Seven questions you're putting off asking your wedding photographer...
If you're like me, you've probably been planning your wedding day for some time. You might have a Pinterest board full of ideas, you've followed potential photographers for years on instagram, you know what you do and don't like, you've read countless blogs named 'What to ask your wedding photographer'... but there might be a few questions you've been put off asking, or might be nervous to ask because you don't want to offend your potential photographer. So, I'm here to help with some of your questions! But I really am an open book, so if there's anything you'd like to ask, feel free to email me!
1. Why is wedding photography so expensive?
Ah, the ultimate question. Why is wedding photography so expensive? Isn't it just one day's work?
No, sadly it's not! As much as it may look like an easy day's work for a lot of money, wedding photography is more than just one day, and the preparation that goes into it can take months, as well as costing a lot of money! There are so many things we do, even before taking your booking... From advertising our services, to admin (my screen time for emails, whatsapps and instagram messages is always high!), to post booking things... Like more admin for possible date changes (hello, pandemic), venue visits, pre wedding sessions, and travel. Then there are things we have to pay for, like website, online gallery and email hosting, car, equipment and liability insurance, courses, maintenance of equipment, new equipment... Then comes the day itself, with 8+ hours on our feet and sometimes hours of driving, and afterwards there are countless hours of editing, deliverable sourcing, import duties, postage, paying tax and insurance... so on and so forth. I don't want to bore you, but the list goes on.
This is in no way a complaint, absolutely love what I do and I genuinely think it's the best job in the world! it's just a way to show you all of the things we think about, pay for, and organise with each of our clients - and for many of us this can be 30+ clients a year, all of whom we give 110% to!
2. Why does wedding pricing vary so much?
I always say that there is someone out there for everyone, and I am a big believer that this isn't something we should knock others down for. I don't agree with the idea that we should all be charging tons of money for our services (there is a joke that you can add 'wedding' to something and the price increases!), because as people we all have different budgets (due to income), we all value different things (some may value lots of money on catering in lieu of photography for example), and most importantly: we all had to start somewhere. Of course I haven't always charged what I do now, 10 years ago I charged a quarter of my current pricing, and that was because I was new to the photography world and was still building my portfolio. Not every client will be able to afford every dream supplier, but there will always be someone out there in their price range, and that's nothing to be embarrassed about! I am always really transparent with my couples about my pricing and what I have to offer, but in my experience pricing usually varies due to the experience of a supplier and the product or experience they offer.
3. Do you really only shoot 'a limited number of weddings per year'?
It sounds like a sales tactic, but it's not, I promise! In 2021 I shot 45 weddings between April and November. There are only 52 weekends in a year, so you'll notice that that meant lots of back to back and mid-week weddings. In all honesty, it resulted in burnout for me, and although many suppliers thrive from 30+ weddings a year, I find it too much for me personally, in order to strike a happy work-life balance... Therefore I only take on a limited number of bookings. However, I totally understood that 2020 and 2021 were years unlike no other, and at the priority of my couples and fear of letting them down, I did whatever I could to make the process of postponing due to the pandemic as stress free as possible! However, going forward, taking on less wedding bookings helps me to give 110% to my couples, whilst finding time to fit in their pre wedding sessions and commercial work too!
4. I don't like having my photo taken, how can you assure me I will like my wedding photographs?
This is a difficult question, because everyone has their own insecurities. Something you dislike about yourself is inevitably really beautiful to me. I've had clients laugh at the fact that sometimes I choose to share photos where they have multiple chins and are laughing their heads off, because all they see are those chins... but to me, that is pure joy and happiness, which isn't something many people show willingly - especially in front of a camera. I think that's a big factor in the way I photograph. I really do see the beauty in everything, and I strive to make people feel their most comfortable with me, enabling them to break down the barriers they put up to the world. I want your photographs to be a true representation of who you are, and I work my hardest to ensure that I strike the balance between showing you this and also ensuring you feel happy for me to share such photos. Everything is subjective, and it's really important to give me your full trust and confidence that I will do the best to make you feel comfortable, confident and at the end of the day, to give you photos you'll treasure. (I might just not share photos with all of your chins, unless it makes you smile!)
Do we have to disappear for ages for couple photos? We don't want to miss out on what's going on!
No! It's always my goal to find a break in the day (or sometimes two) where you can sneak away for photographs of the two of you. Sometimes I do a 20 minute slot after group shots to give you some headspace, and sometimes later on again in the evening during golden hour. It is my goal to never make you feel like you're missing out, which is why I try to do your couple photos in small chunks when people won't even notice. I try to have as little impact on the running of your day as possible, it's never my intention to take over or away from what is going on. Plus I want to document those beautiful candid guest moments too!
Don't group photos take ages?
Also no! I always encourage my couples to provide me with a list of around 10 group shots prior to the wedding, allowing up to 5 minutes per group.In reality I work much faster than this, and with a wedding guest or two on hand to help organise people, we can get through them in a jiffy. I know they can be considered dull and tiresome, but they are some of the most valuable photographs you'll take, so I try to make the process seamless!
How do I know if you're the right photographer for us?
As I said earlier, there will always be someone out there for everyone. Although I have lots of positive reviews, I won't be the right fit for everyone, which is why connecting with each other is so important, and partly why I love a zoom call! I never expect a zoom chat to equate to a booking either. I'd rather give you as much information as possible, help you with any questions, and show you my dog (please feel free to show me your pets too!) I will say that I am a colourful dungaree and Dr Marten wearing, tea-drinking, tattooed kinda gal who will talk for hours about her dog... so it's probably good that you're cool with those things! I hope that you can take me for who I am and not expect me to change to 'fit in', because how I dress and look doesn't affect the photos I take. It's so important that you feel you can get along with me, and that you can trust me to do the best job of taking your wedding photographs. I want to make sure you feel comfortable and confident with me, because I really am there to help!