Why Should I Hire a Professional Wedding Photographer?
(aka, I Am Having A Friend Shoot My Wedding Because She Has A Nice Camera)
So, you’re planning your wedding. Congrats! This is SUCH an exciting time in your life! The dress, the cake, the rings, the flowers, the bridal party, AND of course sealing the deal on spending the rest of your life with the Man (or Woman) of your Dreams!! So much to plan; so much to think about; so many details; so little time! Ack!!
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With all of those details, decisions, and the MONTHS it takes to plan a wedding, there is one thing that many brides and grooms try to save money on.
(Well, there are a lot of things to try to save money on when it comes to weddings…I mean, budgets are super important and they truly do help you determine what your “wants” are versus your “needs”…but there’s one thing in particular that stands out regarding budgeting.)
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That “one thing” is wedding photography. Who are you going to book as your wedding photographer? This is a HUGE decision, and it can’t be taken lightly. I mean, you want AMAZEBALLS photos of you in your magnificent wedding gown (you know, “The One” that, when you tried it on in the boutique in front of your maid of honor, your mom, and maybe your sisters… everyone gasped at how STUNNINGLY gorgeous you looked when you walked up to that big mirror. Yeah. That one). You want to be BLOWN AWAY by the image of your dad’s face with a tear rolling down his cheek, as he walks his baby girl down the aisle (since you may have been too nervous and giddy to notice it while he was actually walking with you… hey, it happens!). You want to remember FOREVER the look in your groom’s eyes as he pledges his life and love to you. You’ll want to live and relive those memories again and again.
In those moments… do you really want to leave your memories in the hands of Uncle Bob or a “friend with a good camera”? Read this list and let me know what you think!
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Six Reasons Why I am Not Having Uncle Bob as my Wedding Photographer:
1) He may forget that he is the photographer and just end up spending the entire reception at the wine bar. (I’m wryly laughing… but this is sadly more commonplace than you think!)
2) He may not have the gear needed for your particular venue. (Tall ceilings? Yellow church walls? Candlelight only? All of these require special knowledge, experience, and state-of-the-art camera equipment if those images are going to turn out like you’d want them.)
3) He probably hasn’t shot a wedding before…but even if he has, how well did he work with the other vendors? You won’t want him constantly getting in the background of your videographer’s camcorder, especially if Uncle Bob is shooting with a flash. Or how about the DJ? Is he going to communicate professionally with the music man you’re paying? You won’t want Uncle Bob out for a bathroom break when the DJ is announcing the bouquet throw. (It has happened!! Believe me.) The DJ is more than likely not going to wait on Uncle Bob to get out of the bathroom… which means YOU just missed out on what might be some of your favorite photos of the night.
4) If Uncle Bob is acting as your photographer…then Uncle Bob is NOT going to be able to relax and enjoy your WEDDING. Maybe he has looked forward to your wedding for the last two decades. Maybe he just agreed to take some pictures for you, but would really rather go and enjoy laughing and spending time with the rest of the extended family (who, if they’re anything like my family, they probably only get everyone together at family weddings). Murfreesboro professional wedding photographer
5) What if something happens and Uncle Bob can’t make it? What if he gets sick? Are you going to have the funds to book a professional three days before your wedding? And how easy do you think it will be to even FIND a professional who isn’t already booked for your date on such short notice?
6) Your wedding is not the priority for Uncle Bob. It simply isn’t. He has a life; he may have a day job; he may have a wife and kids to take care of; he might have two dogs and a bird that only eats biscuits and a pet snake that likes to escape. Uncle Bob might be going on vacation soon… do you think he’s going to be lugging his laptop onto his cruise ship to edit your images while he sits by the pool, margarita in hand? I don’t think so……. Nashville wedding photography engagement photographer Mount Juliet Smyrna Columbia
Six Reasons Why I am Hiring a Professional Wedding Photographer:
1) Professional wedding photographers are going to have ALL of the gear needed to shoot every significant moment during your wedding day…and a lot of seemingly insignificant moments, too! Your pro is going to be busy the night BEFORE your wedding, charging up batteries, clearing memory cards, reformatting settings, testing everything, & double-checking all of their gear to make sure it is up to snuff for the 8-12 hours it will be a workhorse for you the next day. We professionals do not have the leniency of “hoping” our gear will be good enough to handle the tall ceilings of the church, or “wondering” if the white balance is going to be a problem in a church with yellow walls, or missing tons of your Big Day if the memory card goes corrupt halfway through your ceremony. This is your WEDDING. There are no do-overs. If we miss a shot, it is gone forever. Professionals know that. We live and die by that. If our gear is not up to the tasks of the day, we are finished before we’ve begun! We will never allow that to happen if we can help it. Nashville TN professional wedding photography
2) A professional wedding photographer has friends “in the industry”. This means that a pro will already know how to interact with the DJ, the event planner at the reception hall, the videographers, the priest, the venue waitstaff, and pretty much everyone else, too. The professional photographer is going to know when to chat with the DJ about the timeline of the evening, to make sure both are on the same page regarding timing of the First Dance, Garter Toss, etc. The DJ is going to want to work with the professional photographer regarding the timeline of the night, BECAUSE HE KNOWS that the photographer will get those much-needed shots for you. (And the DJ can often use those exact images for his own website, to show off his cool dry ice/wall light displays… which he wouldn’t be able to do if he doesn’t network with the photographer in order to GET the shots to begin with. See what I’m saying?) It pays off for YOU, the Bride and Groom, for your wedding photographer to be a professional and to have that “in” with other vendors. It may be the make-or-break of some seriously STELLAR photos of your wedding! Knoxville Tennessee TN Fayetteville NC Charlotte North Carolina professional wedding photographer
3) A professional wedding photographer should know how to “be a fly on the wall”. They should know how to capture candid (non-posed, journalistic) images without getting in the middle of everything. Granted, at some points during a wedding day, the photographer DOES have to know how to be in the middle of everything in order to get the shots they need. (We’ll go into that detail next.) But a LOT of times, brides and grooms desperately want those fleeting, candid moments captured, too…like a zoomed in shot of the bride’s wet eyelashes as she dances with her husband for the first time. A professional should be able to get this type of shot with a fast zoom lens, on the correct settings for your lighting arrangement (indoors? outdoors?), at the angle needed in order to catch those lashes as they rest on the bride’s cheeks (instead of an angle that eloquently captures the back of the grooms head, whoops!)… and all of this from the edge of the dance floor and NOT all up in your space while you LIVE your dream wedding. See what I mean? That’s a pro.
4) A professional photographer is not going to get drunk at your reception. They’re just not! (Can you say the same thing about your Uncle Bob?) If your photographer DOES get drunk at your reception, then they are not a professional. That’s all there is to it.
5) A professional wedding photographer is going to have backup gear for DAYS. Something malfunctioned? It’s okay; they have a backup camera on their other hip. Need a different zoom length? Oh here, they’ve got a super zoom in this bag on the belt around their waist. Crisis averted! A pro is also going to have a backup PHOTOGRAPHER in case of illness. If something happens and the professional you booked is unable to make it (God forbid, but this does happen on RARE occasion), your pro is going to have a colleague whose work is up to par with their own, and that colleague will shoot your wedding for you, and everything will generally go just as smoothly with the colleague as it would with your main photog. (Whew!!!! What a relief!) Nashville preferred wedding photography
6) Your professional photographer is not going to waffle out at the last minute. They have you booked solidly into their calendar, usually with nothing else scheduled for that entire day, so all they will have to think about is YOU and YOUR WEDDING. They are going to have calendar reminders pinging their phone in the days prior to your wedding, just to make sure they start prepping their gear early and start getting ready for a BIG important weekend.
These are just a FEW reasons why we think hiring a professional is worth it, every time.
Sometimes, YES, brides and grooms do get lucky in finding an acceptable “Uncle Bob” (aka friend Susie, Aunt Josie, cousin Marc, friend of a friend Carrie, etc. All of these are “Uncle Bobs”). Sometimes that Uncle Bob gets some great shots; everything goes smoothly; etc. But the fact is that the majority of the time, brides and grooms (and their parents) so often regretted NOT booking a pro, that they call us in TEARS once they get their wedding images back from Uncle Bob. “Oh my goodness! Uncle Bob/friend Susie/cousin Marc didn’t get even ONE good image of us on our wedding day together! They’re all out of focus or the lighting is off…in one of the photos, Uncle Bob cut our heads out of the pic! HELP!! How do we fix this?! Can you take some new photos of us in our wedding attire, JUST so we can have at least ONE to put on our wall in our bedroom at home?!”
It saddens me to hear that couples are unhappy with their choice to have a non-professional shoot their wedding. Because at the end of the day, when all is said and done… what you’ll have left are your memories & your PHOTOGRAPHS. The cake will have been tasted. The music will have been played. The dances will have been danced. The friends and family will have gone back to their homes & lives. You’ll want to relive your day, every moment, because it was The Best Day of Your Lives! And you’ll be sooooo unbelievably grateful that you have those photos when your 10th wedding anniversary comes around. And when your children are old enough and want to see what your wedding day was like. And when you hit your 50th wedding anniversary, and your children throw you a big party to celebrate, complete with a slideshow of your own favorite wedding photos. You will hug yourself in glee, knowing that your day was amazingly, beautifully captured… you didn’t leave those memories to chance. And that is a beautiful thing.
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