This week a client email made me think about this subject. A lady inquired for my services but then decided she didn’t need a professional photographer anymore, explaining that a member of the family would take the photographs. Let me start by saying that her decision is totally legitimate and fine with me. She might be on a budget or she might not want many photographs. But her email suggested that a) everyone with a digital camera can take the wedding photographs and that b) therefore you don’t need to spend money on hiring a professional photographer.
Now, I disagree with those two points – obviously! Not because I am miffed she didn’t book me but because I think these two points are totally unfair. They are unfair because they are based on lack of knowledge and understanding of what a professional wedding photographer does. And let me emphasize the word ‘professional’, this is a person who makes their living from photographing weddings and has extensive experience in doing so.
A professional wedding photographer provides so much more than just a set of pretty pictures for a lot of money. And these are all the reasons why I recommend hiring a professional photographer and why they are worth every single penny.
- First of all a professional wedding photographer has excellent equipment and more importantly knows how to use it. They know that a bright sunny day requires a flash gun just a much – if not much more – than a dark room.
- Unlike popular belief it is not the great camera that takes great photographs. It’s the photographer’s eye, knowledge of composition and understanding of light.
- The professional always has backup equipment with them to insure they will take the day’s photographs whatever challenges they get confronted with.
- The professional has insurance, both liability and indemnity. This not only protects the photographer’s rights, but the client’s too!
- The professional is good at anticipating and being ready. Experience teaches them when to have the camera ready to capture those most memorable moments.
- The professional edits, optimises and enhances every single photograph in the post processing stage.
- The professional easily takes thousands of photographs during the time they are booked. Not because they are trigger happy but because they work continuously, look everywhere, try and capture as many details, emotions and interactions as possible. Just because the bride and groom meet with the registrar in private, eat dinner or go upstairs to refresh, they do not stop documenting the day. Those are the moments they document the reception decorations before the guests sit down, photograph the cake or take macro shots of the rings.
- The professional aims to tell a story in photographs and provides you with a conclusive flow of images that not only include the preparations, the ceremony, the speeches and the first dance, but also the accessories that were carefully chosen by the bride, the emotional hug exchanged by the bride and the bride’s dad before he gives her away, tears shed by the guests during the speeches and children dancing between the guests feet. Those are the real wedding photographs that the bride and groom will remember forever.
- A professional remains an outsider while blending in seamlessly with your guests. They chat with the guests but do not get wrapped up in conversations that take their eye away from what they are hired for.
- And because they have seen many weddings and emotions before, they don’t easily get flustered and provide calm and constructive advice which can come in very handy when a stressed bride does not know how to use the hooks to attach the train of her wedding dress.
Maybe not all of these items apply to every single professional wedding photographer and maybe other photographers will have other priorities. But the above points are my priorities, they are pieces of information I will tell my clients if given the chance for an initial consultations and I believe they are all absolutely invaluable, show professionalism and reinforce trust and confidence in the photographer.
I hope this helps you in your planning. If you need further help or advice please leave a comment below, email me or fill in my simple & easy contact form.
Copyright © Betty Bhandari