• Just about everyone now claims to be a photographer. Especially with the technology doing the work and software creating the results.
• With that said, this message is intended for both the beginner and customer.
• We have all heard the adage: “You get what you pay for.” But, when it comes to wedding photography, sometimes you don’t get what you pay for. Or, you don’t get enough of what you expect.
• Beginners tend to allow ego to get in the way of learning and development of (true) skills. When compliments stand in the way of practice, the next opportunity can be costly to both the client and the professional who didn’t get the job, because the beginner was cheaper.
• We all have to start somewhere and some, make that most professionals and more experienced photographers either took a class, attended a workshop or had a mentor. I did all three.
• This post comes with great respect for those who are sincere in their goal of becoming a professional, not just “someone with a camera that takes good pictures.” And even what is “good” is subjective. After all, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” right? so, a safe argument against such beholding, would be quality and value. A fortunate beginner who just so happens to get a job that is beyond their level of experience, may only provide a few quality images that you won’t have the privilege of previewing until it is too late.
• What most beginners and some unskilled veterans in wedding photography overlook, is the all important check-list of “photos to take.” The irony of this “list” is that when I got married, I had expectations of my photographer, being a photographer myself. I wasn’t concerned with what I was going to get (quantity or quality), but those all important “must have” shots, that if not captured at that moment, will never come again.
• That’s when insurance come into play. If you fail to provide those special moments that may never come again, you may find yourself in small claims court for those very reasons. And if you don’t have insurance, rightfully, a refund in whole or part, may be due to your clients, without regard to how much or little you were paid.
• In closing, I say this to the potential client: You (will sometimes) get what you (don’t) pay for (if at all), when you use an under-skilled or less knowledgeable photographer to entrust with those memories that should last forever.
k/d/ morris – photographer
‘It’s easy to be a leader. It’s harder to be trusted.’ – k/d/morris (poet) 2011