Maybe I should have titled this post “Do Wedding Photographer’s Need Feeding?” and the answer to that question would be a categorical YES! I have to say I love food, I love meal times and preparing food, drinking a nice beer with it, pub lunch, breakfast when I wake up hungry, yoghurt, anything spicy and yoghurt…did I mention that I love yoghurt??
Personally, I have to also admit to not coping all that well if I feel hungry or dehydrated and on a wedding day I do need to keep well fuelled and hydrated in order to keep at my best for the whole day.
But, do you have the responsibility, or are you expected to feed the photographer and indeed your other suppliers? It’s a funny question and I know that a number of suppliers have it in their contracts that they require a meal. On the one hand that makes sense as many of them will be with you for possibly the whole day. Is it reasonable for us to expect to be treated the same way as a guest though as well as be paid for our services?
I’m not sure?
I do know, though, that, whether a meal is specified in your contract or not or whether or not the bride and groom have actually ordered you food actually getting it – 9 times out of 10 – will be a hassle. Also, a lot of the time my food is forgotten about or brought out as an afterthought. Frequently I have had to go into the kitchen and ask if they have remembered that they’re feeding me. Frequently I have had to remind them again and frequently my food has been brought out just as the speeches are about to begin and I need to start working again. It’s not the caterer’s fault – I fully understand that I will be way down on their list of priorities.
What a lot of hassle! Imagine how cross you would be if you had specified food on your contract!
This might all seem a little precious but, at most weddings, when the guests sit down to eat it will be the first break I have had possibly for 6 – 8 hours. I will have been on my feet all day, most likely not had a break for lunch and also in a majority of cases not even stopped for a toilet break. At this time I also download all of the images from the day onto my laptop to ensure that they are safe, check them through, charge batteries and do a number of mundane equipment tasks to prepare me for the evening. Chasing caterers for food that may or may not appear isn’t high on my agenda of desirable activities at this point!
So, for me personally I don’t ask for food in my contract. If it’s offered by the couple it is gratefully received. However, I always take a “backup pack up” so that I can concentrate on backing up and checking the images during the wedding breakfast rather than stressing about food! I like a simple and predictable life!
Having said all that I have had at least two wonderful experiences this year where I have been provided with a full three-course meal at the same time as the wedding party. I’ve had a room, even with a table, rather than having to sit with food on the floor in a corridor and I have even been provided with cutlery without asking or having to wash it up after it’s been used by the wedding guests. I have even had the experience of catering staff saying to me “it’s really hot – here’s a jug of water” rather than having to drink from the toilet taps. Once I was even asked if “I needed anything else”….!
Bless you catering staff for your job is time pressured and stressful. I know that the mundane photographer isn’t high on your list of priorities. However, I can fairly much guarantee, that out of all of the people that need feeding, your photographer will be the hungriest, will not have eaten or had a break for the longest, burned the most calories and been on their feet for hours. And, you have no idea how grateful we are when you find a moment to find us during the meal, a waiter/ess emerges from the melee and says “Hi, we have a meal for you. When would you like to have it?” – that, is just music to a photographer’s ears!
If you are planning a wedding and would like a photographer who really isn’t obsessed with food, comes prepared with a “back up pack up”, is very happy if you offer food or not, has been known to eat both the food provided at the wedding and also the”backup pack up” as well in one sitting then GET IN TOUCH – I would love to hear from you.
You can also download a copy of my detailed client guide “Planning Your Wedding Photography – Everything You Need to Know” by clicking the image below – enjoy!