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Reserve Photographer


A bold statement I know – but true.  This really is one of our truly “unique selling points”!  Let me explain…

“We will have a photographer in reserve on your wedding day.  They will be packed, ready to go at a moment’s notice and will already have all the information they need to get to your wedding and photograph it as per your original requirements.”

What happens if you can’t make it on the day?

This it the most common question a wedding photographer ever gets asked during a consultation.  It’s a valid and fair question.  It’s a suggested question in nearly every magazine or blog article that offers advice on how to choose your photographer and what to ask them when at a consultation.  I have been shooting weddings for 10 years now and I have been asked this question countless times.  So it really does beg an answer…
Darcy the Dog Being The Reserve Photographer


Darcy our dog posing as a “reserve photographer”. That is quite literally my camera bag packed and ready to go – I am writing this blog post whilst being the reserve photographer! BTW – if I get called out, the dog won’t be coming….!

The problem is that 99.99% of wedding photographers are sole-traders, individuals, people who are self employed and run a company of 1, themselves.  Who can they turn to in an emergency?  Most will have networked with and made friends with other local photographers and their answer would be the same as mine was for many years – it’s a fairly standard response and one which no bride-to-be ever thought was a poor response (because, to be fair, it is a hard question to answer for these guys).  A typical response would be, “I have never not turned up for a wedding, but in the event of an absolute emergency – I would only ever turn to known and trusted photographers that I know I can rely on to produce a standard of work equal to mine” or words to that effect.

The issue that I had with saying this was that of all the photographers I implied I could rely on (and truthfully I truly believed that 2 of them would cancel their plans at the drop of a hat to help me and a distressed bride out) are full time professional wedding photographers.  So on that particular Saturday in July where it could happen that I fall ill the night before – if I were to call on them for help – chances are they will both have their own bookings.  There would then a frantic scramble to Google and call as many photographers as I could that night on the off chance they are free the next day (this is assuming I am well enough to pick up the phone).  Talk about desperation.  All the good photographers (chances are) are booked up and have been for 12-18 months!  I think you get my point.

As our team has grown, we have been able to answer this question differently, we have simply said that we are a team of photographers and therefore we can turn to each other in the event of an emergency.  But even that is not good enough…

A tried, tested & failsafe system

It’s hard to have a 100% back-up plan, unless you literally have a plan.  Or in our case, a system.  One that’s tried, tested and failsafe.  One that is, essentially, really simple.  And that’s where Silverton’s Reserve Photographer comes in to play.  This is something that we do with our team of photographers – we mutually support each other.  We take it in turns to be in reserve for the booked weddings.  As it’s all done in-house, we know we have definitely got that back up option and is it organised.  No reliance on casual “Facebook groups” with like-minded photographers that say they would help (if they can) in the event of an emergency.  We treat this thing like the Army treats sentry duty.  When it’s your turn – you’re on duty, even if nothing happens on your watch, you’ll know exactly what to do and where to go if it does.

We never get fully booked

We will always keep a photographer spare for this very purpose.  So you can rest assured that you will definitely have a photographer attend on your wedding day.

Checklist, systems & procedures

Yep – we have one.  We don’t want to forget anything do we?!  It all starts when you book in your wedding – our admin team allocates the reserve photographer there and then.  2 weeks before your wedding the reserve photographer receives all the information about your wedding day from your photographer.  The day before, your reserve will print this information out and prep their equipment and pack their camera bag, in accordance with our “Wedding Prep Checklist” which every photographer goes through prior to every wedding anyway – so they are 100% ready – this includes photo lists being printed out with addresses, car fuelled, shoes polished, camera bag packed with recharged batteries and formatted memory cards – to name but a few things.  Basically they’ll be all ready to go!

Emergency contact phone number

You, as the bride & groom will have the emergency contact number.  If your photographer doesn’t arrive on time and you can’t raise them on their mobile phone number – then all you need to do is give the emergency number a call and the rest will happen automatically.  They’ll be ready to go anyway, the only thing they have to do is pick up their bag and jump in the car.

Worst case scenario…

So let’s play out a worst case scenario here…  If something happened to your photographer on the morning of the wedding, I mean (sorry to be so blue) something really bad…  Yes, you’d be gutted for them and sad, but you’d still need your wedding to go ahead and (ideally) you’d still want some photos of it.  So if something really bad did happen – chances are the first you’d know about it is the photographer not arriving at the time they said they would.  So you’d call them and (chances are) they won’t answer because they can’t.  Then what? Panic?  Nope, not with Silverton Photography – you just call our emergency phone number which will re-direct to your reserve photographer.  Let them know who you are and what’s going on and the photographer won’t even need to know your address, they’ll already be on their way to their car with their camera bag and en-route to you.