Price, Wedding Advice
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Don’t Just Focus on Price for your Wedding Photography

St Laurence Warborough Wedding Photography

Why You Shouldn’t Just Consider the Cost of Wedding Photography

When it comes to booking your wedding photographer, it’s very easy to just look for the cheapest option available.  I know it’s a cliché but wedding photography really is one of those areas where you get what you pay for.  Of course, you will have a certain budget, and will want to work within that, but invariably if you allow cost to be your ONLY consideration when booking your wedding photographer you could end up making a disastrous decision.  You don’t have to look too deeply online to find wedding photography horror stories where a couple have simply gone for the cheapest wedding photographer they could find.

So here are my 5 top tips to also consider when booking a professional wedding photography, to ensure you make a properly thought through and considered choice when booking your wedding photographer.

1. Style of Wedding Photography

Don’t make the mistake of thinking there’s just one style and approach to wedding photography. Broadly speaking there are 3 approaches: traditional wedding photography, wedding photojournalism or commercial wedding photography.  Of course, within all these styles each individual wedding photographer will bring their own individual interpretation and personal style, but you need to know what kind of wedding photographer you would like and ensure that they match your artistic vision for your wedding day.

For example, I’m a wedding photojournalist who specialises in a more natural, candid and unobtrusive approach to documenting your wedding story, as opposed to a more traditional wedding photographer who will want to pose and stage events more. You can read more about wedding photojournalism here.  Understanding the differences in wedding photography will ensure you at least find the kind of wedding photographer whose work you admire.  After all, would you simply choose any old wedding dress because it’s cheap or have your wedding at a fast food outlet, simply because it was the cheapest option available?

2. Professional Wedding Photographer

Documentary wedding photography at South Lodge hotel in Horsham, West Sussex

It’s easy nowadays for anyone with a semi decent camera to call themselves a professional wedding photographer. Of course, we could have endless debates about the definition of “professional” but if you do want to book an experienced and professional wedding photographer you need to be looking at their portfolio or examples of their work. Do they have a variety of real weddings to show you? Or do they seem to have just one or two and some which look like faked weddings (i.e. just the bride and groom, no guests, etc.)?  If you take a look at my wedding photography portfolios you will clearly see I’ve shot a large number of real weddings.  I even provide some example real wedding stories so you can see the chronological sequencing of specific weddings.

The other thing to consider, when looking for a professional wedding photographer, is whether they belong to any professional bodies or not.  The other key here is to understand that some professional bodies anyone can join – simply by payment of a monthly fee and it’s not necessarily a comment on their professionalism.  What you need to be looking for are those professional bodies where the photographer has to qualify for entry into.  You then know that other professionals have deemed their work good enough and professional enough to belong to that body.  For example, my wedding photography portfolio had to pass scrutiny before I could qualify as a member of the Wedding Photojournalist Association.  Furthermore, I am also duty bound to work within their strict code of conduct.  It’s membership of professional bodies like this that will reassure you that your wedding photographer is both professional and competent enough to shoot your wedding.

3. Reducing the Risk of Anything Going Wrong on the Wedding Day

Wedding reportage captures the moment the bride adjusts her tiara, during the bridal preparations at the Premier Inn hotel in Crawley, Sussex.

It’s important to understand that you can never reduce risk from a wedding day 100%, but a competent wedding photographer will do as much as possible to reduce the risk of anything going wrong on the day itself.  They will invest in the best equipment possible, have back up equipment in the event of anything going wrong and, should the worst happen and something does go wrong, will have ample insurance cover for such scenarios.  This is often an area where the budget wedding photographers will cut corners to keep prices down.  They may only have one camera, just a couple of lenses and no insurance cover.  Of course, things may not go wrong but are you willing to take that kind of risk on what is one of the biggest days in your life and something that you’ll want to remember forever?

For example, I shoot with 3 camera bodies, have up to 7 prime lenses on the day, use only professional memory cards, back up each and every card to a professional storage device on the day and have full insurance cover which includes third party liability cover and professional indemnity cover.  I like to think this importantly gives you peace of mind on your big day.  But of course such continual investment in this area doesn’t come cheap so you do have to question what corners are being cut by a wedding photographer who seems to be offering unbelievably low prices.  Remember the old adage, if it seems too good to be true…it most probably is!

4. A Genuine Passion for Photography.

Old Ship Inn Brighton wedding photography of the bride emotionally hugging her sister, during the drinks reception

Your wedding day is, of course, going to be such an important and wonderful day for you. You’re going to be full of excitement, enthusiasm and passion for every little detail about it.  So you’ll want to surround yourself with wedding vendors who equally as passionate.  After all, would you really want a wedding photographer who’s not that passionate about what they do?

The trouble is there’s wedding photographers around who simply see wedding photography as a means to making money – they have no real passion either for weddings or, worse still, a genuine passion for photography itself.  But how can you tell if your wedding photographer is passionate about what they do? Well, look to see if they pursue photography in their spare time. Ask them who their inspirations and influences are.  Do they genuinely have a love for the history and traditions of photography? Do they value its art or craft. Or do they just view the camera as a money making machine?  This is important, as an appreciation of photography is what helps develops a photographer’s understanding of the art and their creative eye. And a photographer’s creative eye is really one of the main things you are paying for when you book a wedding photographer.

I could talk to you all day about my influences and inspirations – some of the great masters of the medium.  My bookshelves literally creak under the tomes of photography related books I own. Away from weddings I have a deep love of street photography – much of which also influences the way I document a wedding story.  It’s not just a job for me. It’s a way of life. It’s my passion.  Yes, I even dream of taking photos!

5. Get to Know Your Wedding Photographer

Holiday Inn Brighton wedding photography of the wedding dress hanging by a window, with Brighton's West Pier in the background, during the bridal preparations

This really follows on from the last point, but don’t just go with the first wedding photographer who offers you the cheapest price. It’s important you get to know the photographer. Will you get on? Will they be good around your guests?  It’s the wedding photographer who you will spend most time around on your wedding day, so it’s important you pick a wedding photographer with whom you click. Does their approach to photographing your wedding match your own wish. Meet them and find out…before you book the first cheapest price that comes along!

So yes, of course, the cost of a wedding photographer is an important consideration – but I genuinely believe its important for you to make your final choice based on a number of factors and not just price alone. Equally, just because a wedding photographer charges a high price it doesn’t mean they are the right wedding photographer. But you do have to question how some wedding photographers can off their services so cheaply when, even as a hobby, photography is an expensive pursuit.

Meon Valley Marriott Hotel wedding photography of the Groom and wedding party laughing during the wedding speeches

I hope in the end this advice helps you find the right wedding photographer for you. If you think I might be that wedding photographer then I’d love to chat with you about your wedding plans.  Please feel free to call me on 07920 422144 or either send mend me a private message, via the box below, or on my contact page.  I’ll be delighted to hear from you!

You can seem more of my wedding photography services and prices by clicking here.

4 Comments

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