The full story

My work before, on, and after your wedding day

Important note

January 2016: I decided over a year ago that I would retire at the start of 2016 and have stopped taking further bookings. There are still a very small number of weddings booked for 2016 and 2017 (you know who you are) which I am honouring and looking forward to.

Time has flown since we came to the Hebrides and I have had an absolute ball with so many fabulous people, but there’s a limit to how much a body can take. Plus there are many things I want to do that are still on my list and I need time out for.

I am leaving the information below for reference by those who still have bookings to be completed, or for general advice for those researching photography.  Thank you all for your bookings – it has been an honour and a privilege to work with you. Happy new year and best wishes for the future.

Mike

————————————————————————————————

The  information below is intended to give you an impression of the day’s work but does not form part of any contract.

First meeting

Ideally, it’s good for you to meet your prospective photographer, if possible, and make sure you’re happy to have him or her working with you on your special day.  If you are able to visit me at Sheshader, around 10 minutes drive from Stornoway, then we can look at some example weddings, discuss your own plans and I can then confirm to you how I aim to provide you with photography that will exactly meet your wishes.

If you can’t get to me – for example if you live in the Uists or Barra and rarely travel to Stornoway, then we may be able to arrange a meeting close to you, when I next travel through the islands.

Briefing meeting

If we have not already completed an agreed schedule for your photography at a first meeting, it’s useful to get together a month or so before the wedding to review the photography plan.  If your wedding is in the Uists or Barra, then I would normally meet you the day before, either during the afternoon or at your wedding rehearsal.

On the day

Most couples like me to cover  the following items, but please note that it’s not possible to guarantee any particular image, as circumstances during the day may not make some photos practical to take.  If you want specific photos, you should make sure you ask me on the day when the opportunity arises or appoint a responsible guest (perhaps an usher) who will organise people who are to have their photos taken:

  • Attend pre-wedding preparations, such as hairdressing, make-up and the final finishing touches of the bride’s dressing together with attendants.
  • Images of the bridal gown, bridesmaids’ dresses, accessories and flowers.
  • Photos of gifts and any other ‘happenings’.
  • If there’s time in between the above, visit the bridegroom and best man for some preparation shots.
  • Arrive wedding venue in time to photograph groom, best man and ushers.
  • Bride and retinue arrival at venue.
  • Ceremony shots, subject to the Minister/Registrar’s approval/rules.
  • Informal groups, candids, events in the vicinity of the venue directly after the ceremony.
  • Car shots.
  • Location photography of the bride/groom and attendants prior to arrival at the reception venue – this may be a beach or other place of interest, such as Castle Grounds, Callanish, a hunting lodge, etc., it’s your day and your choice.  If you wish, I would aim to include some fun shots, perhaps using props that we would discuss beforehand.
  • It’s always good to have a Plan B for bad weather – a decent indoor venue if we can identify one.
  • If it’s still light, if there’s time and if you want them, outdoor groups, family, friends, large group with everyone, the kilts etc., at the reception venue, plus any candids.
  • Cake cutting (if possible before the guests enter the reception hall) and the banqueting set-up.
  • Quick photos of guests at the tables when not actually eating – sometimes this is not practical.  Guests have a tendency to wander off to the bar so that I can’t get them all together at one time, or sometimes  there’s too little space or time to shot.  These are quite literally snaps, such as a guest might take, but it’s goos to have a record of guests when practical.
  • The speeches
  • A few dances, including the bride and groom’s first waltz, the grand march and some of the ceilidh fun.

After the wedding

During your wedding day, in order to aim to supply you with 300 or more images that tell your wedding story, I will have shot maybe three times that number.  Sometimes I’ll take a number of exposures for a single shot, so I can select the best expressions or lighting and other times I may experiment with various angles and settings. The number of shots may vary depending on weather, the size of your wedding in terms of guest numbers and other factors.

Shooting with an ‘electronic negative’ file type that equates to the old fashioned chemical based photo negatives allows me to control the final image much better than using the jpeg format that you get when you take photos with an everyday digital camera.

However, the processing of these images is time-consuming, so it takes around two full days work to select and adjust your final images.

Once processed, the photos are printed, ready for you to receive with your CD of the picture files.

I don’t sell prints as it makes much better financial sense for you to order them direct from a processor – I recommend photobox.co.uk, as the quality is excellent and prices are great value, especially if you take advantage of their regular offers.  You can buy photobooks and all manner of personalised products from them.  I charge a reasonable fee to cover the work I complete for your wedding and don’t see a need to profit from your future photo purchases – an important point to bear in mind if you compare photographers’ prices.

Albums

I recommend and am an appointed photographer for the fabulous Graphistudio range of wedding storybooks – each one is individually designed. Most couples are surprised at the cost of these – it’s much lower than they expect for something that will become a family heirloom.  You can see more at www.graphistudio.com or come and see my samples – there’s also a sample layout in the Galleries section of this website..

I also have a made-to-measure wedding book that I have called the Hebridean – it’s more easily afforded than the Graphistudio range and I design it specially for you, according to your style choice.

Extras

Additional/alternative presentations (at extra cost) can include:

Pre-wedding portrait of bride and groom.
‘Makeover’ portrait/s of bride (a good way to try out your make-up and hair ideas for the wedding day).
Books or albums for parents, grandparents, bridesmaids.