Booking yourself a wedding photographer is a big deal and probably one of (if not the) most influential parts of your big day. A lot of Brides think they’ve got it all figured out and know exactly what they’re looking for in style, price and coverage from their dream tog. But there’s a few surprising things that a lot of us forget to consider.
As a wedding photographer with a predominantly photo-journalistic approach to my work, I attract a lot of laid-back clients that trust me to get on with capturing their day candidly and without fuss. So they often appear taken aback when I start to ask what else they’d like to gain from my services and other aspects worth considering. I have summarised the most common culprits into a small checklist for you to glance through, so hopefully you’ll remember to consider these easily forgotten things when you go to book your own photographer.
I’m a solo tog, and this is how I brand myself. But to help appeal to an increasingly popular demand, I also offer the option of a second photographer. Most of the time, my clients aren’t even aware that this is an option and they almost always turn and look at each other to say, “Well that’d be a really good idea.” Having a second shooter on your day means your groom can have his prep covered with the boys too; it means you will have images of both you walking down the aisle and his reaction; it means you get two different points of view of your day and because of it’s many bonuses, it’s becoming a big trend amongst the wedding industry. It can often come as an expense, understandably, and for smaller wedding it probably isn’t necessary, but for a lot of couples it’s totally worth it. You can almost guarantee nothing goes unmissed.
Most wedding photographers will provide coverage of your day along with a free of charge pre-wedding engagement session. Why though? Mostly it’s because we love any old excuse to get our cameras out, but it’s also genuinely about preparing you for the camera on your big day. Rather than just throwing you in the deep end during your couples photos, it’s nice to have some first-hand experience to work off of. You might hate having your photo taken and think this is your worst nightmare, but I will tell you that’s all the more reason to have it done. Also, if you do it early enough, the images work great for Save the Date cards.
If a couple I meet with haven’t offered to provide a meal, I usually prompt them by just coming out and asking if I should expect one or not. Sometimes they have just forgotten to mention it, but other times their eyebrows arch up and they look confused. Yep, they forgot that the tog working a 10-12 hour day needs to eat at some point – haha! Believe me, when I first started out in photography, I was under the impression that I would be on my feet all day with nothing but a Brunch Bar in my system, so it’s an easy thing to forget about. But providing your photographer with a meal never goes unappreciated. Plus, we’ll usually take the time for a break anyway as no one likes having pictures of themselves eating.
The term “unplugged” in the wedding industry means banning your guests from using cameras, tablets or mobile phones during the ceremony – and sometimes throughout the whole day. This has become a popular term after wedding photographer began highlighting the frustration they face by their shot of the couple down the aisle being blinded by guests seeping in from the sides with their phones out, thus blocking the professional’s shot. I have also had first had experience of guests following me around at weddings when I take the couple for photos and copying my images; now that would never normally bother me, but it’s when they then comment on how you’re in every one of their shots as if you are a strange woman who has gate-crashed the party. Nope. Your wedding photographer is the professional and their images need to take priority over your Uncle’s iPhone.
In this digital age, photo albums are becoming quite a rarity; and Lord knows they’re a heck of an expense. So is it still something you’re really in need of? When I get married, I intend on having a photo album to flick through. Why? Convenience and substance. I want a physical product to be laid flat on my coffee table for when guests come round, that I can show off. I don’t want to have to say, “Hold your horses Barb,” whilst I jump into the office to switch on my computer and then show her a slideshow whilst she stands their painfully behind my shoulder wondering when it’ll end!
Photo albums by professional photographers can be horrendous on your pocket, we’re talking from £300 to £700, or more. So don’t be disheartened if it’s something you’d like but can’t afford. Great budget online retailers such as Photobox offer albums at a fraction of the cost (and truthfully often a fraction of the quality) but nonetheless it’s still something physical that will stay intact if looked after.
So, I imagine there’s a few things in that list that made you think “Oh, damn it!” but it’s okay chick/chap, now you know. You got this.
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