It’s not like me to start with a sad feeling, but I need to voice my opinion on something, especially as my business is starting to build.
It makes me incredibly sad when I hear about couples in love who haven’t budgeted for a photographer, relying instead on family and friends who are a bit handy with a camera.
I understand that on the face of it, when looking at bare numbers, wedding photography does look expensive. When faced with the decision to spend over £1500 (plus food)in some cases and getting someone to do it for free, I totally understand why couples would choose the later.
However, lets break it down. That £1500 will probably pay for 2 photographers on the day meaning you get those all important view points covered all day. Photographers are also the only wedding suppliers that are with you all day, in some cases working 14-15 hours on your wedding day alone. Not only are they taking pictures but they are also adjusting button holes, fixing veils and on hand for emergencies such as fixing broken straps on wedding dresses in the middle of the receiving line.
It may sound cheeky of photographers to ask to be fed on top of being paid, but really who can function for that long and stay calm and happy without food?
Your photographer should also spend time to get to know you and your wedding before hand, potentially meeting 2-3 times for an initial consultation, venue scout around, engagement shoot and final meeting or chat before the day. Your photographer will probably be available via text/phone/email whenever you need. From this they will plan the shots that are important to you and plan those crucial shots around your day to make it as unobtrusive as possible.
Following your wedding day, most photographers will ensure you have a sneak peek of your photos within a coupe of days. I know some that do it as soon as they get home so you can see something when you wake up in the morning.
There is then the mammoth task of selecting the best images out of many hundreds and editing these, album design and then meeting up with you again to show you your final images and help you select your prints/frames/album choices etc.
Professional photographers also spend money and time on ensuring they have the right equipment to cover your day, continual training and professional development and insurance.
I know you’ve read all this before on many a wedding blog and you’ve maybe skimmed to this point and are still wondering why it makes me sad- surely it’s a couples choice? Yes, in some respects I agree but stay with me on this for a minute.
If you are getting married and you really can’t afford that top notch photographer you do have other options available. Speak to the photographer and be honest about your budget, and when I say honest I don’t mean haggle, I mean be honest. Most photographers will know someone that they can recommend and in some cases they may even come down to your budget if your wedding will look amazing on their website.
I know you are still thinking about your brother/cousin/sister/uncle/mate who has a “big” camera and takes good pictures of flowers, why wouldn’t you want them to do it, in fact they’ve offered to do it as a wedding present so it would be rude to refuse right? I’m sorry to say it but no, it’s not right.
You are firstly inviting this person to share in your day because you love them and it means something that they are there. The last thing you want to do in that case is put them in an incredibly stressful position instead of enjoying your day. Secondly, they may genuinely struggle taking pictures of moving objects!
This post was not meant to be a rant, just pause for thought. Think about the important things to spend your money on. Will people remember the bespoke table plan, will people know that you had sparkling wine instead of champagne? Will people ask to see your photos and do you want to be able to look at them in 5, 10, 25 years from now and be taken right back to the feeling and emotion you had on the day?