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Is a professional photographer worth having at your wedding?

17th March 2011 Reel Life Photos Reel Life Photos
As an experienced professional wedding photographer I could talk for hours on the pros and cons of using just your friends or keen amateurs to cover your wedding day video and photography. There are many issues involved. Money is obviously the first point - Is it a wise investment or not?

Like every couple we all want to save money. We ourselves used my son's girlfriend-many years ago - pre-digital age - who is also a professional photographer, but more used to studio work with a medium format camera on a tripod. She didn't even get a single full-length shot of me alone - the bride - in the lovely long white wedding dress I had made myself. She simply didn't know it was important to me! We have not even looked at our photos since! Very sad! But we didn't know then what we know now.

If you love people and looking at photos of those whom you are emotionally connected to - parents, siblings, important friends - then it's usually their facial expressions that will matter to you most. You will want to be able to show them and talk about them to generations yet to come, to keep their memories alive, long after they - and even yourselves - have gone.

One of our brides was looking at her wedding pictures with us as she made an interesting comment. She said "I remember what I was thinking exactly then". The picture showed her looking at her mother during the speeches you see, and her mother was dying of cancer. Once your wedding is over, your photos are the props on which to hang your memories.

Another of our brides came to see us, bringing a CD she had been given by a friend of hers who had a very good camera. Out of about 100 images, only two were to her liking, only two were composed in a clear and interesting manner; the rest were just a jumble with mainly the backs of people's heads, as they stood around talking. You see, a professional photographer is expected to understand what shots a bride needs, and to be able to get those images in a way that shows the people concerned in a good light. A guest is unlikely to be as dedicated, or as experienced. A camera is just a tool - you need to know what - and how - to capture a wedding day for posterity.

You can hardly fall out with your friends if they fail to capture the images you want ! If you look at any collection of wedding pictures on Facebook, you will probably notice that many are very dark, and dull. Some are even soft-focus or rather blurred too. These kind friends will not be spending days and weeks colour correcting and exposure balancing all their photos so they all hang together cohesively, before passing them on to you!

So is it a wise investment? Only you can answer that question, as only you will know the value of your emotions and happiness when that day finally arrives.

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