So, you've booked your venue, sorted out your catering, chosen your bridesmaids and groomsmen, arranged the flowers, and now it's time to book a photographer. Trawling the internet searching through various photographers you find yourself debating whether to actually hire a professional photographer or not. You then consider asking your cousin with the good camera to take them for you to save money, after all what's the difference? This might seem like a really good idea at the time, but you must consider the importance of your photographs documenting the most important day of your life - you are risking a lot but won't really be saving anything.
Many couples planning their wedding often question whether it's a good idea to hire a professional photographer. It might be too much money for the budget and some may think 'they're only pictures'. Others can even assume it's not a lot of work to warrant the cost. The reality is that photographers may seem costly but in reality they are reasonably priced. They spend the entire day with you, from the moment you start to get ready, right up to your evening celebrations. But they don't stop work there, with most spending weeks editing, re-touching and often designing your wedding album.
Professional photographs always look incredible because they are trained and experienced in what they do. A professional will have an eye for what they are doing and will know what works and what doesn't You cannot just assume a decent camera can take a good enough wedding picture. There are many fantastic photographers on The Wedding Secret in your area. We have the best advice on why you should choose a professional photographer and the pitfalls of choosing a friend or relative instead.
Most things in life are about experience and this is seriously no different for a professional photographer, they know what they are doing. The reason they are professional is because they haveplenty experience of shooting weddings. They also know the running of the day, what to look for, which scenes need documenting/recording are aware of people's reactions and are on hand with their camera to capture every moment.
The problem with getting a family friend or relative to capture your photos is that they may have little, if not any experience with weddings. You may find that the photos have a bias towards their preferences. They might not be completely comfortable with the running of the day and may not recognise the best areas to shoot or how to deal with certain lighting. More importantly they don't know the correct techniques of capturing the perfect image- it takes great skill and a lot of practice.
They know what looks good
These professionals have had professional training and know how to make people look their best. They can advise you on your best angles, best poses and capture the beauty of emotions. If there is something you are very insecure about; a professional can do their best to conceal if not hide it. Even if you go for a documentary style photographer, they can choose the best position to capture the most important elements to your wedding. No one enjoys bad photos of themselves and they will ensure you look your best in all of the photos.
If you opt for a non- professional to shoot your wedding they may not know the best angles and poses. Something that may look good away from the lens does not necessarily mean that it will make a good picture. We all know that not all angles are flattering and we may even cringe at the sight of ourselves- these kinds of photos may appear in your collection if you're not careful! I am sure nobody wants this kind of photo appearing in your collection
Capturing those spontaneous moments
Every professional photographer with good experience will know what to look for in order to catch those spontaneous moments. Instead of solely shooting the bride as she walks down the aisle, they may take this opportunity to capture the reaction on the groom's face, or her parents, family and friends. A tear being shed, a gentle smile, a look of pride, often everyone overlooks these moments. But wouldn't it be lovely to look back on your photos and see the way your partner is looking at you? The speeches are usually the best time to capture images and a professional will know where to look and be at the ready to capture those beautiful and raw emotions.
Wedding days are also incredibly busy and usually the couple are constantly ensuring things run smoothly and making sure they give everyone some personal time and attention. This can mean they may miss some hilarious moments from their closest friends or relatives- this is also where the professional becomes useful as they can be ready to capture such moments.
For a non-professional, particularly if they are a friend, these moments can often be overlooked. They may only focus on the person giving the speech, not the guests hearing it. Or they may only pick one viewpoint in the ceremony and not consider others. Perhaps your important moments are captured but, you must remember they are also your guests and will want to enjoy your wedding day as well. They can relax at any point which means a lot can get missed. You need to remember that these are lasting memories that you will keep forever.
Every professional photographer will have their own shooting style and many couples choose a photographer based on this. Some may focus purely on posed photographs whereas others shoot in a documentary reportage style to tell the story of your day through pictures. There will be a photographer out there to suit every couple's style which will result in a bespoke album of photos incredibly meaningful to you both.
Dealing with someone on a professional level means you can be more assertive and direct with the style of photos you want. A friend/family member may take offence to your direction.
If you enlist a non -professional to capture your wedding, they wouldn't have had the practice to shoot in a certain style. This means that your pictures will end up very inconsistent with many different viewpoints.
There is a reason whenever you have a school photograph or photoshoot done there is a huge lighting set up- it's because lighting is incredibly important. Professionals know how to use any light available to them; and avoid unflattering shadows they've been trained and know what works well. Lighting shapes the way photos look and if lighting is not right photos can turn out horribly wrong.
Your amateur photographer may have taken some satisfactory photos, but as soon as the light changes they need to be able to balance it and make it work in photos.
If you find yourself struggling in your budget perhaps you should sacrifice another element such as flowers or the cake. You must remember that once your wedding is over, the only thing left to hold lasting memories will be your pictures- you want them to be the best they can be.