Mistakes in hiring a Photographer
Mistakes to Avoid when hiring an Inexperienced Wedding Photographer
As explained in a previous blog, professional photographers spend a lot of time and money on equipment and learning their craft. This is how they grow with reputation, quality and expertise. Clients, who book professional photographers, will most certainly be happy with the final results and cherish the photographic images of their weddings for years to come. Wedding Photography is probably one of the most rewarding careers to undertake, as the work is to produce creative media the client will be happy with. It involves hard work, patience, experience, and management.
Go here to find out how much a professional photographer costs
I sometimes feel like the most stressed out person at the wedding, as it’s on me to deliver a very acceptable media capture, even when the event is not going to plan or is out of my hands. This is where the years of me shooting weddings can play its part and give me the confidence and skills to perform my function as an Asian wedding photographer in Asian weddings.
I have had many discussions with clients and their families about the bad/poor experiences they have had with Photographers in the past. There have been some horror stories, ranging from poor images, blurry, out of focus shots, non-interesting, the photographer being rude all the way to the photographer not even showing up at the wedding. It’s a shame, as this could all have been prevented by taking the time to do some research.
So what happens when you hire an amateur or un-experienced photographer to cover your wedding
What tends to happen is the young couple, don’t really have any knowledge or experience in finding their ideal photographer. They are also tasked with booking all the other wedding suppliers, so sometimes it can be a minefield and overwhelming.
The couple may then find themselves booking expensive venues or catering, DJ or decor, and not leave enough in their budget to book a professional photographer. This can lead to the couple focusing on try to get a cheap photographer to cover their wedding, with whatever budget they have left, and this potentially, is where the problems start
So professional Photographers prices and packages cost in the region between £1000 to £2500. See here to find out what it takes to be a professional photographer. At this price range, it is very rare to get below average images or poor service. So what if you find someone a lot cheaper?
Well in my experience in the industry, there are several types of scenarios of a low cost photographer, which I list below
Don’t get me wrong, when I started out, I did weddings for free, just to get into the industry. But only on the back of being honest throughout and working my way up through the years, to building my company, where I can charge the correct amount for a wedding event, based on my experience and portfolio.
We all start somewhere, but there are a percentage of so called “Photographers” out there that are really in it to scam the client for quick money. It is a shame this happens a lot in the industry, and perhaps one day there will be tighter regulations. But until then, it’s up to the client to do their research and avoid such issues.
As many wedding couples will be focusing on getting the cheapest photographer to cover their wedding, they will overlook the process such as looking at the portfolio of the photographer or company. They should properly go through the Photographers galleries and portfolio, and see if it is to an acceptable quality
They should pay attention to what the photographer is communicating with them, and understand what they are getting with their investment.
Some key tips on avoiding Photographer scammers
First, check they are insured
Second, look at their online presence and portfolios
Third, Discuss in detail about the package you are choosing
Forth, ask if you can speak to a recent client of theirs and generally get a feel of the Photographers Service
Fifth, ensure you get everything in writing as a contract and ensure you are on-top of your communication throughout
Finally, make sure you can contact the photographer at his/her permanent residence
The above list should help you avoid booking a dodgy photographer and keep you inline with a professional service provider.
There have been a few occasions, where clients and non-clients have contacted me, and asked if I can remake/correct or enhance photography or video that they had done a couple of years ago by some other company or individual that they hired to cover their/family wedding. Once they send me the data, I am usually shocked how bad it really is. On a few occasions, I would tell them I cannot correct it as it’s beyond recovery. They would tell me they got someone photographer they knew who was a family member, or something like that, and they obviously disappointed in the final result. And I don’t mean a couple of things here and there which can be dismissed; I mean the entire wedding itself.
For example, a wedding film is typically 3hrs long in Asian weddings. Imagine watching a wedding film, where the entire film is dreadful to watch, where there were 2 or 3 cameras used, of different brand makes, and the exposure settings were all completely different, and the footage was shaky. For this alone, you would need to spend approx 30-40 hours to correct for this and still it wouldn’t look its best. For the time re-editing, you would be looking at a lot of money to spend, which will put you off getting it done. And there goes your wedding day memories.
Another example is where I was sent low res jpegs (Not RAW) of an Asian wedding to try to enhance. The photographer who shot these did not know how to use the basic software tools like Photoshop or Light room, and therefore the images were very poorly edited.
I could recover some and enhance, but many were out of focus, blurry, overblown with exposures, and non-recoverable. Unfortunately, these were images of critical parts of the day, and I had to inform the client the bad news.
I even discuss other issues clients are having such as the Photographer or Videographer has lost their wedding film data and refuses to refund the client.
Or the photographer hasn’t delivered the wedding media, and it’s been 1 or 2 years after.
In most of the cases I have stated above, most of the time, the client booked a photographer for a very cheap price. I cannot stress how much this can ruin memories for such a special occasion, as well as impact the general public’s perception of Wedding Photographers in general.
As a closing statement, not all clients shave a large budget to spend n a professional photographer. What I would suggest is to be upfront to a reputable photographer, and be forthcoming in what your realistic budget is and perhaps you may find someone who can find a way to help you achieve great images, without providing all the extras.
Don’t be afraid to negotiate, be realistic and always do your research.
At Amar G Media, we do try to provide affordable photography with amazing service and quality, and help clients meet their requirements for their wedding. What not drop us an email or call/whatsapp Amar on 07904857510 and see how we can help you.
Photography Prices for weddings
Wedding Prices for Photography
Well this is a very common question, “How much does a wedding photographer cost?” or “What are Wedding Photography Prices?”
The answer to these types of questions are fairly layered and complex. Not all Weddings are the same, not every wedding is on one day, number of hours, etc
As a Photographer, shooting all types of Religious and Faith Weddings, I commonly get asked the price question. It really depends on several factors ranging from Client Budget to Client Requirements.
Initially, the client may have a budget, which they do not want to exceed, as costs for weddings in general are high enough. So they may set a maximum allowance for their photographer and videographer. Therefore, the cost of a wedding package may be dictated on the client budget itself.
Secondly, the Photographer may be starting out, with basic skills and knowledge, and may charge a very low amount (if not free) to begin with. If the client is happy with putting their special day in an un-experienced photographer, then they may very well get a good deal. But from my experience, an amateur photographer seeking experience should shadow a professional for many months to get the knowledge before starting out on their own. Therefore I would not recommend getting a cheap photographer based on his or her pricing, as this is surely setting up serious issues on the client’s special day.
Thirdly, an experienced photographer will find themselves in a position where they can charge a price respective to wedding peak season, and lower prices to be competitive during non-peak season. So expect a professional photographer to vary their prices, as they see fit, respective to their own workload.
Fourthly, and this is important, is that a wedding photographer, over the years will build a skill set, knowledge and experience to cover any type of wedding, and this is what you are investing in…The Professional Photographers Experience & Skills. It may not sound as much, but for your special day, which happens only once in your life (for most people), is a day which you should not try to save money for the person/s who will shoot the wedding and capture the memories. You spend so much on Wedding Décor venue, cake, DJ, Audio, Visual, Makeup etc, so it is the task for the Photographer to record this for your memories. To take a risk on amateur, in-experienced or cheap photographers….can potentially set you up for some headaches.
I cover what professional photographers do in another blog titled, which you can read here. This gives you more insight on what is involved, from start to end.
And lastly, the photography package itself. If you sign up with a Photographer, a contract will be created, where you know exactly what you will expect from your investment. So every price will be different, depending on if you book 1, 2, 3, 4 days, pre-wedding shoot, Wedding Albums or Slideshows, 1, 2, 3 Photographers on an event and so on.
So “How much does a Wedding Photographer cost”? Well, based on the above information, it is difficult to quantify exactly.
However, at Amar G Media, we put forward affordable prices and packages, bespoke to the client. The prices will range greatly, depending on client requests; it could be £500, or £3000. It all comes down to what the client is willing to invest, and leave the task to a professional. Remember the motto “You get what you pay for”...
The average Photographer price list in London is around £1500 to £2K. If you do get quoted this amount, then it is likely you have found a professional who understands the time and effort it takes to provide high quality photography.
If you find someone willing to cover your whole wedding day for £200, and you are expecting the quality of a professional photographer….then all I can say is good luck. I am not saying its guaranteed you wont have decent images, as you might be very lucky and find someone offering a good deal, but what I am saying is from my own experience talking to clients whose friends/family decided to go with a very cheap photographer….they were not at all impressed with the final images.
It’s a bit of a minefield when researching the right photographer for your wedding day. So I will try to put together a few points to look for and ask, when doing your preliminary enquires.
If you are offered an amazing package for a fraction of the quotes you are receiving from other professionals….then it may be too good to be true. There are many unscrupulous individuals out there, who really don’t care about Photography and its code of conduct. Which is a shame, as it leave the clients, who have now got married, and their respective families, very bitter towards wedding suppliers as a whole. All due to these cowboys….Which I cover in detail in this blog should you wish to read.
Comparing Wedding Photographer Prices
So every Photographer, who is reliable, decent and established, will provide a price, based on their knowledge & insight on how much work is involved, from shooting, manpower and post editing. Also, expect to pay a bit more, if booking well known Photographers or Brand companies. Their costs would be justified as it takes many years to build a successful Photography company. The amount of money invested by the photographer, from Marketing, Equipment, Experience, Admin, Insurance and all the costs associated with a company, is significant.
So, each photographer will have their own set prices. But as mentioned before, an average price is between £1500 to £2000.
Wedding Photography Packages can also vary from different companies.
Typically, you would get a General Package, a more enhanced package or a full package deal.
And within these types of packages, would be the additional extras such as Albums, pre-shoots or longer hour coverage.
At Amar G Media, we tend to provide bespoke photography packages, catering to the clients needs and requests, and ensure the final costs cover all aspects of the Clients special day.
Why not drop an email to see what savings you can make.
Price Lists of Photographers
Any quotes above £3000, these photographers are the top of their game and with a brand status. They will definitely be experienced and have all the equipment necessary to ensure your day is covered properly. It may be on the higher end of your budget, but you will expect to see amazing results.
Any quotes of around £1500, these photographers will still be delivering the quality you would expect and should fit comfortably into your budget. They may not be a recognised name, but that doesn’t mean you won’t get good results
Any quotes less than £200, I would try to stay clear, especially if you have a budget that is higher. Don’t think the low price means you are getting a good deal. This would be the type of photographer who hasn’t invested in their equipment or business, and probably hoping for a quick cash opportunity. Research is Key if going with the low price companies.
How can I get the Best Value for my Investment without spending a fortune?
First, set a Budget with a 20% flexibility. You may find a photographer who is perfect for you, but may not fall into your budget set. But be strict; don’t go over your budget, even if you think you can afford it.
Secondly, discuss your requirements and do your research on the company.
Negotiate a reasonable discount if you can. But don’t push your luck as Photographers need to make a living also
Thirdly, Discuss any hidden fees and try to get everything you need included as a bespoke package so you don’t pay for additional items after the wedding
Lastly, Make the booking, obtain a contract and keep in touch with the Photographer right up to the Wedding Week.
As the creative director of Amar G Media, it is my intention to ensure the client is happy throughout the wedding process, and receives excellent media which they can reflect on in the years to come. Client service and professional photography is what we focus on. If you would like to find out what e can do for you, why not drop an email or call to Amar – 07904857510 or firstname.lastname@example.org, and see what savings you can make. (Hopefully, you’ll save enough to go on Honeymoon!!)
Professional Wedding Photographers
Professional Wedding Photographers
I have been doing wedding Photography, on a professional basis for almost 10 years now as a full time career. And I can tell you that there are many points to discuss when setting out on this type of path.
I will try to cover many insights on being a Wedding Photographer and the work required to becoming successful.
A few key points to make are as follows
What it takes to become a Professional Wedding Photographer…
Photographers will invest in their Equipment
A Professional Wedding Photographer wont necessarily buy the most expensive equipment, but it will be of a professional grade, and this will have a high price tag.
The cameras are not cheap, and usually any equipment bought, a secondary back up will also be purchased, in-case a fault occurs on the primary camera or lens, while on shoot
This will run into £10,000’s if not more. Be prepared to invest in your photography equipment.
Why are Photographer prices and packages expensive ?
You may think that a photographer is someone you hire, who just has a camera, comes to your event and just clicks a button to take pictures. This can be true and not true at the same time.
The expenses and investment costs a Photographer makes into his/her business is an eye opener. You have many variables to consider as you start off a photography business.
1. Buying the Equipment
(Not just a DSLR, but Flash lighting, strobes, accessories and various lenses)
2. Buying and maintaining a Domain name, Professional Email and Website server costs.
3. Marketing, from business cards, flyers, to exhibitions and associated equipment.
4. Online marketing costs of directories, face book, instagram and youtube as well as investing in SEO companies to help your online presence.
5. Online storage platforms like youtube, vimeo, pixieset or mediazilla.
6. The time it takes to learn everything about your equipment and communication/Admin of the clients.
7. The travel/Accommodation costs from scouting locations for pre wedding shoots, or travelling to and from weddings.
8. The Editing time to ensure client receive the quality images in a timely manner & the costs of investing in a high end computer/software to do these tasks.
9. Hiring additional team members whenever required and securing their services.
10. The number of years it takes to learn the craft of Photography.
11. Don’t forget, Photographers pay Corporation tax also as well as an accountant.
Factors which will affect the price of your Photography package
1. The number of hours/days you book the photographer for.
2. Number of Photographers needed.
3. The distance between the Photographer location and Client Venue.
4. Availability of the Photographer (Peak and Non Peak season).
5. Album prices.
6. Read more about this here
How much should I spend / Invest on a Professional Photographer for my wedding?
Good question. As a general ballpark figure, whatever your total spend of your wedding, leave 10% for your media coverage. This allowance will allow you to get the right photographer, respective of the amount you spend in total for your entire wedding.
Picking the Right Wedding Photographer for your Wedding
Organising your wedding will be a monumental task, and you will be dealing with all the suppliers for all the aspects of your wedding.
Once you decide which photographer to book, and contracts signed, the process doesn’t really stop there.
Keep in touch with the Photographer and update him/her as necessary as the wedding day plans can change frequently.
Let the Photographer know what you wish to have captured throughout the day and perhaps designate a family member to provide real-time updates on the day (As you will be busy enjoying the day and wont be involved in the organising at that point)
A professional wedding photographer will be prepared, even if you don’t provide the information requested. They will bring the right lenses, lighting, back ups, and most of all, the experience to deliver results.
How long does a photographer work for?
From the moment you contact and discuss your Wedding requirements with a photographer, this is the initial point when the photographer starts working. They will provide their insights and experience on what you should have, to ensure your special wedding day is covered properly.
Then all the administration that follows, and email/phone correspondences which take place throughout, leading up to the big day.
On the day/s itself, the photographer will shoot for the hours he or she is booked.
Then after the wedding, and once the photography is backed up, they will begin the process of editing. This on average takes between 30 to 50 hours.
Hiring a cheap Photographer
Ok, so you found someone who you will book to cover your wedding. And they are cheap, so you found yourself a good deal, after getting higher quotes and prices. And all I can say is good luck. Anyone can take a photo, but a professional can make one. Anyone can pick up a DSLR and press a button, but a professional photographer will use the lighting, environment, postures, body chemistry and framing to create a shot to be proud of. So hiring a cheap photographer might still be for you, and that’s fine, just try to keep your expectations realistic. Read more about this topic here.
What are the Photography Prices and Packages?
Professional Photographers will charge different amounts and provide different packages. So, once you have a budget, then take the opportunity to shop around. You will find someone after some research. The price of a professional photographer is well worth the investment, and will provide images which you can reflect back on, in the years ahead.
Not every photographer sets their price in stone, so don’t be afraid to negotiate a little discount, and don’t take out packages that you don’t think is suited for you. Just explain what you need and cost for this.
Check out Amar G Media, as we create bespoke packages and provide you with media, which you can then go onto making wedding albums, slideshows, prints etc. Give us a call on 07904857510 (Amar), and find out what savings you will make with your professional photography.
1. Are they a well-established company? Do they have good reviews?
Always do you homework, check that the company have some events under their belts and that you read their reviews. You should be able to easily find a company's reviews via a quick search on google. Don’t be afraid to ask your venue for help or advice on companies they have worked with before. As a general rule, a well-presented company on social media and the web will normally be the better company to work with. Never rush your decision and always compare at least two companies to ensure you are getting the best deal for your needs.
2. What booths do they offer?
There are so many booths that are available for hire, and they all vary in quality. Do not fooled that a photo booth is a photo booth. Some booths use less quality cameras and some use fewer quality printers – so be careful. There are booths that come with cool additional features like wind machines for that glamour shots, some come with video messaging and others come with signing interactive touch screens.
PictureBlast photo booth hire offers a range of booths from Party Booths with wind machines, magic mirrors with sign feature touch screens and selfie pods with video messaging.
3. What is include in the package?
Many companies give you a total price for a certain number of hours but be sure to double check that there are no hidden costs such as printing cost or travel costs. Most companies will offer a minimum package time and price. Normally this would be about £300-400 for 3 or 4 hours, this should include everything you need like prints, props and a guest book. Also ensure that any travel charges are either included or are fair.
4. Are they responsive?
Did the company respond to your calls, emails or enquiry in good time? You need to be able to trust a supplier and a good company should always ensure that they are responding to customers as soon as possible. Never be afraid to ask questions if you are unsure of any details.
5. Have you seen examples of their work?
Check out their website and social media for images, a company should b proud to show off their work and a photo booth company should be no different. You can even ask for a sample of prints to be posted to you and ask for a copy of a digital file, make sure your happy.
Asian Wedding Photographer & Videographer in Berkshire, London. #ILovemyJob #WeddingPhotographer