Monday, 21 February 2011

Flash, Bang Wallop, what a picture!

Following on from my entry from Friday I have had a request about how to find a cheap photographer.
Now I have to say that when it comes to some things you get what you pay for, and scrimping on photography is never a good idea.
Remember you want to look back on a wonderful day, looking fabulous with the man or woman that you love. You do not want to look back at a clutch of unprofessional snaps that you got because they were cheap. Believe me, you WILL regret it!! Selecting a photographer based solely on price is a sure fire route to disaster in my book.
My own Wedding photographs are hideous. Although we used a “professional” he was recommended to my Dad on price alone (something I found out later) and the results really show. Pictures out of focus, things sticking out the top of people’s heads, people with their eyes shut... I could go on and on!
They have been banished to the back of the wardrobe as even after 22 years I still cry every time I look at them. I have a few snapshots taken by friends that I treasure and I would never want someone else to be in that position. It’s horrible.
So, although I don’t recommend cutting costs on professional photographers I think there are a few steps you can take to make sure that you choose the right one for you.
·       Set your budget. Work out exactly how much you have to spend on your photographer and then research at least three in your price bracket.
·       Does their style of photography inspire you? It’s no good choosing someone who is cheap but doesn’t deliver the type of look your after.
·       Are they happy to listen to your suggestions? If you have a definite idea about how you want your photo’s to look,  are they happy to discuss your idea
·       Have a look at their previous work. Ask if you can talk to some of their previous customers. Where they happy with their work? If not why not. Don’t just assume that it's the Photographer at fault; sometimes people have unreasonably high expectations. Talk to the photographer too and get both sides of the story.
·       Do you like them? Remember this person is going to be following you around all day. If you aren’t comfortable, it’s going to show in the pictures!
·       Ask if they offer a package that includes Engagement Shots. This will allow you and your partner the opportunity to get a feel for his/ her approach and see how the pictures will turn out before the big day. If you’re not happy you can discuss it before your Wedding Day arrives!
·       Ask if they have “just the disc” packages available. Unlike traditional Wedding photography packages where you got a set of prints in an album, these deals deliver a disc of photo’s that you can print out whenever you like. They are still the same high quality, but you have to print them yourself and buy an album.

If you really can’t find a photographer you like for the budget you have then consider cutting back elsewhere. Do you really have to have those expensive favours? It’s unlikely that guests will remember what favours you chose in 5 years time, but you will always regret not paying the few extra pounds for a good photographer, trust me I know this.
There is never any harm in asking if you can negotiate on the price with your photographer. The worst that they can say is no!
However, please remember that these people are talented professionals who have often trained and developed their skills for years, and those skills and experience come at a cost.
If you really can’t afford a professional then there are a couple of ways to still have some good photo’s of your special day.
·       Ask a talented friend. Do you have a friend who you can trust who has a talent for taking pictures? Ask them to snap away on the day instead.
·       Speak to the local photography club. There may well be talented amateurs who are looking to break through into the professional market and although it’s unlikely that you will be able to secure their services for free, you may well get a really good price.
·       Check out local colleges for photography students who are in their last year, they may well be looking to gain experience.
You may get a great set of professional pics and they get to expand their portfolio. This may be especially good if you are looking for something a bit quirky and out of the ordinary. You just may spot the next David Baily or Mario Testino!

Really think hard before you decide upon a Photographer for your Wedding, you will never be able to do it again, so chose right first time.
Good Luck. Trish x

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