“ Wedding photographer covering North Wales and Merseyside region. „
When we started planning our wedding (I say "we", I mean me obviously), the one piece of advice which kept being repeated was not to scrimp on the photographer or the rings. These are the only physical and lasting reminders you take with you from this one day in your life, so it's worth spending more in these areas. For most of us, however, unless you have a lot of savings or disposable income, the best you can do is try to balance quality services with your limited budget, without compromising on anything that might ruin the day or you might end up regretting.
When we did our budget, we estimated around £500-£600 for photography, this being one of our biggest spends. I spent hours researching photographers online, becoming increasingly alarmed that it was looking like we would have to at least double our budget to get a decent package, or reduce our expectations on how many photos we could expect to have for our budget.
Along came Peter Wynne. Peter Wynne is a photographer based in the Wrexham area. I stumbled across his website, loved his work, and was amazed to discover he was priced within our budget for a full day's photography. As luck would have it, he was free on our wedding day, so we had a consultation with him, booked him in, and would not hesitate to recommend him to anyone looking for a brilliant photographer for a reasonable price.
It actually took many hours of searching, accompanied by mild (ok, moderate) panic when I stumbled across Peter Wynne's website. I had found a couple of photographers who were reasonably priced (although not as good as Peter), but they were unavailable on our wedding date. When I finally found this website I was convinced there must have been a catch. I'm happy to say, there wasn't.
The only way you can tell if a wedding photographer is going to be for you, is by checking out their work, and meeting with them to make sure they're the kind of person you want to have around you on your wedding day. The website has a gallery of Pete's work, for further details see www.peterwynnephotography.co.uk
Pete covers the northwest area, although he is based in Wrexham he will travel within reason. I wasn't sure if he'd come as far as us (about 40 miles), but he came for the consultation and wedding day without charging any additional travel costs. He covers North Wales, Shropshire, Cheshire, Merseyside and I other areas in the northwest.
Most wedding photographers offer different packages which are designed to suit different budgets. Generally speaking, if you want photos of every aspect of your day (i.e. bridal preparations to first dance) you will pay more than if you're happy with just having photography of the ceremony and posed photographs.
An important factor for us in choosing our photographer, was that the rights to the photos would be ours. This basically means that rather than having to choose a set amount of photographs for the photographer to print for us, we wanted the rights to have all the photos on one disc, without his watermark on them. You usually pay a bit more for this, although I have to say I thought Peter Wynne's rates were very reasonable.
The packages are as follows:
Half day package - £550
Full day package - £650
Full day coffee table album package - £900
Full day Graphistudio album package - £1,100
Full day perfection package - £1,350
The website gives details of exactly what each package includes, but the top package on Pete's website is the same price as some of the basic packages for more expensive photographers. My opinion on the packages is that unless you have lots of money to spend on your wedding, it is probably worth getting one of the more basic packages (the top two), and then using your disc to create your own photobook or shop around for a good deal on the albums after the event.
When I expressed an interest in hiring Pete for our wedding, I emailed him to check the date was free, and he then offered to visit the house to show us some of his work. He's a modern man, making life easier by keeping in touch by emails and texts, which is very useful when you're planning a wedding and looking to make life easier.
Pete came to our house on a weekday evening, which was the most convenient time for us as we work office hours. I was pleased with this because he lives around 40 miles away, so we appreciated the free consultation. He got to know us a little, by asking about the style of photography we liked, and finding out about important family members attending the wedding such as parents and children. He enquired about the venue, and type of wedding we were having, and I feel he really wanted to get to know our style so that he could reflect it in his photos.
We immediately warmed to Pete, as he is a friendly and likeable man. He has a dry sense of humour and when he left the house after our consultation, we had already decided we would choose him. He didn't try to sell us anything above what we'd asked for, but he did let us know that albums and other options were available should we want them.
We opted for the full day package, as the difference in price was only £100 and we got the bridal preparations, speeches, and first dance coverage on top of the ceremony and posed photographs which comes with the half day package. Pete told us the reason the difference in price is so small, is that he feels you miss some of the story of the day if you only have a photographer for the daytime. This made us feel like he was really passionate about what he does.
==On The Day==
I couldn't really fault Pete on the day of the wedding, he was actually a really nice person to have around when everything was chaos, especially in the morning! My hair and make-up artist commented that sometimes the photographers get in the way when they arrive, but she said she really liked Pete because he just got on with things discreetly in the background.
Throughout the day, Pete directed people into their positions for taking posed photographs. He was assertive without being bossy or aggressive, and was particularly good with our young flowergirl. Lots of people commented to us that he was a nice guy, he cracked some jokes here and there and made the photos more fun. I know from being a guest that this bit of the day can be a bit tedious, but he definitely made things go smoothly.
The balance between posed photographs and natural reportage style ones was absolutely perfect. Pete wasn't overbearing or intrusive, he just managed to capture people chatting naturally on the lawn, and got some great shots of the kids running round and playing with balloons.
==The Final Photos==
Pete put the photos on a disc for us, and converted them all to black and white as well as colour. This means we can make our own photobook with them, or just print copies for ourselves or friends and family. The disc arrived about a month after the wedding, in a lovely leather-bound case which looks like a book. He also has an online gallery where he displays the photographs - this can only be accessed by password so is for sharing with friends and family. These photos have his watermark on them, so they can't be printed, although he does have an ordering service on there for anyone wanting copies.
We were so pleased with our photos. There were around 300 in total, and Pete had captured such an excellent range of shots it didn't get boring to look at them. He also took lots of photos of the details when we weren't looking, such as the table decorations and hotel grounds. He even ran off with our wedding rings at one point, promising to return them, because he wanted to get creative with them! We were interested to see the photos when they arrived, with artistically placed wedding rings and (deliberately) out-of-focus shots of the glasses on the welcome drinks trays.
I can't recommend Pete highly enough. It did cross my mind that as he works alone rather than alongside someone, he might not be able to get the full range of shots we wanted. I needn't have worried, however, as he is a true professional and knows exactly what works and what doesn't. He had carried out his research on the venues so he knew he would be able to get good group shots, for example on the front lawn of the hotel from the front bedroom windows. I know some people prefer to have two photographers so that no detail is missed, but I think we would have found this a bit much with two people giving instructions. I would definitely recommend Pete as he is not only affordable, but an excellent photographer.
(This review may also appear on Ciao under the username Gingerkitty)