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Amatuer or professional wedding photographer?

24th September 2010 Our Wedding Memories
As digital cameras become more sophisticated it is becoming much easier for many people to achieve pleasing results when taking photographs. However, using amateur wedding photographers to take the photographs of one of the most important days in couples lives can be a false economy.

Your wedding photographs are a lasting reminder of your special day which will be shown to family and friends for many years to come. This important piece of your own history should be left to the professionals.

Professional wedding photographers understand how to capture images and obtain successful results in any situation. For a professional photographer it is as important for the photographer to achieve the right results as it is for you, as many appointments are generated from recommendations.

Obviously budget will be a factor in choosing your wedding photographer. However, a budget photographer should not necessarily be confused with an amateur photographer.

A professional photographer may still cover your wedding for a similar price as an amateur by tweaking their packages to suit.

A professional photographer is all about creating the perfect images of your big day and capturing the important moments. Costs can increase when selecting an album for your photographs, number of images required for printing etc. However, many professional photographers will reduce their costs where the client does not require the prints in an album or any printed photographs at all.

Some photographers will allow the client to have their images copyright free, or most will at least give their clients permission to reproduce their images for their own use. These images will be supplied on a disc for printing as required. Without permission, these images and the copyright are generally owned by the photographer so reproduction is prohibited.

It should be remembered that many professional photographers will use their preferred printers who closely match colours etc. to the original. Therefore, whilst using a professional who does this may seem expensive, the quality of the finished photographs will be of the highest standard. Printing photographs on a PC will certainly not achieve the same results. Likewise quick print processors may well use old equipment and inferior papers or inks so will also not achieve the best results.

That said, simply having the images on disc can significantly reduce the cost and you still have a lasting reminder in digital format.

For a package of this type it would seem that you would simply be paying for the time on the day.
However, any quotes may seem a little excessive even with this streamlined service. Whilst you may only see the photographer for a few hours on the day, there can be many hours of unseen work involved.

Bear in mind that a photographer needs to know exactly what it is you want, what style of photography and which posed photographs you require etc.

This will require a pre-wedding meeting in many cases followed by attendance where the ceremony and reception venue to go through exactly which shots you would like and advising on others. Again this all takes time and will be included in any quote.

Then there is the after event work which can include sorting and picking out the best photographs. With digital cameras a photographer may take many hundreds of photographs, snapping away ensuring everything is captured. Sorting through these is a very time consuming process and adds to the costs.

Once images have been selected many of these will require editing. This may include removing unwanted parts from the shot, adding or removing light, changing the colour as some may look better as black and white or sepia.

When everything is taken into consideration, with the hours worked on one particular wedding the actual hourly rate for a photographer can actually be very low.

Although professional photographers are trying to make a living the vast majority also do it for the love of the occasion and a passion for photography and are happy to spend many unseen and often thankless hours working on your images.

Therefore when deciding on a professional or amateur photographer please bear in mind the major differences and the end result when making the final decision.

If you find the photographer you really want to use and the quote seems excessive, please remember all the work which is involved.

If the cost is simply too high, speak to them and in many cases they will be able to accommodate you. Ask them to strip out all the ancillary parts which although make the professional service more complete, do add to the cost.

The cheapest option will obviously be to just have the photographer attend the wedding on the day and place all images on a disc without the pre-wedding meetings, sorting and editing. At least you will have professionally taken photographs for prosperity.

All that said nothing can beat the full professional photography service, including professionally made albums and image editing. In order to have this service and still meet your budget it is very much worth while looking at other aspects where you can save and cut spending. Remember that apart from the video, the photographs are the only other lasting reminder of the day and should be afforded the respect and budget that deserves.

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