As professional wedding photographer, it is not unusual for me to get wedding photography enquiries for two or more years ahead of the day. But recently, there has been a worrying trend in some of my enquiries of such a low expectation on what to pay. The most startling one was the other day for an all day shoot from bride preparations, to first dance on a Saturday in August for 2018 with over 140 guests and a budget of £400!
This was not the lowest either; I had another enquiry with a budget of £200 to £300!
I do appreciate that everyone is on a budget, but if you are planning on feeding 100 plus people one or two meals during the wedding day, then that tells me that you have a reasonable budget for the whole wedding, by the time you add in venue hire, wedding clothes, transport, flowers, etc.
I am seriously considering investing £11,000 on my next camera and lenses, which is causing big arguments with my wife, as she can’t understand why I should want or need to spend that much money.
If I take an assistant on a wedding they cost me £100 for the day, at today’s prices. Bridal preparation, to first dance is on average 10 to 12 hours work, not including travel time.
It will then take me two days at least, to edit every single shot of which there will be hundreds, before I then design the wedding book; I could go on, (computers, software, insurance, etc.) But I think you get the picture (no pun intended)
Ok so what to do?
With 140 guests, I assume that each and every one of them will be given a gift list? Forget the toasters and crowdfund your wedding photography; raise money for your wedding photography, by getting your guests to buy gift tokens.
I am happy to sell gift tokens at any value to be redeemed against wedding photography, wedding books, albums and prints, If each one of those guests put just £10 in you could (from me) have two photographers with shots from start to finish of the day a beautiful wedding book and a USB stick of all of the images. At the end of the day, when all the food and drink has been consumed and the flowers have died, all you will have left is your wedding pictures, this should not be viewed as just another cost, it is an investment for you to look back on, to reflect on what could be the happiest day of your life.