Wedding Photography – why bother?

Pinterest has a a lot to answer for. For being so addictive, for giving me schizophrenic design tendencies – mostly about art, interiors, floor tiles, hallways and doorways. Years ago, brides used to have a box folder brimming with quotes and business cards picked up from all those Sundays spent trudging around wedding fairs. Now we have Pinterest where brides can shop for their wedding photographer listening to their own choice of music rather than Canon in D. Again and again….

So from the creation of the ‘wedding folder’ and frantic pinning of Pinterest ideas, to building of a guest list (and even more frightening, the seating plan) – organising a wedding with your partner is perhaps one of the biggest tests you will take in your relationship. But once you realise that anything really is possible – the only limitation as to what can be achieved at a wedding really is the parameters of your ideas and budget – but corners can be cut effectively and without the compromise of a wonderful celebration.

Hiring a professional photographer – why bother? What’s the difference between a professional and a friend with a pro camera? Most of us have friends who are quite handy with a Nikon, even a phone camera will be of decent quality. I only take my phone on holiday with some great results. So why wouldn’t you ask a friend, rather than spending in excess of £1200 out of your budget to hire a professional? After all, it could be the difference between having Cava and Veuve Cliquot for your reception drinks…

Bella West

Bella West

Bella West

Bella West

I may be the wrong person to ask if you are partial to Veuve.  As a qualified, insurance paying, 25 year experienced, full time professional photographer yoiu’ll have to forgive me as I can only validate the importance of commissioning someone who will give you and your family photographs which go beyond the capabilities of the finest cameras and post processing skills. So a fundamental decision that you make is how important are family, legacy and the photographs which record the most important day in your life?


When searching for a photographer, prices will vary as will what you get for your money. Skill level of different photographers will differ and investing time to research various styles and decide what works well for you will ensure you commission a skilled professional who goes beyond being able to take a good snap.


So what makes a great wedding photographer? Well….

Stealth like anticipation skills, and they will be unflappable in what is sometimes emotionally charged environments.

Family groups will be put together with minimum fuss, and in light that compliments everybody.

He/She will engage with family in order to put everyone at ease whilst at the same time, composing photographs which are flattering.

He/she will smell that rain cloud before it appears.

They will notice if an elderly guest is struggling with heat and will make sure their pictures are prioritised.

They will notice if there is no knife to cut the cake and let the caterer know so when the moment comes, everything is in place.

If you have requested some photographs as the sun goes down, your photographer will ensure you are there at the right time.

A good wedding photographer will have noted immediately family when they arrive at the ceremony. They will know their names (albeit I do get them wrong, I’m human!)

A good wedding photographer never raises their voice but creates photographs with warmth and calmness.

Goal posts are constantly moving at weddings, a professional photographer moves with them with humour and efficiency.

He/she will get on famously with grandad.

What you will see from your photographs – yes the reality of stress and tears and hard work but also the love and the beauty. True emotion and feeling cannot be generated by a camera, but a good photographer will see it all, make art from it, through bringing together all the elements. It’s not even about wedding photography in my mind, it’s about someone behind the camera who has the skill and patience to see and be there for the taking.

Ultimately, your wedding is about you spending what feels like a short time with all the people you love in the world. Enjoy every second and relive it through your photographs.


Bella West

Bella West

Bella West

Bella West

Bella West

Bella West




My thanks to the venues from various weddings and shoots


Babington House

The Larmer Tree Gardens

Rhinefield House

The Gathering Barn


Virginias back room…