Here are some of the questions I would ask a photographer, and hopefully some answers to your queries

Why is Photography Expensive?

On the face of it photography seems to be very expensive especially when you compare some of the wildly differing prices out there. If you ask any photographer that takes their business seriously they will not run it with minimal equipment. There are two main arms to my business, wedding and portraits and I have to have the equipment to ensure that I can run both efficiently, effectively and with the artistry that I love. Alas this does not come cheap; one question to ask any potential wedding photographer who only possesses one camera “what would you do if your camera broke on my wedding day?” I take extensive back-up equipment with me to every wedding and I have also purchased cameras that are exceptional in low light and my equipment will change with the changing seasons too. For my portrait work I have been steadily building lighting, back drops and props again in order to offer you variety this certainly does not come cheap. It’s not just about the photography equipment either, my office has to be up to the job and this again requires a significant investment to be able to run my business properly. Photography is not about the equipment alone, I have spent a long time training and gaining qualifications and again this requires a significant financial investment. The result is I have learned my trade and can cope, especially with weddings whatever the weather can throw at me. On top of that I have insurance for both my business, to protect my clients, assistants and on top of that the insurance for all that equipment I have just mentioned. I need to be able to fund the samples that are used in my business along with the day to day costs so it all adds up before I have even thought about trying to earn a salary. Unfortunately there are many photographers out there who are incredibly inexpensive and I am afraid to say that they will be in for a horrible shock when they come to balance their books and find that they may have made a loss. Worse than that if they are operating their business on minimal equipment and training then it is you the client that could lose out in the long run. The old saying, you get what you pay for still remains true.

What is the Ethos of Your Business?

Well you have probably gathered from reading the rest of my website that I am not a ‘pile ’em high, sell ’em’ cheap type of gal. I like the bespoke nature of my business and my clients are very important to me, so ferrying in and out great hoards of people would not make me at all happy. I want my clients to feel special and exclusive and I want my service to them to be exceptional. If you click here to read my testimonials then I think that you will get an idea about me from my clients. I always feel so touched when I read these and it is truly special to see that my business is just as I have envisaged. Again going back to that darn price thing; because you are spending a little more with me means that you are getting a truly bespoke and memorable service. That is not to say that ‘pile ’em high, sell ’em cheap’ is wrong, it’s just not for my clients.

Are You a Member of an Organisation?

Yes I am a qualified member of the British Institute of Professional Photographers, the Master Photographers’ Association and the Society of Wedding and Portrait Photographers and the Guild of Photographers. I hold and Associateship with the BIPP and the SWPP, a Licentiate with the MPA and I am a Craftsman of the Guild. I am entitled to use the designatory letters ABIPP, CrGWP, LMPA DipPP, SWPP and I am an Accredited Master Photographer. All members of the MPA are full time professional photographers and have to be qualified with them in order to be a member. All members of the BIPP have to earn their primary income from photography and they must be qualified with them in order to be a member.

Are the Images on Your Website Your Own?

All the images that you see on my website are from actual commissions with real people. I do not post any images on my website from training days or seminars. I personally do not feel this is an honest reflection of my work as they were not taken in real situations with all that goes with any commission. If I did post an image it would go on my blog and would clearly state this was taken at a training day or seminar. To date you will not find any such image as again as these are for my personal use to memorise techniques to be used in a future commission. I feel it would give a false impression of my work, and I prefer to wait until I have captured it for myself with real people in a real situation as they are the best and the most exciting anyway.

Are You Insured?

I have Public Liability, Employer’s Liability and Professional Indemnity and my insurance certificates are available to any prospective clients when they meet with me. Incidentally if you are getting married there are insurances available from external providers for a Bride and Groom to purchase. I would definitely look into this as you may be in a position where you have to postpone your wedding; for example you or a family member may become ill and to lose so much of the money you have invested in your wedding day would be truly upsetting.

Why do You Think Professional Photography is Important?

Firstly I think the photography for a wedding is important as it is a timeless reminder of your day. I know that there will be plenty of people who have been to weddings and stood on the periphery to capture their impression of the day; and this is important as well. The thing to remember, standing back and capturing images that have been inevitably set up by the professional photographer and running the whole day yourself are two completely different things. A wedding is a very fast paced experience with lots to capture in relatively short space of time. Within that time frame there could be lots of things that crop up and the photographer has to take them in their stride and carry on regardless. If your friends and family have not had experience of this along with the extensive training, then your images may not be the timeless memories you envisaged.

Although different, to capture the ongoing memories of life are again timeless and it is an honour to be a part of the process. There is something quite wonderful to be a part of my clients’ most memorable times. So for me; yes professional photography is important.

What Happens if you are ill on My Wedding Day?

So this one is obviously for couples planning their wedding and one I do get asked but not as often as I would have thought. So what would happen? I always say to my clients that it would have to be impossible for me to physically make it to your wedding; if driving was an issue then I have an exceptional Husband who would step in. So what would happen if the worst happens; well I have a small group of trusted photographers that I would call upon in the first instance (as they would me), we trust each other to step into the breach and make your day truly memorable. If they were unable to assist then I would call upon the professional organisations that I belong to and they would assist me in finding another photographer qualified to the same standard to step in. I am very serious about what I do, so I never consume any alcohol the night before a wedding, I take care in the food that I eat and I certainly do not party on down until the wee hours. I need to be fresh, vibrant and alert to give you the best of me. To be honest I don’t even drink alcohol when I return home from a wedding as I am too dehydrated; I am one rockin’ chick I can tell you, but as my Husband is happy to discover I am a cheap date!!!! Oh and one last thing, I always have antibacterial gel or wipes in my handbag too; yeah party on down baby!!!