FAQs and expert advice about photography

Here is a selection of Q&As from Your Sussex Wedding magazine whether it be about flowers, hair and makeup, fashion, wedding themes, health & beauty, cakes, stationery, legal advice. If you would like your question answered by our experts, please email it to editor@your-sussex.wedding




Q. We both love the autumn, which is why we've chosen October to get married! Is there any way to reflect what we love about the season in our wedding photos to give them a twist?

A. Lauren Simpson says: Autumn is my favourite time of year! Definitely take advantage of fall colours surrounding your venue. Changing leaves and autumn foliage will create beautiful, picturesque landscapes.

Have a clear plan with your photographer. During fall, the sun sets earlier, so be sure to make the most of the light. Look up the sunset time in advance to allow you to schedule in time for golden hour portraits where possible. The golden hour creates a gorgeous soft, warm light for portraits and can really enhance the autumnal hues and foliage around you.

Think about the colours of the season and perhaps try to incorporate these warm, rich tones into your colour palette. Deep burgundy, burnt orange, forest greens in floral arrangements, wedding party outfits and tablescapes can really enhance the gorgeous fall tones in your photos. Why not consider adding further subtle touches into the detail of your day, such as fir cones, autumn leaves or even small pumpkins?

This time of year means slightly colder weather, so make sure you and your guests stay warm. Blankets are a great way to keep the chill off during the evening. You could also incorporate a blanket or shawl in an autumnal colour for your couple photos to create that cosy fall feeling.

Lauren Simpson, Lauren Beth Photography


Shot selection

Shot selection

Q. We're clueless when it comes to photography. Is there a list of shots we should ask our photographer to capture?

A. Ami Hammond says: Wedding photography can certainly appear stressful to couples when planning their big day, you don't want to miss out on that perfect shot because you forgot to ask your photographer to capture it. Most professionals will give you the opportunity to have a meeting with them before the big day to discuss the type of images you want. My advice would be to start making a list of your must haves. Have a look on Pinterest or Instagram for some inspiration, and even search your venue's hashtag so you can have a look at what other photographers have come up with.

Many wedding photographers have their favourite staple poses that work well with all couples, but don't be afraid to ask for something they haven't done before – I'm sure they'll be up for a challenge. At the end of the day, this is your big day and these are your photos. They're something you'll look back on for the rest of your life, so you want them to be everything you've ever dreamed of and tell the story of your beautiful day from start to finish.

Ami Hammond, Ami Hammond Weddings


Trick of the light

Trick of the light

Q. Our November wedding is going to be held in the late afternoon so it'll be getting dark by the time our ceremony ends. How will this affect our photography?

A. Stephanie Kalber says: There are a few different options for this depending on how traditional you'd like to be and what style of photography you'd like. If you prefer to use entirely natural or available light, but aren't too worried about seeing each other before the ceremony, then you could always arrange a first look shoot. It will allow you to utilise the light earlier in the day and can give you a chance to steal a few private moments together rather than seeing each other for the first time in front of all of your guests. There are some romantic and intimate examples of first looks online, which will give you an idea — they're very common at American weddings.

If your photographer is happy using additional lighting, off-camera flash etc, then there are some amazing options you can go for in the winter light and darkness. Sparklers are also a fun choice for after-dark portraits. Make sure you look at your preferred photographer's portfolio before booking and ask to see examples of winter or poorly lit weddings.

Don't worry too much though, some of the best sunsets I've ever seen have been at autumn and winter weddings, so just be flexible and let your photographer lead you. Wedding photography at this time of year can be wonderfully dramatic.

Stephanie Kalber, Stephanie Kalber


Picture perfect

Picture perfect

Q. Our venue is gorgeous inside and out. How can we make the most of it with our wedding photos?

A. Sophie Ward says: Planning will be the key here. Make a list of the areas you love and let your photographer know about them in your pre-wedding meeting. List them in order of importance in case you need to prioritise on the day. Think about your chosen style: is it modern, traditional or themed? This will also help your photographer to pick out any idyllic or unusual little corners that best suit your style.

Try to visualise how you want to remember your special day. Do you want couple shots in front of a beautiful old bay window with plenty of natural light streaming in, or walking through the long grass hand in hand with your stunning venue in the background?

Don't worry about the weather spoiling your outdoor shots. Ask your venue in advance if they have wedding umbrellas and bring some colourful wellies with you just in case. There's a great photo opportunity in everything when the venue is gorgeous.

Finally, remember: a good photographer will capture the special moments and places throughout the day without you even realising.

Sophie Ward, Sophie Ward Photography


When the stars come out

When the stars come out

Q. What are your suggestions for creative night-time shots?

A. Fiona Mills says: The first point of call is to look at the environment for slithers of ambient light that can be used to create a scene. During the consultation stage, I get an idea of any themes and styles that can be brought into the image to complement the couple's vibe for the day, and creatively use what's around me to create images to reflect that. In my camera bag, I carry a variety of external light sources that I can use to bring more light into a scene if required, and smoke can also enhance the atmosphere of a darker scene. One of my couples' wedding took the theme of The Walking Dead, so we re-created a car park scene for them using the cars as props and posing of the bridal party to mirror the scene from the series. There's a particular moment as the night draws in called Nautical Dusk, which is the ideal moment to head outside as the sky becomes the most beautiful deep, dark blue. Any later and the sky texture is lost in the black sky. Another firm favourite is the sparkler exit – everyone loves to get those sparklers lit and celebrate the newlyweds as they leave the venue.

Fiona Mills, Fiona Mills Art

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