I often hear comments such as:
“Why do I need to pay so much for a wedding photographer?
Everyone has camera phones these or even their own amazing cameras – Surely there is no need to pay a professional?
it’s such a massive amount from our budget”
so, this blog is, for is in short, for you!
Firstly, it never offends me, nor do I get annoyed when couples ask this question. Shelling out for a wedding photographer IS a substantial expense. Having professional photos taken at your wedding can, indeed, be seen as a luxury. BUT, I also think it’s a necessity!
So many of us love looking through photos and, for me, photos are more than just images. They capture a moment in time that will NEVER ever happen again! Even more so, the right photo captured at just the right second can evoke so many emotions in your viewer (especially if they are personal to you).
The perfect wedding shot radiates feelings of love and emotion, captured forever in time, for you to treasure and look back on over and over. When I edit each photo and begin to create my albums, I am always mindful of the viewer. I want anyone who looks at them to be able to feel the love and emotion of the day; to see every aspect from the shoes, to the morning preparations, to the guests’ faces as the bride walks down the aisle; the tear (hopefully!) in the groom’s/bride’s/partner’s face watching them walk towards them.
Your professional album will be one of the lasting treasures you have to enable you to relive your wedding day for years to come. Many of my couples say that they feel as though they have experienced the day all over again when they first look through their photos.
Can you tell I’m maybe a little passionate on this issue? Well I am! With no apologies! It’s more than just pictures in a book or on your wall – it’s capturing precious moments in time to one day show your grandchildren how in love Granny and Grandad were (and still are)! Anyway, I could go on….. but here are my top five reasons as a summary for my prospective couples
1. We will capture EVERYTHING…. and do it WELL…
Over a full day, we are there to record all your little moments as well as the big events. We are experts in using special lenses that are able to capture the detail in the rings, special jewellery and the bouquet, for example.
I will be looking non-stop for those points in time that add to the story of your day. My cameras (I have two – a Nikon D750s and a spare camera just in case) are never turned off and have different lenses for different situations, so that each shot can be captured perfectly.
During the ceremony (depending on how strict your registrar or vicar is!) I will be moving around the venue/church to capture several different angles – your face, his face/her face, images from the front/back/side… These are images that most guests just wouldn’t get! Most would be too shy to walk about, quietly. But this is our job! We are also familiar with the format of the ceremony, so we will be at the right place at the right time for moments like the Exchanging of the Rings and that First Kiss!
During speeches, I am always crouching low between all the guests to capture them laughing and enjoying old anecdotes and your reaction to say, the best man’s speech and your tear from your partners speech. I have genuinely not been to a wedding yet where a guest is able to do this. Yes, they can capture things from their chair, but that is it really – not different angles. They won’t achieve wide pictures of the whole room or of guests that aren’t part of their group. No picture of your mum and dad wiping away a tear of pride. Do you really want to miss out on these images?
We are there the whole time with the sole aim to photograph your whole day and to try to capture EVERY guest there, whilst also focusing on you two as a couple and any children you may have!
2. You are paying for an artist and their passion…
I would always say to any client, “Even if you aren’t going to choose me, please make sure you meet your photographer. They are going to be with you for your whole wedding day. You want to be sure that you like them, at least!”
The bottom line is that you are not just hiring someone that takes good photos – along with the photos is an artist who loves what they do. I put my all into the images I shoot and am always trying to think of new ways to tell a story
A lot goes into the composition of a photograph. Each frame I take has been thought out, examined and edited using professional software. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. is edited to bring out the best in the photo. I will also tweak them if I feel it is necessary – maybe make it look warmer and sunnier? Bring out the greens more? Take out a sign?
I once did a family shoot with four dogs. We went to the woods and mum sat at a picnic table with one of the dogs. I clicked away and really loved the photos of them cuddling etc. When I came to look at them and to choose my favourites I discovered, to my horror, that the table had pictures of penises? peni? penis’ !? (not sure which is correct but you get my drift…. ha ha ha!) all over the place …. my goodness!
So I was able to get these out with some magic on my computer and the shots were not lost. You would never have known…..
What I’m trying to say is, it’s not just enough to hire someone that clicks a big camera on automatic mode! God forbid a profesh doing it!? There are lots of elements of the training needed to perfect our skills. It actually takes a lot of practice to be able to take a picture and to talk to your clients at the same time! This we really need to do, to be in touch with you and to achieve great pics.
Find someone that takes pride in their work, has an eye and style you like. When you meet them you will hopefully feed off of their love and enthusiasm for the work they produce.
Take a look at this sunset picture. This was taken down at the docks in Southampton. The sun was setting and there was a clear sky. I knew what my camera and computer could make this scene into – and I love a silhouette shot. My couple, Ryan & Emily trusted me and I hope you like it too? But look at the SOOC (Straight Out Of Camera) shot on the left compared to my final edited image on the right. I played around with colour, composition, clarity, blacks, whites, exposure…. I just LOVE that we can be so…. so…. artistic! THAT’s what you’re getting with a professional photographer!
3. Our Equipment Out Weighs your Iphone by far…
I have two Nikon D750s with me and various lenses (105mm 50mm 24mm 24-70mm and so on). I choose each of these for their particular gifts and benefits! 105mm is my fave, but they all do different things that one phone certainly couldn’t manage.
I also have a dozen high spec SD Cards. I swap these over after each major part of the day and keep them safe with me. I guard them with my life! The cameras can photograph in very quick succession and for longer because of these – really handy to capture kids running about but mainly for me to click away on “The Kiss.”
LIGHTS!!! and I don’t mean the lights on top of the camera! I have a number of Flashgun or speedlights. Sounds good right? Anyway, they sit on top of my camera in low level lighting. I also change the power and angle! This matters too…. depending on when and where we are.
I also have tripods to put lights on. These can be useful for the first dance or sometimes I have used them for group photos when we ran out of time in the day. We did some night time shots. The photos are from Kate & Nathan’s Wedding Day at Winkworth Farm. I also had my video lights on. These are a constant source of light, as well as my flashgun. My photography teacher said that photography is ALL about being able to control the light, All of it…. and it really is.
Can you tell I love my lights? Ha! Ooh, but lastly, we can use lights to make arty images! I just love a flare or a backlight on the dance floor!
So the photo below is of my own wedding day! Outside under a beautiful green pergola. Left is the picture by one of our guests. Now, this guest is always posting on Instagram, uses filters and really does take fab photos. But, the image on the right is from my professional photographers. Can you see the difference? ALSO – She moved about and got lots of angle. So here we are looking at the registrar, none of the guests were able to do this. To be honest, I didn’t expect them to. Our guests were there to enjoy the day with us.
4. We really are more reliable than your guests Sorry, Not sorry.
At the end of the day, you are hiring us to do a job – and most people, especially if they work for themselves you can bet, will do their very best to give you a top-quality product! Typically, you can view a website or social media platform to view our photos and can be assured that your images will be of the same standard.
Furthermore, as we have a job to do, taking your photos is our main priority! Your guests, however, will be enjoying themselves. They may be taking photos of you but they will not be of the same high quality and standard of a professional’s camera and editing skills?
Speaking from personal experience, I hired two amazing photographers for my wedding day. But I wanted some video action too. I tasked my sister, also my bridesmaid, with our Go Pro and stick to capture the speeches and the ceremony. My sons, then four and seven, had practised singing Zip-a-Dee-Doo Dah from a Disney classic for months! It was ALL my eldest’s idea too – so, so cute! You can watch the best one we have here. Anyway, mornings are always a rush – I even forgot to carry my bouquet down that isle…..ha ha ha …. I laugh now… just!
But my sister had forgotten the Go Pro, I completely forgot the WHOLE thing anyways and, yes, we have copies of them singing the song… but not all in one go and it’s not the greatest quality. If I had hired a professional it would be a whole different story. Thankfully, my priority was photography so I have that but, if I hadn’t have hired them, I know I would be so upset not to have the quality memories which now adorn my walls.
5. We don’t just stop at photography!
This is why you hire us. We care about you and we want to help to make your day perfect! We are an extra pair of hands to help on the biggest day of your lives. Whilst working as the photographer for dozens of couples’ weddings, I have also:
- been a runner for the rings.
- been a taxi between venues for guests.
- helped the groom and his men attach their buttonholes correctly.
- run to find the organiser who had disappeared after the speeches and was meant to turn on music from the back!? Cue the awkward silence in the hall…
- helped lace up the bride’s dress! Yes, truly!
- even gotten under the dress to find the loop to tie the dress to! lols… that was actually funny
- found the bride water/food/ whatever she needed!
- provided entertainment for MANY children.
- helped guests with details of timings or the DJ when they ask when the first dance is! We have all of this information to make sure the day runs smoothly.
- provided spare safety pins/needle and thread/ florist tape/ glue and sticky tape for any emergencies! Yes, I have needed most of these.
- once discovered that the ceremony room was setup all wrong! I found the coordinator, to phone the supplier to add the bows on that had been forgotten! The bride was so grateful!
- filled many more roles – but this blog is already too long…….
This isn’t what I expected I would be doing in my role and some wedding photographers may think, ‘well – that’s not my job. I’m just there to take photos. But, for me it’s all about the service too. When I meet a guest or a bride that notices these little things, it feels good! That’s it! I like to help people. We do these things to help you – the bride and groom, the groom and groom, the bride and bride – have a smoother, stress-free day. If we can do that too, then it’s been a good day!
So, you are not hiring someone that just clicks a button! We do so much more and put all our love and energy into your day too.
Thank you for reading my very first Blog! I’m so excited to finally be able to start doing these.
Please leave comments if this helped/inspired/annoyed….. or if you have any questions.
Oh yes, and if you found this useful, please share away to help another bride and groom to make an informed decision!