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Common questions

January 10th, 2012  |  Published in More info

How many photos do you take?

There’s no easy answer to this but we are talking thousands. For the key moments I will be using the cameras in ‘burst mode’ and this racks up the shot count quickly. With true photojournalist or documentary style photography a fraction of a second can make all the difference between a great shot and a OK one. At other times, particularly when using lights, things will be slower. Everything is shot in RAW format so upwards of 50 gigabytes of data is often generated. The editing process typically reduces this down to a few hundred finished images which form the online gallery and are used to produce any albums etc.

Do you shoot in colour or black & white?

Every image is captured in colour. The finished files are also primarily in colour with the occasional B&W when I feel the original image warrants it. The combination of a white wedding dress and black or dark suits often makes great B&W images. If you would like to see a particular image in B&W just ask. Duotones, like sepia, are also possible to create.

Do you work with other photographers at weddings?

Your wedding day is about you and what you want. So the simple answer is yes. I’m used to working in environments with lots of photographers. I have no objections if a family member or guest wants to bring their camera and get involved but my priority is getting the great images you are paying me for. I’ve seen some excellent photography created by wedding guests and some very poor stuff as well. If you are thinking about having a second professional photographer then I’m more than happy to arrange that (for a modest fee). However, asking two different professional wedding photographers to do the same job probably isn’t a good idea without a large amount of pre-planning.

What trade associations are you a member of?

I am a full member of the British Press Photographers Association (BPPA) and The London Photographers Branch (LPB) of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ). Unsurprisingly both are as a result of my press work. I’m also a member of Canon Professional Services (CPS) which offers professional photographers quick repairs and dedicated technical support (just in case).

Why aren’t you a member of SWPP, BIPP, MPA or other organisation with a 3 or 4 letter acronym?

A lot of wedding photographers are but certainly not every professional photographer is a member. The practical support these organisations offer (training, paid for qualifications and lead generation) I either already have or don’t need. I regularly undertake commissions for commercial clients (including portraits) and my press work is judged on a daily basis by newspaper picture editors (who know a good photograph from a bad one) against the thousands taken by Getty, Reuters, Press Association and AFP to name just a few as well as colleagues working at the same agency. Having a few letters after my name wouldn’t make any difference. Being able to take exceptional photos in all conditions does.

What does copyright free mean?

The honest answer is that it doesn’t mean anything. It is a term used by some wedding photographers to simply say that you can do anything you want with the photos taken on the day. I offer exactly the same but call it by the correct name – a royalty free licence. As long as you don’t sell the photographs you can do anything you want with them. Should you really want to own the copyright in your photos then I’m happy to send you some forms to sign. But be warned to do it properly requires dealing with assigning copyrights, waving moral rights, giving indemnities against misuse and granting me a licence for marketing purposes. The licence route is much easier!

Where can I see your press work?

Some wedding related press work, the royal wedding for example, can be seen in either the Latest News or See More Photos sections. Mostly the subject matter is very different and sometimes challenging so I’ve intentionally not included the rest on this site. If you want to take a look, my press site can be seen at http://cliffhide.photoshelter.com/ and the ‘People’ portfolio is worth a look.

What happens if you are ill on the day?

If I really can’t make it, and it would have to be a very serious issue like being hit by a bus, then I would do my utmost to find another photographer for you from a wide network of press, wedding and other experienced professionals. I’m still owed a few favours …

What happens if it rains?

Professional cameras are untroubled by rain. Reflections and guests reacting to the weather can make memorable images. Or we can just move inside and still get some great photographs.

What happens if a camera or other piece of equipment breaks?

I have backups for all key pieces of equipment so you probably won’t even notice.

What equipment do you use?

I use Canon’s EOS system. Currently I have a number of pro-level bodies and various ‘L’ series zoom lenses, covering 16-400mm focal lengths) and a few ‘L’ and non-’L’ primes. Including all the speedlights, remote triggers, tripods, stands and other stuff professional photographers need then the total cost is well into five figures.

What insurance do you have?

This should be a question that you ask any photographer you are considering hiring … I’m fully insured as is my equipment. If you need the exact details and coverage levels then I’m more than happy to provide them.

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