What I Do & How I Do It - FAQ's

Wedding Photographer FAQ

Choosing a wedding photographer can be a minefield, and having been through that process when I got married back in 2012, I understand the challenges you will experience.

What advice do you have for booking a wedding photographer?

My number one piece of advice is to find a photographer who's approach to wedding photography, as well as their style of wedding photography gels with you and what you want from your day. You wouldn't book a jazz band and be disapointed they don't play Reggae, and the same applies with wedding photography and is why I am so transparent about my happy, friendly, informal approach, and the creative photography of the personalities and emotions, not people gurning at the camera, as I want to be booked by the right couple, not just any couple.

So to help here are some of my most common Wedding Photographer FAQ's, plus a few you maybe should ask as well, along with my Lee Hawley Photography answers!

Can we meet before booking you as our wedding photographer?

Absolutely! Ensuring that the wedding photographers personality clicks with you is as important as liking their wedding photography. That’s why I am more than happy to meet before you make your decision. I not try and get away with a Skype call or facetime! If you live within an hour or so radius from my home in Teddington, Gloucestershire. I will come to your home armed with an iPad full of photos. If you are further afield (I have many clients in London and the south coast) I will find a convenient pub or café between our homes to meet instead. If meeting up isn’t convenient for you, then that’s also fine. I am happy to chat on the phone or over Skype to help progress your booking.

How many photographs does each package include?

My Biography & Memoir packages result in around 1000 edited images. This equates to about 20 hours of editing and post production time. Many wedding photographers save themselves time by only delivering 400-500 photos for the same full-day coverage. From day one I believed it was my duty to deliver all photo's that my couples would enjoy having. I pride myself on consistently taking around 1000 great photos per wedding.

 

How long does it take for me to get our Wedding Photographs back?

I have the full wedding photography set available to view online from within as little as 2 weeks. Under 1 month in peak season, but often quicker. This is a huge commitment which I feel is worth the effort as waiting for months just isn't acceptable.

I also produce a dozen or so photos over the night of your wedding for you to wake up to. These have become known as my wedding photography "sneak peeks" and are hugely popular with my couples. Allowing you to update your facebook or Instagram right away, make thank you cards, or have  nice memories to look at during your wedding hangover! Check out the sneak peeks below:

 

 

What is your approach to photographing a wedding?

Every wedding is unique, and that is reflected in the images I deliver to you. I tell your wedding day story creatively and naturally, no standing around for hours having cheesy photos, i blend in like a guest with a camera capturing you and your guests at their most natural. I love to celebrate the joy and light of your day which hopefully shines through the pages of my website.

Just as every wedding is unique, every couple is unique as well. Some happy to play the model, others deeply shy and inexperienced in front of the camera. I work within your comfort zone, never dictating awkward or forced poses, but preferring for you to have a casual stroll together whilst I shoot from a distance, or place you within a beautiful scene simply existing together.

I love working with a couple, from those with bags of ideas that embrace some of my more out-there suggestions, to those who have no idea what they want, but trust me to blow their socks off when they see the photos, often delivered back to them as soon as the week after the wedding!

To be as tranparent as posisble I have also created a number of video diaries so you can see behind the lens! You can see a few belew, or even more here.

 

What deposit and payment terms do you have?

I offer two payment wedding photography plans to try and help as much as possible. You can spread the costs with a 35% deposit -35% six months before the wedding-30% one month before the wedding. Or to make things nice and simple with a 50% deposit -50% one month before the wedding. You can receive my full package and pricing details by filling in the form at the bottom of this page.

What contact can we expect with our Wedding Photographer?

I pride myself on being a very accessible wedding photographer. I am available on the phone or email an unlimited amount of times. We will have a pre wedding consultation a month before the wedding. We will run through the timings and logistics for the day, plus any ideas you are I might have! I am available for a venue tour with you as well should you wish. I also encourage my couples to follow me on Instagram so you can see my latest work. Plus to get a better idea of how I work as a wedding photographer through my Insta Stories!

What sort of edit do you apply to the images?

Where current trends for wedding photographers seem to be for stylish but gloomy wedding photos. I edit to retain the colour, light and the joy of your wedding as you remember it. Check out my galleries page here where you will see each wedding has a unique feel, as each wedding IS unique.

What do I physically get after the wedding?

I provide a stylish photography pack which I like to keep the details of which as a surprise. But you get a USB with all the full resolution images, plus a compressed set to keep on your phone without using all your phones memory. Your full set of images will be on a private page on my website as an easy way to share with friends. Check out the full galleries above from Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter weddings!

How much are your albums?

My albums start from £500 for a 24 page 12" album bespoke designed album. I can work with you to tailor an album to your specific budget or aesthetic requirements. Click here for an example album. Duplicates and smaller 8" copies are cheaper and I can always provide a tailored quote for multiples in a single order. My Memoir package includes the 24 page 12" album as part of the package.

Why are your prices what they are?

OK so this is not a very British question. One more likely this is a question to ask yourself rather than the wedding photographer.

If someone is very cheap, ask yourself why? Will they be using substandard equipment? Do they have the right experience? I occupy the premium end of the market, where people book me because they appreciate the quality of my work. However that doesn't mean me and my competitors shouldn't be providing excellent wedding photography value. For example, do they cut corners by only give you ¼ of the photos they take? Editing images typically takes 2 hours for every hour shooting. So someone providing 500 photos rather than the 1000 I provide is saving themselves around 10 hours of work you are not benefiting from. It also leaves you with 500 of your photos sat on a hard drive you will never see.

There may well be a very valid reason they are cheap or expensive. They could be a talented new starter making their way into the industry. As long as they’re honest about this and you like their photos then it’s a gamble well worth considering as everyone has to start somewhere. They may only do 10 weddings a year and know they will find 10 people a year willing to pay for it.

Who owns the copyright to the photos?

I maintain the copyright to the images, but issue them to you for you to print, share or post online restriction free. The only thing you cannot do is sell them or profit financially from them. This is a wedding photographer industry standard.

Do you also do some more formal family group shots?

Yes absolutely. Although the core and real value in what I do is my creative story telling. I still spend time snapping the family group shots that you would like to get to mark the day. The trick here is my approach in getting these shots efficiently and not losing you loads of time. I have a few tricks I use to get these shots quickly! Everyone has a horror story of being at a wedding with the photographer spending what felt like hours doing group after group. I avoid this at all costs! You can see a few by clicking here

What do other people think?

OK, this is a thinly vailed excuse to point you to my testimonials which you can read here. Obviously every photographer has good testimonials on their page. But I am incredibly proud of the specific details of my service my couples pick up on. These are the things I hold dear and put a lot of effort into achieving.

I also get some great feedback from other suppliers and venues you can see here, here, and here,

Below is a word-cloud of all my reviews, plus the lovely Katrina & Rhys were kind enough to speak on camera!

Do you do engagement photo shoots?

I do, and one is included as part of the Memoir package. A shoot can also be purchased as an extra on any other package for £195. They are a great way to get some experience with me and my camera, plus get some nice photos before the day itself! They are helpful for me as the wedding photographer to get some more exposure to you both and how you interact.

Can you provide a second Wedding Photographer?

Yes, I have several optional extras my couples can upgrade to. One of which is a second wedding photographer for anything from prep and the ceremony, to a full day or a tailored package. Fill in the enquiry form below to get my full brochure and pricelist.

What Wedding Photography equipment do you use?

So you'll find this bit either mind numbingly boring, or you'll be really into it if your a bit of a photographer yourself! I use the very latest Sony mirrorless full-frame cameras. Sony have revolutionised the proffesional camera industry in recent years. Introducing many features hugely benefitial to me as a wedding photographer. Such as completely silent shooting, electronic veiw finder, ability to shoot very high frames per second, eye auto-focus, and all in a camera body a 3rd smaller than a traditional SLR, to name just a few.

Where most wedding photographers continue to be tied to legacy equipment from Canon & Nikkon. I took the plunge last winter fully changing all my cameras and lenses to Sonys system and havent looked back. It's revolutionised how I work. It enables me to be even more ambitious witht he photos I take, and increased how descreat I can be.

I have a complete suit of Sony full frame large aperture lenses. Star highlights and personal favourites being the 70-200 f2.8 G Master, 35mm f1.4 and 85mm f1.4.

I also have a variety of toys up my sleave to use for my more creative shots!

 

Who is the Wedding Photographer behind Lee Hawley Photography?

Lee Hawley Photography is owned and run by little old me. Everything you see on my website, every photo, web page, brochure, leaflet, email or social media post is made by me. This is way more than a wedding photography business. It is an all consuming passion and I want everything you experience with Lee Hawley Photography to be the result of my approach, work ethic and style. Warts and all! I would rather things be a bit quirky but be the real me. I know for every couple that is puts off, another will feel a connection. Resulting in me being the right wedding photographer for the right couple.

I am never not at "work". Email me, and you will get a reply ASAP, often at all hours. In a previous life I worked for well over a decade in construction and building services. Including 3 years on the tools as an electrician. I know what hard work is and what long hours are. I maintain that work ethic and then some as a wedding photographer in my own business Lee Hawley Photography. Often up late into the evening editing your images to stick to the short turn around times I promise, or meeting couples any evening of the week, sometimes in different counties.

The truth is, this isn't really work. I feel immensely privileged to do something I love so much. So it is the least I can do, to give it my all.

What a minefield eh?

I hope this doesn’t sound too scary! My hope is this Wedding Photographer FAQ will give you a handle on what to look out for. It’s a tough decision as you need to be an expert in something you’ve never bought before! Which seems enormously difficult and is why I have such a transparent approach. This works really well for me as it puts off as many people as it attracts meaning the couples who book me are my type of couple and i'm theyre type of photographer. I'd hate to be booked by someone who wants hours of formal photos, so rather than just filling my order book up, I work hard to be booked by the right couples!

I do this because I love it, and I enjoy the day even more working for people who "get me", and also means they enjoy having me around and results in photos of them at their most relaxed and natural.

If you would like to discuss any of this please just drop me an email on enquiries@leehawleyphotography.com or fill in the form below.

2017 Highlights Film

Request a Brochure & Price List

This is not formal wedding photography

I tell your wedding story naturally and creatively. No awkward poses, no saying cheese. My goal is for you to feel like you have a friend as your photographer, and by doing that I capture you at your most you.

I truly invest in my couples, spending time to understand what makes you tick. Even if you don’t really know what you want, in a brief chat over coffee I will understand how best to approach your day, resulting in you being relaxed and able to enjoy your wedding and resulting in a set of images tailored to you.

​To receive my latest brochure and full price list, please complete the simple form . I’d also love to hear a bit about your day! Packages start from £995.

This is not a wedding production line, you will not be added to any mailing lists and I will reply to you in person

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