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I am always surprised at the vast array of different wedding photography prices on offer in London and the UK. There is no doubt that the recession is seeing couples wanting a lot more bang for their buck than they were a few years ago, even amongst wealthy clients. What you need to do is weigh up how important the photography is to you and allocate the very most that you can afford within the constraints of your budget. To some brides having that amazing pair of Jimmy Choo shoes and that gorgeous £4,000 Caroline Castigliano wedding dress is far more important than spending thousands on wedding photography and so it’s just a question of setting priorities about how your budget is allocated. You only need to quickly search on Google to see that there are hundreds of entry level photographers out there advertising their wedding photography packages starting at £250, which seems insanely cheap. Whereas if you wanted to secure the services of one of the country’s top wedding photographers like Jeff Ascough or Damien Lovegrove you would need to find around £5,000. If you were thinking of splashing the cash on one of the rock star photographers, make sure you ask all the right questions about what is included and what isn’t as some of the top wedding photographers may not even supply a disc of images or indeed an album. Look further afield to the US and famously one photographer Gary Fong wouldn’t get out of bed for less than $100,000.
So let’s assume the worst case scenario in so far as that you have budgeted to spend only £250 on photography. Your next step is to see what you kind of photographer you can secure for your budget. Look carefully at their work and if you find someone who you like, ask to see a complete wedding. The chances are that a wedding photographer who is willing to shoot a wedding for £250 will not be a full time professional. Most likely they will have a full time job Monday to Friday and photograph weddings in their spare time at the weekends. Photography is a hobby rather than a profession and therein lies the risk, that they will not supply you with professional wedding photographs. So the question you have to ask yourself is that would you be upset if you returned from your honeymoon to find that you were disappointed with the quality of your wedding photos? If photography is not important to you and you have a tight budget then obviously this option is right for you though you will naturally need to tread very carefully. You might also consider looking on Gumtree as you may find a photography student who will even offer their services free of charge and at least they will have some formal training behind them. Though be warned, with someone who is learning the craft, you are taking a risk and so you must be prepared for all eventualities both good and bad.
In closing, you probably won’t be too surprised to learn that I am evangelical about wedding photography. As a full time professional wedding photographer, I take my profession very seriously indeed and consider that your wedding photographs are amongst the most important investments you will make in your wedding. You can spend thousands on a fancy designer dress and shoes, on a lavish cake and a gorgeous venue but if your wedding photographs are disappointing there is nothing you can do. You can’t re-shoot a wedding. Well I suppose you could but can you imagine trying to organise a date for all your wedding guests to come back to re-stage your wedding? I heard of it happening about 20 years ago when a wedding photographer, who was shooting on film, lost all her photos when the lab ruined her film in the processing and the insurance paid out for the wedding to be re-shot, but that is rare. I believe that your wedding photography is as important as your dress and your shoes because without stunning photos of you wearing that stunning dress, you will be just relying on your memory which in time will fade and it is not the same as a breathtaking photo that you can get blown up, mounted and framed to be hung on your wall as a forever memory.