Cheap wedding photographers – The good, the bad and the ugly.

Here is a topical blog post for today, cheap wedding photographers. Unless you have been living under a rock for the last week, you will likely have read the latest story of the wedding photographer who ruined a couple’s wedding day. This article first appeared in the Daily Mail (why is it always the mail?) and went viral, being shared thousands of times through Facebook and discussed on many a forum.

Original Daily Mail article.

Now this is nothing new, it’s a common theme that seems to be repeated every six months or so, normally on a slow news day when there is an empty column to be filled.

On this occasion, and according only to the article so we only know one side of the story, the couple hired a photographer to cover their wedding for which they paid £500. But things appear to have turned sour when the photographer showed up late, took the bride away for photos without including the Groom, only took 15 photos of the evening reception and the final set of supplied images were of poor quality. Though the icing on the cake that the article seems to focus on is that the photographer then went on to spend time having her own photo taken in the photo booth!

Having taken the photographer to court, she was ordered to refund the couple in full.

Looking at the photos myself, which you can also see in the original article, I will agree that the photos really are terrible! I mean, they are so bad I am not sure how she managed it! I completely sympathise with the couple, if this is what I had to look back on and remind me of my wedding day I would be utterly disappointed. And the subsequent behaviour of the photographer is indefensible.

However no matter how much this photographer ruined the memory of this wedding (I’m not sure we can really say she ruined the wedding day itself) I am not sure it is fair to lay full responsibility at the feet of the photographer.

Some blame does lie with the couple.

That may sound a little shocking or unfair at first, but let’s consider that the photographer was not a professional but a student. In addition £500 is very cheap for a wedding photographer, not unheard of, but considering that her basic package is just £125 this should really have set of alarm bells.

I understand different people have different budgets and different priorities. Not everyone wants or can afford the best of everything so compromises have to be made.  But that doesn’t change the fact that as with most things in life, for weddings photography you get what you pay for. If you understand that by looking for cheap wedding photographers the quality and/or service may suffer but still go for it then great, no one can knock your decisions. But when expectations don’t remain aligned with budget, things like this happen and it all gets very messy.

In the words of the photographer herself…

“If he wanted a professional photographer, wanted lighting, this and that, he should have paid for that but he didn’t he paid for a student.”

That is a truly terrible attitude for someone to have who is supposedly learning a trade. But there is an element of truth to it so please keep it in mind when looking for your wedding photographer.


For more help in choosing your wedding photographer, I have a short FAQ here which I hope will be of help.

Questions to ask your wedding photographer


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