Should you feed your photographer?

This could be quite apt considering I have been reading some blog posts recently that review the cost of Wedding Photographers. But when you come to plan for your wedding day, you plan for all eventualities even extra costs that may creep in. So when a friend of mine suggested this as an interesting debate, I jumped at it, because I had a similar problem when it came to my own wedding day.


After paying the deposit of my wedding photographer I asked “Do you wish for us to make sure that you have something to eat during the day?” His answer was quite firmly “NO” for his reasons were that, we were already paying for 8-10hours of work which covers his travel and expenses and we shouldn’t have to worry about his food as he probably wouldn’t have time to eat and he would be taking photos of us during food times anyhow.

But when it actually came to my wedding day, we had an empty place and because we had already paid for the 3 course meal, we wanted our photographer to accept it as a gift from us, and sit down to have a period of rest. He accepted of course, and I felt glad that he did. But what if that person had of been there? From 9am to 8pm my Wedding Photographer would have had nothing substantial to eat nor drink whilst trying to capture all the moments of the day. I would have felt that like a bad host.

So should you consider feeding your photographer? 

From a Photographer’s Point of View:

“From my perspective, my day starts a lot earlier than when I meet the bride, as I need to factor in travel time as well. I always have a good breakfast, and always need water and a bottle of coke on the go. The water for hydration, and the coke for the sugar! I also keep something in the car, just to keep me going in between. I’m photographing while guests are enjoying canapes and drinks, so by the time the couple sit down to their meal at 5-6pm it’s unlikely I’ve eaten since 9-10am. As I stay until after the first dance, I could quite easily be at a wedding until 10pm, and then not get home until 11pm.
The meal is the time I have to myself. I can review the pictures. The big issue though, is if a couple have booked a venue with exclusive access, or external caterers, usually places that aren’t near other cafes or restaurants – it’s not going to be easy for me as a photographer to get something to eat. I don’t expect to sit with the guests, and I certainly don’t want a 3 course meal. A simple bar meal is sufficient.
I would eat while the guests were eating. I never take photos of guests eating, so it’s my downtime! I also never expect to be fed if I am only covering half a days wedding (4-6hrs).” Anon

So what should the bridal party do? Here are a few words of wisdom…

Always ask when you hire your photographer. Some build food into their expenses; but it is always polite to check

 If you are having a buffet meal, it is a lot simpler to say to your photographer that they are more than welcome to grab a plate of food/drink when they are hungry.

If once you have asked, and they do want to have a meal. That doesn’t mean they have to have a full 3 course lunch and dinner. Ask if they would mind one of two things- bringing along food and you paying for the expense or if you are in a hotel/bar/restaurant for them to pick from the selection you have given them. This way if you are on a budget, it will not cost you another £75 per head.

Check the T&C’s of your photographer. You may be obligated to provide a meal for them and their second shooter.

If they have built food in to the overall cost then give them a list of your suppliers names or near by options incase they have specific dietary requirements

But what if you have spent over £1500 on photography and that has zapped most of your wedding budget? What should you do? 

Be Honest. Tell them that you cannot afford to pay for them to have a meal. You never know, they may be OK with it. They may have never expected you to consider them in the first place.

Please let us know your opinion.

Meryl x

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