Updated: Dec 31, 2021
Weddings are expensive, I get it, and sometimes you have a budget to keep within but one thing you should NEVER, EVER, EVER, cut corners on is your photographer.
It simply doesn’t make fiscal or emotional sense. You are spending an absolute fortune creating the perfect wedding day, with the perfect dress, cake, venue, cars, food and every minute detail covered, and at the end of the day all you will have left is a new spouse (very important!) and your photographs!
I speak from the heart on this…my husband, Vince and I have both been married before and when we decided to tie-the-knot it was just as special as for any other couple, this was OUR wedding day, anything that had gone before didn’t really matter. But we found the whole experience rather lack-luster. We were just amateur photographers at the time of our marriage and even though we had been married before the value of our love was not any different - so newly engaged we went to a wedding expo in Perth to check out suppliers. The whole experience left us feeling like we were square pegs trying to be fitted into round holes. Some suppliers were rude enough to think we were the “parents” not the “couple” - it was clear that they weren’t catering for people like us getting married “again”.
We had already had weddings to please everyone else, this time we just wanted to please ourselves, with a smaller intimate affair and a great 12 month round the world honeymoon instead. However, this didn’t mean we didn’t still want our wedding captured in style and elegance. But none of the photographers seemed to understand what we were after, offering only a much larger coverage and price tag. So instead of the amazing beautiful albums and packages costing thousands of $ on offer that were total overkill for what we had planned - we went for the “cheap $500 option” for two hours coverage, to just cover getting ready at the hotel, the ceremony in Queens Gardens across from the hotel, and then some photos afterwards in the Gardens - seemed simple - but it turned out to be a HUGE MISTAKE.
The photographer turned up late, so that she missed the shots of the groom getting ready, she made me (the bride) late in leaving the hotel for the ceremony and the shots she took were quite frankly - total crap! Luckily the day itself was perfect, the hotel was wonderful, the dress was great, the transport was unique (sidecar), the celebrant was terrific, the reception meal was fabulous and our wedding night suite was gorgeous…..but the bubble was totally popped when we saw our photos a week or so later!
The single photographer just dropped off a home-made burt CD of 300 JPGs, only a couple which had been edited in any way. I could have taken better shots with my iphone! When I questioned this, I was told she didn’t have time to edit 300 photos and people just choose what they like and she works on just those for an album or wall art - so basically hidden costs to get more sales - like shooting fish in a barrel really - even though we had been clear that we only wanted digital images due to travelling around the world by motorbike. We felt totally ripped off, severely let down and felt that our “wedding” was devalued by this photographer. Fortunately, we had taken some photos ourselves and some of my friends had grabbed some shots which enabled me to pull together a very basic photo book album of the day, but I was devastated and just cried and cried - all the planning and special touches of our wedding day had not been captured, despite me meeting with her and providing her with “Mood Board” images. In fact her technical skills as a photographer were severely in question. Certainly not an AIPP member! I really should have done my homework much better! Please don't make the same mistake we did and choose the wrong photographer based on price.
This bitter experience of our own wedding day disaster has hardened our resolve as professional photographers and film makers, to ensure none of our clients ever have to face this. That’s why we offer bespoke services that are individually designed for each couple’s unique situation and desires. We want to make your wedding day dreams come true, not shatter them into a million pieces by not listening, or making you feel your love is less special if you happen to be marrying for the second, third or even forth time! All couples deserve to have their love honoured and respected and to be able to celebrate that love in their own unique ways - that’s what we do at West Coast Weddings and that’s what we do well!