Let’s be honest here. Hands up those among you whose initial response to the words ‘wedding photographer’ or ‘wedding videography’ is somewhere between nonplussed and despairing? I imagine many of us yearn for oh-so-special photographs of our nuptials: the ones that capture those stolen glances, the way your dress flows up the aisle, and all those little details. We all hope for luminously beautiful shots that will never age. And a wedding film straight from the Breakfast at Tiffany’s charm and elegance style book is the dream, too.
But finding a photographer and videographer that speaks to your style sensibilities, whose work is truly touching (minus sentimentality and fads) can be tough. Finding the talent worthy of entrusting with your wedding amongst the bombardment of marketing, advertisements and shouty social media is doubly so – it takes a leap of faith to find the genuine gems among the seemingly glittering array. For the truth is, as the adage goes – the proof is in the pudding (or pictures) and not in their clever copywriting or photoshopped galleries.
Which is why we’ve put together this insider’s guide to the ins-and-outs of perfect wedding pictures alongside the seasoned professionals appearing at the Quintessentially Weddings Atelier next week (psst, if you haven’t got your passes yet, register for them here).
Classics are so called for a reason; they are immutable, and often get better with age. This also applies to photographs – you want to be able to gaze upon your wedding album in 10, 20, 30 years time and feel exactly the same as you did in the moment those images were captured. Asking your photographer to blend reportage style with more formal, portrait compositions is a surefire way to ensure photos brimming with life, but also poise and radiance. More time lighting a picture just so and tweaking poses equals lovely and flattering snaps. As Hugo Burnand, royal wedding and sometime Tatler society photographer showcasing at the Weddings Atelier epitomises, a skilled and experienced photographer brings not only a enduring love and knowledge of what makes a great photo to proceedings, but also the tricks to enhance naturally gorgeous images and bring out the best in your guests too.
EVERY PICTURE TELLS A STORY
Photographs and wedding videos should be able to speak volumes without uttering a word. The trick is commissioning a team who is on your wavelength, who you connect with and trust implicitly so that they can melt into the background on the day and you can be at ease. And behold, the simple, natural beauty of what they then capture transcends the images and film; leaving you with deliciously romantic photos and a film with a palpable sense of narrative arc, character and magic. Whilst individually very different in their personalities, direction and style, Magnolia Images and The Filming Business share a storytelling approach which never fails. Both will be at the Atelier offering personal consultations and what is known as ‘meet-cutes’ in the film industry.
DO THE TWIST
…But ‘timeless’ doesn’t have to been bland. There are plenty of ways to subtly incorporate some playful touches and whimsy into your shots and films. Hence many videographers, and Magnolia Images I suspect, shy away from being called ‘videographers’ and prefer the term Cinematographer: this title alludes to their vision and skills that make a wedding film so much more than simply you gliding down an aisle, pledging your troth and dancing until the small hours. Opt for one or two ‘fun’ photos with props, or shaping the word LOVE with your fingers like this, and include some more candid, colourful moments in your film too to make it fun and upbeat.
YOU GET WHAT YOU GIVE
Ask any leader in their field, and they will all say that you ‘get what you pay for’. Quality control is sadly hard to instill into the wedding industry with so many one man bands – most of whom are incredible, wonderfully unique artisans, but there are always a few bad apples, alas. Yet you can discover, if you do your research profoundly and broadly enough, who to call upon and trust. Recommendations count for an awful lot, as no credible supplier, venue or brand will risk aligning themselves or their reputation by suggesting fellow suppliers who don’t meet their standards, share their spirit of creativity or excellence. Once you have narrowed down your photographer and videographer options, look for client reviews, ask to see long versions of wedding films as well as short edits and don’t discount some because of their prices: the record of your day is an investment and you should stretch your budget in this area as much as you can (not something we usually advise, so words to be heeded). After all, it’s not every day that you get married!
SOUNDTRACK OF OUR LIVES
It perhaps goes without saying, but when it comes to those moments in films that give you goosebumps, that certain flutter or elicit the waterworks, it’s as much down to the scene as it is to the music accompanying it. Sometimes asking your videographer to shape the film and how they document your wedding to a particular song from the outset can give you a winsome end result. Equally, once your wedding film is created, spending time finding that song that evokes memories of your love story as well as matching the feel of the video is a good tactic. It is a great way to put a stamp of personality on your film, too. If you are into shoe-gazy pop, for instance, laying over London Grammar‘s cover of ‘Wicked Game’ works wonders, whilst you can have fun with more hipster choices or just those songs that make us all collectively turn to mush – such as anything by Florence and the Machine, Al Green, The Beach Boys or Etta James.
Meet Magnolia Images, Hugo Burnand and The Filming Business at the Quintessentially Weddings Atelier next week and follow all of the action with the official hashtag #QWAtelier