Allow me to let you into a few secrets with regard to booking your wedding photographer.
I cannot remember the amount of blog posts and magazine articles that I have read on this subject, so many so called experts. Very few of them are actual photographers. They all start with the budget.
Of course the budget for your wedding is important, I strongly recommend that everyone should budget for their wedding as the costs can so easily start to sky rocket. But you must be flexible in your budgeting and I’m not talking about the overall budget (you should keep that the same) I referring to budget headings. By this I mean when you set a budget you will set aside a certain amount for venue, catering, cake, car, flowers, hair, photographer etc. Be flexible in the approach such as say you might want a cheaper cake so that you can afford better flowers. Does that make sense?
Now the so called experts will tell you that you want a full time professional wedding photographer and they should belong to governing bodies and have the relevant qualifications, they must have insurance and carry back up camera’s. I agree anyone charging you a fee to shoot your wedding should have all the required insurance. And they must have more than one camera even if they never use the second one. Because even though we spend small fortunes on equipment they still fail sometimes. I disagree that they must be full time professionals and belong to governing bodies and have the relevant qualifications. I know part time wedding photographers that are excellent and should not be judged just because they don’t do wedding photography full time, they may just be starting out in weddings and are awaiting a certain amount of weddings before giving up their day job (I call that sensible) as long as their body of work is good and you like them why discount them? And as for the photographer being a member of a governing body and having the relevant qualification, well I’ll let you into a little secret. There are no recognised wedding photography courses at the present time. You can’t go to Uni and study wedding photography. You can do workshops. I have been very fortunate in the fact that when I started I attended workshops by the best in the business, but I didn’t get letters after my name. You can become a member of a governing body. Well I say governing body but it is basically a club you pay a yearly membership for and pay them to critic your work and they might give you some letters to go after your name. I’m not having a go at these organizations or people that use them as an advertisement ploy. I used to be one myself. Before I left and stopped worrying about my peers and started to focus on what my clients wanted. That is not saying that I would tell you to ignore anyone that is a member and has the initials far from it, just don’t write someone off that does not have the initials.
My opinion is, you must love the photographers pictures. This sounds like a strange thing to say I know, but when I do wedding fayres you would be surprised about the amount of people that ask if I’m available on a certain date and what my prices are, without even looking at a single image. Or as I’m quite often told by guests at weddings “I wish you did my wedding photography”, I ask them why and they tell me their images were not that good. I then tell them “but you haven’t seen these images though, they might be rubbish”. This always stops them in their tracks. I understand the reason for them saying this though. I have quite an outgoing, friendly personality and for some unknown reason I make people feel at ease. So they enjoy the experience of having their picture taken and the interaction I have with them. And automatically assume I’m good (which I hope I am, but that is for others to judge). This leads me on to another point, your photographer’s images must be good but so should their personality. What I mean by this is, you are spending so much time with this particular person on your biggest day. You need to get on with them, you must feel comfortable. This is one of the main reasons I offer a free pre-wedding shoot with my full days coverage. It is important that the couple are comfortably in my presence. So those are two things that I recommend to you. You have to like their images and them also. Your pictures are one of the few things that you have to remember your day with and you don’t want to have amazing images but also remember that you didn’t get on with the person that took the images do you?
That makes it sound easy doesn’t it, great personality and amazing pictures. So what if you have found a photographer whose work you love and that you get on with. But they are more expensive than your budget allows? Well I told you earlier not to change your overall budget, but can you reduce the cost of something else so that you can afford the photographer (remember your photographs tell the story of the your day) like the cake or the flowers? If you can’t do that why not ask the photographer if they can reduce their price? If you don’t ask the question you will have no chance of them reducing their price. You have nothing to lose at this stage and everything to gain. All us photographers have ego’s tell us that you love our work but you can only afford this amount. Again they will only say yes or no. And if you are doing something different from the norm for your wedding, sell that idea to them. We all love photographing something different and if we can market it, that’s got to be worth a trade off in the price. Trust me It is a selling point and something you should utilise. Or ask the photographer if you can forgo a album after the wedding but possibly come back for one in a couple of years? There are lots of things you can do. But if you have found the right photographer be honest with them, they will appreciate it and most often than not in my experience they will be flexible as they are all normally their own bosses.
Another question that often arises is when should you book the photographer. I recommend that you book your photographer as soon as you have booked the venue. This is due to the fact that photographers are booked up along time in advance just like venues. And remember that a photographer can only shoot one wedding a day. So when that date is gone, it’s gone. Photographers are unlike florists, caked makers or even hair stylists where they can do several weddings a day. A florist can have a team and do several weddings. As they deliver the bouquets to you and set the venue up also. Then they can go to next clients etc (I’m sure you get the picture). A photographer is yours for the day. They will be there for every stage of the day. So it is important that you have chosen correctly. Remember the photographs are one of the few things you will have after the wedding day. No pressure there then!
This leads me onto a wedding I shot in 2011 where the bride Rachel knew what she wanted and wasn’t afraid to ask. I loved this wedding it had a glamorous vintage style going on. I’d also like to congratulate this couple Brenden & Rachel as they are expecting their second baby.
Please see the Prices page for all about my straight forward approach to packages available and if you have any questions then please visit the FAQ page. If you are interested in booking Aaron please see the contact page for ways to Contact him
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Aaron is a young dynamic photographer that specialises in weddings. Aaron is based in Kent, but covers all of the UK and is happy to travel to destination weddings.