Do you really need to hire a professional wedding photographer these days?
When you get engaged it can be overwhelming. There are suppliers everywhere and you have to manage the budget, allocating money to each category and hoping you don’t run out or forget anything important!
When you choose your photographer, my suggestion would be to give it a lot of thought and find someone you can build a connection with. Your photographer will be around you a lot on the day. You need someone who’s kind, respectful, and upbeat. Someone who brings out the best in you and your guests so you can enjoy your day and make some wonderful memories.
I’ve been a photographer since 2012 and I’ve read a lot of content on the internet about weddings. Sadly, there are many, many articles including couples who express their regret at not hiring a professional photographer.
You might be thinking of saving money by asking your Uncle John to take photos on your big day. I mean, he’s great! You’ve seen his photos of his grandkids and he takes a lovely pic of the flowers in his garden, right?
It’s not good enough to be a keen amateur photographer with a half-decent camera.
Why shouldn’t your friend or family member take the wedding photos?
Weddings are fast moving single serve moments that cannot be repeated. Amateurs are likely to miss important and emotional moments between the couple and the guests. A friend or guest almost certainly won’t have insurance, back up cameras, or second shooters with them. What if something goes wrong?
The photographer only gets one chance
They will almost certainly not be as quick with changing camera settings to cope with the ever-changing lighting conditions, resulting in lost shots. You only walk down the aisle once, after all. Worse still, they’re likely to be using an entry-level DSLR camera in auto mode, which will simply result in blurry shots in darker conditions. Just think about your phone camera: When was the last time it worked well in a dark bar? Or with moving targets? Blurry isn’t the look you want in 10 years’ time when you’re looking at your wedding album.
A good professional photographer understands light, angles, and composition. What’s more, we get these things in check BEFORE the moment happens. We know how to get the best interactions and reactions from our subjects, when appropriate.
How do we do this? Well, experience comes into a play a lot here. We’ve seen it all and we know how to prepare. That’s what you’re paying for.
They’re not as experienced
Experienced professional photographers will have shot so many weddings that we have learnt to anticipate moments, and we’ll be in the right place at the right time to capture them. Even in the toughest of lighting conditions, we’ll get the shot. ANTICIPATION of moments is what you are paying for. They cannot be repeated. You’ll only do your first dance and the first kiss once.
They’ll miss the fun
A family member or friend can’t really be the photographer and also be a guest. They’ll miss the benefits of being a guest and there’s a high chance that they’ll miss documenting some key moments too.
You could be upset with the results
Imagine the disappointment on both sides when Uncle John sends you the photos you’ve been waiting for and you’re not happy? You keep scrolling left and right, waiting to find something you like enough to use on your ‘thank you’ cards. You end up in tears as you just don’t like any of them. Then you have to keep that relationship with Uncle John in-tact. This does happen, and it’s just awful for everyone.
You may not get on well enough
My wedding photography recommendation is to do your research on which photographers are likely to be a good match for your personal style, tastes, AND your personality. You need to get on with them and trust them completely! It’s not much good loving their photos but not liking them as a person. If you feel uncomfortable when the shots are taken, you’ll remember that when you look back at them. Photography is a complex emotional subject!
I recommend you have a photographer along on your day who will fit right in with your family and friends like a long-lost friend. Photographers shouldn’t be there to boss your guests around and make them feel self-conscious. A great photographer will help you to feel comfortable, relaxed, and at ease, so you can enjoy your day. Your photographer should blend into the day and capture awesome, moment-driven photos to last a lifetime.
But what if you still want to save some cash?
If you want to save money, I have a few great ideas on my blog When all is said and done, the cake will be eaten, and the flowers will die. Even friendships come and go, and you may lose touch with the people you hung out with when you get married. Sadly, relatives may die, and photos are the only way you have to connect with them again. Without good photography, you’ll have little to pass on to any children or grandchildren.
For most, getting married is a once-in-a-lifetime adventure, which makes the big day one of the most important in your life. Capture it perfectly with high-quality photography.
You won’t regret it.