It’s not just pressing the shutter

Many people think that anyone can be a photographer, but it’s not just pressing the shutter.

It’s around this time each year that I get into yet another conversation regarding ‘wedding photography’, this time I am on holiday with my very good friend Roberta who lives in Canada and we are talking about her son and daughter-in-laws wedding photos that are the cause of much upset and disappointment….. The couple decided to go with a friend to capture one of the most important day of their lives, and based on the fact that the same friend did their engagement shoot they assumed that nothing could go wrong!!   Taking a few engagement photos with just the couple is completely different to shooting a whole wedding and really should be left to the seasoned professional.

So what went wrong I hear you ask?

Firstly the friend with the camera became pregnant, with a due date around the wedding day, so rather than tell the couple that they would be better off looking for another photographer, she decided to send her husband (who is not a photographer) and another friend!! Part way through the day, the original photographer thought she was in labour and so her husband whom she sent to photograph the couples special day left the wedding, leaving just the second photographer to shoot the day!! The result is that couple are very disappointed with their wedding photos, so much so that they got permission for me to edit some of the images so that they would have something to remind them of their wedding day.

Sadly this is a common tale that I hear each year, normally it’s the Bride’s Mum whom I happen to meet at a networking meeting who tells me (on hearing that I am a photographer) that there are no photographs of her and her daughter, or the couple who are with friends at a wedding show that tells me that they wished they had spend more on their wedding photos as they have nothing or little to show from their wedding day as they booked a cheap photographer who was just starting out or asked a friend who has a nice camera!! I even had a wedding co-ordinator of one Kent venue tell me she is so upset by her own wedding photos that she can no longer look at them! It is so sad to hear this about one of the happiest days of someones life.

Investment in Wedding Photography

Weddings are expensive, I get that and I realise that everyone has a budget, but sadly photography is often the one area that a couple either under estimate the true value/cost or do not appreciate until it is too late.

The perception of wedding photography or photography in general is that it is expensive and that we work for just one day a week!! The truth is your average wedding photographer will work for a least 4-5 days on one weddings and shoots an average of 20-25 weddings per year. 

Your investment in photography should be 20% of your total wedding budget.

So what do you get when you book me?

For me a typical wedding involves an initial consultation and then if they book there will be admin, a pre wedding engagement shoot to give the couple an insight as to what to expect on the day itself, these photographs are then edited and put onto a private gallery for the couple to see or they can come and see them at my studio. Then about 3 months before the wedding I send out a pre wedding questionnaire that then gets put onto my system prior to my pre wedding meeting with the couple, where we go over the finer details of the day and any changes noted and a revised schedule along with requested photos sent out for the couple to check.

On the day prior to the wedding I charge all the batteries, erase all the memory cards, clean cameras and lens and rename the camera bodies and get the equipment ready for the next day.

On the day itself I check and double check that I have everything from spare camera bodies to batteries, lighting to reflectors and even umbrella’s and tissues. My day normally starts at least 3 hours prior to my arrival with the Bride, and once the day is over and I hug the bride and groom I still have the drive home and then I have to download and back up the days images, once this is done I can finally go to bed and relax safe in the knowledge that the images are all there, safe and sound.

The hardwork begins whilst you are on honeymoon

On the Monday after the wedding all the images are brought into editing software, where the best images from the day are selected and then edited, before being exported and backed up, This takes at least a day to do.

Then once the couple are back from their honeymoon they are invited to my studio to view their images and then select the images for their album.

Album design can take anywhere from half a day to a whole day depending on how many images are going into the album and how much additional photoshop work is required.

Most of my weddings are shoot with a second photographer and most couples choose a package that includes an album.

I love what I do, I am passionate about ensuring that the couple has the day of their dreams and the photos that reflect this and an album that they can look back on for many years. Below is a selection of photographs from some of my weddings this year.

A montage of wedding photos by Yvette Craig Photography