Congratulations on your upcoming Wedding, and many thanks for booking me to photograph and be part of your special day. By now you will have signed the contract, and if not already paid the booking fee to secure the date.
The following information will give you an idea of what to expect over the coming months (or years!) before your big day.
Most couples book me well in advance of their date, and so there is usually some time before we meet again for the pre Wedding photoshoot (if included in your collection), and also to meet up and chat about your final plans.
We can meet up for a coffee and chat anytime you want, or you can email me with any queries and I'll get back to you shortly afterwards.
Pre Wedding Photoshoot
If your collection includes a pre Wedding photoshoot, we can head off to a nearby location of your choice, such as a park, forest, beach etc for an informal chat about the day and a chance for us all to get to know each other. The photoshoot lasts for around 45 minutes to an hour, and we can have a chat afterwards too over a coffee.
Pre Wedding or Engagement shoots as they are also know are a great way for you to have some relaxed but fun time in front of the camera. When we meet couples for the first time, one of the things they almost always say to me is that they "aren't good in front of the camera” or that “we have never had a nice photograph of the two of us together”. Of all the Weddings I have photographed, I can honestly say I have yet to meet a couple who I haven’t enjoyed photographing and who haven’t loved the photographs we’ve taken.
During the photoshoot we'll go for a walk around and stop for some photographs to show you how we work on the day. The photoshoot needs to take place no later than 1 month prior to your date, ideally a few months before. However if you are having a signing frame for the Wedding, please allow enough time (usually a few weeks) to get the images edited, printed and ready for the frame.
Have a think about locations, ie where you were propsed to, a special place or if you are struggling I can suggest a few.
Most couples are quite nervous about having their photograph taken and that’s perfectly natural – it’s also why these shoots are such a great thing for us to do together before the big event.
A few months before your Wedding I'll email out a form to fill in via my online booking system. This requests information regarding the day, from timings, to group photographs and confirming the ceremony and reception address.
Around 6-8 weeks before your Wedding you will receive the final invoice for the remaining balance again via my online booking system. The balance is due 30 days prior to the Wedding, however you are more than welcome to pay earlier, or even in stages. Please note I do not offer payment plans, or credit.
I'll usually arrive around 2 1/2 to 3 hours before the ceremony depending where the bridal prep is taking place. This gives me enough time to capture the details, dress, shoes etc and the actual prep, and also to get to the venue afterwards if at a different location.
On the day I would always recommend you sit facing window light in a nice light room for the best possible photographs. I would also advise you to ask the MUA (Make Up Artist) and hairdresser to apply your make-up and style your hair last. You can discuss with with your MUA and hairdresser in advance.
My second photographer will usually take photographs of the groom and groomsmen getting ready if this is taking place at the same location as the ceremony.
If this is happening at a different location, it is possible to add this to your collection as an added extra for a small cost, however we usually find we can capture these photographs before the ceremony and so this often isn't necessary.
If there are specific photographs you would like, just let me know - for example a popular photograph of the groomsmen is the "Reservoir Dogs" walking shot.
I'll ask for a list of group photographs you would like as part of the information gathering mentioned above as every family is different and there are no set shots. I'll then work from this list to ensure we get all the groups you request.
As a guide, I recommend no more than 8 groups. I'll also ask for someone to assist with getting the groups together, someone that knows who everyone is, as all this help to get the group photographs done and dusted as quickly as possible. Again if you need any help deciding on who to have in the groups, please ask.
Again I'll ask you for any specific photographs of the two of you, however most of the time we'll go for a walk around the grounds of the venue (and sometimes further afield if you are feeling brave!) looking for amazing photographic opportunities.
We will keep these session to around 15-20 minutes each and do at least 2 or 3 of these throughout the day, for example after the ceremony, before the Wedding breakfast and after the Wedding breakfast. That way we don't take you away from your guests for too long, and also it gives you a break and chance to relax away from the hustle and bustle of the day.
These will all be taken in my signature style, using a documentary approach, in a relaxed and informal way. My style isn't overly posed, and I'll usually ask you to just be yourselves and I'll tweak slightly if needed.
Some photographs will be taken from a distance, so you won't even be aware we are taking them, others will be taken in front and around you. The main thing is to relax and be yourself!
You'll already know how we work from the pre Wedding photoshoot. These are the signature photographs that will make the album, and I often see hanging up on walls when I deliver the album to the couple.
Every Wedding is different, and even if I work at the same venue I'll always be on the lookout for something unique and different for you.
One thing you cannot guarantee in the UK is the weather, however please do not worry about this as I will work around the weather and find alternative locations for any photographs outside. If you are willing, we can always make some fantastic photographs in the rain with or without umbrellas!
For the first dance, I'll setup beforehand with a couple of lights on the dance floor, and I'll work with the DJ and coordinator.
We'll just let you get on with your dance, and take photographs around you. None of my first dance photographs are ever posed.
Once the floor is filled with guests after your first dance we'll usually stay for around 30 minutes to capture the action and fun, and often leave as the buffet arrives. That gives us plenty of opportunity to photograph your guests having fun. Then its time for us to say goodbye and leave you to party the night away.
I'll try and put a sneak peek on my Facebook page with a day or so of your Wedding depending on my current workload.
During peak season, I'll usually aim to have your photographs edited and online within 4-6 weeks, a little less outside peak times. Keep an eye on my Facebook page where I regularly update current lead times, along with other useful tips and information.
Shortly afterwards you will receive the USB pen drive with full resolution photographs on for you to print and share. All I ask is that you don't edit or sell them in anyway. I would always recommend using a print lab rather than a supermarket if you do decide to print - and I also offer prints and frames via my website.
If you have chosen an album as part of your collection, then now is the time to choose your favourite photographs for the album. Please note the price you originally paid for your collection is valid for 12 months from your Wedding date. If you don't manage to sign off your album before then, don't worry you can just pay any extra costs if the album happens to have gone up in price.
If you didn't chose an album originally but later wish too, thats fine just contact me for a quote and I'm more than happy to talk you through the different options.
If you want me to pick the photos for you, thats absolutely fine - or you can choose your own. For the standard 30 page album, its around 50-60 images I’ll need from you - if you find you have chosen more images I can add more pages for a small cost. Until I start designing with the photos chosen, I wont know exactly how many pages will be required.
Heres a sample album to give you an idea of the layout and storybook idea from the start of the day to the first dance; http://www.martinpawlett.co.uk/lauren-matt-sample
The image numbers represent the pages, i.e. 001-002 is page 1 and 2
That will give you an idea of how the selected images could look, and how I design the album in a story book way. I decided to go for a grey page on this album to fit in with their grey/green theme rather than the standard black or white page, but you can have any colour you wish.
What usually happens its you give me your images choices either via email or my website (you select your favourites), then I design the album and send a proof like in the link above. I’ll make any changes they request and send a new link - and you can come to my house and tweak the design on screen and choose the album. Its easier to do it on screen. I can then design the album in a 3D configurator to show you exactly how your album will look.
You are more than welcome to come to mine and choose the images with my help - or alternatively have a run through the images between yourselves on your TV one night, let me know the choices and I’ll work my magic and send over the proof link. The album designing is best done at my house in Sandbach as I can show you all the sample albums and choices. Allow 60-90 mins to design the album, and obviously more if you want to choose the images here too.
Once you have signed of the album design and chosen your album - it usually takes around 6-8 weeks to be hand made in Italy and arrive back with me.
Here is a list (not exhaustive) of recommended suppliers. I don't get any kick back for recommending, these are suppliers who I have actually worked with on a Wedding (not just friends who I know), and suppliers I would actually use myself.
If there is anything else I can help with, please feel free to contact me - I'm more than happy to help out where I can.