A coutionary tale on booking a wedding photographer
Booking your wedding photographer should not be governed on price alone.
I get so many enquires about my wedding services. Some I dismiss as ‘competition’ worrying about my services, others I write a long email to and never hear anything back, and some just flatly inform me that I am too expensive and they’ve settled for a photographer charging £300!!!
But it always strikes me as really odd that a bride that’s invested so much time, so much emotion, so much energy and ultimately SO much money on her dream wedding day, would rather spend a lot more on a fancy car to drive her up the road for 10 minutes, than on the service that will last a lot longer that the fancy car journey – the photography.
I got an enquiry from at a wedding fayre recently, and I have to say I completely admire this lady’s honesty. She said that she had enquired about my services for her wedding, but due to their budget soaring they decided not to book me, despite really liking my work. They chose another photographer, who charged them only £300 for their entire day and for all the images on a disc.
Off course I was sightly surprised to hear this. But she continues to describe the catastrophic events (which I won’t go in to here) that led to them getting only four usable images of their entire day from this ‘professional’ photographer. This poor lady was devastated as her voice cracked as she explained how she wished she’d booked me and realised her mistake when the photographer turned up nearly two hours late and almost got into a fight with one of the best men! She actually apologised to ME! Now, I can be a slightly smug person, however this story left me angry, sad for the lady in question and not at all smug. A wedding is such a huge event in a life and not the time to decide whether or not wedding photography is for you.
I left a comfortable career in fashion and advertising photography to shoot weddings because I get to combine ALL my skills in one shoot. And because I am genuinely passionate about wedding photography – this is evident (I am told) the moment you talk to me about weddings.
The term ‘Week End Warriors’ gets thrown about by lots of photographers and refers to wedding photographers that aren’t really professional (make their living solely from wedding photography) and who just turn up at the wedding to shoot. I don’t like the term, and in fact some of these photographers are really good (although I shouldn’t really say that). It’s not their profession; they are just making a little extra money. Not all brides can afford or want the type of service I am offering, so I won’t slate off these guys. But being late for a shoot, using a cheap camera and threatening a wedding party guest is a clear sign that you have booked the wrong guy! This behaviour can not be excused.
And the reason this particular lady was visiting me at the wedding fayre was to secure my services for her sister’s wedding (in march 2012), purely because she didn’t want her sister to go through the same anguish as she had.
Just to re-iterate, I have nothing against a fancy car to take you to the church in style, in fact they help me get the great shots…I am however against people who will gamble their lack of skill and professionalism on such an important day.
Book me – or don’t book me. That’s up to you, but PLEASE take two minutes out to read my article on what to ask your wedding photographer.