Wedding Photographer Caerphilly – Guy Milnes Photography
The majestic 13th Century castle and an air of historic magnificence surrounds the town of Caerphilly in South Wales. It is one of the South Wales Valleys top wedding destinations. Caerphilly, with its serene beauty and picturesque scenery, has come to be a very popular wedding destination, proving to a breathtaking back drop to many a happy couple’s special day. From Caerphilly Castle itself, with its fine majestic grandeur to the Llancaiach Fawr Manor, a 16th Century Tudor Manor House, packed with centuries old architecture. Then on to Llechwen Hall Hotel, a stunning venue within the County Borough, Caerphilly that has something for everyone. From the bride to the groom and onto their loved ones, each location provides a unique charm which adds to the memories, to be cherished by them for years to come.
I offer special photography discounts for couples having weddings in the Caerphilly & South Wales Area…
A Caerphilly wedding photographer not only knows the ins and outs of the area, but can also help you to capture those precious moments with your fiancé and loved ones, for you to reminisce upon.
This is where I come in; with much experience within the region and in London too, I can truly do justice to your Caerphilly wedding photography. I can document your wedding intricately paying attention to those minute details which may be missed by other photographers. My experience allows me to document those fleeting moments which may not be noted by others but which do not escape my trained eye, when capturing moments from your special day.
From that happy tear which is shed from the groom’s eye upon seeing his bride for the first time to the sparkle of pride in the bride’s eyes when setting her eyes upon her awaiting groom and the joy and blissfulness of your loved ones, as they witness your marriage. All this and more can by captured by your wedding photographer in Caerphilly.
Naturally, you may require some assistance when it comes to hiring your wedding photographer. When you get in touch I will provide you with my ebook ‘Capturing The Moment: Weddings & Photography’ which contains advice about your wedding day along with tips and ideas you may not have thought of whilst choosing and booking your Caerphilly wedding photographer. My knowledge of the county allows me to recommend the best, approved marriage & civil ceremony places for your wedding, in terms of venues which allow for photography to be done with minimal restrictions. This will help ensure your peace of mind on your special day, particularly with regard to your wedding photography.
Caerphilly Photographer FAQ’s: From Contact to Booking!
Q. WE LIKE YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY AND WOULD LIKE TO FIND OUT MORE… SO WHAT DO WE DO NOW?
A: Simply ring or text me on 07947 613070, email me or fill out the form on my Contact Me page now. Caerphilly wedding photographers do get booked early, especially Saturdays over the summer, so the sooner you contact me, the more likely I am to be free.
When you contact me I will also send you my eBook, ‘Capturing the Moment: Weddings & Photography‘ which is full of advice on how your wedding day might run and contains tips and ideas you might not have thought of regarding choosing and booking your wedding photographer.
Q. WHEN AND WHERE ARE YOU AVAILABLE TO MEET TO DISCUSS BOOKING YOU AS OUR CAERPHILLY WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER?
A: I love to meet couples that are interested in booking their wedding photographer. I think this a great way to find out if we are a good match as well as give them plenty of wedding related tips and advice.
I’m very flexible and understand that people have busy lives, therefore am quite happy to work around that to help make life easier for you. I don’t mind meeting early evening or at weekends if that helps. I’m a Caerphilly based wedding photographer, but would love to travel into Cardiff to meet if it helps you.
I prefer to provisionally book a time and then confirm it near the day. This is in case any thing last-minute crops up for either of us. I have recently also started having SKYPE video calls or a simple phone call with couples to make it easier to find a mutually convenient time. This would suit couples who live further away as I do take weddings nationwide. I am also in London and Bristol fairly frequently so do ask about meeting there.
Q. DO WE BOTH NEED TO BE AT OUR FIRST WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY MEETING?
A: No, but it helps for both of you to be there so we can all discuss what you’re looking for in your wedding photographer Caerphilly. Generally the bride has most input, but the Groom’s opinion is important too.
During this meeting I will listen to your ideas and vision of your day. I’ll also take you through my wedding portfolio book to give you a good idea of what I do and how I will work with you to document your wedding beautifully and with attention to detail.
Q. CAN WE SEE IMAGES OF A COMPLETE WEDDING?
A: There’s a good selection of wedding images throughout my website. My wedding portfolio features a selection of images from each part of the day. However, if you’d still like to see a full Caerphilly wedding photography collection (i.e. all the images as supplied to a couple), then I can bring my laptop to our meeting so that you can view them.
Q. IF WE CHOOSE YOU AS OUR CAERPHILLY WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER, CAN WE MEET AGAIN IN THE RUN UP TO THE WEDDING?
A: Yes, definitely if you’d like to. Often it’s useful to meet at the wedding ceremony or reception venue. This enables us to have a walk through and for me to asses how I’m going to work on the day and where to be in order to take the best images.
Arranging to meet may be more difficult to arrange if you live outside the Caerphilly and South Wales area.
Q. WHEN AND HOW IS OUR WEDDING CONFIRMED?
A: There is no pressure from me after our meeting or phone call to book me as your wedding photographer. I understand that you may be seeing other Caerphilly wedding photographers and will need time to discuss your decision. I don’t put a time limit on this as far as I’m concerned and I’ll keep the date pencilled in my diary until I hear back from you.
I’ll let you know if I have another inquiry for that day in the meantime. If you decide that you want me to document your wedding day, I will prepare your paperwork. Your wedding day photography will be booked on return of the signed contract and receipt of a 20% deposit. Easy!
Q. WHY DO WE NEED TO SIGN A CONTRACT? WHAT’S IN IT?
A: The wedding photography contract (I prefer the word ‘agreement’) is there to protect all parties. It covers items such as Copyright, Model Releases, Guest Photography and Final Delivery. All professional wedding photographers will require you to sign a contract; be wary if they do not.
Q. ARE YOU A COLOUR OR A BLACK AND WHITE PHOTOGRAPHER?
A: I photograph all my Caerphilly wedding photography in RAW format. With JPEG you lose a lot of detail in the highlights and shadows, but RAW is like having a digital negative. This gives me a lot more control. I have the flexibility to choose what style would suit which photograph in the final edit.
I love black and white photography. It seems much more timeless than colour and doesn’t tend to date as much. However, most couples like to see a mixture in their album so I edit in a mixture of vibrant colour images and atmospheric black and white. Often a lot of time and money has been spent choosing wedding colour schemes and finishes, and it is very important for me to record this.
If you do have a preference, let me know beforehand and I will bear this in mind in your photography’s post-production.
Q. HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PHOTOGRAPHIC STYLE?
A: The photograph above is a great example of my documentary style. I work photographing unobtrusively from the sidelines, capturing unrehearsed, natural moments that truly document events as they unfold. This is the reportage or photo journalistic style that has become popular since the rise of the digital camera.
I think that some scenes look better in colour, whilst for others colour is a distraction so suit black and white better. So my photographic style? Natural black and whites and bright and vibrant colour! Have a look through my wedding portfolio to see if my photographic style resonates with you..
Q. WE’D LIKE OUR PHOTOGRAPHER TO SHOOT SOME POSED GROUP SHOTS TOO. DO YOU DO THESE?
A: Yes I do. I think these are expected by most couples – even if only to please the in-laws!
I prefer to keep these to about ten minutes or so, so as not to disrupt the natural flow of the day – normally straight after the ceremony. It is helpful if you provide a list of required posed shots prior to your wedding and there is a section in my questionnaire for you to fill these in. I am also open to guests approaching me to take posed shots throughout the day as long as it doesn’t interrupt a key moment.
One of the most important posed group shots is one of everybody. This is probably the only time ever that all of these people will come together on the same day, so I feel that this shot is definitely worth taking.
Q. WE WOULD LIKE SOME FORMAL PORTRAITS OF US? DO YOU PHOTOGRAPH THOSE?
A: Of course and the best time for these is whilst travelling between Caerphilly wedding venues. I often travel with the bride and groom from the ceremony to reception venue to give us the opportunity to stop off somewhere and spend twenty minutes or so taking images just of you both.
Caerphilly provides a wealth of opportunity for pleasing backdrops to your ‘posed’ photographs. I do minimal posing as I want to capture the essence of you – talking, laughing, playing, dancing, kissing – whatever!
Q. ARE YOU GENERALLY ABLE TO PHOTOGRAPH OUR WEDDING VOWS AND CEREMONY?
A: This is a very important question and the answer will always lie with your wedding officiant (vicar, registrar etc.).
Every venue/official will have their own rules with some official’s allowing me to photograph from just one position (or not at all) whilst others are more flexible. I recently photographed a wedding in Caerphilly where on arrival the officiant made it quite clear that photography was unwelcome at any part of the ceremony. The bride and groom had not been made aware of this beforehand.
Always discuss any house photography rules with your official contact and let them know how important it is for you to have a good document of your ceremony. My own preference is to be able to move discretely during the service to capture various angles and a variety of shots. As a matter of courtesy, I always try to introduce myself to your presiding official when I arrive at the venue to reassure him or her that I will remain unobtrusive. These problems seem to be more prevalent with the clergy than registrars I have found.
Q. HOW LONG DO WE HAVE YOU FOR ON THE DAY?
A: That is entirely up to you. When you contact me I will find out all about your day and provide you with a quote based on the information you give me and hours required.
A full day is considered to be eight hours and my packages include this. If you find you need more photography on the day, I can provide further hours – I’m very flexible. Flexibility on your day is very important as things can often change. Consider this when booking your Caerphilly wedding photographer.
Q. WE WANT TO BOOK YOU BUT ONLY NEED YOU FOR A FEW HOURS? ARE YOU FLEXIBLE WITH THIS?
A: Yes! If you want less hours, for instance ceremony and early reception only, I can certainly accommodate. As well as providing full-day Caerphilly wedding photographer packages, I can cater for short day weddings.
My wedding photography service is completely bespoke and it’s important to me that you get the best service. I may not be available for less than six hours in the summer months due to a higher demand for photography in the wedding season but it’s always worth checking.
For off-season and mid-week weddings I will be able to work something out with you. Do get in touch as I may be able to accommodate, particularly for last minute weddings.
Q. WHAT IS YOUR USP (UNIQUE SELLING POINT)?
A: My USP is… well, me! If you like my photography and, equally important, me as a person and can see me complimenting your day, then we’re most of the way there. I try to be as flexible as I can be and will help as much as possible to give advice and help your day run smoothly. I have attended many weddings, so if you need the benefit of my experience, I am always a phone call or email away. Having said this, I actively encourage anyone to seek advice of several wedding photographers Caerphilly to get a balanced view.
Q. OUR WEDDING IS OUTSIDE THE CAERPHILLY/SOUTH WALES AREA. WHICH AREAS DO YOU COVER?
A: I am a Caerphilly based wedding photographer and have great access to Cardiff, South Wales and Bristol. I will consider any area so get in touch to discuss. Further away than Bristol may incur travel expenses. Also if I have to stay overnight in accommodation, this will be charged as an expense.
All expenses and potential expenses will be made clear to you at the time of booking if known. If any others crop up, I will communicate these to you straight away.
Q. HAVING PAID OUR DEPOSIT, WHEN IS THE REMAINDER OF YOUR FEE DUE?
A: I would expect to have the balance settled when you have viewed the slide show and approved the images. Obviously this will be after your wedding. Some couples find this helpful and others prefer to pay the full amount upfront. It’s entirely up to you but I will not order any photo books or supply the files until the account is settled.
Most photographers insist on the balance settling at least a month in advance – I like to be as flexible as possible as it’s the small things that help make your Caerphilly wedding day special (another USP)!
Q. HOW LONG AFTER THE WEDDING CAN WE EXPECT TO SEE ANY IMAGES? WILL WE GET TO SEE ALL THE IMAGES YOU TOOK?
A: Depending on my workload I will start work on your photographs as soon as possible. The contract gives me eight weeks to complete the edit but up until now have completed weddings far sooner than this, usually within three weeks.
As soon as I finish, I will design the slide show of the best 200 or so images and upload for you to enjoy and circulate to your friends and family online. I supply a silver heart shaped USB stick containing all your edited files with my full day packages. This will be provided with the photo book if applicable. For short day weddings, your images are uploaded for you to download.
I take many photographs during a wedding day, some of which are duplicates for safety. This is so I can edit out any photos where someone has blinked or walked across frame or I deem them to be sub-standard (even pro-photographers take some duds!). Obviously, I do not supply these files as they would add nothing to the overall enjoyment of your Caerphilly wedding photography.
Q. AND HOW LONG WILL OUR PHOTO BOOK TAKE? DO WE HAVE ANY SAY IN ITS DESIGN?
A: After editing your images, I will start on your photo book. The book is 100 pages and will contain an unlimited amount of images arranged in a way that I think suits. Sometimes this may run over 100 pages but further pages may be bought or we can pare it back down to the 100.
When I have finished, I will email you a preview for you to go through. If there are changes, you can email me back with clear instructions as to what to change. Once you have cleared the book for printing, I will upload it to Loxley Colour for processing. Following this, it should take less than a week to arrive. I will have Loxley dispatch the book(s) directly to you to save time.
Q. WHAT PHOTOGRAPHIC EQUIPMENT DO YOU USE?
A: OK, so for the geeky part (well, it had to happen!):
I use some of the best photographic equipment on the market today: very important for a wedding photographer Caerphilly! My main camera is a Nikon top model, the D4 which I chose mainly for its ability to focus fast and capture photographs in low light situations without need for a flash or other lighting. This is great for photographers covering wedding receptions and other evening events.
I also use four lenses:
My newest lens is a 35mm f/1.4 prime for sharp wide shots in low light. My zoom is the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 with vibration reduction II technology. This again helps reportage photographers work in low light conditions. Then there’s my wide-angle 16-35mm to capture the true atmosphere of your day. Finally is my Nikon 50mm f/1.4 prime lens – a must for any wedding photographer Caerphilly as it gives great bokeh (professional term for a blurry background) and a narrow depth of field.
And for Local Caerphilly People: Caerphilly - a Huge Influence on my Photography Brand
I visited Caerphilly for the first time last year and liked it so much I decided to move here lock, stock and camera! Much as I love London, having spent nine years there Caerphilly seemed like a breath of fresh, South Wales air. When I first visited, what drew me was the magnificent 13th century castle - Wales's largest. Then there were the people. Everyone seemed so friendly and actually smiled at me. Some even stopped to talk in the street... In London I would have thought that a little odd but here, I loved it!
So when we moved, one of my first tasks was to revisit my photography branding and the obvious thing to change straight away was the logo.
I wanted something personal to where I was now living and working from and with a branding guru from Arizona came up with the new logo (below). She thought of the birds and I then I thought, why not add the castle? South Wales is known for them, many of which host weddings, so adding Caerphilly's seemed a natural thing to do. I love the results...
10 Interesting Facts You May Not Know About Caerphilly
- Caerphilly County Borough has a rough population of 180,500 (2016) whilst the town had a population of 30,388 as of the 2011 Census.
- The Welsh for Caerphilly is Caerffili and there are several Welsh speaking schools in the town.
- The name Caerffili derives from the towns origins: In AD75, the Romans were the first settlers when they built a fort here during their occupation. Subsequently, St Ffili built a second fort. The Welsh for fort is 'Caer', hence the name Caerffili. Some of this is speculation and there are other theories!
- Caerphilly Castle is, quite rightly, the main focal point of Caerphilly and attracts tourists to the town from all over the world. It is available to hire for weddings (see below) most of the year and it isn't that expensive given that it's a castle!
- The Big Cheese Festival is held every summer in Caerphilly and has currently been running for 21 years. Attracting above 80,000 people annually, the festival is a celebration of the culture, history and heritage of the town and surrounding area.
- Caerphilly Cheese was thought to be originally created for the miners as it wouldn't dry out underground. However, apart from a few artisan producers, it is now made solely in England.
- Tommy Cooper was born in Caerphilly and there's a statue of him in the car park opposite the castle. Fans of Cooper have been known to have their wedding in Caerphilly for this fact alone!
- The town features in the Sex Pistols documentary 'The Filth and the Fury' and plays a small part in punk folklore... In 1976, Caerphilly was one of only three councils nationally that would allow punk band the Sex Pistols to perform. Protests and prayers were held by locals outside the Castle Cinema (now demolished to make way for the shopping centre) where they were performing and there was huge controversy over the event. The local punks had a good night though!
- In 1979, the Caerphilly Heart Disease Study was set up and is now one of the longest studies of it's kind in the world. The reason the town was chosen was that it's population was considered fairly stable. There was also a higher incidence of heart disease compared to most of the UK.
- The town is a popular filming location. The castle has been featured in several 'Dr Who' episodes and 'Merlin' too!
10 Wonderful Reasons to Hold Your Wedding in Caerphilly!
The Caerphilly County Borough List of Approved Marriage & Civil Ceremony Premises
Some couples book their wedding photographer Caerphilly first whilst for others the venue is the first consideration. Here is a comprehensive list of all the non-religious venues approved by Caerphilly County Council.
Clicking on any links next to them will take you to my photography page dedicated to that particular wedding venue:
Bryn Meadows Golf, Hotel & Spa, Maesycwmmer, Ystrad Mynach, CF82 7SN.
The 4* resort is situated a few miles north of Caerphilly near Ystrad Mynach. The venue has two function rooms seating up to 300 or 50 guests and 42 bedrooms for those that need to stay.
Caerphilly Castle, Castle St, Caerphilly. CF83 1JD.
The most impressive of all wedding venues in the region and in the heart of Caerphilly itself. It is the largest in Wales and the second largest in the UK after Windsor. The Great Hall holds 200 guests although 150 is the recommended amount of seated guests. Wedding photography is allowed in all areas open to the public. It is truly a venue fit for a King and Queen!
Caerphilly Register Office, Penallta House, Tredomen Park, Ystrad Mynach. CF82 7PG.
Situated north of the town, Penallta House has two small ceremony rooms. The largest comfortably seats 70 guests and the smallest just suitable for the couple and their two witnesses. There is no restriction on photography and the venue has a woodland garden area for group photographs after the ceremony. This venue is probably most ideal for short day and last minute weddings.
Llancaiach Fawr Manor, Nelson, Treharris. CF46 6ER.
This Grade 1 listed 16th century Tudor manor house has two function rooms and is really something worthy of your wedding day. The Conservatory seats up to 70 guests whilst the larger Mansell Hall will house up to 120 guests. Photography is permitted at the manor but only in the house after closure to the public later in the day. With centuries old features and a garden designed in keeping with the time, it would be well worth setting aside extra time for your wedding photographs.
Llechwen Hall Hotel, Llanfabon. CF37 4HP.
A stunning hotel venue near Abercynon and Pontypridd but within the County Borough of Caerphilly. The hotel has three function rooms catering for a minimum of 40 guests through to 300. There are no photographic restrictions.
Maes Manor Country Hotel & Restaurant, Maes Rudded Lane, Blackwood. NP12 0AG.
A 19th century manor house hotel set in 9 acres of lawns and woods. The Islwyn Suite is the largest and caters for up to 220 seated guests with the Season Restaurant holding up to 50. Photography is permitted and there seems to be no restrictions.
The Marquee at Ridgeway, Thornhill Road, Caerphilly Mountain. CF83 1LY.
The Ridgeway is located near the summit of Caerphilly Mountain with a spectacular vista of Caerphilly Castle, the town and surrounding areas. In fact, out of all these venues, The Ridgeway has the most impressive panoramic views. The Marquee overlooks the golf course and can cater for up to 90 guests, so ideal for mid-sized weddings. Photography is positively encouraged with the use of 2 golf carts provided for an hour of photography around the grounds.
Newbridge Memo, High Street, Newbridge. NP11 4FH.
Celynen Collieries Institute & Memorial Hall (more fondly known as Newbridge Memo) are actually two buildings opened in the early 20th century. The art deco ballroom can comfortably seat up to 150 people while the function room will hold up to 80. Newbridge Memo seems very community focussed and is very keen to get local people involved in it's various projects and events. This would make it a perfect venue for couples getting married near Newbridge (or located anywhere in Caerphilly County) with a local interest. Wedding photography is encouraged at events in Newbridge Memo.
Shappelles (New Cottage Dance Centre), The Bridge, Ystrad Mynach, Hengoed. CF82 7ED.
Located north of Caerphilly, the New Cottage Dance Centre is a beautifully intimate place for your wedding ceremony and reception. There are no restrictions on wedding photography.
Getting to Caerphilly Town: a Travel guide
Location: Caerphilly is located just a few miles north of Cardiff, with only the mountain separating them. It lies at the southern point of the Rhymney Valley.
Getting There by Car: Caerphilly lies on the A469 which bypasses the town centre to the west and travels north through Ystrad Mynach. To go through the town, take the B4263 on top of the mountain which will take you down and into the town centre. Be warned that the town has a slow one-way system and traffic can get very congested at times, so if travelling beyond the town, keep on the A469.
The M4 lies between Caerphilly and Cardiff and if travelling this way, use junction 32 and journey up through Taff's Well and take the A468 at Nantgarw which leads towards the town.
By Train: Caerphilly Station is served by trains from Penarth travelling through Cardiff Central and Queen Street stations and on to Bargoed. During the week they run around every 15 minutes but there is often engineering works at weekends with bus replacements and a reduced service on Sundays.
By Bus: There are two direct buses from to Caerphilly from Cardiff - the 25 and 26. However there are many more routes and connections throughout the county. View the Bus Timetables page on the Caerphilly Council website for more information.