Expert advice about photography

Here is a selection of Q&As from Your Cheshire & Merseyside Wedding magazine whether it be about flowers, hair and makeup, fashion, wedding themes, health & beauty, cakes, stationery, legal advice. If you would like your question answered by our experts, please email it to


Choosing your storyteller

Choosing your storyteller

Q. Stacey is an award-winning photographer covering North Wales and the North West who describes herself as a “passionate perfectionist.”

A. Stacey Oliver says: Choose a photographic style you like – every photographer has their own, so go with your instinct. I try to tell a story in pictures, but also like capturing those killer couple shots. I love it when couples are willing to give me creative freedom. So, do your research, check out their portfolio, google reviews and social media. It's also a good idea to ask to see a full wedding album. It's crucial to meet your photographer as soon as possible, either in person or via a Skype or Zoom call, to make sure you click (pardon the pun). After all, they're the one supplier who'll be with you most of the day. I recommend booking an engagement or pre-wedding shoot, as this can help you get to know each other, so you'll feel much more comfortable and at ease on the day itself.

Your photos are one of the most important things to invest in, they should be a timeless account of the most important day of your life. So, set a budget with this in mind.

Stacey Oliver,Stacey Oliver Photographer


Change of plan

Change of plan

Q. Our worst fears were realised when the government specifically banned weddings, meaning we're faced with the disappointment and challenge of rescheduling ours. Can you offer any advice?

A. Matthew Rycraft says: Of course, there's a lot to reorganise, so it's good idea to start prioritising. If you need to reschedule a wedding as a result of COVID-19, your top priorities should be as follows:

- The venue. Your number one priority is to contact the venue. Ask if there are any dates available later this year, or even next, and if any deposit paid can be put towards the new date.

- The photographer is your next port of call. Under the current circumstances, all wedding suppliers should be supportive, so get in touch to see if they can offer any flexibility. Don't delay as they may book up well in advance.

- The dress. As clothing stores are also closed at the moment, your wedding dress supplier should agree to move your fitting to whenever it's required. They should also be able to hold the gown for as long as necessary.

- Flowers. Bear in mind, if you were planning a summer wedding that's become a winter one, you might want to begin rethinking your floral choices.

Communication is key. Get in touch with suppliers, and if they really can't help with the new date start search for good alternatives. I have a preferred list of suppliers and we're here to help.

Matthew Rycraft,Matthew Rycraft Photography


An air of romance

An air of romance

Q. How can we make the most of our venue's indoor and outside spaces to create the most romantic couple shots?

A. Kevin Brown says: There's such a wide range of venues available for weddings in the region from castles to village halls, so there's nearly always a great place to capture some romantic shots. We always do a thorough recce of the venue before the big day, especially if it's one we haven't worked at previously. We're constantly on the lookout for the best light and backdrops. This creates a great opportunity for a pre-wedding shoot, which means you get to run through your day, and get used to being relaxed in front of the camera.

City and town venues often have lots of photo opportunities within a short walk, especially Liverpool.

If you're concerned about your venue not being located in a scenic spot, sometimes simply shooting from a different angle means an unsightly background can be avoided. There are usually plenty of doorways, alcoves, brick or stone walls and other little gems if you look hard enough.

Kevin Brown


Candid camera

Candid camera

Q. I'm not keen on formal group shots but want to make sure we get snaps of all of our guests. What can you recommend to ensure the informal outdoor atmosphere of our day is reflected in our photographs?

A. Michelle Mahoney says: Choose your photographer wisely. It's the candid informal photos that really tell the story of your day. To get these, first and foremost, your guests need to feel comfortable with your photographer, so much so they forget we're even there. Being subtle and discrete with the camera – a photography ninja – helps as well! If you hire someone who's friendly and informal, yet professional, your images are going to reflect this.

Also, be sure to brief your photographer on your preferences. They need to understand that whilst you may not fancy having lots of formal group shots you still want to have photos of your guests to cherish. This way they can organise and prepare themselves to make sure they capture the best images of all your loved ones.

Michelle Mahoney


Fun in the sun

Fun in the sun

Q. We're getting married next July and would like our pictures to reflect the season. What can you suggest?

A. Karen Boyle says: July, the height of our glorious British summer when your wedding options are wonderfully wide. Many venues offer outdoor ceremonies in their beautiful grounds, giving us opportunities to photograph you from different angles, seeing you and your guests set against a gorgeous panorama, as well as up close with the fabulous light around you. What's more, trees are in full leaf, giving us amazing backgrounds and dappled shade to pose beneath, plus bark contrasts amazingly well with wedding dresses and flowers.

Long, warm evenings allow relaxed outdoor shots and fantastic opportunities to get creative with the colours in the sky. If you choose to have your ceremony in a church, the summer light coming through stained glass allows one of us to frame the two of you with the stained glass in its full glory and the altar in front of you, while the other is capturing all of the more intimate detail of the smiles, laughs and tears. This is the benefit of having a second shooter!

Even if the weather isn't kind you can still have fun with brollies making this a feature of your photo album. All you need to do is share your love and enjoy your special day.

Karen Boyle


Strike a pose

Strike a pose

Q. My partner and I are really nervous in front of the camera. What are your top tips for posing on the day?

A. Daniel Killoran says: It's all about distraction. Your photographer should have the people skills to know how to engage with you both and find the things that help you bounce off each other. When there's movement and conversation you lose the tension. Going for a walk and occasionally sitting down in some picture-perfect spots will allow you the freedom to interact with one another. This will start to show the idiosyncrasies that make you who you are as a couple, like how you hold hands, link arms, kiss or tease each other.

Even in the moments when you feel self-conscious, it can still work brilliantly on camera. Spontaneous giggles when you're feeling awkward often make great shots as it shows your personality.

Remember, this is your special day and you're in your best clothes, surrounded by family and friends. With a great photographer to capture it, the odds are stacked heavily in favour of you having an album you'll cherish forever.

Daniel Killoran


Picture Perfect

Picture Perfect

Q. My partner and I have seen that lots of couples have engagement shoots, but we're a little nervous in front of the camera. Is it something we should consider?

A. Caroline White says: Once my couples meet me they soon realise that my approach will be fun and chilled out – and I won't ask them to perform! Having a pre-wedding shoot is a great way to help you relax in front of the lens. There's a lot of trust involved when choosing your photographer. It's important to find someone who'll give you the confidence to be yourself so you can get on with enjoying your big day.

Rachael and Andrew were both feeling anxious before their pre-wedding shoot, but we ended up capturing some wonderful images of them laying in the long grass with the father-of-the groom's classic car. They used this image as a motif on the big day, with it featuring on their guest book, place settings and on a large easel in the venue. I loved capturing all the emotions of their special day and felt I could blend in perfectly as we already knew each other.

Caroline White