Behind the lens part 1: we meet the wedding photographers in Scotland worth knowing

In the first of a five-part weekly series, we chat to four of Scotland’s top wedding photographers

Dougi McMillan, Dougi McMillan Photography

A bride and groom stand in a field filled with wild flowers

Why should a couple pick you as their photographer? First and foremost, because they love my style (I’m a creative documentary photographer); they relate to my portfolio; and it aligns with their vision for their own wedding day. I would hope we’d have a connection when we speak, and that my services fit their budget.

Tell us something a couple should know about you before they book? I talk and laugh a lot! I have a laid-back personality and I’m definitely a bit wacky.

We’re nervous about being in front of the camera – how will you help put us at ease? I always do a pre-shoot with my couples if they book me for a full-day wedding. It really helps to settle their nerves. They get used to my bad jokes and get an understanding of how I work. I try to keep my couples relaxed with my easy-going attitude, and I never put pressure on people.

A bride and groom walks across a zebra crossing

Tell us a bit about your packages I offer three packages: Short and Sweet (three hours), Half-Day Event, and The Full Shebang, with prices ranging from £600 to £1,400.

When might I expect our images after the wedding? My couples get four images within 24 hours as a sneak peek, and their full wedding portfolio is generally ready within 14 days.

Jacki Hamilton, Jacki Hamilton Photography

A couple holds hands and walks along the side of a loch

How would you describe your style? I produce natural, elegant, creative images. So, whether you prefer a natural reportage style or creative photogra­phy with dramatic flair, I can do it all. I can even do a mixture of both on your wedding day if you like.

How soon after the wedding are you likely to have our pictures ready? I supply a few images for social media a few days after the wedding and a mini album of 30 to 40 pictures one week after. The full gallery is available three to four weeks down the line via a password-protected gallery on my website. Images can be viewed and downloaded, and prints and products can be ordered and delivered directly from the gallery.

Left: Two brdies face each other and smile in a black and white image; Right: A bride and groom look at each other on a misty beach

Why should a couple pick you to photograph their wedding? Your wedding day is as important to me as it is to you. I will ensure that I capture all the little details, emotions and special moments that make your day unique. I’m very experienced – I’ve been doing this for nine years – and know exactly where I need to be and when I need to be there to get the very best images. I take the time to meet all my couples for a wee coffee and catch-up, and I chat with them regularly in the run-up to their big day. It allows me to get to know them as a couple and vice versa. This helps them to feel comfortable on their wedding day and lets me get the best images possible.

Cameron Pagan, Hemera Visuals

A bride and groom smile at each other while pulling a rope to ring a bell

How did you come to specialise in wedding photography? I got into the business after I graduated from college. Weddings were something that had always interested me as I love working with people, but I was 24 and no one I knew was getting married. So I set up a styled shoot and the rest, as they say, is history.

What are the most crucial things to consider when choosing a wedding photographer? There are two really important parts to booking a photographer. Number one is you have to like the style in which we shoot. Don’t pick a photographer with a dark, moody style if you want something bright and airy for your pictures. Secondly, you need to gel with yourphoto­gra­pher. You’ll see more of them than almost anyone else during the course of your entire wedding day, so you’ve got to know you’ll have an amazing time and be comfortable with how they work.

Two women holding bouquets look at each other in a field

You’ve been shooting weddings for years – do any stand out in your memory? I’ve had so many brilliant days that it’s hard to pick just one. But I’ll never forget a couple who eloped to Scotland and had a terrible time in the lead-up to their day: issues with passports, dreadful weather for the engagement shoot and so on. On the day itself, we got perfect crisp November sunshine. Their shoot was at the top of a hill overlooking the sea with the sun setting in front of us. We just chilled out there for a while watching the sunset (wrapped up in blankets, of course!) and it was so nice to see everything work out in the end.

Russell Hogg, Aboyne Photographics

A groom holds a Dachsund dog while a bride kisses the side of the dog's face

How long have you been a photographer? My wife Laura and I have been shooting weddings for 13 years. She helped me capture a college classmate’s wedding, we caught the bug and it all went from there.

What’s your favourite Scottish venue? Here in Aberdeenshire we have so many fantastic venues to choose from and each one has its own quirks and charms. For sentimental reasons, our favourite has to be Glen Tanar because that’s where we got married ourselves. But we are always suckers for a beautiful barn somewhere with stunning natural light.

Why should a couple pick Aboyne Photographics to capture their wedding? You should only pick us if you get a good feeling when you talk to us. The same applies to any relationship you might have with a supplier. We’ll be spending lots of time together on the day so it is important we’re all on the same page. You’ll also need to love our style, which I’d describe as a natural, relaxed, documentary approach.

Left: Two men in kilts read from note cards while giving a speech; Right: a bride walks down a staircase

We’re nervous about being in front of the camera. How will you help put us at ease? Almost all of our couples have told us they don’t particularly enjoy being photographed! The best thing is that on your wedding day, you’re having so much fun the nerves don’t come into it. The early-morning bubbly and hip flasks certainly help take the edge off too… But if you are at all nervous, we suggest a pre-wedding shoot. That way you’ll know what to expect and the nerves will be long gone by the time the big day arrives.