For wedding photography our work always starts way before the Big Day itself. Actually, it often starts as much as a year in advance. That is approximately a period of time that people usually plan and arrange everything for the Wedding.
So when a new potential customer contacts us to enquire about our wedding service, we always suggest a face-to-face meeting to start with. This serves multiple purposes.
Firstly, it gives a customer a chance to be introduced to a photographer in person, talk to him and feel how well they are getting on.
Face-to-face chat in a coffee or tea room is also an easier and more comfortable format for customers to explain their preferences, ideas, tastes and special requirements. While all these are crucial for photographer to understand, capture and convey on pictures. That’s what is making each wedding to be a unique event and a treasured memory!
Also, customer will have a chance to hold in hands, scrutinise and taste the samples of the Final Product. Not a computer file, that looks different on every monitor and not so great on many, but the real thing! All our various albums of different styles, sizes, standard of quality and number of pages; all sorts of frames being printed on various materials and framed differently: wooden frames, acrylic stands, canvases…
Finally, during the meeting the photographer can also understand and advise if view and interiors of the venue is required or any other special preparations for the best possible shoot of the day. We are also always ready to meet again if required.
FREE Engagement Session
We understand and always appreciate that choosing a Wedding photographer is a big decision to make and a huge commitment on our side. We also believe that friendly atmosphere and feeling “at ease” with a photographer are crucial factors for a great pictures. We know we need to capture those most treasured real emotions, happiness and excitement of the day.
That is why we propose to all our customers to do a FREE Engagement Session. This gives customers a chance to work with a photographer, get to know his ways, taste the results and only then make their final choice of a Wedding photographer, knowing for sure that this is indeed a photographer they like and trust.
And of course, it has a benefit of giving customers extra value of an additional set of informal pictures capturing their relationship and romance forever!
It is also important to highlight that there is no commitment whatsoever on customer side after this FREE Engagement Session. Meaning that if after the FREE session, customer decides to proceed with a different supplier, we are never offended; there are no penalties and no tricks.
Booking and Deposit
If after the Face-to-Face Meeting and FREE Engagement Session, the customers decide to proceed with a Wedding, they have to send us a deposit of £100. Once we have it we will book a date in a calendar with the customer. Until then we have a provisional booking. Basically, meaning that the customer, who first make a decision and pays a deposit, gets a booking of the date first.
By the time Alexander arrives to the Wedding, he knows what to expect in terms of lighting and setting. He also knows what are the customer preferences regarding style and formality level. The latest means, that it was already discussed and agreed if the bride and groom prefer him to make all the formal standard shots, or their preference is not to bother their guests and keep it informal. He also knows what are those special things, moments or guests that they particularly want him to focus on.
So after all this preparation work, on the day Alexander just comes and enjoys his job, contributing his bit to a merry atmosphere of the day!
Processing the photos
This is actually the most labour intensive and time-consuming part of the job, that majority of people are not aware of and do not appreciate. Ironically, a lot of people believe that photographers earn “thousands over a day”. That is so far from being true. In fact, it takes a good week or more to edit all pictures up to a professional /state of art level.
The process starts with some 1000-2000 files that were made during the day, so it takes 3-4 hours just to go through them and delete some 30% of obvious imperfectness. After that being done, the RAW format files are loaded into Lightroom (photography storage and processing software). There the images are being rated by quality and subject and main round of selections happen, leaving some 200-300 pictures good enough in terms of technical quality and subject.
The selected files are being sent to Dmitry – our digital retouch professional based in Russia. Dmitry does the main job in Photoshop, where he crops the images, alters them to remove distracting objects and pieces, adjust colours and does many other things that too many to list.
Then the pictures are being sent back to Alexander for final tuning. They being run through a Lightroom again, with some “extra tricks” applied when suitable, like vignette, colour matching, etc…
Only after that Alexander review them all again, choose some 150-200 that fit the style all parameters the best and finally load them on our secure gallery for customer to view.
We are always awaiting our customer comments with an excitement and anticipation, looking for some feedback and constructive comments. It is very important for us know that the customer really enjoys the results. So we are always happy to find out what pictures they like the most and which ones they happen not to like.
Sometimes it might happen that some pictures disappoint the customers for the reasons photographer can’t anticipate. For example, a lady might dislike they way she looks like from a particular angle… We have no issue with that popular story, but just delete those pictures straightaway and do our best to replace it with another one of a different angle.
Some customers would ask for some special enhancement that we are always trying to make if only they come within the limits of our technical abilities, time, and common sense. For example, request to remove rain in Photoshop from all outdoor pictures will not be considered as a simple and common sense task!
Once customers are happy with the pictures, we suggest them to choose the ones for the albums and other products. We also always give a customer an option to save their time and let us choosing the best images for album ourselves… In any case we can share an electronic version of an album with customer, so they can review and ensure that it is exactly what they wanted….
The essence and the atmosphere of their Big Day captured for them to be treasured for a lifetime!