Archive for the ‘wedding advice’ Category

Questions to ask your wedding photographer – before you book them.

Thursday, January 22nd, 2015

Asian wedding in West Yorkshire

As an experienced wedding photographer, I know that the first question EVERYONE asks is “How much? ”  Of course that’s important , and its what we all do when researching a product or  service online.  We recently needed to buy a new microwave, after the one we bought just months before ceased to work.  Crazy I know, but I spent hours and hours with my mental list of what was important to me, comparing products and prices.  The prices bit was easy, as once I’d chosen the make and model, it’s a like-for-like straight forward search.

Wedding photographers though are human beings, so each and everyone is unique.  OK you can compare “packages”, but even if the  album on offer is from the same supplier, the number of pages, the cover and the number of photos included, let alone the care  taken over the design – how many revisions – and any additional charges  and the style – could all result in a totally different vision.

One of my hard drives failed last week – but fortunately the client’s data was safe, as I always back up the original files shot .  However, even though I had only had the drive for three weeks, I learned a valuable lesson.  I had chosen the cheapest possible drive of that size!  When I contacted the data recovery company so I didn’t lose the extra work I had done, they told me that 75% of the drives they get sent, were all the same as the make I had chosen – (a Seagate Barracuda ) .   Had I spent just 25% more I could have avoided this situation and the extra my mistake.  If only I had checked the REVIEWS!  It turns out that 25% of all reviewers complained that their drive failed – and gave it 1 star only –  so the average rating was a mere 3 stars.

We all would like our wedding photographer to be the best we can afford, so the moral of this story is to check reviews of your prospective wedding photographer before even contacting them to check they have the date available, and choose the best rated that suits you!


1-Check what others are saying about your wedding photographer before you book.  Do a Google search to see what you can find. about them.

natural wedding picture

2 – Check if the person taking your photos is actually the person you thought it was, as many companies use freelancers with varied experience

3 –  Check how long they have been in business, as most of the avoidable mistakes are made when the photographer first starts up.

4 – Have a look at samples, both online and in person – if at all possible – and not just the 20 best photos they have ever taken – but ideally the full spectrum of a complete wedding.  Bear in mind though that from the original photos taken, the personal choices of the couple may be different from what you might have picked from the variety of pictures taken.


sunset wedding picture in the Gambia at Coco Ocean by the sea

I once received a phone call from the bride’s mother – who had been the one actually paying for the album – saying “I don’t like the album!” “Why”,  I asked – “what is it that you don’t like about the album? ”  “It doesn’t have any pictures of my sisters in it”.  I explained to her that although I had definitely taken several shots of her with her 3 sisters, that the choice of images was entirely up to the couple concerned, and that although I shoot everything and everyone – both natural and posed pics – the only thing I could do for her was to design a different album  – just for her – with the photos that she really wanted to have in it.   The result was an entirely different wedding album!  The style and layout were different too, so it wasn’t just in the choice of images, to reflect her personality and tastes.  She paid me separately for this of course, but at least I could make her happy.

The link below is from an independent blog post I came across on Linkedin today, and it clearly outlines all the points I  think are important to you.


If you want to see some of my work – and there is absolutely tons to see look on our websites:

and over 15,000 photos on our Facebook Page

top table with flowers at Holdsworth House wedding

top table with flowers at Holdsworth House wedding – storybook pages 46-47


Woodlands wedding in storybook of pictures

So cute the little ones shoes.


Natural black and white wedding photography

Natural black and white wedding photography – shows off the smiles and emotions.

horse-drawn carriage for weddings

the bride and groom leave the wedding in their horse-drawn carriage

storybook wedding album West Yorkshire

Front and back cover of storybook wedding album

Urban wedding photography

Love London weddings – even street scenes work well


fun black and white wedding photography in the Gambia at Coco Ocean at night

Such a happy picture!

fun wedding pictures

Bride’s father having fun with his granddaughter

 Somali wedding photographyby female wedding photographer

My lovely Somali bride is laughing because I insisted on taking her photo her!


Time to dress up and have fun!


black and white wedding photography

Touching black and white photo.


Bridesmaids jumping for joy inside Dewsbury Town Hall


bride and groom by sunflowers

bride in 1950's wedding dress.

bride in 1950’s wedding dress.

Couple sue wedding photographer and bad video of their big day

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

 One of our former clients sent me this link

about a bride and groom whose wedding video was a disaster  – very dark and horrendously wobbly.

Their photos were just as bad – not even properly framed (heads chopped off when camera held overhead) or any attempt at professional colour and exposure correction. I’ve also been sent this link with other comments from fellow professional photographers who have all made good advice for brides and grooms wishing to avoid the pain and sadness of a total disaster  with the visual record of their precious wedding memories


Just so you can see which category we fall into with our video – here are a few links as Jorge spend weeks and months editing our wedding DVD or Blu Ray videos as he cannot bear to just do the same for everyone as his background is with whole TV series and dramas in his own country Cuba: I dragged  him away to from his love so apologise for that when I suggested he come to the UK to work and to marry me!

For storybook wedding albums from recent brides and grooms with their chosen images and approved designs: and here for

International wedding photography


Hope this helps.  We are members of the SWPP and have obtained offical recognition through their qualification system, though do of course have full Public Indemnity (in case anyone trip over our legs or anything – though always shout warnings if kneeling down)  and Professional Liability insurance (though no-one has ever needed to claim on this!)Enjoy your wedding research! You are always welcome to visit us here anyway and we have more than 200,000 whole wedding images online – enough for even the most curious and thorough bride and groom to be to learn what its all about…

The above link will lead you to the Society of Wedding and Portrait Photographers’ site.


If you wish to return to our main site see



xx Elaine & Jorge

pictures of wedding venues in Yorkshire and North of England, wedding advice check list for brides and grooms

Sunday, March 15th, 2009

See our LINKS page for potential wedding suppliers

return to main wedding photography and video website

1-Book a venue for both the ceremony and the reception (decide whether church or civil ceremony) 12-24 months in advance at least AND caterers if necessary- oh and a bridal suite too might be nice for afterwards!

Wedding Venues in North of England Hall view from garden during a summer wedding

Woolley Hall near Wakefield Park Hotel, Walton Hall, wedding venue on an island in West Yorkshire near Wakefield

Waterton Park Hotel near Wakefield with Walton Hall wedding venue on an island

bride by window during wedding reception inside Waterton Park Hotel

bride by window during wedding reception at Waterton Park Hotel

see more wedding photos from Waterton Park Hotel by Reel Life Photos

and here and here front view of Allerton Castle wedding venue in North Yorkshire

Front of Allerton Castle in North Yorkshire

rear view of wedding venue Allerton Castle in North Yorkshire showing scaffolding after the fire

Rear view of Allerton Castle during a wedding in Aug 2005 showing scaffolding after the fire Gomersal Park Hotel wedding venue West Yorkshire

bride arriving at Gomersal Park Hotel just outside Cleckheaton,,10273,00.html

Elland Road Stadium as a wedding venue in Leeds

wedding party at Elland Road Stadium Leeds

health spa & swimming pool at Thorpe Park Hotel wedding venue in Leeds

Swimming pool at Thorpe Park Hotel & Spa in Leeds

Galpharm Stadium wedding venue near Huddersfield

wedding at Galpharm Stadium in Huddersfield

wedding venue in West Yorkshire

Alder House Hotel wedding venue in Batley

Alder House enclosed gardens to rear of wedding venue

Alder House enclosed gardens to rear of wedding venue

Alder House with bridesmaids, a lovely wedding venue in West Yorkshire

Bridesmaids in grounds of Alder House in Batley

Alder House wedding venue in Batley, West Yorkshire

Alder House patio area

Alder House wedding venue Healey Lane in Batley

collage of wedding venue Healds Hall in Liversedge West Yorkshire

Healds Hall Liversedge, wedding photo collage

wedding at Rogerthorpe Manor venue near Pontefract

bride and groom by mirror at Rogerthorpe Manor Hotel near Pontefract – 43k –

Nostell Priory wedding venue West Yorkshire

Nostell Priory brilliant National Trust wedding venue

rainy day wedding at Kingscroft Hotel near Pontefract

rainy day wedding kiss on helipad at sunset at Kings Croft Hotel near Pontefract

Kings Croft wedding venue near Pontefract

formal wedding party outside Kings Croft Hotel

Cedar Court Hotel - wedding venue in Wakefield

Cedar Court Hotel wedding

Bride and groom at Yorkshire Sculpture Park during wedding at Cedar Court Hotel in Wakefiield

Afternoon wedding photos at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Queens hotel wedding venue in Leeds city centre next to railway station

bride and groom outside the entrance to the Queens hotel in Leeds next to railway station

Autumn wedding at Chevin Lodge Country Park Hotel in Otley

bride on way to Autumn wedding ceremony at  Chevin Lodge Hotel in Otley

bride inside Chevin Lodge Country Park Hotel in Otley

bride on spiral staircase inside Chevin Lodge Hotel in Otley

wedding at Durker Roods Hotel - wedding venue near Huddersfield

wedding at Durker Roods Hotel near Huddersfield

Autumn wedding at Hey Green Hotel in Marsden - wedding venue West Yorkshire

bride and groom in bridal suite in Hey Green Hotel

bride and groom in bridal suite at Hey Green Hotel in Marsden

wedding picture at Bagden Hall near Huddersfield

bride and groom by lake at end of Bagden Hall gardens

winter wedding picture inside Bagden Hall near Huddersfield

Wedding kiss inside Bagden hall

Holdsworth House wedding venue in Halifax

Holdsworth House summer wedding

picture of bride and groom with natural light inside Holdsworth House wedding venue in Halifax

wedding at Oakwell Hall in West Yorkshire

wedding pictures inside Oakwell Hall

Wedding ceremonies and photography at Oakwell Hall has to take place before the public are allowed in so ceremonies tend to be early in the day.

Oakwell Hall – natural wedding in Birstall

bride at wedding venue Oakwell Hall Birstall

wedding ceremony inside Oakwell Hall in Birstall

Monk Fryston Hotel wedding venue near Selby

Monk Fryston Hotel wedding venue near Selby

bridal suite inside Monk Fryston Hall Hotel

black and white wedding photo during ceremony at Monk Fryston Hall Hotel

Front view of Monk Fryston Hall Hotel West Yorkshire wedding venue

Winter wedding at Monk Fryston Hall Hotel

wedding reception inside Monk Fryston Hall Hotel

Brave bride and groom at Winter wedding outside Monk Fryston Hall Hotel at night

Winter wedding picture outside Monk Fryston Hall at night

photo of bride and groom on snowy day at dusk by Newmillerdam West Yorkshire

December wedding at Newmillerdam with eve reception at Hotel St. Pierre

Pennine Manor Hotel in Golcar wedding venue West YorkshireBride and groom on helipad at Pennine Manor Hotel  in Golcar West Yorkshire

wedding confetti at Blenheim House - wedding venue in Batley

Confetti at Blenheim House

bride and groom outside main entrance to Blenheim House in Batley

bride and groom on steps in front of Blenheim House

bride & bridesmaids outside Blenheim House in Batley

touching up makeup inside ladies at Blenheim House Batley wedding venue

Bride touching up her make up inside Ladies at Blenheim House in Batley

wedding party at the Rock Inn near Halifax

wedding party on the steps at the back of the Rock Inn, Holywell, Halifax

wedding venue near Huddersfield and Halifax, The Rock Inn Holywell Green

The Rock Inn at night, wedding venue in Holywell Green near Halifax

The Rock Inn – Holywell Green, Halifax

Bride and groom inside Oulton Hall, wedding venue near Leeds

Bride in old-fashioned wedding dress at Oulton Hall near Leeds

wedding photo in grounds of Oulton Hall by fountain

bride and groom laughing outside entrance to Oulton Hall Hotel

Sikh wedding party outside Oakwood Hall in Bingley

Sikh wedding party outside Oakwood hall wedding venue in Bingley

Wortley Hall Sheffield

wedding party outside Wortley Hall near Sheffield

wortley hall wedding party

bride and bridesmaids at Wortley Hall

Wortley Hall at Night

Steeton Hall wedding venue in West Yorkshire near Keighley

rear view of Steeton Hall near Keighley

bride and groom outside Steeton Hall near Keighley

bride and groom in grounds of Steeton Hall

Front of Steeton Hall during a summer wedding at night

front of Steeton Hall during a wedding at night

return to our main site

2 – Book the photographer – again 12-24 months in advance.  If you want to choose from a variety of wedding photographers use a wedding directory such as , or 4 – Book the wedding car if needing to travel between venues (eg home-church-reception)5 – Book DJ/ musicians/ any entertainers you might like for the dead time between end of meal and start of evening do.6 – Plan your guest list 7 – Get the invitations done – they will need to go out at least 2 -6 months  before the chosen date, as people tend to book their holidays in January/Feb, that’s a good time to start with invitations too, but check with your stationery specialist first, as they tend to be very busy that time of the year too.8 – Fashions  – and more to the point – figures CHANGE – the actual purchase shouldn’t be too soon – about 3 months before the wedding is fine –  or you might be left with a dress you can’t use! See our advice page on choosing wedding dresses here – well what to avoid really! and bridesmaid’s/pageboy’s outfits – Book the florist 10 -Book the hairdresser – particularly if you want their personal services at you place of getting ready (home-hotel etc)11 – If you haven’t already got the wedding rings – don’t forget those as you may need alterations or even a special design making uniquely for you two with your names engraved inside…12 – Buy or make wedding favours and room decorations/seat covers/balloons 13 – Buy  a guest book for guests to sign/put comments in – or a big photo of yourselves which they sign and you frame afterwards 14 – Don’t bother with disposable cameras, as although they might seem a good idea – its mainly the children who use them and even the adults take a load of rubbish  (might be a bit biased here but brides also tell me that too!)15 – Keep all people’s/suppliers  contact numbers in your phone and on a check list so if a supplier fails to turn up when expected on or around your wedding day you can contact them immediately before it is too late – check with them ALL the week before too, so they get a reminder and you have peace of mind. 

return to

Advice for bride and bridegrooms to be: Organising a wedding!

Friday, September 26th, 2008

throwing and catching the wedding bouquet

happy bride and groom say their wedding vows

Bride and bridegrooms to be often don’t know where to start to even work out what they need.  There is a TV series in which the groom is left to organise his bride’s dream wedding, with all her embodied hopes and fears being left entirely up to him – even the dress and makeup!  It usually shows a few surprises, many conflicts and tears, as well as horrendous timing – so everyone gets stressed out –  but in the end it all works out well for everybody.

rainy day wedding picture with bride rushing across the road at night

Well, a good place to start is to ask family and friends who have been there before fairly recently, what they did and what worked well for them.  Then of course there is the Internet and you could of course leave everything to a professional wedding co-ordinator as in another TV program where the trouble-shooter flies in and grants you 3 wishes!

child at wedding evening reception on the dance floor Most couples have neither the budget nor the desire to let someone else run their show, and thoroughly enjoy the year to 2 years of wedding planning, honing it to a fine art: they have checklists, a wedding file with all the research and chosen suppliers written contract/promises with all their contact details.

If you need any help about any aspect of planning your wedding,  just ask us!  If you haven’t already chosen your dream dress ask about that too, as being there with the bride from the hair and make-up stage right through till the First Dance – and beyond, if its a good party – we observe what happens with certain types of dresses and without wishing to spoil anything for you if that aspect is already under control,  I can give you some info about what to avoid – at the very least.

strapless wedding dress is very uncomfortableThis very popular style of dress tends to also be very uncomfortable when worn all day, with many attempted photos being ruined by the constant need to hike the bodice up again when it has slipped unacceptably low – so whether you are a buxom D cup and beyond or a delicate A cup, the problems always tend  to manifest themselves!  It also tends to rub so we often see brides with sore red patches by the end of the day.

avoid strapless wedding dresses as are vewry uncomfortable

This style is so difficult to hold up, that many brides lace themselves in super tightly, which –  besides being very restrictive –  means the photographer is then asked to remove the “second boob” that overhangs the real ones.  There is even a real risk in well-endowed brides of the sheer weight of their assets dragging the dress down, leading to discomfort.

badly fitting strapless wedding dresses strapless wedding dressstrapless wedding dress mistakes, bad wedding dress.

In this last picture, the dress came with straps but the poor bride was in too much of a fluster to listen to me when I warned her that she really did need to attach the straps that came with her strapless. low cut wedding dress.

Weddings are every expensive things  – just feeding all your guests in a marvellous location is obviously the biggest part of that, but then everything else tends to add up, so we try to help you by not asking for much money up front, though we are quite expensive too unfortunately!  Hopefully though you will see it as money well-spent,  as the photos will still be there when your grandchildren and great grandchildren are on the scene: I still have my parents lovely Black an White images that my grandfather – also a wedding photographer – took for them on their wedding day …. 57 years ago! Its very special to be able to see them so young-looking (Dad 25 and Mum 28) even though they themselves sadly are no longer with us.

Even deciding who is to be on the guest list and who is to sit with whom on the table plan, can cause headaches – to allow partners and children or not too…

child running in the dark at Hindu evening wedding ceremony

children making friends at evening wedding reception

Those who have no children of their own are often reluctant to pay for other couple’s children to share their day and risk it turning into a noisy nightmare, wanting an all adult day, but those with a family already wouldn’t dream of  excluding the  children.  Children absolutely love weddings and bar a few interruptions from tiny babies (can’t be helped really…),  add to the atmosphere and rarely cause their parents any problems, as take off with their new-found friends and are usually the first on the dance-floor!

African bride doing her own make up   Build in extra time for getting ready – at least 3 hours and often 4 or more if travelling to a distant church/ venue  or having more than 3 people needing the professional hair an make-up – and brides do get your dress on at least one hour before the ceremony, to give you a safety margin and time for a few pics with your close family before the ceremony.

bride with her Mum in the garden before going to the wedding ceremony

So once you have have all well-planned, delegated as to who is doing what (never try and do it all yourself!) you are going to have a fabulous time – just go with the flow and don’t let any little imperfections spoil your day!

happy Sikh bride dancing with French bridegroom girls dancing at Sikh wedding

wedding fireworks; children with sparklers at evening wedding reception