Booking a Professional Vs an amateur

The first thing you need to think about booking a photographer for any event or shoot, is whether you want a professional Vs an amateur.

This will all depend on your ‘budget’ but one thing you need to remember is that photography is a luxury product and not a necessity and like all luxury products it comes with a price tag.

When booking a professional you are not getting ‘ripped off’ as I so often read on Facebook, a professional is running a business….

So why hire a professional?

A professional wedding photographer will have vast experience. I know the exact flow of the day and when I need to ‘click’ to get those key moments. One complaint I hear from my clients about their wedding photography by other photographers is that they didn’t hire a ‘pro’ and key images were missing or they didn’t like the way they looked.

A professional will have the right equipment, what if your ‘friends’ camera stops working mid way through the day. Will they have a back up? Will they have back up lenses and the right kind of lenses to shoot in low light in the church – where flash is often banned? Can they set up your first dance shot to get the ambient light?

Questions to ask your wedding photographer

1. Are they insured?
2. Can you see examples of wet, summer, winter weddings to see how they perform under varying wedding situations?
3. What is in their kit bag?
4. Do you get a free engagement shoot to practice your posing?
5. How do they work?
6. How many weddings have they photographed?
7. Do they bring an assistant or 2nd shooter?
8. Do they have examples of their wedding albums for you to view?
9. What is their turnaround?
10. What is the total inclusive cost?
11. What happens if the client cancels?
12. What happens if the photographer cancels?

Is your quote a rip off?

I often see posts in Facebook groups looking for ‘cheap’ or ‘affordable’ photographers and see replies from people starting out in photography stating they won’t ‘rip you off like a professional’

Of course, my first thought when reading comments like this is anger but really, its miseducation.


  • A professional photographer will have trained for years (and ongoing training)
  • They will have invested thousands into their equipment, training and studio space to ensure you get the very best.
  • They will most likely pay TAX and NI, rent and insurance
  • They pick the best products which are only available to trade professionals. (That canvas you want for free costs us too!)

So we’re not ripping you off…

I made a small list of my running costs during my studio sessions over the year:

  • Heating the session 3-4 hours (£5.00-£6.00 per session)
  • Electric for lights (£1.00-2.00 per session)
  • Tea / Coffee / Milk and treats (£5.00 per week)
  • Water costs for bathroom etc (£5.00-6.00 per month)
  • Equipment (£4,000 outlay with back up equipment and camera needs replacing every 100,000 accutations)
  • Insurance (£30.00 per month)
  • Photography training – newborn (£525) wedding workshops (£300+ a workshop)
  • Studio rent / studio out lay (£6,000 outlay)
  • Props (£30-40.00 per month to keep my look current)
  • Hygene products to clean studio (£10-15.00 per month)
  • Disc/ USB to put products on (£50.00 per month)
  • Actual Products e.g. canvas / prints (£200-300 per month)
  • Gallery online storage to show clients (£13.00 per month)
  • Computer to edit photographs (initial outlay £700-800 plus annual fees of £30.00 virus protection)
  • Annual fees to professional bodies (Guild membership £12.00, BANPAS £60.00 Remember my baby £15.00)
  • Postage to send to clients (£7.00 per time special delivery)
  • Travel to / from venues (average £10-15 per wedding)
  • Uniform / smart dress for sessions / wedding (£70.00 every 3 months)

So thinking of booking a photographer?

So if you are thinking of booking a professional photographer, please remember like all other businesses they have over heads, a true professional will take great care in what they do – like any trades person, you wouldn’t ask your landlord to give you 6 months rent for free? Or your electrician to discount their hourly rate 50%?

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