Q: We’re considering booking a photographer who offers a package to cover our many events. We’re on a tight budget and are worried about going over our means. How do we find a balance?
Amelia Thornton: Be realistic… photographers often offer a discount for packaged photography but if capturing all events is really out
of the scope of your budget, you can consider cutting your budget elsewhere orcutting some of the dates or events out of the professional photographer’s itinerary.
Again, take some time before you have committed to a photography package to decide what parts of the celebration have the most sentiment and the most meaning to you as an individual, to you as a couple, and to the family members who are near and dear to you. Are there any events taking place that could be photographed (well) by a friend or family member?
One last alternative would be to ask your primary photographer if perhaps a junior associate is available for a few hours on a certain date – junior photographers will likely charge less per hour but will also have less experience than your primary photographer.
Q: We’re having a traditional South Asian wedding, with a number of different smaller events. How do we make all of it come together with respect to photography?
Although an heirloom album will tell a better story when there are photos from all parts of your celebration, you may
not need a professional photographer for every single event. I recommend couples take some time before choosing a wedding photographer and a photography package to think about which elements and events of the celebration are the most important to them.
With a large number of guests, it is a given that many of them will have cameras. So, you may not need/want a professional photographer at each and every stage of your journey. Or you may opt to spread your professional photographer’s time out over multiple dates for
several hours at a time (check with your photographer to see if this is possible as it will likely depend on any other shooting commitments for other clients).
I tell my clients to take some time to think about what wedding photography really means to them as a couple.
Perhaps take some time to think about all the bits and planning going into the wedding and decide what are the most important parts of the day / weekend for you?
As a photographer my perception of the value of what I do is a little bit skewed from the average, but I do honestly believe well-shot and beautifully printed photographs will stand the test of time. As memories fade and the celebration becomes a blur of activity and obligations it is your wedding album you will come back to for comfort and reassurance that it all really happened and to remind you of the little moments you hold dear to your heart.
Three things to keep in mind:
1. No bride I know of has ever regretted having too many beautiful photographs
2. No bride I know of has ever wished she sent her photographer home earlier
3. Meet with several photographers before you make a decision – it shouldn’t come down solely to price…do you click well with your primary photographer? Having a good rapport with the photographer will help you feel at ease and be yourself…your photos will be better as a result.
Q: What are the hidden costs that couples selecting a photographer should keep an eye out for?
Remember all packages will include taxes – this is unavoidable when dealing with an established photographer. Although my services are full of emotion and celebration, at the end of the day, I am running a business and I am accountable to the government for that.
Another possible hidden cost could be travel expenses (for destination weddings), additional artists (for larger weddings), or additional hours (those outside of the contracted package).
Q: When choosing a photographer, what are the important things to look out for?
Don’t be afraid to ask questions and pay attention to whether or not the photographer is responding to you and is
helpful…these traits will carry over into the level of service you can expect to receive AFTER your wedding.
Also, consider looking for someone who has some or all of the following:
a. professional quality equipment
b. additional artists available on your date(s) to help out
c. additional associates who can fill in if injury or illness gets in the way
d. good working relationships with other vendors (can your photographer recommend a florist? A videographer? A caterer? A DJ? A wedding planner?…if so, it likely means they have experience and also a good reputation in the industry)
Q. As you are familiar with South Asian weddings, you are probably also familiar that they involve hordes of people – family, extended families and friends. How can a photographer help a couple to select the final pictures that go into the wedding album/s?
My job is to document the celebration in its entirety – I take the approach a wedding album is usually more about the story of the couple and each of their respective families. I will include photographs of friends and extended family at a couple’s request but if given the choice, I will discourage people from including these photos in the album.
Each of my wedding packages include options for digital files so even in photographs of every participant don’t end up in
the final heirloom album, my client will have an opportunity to print these photographs for a less formal album and to share them with friends and family in print of via email.
Q: What are the latest trends in wedding photography?
in my opinion the tool was over-used – as are many others in an almost cyclical way.I tend to stick to a more timeless and
classic look of colour or black and white photography. Black and white photography lends itself to a timeless quality but given the rich and vibrant colours used throughout South Asian weddings it would be almost criminal to omit all of that beauty from the final product.