I recently visited a few local bridal shows here in Singapore. I was more keen on seeing the variety of vendors and how things work in general here, but of course I was approached by a few bridal studios as well. Actually almost all of them were promoting wedding packages that include at least makeup, pre-wedding photography, table top prints, dresses etc. Some of them even include items like car and chauffer, bouquets and so on. Many of the studio packages are also very competitively priced, so it makes you wonder if there is a catch somewhere.
The trick might be that the materials being used in the dresses are no good or the workmanship is not up to standard. I’ve heard that another trick is that the package includes x amount of prints and extra prints have premium pricing. From a a wedding photographers point of view, the sad thing is that many of the bridal studios have a list of associate photographers. They might have one main bridal studio photographer, but in order to close more deals, they need to distribute the shoots among many photographers. The issue here is that while at a wedding fair you are seeing some very nice images, but when it is your actual day, most likely your photographer is not the one who took those photos. If you want to hire a bridal studio for your wedding day, do yourself a favour and ask that you will be served by the photographer whose images you like the most. If they cant promise you that, i would recommend to keep on shopping.
All this is quite different from Europe and specially how weddings are done in Finland. I dont use associate photographers but my clients know that it will be me who is making the images. The images seen at a wedding show or private consultation are all done by me. I know it might be an uphill battle to educate the clients about my way of doing wedding photography, but I strongly believe this is more fair and a better way to do beautiful images.
I also meet my clients personally for consultation, so if you are thinking to get married this year or 2014, I would recommend contacting me as soon as possible.