There are some things you should watch for when you shop around for your wedding photographer:

* Booking too fast - Shop around, take your time. Don't ever feel pressured into making a decision on the spot or that day, unless of course you've done your homework and feel very comfortable with your choice. Then nab 'em before it's too late.

 *Read what you are signing - Some vendors use certain tactics to get people to sign a contract. Then they may not follow through on the "verbal" promises made. Unfortunately this makes the entire industry look bad. There is a simple solution. Take your time and read the contract. If your prospective photographer makes a promise, get it in writing.

 * Hire a photographer with a distinctive style and expect different results - You choose a photographer because they will deliver a certain product, a "look". If you like what they offer, then you can be certain you will like the results that they will deliver of your wedding day. It sounds simple, doesn’t it? Many brides cut corners and expect better than expected results from their photographer. Most good photographers offer an engagement session with every wedding package. You could ask to have one done before you actually commit to a full wedding package. That way you get to experience the photographer at work and see the actual results they will produce for you.

 *Obvious signs- smells, clutter, dirty, booze, bad manners. Trust your intuitive side, your instinct. If something is wrong you can bet it is only the tip of the iceberg. Some obvious signs are dirty studios, clutter and disorganized. If they are slobs, what are they like on your wedding day and with your photos after the wedding day? If you smell cigarettes or booze, or the photographer looks to be on drugs, these are all obvious warning signs. Even bad breath can put a damper on things. Bad manners when you come to the studio shopping for a photographer are probably an indication of more to come- on your wedding day and after.

 This all sounds basic and it really is nothing more than using common sense.

 * Look for a photographer that obviously loves doing what they do.

Sadly for too many photographers your wedding is just another ”job". They fail to bring passion and love of the craft into each and every wedding they photograph. Look for someone who radiates passion, and love of the craft. If photographing your wedding is drudgery for them, your photos may be fine, but will they really shine for you the way an artist who is truly passionate about their craft can make them?

 * Experience. Nothing beats it. If your photographer has photographed many weddings and has a strong vibrant reputation in your community, you can rest assured they got there with experience. Outstanding wedding photographers are not taught in school or by acquiring some degree or by winning awards. They get there through experience, just like an airline pilot.

 Some final thoughts

 I hope this helps you make the right decisions about who you are going to hire for your wedding. Good photos will become priceless and one of your most valued and treasured keepsakes. I am adding more to this series on how not to make a mistake when booking a wedding photographer. So keep checking back. Once they are all done I will put them into a single booklet for you.

 Studies have shown that the first item that people take with them In the event of a fire is their wedding photos.

With the advent of digital photography you see many, many more cameras at wedding these days. Seems that everyone is a photographer. However, owning a decent digital does not make anyone a good wedding photographer.

Owning a good camera does not give anyone the ability to compose, to see light and use light effectively. To predict when certain events will unfold and be "at the right place at the right time." There is so much more.

Best of luck and congratulations!

 Robert Bedson

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I recomend that all wedding couples buy "Wedding Insurance". We don't sell it but it easily found on the net. It's very inexpensive £100 will cover a wedding up to £25,000.

Why do I recommend this? Well in these increasingly difficult trading conditions many wedding suppliers are closing and because they are bankrupt people are losing their deposits, booking fees, goods that they have paid for. 

As a Newcastle and Durham wedding photographer I have become aware of several instances - a couple of years ago a   hotel that was very popular with wedding receptions closed and this caused many couples to loose the reception and accommodation that they had paid for, more recently Lonhirst Hall closed with a similar result, lost receptions and no refunds unless the couple can claim off the credit card company, but as many pay with cash they have no recourse.

Plus dress shops closing unexpectedly, photographers disapearing and so on.

My advice is to take out insurance, check that suppliers have their own insurance too, this should include third party and professional indemnity insurance and ask what happens if a supplier is ill.

I am going to put up on my blog here more advice and hints for couples who are just about to spend the most they ever will apart from on their home or car.
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I haven't gone all the way back to 1955, but over the last couple of weeks I have got out my Nikon F4 camera.

This was a top of the range, very expensive camera when it was launched; it cost over £2000 in the nineties, withou a lens. It is auto focus and uses 35mm film.

I cleaned it and found a manual online so I knew what the dozens of buttons did, charged the batteries, obtained a replacement focussing screen and bought a couple of rolls of Kodak Tri-X film.

Opening the film canister took me back in time, the aroma of the film hit my nostrils and that was what took me back in time. I loaded the film and then took it out with me while walking the dog.

I pressed the shutter for the first time and heard the mechanical sound as the film wound on to the next frame. I then looked at the back of the camera and of course there wasn't an image to see - I felt such an idiot! I have to wait to see the results, until the film is finished and it is processed.

Took some more images and then realised that in a few minutes most of the film had gone. This could be expensive.

I then realise that I had to be careful and think more about the process of taking the image; only press the shutter when you are absolutely sure. This is good training and I am going to continue to use this camera, it will help me to maintain my skills as a photographer. In the old days of film a photographer had to know what they were doing, they could not take a hundred images and hope a few are ok, so many of the modern photographers do just that. It is aiding my creative thoughts as no electronic camera can do.

My trip "back to the future" has done me the world of good; back to the days of film and photographers were creative, using the limits of the process creatively, rather than press the shutter and hope.

I still use the techniques of film that I learned in college, we were taught to use tha camera and film creatively. So glad I didn't sell that camera. Now I have just obtained the maens to process the films, back into a darkroom for the first time since 1995.

Now I need a couple who want their wedding photographed on film, any takers?

This entry was posted in creativity, cameras, film by Admin | Leave a Comment

I have been asked if we ever do special offers or discounts.

the answer is, yes we do. To be able to access these you have to sign up to receive our occasional newsletter. There is a sign up link on all pages of the website and also on Facebook, via this link

We never share anyone's details and its very easy to unsubscribe at any time.

We received an endorsement of one of our previous offers from Laura Dixon who married Ross in 2011, they received their photography completely free by winning the draw we held in 2010.

Here is what she says.

"The first time I meet Robert was in 2010 at a wedding fair at the Beamish park hotel, Robert and his daughter Rhiannon were running a competition for Northlights photography to be your photographers at your wedding for FREE!!!

I entered the competition but never thought I would win a few weeks later I received a call from Robert to say I had won the competition I couldn't believe it!!

From start to finish it was an absolute pleasure having Robert and his family sharing our big day. Robert is a true gentleman and the fact he works with his wife Annette and daughter Rhiannon adds something unique and special to there service.

The package we won was fantastic from the pre wedding shoot we got to know Robert better and he got to know us better too which helped us relax a lot more.

Robert kept in contact with us right up to the big day, on the 26th aug 2011 our wedding had arrived. On the morning of our wedding Annette came to photograph me and Robert and his daughter went to my husband Ross, I loved how they did this as from the photos that had been taken a story was told by seeing what both the bride and groom had done on the morning of there wedding.

Robert, Annette and Rhiannon were just fantastic on our big day and so well organised. The weather wasn't the best on the day but the results of the photos were brilliant. I couldn't be happier with our photos and album they are beautiful.

Ross and I would like to say a massive thank you to you all and thank you for the fantastic prize we won.

Laura and Ross"

Click here to see Laura & Ross's pre and wedding images plus their album layouts

We are running the draw again this year, sign up on Facebook to win.
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What to do with the images from a pre-wedding shoot?

We offer a pre-wedding shoot with all of our album packages, its the ideal way to get to know us and to learn to relax in front of the camera. This is the best way for you to get to know us and start to build what we hope will be a great working relationship.

It will be very informal; you will have fun, and get fantastic pictures too. This shoot is included. The shoot lasts up to two hours, and in that time you will relax in front of camera and begin to experience the uniquely intimate nature of the Northlights style.

The shoot can take place at any location within 20 miles of your address. We reserve the right to charge for mileage above 100 miles return from Newcastle (45p per mile).

Some locations charge a fee for entry, eg National Trust, the client is responsible for these charges for both photographers attending the pre-wedding shoot. Occasionally locations require permission to shoot there, eg railway stations, the client is responsible for obtaining such permission.

A signing book is the ideal way to keep your images from the pre wedding shoot.

Your guests can then add their own personal messages during the reception.

All of our couples who have had this option treasure the words and memories conatined within.

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