Wedding Photographer Frequently Asked Questions

So, I may be biased but after your venue location, your choice of photographer has to be the next biggest decision about your wedding. Why? Well, we are right there with you all day; as you get ready with your best friends, when you whisper to each other during the ceremony, the first time you are alone as a newly married couple during our portraits and front row position during your speeches. So it’s pretty important that you like that person – that you like me.  I am based in Kent but love working with couples who want a relaxed and fun wedding but if you want to find out a bit more about how I work before you pick up the phone or send me a message then have a look through these frequently asked questions.

Why should we choose you as our wedding photographer?

You should choose me if I FEEL like the right one for you. Yes, you should love the look of my work; you should be able to imagine yourselves in my images, with genuine smiles and laughing together, looking relaxed. You should love the warm tones of my editing style. But it’s just as important that when you read the words on my site and on my social media that I seem like the type of person you’d like to have capturing those memories. 

I absolutely love my job and from our first interaction I will start the process of getting to know you, finding out more about you both, what you want your wedding to be like, what is important to you and basically building that relationship where you will place your trust in me to do the very best job of recording your Wedding day. I will be as invested in your final gallery as you will be but my priority is always for you to be as relaxed as possible as that is when the magic happens. That is when I capture all those genuine and authentic emotions.

How would you describe your style?

Warm, authentic and relaxed. I would say I have a documentary style to my work but I am not a true documentary photographer. True documentary means no instruction, no posing, literally shooting as the day unfolds but what I have found is that my couples, particularly during their portraits, feel more comfortable being given subtle direction. I use little prompts and ask you to do things which make you forget you are being photographed and mean I can get the gorgeous, natural interactions between you. 


How long have you been shooting weddings for?

I shot my first wedding in 2017. It was an opportunity that changed my life. It was the lightbulb moment that led me to creating my business that you can see now. 

I had studied photography at Uni and pursued it as a hobby for years after that but began semi – professionally as a family and pets photographer. If you want to find out more you can read all about why I started my photography business here. 

How many weddings do you shoot in a year?

I limit the number of wedding bookings I take to around 30. I want my couples to receive the same level of service that they would expect for the biggest day of their life and would hate to spread myself too thinly. I also value the time I spend with my family. They are what make me tick and if I am happy, relaxed and fulfilled, I will do the best job for you.

How much do you charge to shoot a wedding?

My prices are on my website, you can find them here. My full day packages start at £2300. Your images are supplied to you in a gorgeous online gallery. The gallery is password protected but you can share a link to your family and friends to spread the excitement. 

What camera do you use?

On your day I carry two Sony A7iii mirrorless cameras. I have a fancy leather harness so I have both on me all the time. I use prime lenses, I love the clarity and speed of focus that they give me and I generally have a 35mm on one camera and an 85mm on the other. I will sometimes go wide on a 24mm too but I try to avoid lens changes. I would rather have my eyes up, looking for the little stories of your day than having my head down, fiddling with my equipment. I work with natural light as much as I can because I think it’s the best. Even in darker spaces, I would rather capture the natural ambience of your surroundings and I pay a lot of money for the best equipment for the ability to do this. I will generally reserve the use of flash for speeches (only if I have to) and your first dance.

Do you carry backup equipment?

Yes, absolutely. I have three camera bodies, a number of lenses, two flashes and a gazillion batteries. Each of my camera bodies have two memory card slots too. I honestly don’t think I could shoot in the relaxed way that I do if I had to worry about kit failure, so don’t worry, I have you covered.

Do you visit the venue before the wedding?

Not always. I actually don’t feel the need to do this. I am confident that I have the skill and equipment to shoot a wedding anywhere, otherwise I wouldn’t take on that responsibility. It will also only tell me what the venue is like the exact day I visit. Light intensity and direction will change, where there is gorgeous natural shade on one day, may be in the sun on the actual wedding or there may not be access to a particular spot due to a maintenance issue. 

Also some of the wedding bookings I take are a number of hours away from home and quite honestly, it would be impractical, inconvenient and costly to visit for a quick look around every single one. Lastly, having too detailed a plan in my head can hinder my creativity. Whilst we are walking to a particular spot on a list, I may not notice the amazing pocket of light that we pass and I could miss some impromptu gems. I will arrive early and do a quick recce and we will be good to go.

Bradbourne House, Kent wedding venue in spring sunshine
The Gazebo at The Secret Garden Wedding Venue decorated with green and white flowers for ceremony
The entrance to Cooling Castle Barn, Kent Wedding venue
Dark wooden panelled wedding ceremony room at Eastwell Manor, kent

Should I have a second shooter?

Having a second shooter is an optional extra to any of my packages. It is particularly beneficial if you have a greater number of guests at your wedding (over 100) or if you would like both of you to be photographed getting ready, after all I can only be in one place at a time. It means you can get all the official bits photographed from two different perspectives which can be great. The majority of the time I shoot alone so don’t feel that this is something you have to do at all. It really is down to you.

Do you have insurance?

Yes, most definitely. Some venues may ask you to see the suppliers certificates so just let me know and I can arrange for them to see my coverage.

Do you do engagement shoots?

Yes, I love doing them. You may call them a couple shoot or a pre-wedding shoot but basically, think of them as a fun, relaxed practice session for the big day. If you are slightly nervous or uncomfortable about having your photographs taken then they are perfect for you. You get to see how I work and how I get great pictures of you just by asking you to engage with each other in cute, simple ways. You will realise that actually being in front of my camera isn’t half as scary as you thought. It gets you super excited for the wedding and you also get some lovely couple photographs that aren’t a selfie or taken by a random stranger at the last nice place you visited.

You can find a whole blog on 5 reasons you should have an engagement shoot here.

Couple embracing in woodland during their engagement shoot

Can I have group shots?

Yes of course you can. I have yet to shoot a wedding where I haven’t been given a groups list. The only thing I really advise is not to have too many, between 5 and 7 is a great number. They can be more time consuming than you’d think and your guests will not thank you for asking them to hang around for any longer than they have to. Let’s face it, they’d rather be enjoying the drinks reception, and so would you. I like to capture them quite soon after the ceremony. This means that no one has yet disappeared to move the car, change into their comfy shoes, or made their way to the bar. I might ask you to stand in a certain order (this can make a big difference to the look of the shots) but I like to keep them fun and get natural smiles, not the rigid, sour faced group pictures that our parents and grandparents had.

Bride, Groom and their bridesmaids and grooms men in a group shot

Can I give you a shot list?

Other than the list of groups above, I would rather not work to a very specific list. There may be particular details that are important, even certain people that you would like more of and I will find out about those during the approach to the day. But I have a list in my head of shots I take at every wedding and in between all of those, I will also be looking continuously for light and compositional opportunities and natural moments. I want you to trust in what I do. If I have my head in a list I may miss some of the amazing candid shots that I would normally be looking for.

Can we meet you before the wedding?

Absolutely. If distance is an issue then a ‘google meet’ can be just as effective in giving you that feeling of familiarity with me, whether that be in the early stages of your planning or much closer to your day. But a face to face is always lovely. I like nothing more than meeting in a cosy coffee shop and chatting about weddings.

How do we book you?

Firstly, please fill out my contact form on my website. This means that I can get back to you with my availability for your date and send you my investment guide with even more detail about what happens when you work with me and what is included in the packages. My booking fee is £500 and only when I have this and your signed contract is your date secured and saved just for you.

Because I limit my number of bookings, don’t wait to make your enquiry as your dream date may be booked up before you’d think. 

If you have any other questions that aren’t covered here, don’t hesitate to contact me, either by emaiI, Facebook or on instagram. I can’t wait to hear more about your wedding plans so please get in touch soon to avoid disappointment.

Nicola Dawson, Kent Wedding Photographer drinking tea


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A Wedding at The Secret Garden in Ashford, Kent

A Wedding at The Secret Garden in Ashford, Kent

Nestled in the lovely countryside of Ashford lies a hidden gem known as The Secret Garden. This enchanting wedding venue in Kent is a dreamy escape from the hustle and bustle of city life, making it the ideal setting for an intimate wedding affair.


I'm a Kent Wedding Photographer for happy, relaxed, loved-up couples who want to look and feel amazing on their wedding day. I also cover Surrey, Sussex, Essex and beyond.


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