Expert advice about photography

Here is a selection of Q&As from Your Surrey 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


Picture perfect

Picture perfect

Q. We're having to re-book our photographer due to COVID-19. How should we start the process?

A. Denise Winter says: Firstly, remember you're not alone! With peak wedding season well underway, wedding suppliers are working together to make this situation as stress-free as possible. The biggest challenge that we all face is availability. Get in touch with your photographer to check available dates and see if there are any which would also work with your wedding venue. It's good to get a couple of dates as this will give you more chance of finding something that works for everybody. If you find one you agree on, your chosen supplier might email you an amended version of your terms and conditions confirming your rescheduled date and payments.

Denise Winter,Denise Winter Photography


Walking in a winter wonderland

Walking in a winter wonderland

Q. We're having a Christmas wedding and want to incorporate the season into our photographs. Do you have any ideas of how we can capture wintry images?

A. Denise Winter says: Winter is a great time of year to get married as most venues will be decorated already, not just with a tree but with beautiful candles and fairylights. Most have outside lighting too, which you can use to capture stunning images with a festive feel.

Denise Winter


Winter romance

Winter romance

Q. My hubby-to-be and I are worried about having our pictures taken on our big day. We're not the best posers but would love a few snaps in the venue's wintry grounds. What would you suggest we do?

A. Fiona Ingvarsson says: It's actually pretty easy to overcome your fear. To get the best results, simply concentrate on your hands and feet. Our natural response is to stand stiff and frozen because we're concentrating too much on getting the perfect picture. By shifting our weight from one foot to another, we create mobility in our hips and feet.

Here is a little experiment for you: Next time you're standing, take note of how you stand. Better still, the next you go for a wedding dress fitting, stand in front of the mirror and look at how shifting your weight from one foot to the other affects the movement in your lower body. What does it do to your hips and how does it create a shape in your gown?

Once you feel comfortable with your feet, you can start to think about your hands. These are generally awkward and need something to do, so by giving them a purpose, they can actually make us feel more relaxed. Just by resting your hands on your thighs, hips or groom's chest can make all the difference.

It may seem like there are a lot of posing techniques to remember, but your photographer will know how to create beautiful portraits and everything will fall into place.

Fiona Ingvarsson


Autumnal leaves

Autumnal leaves

Q. We're planning our autumnal wedding and have decided we're going to have some outdoor shots whatever the weather, but what should we arrange for on the day to make sure we're prepared?

A. Colin Miller says: English weather can be somewhat unpredictable. Here are my top tips for making sure you capture amazing pictures:

- Ensure your photographer can work in all conditions.

- Be prepared for cold weather. You want to be comfortable in your photos, so make sure you're prepared. Needless to say, a frozen bride won't photograph well!

- If the sun is shining, try and take pictures with a dark green, orange or yellow backdrop.

- Location is key. Pick a spot that captures the season in all its vibrancy and variety.

- It's always a good idea to have a few umbrellas handy.

Colin Miller


Pretty as a picture

Pretty as a picture

Q. We want lovely photographs, but we're limited by our budget. Do you have any suggestions?

A. Denise Winter says: - Find a photographer whose work you love and make sure you feel comfortable around them.

- Enquire and see whether your chosen company offer partial coverage. If so, decide what parts of the day you want to capture the most. Keep in mind that it's better to have a few incredible images than a full-day of mediocre pictures.

- If your supplier has two photographers, enquire and see if it's cheaper to book just one.

Denise Winter


Summer sun

Summer sun

Q. We're tying the knot in August and although this will be lovely for having the images outside we're worried about the look of the photos and guests in bright sunshine if they all have their sunglasses on! What do you advise?

A. James Slade says: I find that natural/documentary-style photographs of wedding guests wearing sunglasses can add to the story of your day, it just shows how lovely your wedding was and makes for better pictures than squinty eyes. This being said, it's essential that the sunglasses are removed for the formal group shots. To avoid the “sun in the eyes” look, I make sure the guests aren't facing the sun and fill the photo with the flash on my camera, this way all harsh shadows are removed and all the guests are comfortable without having to wear their sunglasses.

James Slade


...with photography

...with photography

Q. How can I add a splash of colour to my wedding day?

A. Kirsty Corbett says: I love a colourful weddings, for me the vibrancy adds an extra sense of joy to the occasion. You can be playful with your colour schemes and add subtle pops of brightness throughout the day, without making your wedding look over the top. First, start to think of colours as building blocks. Start with one base shade and carefully introduce a maximum of three main colours which complement each other. Make sure they are all harmonising tones, too many can look messy. Be strategic with where you place the boldest hue to add personality to your wedding while keeping it elegant, unique and fun.

Adding your colours to the wedding in all design elements, down to the smallest details, is a perfect strategy for making your ceremony and reception pictures unique and memorable. All photographers in the UK each have their own individual style, from reportage and artistic to traditional and documentary; find a style that you both like that reflects the theme of your day. Find a photographer that edits their photos in a style that you love, in order to create fun and natural images that reflect you both.

Don't let tradition, outside pressure, cost or especially wedding culture, squash your creativity and enthusiasm. Weddings are all about you, so make them unmistakably so! Enjoy the process and let your imagination run wild!

Kirsty Corbett


Picture-perfect photography

Picture-perfect photography

Q. How can our wedding photography reflect our own originality?

A. Katarina Nichol says: I believe every single person is original and your wedding photography should reflect that. It's the same as your wedding dress, you really need to love your photographer's style, it will be the reminder of your special day for the rest of your life.

I'm always interested in where my clients met for the first time, if they have any common place or hobby they really love. I also look at personalities, are they a romantic soul? If so I add a romantic touch to their photographs. Are they modern and contemporary? I'll take industrial-type of photographs, or some people are minimalist and would love quirky snaps.

So, it's important for me to highlight my clients' personalities and make them feel comfortable and special so they will be proud of their wedding photographs and will still love them in years to come your personality is always timeless!

Katarina Nichol


Whatever the weather

Q. We're tying the knot late in the day, in December, what should we bear in mind when choosing our photographer?

A. Pete Downham says: 1: This is an absolute must and it may seem obvious but their camera and lenses should be fully weatherproof. Did you also know that some cameras can struggle to operate below certain temperatures? We use Fujifilm cameras and lenses that are fully weather-sealed.

2: You need a photographer who's not afraid to get wet, cold and dirty. If it involves hitting the floor to get that special shot they should be prepared to do it and not just stay in the cosy warm venue.

3: A professional photographer should be able to cope with low and changing lighting conditions if the ceremony is later in the afternoon. We've invested in some very lightweight and ultra-portable lighting equipment; you can't have people standing around in the cold and damp waiting for big cumbersome lights to be set up. We have a wedding coming up at the beginning of December and the ceremony won't be finished until 4pm. We've consulted with our client and found a solution that will ensure they still get some group shots, by having a second shooter on-site we will capture literally hundreds of candid documentary-style shots too.

4: How far is your photographer travelling? The weather can be unpredictable and harsh in the winter, if your photographer lives more than 50-minutes away on a normal day be sure to question them on how they'll ensure they make it on time.

5: Listen carefully when you first make contact, avoid anyone who makes promises that are impossible to deliver, if it sounds too good to be true it probably is. Don't be scared to ask searching questions based on the information above.

Also look for some creativity in their thinking, have they suggested props such as sparklers, neon signs etc? There are many ways to brighten up a dull day!

Pete Downham


Let’s go outside

Let’s go outside

Q. We're planning our winter wedding and have decided we're happy to have some outdoors shots whatever the weather, but what should we have on the day to make sure we're prepared!

A. Nicola Rowley says: Winter weddings are so beautiful but there are a few things that you can do to prepare for the drop in temperature and any wet weather.

Always have a shawl or something warm to hand that will complement your wedding gown to keep the goosebumps at bay. Remember that if you get cold, you are more likely to hunch your shoulders and not look as relaxed for your photographs. You can always remove it in between photographs and put it back on afterwards.

It can be wetter in winter, so it's worthwhile investing in a white umbrella. I always have one with me for my couples in case the weather doesn't play ball. It's really important that it's white as chances are, if it's grey and cloudy, the white will help to make your skin look more luminous. The last thing you want are shadows of blue or green from a multi-coloured umbrella.

Bear in mind that as the ground underfoot is likely to be softer, your shoes may well sink. Invest in a pair of heel protectors so that you don't disappear into the grass. As there are fewer daylight hours in the winter, it's a good idea to check in with your photographer about the best timings for when you should get your couple pictures taken. Planning ahead is a good idea, which is why I always prepare a wedding photography timeline as it means the photography is taken care of and my brides and grooms don't have to think about it.

Nicola Rowley

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