What I need to know as your wedding photographer

What I need to know as your wedding photographer

So, the day is near! Once you have booked me to shoot your wedding I tend to leave you alone to crack on with your thing. I’m on hand to answer questions, but on the whole I tend to find that couples want to just get their date secured and then reconvene with me once all the plans are in place. I’m a very informal, documentary style photographer – so I’m all abut photographing your wedding, as it unfolds, rather than setting up shots. You probably won’t need my input in the early stages of your wedding planning, but I will need to know your plans inside and out once the day draws closer.

Bride and groom kiss during wedding ceremony at The Asylum in London. Image by informal wedding photographer Parrot and Pineapple Wedding Photography

About 6 weeks before your wedding, I’ll send you a questionnaire asking some of the big questions I need to know for the big day (although none as big as the “I do”, obvs). It’s a really informal questionnaire, but it’s chocful of super important information so don’t skip it over. But also, don’t be scared by it – sit down with a coffee, tea, G&T or a vino and treat it like a fun date night amongst all the planning madness. (And a cheap one too, which is all the more welcome when you’re on wedding countdowns…). The best thing is, that all my booked couples get their own snazzy online client portal – so you can dip in and out of answering the questions on the form.

Bridesmaid wearing giraffe mask at fun wedding party. Image by informal wedding photographer Parrot and Pineapple.

I’ll be the supplier that’s there the longest, and I have a very important job to do for you  (no pressure!) so I always want to ensure that we are on the same wavelength. That’s why this day details sheet comes in handy. I will constantly refer back to the plan throughout the day, leaving you and your beau to revel in the height of wedded thrills.

To give you an idea of all the exciting details I’ll be asking you, have a gander at the list below and start racking those brain cells/rummaging around in that wedding binder. Here’s my guide for What To Tell Your Wedding Photographer (AKA me)!

Groom leans in to mic during fun wedding speeches. Image by Parrot and Pineapple.

Contact details

I’ll need both contact numbers and email addresses for you and your partner. It’s helpful to have the basics on hand for any last minute messages. You’ll get both of mine too. Most importantly I’ll need both of your email addresses so that I can send you the email link to your finished set of wedding photos!

Venue

A pretty key one to start with, hey? A verified full address is always necessary – not just “my Dad’s farm” or “Citizen M”. I want postcodes, so I can Google Map that shizz and get exactly where you are with no hassle for you. It also helps me scout out potential locations for our portrait session to give you some relaxing celebratory time together on the day without taking you too far away from the party. If you’re having your day across two venues, make sure you include the info for both, plus the info for where you’re getting ready if I’m covering that too.

Bride and groom walk along city street after Islington Town Hall wedding. Image by Parrot and Pineapple.

Timings

Another thing on the list of absolutely non-negotiably need-to-know things is timings. My super informal, caught-in-the-moment style of photos actually require a lot of pre-planning. I will need to know where to be, when and what the intention is for the day. Then I can ensure I’m absolutely in the right place at the right time. 

Having these timings written down has twofold benefits: firstly, it’s good for me to know when all the ‘major’ events are happening, because although I’m constantly on the lookout for the best moments anyway, it’s good to know when things will be changing up. Secondly, it’s good to have the timings written down as I can then advise on when you’ve not allowed long enough for stuff (group photos!), or point out things you may not have thought of.

Bride and groom stand in front of St Pauls Cathedral. Image by informal wedding photographer Parrot and Pineapple Wedding Photography.

The important people

Now I am pretty rubbish with names! I do not take pride in this, so I’m going to try and blunder through getting names right by having a list of all the important people in advance. Knowing in advance who the key people are at your wedding will mean that not only will I be able to call them by their name, but I’ll also ensure that these people feature in your photos A LOT.

Bride hugs bridesmaid. Feminist wedding photographer. Image by Parrot & Pineapple Wedding Photography.

Group shot lists

Even though I’m all about the spontaneous fun and frolics that badass weddings bring, I totally understand that weddings are an opportunity to get together a group of people who don’t come together very often, and you may want to document that. Group shots are totally fine, but I do advise that we keep them as short as possible to maximise the amount you can enjoy your day and minimise the the time you’re stood with a fake smile wanting to be partying! For this reason I ask for a list of the group shots you’re looking for, itemised with the list of people you want in each one. It’s great if you can include both their relation and their name (this makes it easier for me to find missing people!)

I don’t have any rules around who you choose to have in any group photos (if you want them at all). Most couples tend to go for some combination of the following group shots:

  1. Both families and you and your partner
  2. Your extended family, you and your partner
  3. Your immediate family, you and your partner
  4. Your partner’s extended family, you and your partner
  5. Your partner’s immediate family, you and your partner
  6. The wedding squad, you and your partner

This list will take approximately 25 minutes to work through. If you want to add in other combinations, then you will need to allow for extra time. From my experience of shooting lots and lots of weddings, each combination of a group photo will take 3-4 minutes to organise and shoot.

It’s also super helpful if I can have an official helper from each side of the family – ideally someone who knows who the various different people. Doing so will save a lot of time!

Wedding party group shot in a green garden. Image by informal wedding photographer Parrot and Pineapple.

The details

The devil truly is in the detail, and the marketing devil inside of me LOVES to have a solid brief before the job starts. I’ll ask you to describe what you have planned for your ceremony, and to describe what you have planned for the reception. I’ll need to know about any special surprises that you have planned too. If you’re going to let off confetti canons immediately after your first dance, then I’m going to want to make sure I’m in the best position all ready for that!

Red confetti r aining down on a bride and her friends at the wedding party. Image by Parrot and Pineapple.

Any beef

And I don’t mean guests’ dietary requirements – they should be directed to the caterer. Instead, it’s always really useful for me to know if there’s any tension in particular groups or with particular people as I navigate your guests. Context is important for photos! I come from a very modern family, with multiple sets of parents (that don’t talk to each other!) so I know that not every family is a straight-up nuclear scenario. 

Face time

Once this is filled in, I generally meet couples to have a chat about a month before the wedding day. Other than just having a lovely natter, it’s great to sit down and cement those plans, and talk them through in person. This leaves me feeling totally confident that I know exactly what you’re planning and wanting for the day, and most importantly should leave you feeling more relaxed, safe in the knowledge that someone else knows the nitty-gritty too. It’s a very informal chat where pets and children are welcome too. 

Guide dog licks the face of a wedding guest. Image by informal wedding photographer Parrot and Pineapple.

 

If your plans change – don’t panic! This can and does happen. About a week before I’ll send you what I have as the final plan, to make sure that nothing’s changed since we last spoke. I then bring that with me (or an updated version with any changes) on the day as a crib sheet to refer back to. The final plan is by no means written in stone (it’s usually on my iphone actually), so if there are last minute changes and additions, that’s cool. 

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Poster showing the text 'What your wedding photographer needs to know'. By informal wedding photographer parrot and pineapple.

 

My pledge to you, as a feminist wedding photographer

My pledge to you, as a feminist wedding photographer

I’m a feminist. A raging snowflake feminist. The empowerment of women is incredibly important to me. And I want this to be absolutely central to what I do as a wedding photographer. While feminism and weddings isn’t a natural intersection, I find that the two play with each other all the time. Lots of the couples that I photograph also identify as feminists. And here’s my promise to you as your wedding photographer.

I love working with clients from a diverse background

Bride and groom during their wedding ceremony. By feminist wedding photographer Parrot & PIneapple.

It’s 2019 and thankfully anyone can get married! But if you browse mainstream bridal magazines, you would be forgiven for thinking that marriage is only bestowed upon white, pretty, 20 something, cis-gendered, heterosexual, able bodied women. Any kind of diversity seems to be completely missing from the front pages of the big bridal magazines. And it’s not good enough. Thankfully there are people in the wedding industry leading the charge to make significant change. Nova Reid and her multi-award winning wedding blog Nu Bride is dedicated to adding a splash of diversity to the UK wedding industry. Catalyst Wedding Co. is the only online and print wedding publication with intersectional feminist values, featuring couples of all races, gender identities, cultures, religions, bodies, abilities, and sexualities.

When you get in contact with me to enquire about shooting your wedding, It doesn’t matter to me what you might look like, or how you might identify, or who you are getting married to. I believe that all love is love, and as long as you are in love and planning a mega fun filled party wedding – I’m down with shooting your wedding!

I will photograph you without feeding the princess complex

Bride dancing with her friends at her wedding. Fun informal feminist wedding photography by Parrot and Pineapple.

This is a big one for me. I want my clients to see themselves at their very best in the images I take. I appreciate that not all women planning a wedding want to be a princess on their wedding day. Again, a lot of mainstream wedding media wrongly assumes this, and pumps it out as the only acceptable intention for any woman planning a wedding. But it doesn’t suit all women to be a princess. The most important thing to me is capturing you in a way that reflects who you are a person and reflecting all the joy and love on your wedding day.

Bride giving a speech at her Brunswick House wedding reception. Image by Parrot & Pineapple.

I will defend your right to be a bridezilla

I really hate the term bridezilla. I don’t think that bridezillas even exist. It’s yet another word that’s used to demonise a woman showing her emotions or taking charge. Planning a wedding is STRESSFUL. It’s essentially organising a day long, fully catered, and entertainment filled, event for approximately 50-150 people. When you get engaged, no one sits you down and teaches you the fundamentals of event management. So why are women expected to plan a wedding, most often with zero experience of event management, flawlessly and without a single crack of stress?

If you are planning a wedding and finding it overwhelming, that’s completely normal. Feel free to be as emotional as you damn well please. You’re a human with thoughts, feelings and desires. After a lifetime of having your agency denied from you because you’ve grown up in a patriarchal society, quite frankly it’s to be expected that you’re going to get overwhelmed when all of a sudden you are thrust in to front and centre and expected to have the answer on every minutiae of your wedding.

Guilty Feminist Deborah Frances White has a fantastic book with a whole chapter on why planning a wedding is the ultimate feminist statement. I wish I took this image, but I didn’t, it’s from Stylist Magazine. Click here to hear Deborah reading the relevant chapter in her book.

I work and partner with businesses that share my values

I strongly believe that sustainability begins in business. I try to run my business sustainably as possible. I cut down on all unnecessary plastic, I don’t support unfair labour and this year I’ll be offsetting all my carbon. I strive to partner with businesses that also share these values.

I purchase my albums from QT albums – a book binding company that has a female led workforce, pays everyone a fair wage, transports their books in biodegradable packaging and contributes some of their profits to the charity Books for Africa.

I regularly attend Snap Photography Festival for my ongoing professional development – their main focus is inclusivity and diversity and they have a special program to promote marginalised voices from within the community.

I will always choose a small independent business over giving my money to a tax dodging multination (*ahem* amazon *ahem*).

Bride and bridesmaids huddled together at a wedding. Image by informal wedding photographer Parrot & Pineapple.

 

So that’s my pledge to you on International Women’s Day, and every damn day.

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2018: Year in Review

2018: Year in Review

Woooooooo weeeeeeeee WHAT A YEAR?! So 2018 was the first full year for Parrot and Pineapple, and I can hand on heart say it’s been ALL KILLER NO FILLER. I’ve absolutely loved every wedding that I’ve photographed. And, just as I planned for, they’ve all been different and unique in their little ways. But there’s been one over riding common theme – couples that just wanted to get married without any of the traditional patriarchal bull shit that is all too often associated with weddings.

Here’s a tiny fraction of the images that I took from all of the weddings I photographed. All of these images are my absolute faves. I got a little bit emosh putting this video together. Because these images are exactly what I set out to capture. Little moments. Joy. Strength. Love. Big fun.

Sit back, relax, hit full screen and most importantly turn up the volume.

 

Thank you to every couple that booked me to shoot their wedding. You made 2018 an absolute blast for me and that’s exactly why I do this job. If you’re thinking about booking me for your wedding in 2019, you can read what these couples say about me here and contact me to enquire about availability here.

Pssst – cool light up sign used in the header image is from Locke & Busby.

Working with me as your wedding photographer

Working with me as your wedding photographer

Choosing a wedding photographer is hard. Don’t worry, I completely get what you’re going through right now in the stages of your planning. But I want to help. I want to give you more of an insight as to what it is like working with me as your wedding photographer. I want to share with you what happens when you decide to book me and what you can expect. It’s really important to me that my clients feel secure and happy so I have come up with a process that ensures each client has a similar experience that results in everyone wanting to cheer and carry me shoulder high through their local town (actually, don’t, you might strain something).

london elopement photographer couple taking selfie
Initial Video Call

When you enquire I will look at your date and see if I am available. Next I will send you info about my prices, tell you exactly what you get for your money and some links to a wedding that is similar to yours. It’s really important that clients look through at least two full wedding galleries of any wedding photographer’s work because by doing this you get a very good idea as to how consistent the photographer is with their style and what your wedding photos might look like. If you like my photography style and if my prices fit your budget then the next step would be to have a chat via video call. It’s a good opportunity for you and your partner to ask lots of questions. Plus I can tell you about the booking process, how I work, the contract and how to approach planning your wedding photography.

battersea arts centre wedding couple sign wedding register
The Contract

I issue a contract to every client so that everyone is clear as to what they are buying, how much they are paying, what happens if anything goes wrong, what they can do with their images after the wedding and what I do with the images after the wedding. I am always happy to answer any questions that a client might have about the contract – ultimately clients are booking me to photograph their wedding and I want them to be really happy with what they get. Once the contract has been signed by both parties, we each get a copy for our records.

fun wedding photography- camden town hall wedding ceremony documentary photography
Confirming the Booking

To complete the booking I ask for 50% of the fee. Once I have received the signed contract and 50% of the fee then the wedding date is reserved in my diary. Clients are then left to crack on with planning the rest of their wedding. I’m always on hand to answer questions or provide recommendations of other suppliers plus if you’re looking for any wedding insight, handy tips or even venue ideas check out the rest of this blog which can help too. I’m always taking names and contact details of people who do a great job for their clients, plus I’m in a big network of wedding professionals, so I can generally make a recommendation of someone that is good.

fun wedding photography chalk board running order wedding sign
Six Weeks Before Your Wedding
I’ll drop an email over to clients 6 weeks before their wedding date.  This is to start planning the wedding photography in detail. Clients are asked to fill out an online form with how the day is going to run and all the essential info like timings, places, names and contact details on the day.
Battersea Arts Centre Wedding - couple and guests toast the wedding speech
One Month Before Your Wedding
Once I have received the completed day in detail form I meet up with clients for a chat and some drinks to go through everything. The purpose of this meeting (apart from to have a nice time) is to help me completely clarify what clients have planned for their day. My aim is to photograph the wedding day in a documentary manner as it unfolds – this means that I have to be really clear on what is happening and when. I also find that clients relax when they are really secure that I know their wedding day plans like they do.
Cultural fusion London wedding - Bride gets ready with in-laws
One Week Before Your Wedding
I will drop you an email to check in and confirm plans. I know that weddings can be a bit of a moveable feast and plans do have a habit of changing at the last minute. I send my clients a written plan for their wedding photography, which I also bring with me on the day.
fun wedding photographer lie flat wedding album opened to double page spread
After the wedding
It will take me 6-8 weeks to edit the images. I like to deliver lots of images, and I go through the final pack many times to make sure they are perfect. Clients will receive their wedding photos initially as an online gallery; from which images can be downloaded as high resolution jpgs, shared on social media and prints can be ordered from my selected print house. I also offer wedding albums, and once clients have seen their final photos they very often want to make up a wedding album from their favourite images.
If all of this sounds exactly what you are looking for in a wedding photographer then you can get the process started by contacting me here.

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WANTED: Dogs to take part in photo shoot

WANTED: Dogs to take part in photo shoot

Is your dog just waiting to be discovered as the next Kate Moss or David Gandy? I am putting together a super fun photo shoot for an exciting dog photography project and I need some willing participants!

If your dog is happy to have their photo taken, and you are happy for your dog to become a social media sensation, then I would love you to get involved.

Together with Nina from Occassion Queens, we are putting together a photo shoot in Central London on Saturday 17th February.

We are looking for dogs of all ages, breeds, shapes and sizes to take part. The shoot will take 30 minutes and you will be given a specific appointment timeand the address of our top secret shoot location. In return for your time you will be given one high resolution jpg image from the shoot, which you can choose from a selection. You will then be able to print, download and share on social media to your hearts content.

To take part simply complete the form in the box below. If you have multiple dogs that you would like to enter please complete one form per dog. If you have any problems please email me on hello@parrotandpineapple.com

dogs at weddings dog bow ties flower collars collage

dog friendly wedding photographer ginger dog portrait fairy lights

About Me | My commitment to learning and development | Winter Wedding Photography

About Me | My commitment to learning and development | Winter Wedding Photography

One of the things that is most important to me as a photographer is to invest in my continued learning and development. I believe that as a creative you have to keep pushing yourself and growing your capabilities, regardless of how long you have been in the job. Tastes are always changing, new technology becomes available and if I’m going to provide a spot on well informed service to my clients then I have got to keep my finger on the pulse. Last November I attend a winter wedding photography workshop in Sheffield. It was just one of four training courses that I attended in 2016.

winter wedding photography urban wedding portrait sheffield street

The Day Dusk Dark Workshop was organised and led by my good friends Shelly Richmond and Jamie Sia Gadong. They were a great pairing to run a photography workshop to teach other photographers how best to deal with low levels of light. Shelley prefers to work with the available natural light to create beautiful images, while Jamie loves to indulge in technology to create his own magic. It was great to learn both approaches – weddings are so varied and as a skilled photographer you must be confident to capture epic photos in any given situation. With Christmas weddings becoming ever more popular, it was essential for me to be able to master winter wedding photography.

winter wedding photography urban bridal portrait red haired bride

I went to university in Sheffield, and ended up living there for another 4 years after graduating. The city has a special place in my heart and I absolutely love to photograph the post industrial landscape. Living there has probably been a very big contribution towards my love of the urban environment. Regardless of the time of year, the multicoloured mish mash of the urban backdrop is always lovely to photograph.

winter wedding photography industrial wedding portrait blue shutter door

winter wedding photography creative night time bridal portrait

winter wedding photography red haired bridal portrait oversize bouquet

In 2017 I have already attended a 5 day photography festival in Wales and I’m currently looking to take on a mentor so that I can create a more personalised development program.

winter wedding photography red head bride low lightwinter wedding photography bride portrait winter weddingwinter wedding photography inustrial wedding portrait red haired bridewinter wedding photography red haired bride sheffield landscapewinter wedding photography street art sheffield

Here’s some ‘behind the scenes images’ to give you an idea of what we got up to 🙂

winter wedding photography urban portrait bride groom sheffieldwinter wedding photography creative wedding portrait sheffield winter wedding photography bride sheffield street winterwinter wedding photography fun photography lighting test

If you are currently planning your winter wedding and want to find out more about my photography, you can see my prices here. Alternatively you can contact me here.

Credits:

Venue: The Hide

Wedding dresses: Kate Beaumont 

Hair and make up: Julia Jeckell 

Flowers: Campbell’s Flowers

Stationery: Wildwood Paper

Props: Inner City Weddings & Events

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