We’ve all been there- taking a killer snap on your phone and thinking ‘this isn’t so hard’- I could do this, why should I pay for a photographer? And we’ve ALL got that relative who has a huge camera so they think photographing your wedding will be a walk in the park. I beg of you, PLEASE don’t let your mate’s one iPhone snap or the photos of your relative’s pet lead you down the road of no hired photographer on your wedding day. Do not let the idea of saving a few £s compromise your wedding photographs. Here are the reasons why booking a professional photographer is a must.
QUALITY- A phone camera will never compare with photos taken on a professional camera. When you look through your camera roll I can guarantee you that your killer photos are few and far between. The other squares on your phone are filled with mediocre, average snaps. 9 times out of 10 your ‘instagramable’ images are fluke- with no thought to composition, lighting or camera settings. Another area where phone cameras will never compare is file size! A wedding photographer could provide you with photos which you could print on a huge scale, whilst your iPhone might stretch to a 6 x 4’ print before pixelating.
KNOWLEDGE- Your relative might have shown you some beautiful images of their pets or children. But they know their own pet’s/ child’s behaviour. They know how to make them behave, stand or smile- so of course they are going to be lovely photos! But could they recreate these images, and create natural smiles with strangers? And unless they have professional camera experience, it would have probably been taken on auto settings and focus, with no thought to ISO, shutter speed, or aperture. Automatic settings are great for a quick snap and go, but this simply won’t do for your wedding photos. Do they truly know how to use their camera? You would be surprised the amount of weddings I have been to where someone has a humungous camera, but they don’t know how to use it. Bigger is most definitely not always better. I have over 10 years experience photographing weddings, and have shot over 100 weddings. I know how to organise people, produce natural smiles, find the beauty in the little details, snap guests reactions, and provide photos which give emotion.
ORGANISATION- The organisation of your guests in a commanding but not overbearing manner is definitely needed on your wedding day. When it comes to your group photos you will want someone to take charge. Your wedding photographer has had a huge amount of experience in doing just this. They might rope in a best man to help gather family members, but they will be the person who people will look to for direction. Not only will they organise your guests for each photo, they will also pay attention to the little things which which turn an average image into an amazing one. For example; arranging the brides dress, making sure the bridesmaids bouquets are all positioned the same, tucking in the page boys shirt, and removing any abandoned beer bottles from the shot. These are things which make all the difference.
PROFESSIONALISM- This is something you will definitely want on the most important day of your life. I have photographed at more than one wedding where the bride and groom have asked a friend to record it. Needless to say, that same friend helped them selves to too many drinks and their wedding video was quickly out the window. Whilst all of your guests will love every moment of your day, your wedding day will never be as important to them as it is to you (I know- it’s hard to hear). But they want to be there to celebrate with you and have a fantastic time in the process. So hiring a professional is always recommended. They won’t be tempted to another shot with the girls or disappear to have a cigar with the lads, instead they will be capturing theses moments, along with countless others.
EQUIPMENT- It is SO important to not only have the right equipment to capture your wedding. I always take at least one back up camera, spare batteries, two flashguns, a light panel, extra memory cards and a range of lenses. I also have a drone to add to my kit now too! Your wedding photographer should ALWAYS carry a back up kit incase the dreaded happens. They should change SD cards frequently, and have the right range of lighting and lenses. It is impossible to photograph your wedding with only one camera, one battery and one SD card.
BACKUP- If a global pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that we all need to be there for each other. If your photographer is a professional, they will have a network of other professionals who are on hand to step in if needed. Whilst I personally haven’t had to go down this route as (touch wood) I have never been ill enough to not photograph, I know many who have. In the summer of 2021 I caught the dreaded covid and it really knocked me off my feet. I was so weak and wasn’t sure if I would be well enough to photograph a wedding. Luckily I had the resources to have a back up photographer on hand if I wasn’t well enough. It is such a relief for both the wedding couple, and I to know that if the worst happens, it won’t compromise the wedding photos.
PREPARATION- A huge part of being a wedding photographer is preparation. If you hire a professional, they will want to know all about your big day. Timings, locations, your theming, your inspirations, everything. They will want to know all of your expectations, so they can meet them. They may have shot at your wedding venue before, therefore they will know the best spots to make your photos incredible. If they haven’t, I promise they will be googling, instagramming and pinteresting the hell out of it. If they live close enough, I can garauntee you they will visit before hand too!
AFTERCARE. As soon as your wedding day ends, your mate will hand you the camera and then its up to you! Your hired wedding professional will put in hours of editing after your wedding day, to ensure your photos are stunning, and ones you will be proud to share with your friends and family. Not only do they know how to use their camera properly, they are also a whizz in the editing process too. They can fix your windswept hair, remove marks on your dress, fix untucked shirts- you name it, they will sort it. You really cannot rely on this level of aftercare with anyone other than a professional. They will also present your images in the most beautiful way, as well as providing an online gallery for you to share with all of your guests.
Above all, your photographer should love their job and not see it as a chore. I adore my job and I absolutely love photographing weddings- in the crazy world we live in, it is so wonderful to know there is so much love in it.