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To Have and to Hold, To Post or Not To Post …

You are making plans to get married

So you are finally getting married! Yayyyy and all that great stuff!

Your plans are underway, venue check, invites – check, dress – check, seating plans – check, wedding photographer -check, car -check … there are so many things you will need to think about, but here is one you may not have… a policy on social media for your wedding.

 

At this point you may be a little puzzled, wondering exactly what this is, well let me share a few scenarios to fill in the gaps.

 

We post everything on social media

So many people share EVERYTHING on social media now, we share photos of our food, new purchases, nights out, nights in, birthdays, funerals, parties, and weddings. Literally there is nothing that is immune for a snap, instagram, tweet  or Facebook nowadays.

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But …what if you don’t want your private wedding put all over the net for everyone to see? If you are fine with this happening, then thats get not a problem, don’t say anything to your guests and you can be sure there will be photos and videos of your wedding before the day is done online somewhere.

 

However, if you fall into the category of people who do not want this, then you need to explicitly state this somewhere before the wedding and on the day. Leaving it to “my guests would have more respect than that” is a huge chance, because for many people its not a disrespectful thing to do!

 

For some of you who are fine with everything being on social media and no limits placed on your guests, you may be thinking, why would any wedding couple do this? What is wrong with sharing photos and videos of someones big day? Here are a few reasons why people may not want their wedding day on social media.

 

Some people are private. For some people you won’t see photos of their food online, you won’t see photos of all their family members, every holiday, their daily walks abouts, what they watch on tv and so on. For some people you may see a post every few months, they may even post every day, but it will be nothing about their personal lives of family. For some people like this, they won’t want their most intimate day online for the world to see. And before someone thinks, “but my profile is private”; yours may be, but what about all of your guests? And even if their’s are too, that is say 70-200 profiles with your intimate moments on, shared with the 500-2000 friends on their profiles too, so potentially your private moments are shared with how many people (head to your phone to do some quick calculations).

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If you have had a small private wedding of say 50 people, and purposefully kept it that way because you did not want random family and acquaintances present on your day, some people would say that posting it all over social media defeats that object. What do you think?

 

A Few Examples

For those people unconvinced, here are a few examples of guests posting on social media where the couple were not best pleased.

1 – A bridesmaid snap chatting the bride in the background before she got to the church on the day of the wedding.

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2 – Guests Facebook living at a wedding

3 – Guests face timing a wedding to someone who was not invited, to show how much of a good time THEY were having!

4 – Guests posting unflattering photos where one of the couple had their eyes closed, or strange facial expressions

5 – Guests posting albums of 100’s of photos from every aspect of the wedding, as though they were the wedding photographer

6 – Guests posting videos on paid platforms such as YouTube

7 – Guests posting something to ridicule the couple, such as posting something that went wrong, someone tripping etc.

8 – Guests posting unflattering angles, such as a hall that looked empty, a dancefloor that looked dead, people looking bored etc

 

Ask yourself if you would be happy for any of these to be posted at your wedding? And keep in mind, that not everyone is aware of this when they are posting, so its not always purposeful! I have seen people post some terrible photos of themselves on social media and be completely unaware, so there is no reason why they would have more awareness when posting photos of others.

What Photographers think

From a photography point of view too, guests can make your job really difficult! I advise couples that IF they are allowing photos to ask guests to stay in seats, because you can never underestimate how much a guest will be unaware of getting in the official photos, in order to get their iPhone (other brands are available too) photo.

There is also now the emergence of iPads and super sized iPads i call them, which are basically like guests holding up tv screens in the way of the photographer and in your pictures on the day. It quite frankly looks stupid.

I have even had a guest ask me to move out of their way, in my capacity as the official photographer, in order to get the photos THEY need!

What Other Brides and Brides to be Think

We asked for some further views from other brides, these were some of the mixed responses we received.

To Post

Emma Cumiskey said “I have said to guests you can post pics after the night guests arrive as otherwise they have seen the happy couple before they get there”.

Alexandra Daisy said “I would hate if the live streamed our ceremony and speeches. I’m happy for our guests to take pictures throughout the day but ask them not to post them until after the wedding was over. I would hate to see my guests constantly on their phones during my wedding. Id want them to actually experience and enjoy the day”.

Becci Faulkner said “I had no phones at church rule and asked people not to post anything until the day after the wedding. After that anything was game”

wedding photography

wedding photography

Molly Freeman said “We’re hoping for an unplugged ceremony (we want to see people’s faces in pictures not iPads and phones). But other than that pretty ok with pictures and videos after that and at the reception as long as I don’t look too bad in them”

Faye Rose Charrington said “We have a sign that says no social media until we have posted! And we probs won’t post for a few days! Just wanna keep it private for a bit! Everything is online now. Doesn’t hurt to keep things to yourself for a wee bit 😃”

Arelene Wheeler was not concerned by any posts “I didn’t mention anything before hand but we had people do both; Snapchat our ceremony and put me on Facebook before the evening guests had even arrived. I was too busy to care st the time but I wouldn’t do it personally. Speeches were also recorded”.

Not to Post

Ellis Willis had a bad experience with social media wedding posts saying “Someone put about 100 photos and the speeches on Facebook the day after my wedding without asking and I was devastated we didn’t want loads on Facebook and we didn’t get to see them before they were put up either. Gutting really… some of them were terrible and edited so badly by a guest, broke my heart”

Sarah Tugwell works in the industry as a wedding planner “I am a wedding planner and no matter how many times a celebrant or registrar say unplugged ceremony there are always people doing it and I have even had a venue and a venue dresser post pictures of the ceremony room Before the ceremony (so basically as they had finished setting up) which I don’t agree with. Alot of my couples say no to social media until the evening. Now, our own personal wedding next year is a tricky one as my fiance doesn’t do social media and hates it so he doesn’t want any pics going to without our approval… how do I manage that one? Personally we happy for some to go up but only when we have seen them and not to be plastered all over social media. We want to keep it private really. Happy for guests to take pics though.xx”

Newland Manor Wedding

Newland Manor Wedding

Naomi Lunn said “We aren’t your average young couple. We didn’t post when we got engaged. I haven’t ever posted a picture of my ring, even though it’s spectacular lol. And I’m certainly not doing countdowns or announcing that I’ve bought a house. We are inviting 20 of our closest to see us tie the knot in the most beautiful place in Cumbria. Luckily for us there is no WiFi or signal there so people will have to wait until 2 days after the wedding to post. I’d rather there weren’t any photos on Facebook to be honest but I guess it’s a bit extreme to say no posts at all… I don’t think people will respect that, so I guess there is no point saying it”

Josie Shereston said “I banned social media at my wedding and to be fair my guests respected my wishes…. it was our day… not everyman and his dogs lol”

 

social media

social media

Laura Kane said “We don’t want anything putting up, we are a very private couple, we don’t put anything up, for example… we didn’t put a post up when we got engaged, we changed our relationship status that’s it.  If we don’t tell them personally or are invited then why should they know?
So we are going to ask that guests don’t put anything up, pics of themselves yes but not of the bridal party or any part of the day”.

 

This is obviously something that couples now have to think about it, whether you agree with it or not. Here is another recent article from news site I Am Birmingham on the same issue

OPINION | A walk down the aisle… with social media

 

So, as advice from someone in the industry, if you are fine with guests posting everything, or a limited bits, that is fine, or if you prefer them not to post anything, or put on time limit of when they can post, that is fine too … but whatever you choose, please make your guests clearly aware of your wishes. Please add it as another “to do” on your wedding lists!

 

 

 

 

 

Why a Professional Photographer will not give you all unedited images on USB

Why a Professional Photographer will not give you all unedited images on USB.

Why a Professional Photographer will not give you all unedited images on USB?

Have you ever wondered why a Professional Photographer will not give you all unedited images on USB?

This is something that can be an issue with any type of photography, but often comes to the surface with Wedding Photography.

This is something asked of us many times.

As a client you may be thinking, we have paid for our wedding photography, we own everything taken on that day?

You may also be thinking you do not need the images to be edited?

You have seen the photographers work and it looks great as it is.

You may also be thinking you are not ‘fussy’ so unedited ones will be fine.

 

Two Issues: Unedited Images and All Images

So there are two issues here.

  1. Unedited Images – no professional photographer puts out images that are unedited, ok I cant speak for everyone, but I would bet my camera’s that very few do. Even if its just a case of adjusting the brightness, colours etc. Most of the images we see everywhere nowadays have been edited, so it lulls us into a false sense of ‘this is how the images looks straight out of camera’. Any artist (and yes photography is also an art) wants to present their images in their best light, so regardless of your feelings about the images looking ‘fine’, most artist would not want their work in any other place than on their personal hard drive, before it is edited.
  2. All images on a USB – All images of any event very rarely given, one very simple reason is that each job is priced on the time spent on the shoot as well as time spent editing afterwards. A professional photographer will have factored in time for all the images to tell the story. If there are 20 of the same scene, they will choose the best ones to edit, as part of your story.

Telling the story

Asking for all unedited images is like asking you to present a report to your Director at work, in all versions, with the mistakes, paragraphs you deleted, wording that you decided against and the bits that your colleagues told you were just a no no.

 

Each Wedding Photographer has a process in taking images, putting together to best ones and telling your story. Think about the last film you watched that you were engrossed in. What was great about the film? what captured your attention? Now imagine that instead of the watching the completed film, you get to see the version with the numerous takes of each scene, the ones that didn’t make it, the ones where the actors messed up lines, where the lighting was off, where the camera shook, where the audio guy didn’t get the boom arm microwave close enough. The film would probably look very different, and would not have captured your attention in the same way. In fact it could end up quite boring.

This is what you pay a professional wedding photographer to do. To create your story. To capture everything needed to tell it. To take out all the ‘out-takes’. To put it together as a completed piece of work. If this is done properly, you will remember your wedding day as a picture of perfection!

 

You need not see the poses where your eyes were half closed, and you look partly as though you were falling sleep on your big day. The poses that show a bit too much or the arms you were never comfortable with, or where the flash did not fire.

 

Photographers also take many more images than they need in every scenario. So while your finished album for example may have two beautiful images of you smiling away while you are walking down the aisle, they would have carefully been chosen from many more.

An example of one of our wedding album designs

Seeing two images from the same set will give you the wow factor, imagine seeing 50, a millisecond apart from each other, by the time you got to the 20th, that feeling would be very different.

We are not the only ones to say this.

Here are a few other articles saying the exact same thing.

Why Wedding Photographers do no give unedited images.

Why photographers do not give all files

Ownership of Images

Many people are very wrongly informed about the ownership of images. An artist still owns the copyright for all of the images that they have created. Even if the images feature you, and your event. Most Photographers will supply your wedding images with what is called a ‘Licence to Reproduce’ The British Institute of Portrait Photographers give a nice explanation here. So you can still print and use them, but they will still be owned by the photographer.

So before you take to social media to rubbish your photographer, sometimes we act out of sincere ignorance.

That being said, of course you will find SOME photographers that will offer you all of that, and more.

UK Based Destination Wedding Photographer

If you are looking for UK based Destination Wedding Photographer, to travel to cover your wedding internationally, then look no further than Lensi Photography.

We have covered weddings, pre and post wedding shoots in many countries with the furthest away being 6,500 miles away in Rwanda, Africa. If you are marrying abroad or living outside the UK we can still photograph your wedding.

This is a short blog about being a UK Based Destination Wedding Photographer covering a Destination Wedding in Africa.

So you are looking for that special wedding photographer to photograph your wedding, but they are based in another country from you, is this a problem? For most photographers this is not problem, as it wasn’t for us. It may cost you a bit more, but you will be getting exactly the people you want to document your wedding and create the images you want to remember your day by.

How to choose you wedding photographer

see our blog post on this Choosing your wedding photographer

For the photographer – What to bring?

You will have to travel a bit lighter than when you are covering a wedding at home, but travelling with a good airline will allow for a decent baggage allowance. Put anything you need, can be broken easily and cannot do without in your hand luggage. You have to allow for your baggage not arriving, and IF it does not, what do you deliver to your client? Not all countries have easily available shops that equipment can be rented from. This is exactly what happened to us (but that story is for later). Between the first and second photographer we bought, four bodies, 8 lenses, a range of flashes, umbrella, batteries, video lights, boom arm, and reflectors. For a wedding in the same country would carry Quadra Ranger Packs and Ice Lights (but as all of these looks could be replicated with other lights) we opted not to carry these.

 

Preparation – before the wedding

Being a UK based destination wedding photographer, all the normal pre planning is required, and possibly meetings over Skype. In addition to this you may have to get additional jabs that you may need to factor into your wedding expenses. We had to get Yellow Fever vaccination at £70 so not cheap.

 

Travelling

Some countries will need you to state that you are going there to work, which may cause some extra administration and incur extra money and problems. some countries also do not allow you to do jobs as a foreign person that can be delivered by their own citizens, such as Canada. This is all worth checking out before you travel.

 

Plan B, C and D

As you are UK based working in another destination will mean that you do not have easy access to your usual back ups should something go wrong, so have a plan B, C and D. Ours was to travel with four bodies, in hand luggage, and only to have reflectors and stands on the main suitcases. Very lucky considering as the lead photographer, my cases did not arrive! And did not arrive until the day we were returning home, I literally went to the airport collected them from arrivals, walked to the other part of the airport and checked them back in to come home. But due to pre planning our client we still able to receive a quality product. Hiring Equipment in Rwanda is impossible, equipment is expensive so very precious to local photographers, and has to come all the way from South Africa or further afield. We needed to borrow a reflector, and ended up hiring one from a local studio twice the price of the cost of buying one in the UK.

 

Leading Up To The Wedding

Rwanda and Kigali was not what we expected, but getting to know the area a little before the wedding, gave us time to plan for pre / post wedding shoots should there be time. Our couple were extremely busy people, and this was always only a possibility even though we are in the country for a week. It is a beautiful country, although most people still (20 years later) only associate it with the Rwanda Genocide.

uk based destination wedding photographer

kigali rwanda

uk based destination wedding photographer

kigali rwanda

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I had the opportunity to go  Gorilla Trekking with Wild Gorilla’s (6 feet away from a wild silverback and its family Gorilla in the Wild by Lensi Photography visited the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre and got to experience a side of Africa that we are rarely shown in the Western World, beautiful homes, trendy wine bars, posh restaurants, thriving town city centres, with sky scraper buildings, and lets not forget the motorbike taxi’s….which were scary for a car driver, but very economical!

 

On the Day of the Wedding 

Rwanda Weddings are very similar to Indian Weddings in many respects. Much of the ceremony involved the families, gifts are exchanged between families, outfits are very similar, there are even ceremonies involving milk. As in any other wedding ensure everything is charged up and your back ups at hand in cars / rooms nearby if possible.

As our luggage did not arrive, we were not dressed as appropriately as we could be… however the most important thing was creating the images we had been hired to create!

 

After the Wedding

The issue of how to get your products to your couple. We use online viewing platforms for the images, and biased via Skype and whatsapp. Postage of our album would cost about £50 but our couple travel so frequently that we were able to meet them in Birmingham and hand their album to them in person.

 

If you are looking for a UK based Photographer to cover your destination wedding, look no further than Lensi Photography.