FAQs and expert advice about photography

Here is a selection of Q&As from Your London Wedding magazine whether it be about flowers, hair and makeup, fashion, wedding themes, health & beauty, cakes, stationery, legal advice. If you would like your question answered by our experts, please email it to editor@yourlondon.wedding


Top tips for a winter shoot

Top tips for a winter shoot

Q. We're planning a winter wedding and would love to get some photography tips for this time of the year to make sure we get the best pics possible – help!

A. Paul Gapper says: Keep warm! It can get quite cold in winter, while it rarely snows these days in the south, it looks amazing when it does. Remember if you're going to be outside for a while ask someone to bring a coat or a shawl to keep you warm while your photographer looks for great places to take your pics. It can get very muddy at this time of the year so ask the same person to walk with you and hold your dress to keep it off the ground.

The evening sky can look amazing so be sure to think about the twilight zone and time your shoot for then. When looking for your venue, choose one that has plenty of good indoor spots for your backdrop just in case the weather turns – fireplaces look cosy and wooden barns look amazing with candles flickering in the background.

Have a good supply of umbrellas on hand and using sparklers instead of confetti always looks good. You could even end the night with an amazing firework display (if your venue allows).

I'd advise to hold your ceremony earlier in the day and also speak to your photographer to check that they're able to shoot in low light conditions. If you have your wedding during the winter, the chances are you can get better rates with more dates available plus if you time it just before Christmas you have all the lovely decorations free of charge.

Paul Gapper, Paul Gapper Photography


Big-day shoot

Big-day shoot

Q. My partner's extremely camera shy so I'm worried about our photos not looking natural. What advice can you share and how can you help with that on the day?

A. Jeff Oliver says: Being camera shy is like a vicious circle, you feel awkward in front of a camera, it shows in the final photo, you don't like the final photo and so the cycle continues. We have several tips and tricks to overcome this, first off is having a pre-wedding photoshoot. This may sound like a baptism of fire, but the number of our couples that have gone into a pre-wedding shoot feeling shy and nervous, and finished being much more comfortable and having enjoyed it, is countless.

Another thing to remember is that many photos are taken from a distance, leaving couples to relax and chat a little, rather than having a camera up close and in their face. When looking either at each other, or 'off-camera', they almost forget we're there. We find shooting this way produces natural photos from even the most camera-shy person.

Ultimately, trust your photographer! They'll work with you to help you feel more at ease and less awkward when having photos.

Jeff Oliver, Jeff Oliver Photography




Q. What are the key wedding trends for 2022 and how are couples planning their weddings differently this year?

A. Doville Gailiuniene says: Some guest lists and wedding budgets are getting bigger in 2022. Couples are making the most of the opportunity to bring their nearest and dearest together. Larger weddings are slightly harder to run, but I love the thrill on the day. The organisation is key to keeping everything on track and to getting the best out of your wedding pictures. Remember, that for big weddings timing is everything. Here are my top tips:

- Have a clear timeline of the day – You can't have 10 large group pictures in 10 minutes, you need to be realistic with your timings for photographs.

- Communication is key! Write a list of must-have pictures and share your ideas with the photographer.

- Visit your wedding venue with your photographer to look at the best locations for portraits and family pictures.

- Consider investing in a second photographer or even a third. You won't regret it. You'll have more images and a variety of different angles such as the groom's first look while the bride walks down the aisle. One photographer won't be able to cover both.

Your wedding pics will be a lasting memory of that special day. We as photographers can change a lot, but we can't change the mood so enjoy the day and have fun.

Doville Gailiuniene, Doville Gail Photography


Seasonanl shoot

Seasonanl shoot

Q. With darker evenings and colder climes I'm worried that we'll have fewer options for our photos. What do you advise?

A. Christine Constantine says: A winter wedding spells magic and mystery, but there are some key things that you need to consider. You'll have less hours of light to work with so if you're a fan of naturally lit images, be sure to schedule your ceremony earlier to make the most of those daylight hours. If you love sunset shots, there are some spectacular skies at this time of year. Just make sure you check all timings with your photographer and schedule your day accordingly.

It'll be chillier, but what a great excuse to wear a fabulous white faux-fur coat or dazzling coloured pashmina. If we're blessed with snow this can be a stunning look. Couple with some beautiful seasonal flowers and against a white backdrop, you'll truly pop in your images. 

If you don't get snow arrange a post-wedding shoot when we have some of the stuff around. Yes, it means getting suited and booted again but, in my opinion, totally worth it! You'll have your dream winter wedding images with that magical white background to treasure forever.

Finally, always hire a professional. We're trained to deal with low-light conditions.

Christine Constantine, Christine Constantine Photography


Love yourself

Love yourself

Q. I'm feeling overwhelmed at the thought of having all eyes on me on my wedding day. What can I do to boost my confidence and get excited about the prospect?

A. Mervyn Reid-Nelson says: Your wedding is likely to be one of the best days of your life, and with that comes a lot of pressure for everything to be just right. This can include your self image. When it comes to having your photo taken on the day, the aim is to remove the need for perfection and instead see your photographer as someone who is taking a record of what happened on this once-in-a-lifetime day. There's no expectancy to look like anything other than your beautiful self. You'll thank yourself for being in the moment when you look back on your photos for years to come.

The second step to greater body confidence is to practice a confident mindset. If you feel confident, you'll look it. Dip into the confidence pools that exist in your everyday life – that amazing presentation you did at work, that time when you perfected your manicure – these are all little wins. Thinking about the things that make you feel a certain way will help you depict that emotion in your photos.

Our body confidence shoots provide you with an experience that help you celebrate the true beauty and strength that you carry. Seeing your body as a piece of art is the perfect first step to learning to love yourself.

Mervyn Reid-Nelson, You at Yours


Snap happy

Snap happy

Q. There are so many photographers out there – how do we choose who's right for us?

A. Douglas Fry says: The best photographers should pass three tests:

- Is their portfolio consistently good? If the gallery shows a documentary style for one wedding, lots of flash in another and an attempt at a hipster vibe in a third, then your photos may come as an unwelcome surprise! You want to see examples of great photography in a consistent style that looks good all year round.

- Do you like your photographer? You'll be in close proximity to them all day, so make sure you get along. It's important to meet a selection of photographers in the early stages and get a feel for their personality.

- There are no second chances, and experience is key to good photography. A wedding can be an emotional time and you need to know your photographer is prepared for each stage of the day so you'll have a set of images you'll love for years to come.

Douglas Fry, Douglas Fry Wedding Photography


Getting comfortable

Getting comfortable

Q. My partner and I are nervous to be in front of the camera. How can we relax on the day?

A. Edwin Marcow says: With 101 things running through your mind, it's understandable if you become anxious. If you're feeling shy, it can affect how you interact with your photographer and how you appear on camera. Looking back, you'll want photos that show your loved ones smiling and laughing, as well as romantic couple portraits without feeling embarrassed.

The wedding morning can be stressful; hair and make-up has to be perfect and you can't be late. Before I even pick up my camera, I'll spend time chatting with you to make you feel at ease. Maintaining that light-hearted approach will enable me to capture beautifully relaxed photos.

I'll always get the newlyweds in a great pose to take some test images. I'll prompt you to smile and then show you the test images on my camera to help build your confidence and see how great you look. I'll always make this time a fun experience that you'll both enjoy. Although I'm an award-winning photographer, I'm actually quite shy myself, and I believe this gives me an insight into how you're feeling.

Edwin Marcow, Edwin Marcow Ltd

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