Photography, Retouching, Albums & Products

Portrait on swing at Tenuta di Sticciano

The Essentials:

Question: Do you work alone or with an assistant? Answer: Both.

At most events, I work alone. I believe your wedding is a private and intimate moment that you want to share with the most important people in your lives. Photographers and videographers have the privilege of documenting your celebration but you don’t want your day overrun with cameras and people like a film set!

In most cases, one photographer is better because:

  1. Less distraction. You only have to focus on one person. If you have two photographers and two videographers filming you it is confusing to know which one you have to look at.
  2. It is easier to get to know them and therefore share some chemistry. That means better photos.
  3. For me, it’s about quality, not quantity. I’d rather have fewer high-quality photos rather than thousands of average ones.
  4. One photographer means a consistent style of photography from start to finish.
Bride and bridesmaids at wedding in Settignano

Storyteller

My job is to create an artistic record that tells the story of your wedding. I prefer to photograph complete events from start to finish. I will accept shorter jobs but I prefer to photograph the entire event because as a storyteller I like to tell the whole story and not just a part of it. Also, I would never undertake more than one job a day so it doesn’t really make a difference if it requires 8 or 12 hours.

I’m told my style is unique; you can read my thoughts about it and get a good feel for my work whilst browsing the portfolios, or you can view the real wedding galleries.

Equipment and Retouching

I shoot digital. I like film and acknowledge that it has some interesting and valid characteristics but its limitations don’t match my style of photography. Film photography works well in bright situations with lots of lights. Poorly lit rooms, dark churches, candlelit receptions and nighttime parties are not good for film photography.

I post-process my images and also retouch. If you shoot film you can’t do this. Well, you can, but it wouldn’t make much sense as you need to shoot film, send it away to be scanned so that you then have a digital file to retouch. So you may as well have just shot digital in the first place.

I retouch my images in a sympathetic and understanding way. I want to enhance the inherent qualities of the images but keep them looking natural. I think retouching is important for many reasons, but one of the most obvious ones for a wedding photographer is that a bride or groom can spend months preparing for their wedding to then find that the stress gets to them and they break out in a spot or two or they get bitten by a mosquito! If you shoot on film then those special gifts you received on your wedding day will be there to stay. However, with digital, I can take care of those issues quite easily.

Simply elegant bride

Albums and Prints

To give life to your photos you need to print them. I create fine art wedding albums, each one is carefully made by hand in Italy. The materials are gorgeous including prestigious leathers, suedes, fabrics and woods. A wedding album should be a family heirloom that gets passed down the generations and as such it has to be stunning and of very high quality. Enlargements such as canvases and wraps are also available and will look incredible on the walls of your home.

What next?

You can read some reviews or see some of my publications. You might also like to read my advice on how to select the right photographer.

Or learn more about my photography by reading these answers to the commonly asked questions:

What’s your background and how many weddings have you photographed?

At the beginning of my professional life, I worked as a graphic designer, I naturally went into photography, as great images were a must in order to create beautiful websites, brochures, and marketing material. I gained experience in commercial photography as well as beauty, fashion, and even architecture.

In 2002 my wife (who is Italian), created one of the first wedding planning agencies for foreigners looking to get married in Italy. As we needed original photographic material for our own marketing and website, I used to take pictures during our events and give them to the couple as a gift. Bizarrely, the couples wrote to me saying that they much preferred my pictures to those of their professional wedding photographer. This is how my career as a wedding photographer began 14 years ago.

Since then I have photographed hundreds of weddings all over the world and I still love it!

Do you work alone or with another photographer?

I prefer to work alone as I find other photographers are a distraction for you although I appreciate there are situations where another photographer is a must. However, having one photographer means that you only need to deal with and get to know one person. If your event is a small one then it also keeps things intimate. Sometimes I have a non-photographing assistant to help with logistics such as driving, parking, or moving equipment. If you require more than one photographer that’s not a problem.. See the next question!

We need two photographers can you bring someone else?

If you feel that you need another photographer present at the event then we can discuss this. I have photographed weddings with 400 people present and covered everything on my own. However, I do accept that there are some locations where perhaps it would be good to have another photographer as logistically they are far apart or demanding in some manner. Another reason for a second photographer maybe that you have a very large wedding with lots of guests and you would like for every guest to have a photo. The best approach is to discuss things. By talking about your requirements I will understand exactly what you need and be able to deliver exactly that.

Do you speak English fluently? Do you speak other languages?

English is my mother tongue. I also speak Italian fluently.

Do you have any advice for choosing a photographer?

Choose a photographer whose style you like and primarily base your choice on the style and quality of their photos. Make sure you can communicate with them easily as being unable to talk to someone will only create an awkward feeling. Better yet if you get on well with the photographer you choose then it’s more likely you will be comfortable with their presence on the day thus leading to a relaxed photographic experience.

Choose a photographer with a regularly updated website as this shows they are working and active. If the photographers portfolio is small then I would suggest you ask to see further examples of work as anyone can buy a camera, shoot a wedding, and find a few good shots in a few thousand. Look for a large body of consistent work.

Make sure the photographer you choose is actually the photographer who will be photographing your wedding as some studios use multiple photographers and send who is available on the day. All photographers have a different eye and style so this might lead to you getting a different result to the one you originally chose.

You need to trust and believe in your photographer to allow them to do their job. If the discussions prior to the booking are difficult and I get a sense that you don’t fully trust me or believe in my ability to photograph your event then I will most likely suggest that you find another photographer with whom you do feel 100% comfortable as this is very important in order to get good results. I want you to get the best photos possible and it doesn’t matter whether they are mine or someone else’s.

Beyond the fact that you are getting married the most important thing is the photos. After all, as the cliché says “when the music has stopped and the flowers have wilted the only things left are memories and photos”.

Does our wedding cost less if we are only a few people?

I cannot give a discount for smaller groups as I can only shoot one wedding a day and a limited amount each year. Therefore it wouldn’t be good business for me to give a discount for only 2 people when I could easily have an offer for a wedding with 100 people.

Do you give the RAW files?

I do not give the RAW files and this is standard policy among professional photographers. You receive high-resolution JPEG files that are perfect for making large prints and enlargements if needed.

Are the files watermarked or protected?

The files are not watermarked or protected in any way. They are high-resolution JPEG files that can easily be printed in large format.

Where will you work?

I’m available for weddings anywhere in the world. I have photographed weddings in the UK, USA, France, Spain, Greece, Hungary, Switzerland, Dubai, Thailand, Hong Kong, South Africa and more. I will consider any location and the more adventurous the better!

Do we receive all the photos?

You will receive all the original photos (minus some time wasters where eyes are closed etc). These are corrected high-resolution photos in JPEG format that you can print in large sizes. Depending on the wedding this is usually about 1200 images. Of these 1200 images a selection is made and these edited and retouched further and placed in a separate folder. You receive the original versions of these images as well as the retouched versions.

Did you take all the photos on your website?

Yes. Every single photo on my website was taken by me.

Do you offer albums or books?

Yes, I offer a Fine Art Book which is a digital wedding book style of album. I use a combination of photojournalistic and artistic imagery and personally design the art book layout specifically for your images.

– I also offer the possibility for you to choose the photos that will go in your album.
– You will see a proof of the album before it goes to print and you can request changes.
– You should receive your album about 2-3 months after your event.

How do you work and what can we expect from your coverage of our event?

I work around your event and in the background and let things flow, I will step up and direct you if I see that this is needed or requested. Pretty much the whole service is photojournalistic apart from the group photos and then your photos together where we might go somewhere away from everyone else to get some privacy and also because I am sure wherever you are getting married will have lovely locations in and around it or nearby that we can use as backdrops.

My approach and philosophy towards wedding photography is that at a wedding there is never enough time to photograph everything; we have to prioritize things in order to ensure that you get photos of what you feel is most important to you and not waste time doing things that perhaps on reflection are less important.

Here you can see examples of my photography during the different parts of the day:

Location > The landscapes, architecture and ambience of your venue.
Details > Creative fine art pictures of the details.
Men getting ready > Stylish shots of the men getting ready.
Bridal Preparations > The bridal party and family preparing.
The Ceremony > Respectful, discrete coverage of the ceremony.
Cocktails and Group photos > The drinks reception and group photos.

What is your photography style?

To some up my style of photography I’d say “it is fashion oriented modern contemporary classical candid pseudo photo-journalistic reportage portraiture with details…” At this point I can hear you cry “What on earth is that!” What it means is that I don’t like being categorized and I do not believe you can completely photograph a wedding in one style of photography so you have do them all in order to get the most extensive coverage of probably the most important day of your lives so far.

I leave you to enjoy your wedding day without having a photographer in your face, I prefer to work unnoticed from a distance to capture emotions and spontaneity, most people say they were unaware of me at work. However, if necessary I will guide you and do my best to make your day go perfectly.

Will you photograph every person at our wedding?

If you are a very small group, say 15-20 people then I don’t mind taking a photo of everyone as long as I feel that the other areas of the event have been covered sufficiently. At any wedding my priority is the couple and close family. Hopefully you book me as I offer a style of photography that appeals to you, please understand that my priority is to obtain these images for you and not pass my time snapping a photo of everyone there which anyone is capable of doing.

What makes you different from other wedding photographers?

Perhaps my style, possibly my commitment. I hope my images resonate with you. I want people to look at my images and feel drawn to them. I am a perfectionist and I dedicate myself 100% to everything I do.

Extraordinary exists all around us. Photography should not make it mundane.

Jules Bower