos in Church Please” – Wedding Photography

As a wedding photographer this may seem like a crazy statement to see or hear, Wedding Photography is all about taking photos in Church or a Gudwara or any other religious place, but this has literally been what we have ben told in some churches when covering some weddings “No Photos in Church Please”.

You may be reading this with a puzzled look on your face, I certainly thought that the first time I was told this by a Minister.

Some churches (and I find this is common in churches of a certain denomination – naming no names, we have never had this in any other religious ceremony) and we cover all kinds of Weddings in Birmingham and beyond, from Muslim Weddings to Sikh Weddings to Christian Weddings to Hindu Weddings and secular weddings.

This seems to have been a topic in many forums, with wedding photographers firm on each side.

CAMP A

There are photographers who believe that the Minister’s wishes for his / her church are paramount, and will happily sit at the back of a church for the whole ceremony, and only get shots when he bride is walking in, walking out and signing the register, which is what is allowed by that Minister.

CAMP B

There are other photographers who believe that their clients (the Bride and Groom) wishes are paramount, and if they want images of their ceremony, even if that means going against the Minsters wishes, so be it

I genuinely find that many couples do not know that some churches do not allow Wedding Photography or are not friendly to Wedding Photography at their venue. I photograph a lot of Asian Weddings where it is common for at least 4 photographers and cinematographers to be at one wedding, but not uncommon for there to be as many as 8 staff capturing the day.

So what are the reasons for this, these have been reasons we have been given:

1. Over zealous previous photographers, rolling on the floor etc to take photos.

I have never personally seen over excited photographer rolling on the floor etc during a service . I do not  know any photographers that have personally seen this at a wedding, and I have a lot of photographers in my circles.

2. The couple need to concentrate on the vows they are making before God.

You have to question if having pictures taken make them think any less about what they are undertaking.

3. It distracts the guests / couple.

Wedding Photography and Cinematography are now such a normal part of a Wedding Day, again I would question who it distracts. I know that when I photograph weddings, I wear soft loafer shoes (as do my other staff), and dress in all black, a ninja would be hard pressed to be more slight than me.

On the guests side, I find guests phones pinging, children crying in church, and guest photographers with iPhones and iPads that need to go right up to the Bride and Groom or couple to get a shot, much more distractive.

Churches have people in them, as such there will be children playing, people crying, people laughing all kinds of things that people COULD get distracted by.

wedding photography, lensi photography, church wedding, birmingham wedding

Guests in church

 

4. The couple will remember it better if they concentrate on what is happening.

I find that for many brides especially, the day goes by in whirlwind, they have been planning their wedding day for years, and before they know it, their wedding day is over. So what do they have to remember their wedding day by? Their Wedding Photography and Wedding Cinematography.

Wedding photography, lensi photography, photography in church, church wedding photography

Wedding Photography Birmingham

5. It is Gods House and it is disrespectful for anyone to be snapping away or moving about the place.

Some churches stream church services to millions across the world. Images taken in churches are so common now.

Some churches have no problem with wedding photography, so it makes you question what is it about particular churches that do not see it in this way?

We live in a world documented by images, and sharing so many parts of our lives.

Imagine if on one of …if not the biggest day of your life, and whole chunks of it are missing, because the minister was not happy with it? In fact if you have a minister like this, and you follow their wishes instead of stating yours, you may end up having more photos from your works trip to Nandos than you do of your wedding ceremony? This somehow just does not seem right.

6. Data Protection (especially when signing the register)

When this reason is given you may question, if the data that is being protected, the data of the same Bride and Groom whose wedding you are photographing for them? It’s their data, their signatures, their names?

This data later becomes a publicly available document that can be looked up in any library or obtained online for a few pounds? So if you are given this reason, does it add up.

Previously we have photographed weddings where Ministers have suggested a shot where the Bride and Groom hold up their register towards the camera. So not every minster feels this way, which points towards the idea the idea that this is the personal choice of each minister.

7. We simply do not allow it! No Photography in Church please!

If you are given this reason, you have paid for a photographer to deliver a service. You have also paid to have your wedding at a church and a Minster deliver a service. If one vendor (the photographer or Minster) obstructs the other and stops them delivering that service, are they doing the best for their customer? The Bride and Groom or wedding couple?

The guests on the other hand, can snap away at any point, and more than a few with have DSLR cameras …. for all of us at Lensi, the Wedding is always about the Bride and Groom, we will advise  so that they get the best from their day, and always do our best for them.

wedding photography, female wedding photographer

Guest taking photo

Now this is not meant to sound like a moan about churches or other religious or wedding establishments, we have worked with some fantastic Ministers, Churches and places of worship and celebration, in fact most of them have been, but just a short post for you to consider when choosing a church for your Wedding Day.

If you have read this and thought … oh that wont apply to us, we are getting married in a …country house, register office etc. Think again, we have also seen this at non religious establishments.

If you have already chosen and booked your church, this is something worth explicitly stating to your minister or person leading your service.

It is something most couples do not know, so we share it to make your planning journey a little bit more informed.  This has genuinely only happened at weddings we have photographed a few times, but when it has happened the Bride and Groom were not made aware of this rule about wedding photography, and therefore did not have the chance to question it.

Their photographer has either had to ignore the Minsters wishes, much to their disdain. Debate with the Minster, again also much to their disdain, or not get any pictures during their ceremony, only images of them coming into church, walking back up the aisle, and signing the register! And thats it!

So when you are looking at a venue for your Wedding Photography, consider all the things you normally would for your wedding day. The sentimental links that church may have to your family, its location, how beautiful it looks, if it can hold all of your weddings guests, how far it is for you to travel….and also if they have issues with photography!

If you are happy with limited images during your ceremony, none of the guests or mom and dad smiling or crying during the service. If you are content with no close ups of the special exchange or rings moment, none of the bride looking into the yes of the groom or vice versa, this is fine.

exchange of rings, wedding photographer, lensi photographer, wedding photography

Exchange of rings

If not think about asking the question on their approach to photographers in the ceremony! And decide if you want photography or not, it may be such an issue where you have to consider changing your venue (if you want Wedding Photography!).