Why did you become a wedding photographer?

It’s a dream job. I’m love meeting people, and I love making them happy. Being able to observe the drama and emotion of the most significant day in the life of two people and their family and friends is very compelling and being the person trusted to document this moment is a huge privilege. I’ve been a bride too, so I understand – it’s a very special thing.

How long have you been doing this?

15 years or so: I’ve shot more than 250 weddings in that time.

What equipment do you use?

I use Nikon equipment: three professional grade digital SLRs with a number of prime lenses for a variety of focal lengths.

Do you work in colour or black & white?

Both. I always ask a couple for guidance on how much of each you’d like. Images are shot digitally in colour, and can be converted afterwards, so both options are available for every photograph.

Where do you work?

I’m based in Hampshire, and for family reasons I prefer to work within a two-hour radius. I am occasionally available for overseas commissions.

Do you provide prints and albums?

I do.   And guest books, and thank you cards, and more besides.   The albums are the most popular option: I supply both bespoke handmade matted albums from Queensberry in New Zealand, and also beautiful hand-bound photobooks made in the UK (both with parent albums options).  See more information here.

What are your prices? 

You’ll find more information on pricing here.

Are you insured?

Yes – I have full Professional and Public Indemnity Insurance.

Will you come on your own?

I will – Hester Marriott Photography is just me. I prefer to work alone - having more than one photographer can make us seem a bit like paparazzi - but I’ve occasionally taken along a second shooter if the wedding party is very large, or if distance/timings mean that being in two places at once is physically impossible.   Any second shooter would as similar to me as possible – same style, same experience, same enthusiasm.

How do you feel about formal photos?

Wedding party and family groups are really important, even if they might feel like the longest minutes of your life. The older generations love them, and one day you’ll look back and be glad you made the time.   It doesn’t even have to be much time – my record is 3.5 minutes – and if we organize beforehand exactly who is going to feature and in what combinations it can be relatively painless.   About 5-10 combinations of family/bridal parties is enough – any more than that and you’ll feel like stabbing me with the ceremonial cake knife..

Can I ask for particular shots?

Of course. It’s really important for you to feel able to trust that I’m working as hard as possible to document your day in a way you will love and treasure, but I won’t be able to guess if there’s someone who’s come a LONG way, or who’s pregnant and might leave early, or that those tiny details were worked on by somebody precious.   Tell me everything!   It works the other way too – I always ask what you DON’T like – and whether there are any family sensitivities I should watch out for.   [I’ve had some interesting answers to that one in the past..]

How long will it take to get my photographs back?

The turnaround is normally about 3-4 weeks.  Your blog post will come first, followed by your online password-protected gallery and your DVD will be sent to you shortly afterwards.   Prints or albums will take a bit longer.

Will our wedding be blogged?

I aim to blog every wedding I shoot unless specifically asked not to – but I will of course check beforehand in case there are any images you’d prefer left out.   It won’t include all the images of course, but will provide a lovely space to share the story of your wedding day with friends and family if you don’t want to share the entire online gallery with everyone.

What happens if we have to change our date, or cancel, or if you can’t make it?

Date changes do occasionally happen as weddings are complex organizational feats.   If you’ve paid a deposit, and I’m free on your new date, then there’s no problem. If I’m already booked on the new date, I will repay your deposit and be rather sad I won’t get to see you walk down the aisle.  I really hope you don’t have to cancel but if you do, please let me know as soon as you possibly can. I will not be able to refund your deposit (as I may have turned down work on that date) but if it’s more than 4 weeks before your day then you will not be liable for the balance.

I have only been seriously ill on a wedding day once in 15 years and I’m not sure the bride & groom even noticed anything was amiss.   Adrenalin counts for a lot!   If something more serious happens, I am part of a network of like-minded professional photographers who can be called on in an emergency.

But we’re not very photogenic and we hate having our photo taken..

I hear this a lot, and I think I even said the same thing to my own wedding photographer. The truth is, you will be having such a wonderful time that you will quickly relax in my company and barely notice that I’m there. If your church and venue have loads of natural light then you and your photos can’t help but look amazing.

What advice do you have for anybody who’s planning a wedding day?

Only to take a moment to acknowledge the enormity of what you’re doing.   It’s so easy to get caught up in all the details, and the planning can be stressful and overwhelming at times, but whatever you’ve got lined up, it will be a highly significant and emotionally charged time.   You will have put such a lot of time, effort and thought into it so try and find a moment to step back, get a sense of perspective, relax and enjoy every second.

How do we book?

I would strongly suggest that we meet in person so you can see albums and recent work and make sure I’m the right fit for you.   If I am, then a deposit of £500 and a signed contract will secure the date for you.   Please email me if you’d like to fix a date.