Smile! It’s free!

When it comes to weddings, everybody pulls favours. It cuts the expenses, and it incorporates those special people into your day. So if you’re lucky enoughto have a friend with a vintage car, you ask them very nicely if they wouldn’t mind chauffeuring you to your reception venue; if a mate is a part-time DJ, you venture on how they’ll feel about providing some of your evening entertainment; and if, like us, you know a semi-professional photographer, well, you batter your eyelashes at her and and beg for the honour in pictures.

I’ve read a lot of panicky reports lately about the dangers of underestimating your wedding photography, not paying enough for it, getting a friend to do it, or not having a wedding video, in particular, this article. It tries to give a balanced representation, but in the end personal feelings run away into essentially pressuring brides and grooms to justify budget photography or having a friend do it.

I’ve found this a lot, and it makes me cross. In the end, you have to be practical about your wedding day, make compromises and not expect fairytale results. Don’t take silly risks, don’t take too many risks, but take some risks. To me, having a florist was a risk. Yes! Because this relies upon somebody to deliver what you want at exactly the right time. Flowers prepared too early die, and nobody wants their flowers late. But I wanted flowers, so I had to suck this in.

I don’t feel that the photography is a risk. I feel we’ve been sensible, and I think so long as everybody else is, there’s no reason you’ll need to spend £1.5-2k on your photographer.

We’ve already seen lots of Karina’s work. She did a 365 photo album on facebook and her zenfolio site, taking one picture every day of the year, photographed a friend’s wedding, and photographed us, sneakily:

We’ve also done an engagement shoot with her, and checked out the lighting at the venues.

My mum is happy anyway, which is important, especially since she has bought us our wedding photograph album. We picked it up this weekend gone, when we went over to visit her – though perhaps “picked up” is the wrong expression – “heaved” maybe? “jacked up”?

Apparently wanting something other than a leather-bound brilliant white album with a baby pink ribbon is silly when it’s a wedding album, and we struggled for a while to find something with proper old fashioned greaseproof leaves between the pages and blue, or maybe ivory with blue.

What my mum did turn out looked a bit like this, but with “Our Wedding, 19th May 2012” inscribed on the cover in silver lettering.

It is from the Black Cat Bindery, and it is truly massive, and pretty heavy with it’s box, box in a box, sturdy cover and cardboard pages. But it’s beautiful. And it will be very exciting filling it with beautiful prints. And if Karina’s last wedding is anything to go by, she will take several thousand pictures.

One thing that has popped up contrary to all this negative photography stuff, is this rather fantastic website. I first encountered it on a forum thread, where women were gushing their gratitude and desires to lick the feet of the original poster. The site contains a ‘Sub £500 Directory’ which allows people to select by region details of photographers who offer wedding packages for under £500. Most of them are short – 3 hours or so – but it’s still an impressive deal. The site seems to be well maintained and updated, and what’s more several photographers started posting on the thread I found, eagerly professing to offer packages at that value and begging to be added to the list.

It isn’t shameful to get a photographer who doesn’t cost £2k, and believe me, I’ve heard horror stories at that end of the price market too (naming no names), so there’s no more need to “justify” a cheaper option than an expensive one. In fact, with the expensive ones it’s easier to be made a mug – you have to argue that their art is not the value you paid, harder to prove than just swallow a mistake in your choice. If you hire a photographer, you will need to find independent reviews, maybe on wedding forums, blogs, or whatever, and whoever you ask, you should examine their work, show them the venue, and get some practice pictures in if you can. Spending a fortune will not save you. Smile! It’s free! And that’s my advice.


About RowenaFW

I am a Fish. But you wouldn't know it just from looking at me. View all posts by RowenaFW

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