Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Supplier profile: Justin Bailey Photographer

Choosing the right photographer is such a vital part of your wedding arrangements. With magazines and wedding fayres filled with different photographers it's hard to know which is right for you. At Plan Me Perfect we do our research to ensure that we recommend high quality photographers that create picture perfect albums, so that you can look back and re-live every part of your day.

We always stress to do lots of research to find the right photographer, someone that is professional, isn't trying to be the centre of attention and also manages to take the right shot at the right time, from tears of emotion to tears of laughter. You only have one day and you can't go back and do it so you want to ensure that every moment is captured. 

Do some research into what photographic styles you like, i.e. reportage is a beautiful style that is very natural and really brings emotion to life. Also, ask your photographer for some shots that aren't on their website, often photographers will upload their best shots so you want to ensure that every shot will be a good shot!

Plan Me Perfect will be recommending some of our preferred photographers and this week we are starting the ball rolling with the very talented Justin Bailey. Please read below Justin's bio as well as some great tips for the bride and groom.

Bio from Justin Bailey:
I am in my 3rd year of full-time wedding photography, but I also take photos of families/children in studios or on location. I previously worked in the Video Games Industry, creating Soundtracks for games, and also Mixing / Engineering music in studios. I have always worked in creative industries, and with computers, which has helped me when I am working with image editing, album design and my web site.

I got into wedding photography through a friend that started in the business, and I went on a Wedding Photography Workshop with high end Wedding Photographer, Crash Taylor. He taught me his methods for covering a wedding day, and that is the foundation of what I do.

The wedding photography that I like, is mostly taken in USA at very expensive weddings. Joe Elario and Susan Stripling are my favourites. I definitely borrow some of their ideas, but at the same time I am adapting these into the situations that I am working in. I don't believe a photographer should call themselves 'vintage' or 'quirky' as that implies you only attend weddings with these themes. I think my style is modern and relaxed without elaborate posing. Most shots are taken to document the day and the people attending. I do suggest ways for brides and grooms to stand so they can interact naturally, plus I will also take group photos of the families. When I process photos, I am trying to maintain a natural look to them, with a vibrancy to the colours so they look outstanding when on screen or print. 

The Booking Process:
People tend to contact me either 6 months or 12 months before their wedding to check my availability. They then make an appointment to meet with me, and we discuss their wedding day in more detail.

I have 4 different Wedding Album suppliers, each offering something different, so clients can take a look at the albums here, and also see large prints of my work. Sometimes if a client is getting married at a venue that I have previously worked at, I let them browse all the photos from the previous wedding, just to give them an idea of what they can expect. I like to be as open and honest about what I do, so it's very clear how I work.

The Wedding Day:
I am a very relaxed person, which helps a lot during the stress of a wedding day. People have commented that it helps having me around because I am familiar with the format of a wedding day, and that I can also help chill people out as I remain calm amongst the chaos.

My photography day varies at each wedding, but I would say there is an average of around 8 hours coverage. I always start before the Bride puts on her dress, and typically end after the First Dance / Second song. If I setup the Photobooth, then I do this for an extra hour after the First Dance.
I also have 2 assistant photographers that work with me at weddings, and sometimes my assistant will meet the Groom for his getting ready shots, whilst I meet the Bride. When the photos are delivered into their chronological order of the day, they then show an interesting timeline of how each person got to the ceremony separately.

For the Bride: Don't be late for the ceremony! After planning the day for so long, don't waste a minute of it in a bedroom somewhere far away from everyone. Start the preparations extra early just to make sure, especially if you have a car journey to make to the ceremony.
From a photography perspective, a late ceremony means less time for photos. This is because the Wedding Breakfast start time will remain the same, while the time from the end of the ceremony until you sit down to eat becomes shorter. Less time for reportage photos of you mingling with your guests, and less time to take any family photos. But worst of all, less time to take photos of the bride and groom together.

For the Groom: Write a speech ahead of the wedding day, and make sure it contains some special words for your Bride. Also, start it with "On Behalf of my wife and I..."

I use Nikon, my assistants use Canon - they are much the same, it's how you use them that makes the difference.

Contact Justin:
For further details visit:
Or contact him on: 01277 262687

Saturday, 4 August 2012

A perfect tea party for any mad hatter

The wedding of Elizabeth and Oliver Cordell, Chettle House, Dorset.

Quote from the bride and groom: 
"Plan Me Perfect was fantastic. It really was a day to remember.
The team worked with us to make our ideas come to life and we never felt that it wasn’t our day. The mood boards were amazing and I loved all of the styles they suggested, but we decided on a vintage Alice in Wonderland theme, with afternoon tea. Jo and Kelley thought of everything and were so creative, suggesting things and finding props that we would never have thought of.
They were always on hand to ask questions and nothing was ever too much trouble. They did everything from the overall design of the day, the invitations, set up the day before and were there on the day to make sure our wedding went just as we wanted it to. Without their help, our day wouldn’t have been such a success. We had the perfect day and made friends for life.
We were truly blown away. "

 Elizabeth and Oliver contacted Plan Me Perfect 13 months before their big day. They had a few venues in mind but were still waiting to make a final decision. We met at their home in Thorndon park, Ingrave and discussed some of their ideas. The original brief was a Black and white, classic 1960's, mad men theme which the Plan Me Perfect team loved. They also talked of a possible high tea as they were considering having a marquee, this then led to talks of perhaps having a high tea, Alice in Wonderland theme.

Plan Me Perfect like to make sure that our clients have the best wedding possible, so we take their initial suggestions and build on them, so that we can help create the best day possible. In this case we took the 1960's theme and introduced diamonds and pearls to give it an elegant feel. With the Alice in wonderland theme instead of the typical Alice, black, red and blue colours, we gave it a vintage twist by introducing pale blues, pinks, creams and lilacs. All of which were very well received, to the point that the couldn't decide which they liked best!

After presenting our mood boards showing both concepts and lots of discussions the decision was made to go with the Alice in Wonderland theme. As per our leg work service we then went away and started planning how this theme was going to work at their stunning venue. Plan me Perfect had a great time planning the decor for this wedding, rummaging through vintage markets and boot sales to find the perfect props. Working closely with A Bunch of Florists there were many great ideas brought to the table and most of which were accepted by the bride and groom.

We worked closely with the bride and groom to ensure we were working to their budget and tried to get he very best price we could for all requirements. We had regular meetings with Liz and Ollie and really enjoyed getting to know such a great couple which made us even more excited for their big day.

We had to add this photo of Liz's face when she first saw the decorated marquee.

And after 13months of planning, the big day was finally here. They had chosen the stunning venue of Chettle House in Dorset, a beautiful Queen Anne Manor House which was surrounded by gorgeous gardens. Due to the venue being quite far away it meant that there were far more logistics involved for PMP, so it was an early start, all hands on deck and time to get behind the wheel of a giant van! The weather was forecasting showers so we had to time everything well so that everything was in the marquee ready to put up.

When it came to the bride and groom arriving, the sun was shining and the day went perfectly.
Liz was a stunning bride and Oliver looked so proud and happy.

All in all a great day for a great couple. Plan Me Perfect wish you all the very best and a very happy future as Mr and Mrs Cordell. xx

Photographs by Nick and Plan Me Perfect. Flowers by A bunch of florists, vintage crockery and china by Miss Dollys. Styling and decor by Plan Me Perfect.