Category Archives: photography

Blurb Giveaway

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So I’m really excited today to announce that we are hosting our first ever WBZL giveaway and oh boy are you in for a treat! Having long admired the lovely books by Blurb, I was thrilled when the company got in touch to offer 5 lucky readers the chance to win a £30 voucher. You lucky devils!

Blurb have created an ingenious system that allows you to create your very own book. The books can display a mixture of photographs, artwork and/or text and are perfect for creating a really special wedding keepsake. There are a million and one ways to use Blurb in relation to your nuptials but I especially love the idea of creating a book that is passed around during the drinks reception that tells the story of how you met and got together. I also love, love, love the thought of creating customised fairytale books to keep the little ones entertained during dinner.

If you’d like the chance of winning one of the vouchers just leave a comment explaining what you’d put in your book (doesn’t have to be wedding related) and the winners will be chosen at random and announced here next Monday the 22nd of Feb.

Good luck!

I Heart: Kerry Morgan

Today I’m thrilled to be featuring one of my favourite photographers, the uber talented Kerry Morgan who, is without doubt one of the best wedding photographers around. As photographers get to go to so many weddings every year, I thought it would be interesting to ask Kerry about weddings in general rather than just about photography. Take it away Kerry!

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Describe the best wedding you’ve ever been to?

That’s a really hard question as I’ve photographed so many great ones! I shot a wedding in Kazakhstan, the son of a Russian billionaire and that was quite an experience. 450 guests invited for a sit down, 12 course meal in a purpose built tent on top of a mountain. There was a whole evening of cabaret entertainment, the headline act was the Russian Eurovision winner and the couple also flew over an entire bagpipe troop from Scotland. I was there for three days and had my own driver and translator, as most people didn’t speak English. It was a great experience as I was a true fly on the wall – their traditions are very different from British ones and as a photographer; it was a real challenge.

Another favourite was held at the bride’s parent’s house. They had a marquee in the garden and it covered the whole area. There was a large pond in the middle of the lawn and they simply cut the carpet around it which looked fantastic in the middle of the dining area. Their theme was Arabian nights and there was even a Bedouin tent chill out area. During the drinks reception the guests supped champagne in the neighbour’s garden and a tunnel linked the two areas. It was very original and I can imagine it cost the earth!

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In your opinion, what doesn’t work well at weddings?

Long receiving lines are a bugbear of mine; they can really mess with timings, are difficult to control and it’s hard for the Bride and Groom to avoid getting embroiled in long conversations. The people who are at the start of the line are left seated the dinning room and the people at the end of the line are queuing. They’re just not that much fun for your guests!

Large sheets of paper for the speeches are a big no no, they often just end up blocking peoples faces in the pictures, particularly if you have a long top table. It’s also much harder to spot a shaky hand (should the speaker be nervous) with small cards. Tie them together, so if they’re dropped, it’s easy to find your place again.

Also too many formal shots, over crowded dinning rooms, speeches that go on too long and dreadful AV presentations as they rarely work.

Gosh! I’ve seem to have gone on a bit of a rant!

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What do you think works really well?

Realistic timings, things always take longer than you think! Long top tables as they photograph much better than round ones (where you often get the backs of peoples heads in the shot) and I think the less time you spend traveling between venues the better.

Also delegate, delegate, delegate! If you can hire a planner to help you, even if it’s only for the day, it’s a great idea to take the pressure off of you. You can concentrate on having a great time, knowing all the organising is taken care of.

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Is it worth getting caught up in the ‘details’ and finishing touches of weddings?

I think beautiful finishing touches are lovely, it’s important to plan what you’d like ahead of the day and then just let it go. Stressing about whether or not the antique candlestick holders you ordered are in quite the right place on the day of your wedding is madness. You can only do so much and then it’s all about enjoying the day. It goes so quickly, you should enjoy each and every moment of it.

You do a lot of work with wedding planners, how does that change a wedding?

I do work with a lot of planners and some of them are a dream to work with. Great planning should make the day run smoothly for everyone. I would say make sure your planner is experienced and has had good training; most of the planners I’ve worked with are members of the UK Alliance of Wedding Planners. Bad wedding planners on the other hand can make the day extremely stressful for all concerned – just because you planned your own wedding, doesn’t mean you can plan someone else’s! I like working with good planners, as you know the couple will be more relaxed. The bride’s not thinking about organising, she’s just having a wonderful time. From an aesthetic point of view, planners often have great ideas on how to make the wedding look amazing. It’s those weddings that are more likely to get into bridal magazines and I do love my brides to be featured.

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Where do you get your inspiration?
I love looking at photojournalist’s work but at the same time, I never miss an issue of Vogue! I like to think my style is a good mix of storytelling coupled with images that make my couples look amazing.008003

Have you ever had a disaster on a job? What did you do to fix it?

Luckily I’ve never had a disaster on a job personally. Once, one of my brides put her heel through the back of her dress and ripped it, just as she got out of the car at the church! I always carry a needle and thread so it wasn’t a problem to hand it over to her mum who promptly worked her magic – I’m terrible at needlework! I also had to hand over my ring once when a bestman left the wedding rings at the hotel. Clichés exists for a reason folks!

A huge thank you to Kerry for answering our questions and for her beautiful images. If you want to see more of Kerry and her work stop by her blog which is crammed with delicious eye candy!

Planning Tricks: Photography Timings

Over the last few weeks as I’ve been reviewing 2008 and going over each of our weddings with a fine tooth comb, I’ve been considering the traditional timings of group and portrait photography at weddings. Most couples tend to plan time for these kind of photos during their drinks reception but there are a number of reasons why this doesn’t work perfectly and so I’ve been wondering whether scheduling photography for prior to the ceremony (frequently done in the US) is actually a better alternative.

Very often group and portrait photography is the first thing to overrun at weddings and although keeping to time might sound simple, invariably it is not. Following the ceremony, couples are excited to see their guests and reluctant to leave the party just as it’s getting started whilst guests begin to disperse themselves across the venue.  Ensuring ushers get the right people in the right place at the right time can be a tricky exercise (especially when they don’t know who’s who) and asking a friend to bellow out the names of those needed for each shot is functional but can give your wedding a school-trip meets boot camp feel.

Scheduling photographs for before the ceremony not only means you bypass all of these problems but you also gain some significant benefits:

•    You’re photographed looking your absolute best, sans smudged eyeliner and crumpled buttonholes.
•    You get to spend the entire of your drinks reception chatting to your guests and soaking up the atmosphere rather than watching from afar as all the champagne gets guzzled.
•    Your drinks reception will be more relaxed and enjoyable as you’ll be free from the worry that you need to get those all-important shots before dinner is served.
•    You’ll get better photographs. Not only can you dedicate longer to getting some really creative images, without the pressure of time you’ll be more relaxed so look better and happier in the shots.
•    Your drinks reception needn’t be hours long in order to accommodate a long photo session; you reduce the risk of bored guests and a flat atmosphere.
•    You get the chance to start celebrations early, spending some quality time with your closest friends and family before the ceremony.

The major drawback to scheduling photography prior to the ceremony is that the first time you see each other won’t be as the bride walks down the aisle. However, this needn’t mean loosing the magic of seeing each other for the first time and does in fact have its own advantages. Seeing each other prior to the ceremony means you get the chance to talk to each other, calming your nerves and giving you the chance to really soak up the ‘we’re getting married feeling’ without being distracted by the wedding planning or ceremony proceedings.

Meeting each other before the ceremony needn’t be a negative thing either – you can make it into a really special moment, perhaps meet somewhere really special or get the chance for 5 minutes alone.

So there you have it, my thoughts on the matter. I’d love to hear yours so please drop me a comment!

Photo credit:
Martha Stewart Weddings

I Heart: Julia Boggio


I’m really excited today to feature a fantastic photographer, Julia Boggio. You might recognise Julia as being the ‘Dirty Dancing’ bride that took the internet by storm but aside from being internet legend Julia is also an incredibly talented wedding and portrait photographer. Julia has an fantastically original style and approach to wedding photography & some of her photos really are stunning! In terms of style, Julia’s work is also an interesting contrast to popular reportage wedding photography, she actually does a lot of very clever ‘posed’ work and post-production, creating some very special, quirky wedding photos.

Julia was kind enough to answer a couple of questions for us:

ZL: Tell us a little bit about your company.

JB: Julia Boggio Photography offers wedding photography that is fun and glamorous. We find that the couples who gravitate towards us are very design-conscious and often they hail from the arts and media industries. I’ve been photographing weddings for 5 years now, having previously worked as an advertising copywriter. I haven’t looked back since!

ZL: What inspires you?

JB:People inspire me! I love helping people who are unsure in front of the camera become confident and secure in front of my lens. I do a pre-wedding shoot with each couple before the wedding day, so that they can experience what it’s like to be shot by me. It’s amazing how many couples are nervous at the beginning of the shoot and, by the end, they don’t want it to stop. I find that this makes them excited about their wedding photography, instead of viewing it with trepidation.
I’m also inspired by movies, books, magazines, and art.

ZL: What makes a great wedding?

JB: The best weddings are ones where the couples’ personality shines through. My husband and I (infamously) had a movie-themed wedding and our guests really enjoyed it (along with 5 million other people). My advice to couples would be to have the wedding that they want to have and don’t be afraid to do something truly different.


Be sure to stop by Julia’s website for some eye candy & if you’re thinking of booking her be quick, quick, quick as she only does a limited number of wedding a year!

Julia is also planning a fantastic charity event for November. Check out www.thebigidoredo.com if you fancy a great night dressed in your wedding gear!