Wedding Photographer - why do I need to pay for one?

02nd August 2017
The single most important part of a camera is the person using it.

There are a great many wedding photographers out there and most of us have come across a particular trend – not being booked to save on costs.

We can understand this, as weddings are very expensive, and any way of saving money is a bonus. One way of saving money is to do some of the work yourself or to get a friend or relative to do it (who will be attending).

When it comes to the dress, flowers and catering, the chances are you don’t know anyone who can do those to the quality/complexity/numbers you require, so you have to seek these out at a shop or venue. The same goes for the venue itself (or venues) and the registrar/vicar/minister/etc. It soon adds up, doesn’t it? Just those few bits will set you back thousands of pounds. But it’s your wedding day, and you deserve the best, so these are small prices to pay for the best day of your life!

But when you ask for a price from a professional photographer, you may think why should I pay that when I have a friend of relative who has a nice, professional looking camera?

Let me offer some advice here. Before you approach them, ask yourself this – what do they do for a living? If the answer is they are a professional photographer then great, what are you waiting for! However, if the answer is anything else, stop for a moment and think about this famous saying from Ansel Adams;

“The single most important component of the camera is the 12 inches behind it.”

What this means, as my heading simplifies it to, is that it’s not the camera that takes the picture, it’s the person using it. The difference between a lost moment and one captured is experience. The difference between a mediocre shot and a beautiful one is experience. Knowing how to capture a stunning portrait of the bride & groom is experience.

Photography is an art form; professional photographers are artists, who just happen to use a camera rather than, say a pencil, to create their images. And these professional cameras are not your day-to-day cameras your friend or relative may have, a typical camera and lens combination for a wedding photographer is around £2k - £6k, and we usually have two or three of these. Oh, and we never use automatic modes or apps.

But here’s the real clincher: Contrary to popular belief, a professional wedding photographer is actually the most cost effective and cheapest element of the wedding.

Let me explain. You’ve spent thousands of pounds on your day, and pretty much everything (except the memories) will only last for one day. Your dress is for one day; the venue is for one day; the flowers for one day; the food and drink for one day; the ceremony for one day; the suit hire is just for one day.

The wedding photographs last a lifetime, so your memories of the day will last a lifetime. So if your dress costs £1,000, if has cost £1,000 for one day. If your wedding photographer costs £1,700, based on you getting married at 28 and living until you’re 80, the photographer has only cost you £0.09 for that one day. Seems quite reasonable really, doesn’t it?

Does this mean hiring a cheaper photographer will save you even more money? Well, perhaps there’s a reason why they are cheaper. It could just be false economics, as the difference between a ‘£300 all in’ wedding photographer and a £1700 one is experience, skill and artistry. Would you hire a Fiesta when you can hire an Aston Martin?

If you would like to know more about what I can do for your wedding day, and my prices (which typically range from £600 - £1700), then please check out the tab above on wedding photography and visit the Galleries page to view some sample photographs. Or you can contact me via the contact page above. Thank you.