Your Wedding Photographer
Lincolnshire Wedding Photographer - Hitched Wedding Awards Winner 2023 - I DO Wedding Magazine Awards 2020 & 2022 Finalist - Guides for Brides Customer Service Awards Finalist 2022 & 2023 - Wedisson Awards Winner 2021 & 2022 - TWIA Wedding Photographer of the Year Finalist 2022 & 2023
So, I guess you are looking for your Wedding Photographer for your big day and you have managed to come across me!
"Hi! It is lovely to meet you!"
It can be an absolute minefield when it comes to choosing your photographer. Why? Because there are so many of us; all with our own unique styles, various packages and price tags from one end of the spectrum to the other. So, how do you go about choosing who to capture one of the most memorable days you are ever going to have?
And so... I thought I would give you a little bit of guidance that will hopefully help you along the way; what you should / should not expect before, during and after your big day, the many questions you should ask at whatever stage you are at during the planning process and above all, how to ultimately choose that all important person who is going to spend a HUGE chunk of your special day with you! Plus... I thought I would also give you a little insight into me too!
If you are still at this stage... stick the kettle on, put your feet up and let's go on a photography adventure!
A BIT ABOUT ME
Lindsay Isham... natural redhead who went to Uni in Wales, got her Fine Art degree specialising in Photography. How many years ago? Too many to say!
For me, photography at Uni was all about spending time in the darkroom. I LOVED it! It was by far my happy place and I miss it massively. Now we are in the digital age, and that's ok, but one day, I think it would be epic to go back to basics and run a wedding on 35mm film.
Today, I am a wife with our my fur baby, Mabel, who is our pride and joy. Chris and I love her to bits and we wouldn't be without her. She is a proper little mascot when it comes to The Jasmine Cottage Studio and as one of my social media posts declared, I am convinced that she is the one who really gets all the bookings for my little business! She is an absolute star!
Family and friends are incredibly important to me and so when it comes to your wedding day, I like to know from the get go, who and what is important to you. Without that, I don't believe any photographer can capture the pure essence of you and your magical day.
"HEY THERE, WE ARE LOOKING FOR OUR WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER!"
So, you have made that step of contacting someone to capture your big day! Is it your only enquiry or 1 of 12? How did you decide to contact them? First up, if it is not already, Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook will be your new best friends when it comes to going on the hunt for your photographer! You may have done a search or someone may have recommended them to you, whether it be a family member, friends or venue, which has led you to scroll through countless photos to see if you can both "connect", not only with the work you are seeing, but with the person or people behind the camera(s)!
For me, once you have gone through the scrolling, read the reviews and if you are feeling the warmth from those, head over to the photographer's website for a good bit of research! Some may include pricing, some may not. For me, I like to be open and transparent and give as much as I can to my audience. Spending pennies on your photographer is a huge deal. The average spend on a wedding photographer in 2022, according to the Wedding Photography Industry Statistics and Report, was £1,820. If you click here, you will see all the packages I offer; all of which can be tweaked to suit you, your budget and how you wish to look back on your magical day. I confess, I am not not the cheapest, but I am not the most expensive. I wholeheartedly believe I provide a service each couples truly deserves, with a little bit more on top!
SOME QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER
- Is my date available? If you have booked your date, let your photographer know. These days, we are often booked 12 to 18 months in advance, however that's not to say you can plan a wedding and get your dream photographer within 6 months, but if you are still at the provisional date stage with a number of venues, don't be afraid to pass them all over to your photographer too!
- Have you shot weddings at my venue before? This has been known as a decision breaker for couples, which is absolutely fine! The advantage of working at a venue before is that you know all the cool spots and get to know all the staff too, and how they work. The excitement going back to a beautiful venue is something that I will always treasure. The ADVANTAGE OF NOT SHOOTING AT A VENUE BEFORE, is the beauty of seeing it with new eyes! For me, I feel we can be truly creative and get something incredibly special and so by not having photographed at a venue before, can be as equally as precious as knowing the venue so well.
- Can I provide you with a group shot list for the day? Yes, yes and YES! During your official consultation with me, I will ask you for a list of VIPs so I know who to look out for on the day, as well as a list of all the group photos you would like. Key moments, those natural candid shots and all those couple portraits are a no brainer, but of course there will be those photos you'd like for your album and for your parents and grandparents walls. On average, couples with me tend to choose around a dozen group photos, although, I have hit a whopping 30 in recent months. Allow 3 to 5 minutes per group photo; that is so I can round people up and also for us spend time together for a laugh and a giggle, because your wedding photography should be fun at every stage! Do ask about group photos before booking... one videographer informed me recently that some photographers only allow 3 to 6 group photos and no more, and so if are looking for a few more, sound them out!
- What will you wear on the day? I will confess, in the past, I did go down the route of dressing similar to a guest but I quickly learnt that when you are bending down, hiding in bushes and then needing batteries and lenses close by, it wasn't the most practical or the most comfortable. Us photographers get into all sorts and do a lot of running around, whilst having equipment clung to every part of our body. So, depending on the weather, I will mostly be in black; black trousers with either a white or black top, sometimes a shirt with a cardigan, a jumpsuit or on summer days, smart black shorts/linen/cropped trousers with a lightweight shirt, vest top and/or a linen blend all in one. Maybe even my black dress too! Footwear, as I mentioned, photographers do run around all over the place and as much I would love heels, you will pretty much see me in my black pumps or a pair of boots so I can get around quickly, easily and safely. I wear a camera harness, I have a backpack with me and a bumbag too, and so in order for me to capture your beautiful memories, I need to wear gear that allows me to move about without restriction.
- Do we need to provide you with a meal? For me, no! It is your day and you're already paying me to capture your day and the last thing you need to think about is feeding me. However, many photographers do stipulate in their contracts that a meal should be provided for them so please don't be surprised if they ask. Some couples though have been incredibly lovely and have insisted for me to be fed, which I am of course so grateful for - I genuinely am!
- How long will you be with us on the day? Should you have prep time as part of your package, I normally allow anywhere between an hour or 2 for that and then up to an hour, after your first dance, however, it is no problem at all should you wish for me to stay longer. If the dance floor is banging, I will be there!
- What happens if you can't attend the day? Without sounding scary, please do invest in wedding insurance. Your venue, and other suppliers, should suggest this to you also and so I am just putting that one out there! However, I have never not attended a wedding. In 2022, I was incredibly ill during one wedding. So much so, I was having difficulty standing. If any of my 2022 couples are reading this... can you guess if it were you? To put your minds at ease, it would take a hell of a lot for me to not capture your wedding day, but as we all know, family emergencies and illnesses do occur and so I have a heap of amazing photographers that I can call on.
- Do you have insurance? You bet! I have both professional indemnity and public liability insurance, all of which you are welcome to see. I always carry my certificates with me to any wedding, as well as COVID risk assessments too, in case they are needed on the day. Plus, I am happy to submit these in advance to your venue beforehand. Whoever you choose, please make sure your photographer is fully insured!
- Can you put together a bespoke package for us? Of course! I have set packages (please click here) any of which can be tweaked to suit you. Every single wedding is special and unique and I am a true believer your wedding photography should reflect that too! As crazy as it sounds, you also want to recognise yourselves in your photos and so by getting to know your photographer beforehand and by creating a package you know you will love, you and your loved ones will shine through your photos after your big day!
- Can we meet you and see your portfolio prior to booking? One million yeses and more! Your photographer should want to meet you and for me, should not sway away from it. I go into it in a little more detail about that later but for me, it is so important for you to feel relaxed and at ease with your photographer, almost like a friend by your side, but professional throughout knowing they will get the job done. Viewing their portfolio has got to be a must! Some will ask to see a complete wedding, which is absolutely fine but just be aware, some past couples may not like their wedding day photos shown to people they do not know so please don't be worried if you just see a sample. I always show a good mix; from start to finish, so you can see easily envisage how your wedding day photos will be after your special day has come to an end! With me, you will see an example of the online gallery you will receive, prints and albums available too!
- What style of photographer are you? Me, I describe myself as a candid photographer, capturing all those special moments as they naturally happen, whilst throwing in a twist of the classic group shots alongside a beautiful collection of couple portraits too. I am conscious most people don't like posing (I am the same!) but of course I will be there, holding your hand and guiding you where you might need it, but ultimately, I let you be YOU and we just have a good laugh along the way! I get to know your guests, as it is so important for them to feel at ease and chilled with me too and then before we all know it, everyone is a pro in front of the camera! You'll spend a heap of cash on your venue, decor, flowers, cake, personal elements, dresses and suits too and so I make sure all these are captured. As cheesy as it may sound, I am telling a story of your day through pictures and so when you come to "read your story", you won't want to put it down!
Fancy hearing what couples have said about me?
YOU'VE ENQUIRED & NOW YOU ARE WAITING TO HEAR... ARE THEY / AM I AVAILABLE?
Eek!! When I get an enquiry through, I genuinely get SO excited... and I haven't even met you yet! When making your enquiries, include as much as information as you can; such as your wedding date, venue and, if you do have an idea, the kind of coverage you are looking for. It will really help me (and other photographers too) when it comes to suggesting or tailoring a package for you.
I know I am probably a bit of a bugger of talking too much (can you tell with this blog post?!) but I like to provide you with as much information as possible; from the kind of photographer I am to the style of photos you shall receive and how. I want you to get value, but equally, I want you to honestly see that I am invested in YOU and your big day. No couple are ever a "number" and even though I will always remain professional throughout, I am super friendly and I will open myself up to you so you know that you can come to me at whatever stage of your wedding planning and ask me anything that will help you along the way. I am a person too - just like you and I like to treat you, how I was lucky enough to be treated as a bride. We all deserve to feel special, right? Nothing is more special than your wedding day! It is the biggest day you are ever likely to plan!
If I am free on your wedding date, happy days! Before making any decisions, I will insist on us meeting. As I said earlier, not only is it important for you to like the work of your photographer but also for you to get along with them too, and that they can make you, and your guests, feel at ease on the day.
I have a home office where I make a decent cup of tea and coffee, so we can sit back, relax and talk about all your ideas of your dream day! You get to know me, I get excited about you and, if you're lucky, you'll get some cuddles with Mabel too! For me, I want you to see ME and feel completely at ease! During our get together, it will provide you with a FAB opportunity to see more of my work, the online galleries I put together, as well as have a nosey through albums and boxes of prints that are included in the packages I provide. Plus, you get to ask me a heap of questions, which I will always do my best to answer.
What else do I tell you?
Labelled as the "boring bits" but a HUGE necessity, am I fully insured, YES and I come bagged up on the day of your wedding with plenty of equipment - including umbrellas too on rainy days. Plus, you would also have a contract in place with me, which is (should be!) standard for all Wedding Photographers. Nothing scary, but vital. I have heard so many horror stories over the years where people have given themselves the title of "Photographer" just by doing a 2-8 hour online course and nothing more. I was even told by a couple in the past they were going to hire a photographer but they would have to be his driver on their wedding day AND would have to write their own contract. Yikes! My heart just sank. Yes, wedding photography can on the surface seem pricey, but I promise you, you are paying for countless years of experience and I am not just talking about a good eye and camera skills; so much goes on behind the scenes, as we work with your venue, get in contact with registrars along with so much more, in order for your day to run as perfect as it should be! I am proud of my qualifications and all the hard work I have put into my business and so, don't be afraid to ask your photographer their background. They should be happy to share and beam about all the skills they have developed over the years!
WANT TO BOOK? YAY!
Ok, so you've met your photographer (whooppppeeeeee if it's me!) and you've decided they're the one! With me, you'll have your contract in place where a booking form will need to be completed alongside a non-refundable booking fee. For The Jasmine Cottage Studio, it is £125, which will secure your date. Once both the form and fee have been received, your date is secured! It is as simple as that, and plus, I always allow couples 7 days to complete everything they need to, with the remaining balance to be settled 30 days before your wedding date, but should you need to tweak it a little... just ask! Provisionally holding your date is not a problem for me either, as I don't want you to feel rushed into booking.
Please, please, please don't give in to pressure! You should not be forced into signing on the dotted line and equally, don't allow suppliers, or even loved ones, to influence your decisions when comparing themselves/those to others. Go with your gut and with how you feel about them. Your photographer will be with you for such a huge part of your day and without doubt, you must feel so comfortable with them! Not only have I played the role of photographer on the day, but I have tied up dresses, buckled up shoes and pinned those buttonholes. As crazy as it sounds, if you think you'll be happy for me to see you naked, I am your girl!
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
Don't think for a second I will leave you on your own! Ok, so I won't be jumping into your inbox every single week, but every couple of months or so, I will pop you a message to see how you are doing and also keep you in the loop with what is going on with me!
This is when we start getting to know each other more and I love it. I want you to know that you can come to me as many times as you need/want to - even if it is a rant about suit colours or simply deciding what cake options you are thinking about. Need a taster? I am all yours!
Before your big day though, we can meet, chat, email as much as you like. Please know you can contact me anytime and wish to catch up with me at any stage of your wedding day plans. Don't be afraid to get in touch and ask for a get together. The answer will ALWAYS be a big fat yes!
For your "official" consultation, we would look to have our get together 2/3 months before your big day! At this stage, you should roughly know the schedule of your day and so during our get together we shall...
- Put together a timeline of your wedding
- Get to know your VIPs such as close family members and your wedding party
- Map out your group photos
- Choose spots for your couple portraits
- List your suppliers
- Go through what happens after your big day
My home office is the perfect place for our get together, but should you wish to chat at your venue, please know that is fine too! I genuinely prefer having face to face contact, but equally understand work, logistics and family commitments cannot always allow that to happen and so if it is simply a chat over the phone or a video call, please know you are not receiving anything less from me, or whoever you choose! As crazy as it may sound, when I contact couples, video calls are still the number one choice.
Once your consultation is over, I will put together all my notes and get them sent across to you! These are great for you to refer to, in case anything gets missed or if anything changes. Please don't think though that is the last you'll hear from me! I will be in touch again a few days before your wedding date, making sure you are ok and highlighting everything we have previously chatted about. I had a wonderful experience as a bride, but on the day, I was still left wondering by one or two of my suppliers if they were going to turn up or not! It was horrible, purely because I hadn't heard from them the month or so leading up to our day and it seriously gave me the jitters! Of course, I had nothing to worry about... our day was perfect, but I would hate to feel that I had created those thoughts with any of my couples.
After your day, my excitement doesn't end there! You shall receive your mobile phone app (how cool is that?!) and social media taster a day or so afterwards. I don't want to leave you hanging! Your gallery will then be ready up to 6 weeks after your wedding, which are you free to download and share with your loved ones. Have an album, prints and memory sticks as part of your package? You tell me which photos you want included and then I put everything together for you. As these items are manufactured by a top end supplier, they can take up to 4 weeks to make but believe me, it is worth the wait!
Once you have received everything, I shed a few tears as I am often genuinely gutted to be saying "goodbye" to you! I will still periodically drop you a message though, as 9/10 times, we have been through so much together, I like to know if you are good. The grief I feel is real! Plus, I know I can be a little annoying at times asking for any kind words from my couples in the form of a review or votes during awards season BUT without these at the beginning, who knows if you would've chosen me as your photographer? They help, MASSIVELY, and plus it also shows your love for the person who would've been by your side for 1/2/3 years nearly on one of the biggest days of your life!
IN A NUTSHELL
Phew! If you have got this far... you are pretty amazing! I hope I have helped a little when it comes to seeking out your photographer. It can seem daunting to begin with but I promise you, planning your big day is SO much fun! Enjoy every flippin' second of it, because it goes by in a flash and remember, even though the most important day is your wedding day, every single conversation you have with your venue and your suppliers, is all part of the experience and each moment should be savoured.
And finally... here is my little highlight and my top tips for booking your Wedding Photographer!
- Nosey at their photos, get to grips with a style you like and read their reviews
- Connect with their photos, photography and editing style, and above all... connect with them!
- Go meet them before saying YES!
- Ask lots of questions... even those awkward ones that linger in the back of your mind. Your photographer should want to answer them!
- Don't be under pressure from your photographer, or any other supplier, in booking them. Every supplier you choose needs to be right for you and for you to be comfortable with them
- Make sure your feel "safe" with your photographer - experience, skills, work ethic, personality, insurance, equipment are all aspects to consider
- Are they just as excited and passionate about your big day as you are? Your photographer should make you feel that YOU are the only ones that matter!
- Do they "get" you? Understanding all the elements of you and your day is so important - you are not just a number
- Does your photographer have Mabel? Let's face it, we all know that's the deal breaker!
Ok! So, I hope I have given you an insight into booking your Wedding Photographer! For me, I just LOVE what I do and really hope my enthusiasm and passion shows. If you feel that I could fit into your day, please do get in touch - hearing from you and sharing all your ideas with me is the BEST feeling.
Thank you for sticking with me to the end!
Lots of love,