Weddings & Videography

Thank you for thinking of me for your weddings – I love shooting weddings! and can offer wedding photography | wedding videography.

ArtbyClaire Photography & The Filmers @Sopwell House

Since covid I have adapted my wedding packages to include smaller hourly weddings.

I am recommended by some of the top venues in Hertfordshire.

I am a full time photographer.

I’ve been a wedding photographer for over 20 years.

All shoots include unlimited hi res (edited) digital photos and a beautiful online gallery perfect for sharing with friends and family where everyone can download digital images for free!

Option to purchase prints and canvas online.

Wedding Photography Packages from one – 9 hours – From £300 – £1499

Wedding Videography available with 8/9 hour wedding packages – Add £1500.

Wedding Albums available. Add £350.

Wedding FAQ

Your guide to choosing your Wedding Photographer

I get asked a lot of questions about being a Wedding Photographer and I think I’ve pretty much got it covered by now – but here you go – everything you ever wanted to know.

Are you a full time Wedding Photographer?

Yes. I have been a photographer for 20 years and this is my full time career.

That’s really important to establish and separates me from people who offer wedding photography as a part time job.

Focusing on weddings means I offer a much more cohesive and professional wedding shoot and my expertise over the years comes into practice.

I photograph approximately 30 a year.

What would you say your talent as a photographer is?

Being a wedding Photographer is not just about taking photos on the day. It is about liaising, planning ahead, getting to know the couple and having an instinct about what will work.

I make sure things run on time, and liaise with the vicar, registrars, videographers, wedding coordinator, the DJ’s, the toastmaster, and ensure it all goes to plan.

I adapt our photo plans if the heavens should open or the sun suddenly blasts down – we always need a contingency plan! The best photographers will be inventive, creative and work very hard to get you the very best photos on the day despite the weather – to a good photographer bad weather can even be an opportunity to get more creative.

I keep an eye on your outfit, your makeup, your hair, your dress. I get rid of unwanted flies under the veil and have plasters in case you get a blister, I also fan your dress out when your bridesmaid has gone awol. I liaise with stressed and emotional parents, and take it upon myself to look after them!

I work tirelessly behind the scenes so you don’t have to.  Mostly you will have no idea of the lengths I will go to!

Good photographers are also therapists and your shoulder to lean on for support.

And a top photographer will do all this for and more which is why it pays to invest in a professional photographer who delivers not only beautiful photos but knows how to orchestrate your family, the venue, your friends and bring it all together creating stunning photos at the end of the your wedding day.

That’s why being a wedding photographer is not just about taking photos.

Lots of people can take photos but it takes huge PR skills to be a brilliant all round photographer too.

What is your style of Wedding Photography?

I come from a creative arts background and there are two approaches I take to your photography.

The simpler, more luxurious and styled the background  the more of a ‘fine art’ photographic approach can be taken – think beautiful still life paintings.    If your wedding is chaotic, fun and a riot of colour then your photos will be more ‘documentary’ fly on the wall approach.   This is where most weddings will comfortably sit.  However there is often an overlap and mingling of the two styles when creating your Wedding story.

I am known for using magical digital techniques and applying them to a few stand out images of the two of you to make something stunning, unique & dramatic for your walls.

The rest of your edited photos are fun, and sensitively done without any wizardry.

Can I create a bespoke Wedding Package?

I will tailor make your wedding for you according to your specific requirements. Just let me know your ceremony time and we will take it from there.  I work closely with you to make sure everything runs to plan down to the last hour.

How many hours will I need?

As a general rule of thumb the earlier your ceremony is in the day the more photographic hours required to include Bridal Prep to First Dance. The average length of wedding photography for Bridal Prep to First Dance is up to 9 hours.

Do you provide all the hi res digital photos?

Absolutely – the edited photos are yours to keep without the watermark.

Do I received unedited raw photos?

No all photos are edited and deleted where appropriate – only the edited photos are presented to you on a USB stick without watermark.   I liken it to making a movie – you wouldn’t expect an unedited film to be released at the movies.  They will be in a jpeg format not raw.

Do you provide black and white photos?

Yes. I not only provide black and white photos but an easy upload set for social media too.

What is the Client Gallery like?

The new Client Gallery is absolutely beautiful – your guests can order prints online, social media share and convert to black and white.

You will be provided with a password which is up to you to share. This is a beautifully mobile friendly web gallery too!

I have a Pinterest Mood Board can I share it with you ?

Ha, I get asked this all the time – the answer is yes do show me (I am a fan myself) and of course but we will recreate it in our own way and style.

Technology

Practical stuff ! I have the latest Canon EOS Mark IV and a Canon Mark III (both full frame sensors) and a Canon 24 – 70mm F2.8 lens for the bulk of my wedding work and I also use a zoom 70-200mm f4 and a 50mm & 85mm F1.4  lenses too.

I also have a 4×4 SUV Jeep so you can rely on me getting to your wedding whatever the weather.

Post production is done mainly with Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom

I am a bit shy/my partner is shy – how can you help us?

I am used to nervous/anxious grooms and brides believe it or not so please don’t worry – we will talk about your wishes for the big day in advance and I will help set you both at your ease.

What do you wear on the day? 

I wear black and rubber soled boots so I can run quietly like a ninja. I’ve modelled myself on Lara Croft (ha ha) so expect to see me with two cameras slung around my neck, a bumbag (wish that sounded more exotic) and some lucozade at the ready.

Do we need to organise a meal and drinks for you?

Yes. If am with you for more than four hours I do require some sustenance – doing a wedding is hugely physically demanding as we are on our feet for possible up to 10 hours.  I liken it to being an athlete – I always make sure I’ve eaten a big cooked breakfast before I arrive – but photographers can’t nip out to get snacks at venues especially at some of our locations  which are in the middle of nowhere and the last thing you want is your photographer fainting or absconding … so yes – anything you can provide would be supremely appreciated.  I eat anything and happy to have anything from the bar menu.

Do you work with anyone else?

No I don’t work with any assistants and have never found I needed to –  very occasionally if am doing a large Asian wedding I might get a student to carry my bags etc. I cover enough ground/photos by myself by working extremely hard to capture everything you require and more.

How do you plan our Formal Portraits?

I will work with you in advance of your big day with a suggested list of portraits for you to organise your own list of formal family portraits.  Although these are called formal I try to inject fun into them so they are not stiff or too posed.  I suggest around about 20 or so formal portraits so we can split the rest of the time on portraits of the two of you and then informal.

Do you have insurance?

I have public liability insurance up to £2 million and professional indemnity cover but I would always recommend couples take out their own Wedding Insurance from reputable suppliers such as M&S.

What happens if your cameras fail?

For the record this has never happened.  I do a yearly maintenance with Canon to make sure they are in tip top condition.  I also keep a duplicate set of back up cameras and lenses in the car. Both my Canons offers dual recording which means I effectively get two copies of every shot I take.

What if you can’t make your wedding?

It has never happened in 15 years however I have a couple of close photographer colleagues and we act as back ups to each other but this has never happened to any of us.

How far ahead of time are you booked?

Sometimes I am booked up to two years in advance.  On the whole it is 1 year to 18 months. My busiest time of year is from March to October.

Is this my full time occupation?

Yes I am a full time Wedding Photographer.

How do I  book you?

To guarantee the date in my diary you would need to pay your booking deposit with me.   I cannot book you in otherwise as definite.

 How your wedding photography story might unfold….

 First meet up

We will meet for a chat over coffee about your wedding dreams, plans, and photo ideas.  I will show you my work and understand what you are aiming to create on your special day.  This is our first chance to discuss both our goals.  This is when I will show you photos and see what style and images you like and have an emotive response to.

Engagement Shoot

This can be a great way for us to get to know each other and for you to explore your best side (!) and to relax into your wedding photography before the big day.

Favourite photos from the shoot can be enlarged and framed and used for guests to sign on your wedding day or could  be used for a Save the Date wedding invitation.

I recommend doing your engagement shoot approx. 6 months prior to your wedding – or whenever you are sending out invites.  A glorious time to do portraits is either sunrise or sunset – but don’t worry I can work with your schedule.

 Bride Getting Ready

I like to shoot the bride getting ready in as natural a way as possible. This means using window light.  Ideally the room would be light and airy, spacious and clean and comfortable.

It can also be a complete riot and mess so don’t worry but the first would be my shooting ideal. It may be you hire a hotel room or even an Air B&B room with perfect backdrops.

If you are looking for tips then the following backgrounds work well; brick, greys, blues, whites, scandi look, natural woods, simple or luxurious, vintage, shabby chic.

I often ‘stage’ getting ready shots such as looking in the mirror and putting on lipstick etc.  Otherwise I will hang your dress, place your shoes, and collect all your precious wedding items, jewellery, perfume, bag, love notes from the groom, flowers etc and create a ‘picture’ and a story from your wedding memorabilia.

 Groom Getting Ready

It’s fun to incorporate the groom getting ready and can be easily done when both are at the same hotel.

It may be harder to do groom’s prep if the distances are far apart, so just something to consider.

Little details like the tie being put on my best man, the grooms flower, checking himself in the mirror.   Often grooms are ready way before the bride as they have to go and meet the guests in which case I do shots with the best man, rings, and the grooms men and fathers of bride and groom.  This can take place outdoors or at the bar even.

Bride Arriving

This is when the bride ‘arrives’ from either the stair case, or car, or into a specially prepared room with her entourage which may include mums, aunts, bridesmaids, flower girls and page boys.  The registrars and or hotel wedding coordinator will greet them and I will be there to meet you before going to the ceremony room to await your big entrance.

Ceremony

This is the special exchange of rings, readings and lots of beautiful looks at each other moments.  Plus people’s reactions to your faces as you gaze at each other.

If you have a videographer then my movements may be slightly restricted as we both need to be in the same spot so will be conscious not to get in each other’s way.

I am also restricted by not the venue itself but by the registrars/vicar/priest who may have strict rules and regulations about what’s allowed  – this includes using or not using flash.

On the whole unless faced with a  very darkly lit venue I normally prefer to use natural light on your faces.  You may also wish to have a word to your guests about using their ipads/phones as you come down the aisle as I’ve seen many an over enthusiastic guest literally standing right in the aisle – much as you love them you don’t want them ruining your exit.

Signing the book

Here’s when you finally sign your marriage certificate and make it official but I will only be photographing the second ‘fake’ book as the first one is not allowed to be photographed so I will wait until I get the nod. I normally add your bouquet to the table, and have you pretend to sign the fake book again.  Then the witnesses can join in and if you have any other people you wish to add to this shot then let me know. But please note we will be doing formal portraits straight after outside so no need to do too many here as you are about to dance down the aisle to the music of your choice….

Formal Portraits

Your formal portraits are normally done straight after the ceremony – your guests may have a drink in their hand and it’s up to you whether you want them to continue to hold it or put them down during the portraits depending how formal you want them.  I will place guests depending on where the sun is – I need people to stand with their backs to the sun and this is where I will use flash to fill in faces so they are lit up.  So if I guide you to a spot you had not considered it is because of the sun placement in the sky.  Your guests will somewhat dictate the mood of these photos, so the more fun they are the more I will have to play with.  If you have a toast master then they will summon guests to the spot I have chosen.  If it is raining then these photos will be done somewhere suitable indoors – depending on your choice of venue these will be more or less successful as I will be restricted by the number of guests and what is physically possible.   Generally formal portraits can take up to half an hour including the confetti shot depending how big your wedding party is and how well behaved they are.  If you have a rowdy bunch I would whole heartedly suggest getting a toast master to help on the day or a best man to round everyone up.  Especially if your venue is large.

Group shot/Confetti

Here’s the opportunity since everyone is gathered to do the infamous confetti or bubbles shot – I can do this shot either in a group setting or create a wedding arch for you to walk through holding hands – I normally get you to stop at the end of the tunnel and kiss too.

The confetti will somewhat depend on your chosen location and the permission of the venue to do this – you will need to check with them in advance.

I highly recommend you bring some confetti to hand out to guests because they often don’t bring any thinking it is not permissible. It’s also really cheap to buy too so the more the merrier and makes a fab fun shot.   I find lavender whilst great smelling can hurt and doesn’t show up as well in photos – traditional biodegradable petals always works though!

Bride & Groom Portraits

This is your chance to shine as we head off round the grounds, (normally on a circuit I have pre planned – weather and light depending)  it’s also your chance  and only chance of a bit of peace and quiet to yourselves – although I will be there obviously…. Allow half an hour for this special time together.  We will already have discussed your photo requirements well in advance and our good weather/bad weather plans.

Informal of everyone

Here’s when everyone chills with a drink, congratulates you and you have time to breath – not for too long – but its when I get out my zoom and capture expressions, chats, the laughter, the tears and the moments you would never possibly see yourself.  I love this time and I wholly recommend allowing half hour before your wedding breakfast to accommodate this.

Wedding Breakfast

I capture all the little details in the room before your big entrance to the room to thunderous applause (you may even have a receiving line too).  While you are enjoying a top feast, I will also sneak off to enjoy a much needed rest and food too, as I go through your photos so far.

I don’t take photos of people eating.

Speeches

I love people’s reactions to the speeches whether joyful, shocked, or sad and this is when can get some really good portraits of  facial expressions and individual portraits as well as group shots of people around the tables.  I don’t capture everyone’s face but a good number will be caught on camera here.   If you have videographers my personal movements around the room will be somewhat restricted so I don’t walk right in front of their footage.

Informal time

More fun and informal time.  If there are any outstanding portraits we missed earlier then here is the time to do it.  It’s the time you go check your dress, and powder your nose and when people head to the bar, and young babies are put into their pjs.  And if it’s dark enough we can get the sparklers out!

Bride & Groom Portraits – the Golden Hour

Depending on the time of year I will take you out for either night time shots against your building lit up at night or sunset, lowering light shots.  These shots will be completely different to your afternoon photos together – for starters you will also be totally relaxed by this point.  This is the time of the evening I love especially during summer weddings but winter light can be equally fascinating if not cooler and more intense.  This light literally makes my lens tingle!   It is not to be missed and well worth you setting aside 20 minutes or so to incorporate a whole new look to your wedding story.

Cutting the Cake

This is the cute and slightly cheesy but time honoured tradition of cutting your cake while everyone gathers around and claps the big moment.  Who doesn’t love cake! Some couples even eat a slice – Americans will often spread this across each other’s faces – however you want to play it is fine.  Your DJ will normally announce this moment before leading you on to the dance floor for your first dance because everyone will already be gathered by this point.

First Dance

Of course this is the moment you pre planned! Your dance moves in the lounge will now be seen by one and all – your favourite track will get you in the mood for a good old boogie, whether it is a traditional love song, or a fun funky little number or a choreographed first dance.  I will once again be using flash for this part of the day to get some buzzing, fun filled moments of the two of you together – I use a zooming in out technique to get light movement so the room does not look static.  Beware asking DJS for certain lights which will drape you in unflattering dots of colour on your nose…..!  My top tip is to have a chat with them about their most flattering, romantic lights.

Informal portraits

When everyone hits the dance floor including Uncle Bob and gyrates and lets rip – I will normally wrap up my evening some 20 minutes as I wouldn’t want to embarrass your guests any more than is necessary and will then wish you a goodnight.