Tag: irish wedding photographer

Coronavirus and weddings

Coronavirus and Weddings – Guidance & How I Want To Help You

The world’s been turned upside down and arranging a wedding during a pandemic isn’t easy. Here’s the latest guidance and how I want to help you.

Latest Covid-19 Guidance for Ireland

Recently the Irish Government released its Plan for living with Covid. This has a 5 level roadmap which includes specific information for weddings. As of it’s release Ireland is at level 2. This means you can have upto 50 people in attendance, which includes staff. Social distacing guidlines and health protection protocols are in place and these will affect how your day will be celebrated. Another area to look at is the guidelines for the hospitality industry released by Failte Ireland. These have specific recommendations for weddings also.

Here is a quick guide to show the amount of guests depending on the Covid Level –

Guests

Travel restrictions

Level 1

Up to 100 guests for wedding ceremony and reception.

No Travel Restrictions

Level 2

Up to 50 guests for wedding ceremony and reception.

No Travel Restrictions

Level 3

Up to 25 guests for wedding ceremony and reception.

Stay in your county

Level 4

Up to 6 guests for wedding ceremony and reception.

Stay in your county

Level 5

Up to 6 guests for wedding ceremony and reception.

Stay Home

Failte Ireland Hospitality Industry Guidelines

  • Under Government Public Health Advice there can be a maximum of 50 people in the function area including employees.
  • The function area must be self-contained and only one function per area / room.
  • Businesses must follow updated Public Health advice to ensure that all wedding guests leave the function/bar areas by 11.30pm.
    Public Health advice states that these areas should be cleared of all guests by 11.30pm. However, this does not include staff members who will carry out closing procedures.
  • Face coverings should be worn by employees in customer facing roles where no other protective measures are in place e.g.
    protective screens and where physical distancing of 2 metres* is not possible.
  • Face coverings should also be worn by guests when arriving to and leaving their table.

On Arrival

  • Where possible, guests must be directed to enter and exit through separate doors that are automated or manually operated by an employee. Doors may be propped open if fire regulations allow.
  • Hand sanitisers (including touchless dispensers where possible) must be readily available at each access point. These must have a minimum alcohol content of 60%. Signage must encourage all guests to use this when they enter and leave.
  • Prominent signage must explain current physical distancing practices. This must be accompanied by clear and visible markings that illustrate the safe distancing protocol.

Drinks Reception

  • Service stations must use physical distancing queuing systems.
  • Tea/coffee/drinks and canapé stations must be managed by service personnel. There must be no self-service stations. Canapés must be in individual portions.
  • Remove as much loose furniture (e.g. sofas, etc.) from the room to ensure maximum space for physical distancing.

Dinner Reception

  • Entrance doors should be opened whilst guests are entering the dining area.
  • Review the seating capacities to meet the current physical distancing guidance. There must be adequate spacing between customers at each table in accordance with Government physical distancing guidelines.
  • Hand sanitisers (including touchless dispensers where possible) must be readily available. Consider providing hand sanitiser on each table. These must have a minimum alcohol content of 60%. Signage must encourage all guests to use this when they enter and leave.
  • Management must ensure appropriate signage is in place to welcome guests and reassure them that employees have been trained in line with the Government’s Public Health advice.
  • There must be no shared items at the table. Instead:
  1. Water jugs must be poured by service personnel only.
  2. Salt and pepper shakers, butter dishes should be available only on request.
  3. Instead each guest should be given individual portions/sachets.
  • For the meal service:
  1. Face coverings should be worn by staff during the service of the meal
  2. There must be no family-style service of food
    (i.e. no shared vegetable/gravy dishes, etc.).
  3. Wedding afters must be served directly to each guest fully plated.
  • Ensuring distancing on the dance floors:
  1. Signage on tables and dance floors must ask guests
    to respect physical distancing guidelines.
  2. Employees must monitor and manage distancing.

Additional Considerations

  • All third-party suppliers must ensure they adhere to the Governments Public Health advice.
  • Multiple gatherings are allowed in venue facilities provided they are in separate defined spaces and there are systems to prevent intermingling in common spaces (e.g. entrances, exits and toilet facilities).
  • Limit the number of service personnel per group of guests to the smallest number that is practical.
  • Where at all practical, service personnel should provide services to only one gathering and should not move between multiple gatherings in different venue locations.
  • Where possible, facilities such as toilets should not be used simultaneously by multiple gatherings. However if they are cleaned in between usage, they may be used separately by different gatherings, within the same time period.

To view Government Public Health measures currently in place, click HERE

Jamie Gillies / My Real Name Is James Wedding Photography Fini  & Harley Fernhill House  Cork  2020

How I Want To Help

The issue for alot of people I have spoken to is that of the unknown. Even though we have these mid-term guidelines, it doesn’t mean that anyone can plan for the real wedding they want. It might be you have to or want to postpone the wedding to another date, so you can have all those you love there for the big day. It would be a shame that you can’t have the day you want because you’re locked into using a particular venue date, or you lose money because a supplier isn’t willing to work with you. Not only can these things result in losing money and frustration but also a bad taste in your mouth about how a supplier has dealt with you.

Jamie Gillies / My Real Name Is James Wedding Photography Fini  & Harley Fernhill House  Cork  2020

Because of this and because I really want you to really enjoy your day I have been following these principles –

  • Work with you rather than against you.
  • Be flexible with moving dates.
  • Issue refunds if I dont have a new date available.
  • Open to changing and tailoring to your photography needs if things suddenly change.

Ultimately I want you to know that I’ll do my best to look after you, help make arranging your wedding smoother and help you avoid unnecessary headaches!

How To Avoid Losing Your Wedding Photos

When it comes to your wedding pictures the last thing anyone wants is for them to be lost. But the process for never losing your wedding pictures starts before the wedding.

Having Redundancy, or in other words backups, is perhaps what sets apart a professional from an amateur. For a professional it’s not an afterthought, it’s a way of life. The mantra is to have at least 3 copies of the data at all times, with one of them being offsite (Stored in a different location to where you are).

On top of having backups, organizing and naming all this data is also a high priority.  This helps keep track of what can be multiple weddings on a computer at once and also for future reference.

I’m going to take you through my workflow (process) for keeping your images safe whatever may happen.

Before the Wedding

  • Use dual memory card cameras
  • Use more than 1 camera
  • Check & format memory cards
  • Batteries fully charged
  • Have spares ready to go on me

It’s not just data that can get lost. Having extra equipment and accessories also helps make sure everything that can be captured will be.

During The Wedding

  • Refresh batteries during dinner
  • Check memory cards & change if they’re getting full

After The Wedding

Journey Home

  • Keep one set of memory cards in a trouser pocket for drive home – this is a temporary offsite copy (If cameras get stolen, e.g whilst at petrol station)
  • Keep the other set of memory cards in the cameras, in the car boot.

On the way home, unlikely as it may seem, could be a time when your photos could be lost. What happens if I’m in an accident, got my car stolen etc. Having a copy of your photos in my pocket can make the difference.

When Home

  • Keep the set in my trousers in the car – This is now the temporary offsite copy.
  • The other set is then set to backup onto the computer overnight.
  • Use of a dual high speed memory card reader so can copy 2 cards at once. 
  • Normally between 300-500GB of data to copy from at least 2 cards.

PhotoMechanic

  • PhotoMechanic is a powerful software for “ingesting” (copying) data from memory cards.
  • A job profile is created on Photomechanic. This will then be the basis for renaming and organizing files.
  • Copied to 2 locations on computer – One is the “Edit” Drive, the other is “Raw” Drive. The “Raw” Drive is NEVER touched.
  • Files are renamed with job location, couples names, cameras & lens info and date.
  • After copying, nothing is deleted from the memory cards. They are then kept aside until data is backed up offsite

Backblaze

  • “Backblaze” is a cloud storage system. 
  • Files are automatically backed up online but does take time.

Before I go to bed I want to make sure that you photos are safe. This stage is automated once the cards are put in the card reader and the computer can be left to do its work.

This process will result in having at least 3 copies of the data, with one copy being offsite, one copy on the computer that will never be touched and the other copy that is to be edited. The files are also all organized and renamed.

Edit

  • “Edit” drive is automatically and continually backed up, using windows backup, to a separate hard drive that’s sole purpose is to be a backup. It is never used for anything else.
  • The “Edit” Drive is also automatically and continuously backed up to Backblaze.

This process means that as the edit takes place there are 2 copies on the computer and 1 offsite copy.

Delivery

  • Files are exported as JPEGs in various dimensions for delivery for web, client etc
  • The whole wedding editing session folder is then copied onto another hard drive called “Delivery” and also “Raw”
  • The “Delivery” Hard drive is automatically backed up to “Backblaze”
  • The “Raw” Hard drive is automatically backed up to “Backblaze”

This results in 2 copies on the PC and 2 offsite copies on “Backblaze”

wedding photography work flow, photography backup
Wedding Photography Backup Workflow

What to do once you get your wedding photos

One you have receive notification that your photos are ready you will then have the ability to view them online.  I highly recommend that one of the things you do is to download all your photos on to every computer you have and also into any cloud storage you have. 

This will mean you will never lose your photos.

Finally

All this seems like real hassle, I know! Its very much worth spending the time to do though. The last thing I want to do after your big day is to tell you your photos are gone. That to me would be the worst possible thing.

That’s why I have developed this workflow of backing up everything. I really recommend you take it seriously aswell. So at least for one thing, you can be assured that your photos will never be lost.

Why Is Wedding Photographing So Expensive?

It seems the moment the word “wedding” is mentioned everything gets 10x more expensive. I mean how hard is it for someone to click a button and get some photos for you?

Perhaps there’s more to it than meets the eye. Let me help you see why wedding photography isn’t cheap but is actually value for money.

To help understand what you’re paying for I’ve broken it down into 4 areas-

  • Tools
  • Time
  • Craft & Experience
  • Value

Tools

Tools help people get a job done. Buy cheap, buy twice is the rule of thumb, one I firmly believe in. When it comes to making sure your wedding day is captured with minimal issues good quality tools is a must.

Here are a few tools that are needed to get you your pictures –

  • 2 x Cameras (At least )
  • 2 x Lenses (At least)
  • Many High Capacity, Fast & High Quality Memory Cards
  • Camera Harness
  • Batteries (Camera, Flash, Etc)
  • Camera Bags
  • Light Stands, Modifiers, Flashes
  • Image Editing Software Subscription (Capture One, Adobe LR & PS)
  • Website Hosting & Maintenance
  • Insurances
  • Many Hard Drives
  • Cloud Backup Subscription
  • Fast Computer
  • High Quality Monitor & Monitor Calibration Tool
  • Car (Tax, Fuel, Insurance, Maintenance, Etc)
  • Internet & Phone
  • Comfortable Shoes & Smart Clothing

I’ve only really listed obvious things. There’s a lot more smaller items, like pens etc, that are always a constant expense. But I’m sure you get the point.

Time

Time is an expense that is easy to under-estimate. You see me turn up on your wedding day for 10-12 hours and I can forgive you for thinking that’s about the limit of my labour. That 10-12 hours is definitely not an easy ride, I’m always knackered after a day on my feet with my mind in constant use. But those 10-12 hours aren’t the first hours I’ve put in or the last.

In the build up to your wedding there’s a good amount of time, albeit in lots of small amounts, that are spent in client relations, emails, research, preparation, etc. 

After the wedding, is perhaps when the bulk of the work comes in. Before I even get to editing your pictures there’s a few other steps. Backup is something of a mantra I preach and that takes time. Cataloguing and organizing the photos is also a crucial but boring part of the process.

Then there’s culling, editing, exporting, and delivery. Even then that’s not the end. Weddings I shot last year I’m still spending time on. Creating Albums, Blogs, Advertising & Maintaining a social presence all are an ongoing time expense. Again like with tools, there’s always a lot of smaller things that add up and take time.

Craft & Experience

Before I get onto craft, I just want to talk about experience. This is something that can never really be quantified. It’s something that’s always being built. It’s connected with time, but in the sense of what you have done with your time.  

Experience of how a wedding works, how a camera works, how to edit pictures, how to keep on top of your taxes, are all things that are needed for a wedding photographer.

Also just because you have experience doesn’t mean you’re good at anything. Someone who’s shot weddings for 20 years v someone who’s shot them for 1 year – who’s the better wedding photographer? All depends on the end result really and can be very subjective.

Essentially what I’m trying to say though is that what you’re paying for is someone who is not only experienced but a craftsman. Someone who really knows how to balance light, composition, moments, camera settings, the limits of that camera and lens, where to be at any given moment, knows how to deal with people in the right way, the list goes on. 

Value

Before the wedding it’s really hard to see the value in a service like wedding photography. It’s something that’s a long way away, there’s little emotion in it. 

It’s only after the wedding day that the value comes.  After the excitement, people, moments, emotions, etc have passed does wedding photography bring its value. Consider it an investment. Something that will only get better with age.

It’s through the photos that you can hold onto that day. A photo is a powerful way to keep memories fresh for years to come.

Finally

So if you’re wondering whether to spend all that money on a professional photographer, then I’m going to say yes. You won’t regret it.

I know I’m biased as that’s how I make a living and have an interest in telling you this, but from seeing so many people so happy to relive their wedding day through photos is evidence enough to me that it’s more than worth it.

How Will I Get My Wedding Photos? – An In-Depth Look at Pixieset

Gone are the days of film, taking a couple of hundred shots, taking them to the chemist to get developed and then posting them out.  Now we have the ability to take thousands of images, carefully curate the best ones, adjust them to our liking and then what?

Being we have a digital product we have 3 options – 

  1. Digital Delivery
  2. Physical Delivery
  3. Both

How you receive each of the above can be done multiple ways also.  I can email you the pictures, send them on a usb or i can put them on an online gallery.

I choose to put them on an online gallery. This is where Pixieset comes in. To me there are several advantages to this.

  1. Beautifully displayed no matter what device you use
  2. You have control of who sees and downloads your pictures
  3. Client Exclusive Options
  4. Ability to download all pictures, or just the ones you like
  5. Option to order prints direct from the gallery
  6. Curate your favourite pictures

Let’s look more in depth at each of these areas

Beautiful Galleries

Pixieset is designed to work with any device, so whether you use your computer or phone, it will look amazing.

When we go onto your gallery you will be met with a large feature image, your names and date of the wedding.

It’s like we have got the front cover of your wedding album in our hands.

As we scroll down your images will be displayed with large thumbnails, all arranged to fit the best way on the device you’re using.

Between the feature image and the start of the gallery of your pictures you’ll see different tabs. I normally like to arrange a highlights set, and then a colour and B&W sets.

The highlights set is normally a selection of the best images from the day in colour and B&W. The other sets will be all the images in colour and then B&W  

You can click on any of the images to enlarge them. You can then navigate using your keyboard arrow keys or by clicking on the arrows on the left or right of the image.

**** One great feature and the best way to take in your photos is to click on the first one and in the top right corner you will see a play button. This will start a slideshow of all the pictures in this set. A recommendation would be to put a Spotify playlist together of your favourite songs to then play in the background whilst you enjoy the slideshow option. *****

Who Sees Your Pictures

Passwords

As default I will make the picture sets for colour and B&W password protected. This means only you and those you wish to share the password with see all the pictures.

I leave the Highlights selection public so anyone can view these. This means, for example, you could provide the link only on social media for others to view a selection of pictures from the day. 

If you wish the highlights can be password protected as well. This can be a separate password to the Colour & B&W sets to still keep those pictures viewable by only those you really want to see them, or the same password for all sets.

*** Please note Passwords are case and space sensitive *****

Homepage Visibility

As default I allow your gallery to be seen on the homepage.  This can be hidden so that only those with the link know they are there. This can be used in conjunction with not using a password so you can give a limited amount of access to those who have the link but not just anybody can go on pixieset and find your pictures.

Downloads

Default for downloads is to have them only accessible to those with the PIN.  This will be a 4 digit pin like you would have on your bank card. This then allows you to download your pictures in one go, in different resolutions or the odd ones you like. 

This means you can control who has the ability to download your pictures.

Share

Below the feature image and before the gallery on the right are a few options. The far right arrow symbol is to share the gallery. You can either copy the link or share to Facebook , Twitter via email etc.

The option is also available for individual photos when you click on them to enlarge them.

How You Get the Passwords and Pin

You will receive the password and pin in my email to you to say that your pictures are ready.

Client Exclusive Options

Guest V Client Access

To preface this section it’s good to know the difference between guest and client access.

As these are your photos you are the client. A guest would be anyone else that can visit the gallery.

When you first enter the gallery you will be given the option to enter as a guest or a client.

The default is to have no password for the guest. They will only enter their email to be able to enter. Once in they can only view the highlights set.

If a password has been set for both guests and clients you will need to enter the appropriate password to the relevant client or guest access. Again the guest will only have access to the highlights set.

Guests cannot view, download, or purchase private photos or private Sets

Extra Level of Password Protection

This is connected with you having the ability to have different sets password protected. This is what I use as a default and thus allows for the highlights set to be public but the Colour & B&W sets to be protected. This also allows you to password protect the highlights set with one password, and then have the Colour & B&W sets protected with a different password.

Mark as Private

The other useful feature is that you can mark photos as private.

There may be pictures you don’t want guests to see when they view the gallery. When hovering over the photo or when it’s enlarged one of the icon options will be a picture of an eye with a line through it. This is the option to mark the photo as private (or hidden) from any guest viewing the highlights set.

****Please note that this only works with sets that guests can view. In most cases this will only be the Highlights set.***

Due to this feature an option that is available is to have all sets open to guests and then you have the ability to private photos and select which ones they can see.

Download Options

The main two options for download are to download a whole collection or individual photos.

The Collection

Below the feature image and before the gallery one of the option icons is a down arrow. This allows you to download the whole gallery.

You will need to enter your email and PIN to gain access to this feature.

You will then be given options on which sets you want to download, the resolution and where.

The highlights set is made up of pictures from the Colour & B&W sets so it’s up to you if you wish to download that set as well. You will have two options for resolution – High (at least 3600px) or Web (1024px).  

You can then choose where to download to – Computer, Dropbox or Google Photos. I highly suggest you download to at least 2 different places. One to your PC and the other to the cloud. Unfortunately you can’t download to 2 different places at once so will require you doing this twice. But it will be worth it as the last thing we want is to lose your photos.

It will then pack your photos into a compressed ZIP folder which will then need to be uncompressed once downloaded to view the photos.

Individual Photos

For any individual photo you can download either by hovering over the image or enlarging and then selecting the down arrow icon for that photo. It will download it at full resolution (at least 3600px) as a jpeg.

By default you will have to enter your email and PIN to download individual photos also. This can also be changed to have no pin and also reduce the resolution to 1024px. You may prefer to do this so guests and clients can download without permission a lower quality version.

Order Prints

Ordering prints can be done by Guests or the Client for individual photos.

By clicking on the shopping trolley icon on each photo you will be given options on what prints you want.

You can order a variety of sized prints with different print mediums, from a 6×4” on photo paper to a 40×30” on metal. You can also choose a multiple of different types and sizes of the same print.

All prints ordered through Pixieset are fulfilled by the printing lab. Any issues with orders would need to be taken up with the printing lab. Even though i’m not responsible for any issues with regards to prints you’ve ordered you can still contact me and we can see what we can do.

Print Quality

Prints are fulfilled by an excellent specialist lab from the UK. So you can expect high end quality prints.

Curate Pictures

A great tool is the ability to create lists of favourite images.  

You favourite an image by clicking on the heart icon for each individual photo. You can then view your favourites together by clicking on the heart icon below the feature image.

By entering the favourites section you have the ability to create different favourite lists. It might be you want a list of photos to print for your family, and then another list of photos to print for yourself.

By going into a favourite list you then have the option to order them as prints, download or share.  

By sharing you can send those favourites as an email, get a link to send to someone via whatsapp, and the option to “send to photographer”.
“Send to photographer” is a way to collaborate with the photographer, for example, for prints you want that his package offers as part of the deal.


It is also a powertool in helping us create your photo album. You can create two lists, one for photos you have to have in the album and another for photos you don’t want in the album. These can then be “sent to photographer” for me to then use as guidelines for creating your photo album.

Finally

As you can see there’s a lot of advantages to using this modern way of delivering your photos.  I’m sure as time goes on there will be updates that will only enrich your experience for your wedding photos.

How To Get The Most Out Of Your Wedding Photos

I want to capture your day so that you can look back at these pictures in years to come and remember the day as it was.

My tagline is “real people, real moments” and I love to document the day as it’s really happening. I don’t like to “glam” it up. I’m a warts and all kinda guy.

I will mainly focus on documenting the day rather than staged posing of couples etc – although if someone comes up to me and asks for a picture with someone – more than happy to do that.

I’m more than happy to do the traditional group photos and bride and groom shots. At the end of the day, it’s about you guys and what you want.

So my aim is to please you and help in whatever way I can.

Heres Some Pointers For The Wedding Day

Because I want to capture everything real that happens.

  • Once we had an initial chat and met everyone- Don’t feel a need to talk to me – I’m here to capture you enjoying time with your friends and family.
  • Don’t feel a need to look at the camera and smile – don’t play up to camera – be real and interact with those around you
  • Basically ignore me – the novelty of me being around will soon wear off.
  • It might be that I get close to you at times – If a moment happens then i might try to emphasise it by getting close up to your face with a wide angle lens and capture what’s going on around you as well
  • Don’t think you’re in my way – if someone walks across, that can add to an image at times. Sometimes i’m purposely using someone as a way to frame an image or getting their reaction
  • Just enjoy the day – Focus on getting the most out of all the hard work you’ve put into the day. – i’m there to help you remember it in the future.
  • For the couple photos i dont really pose – it’s perhaps the first time that day you have a moment “alone” together and can just focus on each other. I’m not one to particularly pose – i might give some direction – but essentially i want you both to just enjoy the short time you have together and capture that.

Things that can help you get the most from your photos

Prep

  • Get ready in a room with good natural light – I.e a large window.
  • Get any items or details you want photographed together – i.e hang dress in nice position.
  • Let me know about any special items, i.e grandmothers ring, a note on the bottom of a shoe etc – Then I know to get pictures of them more.

Ceremony

  • Enjoy the aisle! – Remember to smile as you walk down.
  • Suggest to your guests to really take in the moments rather than use the phone & camera to record everything – that’s what I’m for.

Group Photos

  • Have a clear idea of the group photos you want. – we can spend longer than you think doing these so get the important ones done first and then if we have time we can do more.
  • Have a table by where you have the photos done – drinks, phones etc can be put down while we take photos.

Speeches

  • If you can have the speeches by the head table, not the other side of the room. – best way to show everyone’s reactions.
  • Be aware this is where I like to get in close – This is when some of the best reactions happen – so might crouch between people, or stand right behind the speaker etc.

Party

  • Go Mad.

How To Book A Wedding Photographer

Here I want to help you understand the process, from initially enquiry through to the wedding day. This is how I personally work, every wedding photographer is going to have their own way of doing things.

So to start with you have obviously found me, liked what i do, and want to enquire more about my services.

The first port of call is to – 

Fill in Contact form on website

  • A way for me to collate everything in one place
  • I know right away the important information so I can help you
  • I don’t want to say i’m available before i know all the info. No point saying I’m free when your wedding I couldn’t get to if it’s far away or abroad, etc
  • Might be more hassle initially but helps both of us know if it’s even going to work before we start.

If I’m available I will send out price list

  • Have a look. There’s no rush to get back with a decision.
  • If you have questions or want to just chat to get to know me – no problem.

Fill in booking form

  • All the information I need from you about your day – for now.
  • The Tick box at the end is making this contractual to safeguard both of us.

I will send out an invoice

  • Deposit now to secure the date, rest of balance due 4 weeks before wedding day.
  • If you want you can pay all up front now, or can pay in installments, or 4 weeks before wedding day.

You pay a deposit to secure the day, then send out a receipt.

Communication will likely be small until nearer the wedding day.

The Month before I will send out a questionnaire and reminder about settling balance.

  • This is about more specifics about the day, where you will be getting ready, group photo list, suggestions etc
  • Google sheets document – Can take time filling in and can be updated as you go along, Or can print out and then send me picture etc

Week of the wedding We Will Have A Phone Call 

  • Run through things and answer any last minute questions either of us have.
  • Arrange arrival times – for prep or ceremony
  • If prep – rule of thumb – goto groom for 30-45mins then to bride for rest of morning.
  • If no prep – Will aim to arrive at least an hour before the ceremony

I personally don’t feel a need to go before the big day to check out the venue.

If you prefer, I’m happy, as long as it’s not too far for me to travel, to meet at the venue, check it out with you and we can discuss the itinerary and places we can use for photos together.

Hope this breakdown helps you understand what my process is and give you confidence going forward if you decide to book with me!