“Do I really need to pay that much money for photographer? My bride-maid’s best friend has a camera, I think, and she could probably do it for really cheap. That way I can save money on the wedding.” If you’re a bride currently going through wedding planning, I wouldn’t be surprised if you had similar thoughts. You know someone who has what seems to be a nice camera, so why not ask them to do your wedding photos? Well, I’m here to tell you why you need a seasoned, professional photographer.
In our current day, weddings have gotten very expensive. Not that they weren’t expensive 60 years ago, but the standards of planning and costs has gone up. That being said, every bride and groom today would love to save a penny here and save a penny there. Photography seems to be one of those areas in wedding planning that brides and grooms tend to think they can bypass on the professional, ‘expensive’ photographer and save some money by using someone that they know. This just simply doesn’t seems like the best place to save money in and here are some reason
Flowers will fade in about a week, some may even be thrown away immediately after the wedding. The cake will be devoured by every ravenous guest, and left overs will soon enough be eaten or thrown out. Decorations look pretty, but also won’t last past the day. Catering is nice, but guests will actually live if they go 5 hours on only some small appetizers. Your lovely photographs will be thrown away... oh wait, you’ll be keeping those for a long time! Hopefully, you actually plan on keeping your photos a little longer than a week. If that is the case, then why wouldn’t you want them to be great, quality, professional images? So if there is any area to save money on, I wouldn’t think photography would be one of them. I would think that you’re going to want the best you can get, so that you can actually enjoy them for the rest of your life. Your wedding is a very precious memory that you won’t to forget.
If you think that a knowledge of the camera is the only thing separating a professional from your friend, think again. As professional photographers, we have a much more intensive and broad knowledge than that. And even then, in almost every scenario, we’ll have a better knowledge of our gear and how to use it than your friend. However, there is more to photography than pressing the shutter button. Maybe you didn’t know this, but there is an art to proper posing. How about photographer behavior at a wedding; how to stay out of people’s way, be invisible, not distract from the ceremony, etc.? How about post-editing; don’t you want someone who will make your photos actually look finalized, not just straight from the camera. How about printing? Can your friend print from thousand dollar printers or have the photos printed at a professional printer? And that’s just the start of a long list that us photographers include in our services. 98% of the time, your friend is not going to be able to do or know everything that a professional photographer can offer you.
Professional photographers have a legal aspect to them that your friend doesn’t have. We have documents as businesses, contracts, etc. that bind us legally to doing a quality job. If you don’t like the images your friend took, what are you going to do about it? You can’t have them do a reshoot and you can’t get money back, especially if you didn’t pay them anything. Just don’t go there; use a legally recognized photographer.
Lastly, there is something to be said about the economics of using a professional photographer. Your friend, even if they do a decent job, may never shoot another wedding in their life. As professionals, this our career and our trade. Why not give that money to a person who is actually in the trade and can use it to continue in that area and benefit all the other weddings that follow. It’s a general sense of how commerce works. It’s almost the same concept as when people illegally download music; that’s a major reason why so many recording companies have gone under. Don’t be the cause for making professional services struggle to stay above water.
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David WahlmanWahlman Photography