We get many questions from the bride and groom between the booking date and the wedding date. We thought that this write up may help you with a few of those important wedding day questions!

What type of Photographs do I enjoy taking?

Its been about 15 years now that I have been taking pictures. What started out as an adventure has burst into so many different types of photography - I love capturing people so that is why I shoot weddings, family portraits and really enjoy model photography.

What am I like on the day?

I plan my wedding days with my couples over email and/or a final meeting in advance so that on the day you guys can remain relaxed and enjoy your photographs. If you are having fun, I am having fun and that will reflect in your wedding photographs. My wife Jaimi attends weddings with me as my assistant and together we make an amazing team. Its also nice to have an extra set of eyes on the day and her unexpected snaps that she sometimes steals are awesome.

It has become a common question as to whether I direct you on the day. The answer is YES. Although my style is very relaxed, direction takes the pressure off yourself as the couple especially because 98% of the people who get married have never been in front of a camera in this way before. I will never make you feel weird or moan at you, simple direction and tips to help you along is all that is needed for the look you are going for!

Do we need to be to fed on your wedding day?

After shooting and being on our feet for about 6-8 hours by the time reception happens it is advisable to make sure we taken care of just as any other guest would be. Its a good idea to put us inside the venue at a set supplier table, this is great because it means that we do not have to disturb your guests during their evening but that we are close to the action.

How does travel and accommodation work?

A travel fee is charged for all weddings and most shoots I do. This rate is based on the AA rate and is calculated per km. In some instances when the travel is very far you can arrange with us for a flat rate, this is however charged at my discretion. If your wedding is further than 100km from where I live I will ask that you put myself and Jaimi (or an assistant) up in a nearby B&B or at the venue. This is a smart move because after a long day of shooting at far away venues, the rural roads can be treacherous and sometimes unsafe - accidents and hijackings are a reality in South Africa and we need to be mindful.

How far away will you travel for my wedding?

At this time I have photographed as far is Potchefstroom, Polokwane (Limpopo), Cape Town and even Clarens in South Africa and once I was able to shoot a wedding in New York. Travelling for weddings is exciting. In these instances travel costs and accommodation need to be taken care of by the couple. So lets chat!

Do you interview or make your clients apply to have you as their Photographer?

No. Most of my clients live overseas and book me over email and sometimes Skype. When my clients are local and are able to make a first meeting then we may have a first interview together. It is quite a modern thing to approve a client - I am of the opinion that YOU CHOOSE ME, I will not decline your query because you’re too skinny, too fat, too quirky - I love shooting diverse and happy and in love couples. That is my only preference.

Will you shoot images I show you samples of?

Many couples use Pinterest as a means for inspiration. There is completely nothing wrong with that but please do not ask me to follow a (a) shot list (b) copy another photographers work or (c) inundate your wedding photoshoot with props or cheesy requests. If you choose me, choose me for my style and how I capture the wedding day.

One thing I also do not do is group or table shots during a reception - lets make a plan to ensure a group photo is taken after your ceremony if time/weather permits. Also when it comes to family portraits after the creative shoot - it is usually a good idea to give your MC or family member who knows everyone a detailed this if lists are your style. This is also quite important if there are interesting family dynamics like parental divorces and new partners ;)

How long will you take to edit my Photographs?

It has become a common complaint with many couples online that they have waited over a year for their wedding album. This is not common with my contemporaries in the industry but things do take time. Sometimes photographs can take up to 10 weeks to materialize after your wedding day and this is because I am shooting an average of 4 weddings per month. I refuse to rush my work and would prefer to notify you of some delay instead of blazing through your images just to ensure you get them as soon as possible after the wedding day. Care takes time. Simple.

After downloading your images a process of selecting the best images takes place after which colour editing commences. After your images have been edited they are then designed into an album along with fine editing, this includes converting images to black and white, adding style editing, cropping and some small Photoshop tweaks. The album then gets sent away to the printer after which we have to proof the print and quality. We will then collect the album and get it ready for collection or postage.

Do you have any advice for timing?

In our final meeting or last couple of emails before your special day we will hash out all the timings. Here is a rough guide to helping you plan your photographs:

When it comes to the actual day, the brides hair and make up should be coming to a finish about 2 hours before your service time (if you are close to the ceremony venue). The best light of photographs is either at dawn or just before sunset so ensure that after your ceremony is done, you have walked out the chapel, hugged and kissed 100 guests and had your group photograph that there will still be 2 hours of light before sunset. Usually in KZN, summer weddings can be as late as 3:30pm and in winter it is best to stick to 2/2:30pm for ceremony time.

It is good to note that I do not require more than just over an hour for a creative shoot, unless there is major travel involved (or a game drive for Game Reserve weddings). But this timing allows for well lit family photos as well.

All this info and the recommendations are to help you make well planned decisions that leave you settled and calm on the actual day. Please let me know if I can help you with any more info. Just pop me an email … adrian@adrianshields.co.za.