Cheap Wedding Photography

It’s not often I post these kind of sentiments because I’d much rather be positive and upbeat in my blog posts but I had a conversation this morning with yet another tearful bride devastated by the results delivered to her by her wedding photographer who had charged her £495 for an all day (12 hours) coverage.

I’ve had the question more than a few times now – “my photographs are dreadful – there is so much missing – is there anything you can do with them in Photoshop?” Sadly the answer is always no – garbage in – garbage out and all that. I sympathised with the bride that it’s all too easy to economise on things in the run up to the wedding (when your bank account is emptying faster than Bondi Beach during a shark attack).

It’s also all too easy to forget that the photographs will have their greatest resonance decades after the wedding (trust me, I speak from experience here). It’s also easy, if you don’t think about it too much, to forget that there is a gulf between inexperienced snappers making a few extra quid on the weekend and established professional photographers who take their vocation very seriously indeed. It’s very wise investment in my view to put a little bit more money into the photography. Averaged out over the sixty or so years after your wedding it works out pretty cheaply :)photo of pageboy at pennyhill park

The situation reminds of the story I heard of the hairdresser who loved his job, was the best hairdresser in town and took great pride in his work. He was quickly being put out of business by new cheap, five dollar hair cut salons that were springing all up around him. He simply could not compete, even if he did drop his price to $5 which made him feel sick to think about. After a few days trying to come up with a solution and pondering various ideas he woke up one morning with a smile and went to work.

His business started to rapidly grow and very quickly he was back on track. In the hair salon window he had put up a sign, it read:

‘We fix five dollar haircuts’.

To state the obvious, there are no re-do’s with your wedding photography – you have to hire somebody who knows what they’re doing, right from the start. Someone who has seen everything that can happen on a wedding day and work around it. Bad weather, pitch darkness, cameras that break down (it happens), timings that go rapidly wrong, wedding emergencies of all kinds – these are the things and established professional will take in his or her stride and still deliver. Speak to friends, find out what they thought about their weddings. See at least 3 photographers, ask awkward questions.

Find someone you can work with on the day and someone you have confidence in delivering the photographs that you will come to treasure when you are old and when your babies have grown up and flown the nest. Find someone who can tell the story of your day in images so that if you show them to someone who wasn’t there – they feel as if they had attended the big day and shared the joy and happiness, the tears and the the love, the conversation, the socialising and the excitement of the wedding day.

Thanks for reading. Comments as always are welcome.

3 comments
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  • LouizeNovember 12, 2012 - 11:19 am

    I think it’s really bad that you don’t have to have any qualifications to be a photographer. My memories of the day were ruined by a photographer that was supposed to be a ‘photojournalist’. FYI, I think ‘photojournalist’ means ‘can’t shoot anything straight, and doesn’t know anything about lighting or composition’. All my pictures were at an angle, and seemed to feature me with my mouth open or my friends scowling. Not good. BTW, love the photos on this site – will recommend to my sister.ReplyCancel

  • Adrian P.December 18, 2012 - 8:22 pm

    Interesting discussion. They say you get what you pay for. I’m a professional videographer and often see wedding videos shot by amateurs – and it shows! Simon, you are so right. Photographers who know what they’re doing also make my job so much easier… ask any decent videographer and they’ll tell you the importance of using someone who’s been doing this professionally for a while and doesn’t freak out if it rains or the bride’s running late.ReplyCancel

  • SarahJanuary 18, 2013 - 8:14 pm

    So true!! My friend was picking her photographer and chose the guy that gave an album and all the images for £900 (so not a £500 guy – she thought she’d be ok). Turns out the pictures on his website were nicked from other photographers sites. His were ok (mostly in focus and stuff) but no where near as good as the ones on his website. I couldve done better. Honest. And the album was rubbish. Anyway, I agree.ReplyCancel

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