Why Hire a Professional Wedding Photographer When My Friend/Family Member Can Do the Photos?

©David Orr Photography

With the downturn in the economy, brides and grooms have to be creative to find ways to afford the wedding they want. You may be tempted to save money on your wedding by hiring a friend, family member, or student to do your wedding photos. While this does offer an attractive and immediate benefit (saving money), the long-term consequences can be very devastating: low quality photos; a poorly planned and stressful wedding day; strained relationships with that friend or family member; and in some cases, no photos at all.

Professional photographers offer a wealth of knowledge and experience, and provide many benefits over hiring a friend or family member.

1) A Well-Planned Wedding Day: A professional photographer will sit down with you and your wedding planner, to establish a schedule for the photos on your wedding day. The photographer does this with you and your guests in mind, seamlessly blending photos into your schedule, while maximizing the time you get to spend with your guests. You’ll know exactly when the dressing room, bridal party, and extended family photos fit in your day, letting you focus on enjoying your wedding stress-free.

2) Experience: A professional photographer has worked dozens of weddings, and has a solid understanding of the typical flow of events. This means they will always be in the right place at the right time, capturing fleeting moments that an amateur may miss. You won’t have to wait to cut your cake or do the bouquet toss while somebody searches for your photographer.

3) Back-Up: What happens in the event of an equipment failure? If you hired a friend or family member, probably nothing. The wedding will have to continue on without any photographic record of those special, once-in-a-lifetime moments. However, if you hired a professional, they will be ready with a backup camera, memory cards, flashes, batteries, etc., to make sure the photos continue uninterrupted. And a professional will have an assistant or backup photographer on hand to assist with the photography.

4) Quality: Would you hire an amateur contractor to install your new swimming pool or gas barbecue? Hopefully not. Besides obvious safety concerns, the quality of your finished pool or barbecue could be compromised, meaning you’ll need expensive repairs down the line. In the end, the money you saved by going with an amateur will be spent later in repairs. Unfortunately, low quality wedding photos can’t be repaired or reshot. A professional can guarantee that your wedding photos are well lit, color-balanced, properly composed, and above all, beautiful.

5) The Finished Product: Another area where professional photographers excel over amateurs is in the presentation of your finished images. An amateur will most likely provide you with digital images on a CD. And it’s likely that’s where they’ll stay, collecting dust on a bookshelf. Professionals, on the other hand, offer a variety of heirloom quality, handmade products that you can’t purchase at your local Walgreens or CostCo: handmade, leather-bound albums; signature frames with museum-quality glass; and wall-sized metal prints and canvas wraps. Professionals work hard to build relationships with photo labs, album binders, and other providers to offer you a diversity of beautiful keepsakes.

Getting married is a big commitment that requires careful planning. When it comes time for your wedding day, the last thing you want to worry about is whether or not your photographer will provide quality service. So choose carefully and go with a professional, so you and your groom can focus on the bliss of your wedding day and the beginning of your new life together!