To Have and to Hold – What do you want your wedding photography to be? Playing for keeps…
I get asked a lot if I will do ‘just’ a disk of images. And if I can then do this for half my usual price!
The answer is both yes and no, but actually more complicated the deeper you dig into it…
Yes. I could shoot your wedding, display your images online, copy the files to a disk, and be on my way. This is the easy option. Take a little less money and walk away. Let the client deal with it. In fact, we shouldn’t even really need to communicate at all after the wedding – I’ll just get something in the post to you. Etc.
I have been known to just supply a disk of images, but this has been when the couple are having a really speedy wedding (I’m talking 3 hours, max) with next to no guests, just before they fly off to a new life abroad. Understandable.
But what’s missing here? You’re booking a professional wedding photographer to capture your day, often in an unobtrusive, reportage or journalistic way. There are going to be a lot of pictures. Maybe you’ll end up with 600+ images to take away with you and treasure. Now, with Copyright issues aside, you can theoretically do what you want with those pictures. They are given to you with the understanding that you will have unlimited personal usage. So, where do you start? There are 110 pictures here of the speeches. Which ones are really telling the story? This one looks good, but it doesn’t quite work next to this one, which is also good. Let’s leave that and come back to it later.
Right. Let’s have a look at the ceremony photos. I want to print one of these with the bridesmaids, but there are some after the ceremony too, and these ones include both the Bride and Groom. There’s a great one here with all the groomsmen. I’d love to frame one of these but I’m not sure if I want one from outside the church or one from when we arrived at the venue…
Or, I could just print them all…I know I’ll send them off to get put into a book, when I get around to it. I don’t know how many pages I can do. I’ll have a look at the weekend – no can’t do that – we’re going away. It’ll have to be the weekend after the weekend after!
So, it get’s confusing, to say the least. It’s down to you to fit all of this in around work, play, nights out, shopping, kids, life.
There are a lot of photographers out there. A lot of Wedding Photographers in Surrey. A lot of wedding photographers in Hampshire, and a lot of wedding photographers in London, in Sussex. In fact, there are just a lot of wedding photographers! It’s a very busy market, and a very competitive one, and this is one of the driving factors that push people to undercutting on price alone to secure bookings, but there are a lot of problems here, and unfortunately it’s the client (in this case the wedding couple) that suffers the consequences.
Competing on price tells us a couple of things. It usually means that the ‘photographer’ is the fabled ‘Weekend Warrior’ – so despised by the professional for stealing all of his bookings and not telling the tax man, and getting away with it! This photographer often has a 9to5 and has picked up some cheap digital gear so he can make a few quid on a Saturday, burn a disk on a Sunday, and back to work Monday morning. Nobody knows or it’s too late if they find out.
The obvious inherent problem with this approach is that once the confetti has settled, the party has danced the night away, and the honeymooners are back on terra firma, the photographs are what remains. Care and attention has been bypassed for a cheap bit of plastic (That Magical Disk) and pretty much nothing else. Sifting through the images shows us that a lot of them are not really of a professional standard either. There’s none of you with your auntie who came all the way from New Zealand, and the Church ones are unusable. There’s no real come back from here. Your photographer, when you can get hold of him, tells you that you’ve got the disk, which is what you’d asked for. Of course, he can print some off for you, or throw an album together, but looking the costs, you might as well have booked the professional wedding photographer in the first place…. But how were you to know?
Well, price is one way of telling. If your wedding photographer is £500 you’ve got to ask yourself how that is broken down. How much can they be paying themselves after expenses, tax, travel, let alone time. How much of that is paying for expertise, and how much is paying for someone’s camera? Insured? What happens if they mess it all up? Unfortunately the “that’ll do” attitude can’t guarantee great wedding photography, and you can’t repeat the day. You just can’t.
Making sure you get the highest quality print ready digital files is just a part of what I we do. It’s a big part and a great thing to have all of your wedding photos in one place and at your disposal, but long before this happens there are other integral elements designed to maximise the product and service that you pay for. The service of being your wedding photographer is something that we take very seriously, and I’m proud of the feedback I receive for how I conducted myself on the day. Over the years I have made it my undertaking to source beautiful albums, prints, and frames. Technology means that there are hundreds of options when it comes to print media. We believe that our exclusive presentation books and albums are amongst the best you can get, but crucially they are put together with adeptness from experience, and an eye for the narrative, creating an accomplished and dramatic document of your wedding – it’s not just a case of throwing a few pics into an album. Editing is key, and a lot of time is spent getting it right. And on top of that, you just can’t get our “Fusion” range of albums from anywhere else. There are some great albums available out there, but if you really want something that is beautiful and truly unique as well as being unbelievable value then you’re in the right place.
Framing a choice picture is done to a high exhibition specification, with archival acid free materials and simple uncluttered frames. Simply put, they look stunning.
The point is that you come away with something to hold in your hands, and you get the disk of images to keep. Your input drives the project forward to it’s final conclusion. Your photographer is involved, and not just a passer by.
Your wedding photography is a luxury item, it’s true. When you think about it, your whole wedding is a luxury item! To do it justice, and to come away with the definitive document is a luxury you can’t afford to miss out on.