About Daniel Charles Photography – some questions answered

Who will actually be taking the wedding photos?

me in pondMe! (That’s me, standing in the lake whilst shooting Stephanie and Fergus’ wedding at Combermere Abbey) I always bring an assistant with me – they help me with equipment lugging and setup, but also act, on occasion, as second shooters, so that key moments in the ceremony and speeches are covered from more than one angle. Depending on their skill level, I also allow them to shoot at other times in the day too.

How long have you been taking photographs for?

I’ve been obsessed with photography ever since receiving a 110 film pocket camera as a birthday gift, over 30 years ago. That simple point and click toy camera got my photographic juices flowing. It was followed by a Pentax Auto 110 (the world’s smallest production Single Lens Reflex camera – I’ve still got it!) a few years later. It was then that I decided that photography was something I wanted to pursue as a career.

When did you start shooting weddings?

About 10 years ago, following many years in graphic design and  commercial photography. In this time I’ve shot well over 300 weddings. This level of experience means you can rely on me to capture all the important parts of your wedding, meaning you can relax and enjoy your day. As the years have gone by, I’ve realised what an amazing privilege it is to be with the happy couple in some of the most tender and private moments of their day.

Do you photograph family groups as well as portraits of the bride and groom?

Yes, I do. Naturally, I’d rather spend the whole day getting amazing photographs of the bride and groom, but that’s not fair on the guests! Many times I’ve heard how a photographer barked orders at everyone, took far too long with the photos, seemed to think the day was all about them and left a sour taste in the mouths of the couple and guests alike so I strive to ensure that none of my couples or their guests feel that way at the end of a shoot with me. My method removes the interminable delays to the day’s proceedings that can be caused by the photography when it’s not done properly. I do this by combining reportage style candid photography at some parts of the day with a few formal posed group and family shots, along with beautiful shots of the happy couple together. When I’m shooting weddings, my methods mean that the family group photographs generally take no more than about 20 minutes to complete. This allows the guests to relax and be quickly released from what is often seen as the most negative and boring part of a wedding.

Why do you love shooting weddings so much?

I’ve been married for over 10 years and I love everything about marriage and weddings. I get a real thrill from photographing the moment every couple tie the knot. People at weddings are (almost) always so happy – photographing them is a real joy to me. The human face conveys more emotion than any landscape or animal shot. Put me in a wedding with lovely people having fun and I’m as happy as can be. I hope you enjoy looking at my photography and that you pick up that phone at the end!

What equipment do you use?

My trusty Pentax Auto 110 didn’t cut the mustard when it came to college in 1998, so I upgraded to a Canon AE-1 35mm SLR and haven’t looked back since. The AE-1 was stolen (Lesson 1: Never leave your cameras in the car), the replacement Canon 1000F went for a swim in a river (Lesson 2: Never lend your cameras to a friend) and the subsequent Canon EOS 300 was put out to retirement on eBay when the digital camera age arrived with the Canon 300d. The 300d is now my 9 year old daughter’s play thing, and its replacement, the Canon EOS 5D, is always in my bag, playing emergency back-up to my 5DmkII and 5DmkIII. There’s a Canon 40D rolling around in my office too, but that doesn’t come out to play so often. Anyway, great wedding photographs have very little to do with the cameras they were shot on; it’s really all about the glass in front of the camera and the eyes behind it. I mostly use my Canon 50mm f1.4 and 85mm f1.8 lenses along with my 16-35mm f4.0 L for groups and amazing wedding landscapes and architecture. If those numbers make no sense to you, don’t worry – that’s why you hire professionals to shoot weddings. My bag also contains many other items for shooting weddings – flashguns, battery packs, lights etc. I always carry extra backups of everything – cameras, batteries, memory cards etc.

Are you insured?

Absolutely – this is essential for any professional photographer. When meeting potential photographers for your wedding day, make sure they’re fully covered for both Public Liability and Private Indemnity.

Where do you work?

While I’ve shot weddings as far apart as Bangor in Northern Ireland and Clarens in South Africa, most of my work has been commissioned in the UK’s North West, taking in Liverpool, Cheshire, Manchester, Warrington and Preston. I’m more than happy to travel anywhere in the country, or indeed, the world, if travel expenses are provided. So wherever you are, drop me a line. I look forward to hearing from you to discuss your wedding plans.

Are all the photos on the site from real weddings?

Every wedding photo shown on this site is from a real live wedding in Liverpool, Cheshire and other parts of the North West. Every wedding image has been taken by Daniel Charles Photography – that is, either by me or one of my talented assistants (I’m at every single wedding as the primary photographer). I love to do wedding photography in Liverpool because of the compact size of the city – I’m originally from London, where to shoot a wedding in the suburbs and then to wish to travel into the city centre to take advantage of stunning architecture and Royal parks was a logistical impossibility. Here in Liverpool, wedding photography can take place at the church or other venue in the ‘burbs, and then, a mere ten to fifteen minutes later, the bridal party can be in the city centre, with its World Heritage sites and incredibly beautiful period architecture. Wedding Photography in Liverpool is a dream come true for me. I also am happy to travel – wedding photography in Manchester, Cheshire and the surrounding areas is equally as exciting as wedding photography in Liverpool.

I’m convinced – how do I book Daniel Charles Photography?

Please fill in my contact form to start the process. I’ll get back in touch with you as soon as possible – normally the same day. I’ll arrange a meeting with you to meet me, see more of my work and to discuss your budget and requirements. Should you decide to book me, then there’s a £300.00 downpayment to make. This is neither refundable nor transferable and is stored in my client account until after the wedding when I spend it on your amazing wedding album. The final balance is due two weeks before the wedding day, when I meet with you at your venue to draw up a detailed schedule of the day. Once the shoot is completed, I edit your images and present them to you in a post-wedding meeting, when we’ll also sort out the album cover options. To me, the job isn’t finished until I’ve seen and heard the reaction of the couple when I hand the completed album over to them. The best part of all though, of course, is when the couple see their photos for the first time.