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C is for contracts, coverage and camera confidence {A-Z wedding photography series}

 

So it’s been a while since the last A-Z of wedding photography, last year certainly threw things out of whack for the majority of us.  But it’s now time to reignite them and we’re up to C (we didn’t get very far before… A was for Albums and B was for Bridal Prep!) and I couldn’t narrow this down to just one topic, so I’m going to cover contracts, coverage and camera confidence… Here goes!

 
individual bride and groom portraits along with couple portrait under the arch, all taken at The Old Hall Ely.  Images by London wedding photographer Amanda Karen Photography
 

Contracts

Any wedding supplier you engage with should have a contract that is balanced and protects both you as a couple and them as a supplier.  It should cover things like payment terms, service to be delivered, any associated time-frames (where applicable), cancellation / postponement.  For photographers, it will also include image usage, whereby you will be able to use and keep the images but likely not be able to sell them on (which is a commercial use). 

It should also state that the photographer still maintains the copyright, this is set out in the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 which means that as the creator of the image, the photographer automatically gets protection from others copying and passing those images off as their own.  This not only protects the photographer, but in turn actually protects the couple, as it means that other businesses can’t use those images and share them all over the place without permission from the creator, aka photographer.  But don’t worry, it doesn’t mean that every time you want to share or use an image you have to ask for permission, that’s where you have the image usage right from the photographer.

 
Italian destination wedding details of hanging blue wedding dress and hanging blue suit, along with engagement ring in velvet blue ring box and hydrangea confetti.  Images by destination wedding photographer Amanda Karen Photography
 

Coverage

This is an area that will differ from photographer to photographer, and is basically the length of time that you book that photographer for.  For some photographers they will have set hours like 4, 6, 8 and 10-hour options.  Other photographers, like us, may strip it down a bit…  We have a half day and full day option, not only to keep things a little simpler as you’re not faced with so many options, but also, as having photographed many weddings now, sometimes things over run and you end up needing 9 hours.

One thing to note, is that the coverage options may differ depending on the time of year you are getting married, for instance there is a lot more flexibility out of peak summer season weekends or if you’re getting married on a weekday because those dates are in less demand and as wedding businesses are quite seasonal, we get most of our income from those summer weddings, meaning for many businesses it’s not viable to be doing this on a much lower rate.  However, it can mean, if you are flexible on when you want to get married and there is a photographer that you love, that you absolutely have to have at your wedding, even if their full day is out of your budget, getting married during the week or out of peak season could mean that a half day would work with your timeline of the day – the best thing to do is to talk to that photographer and see how it can work.

The final thing to note on coverage, is that whilst many photographers, like ourselves have “set packages” for multi-day weddings or destination weddings these are usually quoted on a bespoke basis with you, so definitely worth having a call with your wish list photographer(s) to scope this out!

 
Engagement shoot images taken at Hampstead Heath in London, including couple walking, close up of engagement shoot and couple looking at each other.  Images by London wedding photographer Amanda Karen Photography
 

Camera confidence

For many of our couples, being in front of the camera isn’t a natural environment.  In fact, one of the reasons we are booked is because everyone looks so natural in their photos, but trust me, many of our couples do start of with the same mindset as you may have right now.  So here are my tips for growing your camera confidence and not being nervous about having your photo taken on your wedding day:

  1. First of all, make sure you get to know your photographer before you book – your gut will tell you a lot as to whether you feel comfortable with this person, as that goes a long way as to whether they will help you feel at ease in front of the camera (especially when you consider that they may well be there when you’re getting changed in the morning!)
  2. Have an engagement shoot – I know it may seem counter intuitive if you don’t like being in front of the camera, to have another occasion where you are doing just that, but see it like a dress rehearsal. You see, on a wedding day, you want your images to go seamlessly, to get the best possible images of you both, relaxed and enjoying the day.  An engagement shoot gives you the chance to see how relaxed it is actually going to be, how your photographer will guide you gently and make you feel amazing – so then when you go into the wedding day, the fears are no longer there!
  3. Remember that it’s about the two of you and your love for each other.  Unless you book a high fashion editorial photographer (in which case, you’ve probably not worked your way this far into our website), your photographer, like us, is going to capture the two of you beautifully and naturally.  There won’t be awkward posing where you’re draped over each other, it’s likely to be more about the interactions between you, the glances and smiles you share when looking at each other – not staring down the barrel of the lens for the full shoot.  So remember, this is a chance to celebrate how awesome you are as a couple, put everything else to one side and unashamedly enjoy and revel in these moments together.

 

Next time, in the A-Z wedding photographer series I’ll be talking about digital files and dancing – what a combination!

Until next time,

Amanda x

 
Images from getting ready in the morning before the wedding - a selfie with the bridesmaids, putting the dress on and doing makeup.  Images by London cotswold wedding photographer Amanda Karen Photography
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