Is saving money on a wedding photographer the right advice?

September 28, 2022

Your wedding planning is going well, at least you feel it is. You have all your favourite suppliers ready to book. They’re all free for your date. Venue...CHECK....Caterers.... CHECK.....Flowers....CHECK...etc., etc.

You total them all up and....WTAF!!!!

How did it possibly creep up into those kinds of figures??

So....what gives?

Now, there are a thousand and one ways that you can jiggle and juggle figures to get your wedding looking more realistic as far as costs go. But what are you actually sacrificing? Some suppliers may not be necessary so you remove those from your list. Others you may already have a plan B, or they can cut you a deal of some kind. Then there are always going to be those that you’d rather not skimp on. The dress.... the cake.... the photographer?

Saving money on any event is always going to be hard. You’ve had your wedding day vision and planned it meticulously in your mind's eye for years. But you’re going to have to somehow get the cost down.

This post is aimed at helping you decide whether or not you can, or should save on your wedding photography, or should you find a cheap wedding photographer.

Now, I could be wedding photographer industry biased (is that such a thing?) and tell you point blank that you shouldn’t even entertain the idea. But fair is fair, let's see if we can meet in the middle somewhere.

As you already know, most industries have taken a pounding over the last couple of years. The wedding industry has been no different. As a Uk Wedding Photographer duo, we have seen our own business almost go pop. But with resilience and a bit of diversifying we have been able to protect our little way of life.

Wedding photography is a thriving part of the Uk wedding industry. But as you no doubt already know, especially when you have done your wedding photographer near me search, there are more of these to choose from than any other wedding supplier. BUT...you have found the one that you like.  

That should stay with you. YOU have found THE ONE that YOU like. When you find the one, ask yourself why you have decided they are the one. If it’s on price alone then maybe finding a replacement will be easier. A cheap wedding photographer will be easy to find. A cheap wedding photographer may well have more availability in their diary. So, if you are happy to select a cheaper wedding photographer you will get just that. They are usually (I accept not always) cheap for a reason.

Price shopping for a wedding photographer aside, think back to why you were attracted to that local wedding photographer, or that Uk wedding photographer. Price point will definitely have been part of it, but rather than ‘oh they were the cheapest’ - they were probably within your planned budget or there abouts. You would have looked through their weddings and read a bit about them and something would have resonated with you that made you feel that they would be a great fit for you and your day.  

Their quality of work has connected with you. The way they take photos, the way they edit their wedding photos. You have imagined yourself in similar photos for your wedding day. You have had a read through their About Us page and really like what you are feeling. This is what makes you know that they are the right fit for you and your day.

But you need to save a few quid. You need to get that wedding day cost down somewhat. You have seen an easy sum in your head:

My ideal wedding photographer costs this. But I have seen another local wedding photographer near me who charges 50% less. No brainer then eh?

WAIT UP!!

Have you spent the time checking on the quality of work that the cheaper photographer delivers. Is it similar to what you had originally been attracted to?

Have you read the About Me page for that other photographer? Do you feel the same connection as you did to your original choice?  

Do they show/can they provide a full wedding in photos as an example of their work? Can they produce a consistent look at all times of the day, especially when light has gone?

Do you see them slotting into your day in the same way?

If the answer is NO to these points, then changing to a cheaper wedding photographer may not be the wisest of decisions.

A seasoned wedding photographer has a price for a reason. They are experienced and confident enough to deliver a set of photos that will represent the wedding day that you had planned, and that had taken place. A less experienced wedding photographer,( and so cheaper), may not have the same confidence and experience of not just photographing a wedding, but understanding the process of a wedding day.

Away from the wedding day, how much time does the cheaper photographer dedicate to you as a client? Do they have a full-time job? This may mean they are not always available to you when you may need them. A full-time professional wedding photographer is just that, they are a professional. They will have dedicated time to all their clients and will pull out all the stops to get something done, especially when getting your final photos to you.

In the event of a mechanical breakdown in their equipment on the day, i.e., camera failure, does the cheaper wedding photographer have back up equipment? Do they also use a selection of lenses on the wedding day to give variety to the photos you will have?

If you are reading advice, or being given advice to look for an ‘up and coming’ photographer to do your wedding, or a student that needs some experience, or someone that needs to build their portfolio in order for you to save money, I think that you are being given the incorrect advice. If you are comfortable with your wedding day being used as a practice arena for a budding photographer in exchange for a cheaper price, then that’s ok. I won’t be telling you what you can and can’t do. But as a full time, professional wedding photographer I would encourage you to do all you can for your wedding to be immortalised in great photos that you can look back on and feel that day again. Rather than say to yourself...’ah well, we went cheap in the end and saved a few quid.... our photos...they’re alright’

It’s not all doom and gloom though. You can find a few golden nuggets that are very competent in photography and can manage a day's wedding and provide a decent standard of work. These will be few and far between though. You can try and find one online by seeking out a photographer on a few Facebook groups that have photographers that might want to fill a gap in their diary so may offer a largely discounted package. Try a page like Wedding UK – Last Minute Photographers, or UK Wedding Photographers and you can see what’s available. Alternatively, a page like Photographer Wanted Group will let you post exactly what you need and the budget you have for the work. You never know what you might find.

Like most things, a wedding photographers price as displayed on their website is not necessarily set in stone. My advice is to be open with the local wedding photographer you have a preference for and see what they can do for you. If they’re a decent professional they may be able to offer you something, or tweak a package to reflect a better price. Always bear in mind though that major summer dates, especially Fridays & Saturdays are pretty much premium dates to a Uk wedding photographer. So a deal is less likely at these times.

Another possibility, and quite common with photographers, is to pay for your wedding photography package over the course of a year or so prior to the wedding date. Again, don’t be afraid to approach your chosen wedding photographer and ask about this as a possibility.

If you’ve got this far, can I presume that you are still in the hunt for your own wedding photographer? Either a Shropshire wedding photographer, or even your own Kent Wedding photographer. (Or of course their surrounding areas)

Let’s do this and arrange a meet up to discuss your unique plans and what it is you’re looking for in the way of photography.

If you’re already a wedding photographer and are just passing through and having a read, then hello to you.  

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