Frequently Asked Questions 

I unpack some of the most asked questions below, but if none of these answer your questions, please contact me directly at martin@martinjsylvester.com

Frequently asked questions

Engagement Shoot FAQs

Why should we do an engagement shoot?


An engagement photo shoot is a fantastic way of getting to know each other before your wedding. More importantly, it will give you a sense of how I shoot giving you peace of mind of what to expect for your wedding photos. It often makes for a lovely gift to display at your wedding either in the form of a projection at your reception, or as a signing book at the ceremony. Not to mention, of course, it’s a wonderful way to get your loved ones excited for your special day over social media.




Can we choose the location and are there any costs?


I will often encourage my couples to choose a location that has an emotional connection for them, whether that is a favourite local park or one of the many mews or side streets of London. If you are unsure of a specific location in mind, I have a selection of my favourite spots in London that make for excellent images. For the really adventurous, with a permit we can shoot in locations that are normally closed off to the public. A great example of this, would be the lavender fields in Surrey that open up in May, at an additional cost of £100.




When should we do the engagement shoot?


I advise my couples to aim for at least two months before your wedding date, to account for any variations in the weather. And this gives you enough time to organise prints before the big day should you wish. However more than happy to this as soon after you have announced the wedding should you wish to use the images for the wedding invitations.




With Covid-19, what alternatives can we do for the shoot?


In light of recent events and the uncertainty of when things will return to normal, I have begun the process of doing self isolation shoots. This would involve the use of either Zoom or FaceTime, to connect with each other and then I would creatively take images of you both in the safety of your own home. This is a fun and great way to shoot, and depending on your household (pets too), it can be a fun activity for your family to get involved. Virtually assisting with the shoot. Overall, a very wholesome shoot until we are allowed out again :)




Can we schedule our engagement shoot for a weekend?


Absolutely. In the past I have met clients on a Sunday at Richmond Park for a relaxed shoot in the lovely environment.




What time of day do you recommend?


Typically, I aim for what is known as golden hour, for beautiful soft light imagery. However, it will depend on the style of shoot you are after, if for instance you are looking for a more dramatic editorial style then we can aim for an afternoon shoot. Or if one of you is shy and don’t want to have “all eyes on you”, we can aim for a morning shoot, when there are less general public around.




Do you have a wet weather plan?


Yes. Typically, as long as it isn’t a downpour we can overcome the weather with creative lighting techniques. One of my best engagement shoots, was done on an overcast day, and with some quick thinking, I was able to mimic the light of a sunset to give the couple a memorable shoot.




How soon can we expect to receive the photos?


I aim for a delivery within 1 week from the shoot, but if held during my busiest period (June-September), my delivery time frame is within 2 weeks.




How many images can we expect to receive from the session?


I deliver 50-100 high quality images. It will be dependent on the duration of the shoot, and whether we visit multiple spots on site location.





Photography FAQs

Do you provide partial day coverage?


Yes. I recognize that some couples just want a small ceremony with their loved ones and only need my presence for a short period of no more than four (4) hours.




Do you do destination weddings?


Yes. One of my all time favourite weddings was held in the French Alps in winter. The wedding photography prices would be the same as a wedding in the UK, but would also require the cost of accommodation and travel covered.




Do you do other event photography for the lead up to the wedding?


Yes. This is something I can offer at an additional cost, at a reduced rate, if booked with a wedding package. My extensive knowledge in general event photography has lead me to capturing bar mitzvah's, mehndi's, birthday parties, live music bands and much more.




What happens if the wedding day is extended due to unforeseen circumstances? Are we billed extra for overtime past the contracted hours?


Typically I allow up to one hour of wiggle room. I once had a bride who decided she didn't like her makeup before leaving for the ceremony, and had it re-done. Coupled with traffic in London this lead to a delay of 45mins. At a another wedding the fire alarm went off mid speeches and everyone had to evacuate the premises, leading to a delay of an hour before they let us back in. Your wedding day can be the most stressful day, and when things don't go to plan, I don't want to be a reason for further stress.




What happens in the event of a global pandemic, such as Covid-19?


If your wedding date is cancelled by your venue, or because of a government mandated lockdown, I work with my couples to arrange an alternative date. We're all in this together, so anything I can do to make your wedding plans easier, I will help out where possible.




I have downtime between events on my wedding day, will I be charged for that downtime?


No. My packages cover either half day for small intimate gatherings, or full day coverage. Typically during this break, I will take the time to backup the images on my portable devices. I will also take the time to go around your venue and capture the images of your carefully planned decor if I haven't already done so.




We are outside of the country at the moment and /or live busy lifestyles, are there other alternatives to meeting in person?


Yes. If for what ever reason we are unable to meet in person before your wedding day, I will arrange with you a suitable day and time for a Zoom Chat. Where we will discuss your wedding day plans and the art styles you would like for your wedding photos.




Do you keep a backup of our wedding? And if so, for how long?


Yes. They are stored on an online gallery and in addition I have various backup drives. The active drive for that year is backed up annually on a larger drive. I will also be giving you a physical copy of the images, if booked with my ultimate package, on a custom USB.





Photography FAQs


Wedding Album FAQs