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Wedding Photography FAQs

Wedding Photography FAQs
In photo: quintessential English wedding at Hedsor house. white A line classic lace wedding dress by Marchesa. Photo by Cristina Ilao www.cristinailao.com

Wedding Photography Style & Approach FAQs

How would you describe your photography style?

I have a relaxed approach that involves a combination of reportage and editorial photography. This means that I capture both naturally posed and candid photos depending on what works given the situation.

The editorial style is an important element to my work and leans towards thoughtfully curating the images I capture. I carefully think about the lighting as well as posing and the way I’m positioning you against the background. I provide gentle guidance and suggest actions that will help create natural-looking photos. This is most evident in my bride and groom portraits as well as the wedding details. The reportage approach is used throughout the day to capture moments as they unfold naturally.

Whatever approach appeals more to you, we will work together to arrive at a combination that works well and makes you feel comfortable.

Do you also shoot weddings using analogue film?

Yes! I’m a hybrid photographer which means that I shoot using both digital and film formats depending on your requirements. Shooting film involves additional costs (sending film rolls to the film laboratory, scanning, and processing of films, etc.) so this will be considered when tailoring a hybrid wedding package.

What camera gear do you use?

I strongly believe that the beauty of an image is a result of a photographer’s skills and experience, not his/her gear and/or equipment. However, let me answer this for your peace of mind.

I only use professional-grade cameras, lenses, and accessories for both digital and film photography. All my equipment have back-ups (two of each camera, lens, and accessory) and are regularly serviced to keep them in tip-top shape.

Do you work with a second shooter?

This depends on the size and requirements of your wedding. I mainly shoot weddings on my own, or with an assistant as needed. This allows me to work easily and quickly to capture all the important moments as they happen. A second shooter can be added as part of your package and is advisable if you have a large wedding or if you simply prefer to have two photographers.

How will you dress on our wedding day?

I will dress according to your required guest dress code. During the wedding, I try to blend in with the guests so that I can work unobtrusively and ensure that I capture natural-looking photos.

Wedding Photography FAQs
In photo: English Countryside Autumn Wedding at a Flower Farm | Photos and Text by Cristina Ilao Photography | In photo: minimalist destination wedding table arrangement with brass candlesticks and neutral colour themed crockery

Availability & Booking FAQs

How do we reserve our wedding date?

I require a non-refundable retainer and a signed contract to reserve your wedding date.

What is a retainer?

A retainer is an amount to be paid at the time of signing the contract to protect your wedding date from any incoming enquires and bookings I may receive for that particular date.

Can we meet you first?

Of course! Your wedding photographer is the person you’ll spend the most time with on your wedding day. It’s important for you to choose someone you feel comfortable with. Remember, if you don’t feel comfortable with your photographer, you won’t look good in the photos and you also won’t have a good experience.

I am based between London and Newcastle Upon Tyne in the UK. I’m happy to meet you anywhere within the central district of my two base cities. Don’t worry if you’re not local. We can always arrange a phone or a video call and get to know each other virtually.

How much coverage do we need?

Most couples book me for 8-10 hours and that is more than enough for me to cover the wedding morning preparations up to the first dance. Don’t worry if you need additional coverage for a rehearsal dinner or a post-wedding breakfast. We can always customise coverage that is tailored to you. If you’re going for an elopement, an intimate wedding, or something that only requires a few hours to shoot, get in touch so I can tailor a photography package for you.

Will you be the photographer on our wedding day or will it be someone else?

I will be personally photographing your wedding. If you have requested a second shooter and the groom is in a different location, I will capture the bridal preparations and my second shooter will capture the groom preparations.

How many weddings will you photograph on the week of our wedding?

I only accept one wedding per week. This allows me enough travel time, adequate rest between weddings and destinations, the ability to offer high quality service to all my couples and to respond quickly to emails or questions you may have. You can expect me to arrive at your wedding fully prepared, properly rested and ready to perform my best.

Wedding Photography FAQs
In photo: Chiswick House - one of the best London Wedding Venues for Intimate Weddings. Photo by Cristina Ilao Photography

Wedding Photography Pricing & Coverage FAQs

Why is wedding photography expensive?

Pricing takes into account a lot of factors such as the photographer’s background and experience, the level of service he/she provides, the coverage required, hours spent on the wedding day and outside of the wedding, and the costs of doing business, among others. Business expenses could include investment in professional-grade photography gear and back-up gears, computer equipment, gear, and equipment maintenance costs, insurance, legal and accounting fees, photo editing software subscriptions, online galleries, outsourced services, film rolls, film scanning, and many others.

Wedding photography is a demanding job that requires a highly experienced photographer. You need someone who knows their camera inside out. You need someone who has experience dealing with different kinds of situations and lighting conditions – someone who will not panic and isn’t just practicing on your wedding day. Wedding photography is an investment in the experience, not just in the photos. So invest in one who can give you the kind of experience you want to have on your special day.

With wedding photography, you get what you pay for. Photographers who are willing to give you shocking discounts are likely to cut corners. A lower price might mean that the photographer is inexperienced or doesn’t offer highly quality service. They may not even be insured. Or worse, they might be accepting a ridiculous number of weddings. You might get a struggling and exhausted photographer who can’t provide dedicated high-quality service and can’t keep his/her promises. Remember, if it’s too good to be true – it probably is!

How much do you charge?

Investment for weddings in the UK begin at £1,600. Read more about it here.

If you’re thinking of having something smaller like an elopement, get in touch so I can tailor coverage that is specific to your needs.

What is included in your standard wedding package?

Please head to the investment section of this page.

How much do extra hours cost?

Extra hour coverage costs £150.

Do you accept payment in installments?

Yes. The retainer is due immediately to reserve your wedding date. 50% is due 6 months before the wedding and the final 50% is due one month before the wedding.

Do you include engagement photos in your package? What about rehearsal dinners?

Yes. In fact, most of the couples who book me include an engagement session in their photography coverage. I strongly recommend it especially if you’ve never been professionally photographed. It’s the best way for us to get to know each other more and for you to feel confident in front of the camera before the big day.

Do you offer discounts for mid-week weddings?

I aim to achieve the same level of standard for each wedding I accept. I also don’t cut corners and therefore, I don’t offer discounts. However, I can tailor a package that meets your needs and budget. Send me a message with details of your wedding here.

Do you charge a travel fee?

Wedding planning is already stressful so I don’t want to add to that by surprising you with hidden costs. I already include travel fees and all required accommodation costs in all the prices I quote. Easy peasy!

Wedding Photography FAQs
In photo: English countryside wedding at a flower farm by Cristina Ilao Photography

Photos & Albums FAQs

How will our photos look?

All the photos in my portfolio and the photos you’ll receive in your wedding gallery are natural-looking images that accurately represent real colours. I don’t follow trends so I am not a fan of dark and moody or colour-manipulating editing styles. This is because I only aim to produce timeless imagery. Ten, twenty, or even fifty years from now, your natural-looking photos will look as stylish as the day they were taken.

Can you make us look thinner/more beautiful?

As much as I believe each of us is already beautiful the way we are, I understand that everyone has something they feel conscious about. I gently guide you in a way that highlights your best features and flatters your body type.

Did you mean photo manipulation? This can also be done but for an additional fee and will be outsourced to a specialist.

Can we request specifics shot that we like?

Of course! This is not a problem at all. We will go through this during our calls and at our final meeting a month before your wedding.

What can we expect in our wedding gallery?

Your images will be delivered through a secure password-protected online gallery. You can expect a gallery of images carefully curated to tell the story of your wedding day and highlighting each of the different parts from the preparations to the after-party – depending on the coverage you requested.

When can we expect to receive our wedding gallery?

I offer a quick 4-week turnaround time for all wedding galleries.

How long will we have access to our gallery?

You have a whole year of free access to your online gallery.

How do you keep our images secure?

All galleries are assigned a unique password and PIN that will be emailed to you. It’s up to you to forward the password and PIN to your family and friends. Only those who know the password can access the entire online gallery. Those who have access can only download images if they also have the download PIN.

Travel FAQs

Where are you based and how far are you willing to travel?

I am based in London and Newcastle Upon Tyne. Although I work mostly in the UK, my work has also taken me places from the majestic castles in England to the sunny beaches of the Caribbean and the Baroque villas in Malta.

Wedding Photography FAQs
In photo: bridal wildflower bouquet by All Bunched Up. Photo by Cristina Ilao

Wedding Photography Contingency FAQs

What happens if we need to reschedule our wedding due to Covid-19?

I fully understand the stress and difficulty of a planning a wedding during this time. Therefore, I offer complimentary rescheduling to any available date in my calendar for any weddings affected by Covid-19. I provide regular updates and I am also available to offer advice and help you handle wedding planning during this time of uncertainty.

For my couples who chose to have a smaller celebration now and a bigger wedding later on, I am happy to offer a reduced rate for their intimate wedding.

Are you insured?

I have full Professional Indemnity Insurance and Public Liability insurance of up to £2 million. All my camera gear and photography equipment are also covered through a Professional Camera Insurance coverage.

What if it rains in our wedding?

I am based in the UK where rain is inevitable and the weather can be very unpredictable so I totally understand this concern. However, I am experienced in dealing with any kind of weather so you can rest assured that this will not affect your wedding. I have photographed weddings and editorials at the height of a snowstorm in the UK and in the middle of a heatwave in Malta!

I always scout a venue to ensure how to make the most of it and to know how I can photograph you beautifully – no matter what weather you get on your wedding day.

What if you get sick or there is an emergency?

I only accept one wedding per week to give me enough time to rest and stay healthy to capture all the weddings I accept. I have not called in sick or failed to show up to a wedding ever.

In the unlikely event that this happens, I will make every effort to find a suitable alternative photographer who is acceptable to the couple and can provide a similar package and level of service as mine.

What happens if your equipment malfunctions or breaks?

All my gear and equipment are regularly serviced and professionally cleaned ahead of each wedding. There shouldn’t be a problem if anything breaks on your big day as I always have identical back-ups of all my camera gear, lenses, accessories, and other equipment that I use to capture a wedding.

Service FAQs

What other services do you offer?

I offer lifestyle photography which includes (but is not limited to) maternity, family, and newborn photography as well as anniversary sessions. Interested to know more? Send me an email to enquire.

I also work with creatives and small-business owners by offering branding and product photography services. More details can be found here.

London wedding and editorial photographer

Meet cRiSTina

Born and raised in the Philippines, Cristina is an award-winning international wedding photographer currently based in London and Newcastle, UK. She is known for her fine art approach and light and airy photography style.

Throughout her career, Cristina has worked with distinguished television celebrities, leading UK fashion influencers and international brands, cementing her place in the UK and extending her reach to a global client base. Cristina has been featured by Nikon Europe,  Yahoo Style UK, and some of the most notable international wedding and photography magazines.

Her work has taken her to some of the most beautiful places in the world including the USA, France, Malta, Hong Kong, the Netherlands, Greece, and the Caribbean just to name a few.

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