In a story “Our blunderful wedding” in today’s printed version of the METRO, page 3, a couple share their horror story. There’s a catalogue of errors and it could have gone worse, but not much! I was going to turn the page until I spotted the word “photographer” in the last line of the order of service (disasters list).

“5PM: Photographer says it’s too dark to take photos and he has another job – but he will charge for his time”

I was stunned.

A wedding photographer with no strobes or other artificial light? (It’s getting dark real early in the UK at the moment). An entry level camera with rubbish workable ISO range? No matter what the conditions they should have been able to get something for the couple. I knew a few things about wedding photography before I shot my first one, having encountered some of the issues that would crop up in my event photography. I learnt more very quickly and I’ll admit I’m still learning. Any photographer who says they know it all has their mind closed to new possibilities, techniques and composition ideas. Apart from all the composition and post production skills:

  • You go there with backup equipment, plenty batteries and storage cards
  • Don’t use an entry level body
  • Have the fastest lenses you can get
  • Take strobes, light stands and modifiers even if you don’t expect to use them
  • DON’T expect it to go to time so you can squeeze another job in!

“The pair, from Dover, forked out £4,500 for their nuptials through Kent County Council earlier this month.”
No mention of how much went towards photography. I wonder how much control the couple had over how the money was split. Pay a cheap price and the level of service you’ll get will most often match it as the photographer won’t have made the investment they need in order to offer the right service. Pay a professional the going rate and you’ll get the respect and images you rightly deserve, with the photographer doing their utmost to record the event no matter what problems are thrown at them.

Luckily for the photographer concerned Peter and Michelle Rogers were the only ones to be mentioned in the story by name, so they get a chance to up their game and shoot again.

Just before finishing and posting this one of my Facebook contacts posted a scan of a news paper cutting, a couple up north had the brides father pay £399 for photos and video. Yup, they were ripped off, no images or refund.  If you want to go budget, and in my book an all day shoot and album for £800 is low budget, get references and do your homework as some photographers, or fauxtographers as others have called them, will show you stock images purchased from other photographers instead of their own work fooling you into a false sense of security.