Choosing the right wedding photographer…
We spoke to Nicki Shea Photography
We recently caught up with Bedfordshire based wedding photographer Nicki, owner of Nicki Shea Photography. We wanted to find about a bit more about what she does, why she does it, and her advice for couples on choosing the right wedding photographer.
‘Thank you for meeting us Nicki! Please tell us a bit about yourself and what you do?’
Absolute pleasure, as always! So I am Nicki, the name and face behind Nicki Shea Photography. I have been photographing weddings for around eight years now and LOVE, LOVE, LOVE them! I have adapted and altered my style over the years and am super happy with where I am at now. I work locally, nationally and worldwide. It’s pretty awesome to be in a job you adore and also travel to new and exciting destinations too!
(Photo by Sharon Cooper Photography)
‘What kind of approach and style do you adopt with your photography?’
FUN all the way! I want my personality to shine through my business, which is why I have matched my branding to ‘me’… quirky, bright and carefree! I get that that doesn’t suit everyone, which is absolutely fine. There are so many photographers out there with so many styles, that we all have our place in the industry. Give me an outdoors, happy go lucky schedule with flamingos and popcorn and I will make the magic happen! In short, I love uniqueness and standing out from the crowd. If you want formal and structured, I’m not your gal!
‘We love working with you at weddings! What do you feel makes you stand out from other photographers?’
Clearly we all have talent (yup, blowing my own trumpet there!) but what makes me stand out from all the others… I take dedication to my job to the next level. Great for the clients, not so much for home life! But that’s how much I truly love my job. I work through till the early hours most days, editing, blogging, submitting weddings, updating social media, admin… the works. I am probably a bit addicted to the computer but it ensures my couples get great responses and a timely turn around on their images.
And as previously mentioned, I don’t shy away from injecting my personality into my work. On the day of the wedding I love to talk to people… getting to know guests enables them to relax more around me and in turn, the pictures are way more natural and fun.
‘Absolutely agree there, we find the same. Being able to chat to guests and get to know each other earlier in the day often makes for a more relaxed and fun evening reception.’
Totally makes sense!
‘Are there any areas of wedding photography that couples might not have thought about, other than the traditional wedding formalities?’
There’s a few things that couples may overlook with regards to photography. First one that springs to mind involves church weddings… very important that couples speak to their priest/vicar/reverend etc. to ensure they allow photographers to photograph throughout the ceremony. Yup, that really is a ‘thing’. Some churches (not all) are extremely strict on photography and will only allow a photographer to photograph the entrance and then nothing from that point onwards. Or may allow photography throughout but only from the back of the church. That’s not the kind of news you want to hear as you arrive at the church, so find out in advance so you don’t have tears of sadness as you walk down the aisle!
‘Wow, did not realise that! Certainly something to consider with a church wedding, that would be a worry.’
Indeed! The second thing that has to be noted is timing. A wedding is a scheduled day, no matter how relaxed it may be. It’s so important to be realistic with how much time you have to play with and how much you want capturing. I’m good with capturing things under pressure but I’m no magician! If you were to only have half an hour between ceremony finishing and the meal starting, then you’d be mistaken if you think you would have group shots, couple shots, candids and room shots in their plenty! This is something I talk through with my couples so I can manage their expectations.
‘As DJs and hosts we work with photographers all the time, how do you go about capturing the entertainment aspect of a wedding reception?’
I like to have a chat with DJ’s before the first dance happens to get an idea of what lighting will be used and confirm we are all working to the same time etc. Generally speaking, I find them super accommodating for the first dance and then I love watching them let loose on the crowd to get the party started. For me, capturing a full on, jumping dance floor is just the best ending to the day! You guys are an absolute dream to work with for sure. I know if I have you two at a wedding, I am going to have some cracking evening shots!
‘Ah you’re too kind!’
‘You must spend quite a bit of time editing photos after a wedding. How much work typically goes into editing afterwards?’
The editing side of things takes longer than capturing the day. I tell my couples that they will receive their images within 6-8 weeks. To clarify, that does not mean that it takes that amount of time to edit their wedding alone. It allows time for uploading, backing up, culling, editing, adding to a personalised gallery etc. and there is never just one wedding waiting for this process. So it enters a queue and is then edited in date order.
‘And you won’t want to be rushing this process either’
Definitely not, it’s so important that this process isn’t rushed. It’s the time when my ‘personal stamp’ is added to the images and it’s your lasting memory of your special day, so it has to be perfect!
‘There are many wedding photographers out there to choose from, what advice would you give couples to help them choose the right one for their big day?’
Talk to them, meet them, get to know them! If you don’t gel with your photographer it will show in your images, honestly! I invite couples into my home to meet with me, get to know me and ask me anything they wish, wedding or non-wedding related, I’m an open book! Recommendations are like gold dust, so speak to friends and family and find out who they used and if were they happy with them from start to finish.
I think it’s important to say that this does not mean a photographer you source yourself isn’t going to be any good! If your working on your own research, make sure you ask all the questions you want. Any photographer should be happy to answer all questions as we have nothing to hide. Feel free to ask to see a full day coverage of a wedding so you know their work is consistent. Check out their reviews… previous clients will be brutally honest, good and bad, so that will be a good insight.
Ultimately, do they feel right? Do you feel at ease with them and think their style fits yours. If yes, then you kinda have your answer right there!
‘A couple have chosen you to photograph their wedding. What one tip would you give them to make them feel at ease about being photographed?’
Don’t over think your day. You have chosen a photographer for their flair and style and talent. Let them loose with their creativeness and allow them to give you the images you booked them for.
For example, it doesn’t make sense to book a photographer for their natural, relaxed style, then give them a list of 50 ‘must have shots’ that you want taken throughout the day. It ties up so much of their time that all those candids fall by the wayside!
You’ve booked a photographer you feel at ease with, that will help on the day for sure. And remember, it’s the day of your dreams, smiles and all that mushy stuff will come naturally. It’ll be amazing!
‘Nicki, thank you so much for taking the time to speak to us. That is some excellent advice, and your passion for your photography really does shine through you.’
‘You are most welcome guys, thank you for having me!’
To found our more about Nicki and her amazing work visit the Nicki Shea Photography website.
(All photos above taken be Nicki unless credited otherwise)