Paying the Piper...er...the Wedding Photographer
Except for the memories, wedding photos outlast everything about the ceremony: the decorations, the cake, the dried flowers and all the food. My photos are in a thin, white album and consist of posed colour snapshots. There might be twenty or so of them. There are no candids, no getting ready shots, no special processing and there were no hours spent with the photographer beforehand preparing a list of must have photos of the day. I think we paid this person, a friend of a friend, the amount she requested and never thought of asking for a cheaper rate. That was 1983.
So, why am I going on about this? Flash forward to 2015. An ad was brought to my attention the other day that made me laugh (or grimace) and want to tell the posters to give their heads a shake. The ad requested a cheap wedding photographer so the wedding photography could be done cheaply. Yes, that word or a derivative of it,was used twice. Sure hope the food isn't being done cheaply or that could create a whole lot of trouble! I suppose the flowers could be had for cheap if they were wilting. Second hand dresses are usually cheaper. I suggested to the person who brought the ad to my attention that the couple just buy a selfie-stick and photograph the wedding themselves on their cell phones. That would be pretty cheap. Surely, that's been done by now.
If this is a couple in dire financial straits, different wording could have made all the difference in my response. Cheap. I don't like the word cheap. Cheap photography is done with a disposable camera, no editing is done and the prints are made at a kiosk. Somehow, though, I think they are looking for someone with a camera who knows how to use it in low light situations and who will give up hours of their time during the wedding day itself and more hours processing their photos before finally delivering 200+ fully edited, full resolution photos.
Just as the person who makes the wedding cake has a recipe and ingredients and experience, the person who makes the dress has a plan, material and experience and the person who sells and arranges the flowers has materials and experience, the photographer hired for the big day also has a plan, materials and experience. As with anything, though, you usually get what you pay for.
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