Having photos or a video taken at your wedding derives from the need to capture, preserve and eventually enhance memories of your amazing day. You want to be able to look back over your photographs in years to come when the wedding buzz has faded and regret nothing.

An interesting question that many couples may ask is whether they need to hire a specialist professional at all. Often, this decision boils down to whether you are happy to rely solely on your guests’ random photographs, or would prefer to seek out an experienced wedding photographer.

Some couples also like to think that they hate having their photograph taken. Queue the professional photographer. They are of course, professionals and have a large set of skills to ensure that; A. you are comfortable and B. you don’t really notice their presence. 

There are so many benefits to hiring a photographer and regardless of your budget you’ll be able to find a professional to capture your perfect day.

Styled

There are plenty of wedding photographers in the industry, all who adopt a different style of shooting and end product. This means that you can have wedding photos that not only capture beautiful memories but also reflect your personalities as a couple.

Some photographers will only capture memories as they unfold, focusing on emotion and events. Whereas others may offer more posed and styled shoots.

There are photographers that concentrate on producing creative and arty shots which might be perfect for you as an artistic couple.

Trained

Professional VS. Guest

Experienced, professional wedding photographers have been in their trade for a good length of time and, mostly, have been professionally trained. They simply know how a camera works and what makes a stunning photo.

Photographing live and unfolding events takes a great deal of foresight. A photographer needs to be in the right physical positioning in order to get the best angle. They also need to know how to work different lighting situations, particularly when photographing outside.

Professionals are detached from the mindset of a typical wedding guest, always making sure they are ahead of what is happening throughout the day to ensure they capture the essence of your day.

Most photographers have also shot countless amounts of weddings and so understand how they work and unfold.

A guest

You may have a family of photographic geniuses, or friends that love to be a little trigger-happy on their point-and-shoot, consumer-level cameras. Or you may even have someone in the family who shoots seriously and regularly, whether as a hobby or professionally.

But would it be fair to ask any of them to take responsibility for photographing your wedding? If you want all of your memories captured, the photographer will need to be working pretty much all day.

It’s unfair to ask them to take themselves away from the celebrations to capture aspects like your ceremony or evening reception.

In all of these cases, it would be wise to think your decision through carefully.

Communication

Photographers will always make sure that they are in constant communication with the couple during the lead up to your wedding.  All of them will provide a consultation to discuss your requirements, which moments you want captured and what you want the photographer to focus on.

They will also be on hand to discuss any concerns that you may have on the lead up to your wedding day, if plans and locations should change they can handle this professionally.

Equipment

Consumer-level point-and-click cameras have evolved and improved by leaps and bounds over the last ten years or so.

There are plenty of affordable cameras out there with huge megapixels and fancy features, but putting it bluntly, photographs taken from these ‘toys’ can never match the quality of a professional photographer’s DSLR.

A photographic ‘eye’ and the practised ability to artistically ‘frame’ a shot goes a long way too, qualities that all professionals possess.

So you simply have to ask yourself, are you happy to risk having your wedding captured in a series of flat, colourless and badly-framed images? If you’re not that fussed, then by all means rely on your guests’ pooled photographs.

Asking a relative

So you know someone who shoots professionally, or who can create stunning images – great. But if you decide to go down this path, there are a number of issues that may arise.

Correctly, effectively and fully capturing the essence of a wedding is a full-time job, and most wedding photographers have barely a moment to themselves during their working time.

If you are inviting a relative or close friend to take pictures at your wedding, then be aware that either you will be depriving them of the true experience of your wedding as a guest, or they won’t be able to dedicate a significant proportion of their time to taking the photographs.

Alcohol and photography never mix well, so your family photographer won’t be able to enjoy a drink either!

I hate having my photograph taken

If you believe yourselves to be a non-photographically-orientated couple, then the temptation to skip hiring a photographer may be quite strong. You may also think that having your family or friends take your photo would be a less daunting experience. Not true at all!

A wedding photographer’s ‘engagement shoot’, if offered, is an excellent way to get used to being in front of the lens, away from the eyes of many.

Good photographers also have the happy knack of interacting positively and constructively with the couples they work with, never encouraging them to stray out of their comfort zones, and generally helping them to relax.

Wedding photographer Allan Scott advises couples who don’t feel comfortable:

I advise couples to keep group shots to a bare minimum for the reason that if you are doing lots of group shots that can suddenly become a large part of the day and make it feel like it’s just a photoshoot. With the bride and groom, I take them off for half an hour at most and generally just have a bit of fun, a laugh and I normally act the fool which really brings out the best in the couple and the end result is fun and relaxed photos.
 
…..if they are feeling uncomfortable and bored then they are going to look how they feel, which is miserable.

They can offer a friendly consultation with you so you will feel completely at ease and comfortable with them. If you don’t, then not a problem – there are plenty of talented photographers out there. Simply find one that fits.

If you didn’t want posed shots with friends and family, then they won’t make you stand for hours on end. Instead they will focus on capturing the real life moments that make memories.             

 
Photography is a vital, indeed crucial, part of any wedding day. The importance of capturing the memories of this fleeting, monumental episode of your life properly should never be underestimated or overlooked.

Hiring a talented professional is the one sure-fire way of producing a consistent and visually stunning narrative account of your wedding day.

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2 Comments

  1. I totally agree with you! I would never try to ask a friend to shoot a wedding, this is a hard job and should be done by someone knowing the trade!

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