Keeping In Touch – Utilise Your Clients

It has been said before on many episodes of The Ready Steady Pro Podcast that you should be keeping a database of your past clients. Having the contact information of all of your previous clients (or, current clients rather) allows you to reach out and contact them directly. After all, you’ve worked with them already and you are now a known quantity to them – You already have that relationship with them and they will be more open and receptive to you than they would be to a generic marketing email from some other photographer. Just because you’ve shot their wedding and it’s been and gone doesn’t mean the door is closed to opportunities. There are so many ways and chances to reach out to those clients once again and leverage more business and continue the relationship.

Keeping In Touch

A good example of this is what I do around New Years: I would usually reach out to clients via email – a personalised message written specifically for them, referring to their wedding day, containing a few images and basically thanking them for allowing me to photograph their wedding or event that past year. I would tell them how much fun it was to be their photographer and how much I enjoyed it. In previous years I have also included a 10% referral discount at the bottom of the email (usually a code for them to pass on to a friend or family member) and also a discount for them if they would like some other photography doing (family shoot, lifestyle, portrait etc). There would be relevant links to the website for each of these services as well. The email of course makes it as easy for them to get in touch as possible – email, telephone numbers, links etc are all included everywhere within the email it’s appropriate.

Some photographers and business go as far as to send chocolates or flowers and gifts at Christmas time too. If you think this is more appropriate then go for it! Whatever you feel works for you and would most successfully achieve the goal of getting more business.

It all sounds like a lot of effort though…

It may sound like a lot of work having to type out personalised and individual emails for each client that past year, particularly if you’re already fortunate enough to have had a fair few clients, but this year was slightly different for me…

I was so unwell over Christmas and New Year recovering from Pneumonia and then having to put up with a condition called Pleurisy that I was just drained of energy. I didn’t have the get up and go to type over 20 individual emails to clients. So instead, from my sick-bed, I simply sent them all text messages. Nice and simple.

I wished them a wonderful New Years, told them to have fun if they were out celebrating, stay warm, stay safe and all the best for 2015. The messages were very short and sweet (it was a text after all). It didn’t need to be much – just enough to let them know I was around and thinking of them at this time of year and sending them a pleasant little message. I’m sure none of them expected it.

So, when one client told me her sister was getting married and that she will pass on my details I was very pleased. Then another client replied to say that she would be getting in touch in the new year about making an album.

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Bonus!

Extra Tip

Remember – when adding links to emails etc use Bitly. You can create custom links for each email (if you want) and track the clicks to see if your campaign is actually working. It’s well worth doing and having some visibility over the success of your efforts.

Now It’s Down To Me

Now, the ball is back in my court of course – I have to chase these up and see them through, but for 15 – 20 minutes work (from bed!) I’ve got 2 solid leads that could make the business some money in 2015.

It was an exercise well worth my time if you ask me.

And hey, even neither of these leads come off – I’m still the nice guy who wished them well and reminded them I still exist. It’s a win/win.

It’s a Timely Exercise

This sort of exercise is timely though. If you’re going to reach out to clients and wish them well for the new year you’re going to want to do it soon. It’d be odd if they received a message late in January as it may seem like an after thought. Just do this now. If their numbers are in your phones just take some time to message them. If you store details in files sit down on the sofa tonight and get in touch with them. Better still if you’re making use of a system such as LightBlue all of the contact details you need should be to hand

Join The Conversation On Social Media

Come and join the Ready Steady Pro community over on Facebook. It’s thriving and all of these topics and more are discussed in great detail by the almost 400-strong group.

Happy New Year!

So, happy new year from all of us here at Ready Steady Pro. May 2015 be a successful one and if you’re aiming to transition to full-time, may 2015 be the year you do it successfully! Good luck everyone!

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FREE Webinar: 6 Secrets to a Profitable Wedding and Portrait Business

Join Steve Saporito, Bryan Caporicci and Jeff Jochum as they share with you their 6 Secrets to a profitable Wedding and Portrait Business in this absolutely FREE Webinar on Tuesday 25th @ 9PM (if you’re UK based).

These three guys have an absolute wealth of knowledge between them when it comes to this industry which can often feel like a minefield. So, let them help you navigate it! In this Webinar they promise to teach you:

  1. 6 Strategies to implement that will transform your photography business
  2. The biggest mistakes you are making when dealing with your clients
  3. Why clients are saying you’re “Expensive”

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2015 will see me transition from the day job into full time photography and some of the most sage advice I’ve been given came from Steve Saporito himself. Steve taught me perhaps the most valuable lesson I’ve learnt as a photographer so far. It sounds like a simple one, but I’ll tell you for free that it’s the most powerful tool I have when it comes to booking clients. Steve told me: “You just have to care”. I instantly adopted this approach even more, taking on board the other things that Steve said and really listened to my clients. I asked them questions about them, how they felt about one another, how they met and really showed a genuine interest in their answers. I started to connect with my clients on a new level and through that I was able to start booking more clients AND at higher averages than before. It’s not a jedi mind trick, it’s not neuro linguistic programming: as Steve says – You just have to care! If, in that one nugget of information Steve has helped me to book more clients and increase my average from £650 per client to over £1,000, then that tells me that this is a Webinar that I must tune into. And so should you!

You may remember our very own interview with Steve from Episode 17 of the Ready Steady Pro Podcast – which has proven to be the most popular download to date with well over 1,000 downloads more than the second most popular episode. If you liked what you heard in that interview, then you’re going to love what Steve has to say in this Webinar. (Did I mention it’s free?)

So, sign up to the webinar now – places are limited so be sure to book your place.

Moo.com Sale – 35% off all printed products

Moo.com are having another one of their amazing 25% off sales!  But hurry – It ends on 30th September!

Wait! There’s more! 25% off is already great, but how about 35% off? Just use this link to qualify for 10% off and if you buy before September 30th you’ll get the sale discount added on top! Bargain.

Moo.com Summer Sale - 25% off
Moo.com Summer Sale – 25% off

Check out my review of Moo.com’s Luxe Business cards – incredibly thick and wonderfully premium. A business card that will truly stand out from all the others:

You can also check out some quality hi-res photographs of the cards here too:

Already own business cards from Moo.com? Would love to know your thoughts and views. Drop a comment below!

Moo.com Spring Sale – 25% off

The good people over at moo.com are having another one of their fantastic sales!

From now until 11:59pm on April 29th you can get 35% off all printed products. The sale itself gets you 25% off, but when used in conjunction with a referral code you can get a further 10% off!

moo.com sale

The Range of Products

Moo produce some excellent products including the unique ‘Luxe’ Business Cards (which I review here), letter heads, mini cards, post cards and stickers too! So if you’ve just rebranded or you’re looking for some new business cards for your photography business, now is the time to have a look at Moo.com

Printfinity

Have you ever come across those people with really cool business cards? Maybe they’re really unique, or they have a different picture on each card? Well, you can do that with Moo.com too. Moo call it ‘Printfinity’, meaning you can upload lots of different photographs to be displayed on your cards. If you order a box of 50 and send them 5 photographs you’ll end up with 5 sets of 10 unique looking cards. Upload 50 photographs and you’ll received a box full of totally unique cards all with different pictures on!

Get 35% off today by ordering your cards before midnight on April 29th and support Ready Steady Pro and get a further 10% off by using discount code 7qftdq at the checkout (or use this link: moo.com referral from Ready Steady Pro)

Moo.com Luxe Business Cards reviewed here on Ready Steady Pro

For the full review and more photographs, check out this post: http://bit.ly/1lE9hai or just watch the video below:

Measuring Success and your Meaning of it

The dictionary definition of success is:

“The accomplishment of an aim or purpose”

 

Success will be defined differently by different people. Of course as the dictionary definition says it’s about accomplishing an aim or a purpose. So, to further define our own success we have to determine what our aims are and what our purpose is, right?

I would go out on a limb and say that when most people talk about being successful, they’re referring to making lots of money, or at least a ‘decent’ amount by their standards. Some people would say that it’s not all about money and more about happiness.

So if we’re not all agreed on the definition of success, how do we measure it?

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Many different successes in life

Okay, so if we’re going to view success as achieving something; a goal or a target, then one may say that in life you can have many different goals and targets. For example, get grades, get house, get car, find wife, have kids. They’re all various successes someone could have. But if someone achieves all those things where does that leave them? Does that mean they’ve achieved everything in life? Is that person successful?

I would argue it’s also a lot about how you go about your success and how happy your successes makes you. In fact I’d go as far as to say that happiness and fulfillment are measures of success that should not be forgotten about.

Different views of ‘Success’

Success, if you ask me, is an opinion. It’s a feeling. Sure If you want to measure success by how much money you’re making then perhaps it’s easier: you can set a target and work towards that amount. Success could be a target of £100,000 per year.

But success could also be in the way that you make your money, rather than just actually making it. Success will vary on grand scales for people. Perhaps you’ll have succeeded when your photography business pays your bills? Success for someone else could be as simple as earning enough from shooting weddings this year so that they can buy that 5D MkIII or Nikon D4s. To others though, success may be actually making some money from photography for a start.

Success will be determined by what is important to us in life, the stage of life we’re at and what we value most.

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Success will change as our aims and purposes change

I think my definition of success and as such happiness has evolved over the years. It initially was a materialistic measure, which I think children and young people are too often taught in school, sometimes at home and all too often by television. I started working in IT at a young age and there was one particular person I looked up to who was very materialistic at the time. Because I looked up to him in the early days I somewhat inherited his narrow view of success (in my opinion). At a very young age I was earning a good amount of money. I mortgaged my own house with my own money at just 22 years old. But that didn’t make me happy at all.

When I found photography I became more and more interested in spending time making photographs, sharing, discussing and experiencing photography and all it has to offer.

When I met my wife I was more interested in getting to know her and find out all about her and growing with her as a person. We experienced a lot together (and still are).

When I had children, I was mostly interested in spending time with them and making the best possible family I could. Photography was and still is a huge part of my life and I’m very distracted by it at all times. I say that I am distracted by it because at times life is about more than photography, it’s about all of those other things that I am now learning are part of what I’m calling my success.

As new things have come into my life and priorities have changed I’ve always found that the one component needed for me to make those new things fit and work in my life to a point where I can truly enjoy them, rather than make them feel like work, is TIME.

My own Definition of Happiness

I think my definition of happiness is having time and being in control of it. Making money, in whatever way that is, is a vehicle to buying time as far as I’m concerned. Obviously, having a hobby for photography like I do offers me an avenue to explore in terms of combining that and making the money I need to buy time. BUT, in the last few years I’ve realised that the finite amount of time I have in a day, or a week was being overly allocated to photography and taken away from my wife and children.

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I think having a balance of time, control and money is my definition of happiness. Having time to explore what I come across in life and take opportunities, having control of that time so I can do things when I want to do them, and having enough money to be able to afford all of that.

Time, for me is the most important thing, but time is dependant on other things. (Control and Money). That’s my ‘formula’ so far.

Whilst some people will still consider money to be their measure of success, others will insist that money doesn’t matter at all and that’s absolutely fine. In my opinion money is necessary, but it’s a small part that enables the other components that I define as success. Unfortunately being a photographer, whether professional or a hobbyist isn’t the cheapest of passions to pursue when you compare it to say playing Squash or running. So again, you do need money to enable you to pursue what makes you happy. (if your passion isn’t free of course)

What does any of this have to do with photography?

You may be asking why on earth I am talking about this subject on a photography blog? Well, I want to get you thinking about why you’re doing this in the first place? Why are you trying to make money from photography? What does it offer you that your day job or current pursuit doesn’t? The point is that we sometimes forget why we’re doing things when we become obsessed with them and I know full well how addictive photography can be.

Closing Question

So, now that I’ve shared my thoughts on what I call success, what does ‘Success’ look like to you? It doesn’t have to be the same as me. Success to some can be financial security, or travelling the world and of course earning money is a necessary part of those things.

What is success to you?

P.S: I remember when I was very young and there were a few times where I’d asked for a gadget, such as a Sony Walkman, or a toy such as an Action Man. Sometimes I wouldn’t get those things. However, what my brothers and I did have in our childhood were plenty of great times: Travelling down to the Isle of White or to the Hayling Island coast in the UK. Disney Land Paris, City Breaks with my mum and Brothers, holidays to Greece, driving down to the South of France that took 2 days, camping in the garden things like that. They weren’t tangible thingsThey weren’t the gadgets or toys I asked for as a young boy. But what they were, were great times and memories. Sure, I didn’t get the Action Man or the Sony Walkman, most likely because I was a horrible child most of the time or we didn’t have the money for much of my childhood, but if I did get those toys, I wouldn’t be sitting here now saying to you that “I had the greatest Mum because she bought me the Walkman and the Action Man“.

However I am saying that I had a cool Mum because she gave me experiences and memories that I still have today. I did get other toys and gadgets of course, but I don’t know where any of those are today. However,  I still remember those great times and today they still have value to me. It’s for reasons such as this that I believe my definition of success is less materialistic and more about time to enjoy happiness.

When I’m old and grey, will I remember the Sony Walkman? Or, will I remember the time my brother got stuck in a swing in the park that was clearly too small for him at Hayling Island?

Happiness to me is more than things and stuff and money.

Why is Wedding Photography so Expensive?

This post was originally share over on Michael Rammell’s blog at www.RammellPhotography.com/blog


Writing a blog about the cost of wedding photography may seem controversial. Typically, my blog is a positive place where people can come and see how the most recent wedding shoot went, or, take a look at what else I’ve been up to. But just recently I started to think about pricing. I know my prices are low (very low) and they should be higher If I ever plan to do what I love full time. The thing is, I don’t compare myself to any other photographer so I don’t want to set my prices based on what the competition is priced at – I just try to strike a balance between what I think my images are worth and what I think a client will pay.

I figured the only way for me to know if my prices were right was to work out the numbers. So I started to do some research into the costs of wedding photography. I already knew that the average cost of a wedding photographer has been around £1,300 – £1,450 in the past few years, but I wanted to know what brides and grooms thought of prices. It’s one thing for me to value my work, but what value do brides and grooms put on the memories of their weddings? I set out by first recalling the situation I was in when I got married a few years back…

I Didn’t Hire A Photographer At My Own Wedding

You may think as a wedding photographer that I will have some pretty amazing photographs of my own wedding day, right? Surely I pulled in a favour with a wedding photographer friend of mine? You may even say that because I knew what it was like to be behind the camera – my wedding day pictures should be brilliant – as I would know what to do when in front of the camera…?

It breaks my heart to say it, but that is not the case.

My wife and I got married before I really found photography and before I decided I wanted to be a wedding photographer myself. I was the person on the wedding forums looking for a wedding photographer that would cost me £200 and not a penny more. At the time I could not understand why someone thought they could get away with quoting me £2,000?! After all it was just a day of pointing and shooting and an album I wanted – we were even getting married locally and I could buy an album off the internet for £40! I could take some pretty brilliant pictures with a point and shoot and even handed my brother my Sony Micro four thirds camera for the day (thinking that by having good camera in his hands we would end up with at least a few album-worthy images.

On one forum I saw what I thought was a genius Idea to save money on your wedding! One bride had suggested that she was going to purchase some disposable cameras and put them on each table and ask her guests to take photos. The guests would then leave the cameras behind, or, take them and get them developed and send copies of the photographs back to her and her husband. If truth be told, even now the idea sounds somewhat romantic. I remember selling the idea to my wife: “It’ll be our wedding day, seen through the eyes of our closest friends and family” I said.

We didn’t have a large wedding, just a few friends and our close family. Unfortunately, no-one knew how to take a picture the way I wanted them to. Sure, some were exposed properly and I’ve got my eyes open in a few, but they are not images I’m proud to show off. They’re not images that take me back to the moment when I see them. They have no ‘Wow’ factor. I wish now that I’d spent some money and hired someone who knew what they were doing. I’d have spent that £2,000 in a heartbeat if I knew what I know now.

I didn’t put enough value on my wedding photographs.

I wish I had memories like these:

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Oh here we go!

Now, You may read this and think “Oh here we go, he’s just scaremongering and trying to get us to spend all our budget on him”…I promise you that is not my aim. I’m not trying to convince you to hire me for your wedding. If you read this and at the end you understand the true value of a wedding photographer and you then hire someone else; I will still be overjoyed that all I achieved was to encourage you to hire a professional to capture your wedding day for you.

Quite simply – I don’t want you to be able to relate to my story. I don’t want you to email me in six months time and say “You were right!”. I don’t want my story to be your story.

So, what did i find from my research?

Go to Google and type ‘Why is wedding photography so expensive?‘. You are likely to notice two things:

  1. Firstly, you only have to type the words ‘Why is wedding photography…‘ before Google completes the question for you by conveniently adding ‘…so expensive?‘.
  2. And secondly; there are no shortage of photographers scrambling to explain the costs of wedding photography in a bid to tackle the belief that wedding photography is expensive.

Any good wedding photographer will know what a wedding costs them to photograph. They will know how much they have left after their fixed-cost outgoings. They should even know what a wedding will end up paying them as an hourly rate, (which I will come to later). So it doesn’t phase many wedding photographers to say “That’ll be £2,000“, but it still surprises most couples.

It makes me feel very much like there is a battle going on between couples and photographers, just like the battle I was having when I got married. And I think I know why…

It’s just one day of shooting…right?!

Searching through blogs and forums I’ve found there to be one very common misconception: That shooting a wedding is a one-day deal where we turn up, press a button and then go home. There is one fantastic ‘rant’ from an american bride mentioned on Kristen Booth’s blog where she says “I mean the “average” persons salary for 1 freaking month is somewhere around 3 grand. (Thats making 19$ an hour) So you’re going to take someones WHOLE MONTH paycheck for one flippen day of photos? Just because you CAN!!??????“. If you click the link you’ll see that Kristen has answered this rant in her own, very unique way.

But this ‘Craiglist Bride’ as Kristen calls her, had it all wrong. I worked out that I spend at least 38 hours producing wedding photographs when I shoot my entry level package: 10 hours on the wedding day. 22 hours editing the images. 2 hours of travelling. 2 hours of talking and discussions with my clients over the course of the build up to the wedding. If a client chooses a more premium package from my price list I’ll end up working even more hours.

What’s my point?

Today I want to answer this question slightly differently to most: I want to demystify the cost of wedding photography and lay the costs on the table and break it all down so that you can see that after the confetti has been cleared away, the average wedding photographer is likely take home less than most people do from the average ‘day job’.

Let’s look at the numbers

So, when I decided to start shooting weddings I thought I knew exactly how I was going to separate myself from the competition: I would be the amazing photographer charging crazy low rates. I would end up being super busy and would rake it in by simply shooting so many weddings. The quantity would make up for the low price, I thought. This is how my first 5 weddings went:

(Please note from this point on i am representing my figures at a very basic level)

  1. Wedding #1 was a favour to a friend. If they hadn’t hired me, they wouldn’t have hired anyone. I charged: £0
  2. Wedding #2 was a result of word of mouth from the first wedding. I couldn’t charge much more as I did their friends wedding for free! I charged £250
  3. Wedding #3 was a booking through Facebook. I was getting more confident so my prices went up: I charged £300
  4. Wedding #4 was another referral from the 1st and 2nd weddings so they wanted the same service and price. I charged £250 again
  5. Wedding #5 was for a colleague at work. I actually said I would do their wedding for free. They’re friends of my wife and I and I wanted to do it as a sort of wedding present. They insisted on paying though and I made £250

Before I go on I will just say for the record that I am very proud of my first few weddings. I had a blast doing them, my clients are happy with their images and I don’t regret ever entering the photography industry and I certainly don’t regret charging those low prices. I love this job and I hope I can continue to enjoy it for the rest of my life.

So, total up my first few weddings and you’ll notice a grand total of £1050. Not bad eh! Oh – I had to pay tax on that too, so %20 goes to Mr Taxman leaving me with a figure of £840 turnover. Still not bad eh?! (note ‘turnover’ – not profit)

lace my palm with silver

So, I had made some money. From 5 weddings (with 1 being free) I had made £840. At the time I was very pleased,  but then I did some math to figure out what my camera gear had cost me:

  • Canon 7d:£850
  • 70-200 f2.8 L IS USM II: £1600
  • 50mm f1.8 £100
  • Spare batteries & battery grip for 7d £300
  • Canon 580EXII Speedlight (flash) £550
  • My Camera bag was £70
  • x4 Compact Flash Cards were £200
  • Multiple SD Cards were around £150
  • My Tripod was £150
  • Batteries and battery conditioner for flash: £135
  • There were other things too such as lens cleaning equipment, memory card readers and more that all amounted to something like £100
  • I hired a Canon 24-70mm L USM for two of the weddings at £100 per rental; £200

Again, some quick math shows my camera gear alone at the time of my 5th wedding had cost me£4,905. That’s around half the value of the gear a seasoned professional would carry with them!

There’s more to take into account though. I’d then need to edit those images:

  • A new laptop powerful enough to run Adobe Photoshop and LightRoom: £600
  • Adobe Lightroom: £120
  • Monitor for editing: £350
  • CD’s to burn client discs £20
  • Network Storage so that I don’t lose client images: £200

That takes my post editing costs to: £1290. Add this to the camera gear and my total outlay to shoot weddings now stood at: £6,195

There is still more to be accounted for:

  • New suit & Shoes: £250
  • Travel costs (Diesel) – I’ve worked out my mileage and to date I’ve travelled over 200 miles for weddings: £20
  • Electricity when charging batteries and working editing and for my storage device that is always turned on. I would wager a guess at these being £100 over the course of those 5 weddings.
  • Website & domain: £180
  • Business cards: £30

These other additional costs amount to some  £580. Added once more to the previous totals and I then realised my total outlay amounted to: £6,775 to shoot weddings. My £840 turnover now seems pretty small. After my 5th wedding I needed to go on and make a further £5,935 in order to break even on my investment. Only then would any money I make be considered profit!

I also realised at this point that I still hadn’t insured my equipment, nor had I taken out the public liability insurance that most venues require before allowing you to work on their premises…but I couldn’t afford those at that point.

Breaking even on my investment – how long will it take me to do that?

It was when I put these figures into a spreadsheet for the first time It dawned on me: Being a wedding photographer is expensive! But I now wanted to figure out how long it would take me to break even. There was no way of me determining what my turnover for the next year would be. I couldn’t predict bookings. So, I started to look at my pricing and came up with some models & projections.

(It gets quite ‘numbery’ here, but please read on)

From the first 5 weddings I’d been averaging £250 per wedding. After tax I would be left with £200 per wedding. That means I would need to shoot 28 weddings at that rate to break even on my current investment. I figured if I had a good year and shot 10 weddings, I’d still have another 18 to go. At that rate It would take me 3 years to break even, at which point the cameras would need replacing, the laptop would need renewing and I’d be starting all over again…I worked out that If I am making £200 per wedding and working nearly 40 hours per wedding I was paying myself £5.71 per hour…the UK minimum wage is £6.19 (as of 2012).

Another way of looking at that is that if I were going to repay my remaining investment of £5,935 at that rate, I would need to work 1,120 hours…

So lets assume I worked full time in an office and took home the £5.71 per hour. If I worked 40 hours in an office every single week earning that hourly rate I would take home an annual wage of £10,923.20. That amount is simply not enough to pay my bills and that is based on working 35 hours every week – with weddings You can only shoot so many in one year!

I think from the above alone it’s clear to see that charging these low rates was not a sustainable business model. It just would never work. It wasn’t even worth me doing it as I had a ‘day job’ too. I’d be working around 80 hours a week whenever I shot a wedding!

Okay, that’s enough number crunching for one minute – there’s more to it that money and time…

So, as it stood I’d have to work over 1100 hours in addition to my day job for less than minimum wage. But there is far more to it than cash and time. Making a photograph is an art and a craft. If everyone could do it then these prices would be the market rate – why would you need to go and find someone when any uncle or cousin with a camera could do it for you? The fact is not everyone can do this. Sure, new digital cameras can take some of the technicality out of taking an image – but knowing how to instinctively use a camera, being able to see a moment as it’s about to happen, and then capturing it perfectly – that’s worth something too.

You’re not just investing in someone with a nice camera, a smart suite and a cool website, you’re investing in someone who knows what they’re doing, someone prepared and experienced. You’re guaranteeing yourself that you will get the photographs that will last you a lifetime.

What am i saying?

My point here is that if you’re looking for the £200 photographer, or if you’re employing your friend / cousin / uncle because they take ‘nice pictures’ you’re simply not placing enough value of your own wedding. I’m not suggesting you have to pay a lot of money, in fact there are some expensive photographers out there who are not worth what they charge, I am simply urging you to employ a professional. I’m not looking to appear as a hero when I say this, but this is part of the reason why my basic price is one-third of of the market average: I understand that not everyone has £1,400 for a wedding photographer, I certainly didn’t at the time when I was getting married.

What I am saying is don’t measure the importance or value of your wedding by your budget, or what it’s costing you.

If you can afford £1,400 or more on a wedding photographer you are very lucky. My advice to you is pay them that money, get them on board and ensure that they are involved in every step of your wedding day from start to finish. Make sure that your £1,400 investment is the best it can be by allowing and enabling your photographer to do their job.

I was stressing about costs in the build up to my wedding – worrying that what my wife and I had arranged wasn’t going to be magical enough for her, that it wasn’t the wedding she had dreamed of her entire life. She knew I was concerned and said to me: “In my culture it is said that ‘the less extravagant the wedding, the more blessed the marriage will be’. I want our marriage to blessed” – the morale here is that the value should be placed on the wedding itself and how much it means to each person. The wedding should not valued in any monetary sense.

Whilst this is a beautiful sentiment and one with which I completely agree – It still doesn’t mean that my wife and I have a single image as beautiful as our wedding day and that breaks my heart.

Conclusion

I urge you when planning your wedding to take photography into account right from the start and hire a professional. I would encourage you to spend a good amount of time searching for a photographer who both fits your budget and has portfolio that takes your breath away.

Remember, a good wedding photographer will also be a wedding planner, a friend and a guest on your big day. They will help you to work out timings for your wedding breakfast, they’ll tell you that when you’re having your hair done – be sure to wear a button up top so you don’t ruin two hours worth of curling and hair-spraying. A good photographer will tell you to dry the stems of your bouquet so as to not wet your dress, but most of all you’ll learn to trust them so you can relax safe in the knowledge that this person will be capturing the special moments of your big day so that you have memories you will be able to cherish for the rest of time. A good photographer will be the best investment on your wedding day.

If you stumbled across this post as a result of looking for cheap wedding photographers, I sincerely hope this will encourage you to consider the photography on your big day and what value you place on it. Please feel free to leave a comment below and get in touch if you have any questions about my story or the costs of wedding photography.