Super Senior Member
Michael from Polarberry Photography
We've got a photography expert on the forum this week. Michael from Polarberry Photography in Edinburgh is offering helpful hints and tips all this week. He took our lovely Liz@SWD's wedding photographs last year, so he's a special friend of the SWD Team too!
Have a good week everyone!
If you have any questions regarding your wedding photography, let's see if I can help.
Or if you're looking for the best Bolognese recipe, I can help with that also.
Super Senior Member
I'm getting married on 28th December. The service is provisionally booked for 3pm, however i got thinking afterwards that it might be dark at that time of day! What has been your previous experience of wedding photography in the winter? I'm thinking i should try to book the service a bit earlier but I don't want to make it too early as we're having the ceremony and the reception at the hotel.
Depending on how long your ceremony is, there might be time to make use of the light available afterwards. This would generally be used to take photos of yourself and the groom, making use of the surrounding spots at your venue (some atmospheric shots can be had in failing light) with the more time consuming formal photographs taken later, inside in a space designated by the venue.
The majority of my Winter weddings have been dictated by the rain and not the light :-)
Every photographer has their own way of lighting a situation and making use of lighting conditions at every time of year, so unless you were set on getting some shots outside in daylight, I wouldn't change any of your timings for the big day, the photographer will work with whatever conditions arise.
Hope this helps, just let me know if you have any other questions.
We haven't yet booked our wedding but going to see a lovely venue and hoping it'll be availale late November/early December. Had a slight concern about the fading light at that time of year but really happy to read your reply to the last question, so I'm not so worried about that now.
However, what if the weather was truly awful - would you attempt outside shots or would you prefer to make the most of the venue indoors? I ask because my friends wedding shots are all indoors and I know she was really disappointed (the venue was nice enough but not stunning so she doesn't have any really striking photos).
What I'm really asking is - if we go for a mid-winter wedding should we be choosing a venue that's really nice inside with plenty of photo opportunities on the assumption that we may have very few taken outdoors?
Depending on how awful the weather was on your big day, there is always scope for some outside photography. Even it was for only a couple of minutes, white umbrellas look stunning in contrasty B&W shots. It really will depend on how hardy you and the groom are should the weather be terrible. Unless wrapped in cotton wool, shoes will get muddy, trains will get wet and don't forget about your hair. :-)
I've yet to photograph a venue that doesn't have 2 or 3 areas for stunning photography, even an empty sofa in a busy bar makes an excellent background.
Always visit the venue with your photographer beforehand so you can bounce ideas off each other and they will point out the areas they think will make great backdrops. (This is also helpful to check with the venue what areas can be used for the formal photography ((line-ups)) should you have to shoot inside)
Hope this helps, any other questions just let me know.
Thanks very much Michael, that does help alot!
I now know to make sure and speak to the venue co-ordinators about the possibility of indoor photo shots and have a good look around the venue with that in mind.
Not sure if I really want to "trash the dress" by having photos taken outside in rubbish weather but at least we can plan an alternative, just in case.
Really appreciate your reply, thanks again
Is it much of a risk being at a location that the photographer has never been to? We have recently seen a company that we like but they have never been to our venue, is there anything that we can request to help ease our concerns?
It's hard to comment on other photographers and their practices as every one is different. Personally I always visit the venues before the big day as it helps me get a feel for the place and also allows me to point out photo opportunities to the couple. Time is precious on your wedding day so it's good to have at least an idea of the photos to be taken instead of mulling over options on the day.
Ask the company if they could visit the venue with you to discuss ideas, it normally only takes 20-30 minutes and if you can get the wedding co-ordinator to come along as well then all the better as they will have definitive answers to your photographer's questions regarding access / timings / routines etc. Unfortunately the company might charge you extra for the visit
Hope this helps, if you have any other questions just let me know.
Already got my photography sorted out but I'm always interested in recipes that start with 'best'... do you put milk in yours?
Originally Posted by polarberry
My Dad would put milk in but my Nona wouldn't :-)
I'm going to make a Bolognese before the weekend so will take photographs and post the recipe on Saturday.
I'm interested to hear your recipe also :-)
We are having our pre wedding shoot with our photographer in a few weeks at Glasgow Green, but Im not sure what to wear, hair, make up etc, any thought?
Super Senior Platinum Member
No questions (other than joining Gigglebert in being keen to have your recipe for bolognese, I've been doing mine with a mix of ox-tail and chopped stewing steak when I have time) but just wanted to say that I love your work.
With a pre-wedding shoot you can go as crazy or as subtle as you want! Slum it in slippers or class it up in business suits :-) It's also nice to get some close-up / macro shots of the engagement ring.
Most of my pre-wedding shoots have been at the rehearsal where I'd take shots as the couple and family were walking through the ceremony. People are in their everyday clothes which I think makes great photos because of the contrast to the glamour and opulence of the big day. You also get a feel for how nervous the men are regarding their speeches :-)
I mentioned before that I think umbrellas make excellent focal points in photos. I would take a plain umbrella or parasol along. It might be cliche but there's something timeless about a couple walking into the distance under an umbrella.
Have fun, and if you have any other questions, just let me know.
Hello SpecialSundae R
Thanks so much for your compliment, you're very kind!
I've never used ox-tail in Bolognese so definitely interested in your recipe.
I've tried to keep my recipe simple (you could call it a uni adaptation of Nona's recipe :-)
Okay, here we go!
500g Steak mince
300g jar tomato puree
400g tin chopped tomatoes
1 Beef stock cube
2-3 cloves garlic / 2 tbls garlic puree
Half tsp dried basil, half tsp dried oregano
5-6 tbls vegetable oil.
Humble beginnings but give it time and magic happens!
1. Heat oil in pan and add mince. Colour on low/medium heat.
2. Once meat is coloured, remove from heat and add basil, oregano, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper and garlic. Mix well, the dry ingredients and garlic will mix with the oil and beef liquid and infuse during cooking.
3. With the pan still off the heat, add the entire jar of tomato puree, stir well. Add the stock cube to the empty jar of tomato puree and fill with boiling water to dissolve.
4. Return pan to medium heat and bring to a simmer. Add the liquid from the tomato puree jar and the tin of chopped tomatoes. Stir well and bring back to a simmer.
5. The most important part! Cook on lowest heat for 1hr 45 - 2hr, stiring every 15-20 minutes. A non-stick pan is perfect for this as it prevents the mince sticking to the bottom and burning. If you don't have a non-stick pan you might have to stir more regularly.
6. The Bolognese will get thicker and richer as it cooks. Somewhere around the 1hr 30 mark, the transformation occurs when all of the ingredients become one. It's hard to describe but you'll notice once you taste. At this point for the last 30 minutes of cooking you can add more salt/pepper to taste.
7. Done. Remove from heat and taste. Normally a splash of milk can be added to a Bolognese to take the bitterness away from all the tomatoes, after all, there are a lot in here :-) But if you cook the sauce for long enough, the bitterness cooks out naturally and you're left with a lovely sweetness.
Sometimes a Bolognese never makes it to pasta or a lasagne :-)
Hello my wedding photographer! Hope you're well, good to see you on our Forum & sharing your knowledge to our brides.
That bolognaise looks amazing, carbtastic with the chips but amazing, I'm definitely going to try making it your way this week. Thanks for sharing the pics as well.
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