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Tips, advice and wedding day experiences as viewed by a wedding photographer.
The Latest Posts from Tony Jones
Posted by on Sunday 24th of June 2012 07:44:00 AM
Apologies for neglecting my Wedding Binder blog for a while! I have been busy with my photography, providing photos for a new book, and updating my own blog and website - www.aphroditenet.co.uk (take a peak!) I now work on weddings throughout London and the South East, so life is busy!
Today, I thought I'd talk about posing for wedding photos.
For many couples, their wedding day will be their first adult experience of being photographed by a professional photographer. Many people feel uncomfortable being in front of the camera and having their photo taken, and with so much happening and so much to remember, posing for wedding day photo’s can prove particularly stressful.
Today the trend is very much towards reportage and documentary photography rather than ‘posed’ images, but as wedding photographers we are aware that some couples still like a few of the more formal and posed shots for their wedding albums. Here are a few of our tips to help brides and bridesmaids achieve the best look for posed photos:
1. Generally speaking, your entire body should never be square with the camera but slightly side-on - it should always be at an angle, usually a 45-degree angle, as this will achieve a more flattering pose.
2. Avoid placing your feet together and standing with them flat on the ground. Move one foot forward so that you slightly shift your weight to your back foot, this will cause your hip to shift too. This hip-shift makes for a more flattering silhouetted body shape.
3. People tend to tighten and raise their shoulders when they are nervous and this makes your shoulders appear narrow, your neck appear shorter and makes you appear generally tense and nervous. Make a conscious effort to relax your shoulders.
4. Be aware of your posture and, if you are tall ‘pull yourself up’ to make sure you don’t stoop.
5. Move your elbows slightly away from your sides, as creating a small space between your body and your elbow dramatically emphasises your waistline. Your waistline will be more noticeable in your photos and this automatically makes your torso appear slimmer.
6. Don’t be afraid to be creative with poses and do something different, it will add variety and interest to your collection of wedding day photos.
7. It is understandable to worry about your dress but don’t let this hinder you. It is inevitable that your dress will get marked before the day is out, but generally these marks are seldom noticed, and wouldn’t show up on the photos either. A great photo is worth the effort!
8. If you are the bride, brief your bridesmaid so she can be on hand to help you arrange your dress, train or veil to help you achieve the look you want whilst posing for photos.
9. Do listen to the photographer and take direction, he or she has plenty of experience and will always help you get the best picture!
Drop me an email if you have any questions or want to discussyour own wedding photography!
Posted by on Sunday 20th of November 2011 06:15:12 PM
With more and more engaged couples moving away from traditional hen and stag parties in search of something different, there is a growing trend to opt for original, stylish, cultured and interactive hen and stag weekends, and the possibilities are endless!
Creative and traditional crafts continue to have an enormous resurgence, and pottery, cooking, writing and poetry workshops are all available for hen parties, alongside the more traditional pamper weekends. Quite often these weekends provide the participants with skills or finished products which they can then use for their wedding.
If you are after something more active then you may prefer to opt for paint balling, horse riding, bungee jumping, clay pigeon shooting, white-water-rafting, even tank driving!
Joint hen and stag parties are popular with modern couples who may often have many mutual friends. Booking a country house weekend (often with crafts and activities included in the package), or taking over a cottage in the country for the weekend is often the ideal solution for busy couples wanting to celebrate together.
These hen and stag events are becoming much more integral to the whole wedding planning experience, and are providing unique opportunities to gather the engaged couples closest friends together in the same place at the same time, for a unique (possibly once in a lifetime) experience.
With this in mind, I have introduced a hen/stag photography package to my website, please contact me at email@example.com if you wish to discuss your own hen/stag party or weekend.
Article by Tony Jones - www.aphroditenet.co.uk
Posted by on Wednesday 12th of October 2011 10:47:12 AM
As wedding photographers we are privileged to visit and photograph many different and beautiful wedding venues, however we know from couples that finding the perfect wedding venue is not an easy task. There are so many venues to choose from it can become a little overwhelming!
Here’s the AphroditeNet Wedding Photography’s ‘Top Tips’ to finding your perfect wedding venue:
1. Budgeting – make sure that you have a clear budget before searching for your wedding venue. This will save you time and help you focus on the venues which are right for you. Venues differ greatly in their prices and packages, so ring around a few you are interested in, and try to shortlist those in your budget range.
2. Date Availability – make sure you have set your provisional wedding date and a couple of back-up dates before you contact the wedding venue, they will then be able to confirm availability. Remember that the most popular wedding venues sometimes take bookings over a year in advance, as do photographers!
3. Wedding Style – When you are planning your wedding try to think very carefully about the style of wedding you want, and consider whether your venue suits this style,this is especially important when thinking about photographic opportunities too.
We have just finished a photo shoot at The House Meadow, Biddenden, Kent. Located on a working farm in ‘The Garden of England’, The House Meadow is a perfect venue for a rustic country wedding, and, when hired as a blank canvas, allows couples enormous flexibility for planning and styling their own wedding reception.
4. Number of Guests – Before researching venues, make sure you have a realistic idea of the number of guests you are expecting to attend so that you can find wedding venues able to cater comfortably for your guests. Also consider how many of your guests will have children, and whether the venue is experienced in providing for them. Some venues impose age restrictions due to the nature and layout of the venue, or due to the artefacts contained within. Also enquire whether there are any restrictions regarding areas/locations for your wedding photography.
5. Facilities – Not all wedding venues have accommodation, and some provide location and time restrictions on the use of their premises. If you are choosing a venue without accommodation, ask if they can give you a list of recommended hotels and B&B in the local area.
Please visit our website www.aphroditenet.co.uk if you wish to contact us regarding your wedding photography.
Article by Tony Jones of AphroditeNet
Posted by on Friday 16th of September 2011 10:11:53 AM
Now that the main wedding season is over, I have time to return to organising my own AphroditeNet Wedding Photography bridal fashion shoots. These are great fun as they give me an opportunity to work at some fascinating venues and with a team of creative people (florists, jewellery designers etc...), whilst also trying out new photographic ideas!
This shoot will reflect the trend lately which has seen traditional country crafts being resurrected throughout the UK and retro style weddings, complete with vintage china table settings, continuing to be popular… I am hoping to incorporate some of this ‘modern vintage’ style into our photo shoot, with an added Kentish inspired twist!
I am using wedding dresses from ‘Forever Yours’ bridal boutique of Rye, East Sussex, who have a large and stunning collection of designer wedding gowns. I have also commissioned some vintage inspired jewellery from Lizzie of ‘La Chic Unique’, and will also be working with the hugely talented Kent based Tiggy of ‘Tiggy Johnson Bespoke Florist’ and ‘Idyllic Days’. Accessories for our shoot have also been provided by ‘Vintage Amethyst’.
I have cast Jamie Collins as our model and am looking forward to working with Jamie to create some wonderful images which we hope will prove inspirational to prospective brides when planning their wedding!
With such a strong creative team involved in this shoot, I had to look for a special venue, and have chosen The House Meadow at Biddenden, Kent. The House Meadow is a unique wedding venue - a working farm set in the beautiful Kent countryside, with plenty of rustic country charm!
I will keep you informed as plans for my shoot progress!
In the meantime, if you want to discuss any photography work with me, please contact me via my website - www.aphroditenet.co.uk
Article by Tony Jones
Posted by on Monday 27th of June 2011 09:12:00 PM
Pre-wedding/engagement photo shoots are becoming more and more popular, and there are several good reasons for this:
On your wedding day your wedding photographer will be busy capturing one of the most important days of your life. A pre-wedding/engagement photo shoot gives you and your photographer the opportunity to get to know each other and establish a rapport which will be invaluable on your wedding day.
A pre-wedding photo shoot gives you the opportunity to record your engagement, ideally at a location of your choice. It could be somewhere you simply think will look really good in your photos or a place that is special to you as a couple. Your photographer may be able to suggest some locations for you to use too!
If you are confident in front of the camera then you will enjoy your own photo shoot and be able to try out different poses and styles to make your shoot fun, creative and memorable.
If you are the type of person who dreads having your photo taken, you will soon be reassured as many of the images taken will be informal and relaxed and you will be put at ease under the expert guidance of a professional photographer. This will hopefully make you feel more relaxed on your wedding day too!
Finally, you will have a great collection of personal and unique images as a memento of your engagement and relationship at this special time. You could make the images into an album, or even use them to make a special canvas print, signing board, thank you or save-the-date cards for your wedding etc…
The picture accompanying this article is of Sarah and James. I photographed them for their engagement at a country park in Kent. I will leave the last word to them:
We really enjoyed today and we both would like to say thank you. We are really impressed with all of the pictures that you sent us, and we would like copies of all of them!
If you, a friend or relative has recently become engaged and want to discuss a possible photo shoot with me, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
My website is www.aphroditenet.co.uk.
Posted by on Monday 13th of June 2011 07:56:07 PM
Your wedding and honeymoon are over and now one of the most important aspects of your special day is upon you – selecting the wedding photographs for print, album, canvas wrap, fine art print or other products that you wish to have as a treasured memento of your day.
During your post-wedding meeting with your photographer, you may expect to view all of the photographs that your photographer took on the day to enable you to select your favourites. Let us start this process by clearly stating that, unfortunately, this will not be the case.
For a full day wedding – incorporating the bridal preparations, groom photos at church, arrival at church, ceremony photos, leaving the church, possible photos on route to the wedding breakfast, the wedding breakfast itself and evening reception/first dance – a photographer may take between 500-1,500 images! Of these images, you can be rest assured that a significant number may not come out as intended. There may be motion blur which was unintentional but which adversely affects the image or a myriad of other reasons why an image does not work. Expect around 40-60% to be deleted without ever being seen by anyone other than the photographer.
At your pre-wedding meeting you should have established whether the photographs to be provided are ones chosen by you or those chosen by the photographer. It has been known for a photographer to attend a meeting to show 40 photographs that you can have for print but they are not often the best photographs that are available, thereby allowing the photographer to go on to show better prints and then charge additional fees for these.
However, your photographer will endeavour to meet your brief and expectations of the day, but it is important to be open-minded about the style of images produced, trust your photographer!
As far as I am concerned, I offer the clients the choice of available photos for prints, albums, etc. although I would prepare an album design to view prior to the meeting to give you a flavor of the style.
The photographs for selection can be in both colour and black and white. Your photographer may select around 30% of the available photographs to be converted to black and white while retaining the original colour versions for use if preferred.
Also, the images that you are being shown by the photographer on a laptop or computer will be edited on a computer screen that has been colour calibrated and may look different when viewed on your own computer.
Finally, one final important thing to remember – if you really do want a special effect done on your photos, please remember that this will take much more time for your photographer to produce and you are likely to be charged extra for this additional editing process.
I hope these thoughts will help you get the most from your photographer and from your photos, and that you will ultimately be pleased with the results!
For further images, please visit my website – www.aphroditenet.co.uk
Article by Tony Jones
Posted by on Friday 03rd of June 2011 09:03:54 AM
I have now finished going through all the photos from my recent bridal shoot. I am often struck by how wedding and bridesmaid’s dresses, tiaras, accessories and bouquets are always works of art in themselves. The attention to detail which has been lavished on them more than justifies their place in a photographic record of the wedding day.
A close-up of a flower from the bride’s bouquet or a small section of detail from a wedding dress or tiara can produce a highly personal, striking and beautiful image. These images can then make great keepsake prints for albums or as a wall canvas, or can be made into beautiful and highly personalised ‘Thank You’ cards to send after the wedding.
I have attached a recent favourite, I hope you like it too!
For further images, visit my website – www.aphroditenet.co.uk
Article by Tony Jones
Posted by on Tuesday 31st of May 2011 12:57:32 PM
We had great fun at our AphroditeNet Wedding photo shoot last Friday. Photo shoots take a considerable amount of planning – casting models, sourcing venues, dresses, accessories and then making sure everything and everyone comes together on the same day is not always straightforward! As it was the day progressed smoothly, and even the unpredictable weather was relatively kind to us!
The logistical challenges of organising your own shoot are far outweighed by having the luxury to create wedding photos which can inspire potential clients, whilst giving us the freedom to try out new ideas!
We were lucky enough to have The Hop Farm at Tonbridge and Folkestone Racecourse as our venues (both licensed for weddings), and our model, Charlotte Haynes, was simply stunning.
We thought all our Christmas's had come at once when we saw the collection of wedding dresses and accessories supplied by Cutting Edge Brides, not to mention the gorgeous bouquet by Flowers By Marion, both from Bexley, Kent.
We have uploaded the full gallery of images from our shoot on our website(www.aphroditenet.co.uk) along with links to our suppliers, and hope you enjoy looking through them as much as we enjoyed taking them!
Article by Tony Jones
Posted by on Saturday 14th of May 2011 01:22:01 PM
As a wedding photographer I am often struck by how many different terms are used by photographers to describe their style of wedding photography – traditional, contemporary, reportage and fashion photography currently being the most popular. For some couples it can be a minefield trying to work out what each style means for them.
Traditional wedding photography tends to consist mainly of carefully arranged and staged posed shots of key groups e.g. bridesmaids, family and friends, whereas reportage photography tends to be more ‘fly on the wall’, capturing those informal and unexpected moments which arise during the day.
Fashion photography tends to reflect the more aspirational style of wedding photography favoured by glossy magazines, combining carefully planned semi-directed shots which still achieve a natural, often artistic, look.
Contemporary wedding photography is possibly the hardest to define, but tends to combine the best aspects of all styles to create a ‘storybook’ record of the day showing key events and formal and informal shots as the day progresses.
Such definitions may help you as you start to search for a wedding photographer but it’s important not to get too preoccupied with labels and styles, and instead choose a photographer who you feel you can build a rapport with and whose style of photography you like, regardless of the label!
At AphroditeNet we have just finished finalising plans for a bridal fashion photo which we hope will prove inspirational to prospective brides when thinking about their wedding and wedding photography. We will take 1950’s bridal fashion as the inspiration for our shoot, and in particular the elegant Dior inspired New Look tea length dresses with fuller skirts and nipped in waists.
We are working with ‘Cutting Edge Brides’ of Bexley who have a fantastic selection of 1950’s style and vintage style wedding dresses. Our bridal bouquet will be designed by Bexley florist ‘Flowers by Marion’ and we can’t wait to see her creation! Charlotte Haynes has been cast as our model, and we are looking forward to working with Charlotte to create some wonderful images.
We are also delighted to be working with Folkestone Racecourse and The Hop Farm Tonbridge; both licensed wedding venues offering unique and stylish locations for a perfect Kentish wedding.
Pictures will be uploaded in a few weeks time, but in the meantime you can follow progress with the shoot on our blog at our wedding photography site www.aphroditenet.co.uk.
Article by Tony Jones
Contact Tony via his website www.aphroditenet.co.uk
Posted by on Wednesday 04th of May 2011 06:07:16 PM
We are said to be a nation of shopkeepers, but in today’s world our ‘shops’ and shop windows are often Internet based – a website.
As a freelance photographer I have always been aware of the need to have a website which gives examples of my work and my photographic style. This has to be thought through and is no mean feat when trying to juggle this with the technical aspects of creating a website which is in keeping with its purpose, pleasing on the eye and easy to navigate!
Several months later I am pleased (and rather relieved!), that my new wedding site is up and running and enquiries are coming in…
I firmly believe that one of the most important parts of a wedding is the photography, as this is often the only means of providing a record of such a special event. A photographer’s job is to record all those special moments as they occur, both planned and sometimes spontaneous, and then, to take the many images, often exceeding a thousand, and select those which can be used as individual prints or to incorporate into an album or DVD slideshow.
One of the surprising things I have noted, or maybe not so surprising, is that often a photographer is asked ‘how cheap can you do it for?’
Whilst I can fully appreciate that a wedding is a costly undertaking, and there are many things to plan and budget for, this is one area that should not be marginalized due to the memories that a good quality photographer can provide. No good photographer charges for the day itself as there should be several meetings to discuss needs and requirements, photographic processing and selection (a lengthy process!) and production of albums and prints etc…
If you are getting engaged, married, planning a wedding or renewing your vows I wish you all the best and hope your photographs provide you with treasured memories.