Some Honest advice to help you choose a wedding photographer
So, you’re getting married and looking for a wedding photographer, maybe you are looking for a local Staffordshire supplier or someone to travel in the UK or for a Destination Wedding ? Whatever your objective I feel its important to offer some free advice so you can make an informed consumer decision.
Professional Wedding Photography…. Whats it all about ?
Hiring a Professional wedding photographer means that pretty much guarantee your wedding will be captured in line with the photographers portfolio. If the photographer has an extensive wedding portfolio then this can be used as reference to give you an idea of how your wedding album might look. If the photographer hasn’t got a portfolio or its limited, then I guess there are risks attached. I just want to make you aware of some of these risks so you can make an informed choice. Relevance is probably the most important thing to look for….. is the photographer technically furnished with the right skills and experience to shoot your wedding. Maybe you are having a winter wedding, can the photographer demonstrate that they can deal with shorter days and poor natural light. Shooting a wedding in January is very different from shooting a wedding in Summer. Ask what happens if it rains, is your venue limited for inside wedding photographs, how would the photographer deal with tight spaces, can the photographer show you some creative examples where the photographer has been the primary and not just a second shooter. Ask about editing … will the photographer colour correct and creatively enhance each image ? is any retouching / airbrushing included ? How will your images be stored, are they backed up to death ? … How will your final wedding pictures be delivered ? I talk about the reasons for printing on my Prices Page but again this is about what you want & value so I won’t judge your choices, as long as they are informed.
What about if you are getting married abroad ?
Has the photographer travelled previously ? will the photographer help you research and plan things for the day ? Are there any Visa or local restrictions that apply ? Also in the same way low light can be problematic, bright sunny beaches can also present their own challenges. I’ve previously photographed Weddings in Ibiza, Weddings on the Algarve and also a Uk Couples wedding in New York. Each of these Destination weddings had their own considerations in respect of locations, light and equipment needed.
Creativity Wedding Photography, Documentary Wedding Photography & Traditional Wedding Photography
In the first instance I’m a creative wedding photographer, but its also so important to retain other elements of the day……I love to create epic portraits, capture romance, document those little moments, make a big thing about the small details, whilst still leaving room and time for a few family groups. So a full service complete package, you don’t have to choose.. but that’s just me. There are photographers out there that sell themselves as Documentary, vintage, alternative etc … but its really important to look deeper at what you are actually buying and committing to, because some alternative photographers won’t do family groups and some documentary photographers won’t do portraits etc. I once heard a story where a “vintage photographer” took hundreds of pictures of the vintage wedding theme ( flowers, table decor etc ) and none of the brides Grandmother, it seems this particular photographer was more interested in furnishing his blog than they were capturing people most important to the Bride & Groom. I’m not saying this is right or wrong I’m just saying that things like this are an important consideration when choosing a wedding photographer. We all have a style but without substance its just pointless.
What about on the day ?
I think its really important to be open and honest about expectations and compromises on the day … if you allocate an hour its very difficult to fit two hours wedding photography into that time, an experienced photographer will know how long a particular set of photographs or groups might take to assemble. Ask the photographer to explain the timeline of what images were shot when and how this might be relevant to your day. After all, they can’t be in two places at once. The Management of a few local wedding venues were asked to comment on the huge difference a professional photographer can make on the day.
Why is Wedding Photography so expensive ?
I won’t bore with you the profit and loss details, but basically Wedding Photography Prices are high because its very expensive to operate as a Professional photographer. Cameras, Lenses, lighting, memory cards, computers, software, insurance, advertising, office space and lets not forget the good old Tax man. In reality I probably don’t actually any more than other skilled tradesman like a carpenters or electricians, its all very relative. I strive to keep my costs down as much as possible in order to keep competitive whilst still operating a full time professional practice. If you found it cheaper then there are questions to ask, I don’t agree that cheap should be an excuse for poor quality but if you accept these risks then of course that’s your call.
I appreciate that Professional Wedding photography is expensive, but look at the investment when compared to longevity of other wedding services. Your Rings and photographs are all that’s left after the cake has been eaten and the hire suits returned. Sometimes people book a wedding photographer because “that’s what you do when you get married right ?” well I’ll be honest with you, if thats you then you’re not the client for me, maybe you are looking for the cheapest wedding photographer, or even the basic amount of time in front of the camera ? No hard feelings and I wish you all the best for the wedding, as long as you’re decision is an educated one ….. not all photographers are the same.
While you’re here maybe check out some more of my portfolio…