Snap decisions on wedding photography?

02 Aug 2011

Snap decisions on wedding photography?

Photographers put Jo Haywood in the picture on what the perfect wedding album will look like this season

Image gallery

Image gallery

Are well-informed brides a help or a hindrance? If you’re a chauffeur and he’s giving you directions to the church that she thinks will shave five minutes off your journey but you know will actually leave you axle-deep in a farmer’s field, you’ll probably opt for the latter.

But for top wedding photographers, the opposite is true. A well-informed bride and groom who have done their homework and have a clear vision of what they want are a dream come true.

‘I’ve noticed recently that more and more of my customers have a genuine interest in photography,’ says Emma Cartmel of Cartmel Photography in Chorley, Lancashire. ‘The growth of digital photography and accessibility of equipment has enabled more people than ever to get into photography as a hobby. Some professional photographers might view this as a threat, but it’s actually a great opportunity.

‘Increasingly I’m finding that my customers are looking for style and creativity. They don’t want images that anyone can take – even with their expensive kit. They want something timeless and special that really captures the emotion, beauty and enjoyment of their day.

‘I can see expectations getting higher and higher every year, which can only be a good thing for the industry as a whole as it pushes professionals to use their imagination to deliver what their customers want. It’s certainly pushing me,’ she says.

Mary Ashford, of the award-winning photographic partnership Ashford Daly in Nantwich, Cheshire, believes that, as with most things in life, you really get what you pay for when it comes to wedding photography. ‘It’s a serious investment,’ she says. ‘Remember cheap, cheaper and cheapest are not always the best options and could leave you emotionally very disappointed with the resulting set of images.

‘If budget is your first and only concern, you might find you don’t gel with your photographer and your attempts to achieve stunning, inspired, statement imagery might be seriously compromised. Obviously your level of budget is a personal choice, but we are now seeing clients who are willing to forego or reduce other elements of their wedding because their finished wedding photography is more important to them and is where they want to spend their money.’ But it’s not only money couples are investing in their wedding photographs, it’s time too.

‘Time is something that romps away at a wedding,’ says Mary. ‘Stunning images don’t just happen, they are created and engineered by you and your photographer.

‘We are now seeing more clients steering clear of time-consuming multiple group shots in favour of their pre- and post-ceremony individual and couple shots. Just ask yourself which images are you likely to want in your album or on your wall at home. It will be the beautiful, creative imagery of the two of you.’

So, you’ve set your budget, chosen your photographer and scheduled your time for the big day, is there anything else you need? Yes - a big smile.

‘Don’t forget to have fun,’ says Mary. ‘We like to have lots of fun and laughter along the way with our clients. And when we present them with their amazing storybook or matt leather albums, we want to make them feel all warm and fuzzy. ‘At the end of the day, nothing makes a photographer feel better than seeing their client smiling like a Cheshire cat.’

Ashford Daly Photography: 01270 618978,

Cartmel Photography: 01254 501587,


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