Bringing Children to a Wedding

Weddings are a magical time, and if you and your children have been lucky enough to be invited to one, they are probably very excited. If you have never taken them to such a fancy event before, you may be wondering how to prepare them for the day. These are some tips to make sure that all of the guests, young and old, have a great time at the wedding.

For children who have never attended a wedding before, preparation is key. This is especially true for the little ones, such as three or four year olds. They likely have no idea what goes on at a wedding, and are probably making up fantasies in their heads about it, which may or may not match the reality. To be sure that they understand what will really happen during a wedding, it is a good idea to talk them through it.

Busy children should be forewarned if they are going to be expected to sit still for a very long time during a religious ceremony. If you know that you have a squirmer on your hands, bring along a few quiet and discreet activities to keep an active child quiet during the vows. Ideas include things like small books or puzzles. Since there is usually a gap between the ceremony and the meal, be sure to keep a snack in the car that children can munch on as you travel from the ceremony to the reception sites.

Another way to prepare your child for being a wedding guest is to show him or her books ore movies that feature weddings. Little girls, in particular, will love seeing pictures of brides in their long white gowns, flowing veils, and fancy wedding jewelry. Any of the books that are geared towards flower girls or ring bearers would be appropriate for pre-schoolers. There are also cute little sets of toys that feature a bride and groom figurine.

Make sure that the morning of the wedding is not the first time that your child tries on his or her fancy outfit. The dresses that little girls wear to such occasions often have crinolines or lace collars that can be too scratchy on sensitive skin. If you find this out in advance, you can have a seamstress add a lining or remove any itchy trim.

Little girls who are usually tomboys may not be too happy about wearing a big poufy dress; consider making the experience less traumatic by letting her have input in her dress. Perhaps a more simple dress could work just as nicely, making her more comfortable and pleasant on the wedding day. To help her understand the importance of a wedding, you might want to give her a special piece of jewelry that she can wear on the big day. Look for pieces that will grow with your daughter, like a small string of pearls or a dainty silver bracelet.

The final thing to think about when taking your children to a wedding is your exit strategy. If the party is going to be going strong well past their usual bedtime, then either plan to turn the kids over to a babysitter after the ceremony, or to head out from the reception after the cake has been cut. On the other hand, some children have so much fun at weddings, that they are the ones cutting a rug on the dance floor all night! Either way, when you have planned well, you will know that the wedding will be a fun event for the whole family.

How to Get Experience As a Wedding Photographer

It seems like a viscous circle right? You can’t get work without experience and you cant get experience without doing the work. But you need to remember just how important wedding photography is to our customers. These could be the only lasting memory of the most important day of their life, so why would they trust it to an amateur? Any budding wedding photographer knows that in order to succeed you need a strong portfolio from multiple weddings. One or two shots is never going to do it either your going to need to demonstrate a constant flow of a whole wedding day. Its a highly competitive market and everyone with a camera thinks there a photographer these days, so your images need to be the best every time. So just how can I find the much needed experience in the wedding photography industry. Photography School. There are loads of photography classes out there these days that will give you hands on wedding photography experience.

Often they will be run by local studios who will hire models and run group sessions. You will get to spend time shooting a “bride” with an experienced photographer at your side to help with any tips and advice. There are also some great part time photography courses run by colleges that can give your hands on basic photography skills. Do a quick Google search for Photography School or Photography Course and your sure to find something suitable. Contact local Photographers. So we all know to get experience you need to get yourself shooting at a wedding. The only problem is this can seem near impossible. Most city’s and towns will have more photographers than you can imagine some good, some not so good and some great in my opinion competition is a healthy thing and there are plenty of weddings to go around. The problem is not all photographers think like this so finding a photographer in your area who is willing to take you under there wing and show you the ropes may be easier said than done. Many photographers see it as training up new competition. If you are willing to travel a little further you may find it’s a little easier. Contact a photographer who is not in direct competition with where you will one day be working and ask if you can do some unpaid work as an assistant. Working as a photographers assistant does not mean you will spend all your time with a camera in your hand, it does not mean you will get hundreds of shots to use for y our portfolio but it does mean you will get a taster for what a wedding day truly involves. You will be asked to carry the bags, run errands, upload images, fetch the photographer a drink and all other seemingly meaningless jobs.

If however you use your eyes and your ears and pay close attention to everything you can I guarantee you will pick up tons of skills? Build relationships. While it may feel like jumping from one photographer to the next to gain, as much experience as you can is the best thing you can do, nothing can beat a good working relationship. Try and get on as many weddings with one photographer as you can and make it a regular thing. If they call you with a last minute shoot cancel your plans and take up the offer. Over time the photographer will trust your skills that little bit more and will let you take on more responsibility, who knows they may even let you take the lead on a wedding with there assistance. Free Wedding Photography There are many amateur wedding photographers out there who start there career by offering free wedding to photography to couple on a budget in order to learn the skills needed. Always remember that no matter how little the couple has paid they are skill a client and if you make a mistake on there wedding day they could still destroy your reputation and your career before it has even started. If you have the skills to shoot the wedding then charge the going rate for package. Don’t forget even if you are shooting the wedding for free you will still have many expenses and you will still need insurance on your gear and your liability. Practice your skills on a model One of the most important things about being a wedding photographer is that your basic skills are mastered. You need to be able to handle every possible scenario and need to be confident in many styles of photography. Many of these skills can be mastered on a model. Try and practice using very little set up time and only very little time per shot. Set up a shot take the shot and move on to the next, this will help to simulate the fast pace of wedding photography. Only after gaining experience on as many wedding as possible (I would say about 20 weddings minimum) should you think about taking on a clients wedding solo. Even if asked by friends and family to shoot there wedding ask yourself honestly if you are ready to guarantee stunning photography no matter what you are faced with. Good Luck

5 Questions To Answer When Selecting A Wedding Facility

Selecting a wedding facility is by no means an easy task. Between selecting a location that is feasible for all guests, within your budget, and getting everything you have long dreamt for, it can be a grueling process. To help select the ideal location for the wedding, here are five questions you will want to answer.

1. What is the travel distance for guests?

No wedding is going to be lucky enough to have all of the guests living in the same city or state. Therefore, it is vital you take into consideration where guests will be traveling from. If a majority of the guests are coming from a certain area, you may want to consider having the wedding facility closer to the guests. While it is your wedding, it is important the people you love most are there to share the experience with you.

2. Is the facility reputable?

There are far too many facilities and locations to have a wedding at for you to settle. Look into the background of the facility and what others have to say about it. Ask friends and family members what they recommend and if they know anyone that has gotten married at this particular facility.

3. Is it the right size?

One of the most important things to take into consideration is the size of the wedding facility compared to the number of guests that will be coming. If you rent out a large ballroom and only have a few guests coming, it may seem overboard. At the same time, you need to make sure there are enough seats for all of the guests if it is a larger wedding.

4. What are the bar policies?

Weddings are a family event but also a time to relax and have fun with friends and family members. Many weddings do have bars whether they are open bars or paid. Check to see what the bar policy is for the facility to ensure what you are looking for is possible.

5. What services does the venue provide?

The final thing to look at with the wedding facility is what kind of services they offer. Are they going to help with the planning of your reception? Will they offer discounts and packages for catering and music? Do they have a crew that will decorate the facility and clean up following the wedding? Little things like this can help smooth over the process to ensure there is as little stress as possible.

Wedding Photography – Business Transaction Or Affair of the Heart?

Choosing a wedding photographer is usually done in one of two ways. Either it is a decision based entirely on cost and another item to be ticked off the “to do” list or it is a totally emotional decision. You know that these photographs are going to be the only remaining record of one of the best days of your life so you want to find someone who you believe will reflect that way in an artistic style you love.

So that was what I was contemplating whilst thinking of my title. As I was writing the title I thought about how we sell our wedding photography or perhaps more accurately how people buy from us. It may surprise some of you to learn that for us it’s also very much an affair of the heart and not a business transaction. That’s not to say that we don’t have a minimum price below which we are unlikely to book – of course we do – we have to make a living and we have to cover the costs of the excellent products and albums we offer. Second best simply isn’t good enough for us.

In order for us to in many instances stand out in the rain, deal with cheeky, often worse for wear guests sometimes difficult family relationships with tact and diplomacy, look after and almost pamper not just the bride but those around her all day long and then at the end of the day still produce our best work ever (because we are only ever as good as our last wedding) there has to be something more in it for us than money alone. I suppose what I am referring to is job satisfaction in its broadest sense.

So we start off with four people – the couple and us. The relationship between us needs to be pretty equal in order for it to work on the day – i.e. we need to want to photograph their wedding as much, if not more, as they want us to photograph it for them. Think about it. Does the most amazing, special day of your entire life want to be just another mark on the photographer’s year planner until they have their quota filled for the year? Of course not! Ideally you want your photographers to be looking forward to photographing your wedding and spending the day with you because, believe me, if they are not then it will, no matter how hard they try on the day be reflected in some way in the pictures. The number of times we go just that little bit further, stay just a few moments longer, watch a little more carefully because we suspect something a little special is about to happen and are rewarded with some beautiful moments and expressions is high. Not everything happens just when you expect it to on a wedding day or just how you are expecting it to happen.

Take the signing of the register picture for example. One never to be missed at every wedding – with the increase in civil ceremonies and peculiar registrars it’s also one of the shots which is getting more and more regimented and unemotional to shoot. It’s a set up. One of the “must have”pictures for the album. But do you know that virtually every time the couple kiss after signing the register as a set up shot as the photographer stands down and the guests are invited up to take their shotsthe couples nearly always 99/100 times have another moment when they kiss? They can’t help themselves. This is a private moment between two people who are so lost in each other they become the only two people in a crowded room. It’s one not to be missed.

Another example of this is the confetti picture. We get some great shots of this. But what happens immediately after the confetti has been thrown? Either one of two things – if not both – firstly some people will try to stuff the confetti down the front of the brides dress – this makes a good “fun” picture with great expressions. Secondly flower girls and little children from the wedding will start gathering up the confetti. They are drawn to it like a magnet. Now there’s two ways to capture this second photo opportunity if you are going to – the first (rather boring if you are not careful) is to simply take the shot, the second however is to get down to the kiddies level and take the shot from their angle – it makes a great shot and well worth the effort. That same principle can be applied to photographing kids anytime at a wedding. Get down on their level – see the world as they see it – you will be rewarded with some interesting pictures.

These are just two examples from the many moments that go to make a wedding day. I’m a romantic at heart and I very much shoot for expression – specifically the expressions of love and affection between two people. Now that isn’t just limited to the bride and groom. I love the moment when the Father of the bride sees his daughter for the first time on the wedding day for example. Nearly always tough men soften and you can see the love in their eyes. Nearly always the bride looks expectantly at her father as if almost seeking approval for one last time but the shot that many photographers miss is the mother of the bride watching all this going on. She loves them both dearly. She’s probably been a party to the bride choosing the dress and helping her to get dressed on the wedding morning. She’s as excited about her husband’s reaction to his daughter as the bride is. This is mums’ moment too.

So now I’ve talked a little about why wedding photography is an affair of the heart for us what about you? What makes you consider a particular photographer over another? Is it a cost thing or is it a passion for what they do and offer? Without knowing the photographer can you envisage them at your wedding and imagine the pictures they may take of you and your family for you? Or is the album manufacturer more important to you than the pictures within the album? They remain faceless until after the day because it’s simply another box ticked on the long list of things you have “to do” before the day. It’s not a reality even in your imagination.

Do you think that you might be able to “barter down” your photographer in price to photograph your day for you, sometimes to the point that, as in other wedding services you have bought in, it becomes a game of wills to see who will give the most before walking away? If you love the work of the photographer you are trying to negotiate with let me tell you this is a very risky game to play. You might end up with a real bargain but there’s also a great chance that you will end up with all of nothing.

Conversely do you simply love what they offer and if your budget will allow you’re going to have them? If you do this will come across to your photographer and there is a chance that even if they are slightly above your budget if they have any room to maneuver on what is included – say by decreasing the album size or number of pictures initially included then your photographer may be willing to try to compromise to an affordable price for you.

John Ruskin – a much more intelligent person than I once famously said:

“It is unwise to pay too much, but it is worse to pay too little. When you pay too much you lose a little money. That is all. When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything because the thing that you bought was incapable of doing the thing that you bought it to do! The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot. It cannot be done…. And if you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well to add something for the risk that you run. And if you do that, you will have enough to pay for something better. There is hardly anything in the world that someone cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper. And the people, who consider price alone, are this man’s lawful prey.”

I know I’m biased but he could have been talking about wedding photography.

Love Is in the Air – Will the Royal Wedding Bring a Little Romance Into All Our Lives?

So, the long wait is over. After nine years of courtship, Prince William is going to marry his girlfriend Kate Middleton. The wedding is set to happen next Summer, most likely in mid-August.

For the media it’s the best news they’ve had in ages. Speculation about the details – where the wedding will be held, what Kate will be wearing, who’s going to be William’s best man (Harry, probably) and who’ll be singing in the church – can now go into overdrive.

What’s certain already, however, is that it will be the biggest and most lavish Royal Wedding this country has seen since that of William’s parents, Charles and Diana, way back in July 1981.

Some of us oldies will remember that occasion well. The sun came out, we all took a day off work, went to a street party (or two) and shed a tear as we watched the fairytale Princess in her golden carriage on television. (Who knew it would end in such tragic circumstances?)

But the other thing we remember about that time was the unmistakable romantic atmosphere that took over the country. Love was in the air. Men treated women like Princesses – and women reciprocated by having their hair cut just like Lady Di! Apparently, the number of marriages and births rose significantly during that long hot Summer.

So, the question is: will we see the same thing this time? Is an air of romance and magic going to blow away the depressing atmosphere of the past year or so? Will we see hundreds or even thousands of other couples tying the knot and exchanging vows inspired by the new Royal couple? Are William and Kate going to get us all in the mood for love? The answer, almost certainly, is yes.

All of which, of course, is great news for those of us who are looking for a little romance and passion in our lives. 2011 may well be the year when we all get in touch with our inner Prince and Princess. We can’t wait!