With new iPhone camera specs that are more amazing than ever, and more affordable cameras than ever before it might seem like a reasonable idea to pass on hiring a pro photographer to document your wedding day. Also in the mix is how expensive professional photographers are compared to amateurs/friends.
Don't do it!
After being a professional photographer for over 13 years, Kev and I are here to share with you some of our experiences. Not only do we understand first-hand why hiring a professional is a no-brainer, but we also have heard too many horror stories from acquaintances about how upset they are over their lackluster images post wedding day. Or about how their friend photographer lost the images, or missed important moments, or that the quality was terrible.
Please allow me to share with you the top 10 reasons to hire a professional photographer for your wedding.
10) You want your friend/uncle/aunt/cousin/llama to actually ATTEND your wedding
Not take pictures.
9) Your friend/uncle/aunt/cousin/llama has no idea what photographing a wedding actually requires.
Owning a camera does not equate to experience in managing timelines, directing large groups of people, troubleshooting weather/lighting/permit issues, understanding posing, understanding lighting, or how about just being qualified to document the most important day of your life?
8) Pros are a solid investment...
You invested in a venue, dress, rings, florist, caterer, calligrapher, graphic designer, bakery, DJ, etc. and you're not sure about the additional expense when someone you know loves taking pictures and offered to help. A pro photographer is the ultimate investment because how else will you relive the day in exquisite detail without the images?
7) ... and worth the price they charge
Pros do not overcharge you. If their price tag seems steep, it is because they are worth paying extra for. Professionals spend hours and hours deciding on how to price their market based on many factors, including:
- Time spent booking, conceptualizing, preparing, photographing, editing, distributing, and follow-up.
- Money spent doing all of the above
- Travel & rentals
- Studio expenses
- Continuing education
It is understandable why comparing a professional photographer's prices to someone just starting up might sway you to go with the cheaper option. But seriously take into consideration the reasons why legit photography is expensive and then weigh out how important professional vs. amateur services actually are to you.
6) Professional photographers add to your day in big, meaningful ways
They come dressed well, with cool-looking gear, with lots of experience in knowing how to be effective but sensitive on such an emotional and important day. They know when to be assertive and when to be a fly-on-the wall. They will literally be with you the entire day, so having likable personalities is a must. Plus, and most importantly, they are artists! How great is it to have an actual artist focused on YOU for an entire day?! It's amazing, just ask any couple who hired a professional photographer to document their wedding day.
5) Pros carry loads of backup gear
If they (knock on wood) drop their freaking expensive camera? No biggie (for you, anyway), they have another one. If your cousin drops theirs? Chances are you'll have a lovely iPhone album after the wedding is over. Pros carry extra batteries for off-camera flashes, extra lenses, and tons of other technical extras that are all expensive and designed to make your day perfect.
4) Professional photographers provide So. Much. More. than some pictures after the wedding is over
Like mentioned in No. 9 above, they are managing your entire wedding experience in a big way.
Of course, planners are the ones managing your day but did you know that photographers often help you design your timeline based on the kind of wedding day experience you want to have? For every single wedding we have photographed over the last 13 years Kevin and I have conversations with our couples and work backward from the end of the night to determine the flow of the day. In fact, at DIY weddings without planners we often assume the role of managing the timeline on the wedding day simply because we need to make sure we get the shots we want at the right time of the day. They are not just snapping pictures with a camera, pros are crafting the flow of your wedding day.
3) A professional understands the mental and physical toll that photographing a wedding day entails
They come prepared with (again) lots of experience in managing this, including second shooters, assistants, energy bars, Red Bull, and nerdy high-fives to other techy people like videographers and DJs.
2) Professional photographers are 100% invested and excited (it's true!) about your wedding day.
Chances are, they are in this field because they love it. (I mean, how many parents are like "Oh wonderful! You're going to be a wedding photographer instead of a lawyer! Yes! All my dreams are coming true!!!). They either love weddings, or photography, or both. For Kevin and I, it's definitely both with a really big connection component in there as well. Our job allows us to see beautiful, emotional, connecting experiences. Brides and grooms spend so much time with us on the best day of their lives that they tend to remember us with a lot of fondness and love. And we LOVE that!
1) You will literally not be able to handle how gorgeous your wedding looks when your pro photographer gives you your images
We are talking crying and blubbering, calling your parents, holding hands with your new spouse for the rest of the day kind of happiness. Pros document things you didn't even know were happening while you were looking deeply into your lover's eyes all day. They show you your wedding day again from the perspective of all your loved ones. They affirm your amazing decision to marry your best friend. You will feel like it was worth every single penny and you might even email your photographer and tell them they should charge more money (true story, more than once).
Hire a professional to craft your wedding day like an artist, whip out backup gear like a savior, and allow your friend/aunt/uncle/neighbor's cat to attend--rather than snap photos of--the greatest day of your life.