Choosing your photographer is a big job to tick off the wedding checklist. It’s a very personal decision, with each photographers style being so different. We sit down with Andrew Leo, one of our favourite wedding photographers, to discuss the all-important elements you should consider to ensure you capture your dream wedding photos – that you will cherish forever.
Andrew Leo is best known for capturing beautiful natural shots and portraying the party atmosphere at weddings, in the most fun way.
When should book your wedding photographer?
As soon as you have a date, but I’d suggest looking round before that to create a shortlist. Some people leave it super late and I do admire that laid back approach but if the photographer you want has a unique style they’ll probably be booked up. Unless it’s out of season or during the week.
What advice would you give couples in advance of their big day?
The atmosphere feeds down from you so just make sure you’re having a brilliant time and let go of any worries. Remember that if you get all your best mates and family together and just stand in a field it will be brilliant. So you’re just adding bits to that basic idea. I hear people getting really stressed about tiny little details that 75% of the guests won’t even notice. I’ve shot weddings in local pubs that have been incredible and some in stunning luxury venues where the guests are almost scared to let loose. It’s not a show it’s a celebration.
Let’s talk ‘shotlists’ – are they essential?
For me definitely not, but it depends on how your photographer likes to work. I want to capture the natural emotion of the day so the more things that are set up, the less that comes across. I do a few family group shots as the older generations do still like to have those photos but keep it to a minimum as it will eat into a really nice part of your day.
What is the best part of the day in your opinion?
I personally like the part after the ceremony as the nerves are gone and you’ll be saying hello to lot’s of people who you might not have seen for a while. The whole day is really positive, it’s a big reunion.
Any tips to make sure the day runs a little more smoothly?
Obviously you need to keep to a fairly strict time around eating but I would say try and keep it fairly loose if possible, you don’t want to be looking at your watch all day. It’s really not that big a deal to cut a cake an hour late!
If couple’s are uncomfortable having their photo taken, how can they prepare?
I always arrive early for the getting ready shots just so you are used to me buzzing around and snapping by the time the ceremony happens. I don’t like posed shots so the best thing to do is ignore me, and be yourself. After an hour or so you won’t even notice I’m there. I might ask you to do a few little things but natural is the one for me.
Do you shoot digitally or with film?
I shoot digital mainly because I can see exactly what I’m shooting right there and then. I need to capture lots of split second moments which mean taking lots of shots, I don’t have to think about how much film I’ve got and if it might run out. Hats off to anyone who shoots film, it can look beautiful but I couldn’t handle the anxiety levels waiting for it to be processed.
How long do couples generally have to wait for their photos?
I’ll always be honest with my couples, it depends on the time of year and how busy I am at that point, it can be anything between a week and a couple of months.
Finally, your favourite wedding of all time to shoot?
I have a lot of favourites but I think the most interesting has to be Sierra Leone. I spent a week there and it was incredible, very out of my comfort zone to start with but day by day enjoyed the place and the people more and more. That came from shooting a wedding of an accountant and a lawyer in Liverpool St, London. Another thing I love about weddings, anyone from any background could be in the room. Others I really loved shooting include weddings in Hydra, Palm Springs, South of France, Majorca, Scotland, Dorset and tons in London.
To see more of Andrew Leo’s work visit: www.leoweddings.com/
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