frequently asked questions
got a question about wedding photography?
Choosing a wedding photographer can be a long and confusing process – after all, it’s not a service that you book every day. That’s why I’ve created this section of the website, to answer as many of the questions as possible that I’m regularly asked by prospective wedding clients.
If your particular question isn’t below, don’t worry – just get in touch as I’ll be delighted to answer any query you might have, large or small. It’s vital that you choose the right photographer for your wedding day, so it’s important to me that you get all the information you need to make the right choice.
You can also read more information on pricing and packages by visiting the investment page of the website, as well as finding out more about my style of wedding photography over on the approach page.
CAN I MEET YOU BEFORE WE BOOK OUR WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY?
I actively encourage us to chat before you book, so that you can get to know me a little and feel confident that you’re making the right choice for your wedding photographer. Normally this takes place via Skype or FaceTime, as my clients are all over the UK as well as internationally, but you are also welcome to visit me in Dorset if you prefer.
DO YOU PHOTOGRAPH WEDDINGS IN BLACK AND WHITE, OR COLOUR?
I shoot all weddings in RAW format, which means that I can individually assess and edit each image after the wedding to create the best colour format without any loss in quality. I normally like to present a wedding in primarily black and white images, combined with a classic colour treatment, but if you have any preferences I’ll of course work to your requirements.
YOU'RE BASED IN DORSET - DO YOU PHOTOGRAPH WEDDINGS IN OTHER AREAS?
Of course! I firmly believe that you should choose your wedding photographer on suitability, not on proximity to your wedding venue. I’m delighted to photograph your wedding, no matter where you’re holding your celebration. As I’m based in North Dorset, the counties of Somerset, Hampshire and Wiltshire are all quickly accessible to me.
If you’re in the South or South West of England, mileage and travel charges are normally included in the wedding collection costs. If you’re further away, I’ll provide you with a quotation for travel and accommodation costs where appropriate, before you book your wedding photography.
DO YOU SHOOT INTERNATIONAL WEDDINGS?
I cover international weddings with pleasure. Please contact me for a bespoke quotation based on your wedding location and the length of time required for the trip.
WHAT IS YOUR WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY STYLE? AND DO YOU SHOOT FORMAL GROUPS?
I’m primarily a reportage or documentary wedding photographer (also known as photojournalism), which means I discreetly photograph your wedding day as it unfolds with the absolute minimum of interference. This is, I believe, the best approach to modern wedding photography, as it enables me to capture the true essence of your wedding day whilst you have the benefit of enjoying your celebrations with your family and friends without undue interruptions.
Of course, many weddings still require some ‘formal’ group shots or lineups, but I encourage my clients to keep these to a short list for the comfort of their guests. The documentary wedding photography I take throughout the rest of the day ensures that there are plenty of images of your guests and family and takes away the necessity for traditional group shots.
As for couples’ wedding portraits, if these are required then we plan these beforehand to ensure that whilst I have plenty of opportunity to take a varied selection of beautiful images, we don’t keep you away from your guests for too long. I often find that two short sessions of couples’ photography (one in the afternoon, one in the evening) works really well as it keeps things short and sweet for my clients, as well as giving you the benefit of a variety of different looks to your portrait shots.
HOW DO I RECEIVE MY WEDDING IMAGES?
Your images will be provided first of all, fully edited and finished, in screen resolution on a permanent, password protected web gallery, which remains online permanently for you and your guests to enjoy. Then, when you request it, your luxury USB package will be sent out to an address of your choice, with all your high resolution, unwatermarked images from your wedding day for you to keep.
HOW DO YOU PREPARE FOR OUR WEDDING DAY?
I actively encourage you to keep in touch during your wedding planning period, to ask any questions you may have, such as advice on timings, or recommendations for other suppliers. I’ll also arrange a pre wedding consultation prior to the wedding day, which is normally held via Skype or FaceTime to suit your busy schedule. This is our opportunity to go through the entire wedding plan in detail so that I can work wholly efficiently and to your brief on the wedding day, as well as to discuss your individual requirements for things such as the style of portraiture you would like and to address any queries you might have. I send out a detailed online questionnaire to you prior to the consultation for you to fill in at your leisure, so that I can prepare fully for the meeting.
CAN I MAKE MY OWN PRINTS FROM MY WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHS?
Absolutely – every wedding collection includes a USB with all your high resolution digital images, with which you also receive a print licence which enables you to print and share your images in their original format for as long as you wish. All images on USBs are presented in full print resolution and unwatermarked for this purpose. Of course, if you wish to buy prints from me, this service is automatically available to you and your guests via your web gallery, using the finest professional print labs.
MOST OF THE COLLECTIONS INCLUDE TEN HOURS WEDDING COVERAGE. WHAT IF WE NEED MORE?
No problem – choose your preferred wedding collection, then just ask for a quotation for the additional hours you need.. I also fully appreciate that you might not know you need additional coverage until the wedding day itself, so you can always ask me to stay later on the day if required and we can arrange additional payment after the wedding day.
WHAT IF WE DON'T NEED TEN HOURS COVERAGE?
Most of the wedding collections include up to ten hours of photographic attendance, as from experience I’ve found that this is the ‘sweet spot’ that suits most weddings, enabling me to cover bridal prep up to first dance and a little beyond. However, I’ve also found that a few weddings don’t require as much coverage, so that’s why the Hardy Collection offers up to seven hours photographic attendance – perfect for midweek weddings or more intimate gatherings.
DO YOU SHOOT WEDDINGS ALONE OR WITH A SECOND PHOTOGRAPHER?
The majority of my weddings are shot by myself alone, to create consistency in style and quality. I may sometimes use the service of a trusted assistant who works alongside me on the day to assist with lighting & equipment where required.
If two photographers are requested by a client I will engage a highly skilled professional wedding photographer to work alongside me, who I know well and trust and whose work is of a complementary style to my own. All images are then edited by myself for total singularity of vision and overall look. The second photographer will have the same start and finish times on the day as myself.
ARE YOU A PROFESSIONAL WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER?
Absolutely. Photography is my full time professional occupation and has been for over ten years, Your wedding is my absolute priority and as such I take on a limited number of wedding bookings per year to ensure that I have plenty of time to devote to the preparation, shooting and editing of your wedding, as well as creating a great working client relationship.
WE WISH TO KEEP OUR WEDDING IMAGES PRIVATE. IS THAT A PROBLEM?
I entirely appreciate that whilst most people love to share their wedding day images with friends, family and the wider world, in some instances I know that the client prefers or indeed requires total privacy – whether that’s for personal or professional reasons. Please feel welcome to discuss this with me so that I can fully understand your requirements and provide you with a precise offering to suit your individual needs. Privacy of your wedding images, when required, is hugely important to me and I’ll be happy to work to your brief.
IS YOUR WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY BUSINESS INSURED?
Absolutely. I am fully insured for both public liability and public indemnity purposes, worldwide. I use the highest quality professional digital photographic equipment together with a variety of different high specification lighting equipment, which together help create my signature style. I also carry full backup sets and all my cameras shoot to two memory cards to avoid the risk of data loss.
HOW DO I BOOK YOU AS OUR WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER?
Bookings are confirmed only by the return of a signed online contract and a cleared booking retainer of £500, which is payable via bank transfer or card. I’m afraid that due to demand, I cannot hold dates without a confirmed booking.
Thank you for being such a wonderful photographer. We’re really pleased with the photos and can’t wait to show them to our friends and family.
I often find that when you have an amazing experience it is difficult to capture it in a photo. So, thank you for being able to do this for us on our wedding day. Every time we look at our pictures we are taken right back to that day at Maunsel House enjoying the best day of our lives. It’s taken me weeks to decide which photo to choose for our thank you cards, so I have no idea how long it will be before we choose our photos for our wedding album! We loved having you there on the day; you blended in like a friend which is exactly what we wanted.
I really, truly couldn’t have picked a more wonderful photographer to capture our special day. Thank you again, so much Belinda xAmber & Jamie
Dorset Wedding Photographer
Belinda McCarthy Photography Ltd.
The Stables Portraiture Studio, Shillingstone House, Shillingstone, Dorset DT11 0RZ
Find Belinda McCarthy Photography on Google Maps
Company Registration Number 9551009, registered in England & Wales.