Find out how I can help you create a timeless document of your special day to treasure forever…
Wedding Photography FAQ’s: From Contact to Booking –
Nationwide: Cardiff, South Wales and Beyond!
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. Weddings 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 your wedding photography.
Q. WHEN AND WHERE ARE YOU AVAILABLE TO MEET TO DISCUSS OUR WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY?
A: I love to meet couples that are interested in booking their wedding photographer. I think this a great way to find out if I am suitable 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 based in Caerphilly, 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. During this meeting I will listen to your ideas and vision of your day. I’ll also take you through my weddings portfolio book to give you a better 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 is 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 wedding (i.e. all the images as supplied to a couple), then I can bring my laptop to our initial meeting so that you can view them.
Q. IF WE CHOOSE YOU AS OUR 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 Cardiff 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 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 in 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 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. However, 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! Again, have a look through my wedding portfolio to see if my photographic style resonates with you in your search for a Cardiff based wedding photographer.
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 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. Cardiff 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 was recently at a wedding in Cardiff 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 photographic coverage on the day, I can provide further hours – I’m very flexible with this.
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 Cardiff wedding photography packages, I can cater for short day weddings. My wedding photography service is completely bespoke and it’s important to me that you get appropriate service. I probably won’t be available for less than six hours in the summer months due to a higher demand 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 to get a balanced view.
Q. OUR WEDDING IS OUTSIDE THE CARDIFF/SOUTH WALES AREA. WHICH AREAS DO YOU COVER?
A: I am Caerphilly based, so 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 quite 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 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 will be 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 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 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 dispatch it to Loxley Colour for processing. Following this, it should take less than a week to arrive. I will have Loxley despatch 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 equipment on the market today. 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 wedding 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 as it gives great bokeh (professional term for a blurry background) and a narrow depth of field.
Why Should I Have My Wedding in Cardiff?
I Love Cardiff (or Caerdydd in Welsh) and have been photographing weddings here for a while now! It's such a cosmopolitan and vibrant city which has so much going for it. More laid back and often friendlier than London, Wales's capital is one city which should seriously be considered when choosing your wedding destination.
Here are a few reasons why:
CARDIFF HAS MORE GREEN SPACE PER PERSON THAN ANY OTHER CITY IN THE UK...
So, wherever you have your wedding, there will be plenty of scope for your couples portraits not too far away - there's even a Wetlands Reserve! From Bute Park, just behind the castle to Long Wood Nature Reserve further north, there will be somewhere scenic near you. Just remember to take your umbrellas!!
But having said that...
THE CITY HAS MORE HOURS OF SUNLIGHT THAN MILAN!
No, it doesn't always rain in Cardiff despite it's reputation. Your wedding day is just as likely to be rainy as anywhere else in the UK - apparently. Another little known fact is that artificial rain was invented in Wales. How ironic is that?!?
The wettest summer month is generally August, with December being the wettest winter month. So listen to the forecast and bring umbrellas if it's looking like rain. For wedding photography purposes, white or clear are best to let through the natural light as below.
THE CARDIFF AREA HAS MORE CASTLES THAN ANY OTHER CAPITAL CITY!
And what's more you can get married in them all! Cardiff Castle, Castell Coch and St Fagan's Castle all have wedding licenses for non-religious, register office type weddings. There are many more castles within an hour's drive of Cardiff. This includes Caerphilly Castle - Wales's largest. South Wales boasts numerous other castles - probably the highest concentration in the world. You can have your wedding in many of them. Although I'd advise just choosing one!
THERE ARE 42 NON-RELIGIOUS VENUES APPROVED FOR WEDDINGS AND CIVIL CEREMONIES BY CARDIFF COUNCIL...
From the atmospheric Cathay's Cemetery Chapels to traditional pub, Ty Mawr, there will be somewhere that will suit you and your budget down to the ground. The big chains - Marriott, Radisson Blu, Holiday Inn, Hilton and Novotel are all licensed wedding venues. But for more intimate wedding days why not get married at City Hall or a small church and then go on to one of the multitude of pubs/restaurants/hotels that cater for wedding parties and that Cardiff plays host to? Cardiff Council has a comprehensive list of which wedding venues they approve - I include these at the bottom of the page. Do remember that religious ceremonies can only take place in religious buildings, of which the Cardiff area has many of all different faiths.
Exactly What We Wanted…
We could not be happier with Guy’s work – he was so nice; he listened to all our wishes but made good suggestions based on his knowledge and experience; he was so lovely interacting with everyone on the day, yet was unobtrusive. His photos are beautiful, great quality and exactly what we wanted – full of life and reflecting our personalities perfectly. We feel very lucky to have found Guy – he played a big part in making our wedding day truly special.
– Suzie and Russ
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CARDIFF IS SIXTH IN MAGAZINE'S LIST OF TOP PLACES TO VISIT IN THE WORLD!
National Geographic calls Cardiff a 'gem' and places in at number 6 in the world's top summer destinations. Most weddings take place in the summer months but Cardiff is wonderful at any time of the year. So, it's a sure-fire bet that Cardiff will provide a glorious backdrop to your wedding.
IT'S WALES'S MOST MULTICULTURAL CITY...
People from across the world come to live and work in Cardiff. There is a sizeable Asian and Black population and most of the world's religions are represented. This is great news for anyone wanting to marry in the city. Whether you're Christian, Muslim, Jewish or Sikh, there will be a religious or civil venue and officiant there just for you.
CARDIFF IS A RELATIVELY SMALL CAPITAL CITY...
So everything is within easy striking distance. There may not be the smooth transport links of London's TFL but there doesn't need to be. Wherever you have your wedding ceremony, the journey to the reception won't be a long one - maybe even walkable. What a beautiful city to have as a backdrop for your wedding portraits along the way!
The Cardiff Council List of Approved Marriage & Civil Ceremony Premises
The Angel Hotel, Castle St. CF10 1SZ
Canada Lodge and Lake, Heol Pant-y-Gored, Creigiau. CF15 9NF.
Cardiff Castle, Castle Street. CF10 3RB.
Cardiff City Stadium, 82a Leckwith Rd. CF11 8AZ.
Cardiff Masonic Hall, 8 Guildford Street. CF10 2HL.
Castell Coch, Tongwynlais. CF15 7JS.
Cathays Cemetery Chapels, Fairoak Road, Cathays. CF24 4PY.
Cathedral 73, 73 Cathedral Road. CF11 9HE .
Chapel 1877 Bar & Restaurant, Churchill Way. CF10 2WF.
City Hall, Cathays Park. CF10 3ND.
Cardiff County Hall, Atlantic Wharf. CF10 4UW.
De Courceys Manor, Tyla Morris Avenue, Pentyrch. CF15 9QN.
Fairwater Conservative Club, 61 Ely Rd. CF5 2BY.
Future Inn Cardiff, Hemingway Road .CF10 4AU.
The Hilton, Kingsway. CF10 3HH.
Holiday Inn Cardiff City Centre, Castle St. CF10 1XD.
Holland House Hotel & Spa (Mercure), 24-26 Newport Rd. CF24 0DD.
Howell's School, Cardiff Road, Llandaff. CF5 2YD.
Jolyon's at No. 10, 10 Cathedral Road, Riverside. CF11 9L J.
Jurys Inn Cardiff, 1 Park Place. CF10 3UD.
Manor Parc Country Hotel & Restaurant, Thornhill Road, Thornhill. CF14 9UA.
Mansion House, Richmond Road. CF24 3UN.
Marriott Hotel, Mill Lane. CF10 1EZ.
National Museum, Cathays Park. CF10 3NP.
New House Country Hotel, Thornhill. CF14 9UA.
Hotel Novotel, Schooner Way. CF10 4RT.
Park House Restaurant, 20 Park Place. CF10 3DQ.
Park Inn by Radisson - City Centre, Mary Ann Street.CF10 2JH.
Park Inn by Radisson - Cardiff North, Circle Way East, Llanedeyrn. CF23 9XF.
Park Plaza, Greyfriars Rd. CF10 3AL.
Pencoed House Estate, Llantrisant Road, Capel Llanilltern. CF5 6JR.
Portland House, 113 - 116 Bute Street, Cardiff Bay. CF10 5EQ.
Radisson Blu Hotel, Meridian Gate, Bute Terrace. CF10 2FL.
Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama, Castle Grounds, Cathays Park. CF10 3ER.
The Principal St David's Hotel, Havannah Street. CF10 5SD.
St Fagan's Museum of Natural History, St Fagans. CF5 6XB.
Sunflower and I, 1 Mount Stuart Square, Cardiff Bay. CF10 5EE.
SSE SWALEC Stadium. CF11 9XR.
Temple of Peace, King Edward VII Avenue, Cathays Park. CF10 3AP.
The Exchange Hotel, 4-5 Mount Stuart Square. CF10 5FQ.
Ty Mawr, Graig Road, Lisvane. CF14 0UF.
Village Hotel, 29 Pendwyallt Rd. CF14 7EF.
I provide wedding photography services in all the Cardiff areas, including
Canton, Cathays, Roath, Tremorfa, Llandaff, Lisvane, St Fagan's and Fairwater.