7th February 2014
FAQ on Wedding Photography from Ginny Marsh
Here I aim to answer any questions you may ask about my wedding photography, and will be completely honest! If you have a question that isn’t answered here, please ask and I will add it in…
What makes you different from all the other wedding photographers?
It’s true that there are way too many wedding photographers in this industry, and even in my area! But they are not all good photographers, and hopefully my portfolio shows that I’m pretty good at what I do! I’m now excited to offer Video Fusion Films with my wedding packages, which not many photographers do – they are slideshows that I put together after the wedding, backed and timed to suitable music, with a mixture of little video clips and still images I’ve taken from your wedding day to give real impact and take you back to that moment. Check them out HERE!
I’ve been doing weddings for the last 8 years, and was lucky enough to be trained by one of the best in the industry. I absolutely love photographing weddings, and I am a photographer full time, unlike some who just photograph weddings at weekends and work elsewhere during the week. I have also discovered my niche in the industry, and that is Boudoir, which is becoming a really popular surprise gift for the groom on the wedding day! There are not so many boudoir photographers in this area, and especially not many really good ones! I also specialised in fashion photography at the Arts University in Bournemouth years ago, so taking experience from that and doing boudoir photography, you’ll be completely sure I know how to pose and photograph people to get their best angles 🙂
How experienced are you and how long have you been in business?
I think I always knew I wanted to be a photographer, ever since I did A-level photography at college. I worked for The Digital Camera Company selling cameras for a few years, before I got bored because I wasn’t taking pictures… I then started working for a photography studio in Farnham in 2007, where I was trained in wedding and portrait photography. At the same time I did a BA in Commercial Photography, specialising in fashion, at the Arts University Bournemouth. In 2010 I started my own wedding photography business after being made redundant, with a very talented friend of mine, which we named ‘Marsh Yates Photography’. After 2 years we decided to continue our separate ways as I wanted to focus on doing more weddings and take more control of my own business. I became a member of the SWPP (Society of Wedding and Portrait Photographers) and was awarded a Licentiateship in Photography (a set of images were submitted and classed as professional standard by a panel of judges). I was also selected as Regional Finalist in the Best Wedding Photographer category of the 2014 Wedding Industry Awards, for London and the South East, which is a pretty good achievement!!
My business is now growing and I’m loving being my own boss! I’ve lost count of the amount of weddings I’ve photographed, so I couldn’t tell you how many I’ve done! Customer service is really important to me and I strive to make sure my clients are happy, and continue to make my business bigger and better as the years go on 🙂
Will it be you photographing our wedding?
Yes! I own my own company and usually work on my own, apart from when my clients would like a second photographer. If I’m already booked on your wedding day I will recommend a few other photographers who I know well and trust, but will never employ another photographer to photograph your wedding solely on my behalf.
How many photos do I get?
How long is a piece of string?! I work with a digital camera so there’s never a limit on the number of photographs I take during a wedding. The general rule is you’ll get 75-100 images for every hour covered. It all depends on how long I’m there, what’s going on in the day, and how many guests you have. For instance, if it’s a small wedding with just a few close friends and family members, you’ll get less images than if it’s a big wedding with a hundred guests and lots of entertainment. I will always give more than less though, I don’t try to get it down to a particular number.
Can we see all the images taken?
The simple answer is no. I don’t give my clients every image taken on the wedding day, simply because there are some images I wouldn’t want my clients to see – I take out any set-up shots, any unflattering photos of people blinking or pulling awful faces, and any duplicates. If I take a group photo I always take quite a few of the same shot to make sure I get one where everyone is looking good. I will then do the hard work of picking the best one to make sure you don’t get loads of the same photos to trawl through.
Why are you more expensive than some photographers?
To those who aren’t photographers, I guess wedding photography seems like easy money – photographing a wedding for one day, then rake in the cash, right? Nooo! It’s not just one day that I work for a wedding, it takes a good few long days to edit the photos! Plus there’s all the correspondence and meeting time with my clients, and potential clients, pre-wedding photoshoots, hours spent replying to e-mails, writing blogs (!), advertising costs, insurance costs, software, albums, repair costs, various expenses, not to mention the equipment! My wedding kit is worth many many thousands of pounds and also needs updating once in a while. It costs a ridiculous amount to be a full time photographer. The prices I charge have been carefully researched to make sure I’m not the most expensive, but can also afford to keep my business going. The photographers who charge less are either inexperienced, or photography is not their full time job.
How far in advance should I book your services?
As far in advance as possible! Usually I get booked about 6 months to a year in advance for most of my weddings, but I’m not fully booked every weekend – if you’ve left it to the last minute do still get in touch and you might be in luck 🙂
Do you have backup equipment?
Yes! I always carry a back up camera and lens in my camera bag (quite often I’ll have two cameras on me at once with my fancy new harness!) – I currently shoot with a Canon 5D MkIII with 24-70mm f2.8 II L lens, and have a back up Canon 5D MkII with 24-105mm lens, plus a few other fabulous professional lenses. I also carry spare batteries and spare memory cards, plus three Canon flashes and other professional lighting bits and bobs.
If my wedding goes on longer than expected, will you stay longer?
Of course I will 🙂 I will never say “Times up, I’m off!” – If you hire me for the whole day, from getting ready to first dance, I will stay until the first dance, whether that’s on schedule or an hour later than expected. If you want me to stay later than the first dance for something else, such as fireworks or other form of entertainment, I’d be quite happy to – I’d charge £150 to stay an extra hour. I will not, however, stay working until the party ends at midnight – it’s a very long day to work and by that time I’m usually pretty exhausted!
What happens if you get ill and can’t photograph my wedding?
This is a very good question. Although this has never happened in my career of being a wedding photographer, and it would have to be extremely serious for me to not be able to attend, you can never say never. Luckily I know a few very lovely and talented wedding photographers in the industry that I can call upon in emergency situations and would make sure you would have your wedding covered by another professional. I would never just leave you without a photographer.
Are you insured?
Yes, I have professional Indemnity, Public Liability and Employers Liability insurance, and I am also insured to photograph weddings abroad 🙂
Do you shoot in colour or black and white?
I shoot with a Canon 5D MkIII Digital SLR camera, and always shoot in RAW format, which means the files are of the highest quality (in colour) and can be turned into black and white or any other effect. I always keep the original files safe if needed.
Can I give you a list of shots we’d like?
Of course you can 🙂 Please do give me a list of group photos you’d like, as groups are personal and every couple and family situation is different. I can tell you what groups I’d suggest to give you some idea, and also I’d advise to keep the groups to less than 10 if possible to avoid your guests getting bored. It usually takes roughly 2-3 minutes per group. Do feel free to tell me if there’s an aunt or old friend whose come over especially from the other side of the world (for example) who you’d like to make sure is photographed.
Please DON’T give me a list of generic photos to take, such as ‘the cake’ or ‘bride walking down the aisle’ – I’ve got enough experience with weddings to know what happens and when, and giving me a list may complicate things and stop me from doing my job properly. However, I do like my clients to create Pinterest boards to give me some idea of what kind of images and ideas they love, although please note I will not guarantee to ‘recreate’ shots from Pinterest, as this limits my creativity! You can find me on Pinterest with lots of inspiration here: www.pinterest.com/ginnymarsh1
Would you book any other events on the same day as mine?
Never. If I’m photographing your wedding I will make sure I’m available the entire day if needed! Plus, once I leave, my work doesn’t end for the day – I still need to go back to the office to download and backup the images, which can take a couple of hours.
If you do a wedding at a venue you haven’t been to before, do you visit before hand?
Yes, I always do my research! We will meet up a week or two before the wedding to go through all the timings and details, so that I know where I need to be and when. If it’s at a venue I haven’t been to before, this meeting can be arranged at the venue so we can look round together, or if it’s a bit further afield I will visit on my own before the wedding to familiarise myself and introduce myself to whoever’s in charge at the venue. I love doing weddings at new venues because it give me more chance to be creative and do something different.
Do you mind if (Uncle Bob) follows you around whilst you’re taking photos? He’s got a really good camera.
Uncle Bob may have a really good camera but does he know how to use it properly or have an eye for a good photo?! I don’t mind if you have someone else taking photos with their ‘really good camera’ but beware that if that person then gets in my way it might stop me from getting the shot I wanted or doing my job properly, and I would not want you to be disappointed.
Do you edit the images you give to us or can we have the RAW images?
I will never give the RAW unedited images to my clients. I edit each wedding in Lightroom, and present my images how I would want my clients to see them. I might crop the image slightly or adjust colour balance and exposure if needed. I also usually apply a Lightroom preset to most of my images, which I’ve made from scratch to represent my style, and make the image stand out.
If you’d like more extensive retouching (for scars, skin blemishes, body reshaping, or adding/removing people/objects from a photograph) this can be discussed on a per-image basis and costs from £5 per image. However, if you’re having a wedding album, this extensive retouching is included for the album images.
Do you require a deposit / How much / When is the balance due / What methods of payment are there?
To book my services I require a booking fee of £500, then the balance is due one calendar month before your wedding. I accept payment by bank transfer, cheque, credit card or debit card, or Paypal, just to make it easy for everyone! I also have a contract that I require my clients to read and sign, and send back to me upon booking, which is standard for any wedding photographer. If you’d like to see this just ask.
What’s your refund / cancellation policy?
You are very welcome to cancel within 14 days and your booking fee will be refunded to you. If you wish to cancel after 14 days the booking fee will be forfeited. Cancellations within one calendar month of the wedding date will unfortunately incur the full cost of the basic wedding package, including loss of the booking fee, unless I’m able to replace the booking with another. I will always try to keep my clients happy wherever possible.
How long will it take to receive my images and album?
I make sure your images are ready to view in your gallery within 6 weeks after the wedding day (although it’s often quicker in the quieter months). I then get to work designing your thank-you cards if you’ve included some with your wedding package, which I get you to approve before I send them off for print. I will arrange to post (or personally deliver if you’re local) your USB of wedding images and thank you cards via Royal Mail Special Delivery, which requires a signature.
If you’ve ordered an album, this takes time, firstly for you to decide which images you want to go into it (narrowing it down to around 100 is pretty difficult!), then it may take a few weeks for me to design the layout (depending on how busy I am), which will be approved by you, then can take from 2-6 weeks to be made by the manufacturer and delivered back to me. Some albums are much quicker, GraphiStudio take the longest. If you want your album by Christmas it must be ordered by mid-November to ensure delivery in time, so album selections must be finalised by the end of October at the very latest so I can start designing the page layouts!
If you have any other questions that I haven’t answered, please let me know and I will add them to this post!
Many thanks 🙂 Ginny
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