First things first: Totally understand the appeal of saving money (trust me). The thought of having a friend or an uncle take the photos for you, saving you and your new spouse $1,000’s, I get it. But, if I am being completely honest it’s not where you want to save. Here’s why:
- “If you think hiring a professional is expensive, try hiring an amateur.” You’ve probably heard this saying, and as corny as it is, it’s so dang true. Think about some of the things you hire professionals for: Home remodels or builds, various types of construction, haircuts, electrician, accountant, mechanic, etc . . . Now, think about why you choose them instead of doing these tasks yourself or just asking a friend. Uh huh . . . photography is the same. We have invested in education, equipment, and study our craft like any other professional. We know what we are doing and take pride in our work.
- Contracts: Professional photographers will have contracts in place to protect themselves and you. These contracts cover everything from use of images to cancellations. So if you count on your aunt to take your wedding photos, and she gets sick, does she guarantee a back-up? What if your friend’s camera stops working mid-ceremony, does he have a second body?
- The Right Gear & Education: “They have a DSLR” K . . . so, here’s the thing, I hear this often from people. Another version is “they have a nice camera, so . . .” I’m going to draw another parallel here. I have a really nice oil paint set, the whole deal, professional grade with canvases and primer. But, really I have no idea what I’m doing. You do not want me to paint you a picture for your house, (ask my husband). Here’s another example- “I watched a youtube video, I have all the tools, I can fix the breaks in your truck . . .” (negative ghost rider). The camera is merely a tool, and is only as good as the person behind it. The camera can produce an amazing high quality image, if you know how to use it. Pro Photogs have invested in their camera and their glass and know it in and out, they know exactly how to use it, and what to use when.
- Experience: Your wedding day should be magnificent and focused on you and your new partner. Your photographer should be ready to tackle all issues. When I am photographing a wedding, my assistant and I are doing so much more than just taking photos; we are keeping timelines, managing crisis’, finding missing shoes, fluffing dresses and vails, mitigating unexpected weather, keeping the guests away from the bride while she is getting ready, etc . . . We educate and practice these things constantly, it is part of the experience, we want your day to go as smoothly as possibly.
- Quality: This is a big one. There is more to photos than pushing a button. There are a million and one settings on a camera, and professional photographers know what to change and when. We know how to pose you, what is flattering and what is not. We have studied light in extreme depth, and know where to place you based on where the light is coming from. We know how to get the photos you are dreaming of for your wedding day. The classic ones, the ones you’ve requested, and know just what to say to get that perfect candid reaction, so you can hang all your favorites from your day on your walls.
- Editing: Editing is not applying filters and adding random butterflies or fake sunsets on an image. Editing is an art all in itself. It involves knowledge, education, and experience. You can have an awesome photo, that is edited horribly and thus not be able to use the photo. The opposite can happen as well, you could have a photo that wasn’t quite right and a professional would know how to (when possible) rescue it.
I love chatting with couples and hearing their excitement as they talk about how they want their special day to play out. But, the best is when they tell me how much they not only are in love with their photos, but that their experience was just as amazing.