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Category Archives: Wedding Photography

Do people still value high quality wedding photography by professionals?

I usually start my mornings in the office in the same way, with a large coffee and a catch up on social media. This morning Tom picked up on a blog post that had been posted on Find a Wedding Photographer and it has been on my mind all day. As well as commenting on the post, I felt I needed to get some thoughts out here, and would love to hear your thoughts in return.

The blog post is by a north west wedding photographer of some 20 years experience, who says he is giving up on the industry this summer. He essentially says people don’t want to pay for quality photography any more, that they are happy for uncles and friends to take the job, or they want him to drop his prices (which he did) and he has had enough. He says he doesn’t enjoy weddings enough to bother with them.

I find this really sad, but it is a common attitude I have read on various blogs and forums from many older wedding photographers of late. The industry has changed massively in 20 years, from different shooting styles such as reportage and a move away from portraiture; to the introduction of full resolution disks and coffee table books, not to mention the fact that your marketing strategy now has to include a load of social media and blogging rather than an advert in your local paper. It is all really time consuming and requires a certain commitment. And yes, he is correct, there is a lot more competition now from friends or uncles with good cameras to consider when choosing a wedding photographer, or the smaller budgets that may have come out of the economic downturn. This means us wedding photographers have to work a bit harder to find our clients, sure, we need to identify the right people for us, yes those with the right budgets to some degree but more importantly, those the value what we do and have photography high in the priority list.

Being a wedding photographer is not a one day job. It is also possibly the job with the highest stakes on the day. We’re not just getting up and snapping away so you have a few pics to put on your wall. You are also purchasing our expertise; we know weddings inside out, what will happen, what to look for and what to do when things go wrong. We are securing your memories, the only real lasting reminder of your day. When you choose us as your wedding photographer, you are genuinely investing in your future and it always surprises me when I say it, and people say, wow I didn’t think of it like that. Tom and I genuinely love everything about weddings, from the details to the party and especially when you say ‘I do.’ Our eyes will water when the groom cracks his voice in the speech with the rest of your guests, because we completely appreciate how amazing this day is for you, and do you know what? You deserve wedding photographers that want your day to be as awesome as it should be, and then to hand the evidence back to you when it has all finished for you to look back on.

Yes people have budget constraints and they need to work to them. But you should allocate around 10-15% for your photography whatever your budget, trust me, more than ever in the saturated world of wedding photographers you get what you pay for. Attendees of the Knebworth and Hatfield wedding fairs this year would have heard me give a seminar on the subject. Personally, I cannot see how any photographer  can afford to provide wedding photography for under £1000. It makes me question two things; firstly, how long exactly are they spending on your precious images, perfecting them etc, and secondly, is that how they value their own work? We’re immensely proud of what we do and our pricing reflects the sheer level of passion, skill and effort that goes in to our work. We also have to pay our bills too!

Do you really want to put the trust of your lifelong memories in someone who says they will spend the day with you, process the images, create a beautiful album and be passionate about you and your day, when they are earning four hundred quid from it? What exactly would you expect from them?

Recently, one of our clients said to us that they had seen a wedding photographer at a wedding fair who charged under half of our fee and then looking at our work comparatively, they could see the difference. This means a lot to us; I regularly get emails from people that request a price list first and foremost and don’t even engage you in a conversation. This approach really is all wrong and missing the point. You need to meet the photographers you are considering and sense their passion – do they actually care about you and your wedding, will your guests like them? Putting the effort in here will really pay off on the day – if your guests like us as well as you you’ll get a whole set of photos of happy people having a great time.

Of course, one of the other lessons we have learnt over the years, is that we won’t be the right photographer for everyone, and that is ok too. For some couples, it is just not high enough on the priority and they need to find what is right for them and their budget/wedding plans. If people love our work but our packages don’t reflect the wedding they are having, they just need to tell us more about it and I will give them a bespoke quote. Of course we’re not likely to charge 2k to shoot a wedding of 20 people – but if you don’t tell me I won’t know! Disappointingly I have regularly received messages from friends on facebook about our work too, and of course I’d consider our pricing structure if they tell me more about their wedding so I can work out a proper quote, but what usually happens is they just ask for a price list and then disappear.

We will continue to do what we do and love it, and find the right clients. Despite all the industry hoohah about the curse of 2013 this is our busiest year yet and 2014 is currently looking even better. It’s no coincidence we do very well at wedding fairs when many photographers moan they are a waste of time, because we spend time chatting to people, we have a mini-consultation there and then and we start getting excited about your wedding immediately. The passion we have only really comes through when you meet us. We hear so many stories of couples going with cheaper options to get bog-standard images back or worse still, a photographer who just bossed people about all day, and it really does make us so sad.

I think it is good the blogger is moving on in his career, not because it’s less competition (he’s not in our area), but because couples deserve a wedding photographer who is as passionate about their day being awesome as they are. And you know what? Tom and I really are. We love this job, and thank all our lovely clients who give us this huge honour, because that is how we see it.

Lina x

 

See what our clients are saying about this on our Facebook page

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Rianna and Matthew’s Beach Wedding Shoot – Taster

Not only did we get the amazing opportunity to provide Rianna and Matthew’s Guernsey Wedding Photography, but we also then headed to the stunning Cobo Beach on the island a few days after the wedding to have a beach post-wedding shoot with the couple!

This was an awesome experience for us with the couple allowing us complete artistic freedom, even agreeing to get into the sea, and we can tell you it got pretty sexy towards then end! The shoot took on a similar feel to a Trash the Dress shoot, but we loved the fact that we had Matt involved too. You’ll have to wait and see for those though, we have decided to share with you this gorgeously romantic moment between them for now.

Beach wedding Photography

Guernsey Wedding Photography – Guernsey Beach Wedding Shoot – Cobo Beach Post-Wedding Shoot- Wedding Photographers LinaandTom.com

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Rianna and Matthew – Guernsey Wedding Photography – Taster!

We were given an amazing opportunity by the lovely Rianna and Matt to travel to the stunning island of Guernsey to photograph their wedding at the end of July. Everyone talks about how gorgeous a west Guernsey sunset is, and this just happened to be the view from their wedding marquee in Rianna’s parent’s field in Castel. After a fantastic wedding day, we agonised on what the taster for their Guernsey wedding photography should be, but then decided it had to be the stunning sunset!

Thanks to Rianna, Matt and their families for being so warm and welcoming during our stay and we can’t wait to go back! Contact us if we can provide you will stunning Guernsey wedding photos for no extra travel fees!

Guernsey Wedding Photography

 

 

 

Guernsey Wedding Photographer LinaandTom.com

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The end of an era! Tom’s dancing shoes are laid to rest

It is with great sadness that we announce the retirement of Tom’s famous (infamous) dancing shoes.

The unique shiny black and white spats/winklepicker combo have served well, circling many a dance floor up and down the country, even travelling across the pond for our destination wedding photography in the USA.

They will be somehow be replaced, but never forgotten, and will live on in the many phone pictures captured by guests in the last couple of years…

 

The search is on for the replacement… watch this space…

 

 

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All the (not-so) single ladies! Lina and Tom in Vogue Beyoncé issue

Strike a pose – we’re in Vogue!

 

Calling all fashion concious brides, look who was asked to be in “Vogue’s guide to the Top Wedding Photographers” – woo!

So all you not-so-single ladies, check out the May 2013 Beyoncé cover issue for our inclusion as a Vogue Top Wedding Photographer!

 

Lina and Tom wedding photography in Vogue Magazine

Lina and Tom photography in Vogue Magazine

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Why should you book a professional wedding photographer?

If you read the wedding blog Rock n Roll Bride, you’ll know that Kat Williams tries to tackle key issues that come up in our industry, and the controversial subject of pricing when it comes to photography is no new subject for her. However, we feel a response of our own was necessary to this week’s post “Should I Book a Professional Wedding Photographer or Get a Friend to do it for Free: A Cautionary tale, which you can read here

The post is from a woman who asked her friend, a car photographer, to do her wedding photography with disastrous consequences. The wedding photos are some of the worst we have ever seen. It’s a very honest account, with her admitting she should have offered more support, such as visiting the venue and checking he had the right equipment for the job.

We receive many enquiries from Brides who tell us they love our work, but have to ‘warn’ us that their partners don’t feel they should have a professional photographer, usually as they know someone who has a good camera and takes great pictures. I should point out we started by taking wedding photos for two sets of friends, as we knew we wanted to be wedding photographers, but our only experience was a couple of family weddings. The difference here though is that we knew we wanted to specialise in weddings, so we made a point of visiting the venue beforehand to check lighting and space, and obtain any equipment we didn’t already have, as well as find out the couple’s expectations and group photo requirements. From those images and some great testimonials we acquired our first clients which was over three years ago and we haven’t looked back – we absolutely love photographing weddings!

But what is the difference between us, back then, and you asking your friend to photograph your wedding? Here are a few things we advise you to bear in mind when making the decision:

● Shooting a wedding is a pressured environment, things are moving constantly. How would you feel if your friend missed a key moment?

● Do you have any concerns about your friend enjoying themselves? If they are nervous they may not be able to fully relax and enjoy your wedding day.

● Your friend may take lovely pictures when you are on a night out or be able to take nice headshots in the day, but how would they cope with lighting changes such as if it rains and goes gloomy, or you step out of your ceremony in to really bright sunshine? What if your ceremony is performed with the two of you standing in front of a window? This is a tricky exposure that requires a certain level of technical ability.

● We were told a story once about a bride’s friend who was taking the photos during the day but still enjoyed themselves to the point of getting very drunk, so they don’t have any wedding photos post-meal. Would you be able to set the right expectations with your friend or family member?

● As experienced wedding photographers we are ready for most occurrences and can work quickly to change plans if things go a bit awry. This is because we are no longer fazed by weddings, we thrive on the pressure and thrill of getting those moments you will treasure forever.

● Possibly the biggest thing to consider, how will you feel if your friend does not manage to provide you with beautiful wedding photography, if it’s not quite right? This could tear a friendship apart as it unfortunately did for the writer of the Rock n Roll Bride blog post.

If budget is tight try and think about the priorities throughout your wedding and beyond.  Your wedding photography is one of the only tangible things that lasts from your wedding so we would recommend it has the next biggest part of the budget after the reception venue and food. The wedding day itself will pass in a whirlwind and even on return of your honeymoon you will find the details are hazy and your beautifully vibrant wedding photography will ensure the memories come flooding back forever.

From experience we know all the wonderful things that can happen on a wedding day. We can truly capture the emotion of the ceremony when mum begins to wipe the tears from her eye and working in tandem we can capture the moments you won’t even know are happening, a lovely surprise for you when you look back at your wedding photography. Another key aspect of the way we work is that we also know how to blend in and not get in the way, in fact, many of our clients have commented it was like having friends photographing the wedding, so we can be your happy medium! Poor photography really can mean that the lasting memories of your special day are of disappointment not joy, so think clearly about the decisions you make, whether it be for a friend or professional.

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Jeremy Vine show on BBC Radio 2 today – Wedding Photography Stories. Why you should do your research!

Did anyone catch the Jeremy Vine show today? There was a really interesting discussion about wedding photographers, particularly homing in on one wedding photographer who has a fair amount of disgruntled customers. One thing that immediately struck us though, was that this guy was charging £350 to do the photography AND a video. The photography is of very poor quality, and by the sound of the complaints he was also unprofessional. Surely the old saying comes in here – you get what you pay for!

The programme features highly regarded wedding planner Sarah Haywood who is very refreshing in her advice!

When hearing about quotes from other couples, or seeing a wedding photographer’s pricing, we are usually very wary of anyone who says they can shoot a whole day wedding for under £1000. Producing beautiful wedding photography is anything but a one day job, we put hours into the processing of every individual photo to make sure it is an accurate representation of your wedding day and brings back the memories at a glance.  We’ve blogged before about the pricing of wedding photography, and would suggest any couple looking at wedding photography considers the following:

– A good set-up costs money. You should expect any professional wedding photographer to have professional digital SLR cameras, which cost over £2000 for the body alone, bearing in mind this will need updating every few years. Add another few thousand pounds worth of lenses and that’s just the basics.

– Look at much more than the portfolio on their website. The portfolio is considered the best of the best, but ask to see a whole real wedding so you can see the standard across a whole day. We keep our wedding galleries open to the public, not only to allows guests and friends easy access to the wedding photos, but also to show prospective clients our high standard across the day. If we have the pleasure of meeting you we will show you a real wedding album that we created for a previous client.

– Meet your photographer socially. We will never invite you to our home or office, not because we don’t want to, but because we don’t want to make you feel like you are getting the big sales pitch. We prefer to meet our prospective wedding couples in a nice pub or coffee shop, so you can see if we are people you would like hanging around your wedding – after all, we’re essentially your most important guests that day. Don’t settle for someone you aren’t sure about, the last thing you need to be worrying about on your big day is having someone you don’t really like at your wedding!

– Break down the quote they give you. They will incur an expense visiting your venue before the wedding, then will have to travel on the day, shoot for however many hours, then sit and process your wedding photography throughout a good week or so, upload it to their website, create disks, design and pay for albums….. If you’ve been quoted £500 for all that, ask yourself how much time they will really be spending on the most precious photographs you are likely to own in your life….

– It will be tempting to ask your cousin with the good camera to do your wedding photography, but do think again. If they are a guest, chances are you’ll get pictures of the day and nothing after the meal once he’s had a few drinks. More importantly, being a professional wedding photographer is more than just having the right equipment. We know the moments, the shots you’ll treasure, we can pre-empt the way the day will go and are experienced enough to deal with the pace of the day and when things don’t quite go to plan. We will have planned  wet weather options and be able to change the schedule in a moment to suit what happens in the day, because your wedding photography is our passion, our business. We really do love weddings!

Your wedding photography is the only real thing that lasts from your wedding day. You may keep your dress but even that is unlikely to be worn again. Do consider this when setting your budget, as you can’t underestimate how important your wedding photos will be to you in the years to come.

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Interesting blog from Rock ‘n’ Roll Bride: The Price of Wedding Photography & How Much Should I Expect to Spend?

Interesting post on the great wedding blog, Rock ‘n’ Roll Bride that we would like to share with you.

It is always interesting to see how much value different couples put on photography, yet Kat addresses the notion that you maybe get what you pay for. 

We recognise that the photography is one in what seems like a million things to spend your hard earned cash on, yet once the guests have gone home, the confetti swept up, the last canape has been nibbled and you head off on your honeymoon as the new Mr & Mrs, for us our work is by no means over. We will spend many many hours over the next few weeks working on the pictures. An interesting anecdote in the article is a guest saying to the photographer how nice it must be to only have to work one day a week! (if only!) Our job is by no means a one-day job!

We finish each photo individually and this takes a lot of time when dealing with over a thousand photos, but time we feel is necessary to make sure we (and ultimately our clients) are 100% happy with each image. 

We try and keep our prices as reasonable as possible, and we think that with us, you get a lot more than what you pay for. We have just implemented a new pricing structure and this decision was not taken lightly as we pride ourselves in being affordable value for the finished products.

View the blog here and see what you think, and it includes thoughts by Julia Boggio, award-winning wedding photographer.

The comments at the bottom also make interesting reading, this was a quote that jumped out to us.

Great article and well balanced, it baffles me when couples put £3000 in to flowers and zilch into photography. One dies the next day and the other lasts forever, its a no brainier.”

Wise words..

 

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