choosing a wedding photographer – faq
Wedding photographers can use a lot of jargon and it can all get a bit confusing. I’ve tried to be as clear and open as possible but for those still with questions hopefully the below section will help.
why are wedding photographers expensive?
The one piece of advice you hear the most when you’re gettting married (at least it was when I got married!) was to try and take stock, slow down and appreciate the day because it will go incredibly quickly. Almost all the money spent on your wedding will be for the day itself, the photos on the other hand will be with you for a lifetime, preserved perfectly in digital format. Whether you choose me as your photographer or not I would urge you to search hard for a very good photographer, see lots of their work, be sure that they will capture your day the way you would like it captured (either naturally or more formally) and most crucially – that they are professional and experienced.  Along with photographic talent, that professionalism and experience is what you’re paying for as this is a day full of once in a lifetime moments that can’t be repeated and you’ll be appreciating their work for decades to come if you select the right person.
Occasionally memory cards fail, cameras lock up, flash guns fail, batteries die unexpectedly, lenses can be dropped or equipment just stops working. Part of the cost of great wedding photographers is that they mitigate all of these things so that none of these problems should affect them. This is why I always shoot with two cameras that each shoot to two memory cards at the same time so each and every photo has a backup as I take them, half of my equipment could spontaneously breakdown and not only would I not lose a photo, it wouldn’t even slow me down or cause me to miss anything. I carry a backup of every piece of equipment and securely backup copies of the photos to the cloud online when I get home. I look after other people’s wedding photos as I would my own and have the experience of many, many weddings (147 as of December 2015) to enable me to be sure I will always be in the right place for the key moments.
I would be happy to have my portfolio compared to other photographers with similar style and experience to myself and be confident my packages offer great value for money. If it were my wedding I would make sure the photographer can show they take photos in the style I want and at the quality I want and I would make sure they were professional, insured, had experience and talent. If they couldn’t tick all those boxes then it wouldn’t matter how good value they seemed, I couldn’t risk using them.
do you take group photos?
I’m a reportage photographer so am there to blend in to the background and photograph all the lovely moments that happen without imposing myself – however I completely understand that most people would like a few group/staged photos too. I am always happy to do this of course though would suggest we only do a small number of these so you can enjoy the day more.
how are you different from any other wedding photographers?
I shoot in a reportage/editorial style which is less common though becoming more popular, this means I photograph the day as it happens, with very few, requested staged photos. I do it this way because I personally think the end result is much better and more flattering and I have spent the day being unobtrusive, allowing everyone to truly enjoy themselves.  I capture wonderful, spontaneous moments that are infinitely more special because they are real. Some people like a more traditional shoot with mostly staged photos, or a mixture of both, there’s nothing wrong with that at all, it’s all a matter of what they prefer. In fact I am usually asked to take a handful of group photos and a couple of more staged photos by request which is completely expected and completely fine but if anything more than that were wanted I probably wouldn’t be the right photographer for the couple.
I also think I’m different to many photographers in the wedding package I offer. I’m flexible with what I include in my wedding package, I try to offer discounts for different parts of the year and days of the week and I do offer a half day package by request but in general my standard wedding package is quite comprehensive. The only thing it doesn’t include is the album as it is quite a personal choice, I offer two options here, each a different kind of album.
Anyone who’s visited many wedding photography websites before this one will know that wedding packages and prices are not straightforward. A quote for a full day may increase if you want them there longer than 6 hours, it may include a few prints but any more than that (which there will be, especially by your family) will cost a lot, albums often cost an awful lot extra and a USB stick of the full-size images to do with what you want will likely cost extra too. These can all add up to hundreds of pounds.
There are no hidden extras with my package. I’m there for the day, a minimum of 9 hours (unless it’s a half day package!). I offer a comprehensive wedding photography service, including all the photos (between 400-600) in high resolution on a USB stick and securely online for you or your friends and family to download themselves. This means you can order prints or subsequant photobooks yourselves easily any time you want and your photos will never fade because you will have a digital copy. I also include 100 large prints in a print archival box, perfect for framing or giving to friends and family to frame.
what is a coffee-table storybook?
A coffee-table storybook is a hardback book with around 40-50 relatively flexible pages, similar to a high quality hardback book by a photographer you might buy in a shop though in this case the pages are thicker as they are photographic paper and can lie flat on the page.
The pages of the book are filled with the best photos from the day, set out as it happened. It’s more accessible than a traditional, hard page, mounted album which tend to be more bomb-proof, which means coffee-table books are likely to last many years rather than the many decades of a traditional book. This is partly because a coffee-table book is designed to be looked at and well thumbed, opening it up to the elements more. As mentioned previously, I offer the full-size photos on a USB stick and to download online so replacement books or prints can be ordered by the couple easily when they want a new one in the future. I also offer a more contemporary hard-page coffee-table album by Graphistudio and a traditional album by Jorgensen, these are described in my service section of my website. Both of these albums have their photos printed on lovely photographic paper so look great.
can I have a traditional album?
Yes, I can give you a quote for one though I find these are ordered very infrequently, I use Jorgensen because they are renowned for being excellent quality. Though as they are handmade abroad they are expensive and depending on size and number of pages will likely be £700+. For those unsure of what a traditional album is, it’s a hard-page album with each page containing ‘mounted’ prints. It’s how wedding albums were traditionally made and they tend to last well as the mounts (basically a cardboard window through which you see the photo) around the prints stop the prints touching each other which can cause the chemicals in the prints to get damaged. They are also good at slowing the fading of photos with time as the books are generally not opened, looked at and open to the elements as much.