Designed to offer you easy steps to making the right booking decision for your wedding photographer and indeed videographer, this article covers all of the pros and cons of wedding photography services and offers you helpful simple advice on choosing the right wedding photographer for you.
Q. How much should I pay for my wedding photography? A. This often depends on what sort of album you want and how many pages are included.
The answer is yes, but the sensible answer is be careful not to make the album look too crowded
A storybook album can range from 15 pages to 40 pages. THe cost price of these albums range from £150 to £400. That is the cost to the photographer, everything else you pay on top of that is for their services on the day.
Q. I have been quoted £3000 for my Wedding Photography, am I being ripped off? A. In a word, most likely. I suppose it depends on what you see to be fair value. A wedding album that costs £400 which is then being sold for 600% profit isn’t great value. I would suggest that you look around and see what is in the £1000 to £1500 market.
Make sure you have done the deal in question 11 above
Very often it is the same album that is being used and the same company that is printing it. Be wary, it is not always sensible to assume that you get what you pay for.
Q. My photographer only stays until the cutting of the cake, is this normal? A.
But be aware many photographers can make their own testimonials up
In many cases this is the case. Your wedding day is exactly what it says, “Wedding Day” not half a wedding day. Aim to choose a photographer who will stay until after your first 5 dances. This way you are covering your speeches which can offer some great emotions and photo opportunities for your photographer and it also allows for your first dances to be included in your album. If you are paying over £1250 for your wedding album and photography package this should be included as standard. In these hard times of economic recession it is essential that you get value for money. Make the photographer work for it, they are offering you a service. Make sure you get your value.
Q. How many pictures should be in my album? A. Again the answer to the question could be how long is a piece of string? However in today’s modern storybook album it is a fact there is more room for photographs than there was in the older more traditional style of album. Previously the photographer would have taken approx 50 photos on your wedding day and you would have been asked to choose 30 for your album. Now the photographer should be taking between 250 and 500 photos on the day with you being able to choose between 100 and 130 for your album.
Q. Can I get all the pictures in my album? A. The answer is yes, but the sensible answer is be careful not to make the album look too crowded. Otherwise it will look like a scrapbook rather than your wedding album. Have a mixture of large one page images with pages containing 6 to 10 photographs. Any more than 12 photographs can look very cluttered.
Q. Where should I go to find my photographer? A. Check out the latest bridal magazines in your area. Then loot at the photographers website from the advert in the magazine. If the website is well structured and looks good, and shows you some work, including a FULL ALBUM from one wedding, then give the photographer a call and arrange to go and see their work. When you are there make sure you see a full album and ask him/her to show you one that was taken in very poor weather conditions. This will help to sort out the pretenders from the professionals. It is much more straightforward to taking photographs in fine conditions than it is in humid, rainy dull weather conditions.
Q. I’m worried I might make the wrong decision, what should I do? A. Well, look for testimonials. But be aware many photographers can make their own testimonials up. Check out a review websites which offer independently verified reviews. It is a much safer and more reliable way to review your photographer from other brides and grooms who have already used them.
Q. The photographers work is excellent but I don’t really gel with him / her what should I do? A. Simple answer, forget about them. There are plenty of photographers who offer excellent work and have a friendly and helping attitude. Remember you will be spending most of your day with them, so you want to enjoy yourself and not be under pressure or displeased with the photographers personality. You can find out a lot about their personality by meeting them. Never book your photography over the telephone without meeting the photographer first.
Q. I have booked an “Award Winning Studio” to do my photographs, but the photographer is sending out his assistant which is slightly cheaper, should I book them and will the quality be as good? A. Well that question should answer itself. If you book an “Award Winning Studio” that is fine. If you went to a restaurant to “fine dine” would you prefer the head chef to send his assistant down to McDonald’s to bring back your gourmet burger and fries? I didn’t think so. Make sure the photographer or studio you booked sends out the photographer who took the pictures you like. If he is not available dont book them, if you have already booked them, cancel. It is better to lose a small deposit than have an album that wasn’t what you thought you were going to be getting.
Q. I want an “Award Winning Photographer” to take my photographs, is this sensible? A. Firstly, let me introduce you to the world of wedding awards. Wedding awards are given by photographers to photographers! Professional bodies who critique individual pieces of work which are taken out of context when compared to an “entire” piece of work. I have never seen a Wedding Album full of “Award Winning Pictures”, I have only seen albums with one or two “Award Winning Photographs” in them. Be very careful of this. Also be very careful of readers awards. Readers awards in magazines are voted by wedding couples who have been asked to vote by their photographers! A wedding photographer who had charged £300 to 90 couples will have a much better chance of being “Wedding Photographer of the Year”, than someone who charges £1250, does excellent work, but has only done 30 quality weddings that year and hasn’t asked his wedding couples to vote for them. In my opinion stay away from awards. Awards should come from word of mouth. Ask your friends, look at their albums and when in a studio looking at albums, stay away from albums that show 20 different brides in them. Remember anyone can get a lucky shot at a wedding. Only a seasoned professional can get a wedding album full of professional images.
Q. I want all the photographs the photographer takes on the day of the wedding but he has asked me for an additional £500, should I pay him for these? A. The answer is no. Look for a wedding photographer who will give you the photographs in High Resolution on a disc as included in the package. You pay them enough for their days work. Get the value out of it. Believe me, if it comes down to giving you the pictures in Hi Res on disc or not getting the booking, they will give you them, but you must agree this with them at the start and get it built into the contract.
Q. I am looking for reprints from my photographer, but they are looking £25 per 10″ x 8″ reprint. I need 50 reprints but don’t want to spend an extra £1250 what should I do? A. Make sure you have done the deal in question 11 above. This is why it is important to get your Hi Res images included on disc. If you have them, you can take them to your local photo processing lab, who will print them for between £1 and £1.99 each. Now why would you spend £1250 when you could spend £100 at the most and get exactly the same thing! Be aware. Be sensible. Don’t get ripped off.
You can see from above there are a number of pitfalls when choosing the right photographer for your wedding day. There is also an abundance of photographers keen to grab your business. Take the steps above and you will be on the right track to making the right decision for your wedding media package.Of course if you are a millionaire with unlimited funds then don’t worry about any of the questions and answers above, call the most expensive photographer with the biggest window in the high street and he will happily take your money and laugh rubbing his hands as you walk out the door just having spent a fortune.
Eddie McDowell is Northern Ireland’s premiere wedding photographer and videographer. A master in Photoshop techniques and a Lecturer in Information Technology and Graphic Arts, eddie offers wedding photography and videography to clients throuhout Ireland, from Spain to Poland, and as far as Hong Kong to Las Vegas. Eddie specialises in quality storybook wedding albums at an affordable price. You can see more articles and check out his work at [http://www.emdweddings.co.uk]