WHAT TO EXPECT FROM ME AS YOUR WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER

I’m going to give you a the low down on what to expect from me as your wedding photographer, from booking stage to receiving your images after your wedding day.  Obviously each and every wedding is different, but this post should give you an idea of how I work.
 
Grab a cuppa, this is a long one!
 
 
 

BOOKING STAGE

So you love what you see, I’m available on your wedding day, what happens next?
 
Firstly have a think about which package you’d like to go for – you can see the options here: PRICES + PACKAGES.  If your a little unsure we can always have a chin wag on the phone first.  Then to get you booked in you need to sign a contract, fill in a booking form and pay a £500 non-refundable deposit that secures your date.
 
Once all is paid and signed, I will officially be your wedding photographer – whoop!
 
 

ONE MONTH BEFORE YOUR WEDDING DAY

I’ll email you one month before your wedding day with your final invoice and to schedule in a time for a chin wag on the phone.  It’ll be time to squeal with excitement, go through all your wedding plans and photography ideas.
 
 
 
THE MORNING OF YOUR WEDDING DAY
 
I usually arrive about an hour and a half before the ceremony to document you both getting ready.  I may start earlier depending on travel times between you both and the ceremony.
 
During this time, I’ll shoot mainly in documentary style, capturing the story of the beginning of your day.  This could include you getting ready, putting on make up, getting the kids ready, getting dressed, having a fry up, doing yoga, opening some bubbles, travelling to the ceremony, what every you happen to be doing, I’ll be there to document it.  I’ll also aim to create a portrait of you, and one with the gang you are getting ready with too.
 
a Wedding Card - Oxford Wedding Photographer
 
 
 
 
 
wedding photographer photographed a bride getting ready
 
 
wedding photographer in oxford - bride walking through bodleian library
 
THE WEDDING CEREMONY
 
During your wedding ceremony I move around (discretely) as I like to take photographs from different viewpoints.
 
Not all venues allow this (in some churches for example, their policy is that I stay in one position) but as much as possible I aim to capture a variety of shots from different angles, and at different sizes… some wide shots and some close ups.
 
wedding photographer taken a photo of two brides getting married
 
 
 
oxford wedding photographer - capturing bride and groom getting married
 
oxford registry office
getting married in oxford - wedding photographer
 
AFTER THE CEREMONY
 
After the ceremony EVERYONE will want to hug and kiss you and as your wedding photographer I LOVE documenting all of this!
 
If you are planning on having confetti, this is when your guests will cover you in it!  We will discuss this before the day, but the throwing of confetti needs a bit of planning and after we’ve made a plan, I’ll guide the throwing on the day.  For more on this read this blog post; WEDDING CONFETTI IDEAS
 
 
 
confetti thrown onto couple - captured by wedding photographer
 
wedding photographer capturing the confetti shot
 
 
GROUP SHOTS
 
I usually aim to photograph your family group shots straight after the ceremony (depending on the timings of your day, and of course the weather!)  My reason behind this is that everyone is on “best behaviour”, there’s an element of expectation, and also no one at this point has gone “missing” (to the toilet or for a cigarette etc)
 
These shots don’t take long and I plan for about five group shots…. a mixture of you both with each set of parents, siblings, and grandparents… I’m happy to do a few more, but ultimately I’m not a wedding photographer who takes hundreds of family group shots.
 
I see these group shots as a fun activity for your close family to feel a little special and have some banter.  These photos are for your parents, and grandparents, and for you in ten, twenty, thirty years time.
 
I’ve written more about group shots over on this blog post; WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY PLANNING – THE GROUP SHOTS
 
 
 
RECEPTION DRINKS BEFORE DINNER
 
The bit after the ceremony and before dinner is usually an hour and a half to two hours… (I say usually, but it’s what every you and your venue decide it’ll be!)  During this time I mingle with your guests, documenting the atmosphere of the day while you begin your celebrations with all your loved ones.
 
 
Garden games at The Maybush Tipi Wedding Venue
 
 
A LITTLE PORTRAIT SESSION
After you’ve had some time to celebrate with your guests, and before everyone sits down for food, I like to capture some portraits of just the two of you.  This will be a chance for me to photograph you both looking all dapper and fancy, and for you two to actually take five and be like ‘hell yeah, we’re bloody married!’
 
The Perch Oxford - wedding photographer
 
alternative wedding photographer
 
documentary wedding photographer
 
 
 
BRIDAL PARTY GROUP SHOTS
 
If you have a bridal party it’s lovely doing a photograph of you all at some point in the day.  This photo is sometimes taken just before dinner, or just after dinner depending on your timings.
 
natural wedding photographer
 
 
oxford wedding photographer
 
DINNER / TIME FOR FOOD / AKA THE WEDDING BREAKFAST
 
If you’ve chosen the 5hr package this is when I’ll leave.  Otherwise I’ll be staying to capture dinner, speeches, and much more!
 
I continue documenting throughout dinner, I do love seeing everyone sharing, cheering, chatting and being so happy.  It’ll probably be the only time you’ll be eating with everyone you love all in one space, so even though I won’t be photographing people ‘eating’ I’ll definitely be capturing the joyful atmosphere.
 
This is also the time when I take a break.  I either eat in a separate room for suppliers, or I sit with your and your guests.  This is entirely up to you, and I’m happy with either.
 
oxford wedding photographer
 
 
oxford wedding photographer
 
 
wedding couple cutting the cake
 
SPEECHES
 
Speeches traditionally happened after dinner, but these days they happen when ever you want them to.  So many weddings I’ve photographed have speeches before dinner, and lots split them up and have some before and some after.  The great thing about photographing speeches are the reactions of your guests…
 
 
oxford wedding photographer
 
 
 
 
 
oxford wedding photographer
 
 
A SECOND LITTLE PORTRAIT SESSION
 
After dinner and speeches I do the second part of your portraits.  All the formalities of the day are done, and you’ve had a wine or two… you are basically super relaxed and it’s a good time to grab 10mins in lovely light before the sun sets… (depending on when your getting married obviously!)
 
 
oxford wedding photographer
 
 
 
couple on their wedding day - natural wedding photographer
 
oxford wedding photographer
 
 
 
oxford wedding photographer
 
 
FIRST DANCE
 
Not everyone has a first dance, but if you do I’ll be there to capture it!  I love the way everyone surround you with their mobile phones taking photos and video’s of it… it’s a tradition that I’ve always loved!
 
first dance - wedding photographer oxford - philippa james photography
 
first dance - wedding photographer oxford - philippa james photography
 
 
first dance - wedding photographer oxford - philippa james photography
first dance - wedding photographer oxford - philippa james photography
first dance - wedding photographer oxford - philippa james photography
 
 
AFTER THE FIRST DANCE
 
If you’ve chosen the 8hr package this is when your coverage ends.  If you’ve gone for a bigger package your wedding gallery could include any of the following….
 
alternative wedding photographer oxford - philippa james photography
 
 
 
alternative wedding photographer oxford - philippa james photography
 
 
 
 
 
 
alternative wedding photographer oxford - philippa james photography
 
oxford wedding photographer
 
 
 
party time wedding photographer
 
 
 
 
 
WHAT TO EXPECT AFTER YOUR WEDDING
 
You will receive your images between 6-8 weeks after your wedding day.  I will send you a link to an on-line gallery that you can easily share with all your guests.  You will be able to download all the digital images (usually between 300-500 images) and you’ll have the option to purchase any prints. Albums are available at an additional cost; HEIRLOOM BOOKS (AKA THE WEDDING ALBUM)
 
I hope this helps you understand what to expect from me as your wedding photographer.  Each and every wedding is slightly different, but it’s just to give you a clearer picture at this stage.

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