Expert advice about photography

Here is a selection of Q&As from Your Glos & Wilts 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




Q. We've just become engaged – how do we go about finding a good photographer?

A. Emily Collett says: Meet the expert: Emily Collett is a wedding photographer based in Wiltshire covering weddings throughout the Cotswolds. She's a champion for introverts, vowing to make everyone feel relaxed and reassured in front of the lens, even the most camera-shy!

Emily says: Firstly, it's important to decide on the style of wedding photography that you want, for example, do you require your images to be light and airy, warm and colourful or dark and moody?

Alongside the photographer's style, it's important to research how they capture the day. For example, if you're looking for relaxed, candid and natural shots, images of the finer details or more of a formal feel then check how they document a full day and ask to see full albums of their work, not just a selection of images.

For me, a connection is everything. I say this because you wouldn't invite a stranger to your wedding so the same applies to your wedding photographer. As you'll be spending much of your day in the presence of your photographer, you want them to be somebody who you can relax in front of, as you would your loved ones. To see if you're a good fit, ask whether they offer a meeting via Facetime or Zoom, or a phone chat, just so that you can see if your personalities align.

Booking an engagement shoot, if your chosen photographer provides this service, is a great opportunity to relax in front of the camera before your wedding day. It's also a great way to get to know your photographer and of course, leave with some memorable couple portraits!

Check whether the photographer's prices are within your budget. Photography is an expensive part of a wedding but it's an investment, and the photographs will be enjoyed for years to come so try not to compromise on this. It's also important to remember that you aren't paying for them simply to attend on the day. They're available for advice, guidance and support beforehand plus there are hours of editing the images after the wedding.

I would always recommend investing in a second shooter if your budget allows it. Your photographer can't be in two places at once so the second shooter will snap the groom's preparation, guests arriving, additional angles, extra candid shots, those all-important details and much more, making sure that everything's covered. They also offer invaluable assistance in wet weather, and peace of mind in the event of your photographer falling ill on the day.

Finally, if your preferred photographer isn't available, don't be afraid to ask for recommendations. They're likely to know other reliable, friendly, similarly priced photographers and point you in the right direction.

Emily Collett,Emily Collett Photography


Snap happy

Snap happy

Q. We're planning a Wiltshire-based wedding and would love a photographer to capture it all on camera in a natural, relaxed way - can you help?

A. James Donovan says: Meet the expert: James Donovan is a Swindon-based wedding and portrait photographer with more than 20 years' experience. James works with a second shooter and the most up-to-date equipment to achieve top-quality photos.

James says: When choosing a photographer, it's important to remember that they'll be telling the story of your special day through amazing images that will be treasured for a lifetime. Once the day has been and gone, it's the images that you'll be looking back on.

From the very first contact, I build a story of the wedding day by getting to know the couple and their venue, chosen theme, colours and plans. I enquire who the bridal party and family members are in preparation to capture wonderful images.

It's important to consider which package you'd like. You may want your images on a USB stick or presented in a beautiful wedding album, most of which are storybook-style albums.

Top tip: When viewing samples of photographer's wedding albums, ask to see a full one and not just their best shots from different weddings. Discuss what style of photography you want, for example, formal or relaxed, candid or a bit of both. I prefer to capture a wedding in an unobtrusive, relaxed way whilst including some lovely bridal party shots and group images.

Top tip: Ask whether there'll be one or two photographers on the day because having a second shooter provides you with full coverage of the getting-ready session and final preparations, and adds a different perspective to your wedding story.

Let your photographer know how long you require them for, for example from the preparation through to the first dance and evening party. You can decide to book them until after the speeches or cutting of the cake but make sure that this is agreed in writing before the day.

Top tip: Determine whether the final images provided will be in high resolution for quality purposes. You may want copies in a lower resolution for social media.

James Donovan,James Donovan Photography


Caught on camera

Caught on camera

Q. What questions should I be asking my wedding photographer before I confirm the booking?

A. Philippa Davies says: Philippa says: I get asked a variety of questions by my clients – here are some of the most popular ones: Can we meet you before we book? Absolutely! I love meeting clients and always like to hear about their wedding plans and any good photographer should say the same.

How long after the wedding will I receive my images?
The maximum time frame is four weeks but usually it's sooner and I can post a sneak peek of around 20 images on my Facebook page within 48 hours of your day.

I'm awkward in front of the camera so will we be able to achieve the type of images shown on your website?
Please don't worry! I have photographed many couples who feel the same as you! We have fun with the couple portraits which help you relax that's then reflected in the images being very natural. This should be the aim of any decent wedding photographer.

Should we reserve you a place for dinner on the day? If I am with you all day then yes, please! I don't require a threecourse meal with your guests but a light bite or sandwich is fine and allows me to have a small break.

Are you insured? Yes, I am fully insured and if you require a copy of the policy just ask. This is a vital question to be asking and all good wedding photographers should be insured.

Do you have back-up equipment? Yes, I have several lenses, flashes and cameras all ready to go. How long do you store the images for after our day? I store the images for one year after they have been delivered to you, but I do recommend that you back up your images as soon as you receive them.

What happens if you're taken ill on our wedding day? I have never missed a wedding to date, and have worked through flu, colds and even food poisoning! I will be at your wedding unless the worst happens, in which case I belong to a fantastic network of photographers that all help each other out in these circumstances.

Philippa Davies,Pink Elephant Photography


A date remember

A date remember

Q. Our wedding has been postponed but we would still like to remember our original date, can you offer us some ideas to do this?

A. Nikki Kirk says: Nikki says: A wedding day brings such joy because it gathers friends and families together. During the government lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I started thinking about how we can create some energy and love in a challenging situation that extends to couples having to postpone their special day due to this, or any other reason. I thought how wonderful it would be if couples could look back on their original wedding date with love and laughter, rather than disappointment, so I thought up the concept of the Wedding Pledge Day, a chance to celebrate your original date together and, of course, share it with your family and friends. Here are some ideas:

- Create your own vows to each other and write them out and frame them. Have them displayed when your new wedding date comes along.

- Create a Zoom or Skype call if you can't gather with your nearest and dearest where you can share your pledge with your family and friends present virtually.

- Enjoy a picnic to celebrate your Wedding Pledge Day - with bubbles of course!

- Share your engagement photographs again because people will love to see them.

- Take selfies of your Wedding Pledge Day celebrations and share them on social media.

- Dress up for the day and make it a special time to remember.

Don't forget to share your very own stories on our Facebook page and tag nikkikirkphotography on your Instagram posts using the hashtag #ourweddingpledgeday

Nikki Kirk,Nikki Kirk Photography


View from far

View from far

Q. We are interested in booking some aerial photography for our special day. Can you tell us a little bit more about it and any practical advice that we should be more aware of?

A. Whirlybird Imaging says: John says: Aerial or drone photography can offer a different perspective on your wedding day. Video footage can also be included to help to tell the story and provide a more immersive experience to the viewer, with wide angles showing off the features of the venue and location. Most wedding locations are suitable for flying drones – only those within the confines of towns where special permission may be required are problematic. It's important to use an operator with a Permission for Commercial Operations (PfCO) from the Civil Aviation Authority. Without this, it's unlikely that any flying would be covered by the necessary public liability insurance, which every venue will need.

Whirlybird Imaging


Caught on camera

Caught on camera

Q. How do we select the right wedding photographer for us?

A. Daniella Marinos says: Daniella says: The part that a photographer plays in your wedding is huge, often being one of coordinator, children's entertainer and stylist – as well as a photographer. So not being experienced and flexible will result in those precious moments going unseen. Here's what to consider when choosing the right one:
Do you like what you see?
The quality of a photographer's work should be the first thing that grabs your eye. If you're drawn to the style of one in particular, then make sure that you request to see more of their images. Ideally you want to see a full wedding to give you an idea of consistency. Most couples have a photography style they prefer in mind, whether that's a relaxed, natural feel or a flamboyant, creative look. You need to decide what you want the images to portray. They should say something about you both as a couple and how you want to remember your special day in years to come. Personality is important
You will be with your photographer for most of the day, so if your personalities clash, you will not get the best out of the images because you won't feel relaxed – and neither will your photographer. As the happy couple, you put all your trust and faith in your wedding photographer to allow them to get the best pictures and document the most important day of your life, so it's very important that you all feel comfortable and relaxed in one another's company. They usually organise the shots, whether they are natural, formal or orchestrated group pictures, and remember, in most cases, they don't know your family and friends, so it's a challenge if they don't have the ability to create a rapport with your guests. They will need to blend in and capture the day as it naturally unfolds, so meeting your photographer in person wherever possible (or over FaceTime) is a must.
Consider your budget
Money is, and always will be, a deciding factor for many couples, but it should not be the basis for your final decision. Usually, the best photographers charge a higher price. This is typically based on experience but doesn't always offer flexibility. Paying more doesn't necessarily get you what you want, but choosing the cheapest photographer might result in a quick turnaround with less focus on the day's events. Ask the photographer to explain what you get for your money and whether there are any hidden extras. Usually they will have a selection of packages to suit all and would be flexible with pricing and what's included within each package. They are providing a service, and each couple will have different expectations and requirements, so make sure that your chosen photographer can tailor a package to suit your needs.

Daniella Marinos


The finer details

The finer details

Q. We are looking to book our wedding photographer. Please can you advise us what to ask them before we confirm the booking?

A. Carissa & Father says: Carissa says: There are a few vital questions to ask your chosen wedding photographer before booking them and paying a deposit. Here are my top five:
- Can I request certain photographs? Most photographers will have a standard list that they use to create family and group shots, but if there's any specific group photos you would like taken, make sure you request them prior to the wedding day.
- When do you start and finish? This is a really good question because photographers will differ. Some will state an eight-hour day, while others, like us, will arrive to photograph the bridal party getting ready and stay up until the first dance takes place. You really do need to know what time the photographer will arrive and what time they plan to leave.
- How many photographers will be attending the wedding? Some work solo, while others will hire a second shooter or, like us at Capture Every Moment, two experienced, talented photographers will always attend the wedding.
- How do I receive my images? Ask the photographer to confirm how you will receive your pictures. For example, will they be prints, downloads or will a USB be included with the full selection on?
- What happens if you're ill on the morning of my wedding day? Ask them about a back-up plan incase they fall ill or are unable to attend the wedding. We have many years of experience and have a list of photographers we could call upon if one of us is unable to attend.

Carissa & Father


Picture perfect

Picture perfect

Q. We want our wedding photography to reflect us as a couple with plenty of portrait images taken of us on the day. How do we make the time for this in what we predict will be a busy schedule?

A. Nikki Kirk says: It's so important to spend time with your chosen photographer before your wedding day to build a rapport with one another and communicate your vision for your wedding. I often create moodboards for my clients, encouraging them to share their ideas. For me, it's essential to work closely with each couple on the lead up to, and on, the big day itself (this is done over coffee and cake at my studio or over the phone) to ensure that we work together as a team. This is the key to creating gorgeous wedding photographs.

A schedule needs to be set for the day that should be discussed with your photographer well in advance because rushed photographs will look just that, rushed. A good photographer should visit the venue before the wedding (if they don't already know the property) to see where they are going to take their pictures in order to avoid searching for locations on the day that takes up time. I strive to make sure that the photographs I take are unique to each couple, even if I have worked at a certain venue numerous times.

I always provide my couples with a detailed plan for the photography on the day. It's important to check this with the venue well in advance in case it needs to change. For example, it's worth pushing dinner back by half an hour rather than trying to fit your romantic bride and groom shots into a quick time slot. It's your wedding day so make sure you take all the time you need.

Nikki Kirk

When it's time for you look for local businesses to help you with your wedding, take a look at our advertisements below. Most will have links to their own websites. These advertisements are updated regularly so please revisit often and mention Your Glos & Wilts Wedding when making any enquiries.

Outdoor 365 Group
Cotswold Water Park Hotel
Outdoor 365 Group
Cotswold Water Park Hotel