Hello again and welcome to the week! If photography is currently occupying your thoughts, then this is the feature for you. Today, I’m so happy to welcome Christian and Annie from Olliver Photography back to Love My Dress.
This fab husband and wife team are sharing their tips and advice on all things from choosing your photographer to confetti shots and couples portraits. Bookmark this feature because it’s absolutely jam-packed with essential info. However, before we jump right into, let me take a moment to introduce you to Olliver Photography. Based in East London, Christian and Annie have been shooting weddings for over a decade now and I just love their style and their ethos. When I first wrote about Olliver Photography here on Love My Dress, Annie said that their aim is “…simply to provide you with an everlasting record of your day that you’re really proud to show off.”
Their style is mainly reportage with a sprinkling of posed shots and each wedding gives a really complete record of your day – all those small details and those not-to-be-missed moments will all be there. As well as appreciated Christian and Annie’s work, you’ll also love the way they put you totally at your ease and make the whole photography process utterly brilliant.
Obviously, with more than ten years of weddings behind them, Christian and Annie are pretty much wedding photography gurus and here we go with their advice. First up, let’s hear from them about choosing your photographer.
Get to know your photographer
“There are many many practical things that you must think about when choosing your photographer, some of which we can offer some advice on, but the most important thing is definitely whether or not you just ‘click’. It’s soooooo important that you get on well as the photographer will be there at your most intimate moments and will be around all your friends and family. With that in mind, we’d recommend that you at least chat on the phone or Skype with your photographer, just so you get a feel for them. Trust your instinct.”
What’s their style?
“Obviously, their style is hugely important but you’ll already have narrowed down your shortlist to those images that you feel drawn to. Are they more natural images like ours or a bit more posey? It can be confusing but don’t be put off by weather photographers describe their work as fine art, documentary, modern, whatever hashtag they’re using, just be led by your heart. Which images appeal to you?”
Your engagement shoot
“Obviously, the package that your prospective photographer is offering is important. We recently decided to change up our package for the coming season to include an engagement shoot for every new couple. We’d noticed the huge benefit to couples who had already had a shoot as an ‘extra’ with us, who felt much more relaxed on the day, and it showed through their images. They are a great opportunity to get some practice in front of the camera and feel at ease on your wedding day. No daunting photography nerves at all.”
“An engagement shoot also provides you with some gorgeous images as a record of this special time to look back on. Think a summery stroll down the canal, a wander through your local bustling market or a wintry walk in the park with a coffee. We would highly recommend having a go.”
With your photographer booked, let’s move on to the wedding day itself…
“It is well worth thinking about whether or not you’d like your photographer to join you for part of the time you are getting ready- our favourite part of the day to photograph by far. The atmosphere in the room swings between intense emotion and nerves to fun and laughter. It’s such an intimate time. Watching the bride surrounded by her closest friends and family provides inspiration for some really poignant images. We love how both bride and groom preparations can contribute to the narrative of your day. Do give some serious thought to some of the finer details if you can, like no fluffy unflattering bathrobes….!”
“Group shots are something that we get asked about a lot. They are a little bit ‘marmite’ for some photographers. Some hardcore reportage photographers refuse to do them at all, while other more traditional types spend an age setting up the shots, backdrops and yelling at your guests. We sit firmly on the fence, believing that group shots, especially family ones are actually a crucial record of those important people, a moment in time. Who knows when you will all get together again and let’s be honest, your Granny will definitely want one of you and your cousins on her mantle.”
“Having said that, we also very firmly believe that these should not take long; your wedding is for you to enjoy, you do not want to be standing for an hour waiting for the photographer to get them set up, yawn. They also shouldn’t be too formal and stuffy. You don’t all need to stand in a line feeling awkward. Group shots can be quick, relaxed and informal without a side of cheese. We advise 10 combinations maximum, and get them over and done with pain free.”
“We adore confetti shots. They are guaranteed to make both of you smile naturally and give your guests a chance to get involved in the day. Do get your own pretty confetti organized beforehand and make it someone’s job to hand it out. Be prepared to pick it out of your hair and dress too.”
“Again, not everyone is into having a marathon portrait session when you could be enjoying your canapes and catching up with guests but you probably would like some images of you and your love on this special day. Nothing too posey or awkward but something that captures the two of you taking some time out and celebrating the fact that you have done it. You are married! Our dream is to grab our couples for 15 minutes after your ceremony and then do a second quick session later in the evening to capture the sunset or beautiful golden hour light. By the evening you are normally super relaxed and happy to grab 10 minutes away from the crowd.”
“We’d recommend asking your photographer their thoughts on two quick sessions rather than one longer session, especially in summer as you will need time to relax and cool down. We love our couple portraits to reflect the informal atmosphere of our photography yet capture the poignancy of your day. It’s all about the balance.”
Details vs People
“Have a chat with your photographer to make sure they prioritise getting those shots of your hard work and thought that has gone into your centrepieces, table places and everything else but make sure it’s not at the expense of those lovely informal images of people. Your family and friends truly are the most important and as time and style fades, you’ll be looking back at those shots of people forever. A laugh, a smile, a hug or hand squeeze, they are the most poignant images by far and they’ll mean a lot. Small moments that make a story.”
“Lastly, enjoy your day, it will shine through the camera. Be you.”
Wow! So much brilliant advice right there! A huge thank you to Christian and Annie for their input, this feature is a mini wedding photography masterclass.
Olliver Photography are offering an exclusive discount to all Love My Dress readers – book a full day package with them and receive a rather lovely £250 off their published price. All you need to do to receive your discount is mention Love My Dress when you enquire.
For more information on Olliver Photography, just take a look at their website for all the details (and lots of beautiful images) or get in touch to check their availability for your wedding date.