It has been a while since I posted my last blog post (apologies for this) I have been working on some new ideas which I am hoping will not only be useful but exciting to read. One of my new ventures for The Bridal Lab is a ‘Meet The Expert’ monthly feature. I have asked around and so many of you have suggested this to me, it is a great way for you to gain an insight into different elements of your wedding planning and will hopefully make the process a little simpler.
I will be aiming to ask the wedding experts all of the questions that you would like to know prior to organising or booking them. From Photographers to Make-Up Artists I will be covering all bases, if there are any questions you would specifically like me to ask please tweet me @thebridallab. I will let you know about each up coming feature on Twitter so please head on over and follow @thebridallab.
OK, so let’s do this!
I am sure some of you may have seen my Curious Wedding Fair Blog post earlier in the year, it was an incredible event and I met so many wonderful suppliers whilst working at the show. One of these wonderful suppliers was Photographers Fox & Owl. I met Chloe at the event and was instantly drawn to their stand, their photos were so stunning and had such a natural feel to them. I knew when I started to think about this feature I had to contact Chloe to get an insight into their work and to ask some questions that will help all of you who have little knowledge of booking a photographer.
What I love so much about Chloe & Martyn’s work is their ability to capture those little moments of joy that often get missed. As you will see from some of the images in this feature they capture each moment so beautifully you almost feel as if you are there with them. They shoot so naturally and appreciate the importance of emotion.
I asked Chloe some questions and she has also kindly added a few that they frequently get asked. I hope you enjoy!
How far In advance do I need to book?
If you have found the photographer for you then don’t hang around! We would recommend booking at least a year in advance to avoid disappointment. However, occasionally we do get enquiries from super organised brides and grooms who like to have everything arranged two (or more) years before their wedding date!
How long have you been a wedding photographer?
Chloé has three years experience with wedding photography whilst Martyn has over seven. Martyn has also been providing wedding entertainment for much longer than this, so has a lot of experience in the industry in general.
Do you just shoot weddings?
Martyn is also a full-time musician and has played over a thousand gigs since his first in 1994. Originally a bass guitarist, he now plays a variety of instruments and sings in various bands including Leeds City Stompers, The Washboard Resonatorsand with songwriter, Yadig Records artist, UK festival and BBC Radio favourite, Serious Sam Barrett.
Chloé shoots a range of work; including but not limited to commercial and portraiture. As well as a photographer, Chloé is a qualified, independent, multidisciplinary graphic designer. Her solutions concentrate on defined simplicity, maintaining meticulous attention to detail and finding the harmony between aesthetics and quality. This is evident in the all of the work that she creates.
What do you love most about your job?
We love to create photographs that people will become personally and emotionally connected to.
How would you describe your photography style?
Our style is inspired by old, traditional photography techniques but delivered with a contemporary edge. We prefer to shoot in what could be described as a reportage, documentary or photojournalistic style in order to tell a story of the day in the most truthful way. We love being in the moment and having the ability to convey real, authentic chapters within a larger story.
What is your working style? More relaxed or choreographed?
Overall we have a very relaxed working style. Our approach towards photography is that of storytellers. We want to catch those fleeting smiles, brief glances and passing strokes. We try to blend into the atmosphere in order to be as unobtrusive as possible. When people are less aware that they are being photographed we are able to capture them at their most carefree and natural. When it comes to photographing any formals or group shots (at the couples request) then we will work together to organise everybody in an efficient manner as to not take up too much of everybody’s time.
What makes you stand out from others in your field?
One of the main things that couples seem to be attracted to is our laid-back-yet-still-professional attitude. Developing and maintaining relationships with our couples is really important to us.
Our signature style also seems to be a large contributing factor that sets us out from other photographers. Chloé’s has a particular eye for aesthetic—we suspect that the graphic designer in her heavily influences this. She colour grades all of the final photographs herself to achieve that earthy, filmic look that we pride ourselves on.
What equipment do you use?
We use a variety of professional digital camera bodies and lenses, which are switched around throughout the day depending on the context. Long lenses are great for shooting candid shots of people chattering and laughing from afar and wide lenses are useful for capturing images of large scenes or landscapes. Our favourite go-to brands are definitely Canon and Fuji. We shoot RAW and try to do it as quietly and inconspicuously as possible. We don’t beep and we try not to use flash.
Can we specify specific shots we would like?
Of course! We always advise couples to have a think about any specific shots they might want so that we can be organised on the day. This could be a list of groups / formals, a particular moment that we may not know about that you don’t want us to miss or just a simple portrait of a specific person important to you. We’re very flexible!
Where do you stand on group photos?
It’s really nice to get a shot of the whole bridal party, families, bridesmaids, groomsmen etc. However, group shots can take quite a long time (longer than you’d imagine!) and they can cut into the time we have to document your day.
As mentioned above, we advise couples to provide us with a list of specific shots that they would like on the day and we can be organised on the day. If there aren’t too many shots on the list then we should be able to get them done in about 30 minutes. We like to get them done as efficiently as possible so that people can get back to enjoying the wedding!
Some people decide that they’re not bothered about group shots. That’s okay too!
Is it possible to have a trial run to see if we like the photos?
This is the first time we have ever been asked this! We do offer an optional pre-wedding shoot as a part of our service—however, this requires booking us first. We would suggest booking us for a couple / family lifestyle photography session as a solution to this to see how you feel about our work.
Do you travel for weddings? And do you charge for travel expenses?
We love to travel! We are based in Leeds and charge a flat fee for locations within 20 miles of us. If the distance exceeds this then we build expenses into the quote to make things as simple as possible. We cover all of the UK and are happy to work out bespoke prices for destination weddings.
Do you mind if other guests are taking photos at the same time as you?
We won’t lie—it is a huge shame when Aunty Nora steps right into the shot with her iPad. But we try to be positive and see it as another photo opportunity. If it is a part of the day, then we will happily take photographs of people taking photographs, or of people having photographs taken of them. We don’t let it bother us—we understand that the guests are simply feeling excited and trying to create their own memories.
That said; we do love ‘unplugged’ weddings because everyone is generally more engaged in the day (rather than their phones / tablets / cameras). When people are all ‘in the moment’ together, there does seem to be a different type of atmosphere and energy. And this, of course, can lead to more emotional candid moments and potential shots.
What time will you arrive?
We tend to arrive 1-2 hours before the ceremony. This helps us to warm up, helps you get used to us being around and we get to capture the first part of the story. Some people like to have the bridal and / or groom preparations documented and some prefer for us to capture the guests arriving and mingling at the ceremony venue. This is completely up to you.
What time do you leave?
Again, that depends on your plans. Generally we leave shortly after the first dance (if there is one). Sometimes we stay and continue shooting until much later, for example if Martyn is providing evening entertainment with his trio Leeds City Stompers or duo The Washboard Resonators. Chloé takes the lead whilst Martyn is performing.
How many photographs will we get?
This varies depending on your wedding plans and how the day pans out. We also think that it’s important to give you a story, so one image might not make sense on it’s own but next to another it comes to life. On average we’d say we usually deliver around 700 photographs.
Do you provide retouching?
All of the images that the couple receive are colour graded in our signature style. Light retouching is applied to certain shots where needed.
How long will we have to wait for the photos after the wedding?
It varies depending on the season. We allow for up to 12 weeks during the busy periods but it is often much sooner than that.
Do you keep the copyright on the images?
As the photographers, we technically own the photographs and retain copyright. However, you receive your high resolution photographs on a lovely wooden, engraved USB drive. We give you full personal usage rights to the images. This means that you can get them printed yourselves, make an album, post them on social media or for any other use that is personal.
Do you do albums?
Yes—we offer a range of different options that include digitally printed albums and hand made albums. We are happy to discuss with you what it is that you are looking for. If this isn’t to your liking then your images are provided at a high enough resolution to print, so you are welcome to source your own album or book design and have complete control over that process.
Will you blog about our wedding / use the images for your website?
We love to feature our couple’s weddings on our blog! It’s a lovely way for them to share a ‘best of’ summary with their friends and family.
Plus, as a small business it helps us a great deal when it comes to new couples considering us. They like to see that we are active and it’s important that they can browse our latest work.
Do we need to feed you?
If you can, that would be lovely! If not, we will either pop out to get something or graze on the snacks we brought along to keep us going.
How do I book?
Fill in our contact form (foxandowl.uk/contact) or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with details and the date of your wedding and we will get back to you as soon as we can. If we are available then we will send you a booking form (with options to fill in online or on paper) and ask for a deposit to confirm your date in our diary. If we are already booked we will do our best to provide you with a handful of highly recommended names / contacts.
A huge thank you to Chloe & Martyn for their help with this feature. If you have any other questions that you would like to ask please comment below.