That’s not to say that cousin Terry can’t come along and take photos for you too – the more the merrier! Just make sure you remind him to not get in the way of the professional photographer’s shots – the best rule is “always stay behind the photographer when taking photos”! And leave the professional shots to a professional.
There are wedding planning sites and tons of unprofessional advice that will tell you to go ahead, save that money and don’t bother hiring a professional. I mean, you’re free to do whatever you want – it’s your wedding, but if I were you I would never do this. I’m not talking here about hiring a friend or someone you’ve found who’s already a professional photographer – who’s perhaps second shot a few weddings and is really looking to build their portfolio and branch into the industry. Granted, you’re not guaranteed to have the best quality photos in the world here, but you can pretty much assume you’re going to get some nice enough photos and save money if you have a very tight budget. No, what I’m talking about here is when Grandad bought cousin Terry a £400 DSLR camera for his birthday and since then he’s been snapping photos of all the pets in the family and everyone’s faces!
The image below is just one example of the difference between professional photography and your friend’s picture snaps at the wedding. Take it in heed, this may be a selfie with an iPhone – but could just as well have been taken with a DSLR by someone who isn’t ‘photographically educated’.
(Image from Stephanie and John Warren)
Now, don’t get me wrong I am not a snob; nor am I rich and able to afford whatever I want. I struggle with budgets and money myself. I’m a full time mum trying to make my business work. I don’t have a huge income, I have debts and still struggle sometimes. But I work in this industry and I really do appreciate the value of professionalism. I really do understand that photographers seem expensive (and some of them really are) but I also want to take a second to remind you that for every image taken, we will spend 5-30 minutes editing it. So, if you receive 800 images and every image only had 10 minutes spent on it… we’ve spent 133 hours alone on editing/processing! Then, take into account culling, re-culling, uploads, downloads, consultation time, travel time, product printing/production not forgetting the actual 9 hours shooting on the day and you’re already at minimum 150 hours (going on 800 images with 10 minutes on them each, this can be higher or lower dependent on whether the photographer batch processes [doesn’t edit every photo, just selects process and does large amounts] or high-edit retouches faces, skin etc for every photo). The minimum wage is currently £6.70. 150 x £6.70 = £1005. So by this calculation, technically anyone working under this rate, producing 800 images to a high standard of individual editing is working for less than minimum wage for you. While every photographers hours will vary, I hope this may help brides to understand why our charges can seem so high! You pay for a lot more than just “taking pictures” on the day. I’ve included two examples below of before and after professional processing and editing alone.
Photo: Leah @wowapic
Photo: SLR Lounge
You also pay for posing, composition and lighting techniques.. See below again!
(Images source: John Nader)
(Photo credit: Freire photography)
If you liked this wedding and want to see more, why not visit my recent posts? Or to inquire about my availability for your own wedding? Or want to figure out why hire a professional wedding photographer?