Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Why cheap photography can cost you more.

Whilst I am a wedding photographer, and full time too may I add, I am also unmarried, in a relationship and one day dream of my own wedding. Whether it is big, or small (more likely to be small) I have this wonderful feeling about getting beautiful photographs in an album or a stunning framed printed image for our family to treasure. Forever.
Mr & Mrs Morrison paid for Blue Lights Photography to cover their Wedding for 4-Hours. From Guests arriving to Sitting down of their Meal

I have always stated that if I was having a BIG wedding, that my photographer choices were more than likely going to be Tobiah Tayo who’s work I love or Duncan Kerridge, both charging near or over the £2000 mark! Whilst it is a lot of money and I do hear some people gasp. I also have to remind you, that these will be my family heirlooms and I want them to pass down through the generations.

Chances are, I will end up having a small tiny wedding. Going to my cousins big wedding earlier this year, realised a lot of things what I don’t want my own wedding to be. Doesn’t mean I don’t like big weddings, I LOVE them. But I also love the intimacy also. I am photographing a Wedding today which has 10 people, including Bride & Groom - 11 including myself. The smallest Wedding I ever photographed there were 7 people, including myself and the bride & groom. But I digress.

Mr & Mrs Poole booked in January, for their Full Day Photography and Album which saw myself and Hannah from Lifeline Photography starting with the bride at 9am I left at 10pm.

Regardless of if I ever get married, I will have a tiny Wedding, I will also make sure that I have photographs that I treasure. I want natural. I want happy. James and I hate our photographs taken, but we want something that we can be sure is going to last forever, and I can sit down and show our children “when mummy looked like a princess”.

I advertise on one of the forums, but whilst this means I cannot post, I can however happily browse the Wedding Forums, and hear about what brides are looking for. Social media is great for finding out what people really want!

It’s a lot like the public sector strikes it would seem, especially where teachers were concerned, that on the forums there are lots of posts about “paying them what they’re worth” and whilst this doesn’t mean paying them the money that people do charge, they mean to almost pay them minimum wage for the hours that they are there. I cannot see it catching on.

Mr & Mrs Precious had the Half Day from Blue Lights Photography, then chose the Epoca Compact Book and High Resolution Images on Disc afterwards. Making their own bespoke package.

Some brides think we charge so much (I don’t do packages but my starting prices are £986 including 5 hour coverage and an album or £1146 including full day coverage plus album) because we know that they all want nice photographs, so we will try and get as much money out of them as possible. This really isn’t the case.

As a full time photographer, I can tell you that I do not just work for one-day for your Wedding, in fact, I work a lot. From answering your emails, to pre-wedding consultations, to pre-wedding photoshoot & editing, the actual wedding day where sometimes I can work 12-hours, to editing the wedding, to delivering proofs, then album design, print orders etc. Most weddings I can probably work about 60 hours per wedding! Jeez that’s a lot of hours!

Don’t forget, if there are any problems we are there to help first hand, and as quickly as we can. We travel to destinations we have equipment to pay for, insurance etc. Please don’t think we are just charging these high prices because we can. It’s really not that at all!

There are cheaper photographers out there. Photographers who have full time jobs, who can afford to charge less because its not their main income. Photographers who are just starting out (I used to charge £746 for full day an album 2 years ago) but I look back now and I understand, and know that it wasn’t the best I could offer. But I offer better products now, I have gained more experience, and now, I am full time.
Mr & Mrs Rylance paid for the Full Day photography option, and Hannah came to second shoot. I arrived with Sophie at 10am, after setting off at 8:30am to Harrogate, and got in the house at 11pm that evening.

There are lots of cheaper photographers, sometimes you will see these referred to as Weekend Warriors, or even Uncle Bob’s but they can do a blooming good job. Its just finding the right one.

However, it would seem there are more horror stories down the line, than there are good stories, people who wish they had spent more on their photographer for a day you cannot get back.

Just earlier this year, I was emailed several times to photograph a wedding, every time I emailed back and told them that I had their date available, and would they like to meet up. They used someone just starting out in the industry and aren’t happy with their photographs because I was a little out of budget they thought they would try and save some money.

Cheap isn’t always cheap when its your Wedding Memories you are playing with. Please just remember that.

Have a budget in mind, and try and stick to it as hard as you can. This should be approximately 12% of your overall acutal budget.

This image was taken at 8:30am the morning of the Wedding in an almost empty house whilst the bride was having her make-up done.

I for instance, if getting married mid-week will do a couple of hours coverage, half or full day. This however does not apply to weekends.

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