"Can anyone recommend a photographer who doesn't charge stupid money'

Or a plumber who doesn't charge an arm and a leg? Or an electrician who doesn't pull their prices out of thin air? Or a hairdresser who can make me look like Beyonce, but only charge me £5.50?

Just because a service doesn't suit your budget, it doesn't mean it's overpriced. And just because on the face of it you don't know how they've calculated their pricing, doesn't mean the pricing is ridiculous.

Let me explain.

You're hungry. You fancy some fries.

You can pop along the high street to the nations favourite burger chain, let's call it "MacDundalds"

You can order for yourself at the touchscreen machines that need hammering repeatedly with your index finger to actually register your existence.

You can stand and wait for your number to pop up like a bingo game with an unsurprising outcome, jostling for position between the delivery drivers and staff emptying trays into the bin.

Head to your table to eat your meal from a paper bag whilst ferrel children play with trolleys outside in the car park before swaggering in to the table immediately behind you to swear at each other whilst sitting on the tables like an updated deleted chapter from Lord of the Flies.

Or you could drive to a pretty little leafy local village to a Michelin star restaurant, famed for it's luxurious ambience, exquisite decor, impeccable table service, fine china, and most importantly the most delicious fries you've every tasted, dusted with truffles and edible 24 carat gold.

Both scenarios fill your chip hole, but the experience will differ greatly, and thus, so will the price tag. The prices suit different budgets and different levels of expectation. One level of service has many more hidden costs, extra work, ingredients and professionalism which the other lacks. One experience will leave a longer memory and a much more pleasant and unique taste in your mouth.

So yes, a student photographer learning their craft or a hobbyist working a side hustle can charge less than industry standard, but that doesn't mean a seasoned professional with numerous overheads and a long term sustainable business who's actually attempting to make a living wage from their business if overcharging, taking the p*ss, plucking numbers from their dreams and generally being ridiculous with greed.

Same goes for plumbers, and gardeners, and electricians and painters and decorators and any trade you can think of. It's not "an arm and a leg" they're charging. It's their worth. Their experience. Their quality and consistency.

So sure, go with your budget, and invest what you can in your memories, but don't undermine those who work hard to deliver quality just because it doesn't suit your purse :)