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A little taste of what we have been up to as international wedding photographers.

All the (not-so) single ladies! Lina and Tom in Vogue Beyoncé issue

Strike a pose – we’re in Vogue!

 

Calling all fashion concious brides, look who was asked to be in “Vogue’s guide to the Top Wedding Photographers” – woo!

So all you  not-so-single ladies, check out the May 2013 Beyoncé cover issue!

 

Lina and Tom wedding photography in Vogue Magazine

Lina and Tom photography in Vogue Magazine

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Having fun in your wedding dress: why you have to let go on the day!

As people who attend weddings for a living, we have obviously seen a lot of weddings. Tom and I have seen all colour combinations, styles and themes. This means we are well placed to  give our clients an idea of what will and won’t work, and I always say to our clients that I am always contactable to talk anything regarding their wedding, not just photography. From being unsure which side of your head your headpiece should go (on the right, if you’re wondering!) to where your DJ’s kit will be better placed in the room, I am always here ready to listen when you have tested the patience of your bridesmaids!

One of the key pieces of advice we will always give however, is regarding your wedding dress. Actually we have two. Firstly it is to try on every style that exists, even if you think you know what you want. One of the most common things we hear from brides is ‘It was completely different to what I though I would go for!’ Even if you know you don’t want the big fairytale dress – try it on anyway! When else will you have the chance to try on a big meringue of a dress – have fun whilst you are looking for the one!

However, my main piece of advice is regarding the actual wearing of your wedding dress on the day. It’s a major piece of advice actually: HAVE FUN AND LET GO! Yes the dress is white/ivory. Yes it probably cost you a month’s wages. Yes it is possibly the most beautiful thing you have ever worn. But you only wear it ONCE. Make the most of your time in it.

If it is pouring with rain, who cares?

If the grass is a bit damp and muddy, who cares?!

Once you are past the ceremony, it’s time for celebrating. As photographers, we would rather work with a bride who is willing to let go and go out and enjoy herself, not worrying about the spec of dirt that ends up on the hem (that’s what Photoshop is for!) because we know we will get amazing wedding photography that shows the couple having the time of their lives. Do you really want to look back on your wedding with regret that you didn’t let go? Or do you want to look back and think wow we had so much fun!

Perfect case in point this weekend was the lovely Rachael. Looking stunning in her full skirted Maggie Sottero dress, unfortunately the weather was not on our side. We postponed taking the couple out into the grounds during the reception drinks of their Easthampstead Park wedding, hoping the rain would settle later on . We even managed to persuade the venue to let us do the confetti shot inside! However, when it came to wanting to photograph our bride and groom later, it was still raining, and harder. Our couple were no strangers to being photographed in terrible weather, the wind and drizzle on their Wells-next-the-Sea pre-wedding shoot challenged their resolve so we had a feeling they may be valiant, and they were!

Agreeing to go out for wedding photos in the rain, at first we used the heart shaped umbrella we used in their pre-shoot, but they were soon persuaded to go for it. The taster of the day just had to be this fantastic shot of Nik swinging Rachael around in the rain, the shot is utter joy and we love it! When we returned inside Rachael’s train was soaked through and the bubble hem dirty but she didn’t care and just look at the result! It was so, so worth it!

 

Fun in your wedding dress - Lina and Tom

 

Even if you have great weather, maybe your venue backs on to woodland – don’t fret over the mud, go in and create gorgeous memories to last a lifetime. Tom and I always try and get new perspectives on venues, and sometimes walking that little bit further can give you beautifully unique wedding photos.

Here’s another big tip: bring different shoes! You’re not going to want to venture far or on grass in your four inch platforms, so bring a different pair of comfy shoes for your photos, particularly easy if you have a full skirt. On Saturday evening, Rachael was heard saying. “I’m so glad I brought my wedges!” So were we!

So please ladies, getting married in the UK means you can’t predict the weather, so what will be will be – whatever you end up with just concentrate on having the best day of your life!

Lina x

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Wells-next-the-Sea Beach Pre Wedding Shoot

Being Cambridge wedding photographers we tend to do a lot of pre-wedding and engagement shoots in the city, which we love as it is beautiful, but it is also wonderful to get out of the city every now and then, and we were excited when Rachael & Nik booked us for their April 2013 Berkshire wedding and told us that the beach at Wells-next-the-Sea was special to them.

Wells-next-the-Sea Beach Pre-Wedding Shoot

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And the BAFTA goes to… the beard! How Grooms can learn from film stars their wedding day grooming

Watched the BAFTAS on Sunday night? We did. My love of the arts and entertainment industry combined with my adoration for Hugh Jackman (Tom understands) meant we settled down for the BAFTA Awards ceremony on TV this year. Very soon we began to notice the beards. It wasn’t just us either, Twitter and the following day’s media became awash with comment about how the great and the good of Hollywood now had beards.

http://www.gq-magazine.co.uk/style/articles/2013-02/11/bafta-beards-mens-grooming-george-clooney-ben-affleck

http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/quiz/2013/feb/11/grammys-baftas-guess-beards-quiz

This makes me very happy. As a beardy-loving lady (on my men that is) it’s great to see lots of facial hair around. I found myself even looking at Ben Affleck in a new light. It got me thinking about our lovely grooms, and the rituals of shaving we see in the morning preparations. Now there will likely be a few ladies (Brides and MOG’s equally) who will disagree with me, but guys, YOU DON’T NEED TO SHAVE FOR YOUR WEDDING!

Now a disclaimer is needed here, by not shave I don’t mean rock up to your wedding looking like you have been asleep for five days, but if you usually sport a trendy smattering of stubble, then keep it. In much the same way people tell women not to lose too much weight for their wedding day as they ‘need to look like them’, so the same should go for the boys!

 

So take a tip from the red carpet boys, the beard is back and looking fab, so  if you usually rock facial hair or your bride-to-be swooned over your sexy stubble when you met, then keep the razor blade in the cupboard on wedding morning.

 

Lina x

 

 

 

 

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Choosing your wedding photographer and how to get the best out of your wedding photos!

For the Knebworth Wedding Show 2013 we were asked by Wedding Link Herts and Cambs to present a seminar to prospective brides and grooms. We decided the best advice we could give would be tips on choosing your wedding photographer and therefore get the best out of your wedding photos. Those of you who know our work will know we are all about making sure the fun you have at your wedding and we capture it – the day goes too quick for you to be standing around in endless photos.

Choosing your Photographer seminar - LinaandTom.com

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Wedding Fairs – Do you really need to go to them?

Ah tis the season for the wedding fair. Or fayre, if you are so inclined. Between September and April us wedding industry folk are usually giving up a few weekends to dedicate ourselves to meeting future clients face to face. A battle ground for the suppliers all fighting to be your chosen one, we get to eye each other up, see who is offering what, and who are the trailblazers in the region. In particular, wedding fairs seem to have more wedding photographers than anything else, and good shows are hard to get into if you have not done them before.

We love doing wedding fairs, which makes us quite different to a lot of suppliers, particularly certain types of wedding photographers (you probably know the types I mean!) We have heard many a grumble about having to give up your Sunday to smile and endlessly talk about weddings. Tom and I love wedding fairs, we really do. We’ve never wholly felt comfortable with the notion of our website being the only shop window to prospective brides and grooms, as wedding photography is such a personal business. It’s so important you like your wedding photographer as a person, not just for their work. We like to tell people, we’re the guests you have to invite!

 

Not for us is the usual table approach at a wedding fair. The first few we were exhibitors at, it never felt right standing behind a table, with people coming forward to just browse our wedding albums whilst they were on the go. It felt like we needed to sit down with people, even if it was only for a few minutes, to give them a true (if quick!) representation of what we do. The Autumn 2011 Wedding Show at Wimpole Hall was our testing ground, run by Wedding Link Herts, Beds and Cambs, this was our first two day wedding spectacular, and there was a best stand competition. So we had a good think about it, how would we like people to view our work, spend more time with us? The result of our thinking was our living room. We wanted prospective clients to be comfortable with us. So we brought our chesterfield chairs, fire surround, hat stand and lamp, as well as various other pieces from our house to make it feel homely. Pieces of our work hung around the stand so couples could hopefully imagine their wedding photos above the fireplace, which was finished by a gorgeous piece of floral design by Cambridgeshire floral designer Nicola Fowler of Mooi Flowers.

We didn’t win the stand prize, but we had some fantastic feedback and found couples and their parents were definitely spending longer with us. Since then, we have never had a standard table at a wedding fair as it just doesn’t feel right. We love sitting with brides and grooms and hearing about their proposals, looking at the engagement ring and hearing about where they are in the process. To be honest, now we’re in 2013, we’re surprised to have not seen anyone copy us yet, but maybe because it’s quite a unique look. Every now and then a bride will say, oh yes I remember you from another show, which is great. It’s lovely to see their growing excitement and great to be helpful with suggestions for venues or other suppliers.

As a bride, a wedding fair can be a brilliant place to get ideas – not just about what you want but also what you don’t want. Good wedding fair organisers will have a good range of each supplier in different styles and different budgets, so it can be a great way for you to decide what is right for you and your wedding. And that really is what it is about. It’s your wedding. Don’t get swept up in the wedding checklist of things that you think you want to have. Not sure about what dress style will suit you? Go and see one of the catwalk shows, most dress shops at the show will be showcasing their dresses on the catwalk, and will show a range of styles.

Wedding fairs are also a good place to get offers. Most suppliers will have a show offer, something like a freebie or money off towards booking. Check their offer though, as it may have an expiry date – as a supplier, a show offer is a good way to get people to book you sooner rather than later. Beware the offers which are labelled ‘if you book today’ though. At a show you are seeing a  limited cross section of suppliers, who in most cases have all paid to be there. Especially beware of any photographers with this offer. No one should be forcing you to make a decision that quickly! It really is important to do your research. If you really love a photographer, by all means email them as soon as you get home, or ask them to pencil you in, but allow yourself the right amount of time to be sure – it’s a big decision!

You can also just treat the show as a good excuse for a fun day out, be it getting excited with your other half, or having a girls day out with your mum and your bridesmaids, most wedding fairs are a lovely way to spend a few hours together.

We spent this weekend at not one but two fairs – well, sort of!  On Saturday and Sunday we exhibited at The Wedding Show Knebworth Park, a fantastic two day show with great catwalks and a seminar schedule. We were honoured and flattered to be asked by Wedding Link to present a seminar in their demo area about photography, and we gave a 20 minute presentation titled How to Choose Your Wedding Photographer and Make Sure You Get the Best Out of Your Photos! Both session were busy and we were delighted to hear many Brides and Grooms tell us we gave them food for thought, which is exactly what we wanted to achieve. There is a lot to consider when it comes to your wedding photos, and we wanted to help them make informed choices. Again, our ‘living room’ concept stand went down well and we thank everyone who joined us on the Love Seat!

LinaandTom-KnebworthWedding Show-Stand2012

Knebworth_Jan2013_ShowGuideDemo

 

On Sunday we should have been part of the second Hotel du Vin Cambridge Wedding Fair, an intimate exhibition featuring only the hotel’s recommended suppliers. As recommended photographer to Hotel du Vin Cambridge we are honoured to have a space in their fair, and after a great wedding fair in September 2012, unfortunately we found ourselves double booked with Knebworth for the January date. So we entrusted former clients and good friends of ours Aimee and Sam to cover the show for us, as we felt it would be great for couples to hear first hand from clients who had booked our services. They tell us Hotel du Vin had a great day and they were talking non-stop – so we can’t wait to catch up with some of the fabulous-sounding couples they met! Thanks to the lovely ladies at the hotel for looking after them.

 

So if you are unsure about going to a wedding fair, I’d say go. Even if you think you want a small relaxed affair, have a wonder around to get some ideas. Sometimes seeing colours together or certain flowers can stoke your imagination, without you feeling that you have to have certain things and book certain people on your wedding day. Getting married is an exciting time, so go on, indulge yourself a little!

Lina x

Ps… apologies for some of the grainy phone pictures on here, but we don’t usually have time at a fair to get our cameras out! Thanks to Wedding Link for the snap of us doing our seminar.

You can come see Lina and Tom at Liquid Photo, Hertfordshire Wedding Photographers, next at the following wedding fairs:

 

Letchworth Hall Hotel, Sunday 17th February 2013

Hatfield House, Sunday 19th May 2013

 

 

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BHF – Cam to Coast 2012

Tom completed the BHF Cam to Coast ride in under 5 hours!

What started out as a cold and misty morning, turned into a beautiful sunny spring day (resulting in a touch of sun burn!)

Averaging 14.98mph (was aiming for 15mph) over the 75 miles and ending up as a collapsed mess on the floor, I did manage a quick track stand over the finish line for extra cool points!

I finished somewhere between 20/30th place, not that it was a race and also had several nice comments from fellow riders (on a sensible bikes with gears)

“Heroic effort” “Brave” & “Mad man”

It was all worth the effort tho, as I raised over £400 (inc gift aid) for the BHF!

Thank you to all who sponsored me!!

Will get that extra .02mph next time!!

You can still sponsor me here

 

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Our ‘The Last Supper’ Stag Do Photography featured on Staggered today!

We are absolutely delighted that Groom-aimed Wedding Blog Staggered has decided to feature our stag do image of The Last Supper today! You can read all about our involvement and first hand accounts from the Groom, Best Man and Usher about the process.

We are very proud of this piece of work and would love to be further challenged with Hen and Stag do’s – consider photography as part of your party! Maybe you want to recreate your favourite album cover? Ladies, consider yourselves as Britain’s Next Top Model finalists??

You can see the blog post at http://www.iamstaggered.com/competitions/stag-do-tales-the-last-supper – please do leave us a comment and share with your friends!

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Why should you book a professional wedding photographer?

If you read the wedding blog Rock n Roll Bride, you’ll know that Kat Williams tries to tackle key issues that come up in our industry, and the controversial subject of pricing when it comes to photography is no new subject for her. However, we feel a response of our own was necessary to this week’s post “Should I Book a Professional Wedding Photographer or Get a Friend to do it for Free: A Cautionary tale, which you can read here

The post is from a woman who asked her friend, a car photographer, to do her wedding photography with disastrous consequences. The wedding photos are some of the worst we have ever seen. It’s a very honest account, with her admitting she should have offered more support, such as visiting the venue and checking he had the right equipment for the job.

We receive many enquiries from Brides who tell us they love our work, but have to ‘warn’ us that their partners don’t feel they should have a professional photographer, usually as they know someone who has a good camera and takes great pictures. I should point out we started by taking wedding photos for two sets of friends, as we knew we wanted to be wedding photographers, but our only experience was a couple of family weddings. The difference here though is that we knew we wanted to specialise in weddings, so we made a point of visiting the venue beforehand to check lighting and space, and obtain any equipment we didn’t already have, as well as find out the couple’s expectations and group photo requirements. From those images and some great testimonials we acquired our first clients which was over three years ago and we haven’t looked back – we absolutely love photographing weddings!

But what is the difference between us, back then, and you asking your friend to photograph your wedding? Here are a few things we advise you to bear in mind when making the decision:

● Shooting a wedding is a pressured environment, things are moving constantly. How would you feel if your friend missed a key moment?

● Do you have any concerns about your friend enjoying themselves? If they are nervous they may not be able to fully relax and enjoy your wedding day.

● Your friend may take lovely pictures when you are on a night out or be able to take nice headshots in the day, but how would they cope with lighting changes such as if it rains and goes gloomy, or you step out of your ceremony in to really bright sunshine? What if your ceremony is performed with the two of you standing in front of a window? This is a tricky exposure that requires a certain level of technical ability.

● We were told a story once about a bride’s friend who was taking the photos during the day but still enjoyed themselves to the point of getting very drunk, so they don’t have any wedding photos post-meal. Would you be able to set the right expectations with your friend or family member?

● As experienced wedding photographers we are ready for most occurrences and can work quickly to change plans if things go a bit awry. This is because we are no longer fazed by weddings, we thrive on the pressure and thrill of getting those moments you will treasure forever.

● Possibly the biggest thing to consider, how will you feel if your friend does not manage to provide you with beautiful wedding photography, if it’s not quite right? This could tear a friendship apart as it unfortunately did for the writer of the Rock n Roll Bride blog post.

If budget is tight try and think about the priorities throughout your wedding and beyond.  Your wedding photography is one of the only tangible things that lasts from your wedding so we would recommend it has the next biggest part of the budget after the reception venue and food. The wedding day itself will pass in a whirlwind and even on return of your honeymoon you will find the details are hazy and your beautifully vibrant wedding photography will ensure the memories come flooding back forever.

From experience we know all the wonderful things that can happen on a wedding day. We can truly capture the emotion of the ceremony when mum begins to wipe the tears from her eye and working in tandem we can capture the moments you won’t even know are happening, a lovely surprise for you when you look back at your wedding photography. Another key aspect of the way we work is that we also know how to blend in and not get in the way, in fact, many of our clients have commented it was like having friends photographing the wedding, so we can be your happy medium! Poor photography really can mean that the lasting memories of your special day are of disappointment not joy, so think clearly about the decisions you make, whether it be for a friend or professional.

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Jeremy Vine show on BBC Radio 2 today – Wedding Photography Stories. Why you should do your research!

Did anyone catch the Jeremy Vine show today? There was a really interesting discussion about wedding photographers, particularly homing in on one wedding photographer who has a fair amount of disgruntled customers. One thing that immediately struck us though, was that this guy was charging £350 to do the photography AND a video. The photography is of very poor quality, and by the sound of the complaints he was also unprofessional. Surely the old saying comes in here – you get what you pay for!

The programme features highly regarded wedding planner Sarah Haywood who is very refreshing in her advice!

When hearing about quotes from other couples, or seeing a wedding photographer’s pricing, we are usually very wary of anyone who says they can shoot a whole day wedding for under £1000. Producing beautiful wedding photography is anything but a one day job, we put hours into the processing of every individual photo to make sure it is an accurate respresentation of your wedding day and brings back the memories at a glance.  We’ve blogged before about the pricing of wedding photography, and would suggest any couple looking at wedding photography considers the following:

– A good set-up costs money. You should expect any professional wedding photographer to have professional digital SLR cameras, which cost over £1500 for the body alone, bearing in mind this will need updating every few years. Add another few thousand pounds worth of lenses and that’s just the basics.

– Look at much more than the portfolio on their website. The portfolio is considered the best of the best, but ask to see a whole real wedding so you can see the standard across a whole day. We keep our wedding galleries open to the public, not only to allows guests and friends easy access to the wedding photos, but also to show prospective clients our high standard across the day. If we have the pleasure of meeting you we will show you a real wedding album that we created for a previous client.

– Meet your photographer socially. We will never invite you to our home or office, not because we don’t want to, but because we don’t want to make you feel like you are getting the big sales pitch. We prefer to meet our prospective wedding couples in a nice pub or coffee shop, so you can see if we are people you would like hanging around your wedding – after all, we’re essentially your most important guests that day. Don’t settle for someone you aren’t sure about, the last thing you need to be worrying about on your big day is having someone you don’t really like at your wedding!

– Break down the quote they give you. They will incur an expense visiting your venue before the wedding, then will have to travel on the day, shoot for however many hours, then sit and process your wedding photography throughout a good week or so, upload it to their website, create disks, design and pay for albums….. If you’ve been quoted £500 for all that, ask yourself how much time they will really be spending on the most precious photographs you are likely to own in your life….

– It will be tempting to ask your cousin with the good SLR camera to do your wedding photography, but do think again. If they are a guest, chances are you’ll get pictures of the day and nothing after the meal once he’s had a few drinks. More importantly, being a professional wedding photographer is more than just having the right equipment. We know the moments, the shots you’ll treasure, we can pre-empt the way the day will go and are experienced enough to deal with the pace of the day and when things don’t quite go to plan. We will have planned  wet weather options and be able to change the schedule in a moment to suit what happens in the day, because your wedding photography is our passion, our business. We really do love weddings!

Your wedding photography is the only real thing that lasts from your wedding day. You may keep your dress but even that is unlikley to be worn again. Do consider this when setting your budget, as you can’t underestimate how important your wedding photos will be to you in the years to come.

You can listen again to the discussion here for the next 7 days.

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