My Wedding Photography Style – Karl Drage, Northamptonshire Wedding Photographer

My Wedding Photography Style – Karl Drage, Northamptonshire Wedding Photographer

One of the most difficult things to get across without physically showing you one of my wedding photography photobooks is my overall wedding photography style. Predominantly, I’m a story-teller. I love to capture the real moments of your day in a reportage or documentary way. Beyond that, though, I do very much enjoy the time I spend alone with my couples. Contrary to popular belief, it should be a fun, enjoyable experience for all parties! 🙂 I’m also not the kind of photographer who will disappear for an hour here or there. I’ll always be on the lookout for photographic opportunities, even when there’s not much going on; your guests will always be interacting with one another!

How many pictures?

There are a number of factors that affect the number of images you can expect to receive from me. The most significant, as you might expect, is the duration of coverage required. Longer bookings generally result in more photographic opportunities, though the number of pictures per hour tends to be higher with a shorter booking. Other things that have a substantial bearing are the weather, the number of guests and the entertainment you have planned. I will generally deliver an absolute minimum of 500 different images to the client from a 10-hour wedding photography booking. There have been weddings where this number has doubled.

The Coverage Itself

So what aspects of the day will I normally be looking to cover? As you may or may not have discovered already, my wedding photography packages are all time based. The minimum duration of a long-range booking I am able to accept for a peak season wedding (Friday to Sunday, 1st April to 30th September) is eight hours. If, for whatever reason, you’re still looking for a wedding photographer with less than three months to go before your wedding and are looking for a shorter duration of coverage, please feel free to get in touch and enquire about my availability. I make no promises, but if I can help, I will.

BRIDAL PREPARATIONS

If I’m covering the bridal preparations, I will usually plan to arrive somewhere between one-and-a-half to two hours ahead of the ceremony time, unless you specifically ask me to arrive earlier or later. Some brides are more comfortable without make-up than others. Some people like images of their whole entourage getting ready, too. The ball really is in your court on when you want me to start. If you do feel slightly uneasy in front of the camera, I always think the tail end of the bridal prep is the perfect opportunity to take the edge off it.

Finishing touches to the bridal preparations by Milton Keynes wedding photographer Karl Drage
Finishing touches to the bridal preparations by Milton Keynes wedding photographer Karl Drage
Bridal flower crown by Rockingham Flowers, Northants
Bridal flower crown by Rockingham Flowers, Northants
Buttoning up the bridal gown - by Northampton wedding photographer Karl Drage
Buttoning up the bridal gown – by Northampton wedding photographer Karl Drage
The beautiful bride makes sure everything is just perfect ahead of her wedding ceremony – by Northamptonshire wedding photographer Karl Drage
If your bridal prep location has stairs, a shot of you leaving is essential – by Birmingham wedding photographer Karl Drage.

WEDDING TRANSPORT

If we need to travel to the wedding venue, I will look to capture some pictures of you with the wedding car (ideally including your departure – especially if it’s from your home or your childhood home) before I make my own way there. Regrettably, logistics can mean this is not always possible.

Bride sitting in her wedding car
The bride steps into her waiting carriage.

Once I’m there, I will cover your arrival before heading off to see how your intended is coping with things!

The bridal party arrives, by Warwickshire wedding photographer Karl Drage
The bridal party arrives, by Warwickshire wedding photographer Karl Drage
The bride and father-of-the-bride arrive at Northampton Guildhall - by Northampton wedding photographer Karl Drage
The bride and father-of-the-bride arrive at Northampton Guildhall – by Northampton wedding photographer Karl Drage

INSIDE THE VENUE

The nervous wait - by Warwickshire wedding photographer Karl Drage
The nervous wait – by Warwickshire wedding photographer Karl Drage

I’ll endeavour to capture some of the finer details of your ceremony, such as of the flowers or any musical accompaniment you may have arranged.

Musical accompaniment - by Warwickshire wedding photographer Karl Drage
Musical accompaniment – by Warwickshire wedding photographer Karl Drage

THE WEDDING CEREMONY

For civil marriages I would expect to position myself at the front of the room for the ceremony itself. Normally, registrars are extremely accommodating in this regard, but things can vary greatly if you are getting married in a church. I have had vicars who have been quite happy for me to move around discretely during proceedings, and similarly I have experienced blanket bans on pictures. Usually the reality is somewhere in between. It’s important that you have discussed expectations with the person conducting your ceremony ahead of your wedding day, so that all parties know where they stand.

Emotional crowd reactions - by Warwickshire wedding photographer Karl Drage
Emotional crowd reactions – by Warwickshire wedding photographer Karl Drage
With this ring, I thee wed - by Bucks wedding photographer Karl Drage
With this ring, I thee wed – by Bucks wedding photographer Karl Drage
You may kiss the bride - by Rutland wedding photographer Karl Drage
You may kiss the bride – by Rutland wedding photographer Karl Drage

Once you’ve exchanged vows, rings and signed the certificate (sadly the official register is no more), we’ll do some pictures of a fake signing. Please note: I’m not allowed to take pictures of the actual signing due to data protection laws. If time permits (occasionally, usually on busy Saturdays, registrars can be time-constrained) we’ll bring in your witnesses and anybody else you want pictures with at that stage.

Fake signing of the wedding register - by Northampton wedding photographer Karl Drage
Fake signing of the wedding register – by Northampton wedding photographer Karl Drage

I’ll then move to the back of the room to capture you walking back down the aisle as a married couple. Hopefully your walk will be accompanied by lots of happy and smiling guests! If you remember in all the excitement, it’s a great time to have another kiss!

A loving kiss between husband and wife after a beautiful wedding ceremony in the stunning Baronial Hall at Highgate House, Creaton - by Northampton wedding photographer Karl Drage
A loving kiss between husband and wife after a beautiful wedding ceremony in the stunning Baronial Hall at Highgate House, Creaton – by Northampton wedding photographer Karl Drage
The new Mr & Mrs Smith - by Raunds wedding photographer Karl Drage
The new Mr & Mrs Smith – by Raunds wedding photographer Karl Drage

DRINKS RECEPTION / MEET & GREET

You’ll normally then have drinks, canapes and be congratulated by your guests. Unless we’re really pushed for time or the weather is closing in, I’ll let you enjoy the moment.

Congratulations from the congregation – by Northamptonshire wedding photographer Karl Drage.

The CONFETTI SHOT

We’ll probably look to do the confetti shot next…. It’s always one of my favourite parts of the day and usually produces some great pictures. Most venues now have rules that only allow biodegradable confetti to be used. You might also want to consider supplying some yourself as limited numbers of guests seem to arrive with their own now.

You can't beat a good confetti shower!
You can’t beat a good confetti shower!
An indoor confetti shot on a wedding day
Some venues have started insisting on confetti shots taking place inside!

THE NEWLYWEDS

I’ll then whisk you away to our pre-determined location(s) for some pictures of just the two of you. Where practical I’ll try to incorporate the wedding car and to make use of the venue’s surroundings. Feel free to supply some props of your own for this bit.

Cheers! - by Warwickshire wedding photographer Karl Drage
Cheers! – by Warwickshire wedding photographer Karl Drage
One of the unique opportunities presented by the stunning wedding venue that is Compton Verney - by Warwickshire wedding photographer Karl Drage
One of the unique opportunities presented by the stunning wedding venue that is Compton Verney – by Warwickshire wedding photographer Karl Drage
Black and white picture of two brides sharing a tender moment under their veils on their wedding day
Wedding veils always provide nice photographic opportunities
Delapre Abbey Wedding Day
Delapre Abbey Wedding Day
A tender kiss between bride and groom on their wedding day - by Raunds wedding photographer Karl Drage
A tender kiss between bride and groom on their wedding day – by Raunds wedding photographer Karl Drage
A big balloon makes a great wedding photo prop
A big balloon makes a great wedding photo prop

My bespoke wedding photography packages include both smoke grenades and sparklers for couples who would like to add a bit of extra wow to some of their pictures!

Bride and Groom carrying smoke bombs on their wedding day
Newlyweds always love using smoke bombs to add some additional colour to their wedding photos!
A bride and groom stride out down the middle of a road with smoke bombs after their Central London wedding
Smoke grenades make for amazing pictures. Gemma and Dan are seen absolutely smashing it at their Central London wedding
Bride and groom with black and orange smoke grenades on their wedding day
With 9 colours available, you have the freedom to choose the colours that best match with your colour palette.

FORMAL GROUP SHOTS

Once we’re done, we’ll head back to the main party and get the group shots done. If you’ve not got a wedding car, I’ll probably suggest that we do the group pictures first to save everyone having to hang around.

The bride and her bridesmaids - by Warwickshire wedding photographer Karl Drage
The bride and her bridesmaids – by Warwickshire wedding photographer Karl Drage
Informal wedding day group shot
Not all wedding day group shots need to be formal!

WEDDING BREAKFAST ROOM

Ideally there will be a five or ten-minute window prior to the wedding breakfast where I can get in to the room before the guests. This enables me to take some general and detailed shots of your beautifully-presented room.

It's always worth photographing the room for the wedding breakfast before everyone is allowed in - by Kettering wedding photographer Karl Drage
It’s always worth photographing the room for the wedding breakfast before everyone is allowed in – by Kettering wedding photographer Karl Drage
The seating plan and all the finer details are worthy of recording - by Northampton wedding photographer Karl Drage
The seating plan and all the finer details are worthy of recording – by Northampton wedding photographer Karl Drage
Intricate wedding day details - by Brackley wedding photographer Karl Drage
Intricate wedding day details – by Brackley wedding photographer Karl Drage
All ready for the wedding breakfast - by Leicester wedding photographer Karl Drage
All ready for the wedding breakfast – by Leicester wedding photographer Karl Drage

ENTRANCE

I will either plan to be near the top table or follow you in as you’re presented to your guests at the start of the wedding breakfast.

Please by upstanding for your bride and groom - by Northampton wedding photographer Karl Drage
Please by upstanding for your bride and groom – by Northampton wedding photographer Karl Drage

Thereafter, I shall put a long lens on and wander around capturing the interactions between your guests. Hopefully they’ll be blissfully unaware that the camera is trained upon them, as that definitely makes for the most natural images.

SPEECHES

When your speeches take place is entirely up to you. It’s becoming increasingly common for some or all of them to happen before any food is served. My aim will be to move around (subject to space!) during the speeches with the goal of capturing not only the person speaking but also the reactions of those who are listening on intently. You see the whole range of emotions during this part of the day from sad tears, to happy tears as well as plenty of cringing from the groom!

The speeches always illicit some nice reactions - by Brackley wedding photographer Karl Drage
The speeches always illicit some nice reactions – by Brackley wedding photographer Karl Drage
Emotions sometimes get the better of people, whatever the reason – by Kettering wedding photographer Karl Drage

GOLDEN LIGHT / SUNSET / BLUE HOUR

Depending upon the timings for your day and that of sunset, we’ll try to fit in another couple session after the wedding breakfast. The period an hour or so either side of sunset can produce some amazing colours and light.

An hour or so before sunset is known as golden hour.
An hour or so before sunset is known as golden hour.
Setting sun at a magical fairytale Sedgebrook Hall wedding – by Northants wedding photographer Karl Drage
Bride and groom kissing after the sun has set
Despite its name, the “blue hour” only really lasts for 20-30 minutes
Two brides in a field of sunflowers as it gets dark
Portable studio lights mean things don’t have to stop when it’s virtually dark

I’m more than happy to respond to any requests from your guests for pictures of themselves with their families during quieter periods.

CAKE CUTTING & FIRST DANCE

With your evening guests now arrived, we’ll usually cut the cake and then go straight into the first dance.

Cutting the wedding cake can be a bittersweet experience.
Cutting the wedding cake can be a bittersweet experience.
The first dance between husband and wife - by Northampton wedding photographer Karl Drage
The first dance between husband and wife – by Northampton wedding photographer Karl Drage

EVENING ENTERTAINMENT

You may have arranged evening entertainment for your guests.

A'magic' wedding at Barton Hall - by Kettering wedding photographer Karl Drage
A ‘magic’ wedding at Barton Hall – by Kettering wedding photographer Karl Drage
Not your average wedding band! – by Kettering wedding photographer Karl Drage.
A caricaturist is a great addition to any wedding party!
A caricaturist is a great addition to any wedding party!

AFTER DARK

Prior to purchasing my portable lighting equipment, I always treated the first dance as the natural cut off point. Now, depending upon the time of year and the duration of your booking, we might be able to play around after dark. I’d definitely encourage you to do this if your venue has any nice external archways, pillars, pagodas or other architectural features.

The happy couple after dark at Edgbaston’s the High Field.
Your wedding day should be filled with love.
Your wedding day should be filled with love.

Fireworks and / or sparklers are always well received, too!

A sparkling wedding day at the Desborough Ritz
A sparkling wedding day at the Desborough Ritz

PAR-TAAAAAY!

Whether you want pictures of you and your guests getting slightly worse for wear is a very personal thing – some couples LOVE IT and some couples are APPALLED by the idea. The beauty of my time-based wedding photography packages is that the ball is completely in your court!

Couple dancing at a wedding
One of the worst parts about COVID weddings was the lack of a dancefloor. It’s brilliant that they’re now back!

KNOCKING OFF & WHAT HAPPENS NEXT

As you’ll note from the above, there is very little time where I am not actively engaged ‘on duty’. Beyond the time I’m actually with you, I will always do my best to get your fully-edited pictures to you in as timely a manner as possible.

This still represents just a tiny fraction of the images my style of wedding photography is likely to deliver. You’ll be able to view some slideshows from real weddings I’ve photographed within blog posts on the site. Please take a look.

More Information

If you’ve not already done so, please take a look at my WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY PACKAGES – Karl Drage, Northampton Wedding Photographer.

For more information on what happens when you decide you want me to photograph your wedding, please see: WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY by Karl Drage – How I Work

While every wedding is different, there are certain elements which are usually broadly similar. Take a look at a typical wedding day to see the thought processes I’m likely to employ for your big day.

There’s much more work involved in photographing a wedding than just rocking up and taking the pictures. I’ve put together this guide to explain why wedding photography can seem expensive but it’s really not.

And if you are still on the hunt for your perfect snapper, here’s a list of questions you should ask a wedding photographer before making your mind up.

Get in Contact

If you’d like to enquire about my availability, to discuss other options or if you have any queries, please use one of the methods on the Contact Us page to get in touch.

I am based in Northamptonshire but I am willing to travel out of area, though please be aware this may bring with it an additional cost.

Karl Drage is a professional Northamptonshire-based wedding photographer covering the following counties:

Bedfordshire Wedding Photographer | Buckinghamshire Wedding Photographer | Cambridgeshire Wedding Photographer | Leicestershire Wedding Photographer | Northants Wedding Photographer | Oxfordshire Wedding Photographer | Rutland Wedding Photographer | Warwickshire Wedding Photographer

Providing wedding photography services in the following towns and everywhere in between:

Corby Wedding Photographer | Daventry Wedding Photographer | Huntingdon Wedding Photographer | Kettering Wedding Photographer | Leicester Wedding Photographer | Milton Keynes Wedding Photographer | Northampton Wedding Photographer | Oundle Wedding Photographer | Peterborough Wedding Photographer | Rugby Wedding Photographer | Stamford Wedding Photographer | Wellingborough Wedding Photographer