The thought of taking pre-wedding photos didn’t really occur to us because of the long-distance planning. We had no wedding garb to speak of and we simply had no time to return to Singapore to get the photoshoot done. I was rather bothered by it because if you don’t know already, it is possibly every girl’s dream to have her wedding photos taken.
My good friend (also my bridesmaid), F, came up with the brilliant suggestion of having our photos taken in London, since London was and still is the setting of our journey and growth as a couple. She reasoned that there was no need for us to pay for our own airfare and all we had to do was pay for the airfare, accomodation and services of a wedding photographer from Singapore.
I began to hunt for a wedding photographer that could offer us the best package. I had a number of photographers in mind, all hailing from Singapore, and made some enquiries with them, only to find the packages exceedingly expensive. Trusty bridal magazines bought in UK taught me to look closer to where we live. There are plenty of talented photographers in the UK; after all, people do get married here too! It was all too obvious once this got into my thick skull and I felt so silly for not realising sooner, that I could actually engage one here without incurring a hefty bill for airfare and accomodation. A quick search on the internet narrowed the selection to a few photographers, two of whom are based in London and two others based in other parts of UK. We were very partial to one photographer, Ken Lam. His work is undeniably professional and of immense quality. He has a lot of experience photographing Chinese, and this is a plus point because most of the photographers here are used to taking pictures of westerners. Call me foolish, but I tend to believe that what works for westerners may not work for us. The husband-and-wife team (Ken’s wife is Shirley) behind Ken Lam Photography consists of very easygoing people who are a pleasure to speak to, this I realised when we were enquiring and finalising the package details. Ken also lives in Newcastle, and this meant that we didn’t have to fork out thousands of dollars for an air ticket; we only had to pay for his train ticket which was a lot cheaper than a return airfare from Singapore. Ken is also familiar with the geography of London, so taking pictures at scenic spots would be a breeze. Ken has also won a number of prestigious awards and was named the Kodak UK Wedding Photographer of The Year in 2009.
After finalising the package details and the photoshoot date, I started looking for a dress that fell within my budget. It had to be easy to move in because I didn’t want to be trudging along and slowing things down during our photoshoot. It was somewhat a stressful event, shopping for a dress that I didn’t want (because I wanted to wear my wedding gown for the shoot, but I didn’t have a choice). I was rather sulky, and I think I must have been a pain to shop with. One patient husband, and many shopping trips later, I found a sage evening dress from Coast at Selfridges & Co. at 50% off, and bought a pair of champagne gold peep-toes from LK Bennett at Selfridges as well.
I bought more dramatic false eyelashes from Shu Uemura, solicited advice from friends on how I could get the make-up to last during the shoot and how to stay relaxed, booked myself a hair appointment with a beauty salon that is a stone’s throw away from where I live, did some research on the hairstyles that I liked and all was set.
And then something bad happened. I came back from a short summer holiday in Rome with a really bad heat rash in late May and our photoshoot was due in early June. I contacted Ken and Shirley to postpone, and thank goodness they obliged, even though it meant that they had to prioritise the editing of our photos in order for us to have the full set of pictures and slideshow before we returned to Singapore for our wedding.
We arranged to meet Ken by River Thames, right in front of the London Eye. It was almost like a blind date. All we had to do was look out for a guy with a huge camera, and all Ken had to do was to look out for the most ridiculously overdressed (or should I say under…because it was freezing!!) couple, and the rest was history. We started the photoshoot at the London Eye, and moved along River Thames, under the Westminster Bridge in front of the House of Parliament and Big Ben, before taking a cab to St Paul’s Cathedral and finishing off the shoot at Tower Bridge. It took us a total of four hours, and lots of teeth chattering and shivering in the bitter cold, strong winds and icy rain to complete the photoshoot.
It was truly a fun and eye-opening experience. M was a natural in front of the camera, he was relaxed and very much at ease. I was rather nervous at the beginning, always laughing at the wrong times, and I was impossibly stiff. Ken was very patient and experienced; he must have come across many people who were awkward in front of the camera, and he knew exactly what to do to help me relax. He chatted with us when he was shooting, encouraged us to make small talk with each other, joked to make me laugh at the right times. When I was too stiff at the start of the shoot, he even taught me how to position my arms, angle my face etc, much like moulding a piece of plasticine!
With Ken’s help, the shoot got much easier and it was such a pleasure. We enjoyed ourselves thoroughly in the company of Ken, even though it was freezing. Tourists around us applauded whenever we finished posing for the shots, and congratulated us on our wedding. We were dead tired (and I had blistered feet) by the end of the shoot, but we knew that Ken had given his best and would deliver beautiful pictures.
He did and the proof is in the pictures. The proportions, colours, contrasts, movement, joy and our love were all perfectly captured in the photos. Thank you, Ken!
If you are looking to do a wedding photoshoot in London, or in UK, I think it’s well worth it to speak to Ken or Shirley about the packages. The money that is saved from airfare and accomodation of wedding photographers, can be used to pay for other wedding bills and you can even use the sum to splurge on your honeymoon! On top of that, Ken offers the highest quality pictures and he works really hard during the photoshoot to get the best out of your limited time with him. Drop by his blog to feast your eyes on his beautiful photos and you’ll see why I chose Ken Lam Photography.