The national news, both television and press, yesterday reported extensively about a photographer who has been sued for truly dreadful work. Unfortunately he is just one of a multitude of people currently giving true Professional Photographers a bad name. Many are new to the profession, many are unqualified, untrained or even part-timers, doing a full time job in the week and just earning a bit of spare cash at the weekend. With the advent and development of digital photography everyone is – or thinks they could be a wedding photographer.
We are qualified members of The Master Photographers Association, which is the UK’s only trade body exclusively for full-time professional wedding, portrait and commercial photographers. There are other Associations which look very convincing but allow ANYBODY to be a member!
All of our clients can ask the MPA for binding arbitration should we ever have a dispute that we can not resolve between us, although I always say that if we had to go through that process I’d be devastated and hang my hat up there and then!
It is critical that you ask questions of your photographer:
- Are they insured? They need to have both public liability and professional indemnity policies in place.
- Are they a qualified member of the MPA, or alternatively BIPP (British Institue of Professional Photographers).
- Can you see their work – not just a selective portfolio, but whole weddings.
- Do they have testimonials from previously happy couples that you can see?
- Do you like them as a person – your photographer is the person who will have the most direct contact with you and your family and friends on your wedding day – and they are one of the only professionals that you deal with that you will have a relationship with after the wedding as well – if you don’t get on well with them it wil ruin your day.
- What happens in the event of them being unable to photograph your wedding through accident or illness? Members of the MPA have 24 hour access to a national network of other Master Photographers who are prepared to cover weddings at a moments notice if needed.
Price is important, but it can’t be at the expense of spoiling your wedding or ruining your memories! Think about it, every wedding takes us 30-40 hours of work and uses skills acquired and honed over many years of experience and on-going training – let alone the thousands of pounds of photographic and computing equipment and back-up spares that are needed.
You would have to question why somebody would offer to do photography AND video for under £1450? It really is true that you only get what you pay for.