Friday, 24 May 2013

"I'm just going to get a friend to take our wedding photographs ... "

In case you are wondering, in this photograph the orange multi-coloured thing is a kite surfer! This couple were so brave. We went on to the beach after their meal, before their first dance, and just had such a fantastic 20 minutes with them, got some fabulous images.

"I'm just going to get a friend to take our wedding photographs." Because your friend has a really good camera? And that photograph of the sunset he/she took on holiday last year was just fabulous? So yeah, just let them take the photographs of one of the biggest days of your life, right?

I am sure you would expect a professional photographer, whose continued survival in the business depends on people coming to me to take their photographs, to disagree. And I do. For lots of reasons. But it may surprise you to know that the main reason is not about me. Its about the loss of opportunity to capture something special, to create a moment that will be there for a grandchild or on a silver wedding anniversary. I shoot a limited number of weddings a year, and mix my wedding work with studio, landscape and fashion / model work. So this is not about me trying to up my workload. It is about making sure that a couple engage a professional photographer, a proper professional. (Of course, I am not refusing work, so if you like my style please contact me, I may be available for your special day!)

Start by going and reading comments from others. Scottish Wedding Directory has a fantastic range of articles on how to select a wedding photography professional, has a forum where brides to be can exchange information and ideas, and also has a directory of advertisers ( and yes, you will find me in there, along with at least 200 "competitors"!)

In a recent issue (SWD, October 2012) Natasha Rademehr spent a day with a professional photographer, and came up with just some reasons why you should choose a professional, rather than ask your Uncle with the good camera:
  • Photographers have an artist's eye. They instinctively know which angles and poses are most flattering and will make sure you look as amazing in your pictures as you do in person.
  • A broken camera is a photographer's worst nightmare - and yours if its your wedding day. But if you hire a professional, they will always have at least one back-up (tip: ask your photographer how many camera bodies they carry on a shoot. I carry 4, or rather my assistant does. tip: make sure your photographer works with an assistant.)
  • You might worry about the weather on the day and how it will affect the photographs, but a pro won't. They are incredibly resourceful and will research the venue beforehand so that they can come up with a plan for both good and unfavourable weather. (I carry studio lights so if we have to we can setup indoors, this is not ideal but sometimes necessary, this is Scotland after all.)
  • Most photographers do a combination of reportage-style photos (candid shots) and portraits/formals. But if the idea of posing for a photo gives you the fear, don't worry; a skilled professional will be able to gently direct you to produce shots look really natural, rather than stiff ( I regularly get asked if I can just take some relaxed informal shots like the one in a sample album. I almost always reply "that was set up, thats a pose, but it was fun!")
I have shot a lot of weddings, coped with a couple of crises, have a bit of experience about what works and what doesn't. I will turn up prepared and ready to work all day for you, with spare equipment, endless enthusiasm and good humour, professional indemnity insurance and ideas I have discussed with you beforehand. Please, please, please choose a professional photographer, and have a wonderful day with memories that last a lifetime.


0141 884 2250

Monday, 13 May 2013

The importance of properly presented images

I have mentioned before that I really don't like presenting disc only packages. I do present the disc with an album, very happy to, and I am more than happy to supply low res images for Facebook, Iphones etc. I am also really happy to share my poses and setups with guests that have a camera with them (but please let me get my shot first, and dont try to take over, I am on a schedule!).

I work with an Italian company called Graphistudio, who make beautiful albums. I have never been disappointed or let down by them, their customer care is exceptional, there packaging superb, and if I can I can literally call them up and ask a question about an order.

But people still ask if they can buy the disc and print themselves. An article from the Huffington Post has gone viral in the photography community. Kathleen Trenske puts the case why getting a quality album is a the best option, rather than printing your images at home on paper that will curl and fade over time. Thank you Kathleen for so eloquently expressing what I agree with entirely.


"Your memories are worth more than that. And your wedding images? They are worth TONS more than that. These aren't snapshots from a vacation. They aren't pictures from your iPhone.

You cared enough about these moments to hire a professional to photograph them. Follow that through by having a professional print them. Have that professional print the pictures you put into frames and have them design you a high-quality wedding album that you will cherish for decades.

If you purchase an album through your photographer, you can see a sample in person. You can touch and feel it and make sure it is worth every penny.

I know that albums are expensive. That's for good reason. They are custom-designed books, usually hand-stitched and hand assembled and made just for you.

But of all the things you spend money on for your wedding, your wedding photographs are the ONLY thing that will increase in value over time. As the years pass, you'll be more and more glad that you have them. Especially, if you can experience looking through them by flipping through a gorgeous custom-designed album instead of sitting in front of your computer and clicking "next" with your mouse.

So, figure out a way to make it happen. Figure out a way to afford that album. Forgo a centerpiece. Cut back on your guest list. Opt out of the vintage car you'll drive in for all of 20 minutes.

Don't just do it for you. Do it for your children. Do it for your grandchildren. Because when they root around in your attic in 2075, they will have no idea what do with a USB key anymore than they would with a laser disc player."

The full article can be found here

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Digital graphic art

A long, long time ago I nearly went to art school. Instead I ended up training as an electrical engineer (which was a strange thing for a woman to do back then). In retrospect I believe I should have been an architect but ended up a photograper - if none of this makes sense please read my first blog entry with the quote by William W. Purkey.

While I adore wedding photography - and all the associated stress of knowing that if I mess up I have ruined a bride's wedding day and broken a promise - I really enjoy working with people in the studio and location, creating portraits and unique moments in time. And I have a real soft spot for taking an image and turning it into digital graphic art - its the girl that never went to art school in me. I have a pet project that I keep coming back to called "put yourself in the picture". Take a famous image, with figures in it, then substitute yourself for one of the figures, maybe a friend or loved one if there is more than one. Or play all the characters yourself. This is a fun reproduction of Banksy's flower thrower, who also reproduced it from a news image from the 1960's Paris student protests.

(with grateful thanks to my stepson, Ross).


Sunday, 5 May 2013

Contemporary wedding images for wall art

Weddings are wonderful life events. They bring together families both far flung and familiar, friends that see each other every weekend and havent seen each other since high school, college whenever.depending on the couple that can place a strain on the photographer. Formals and family groups are important but cant go on for ages; reportage captures the day, but not everyone appreciates sometimes not being warned about the shot. It is all about providing what the couple want, while having your own style.

A mix of formal and informal, casual and formal, with the necessary amount of posing can give a lifetime of fond memories. I do not subscribe to the "just take some pictures, get what you can" school of reportage, but I do like to work with a second shooter who can capture a stolen kiss or quiet moment from a discrete distance. Neither do I like to be a bully, taking over a bride's day. For me the couple should be relaxed, happy, enjoy the photographic experience as part of the overall day and be left with images to treasure. And I believe those images should include some formal, some casual, some posed and some captured. I also like to get one or two images which will look good on a wall. not everyone will want to hang a large image in a piblic space in their home, less so if it is a stiffly posed, traditional wedding photograph.

The correct image can make for stunning wall art, a fantastic reminder of a special day, while being contemporary and adding to a home. This image, taken at Providence, near Nottingham Road, is one of my favourite examples.