Grand Lens Photography would like to address the importance of hiring a professional wedding photographer, as opposed to allowing a family friend with a decent camera to capture your special day, leaving it to your guests or hiring a photographer who does not specialize in weddings. We have briefly addressed this topic in a previous article, however, we strongly believe photography is a part of the wedding that is imperative to perform accurately! There are numerous horror stories about people being let down by the results that a non-professional photographer has produced. Couples choosing to let "a friend" do it, or "I know someone with an excellent camera", or "we're just going to let our guests take the photos". This is perfectly acceptable and you may feel that you will be saving money by doing this. Nevertheless, we can guarantee it will not turn out how you expected. Your wedding photos are the only lasting memory you will own from that day, and if they turn out in a way than the way you dreamt, your memories will be ruined.
excellent photography is more than a fancy camera
We have spent literally a thousand hours training to be a photographer and another thousand or so photographing weddings. We know how to accomplish the shot predictably every time. We know how to compose the shot beautifully and execute it with skill and precision. It is not the camera that delivers these beautiful photos – it is the specialist. As photographers shoot in manual mode, they tell the camera what it should be doing rather than allowing the camera’s sensors to execute the decisions for them. So if you desire that beautiful photograph of you and your new spouse gorgeously backlit by a red sunset, you can only obtain that style with a professional - the camera itself cannot correctly interpret that light.
Professionals understand the flow of the day
It is the experience of being at hundreds of different weddings that allow a professional wedding photographer to predict just where to look and when. They know the time in the wedding when they can sneak a shot of your father gazing at you with a tear in his eye. Photographers know to expect that moment just after the minister asks for objections and know the church will break into nervous laughter and the bride will pull a priceless face. These are the elements you can only capture with experience. We are experienced in dealing with the raw emotions of a wedding day. We know how to get the mother of the bride to stop repeating the time every 10 minutes whilst the bride breaks out into a cold sweat because she might be a few minutes late for her ceremony. Professionals can round up a large group of people for formal portraits – cheerfully, cooperatively, and without shouting. This takes years of experience and finding out what to say (and what not to say) during a day when everyone's emotions are through the roof. Hiring a professional photographer who does not have experience of weddings can also be a dangerous move. These people will not know the general running of a wedding day, what happens when and where they need to be for the important and creative shots. Yes, they may photograph landscapes beautifully, but do they possess experience of moving from group shots to close-up shots of flowers all in the same breath?
Understanding of light
Professional photographers understand all types of light and know how to photograph in tricky lighting. They operate by bright sunlight or cave dark ceremony churches. They can stroll into any room and know within seconds where the best spot is to stand and where the best light will be every time, without fail. Your guests will not always determine how to brighten a dark venue such as a tipi or a barn. Going from a dark venue to a light venue requires you to monitor the light constantly and react by changing the ISO, aperture, and shutter speed settings on the camera.
mishaps may occur
What happens if your friend is ill on the day? Do they know another photographer they can call in an emergency? Professionals have a network of photographers they can contact if need be. Speaking of setbacks, a friend or guest will not have insurance. What if something goes wrong and they cause an accident? Who is later responsible for the damages? Also, if you hire a friend or have your guests take the photos, are they truly going to commit to capturing photos of the entire day? Guests become drunk and a friend with a decent camera may not realize the full impact of a wedding. Professionals can start anytime in the morning and do not conclude their work until nearly midnight. Do you truly believe your friend or guests will continue going for the entire 12 hours? Chances are important shots will be lost as your friend grows bored and wanders off to enjoy themselves.
A professional wedding photographer should come to a wedding with a vast array of equipment. This typically includes a minimum of two professional camera bodies, several lenses, strobes, multiple memory cards, large quantities of batteries, brackets, extension cords, light stands, light modifiers, alternative lighting sources. While not every item will be utilized during every moment of the day, it is important to be prepared for every eventuality, including, change in venue, poor weather, unexpected shots to capture, etc. Non-professional photographers ordinarily do not carry back up photography equipment with them. Consequently, if anything goes wrong with their camera, they will not have another one to employ and the remainder of the wedding goes unphotographed. An experienced photographer will know what to do if a memory card corrupts or if the battery runs out they will always have a spare.
Not every couple has an immense wedding budget. If you are attempting to save as much money as possible for your special day, you can always spend less in other ways. Book a photographer that offers a half day package or charges by the hour. We always believe it is best to book the full day. Although, if your budget is limited, having a professional present for the pivotal moments of the day is beneficial than not capturing anything at all. A six-hour package could take you from one hour before the ceremony to just after the speeches. Do not sacrifice your wedding photographs because at the day's conclusion, the food and flowers will all be gone but your wedding photographs will remain. They will be your surviving testament of one of the most momentous events that took place in your life.
Grand Lens Photography wants to help you ensure your engagement and wedding photos come out amazing. Check out our blog for tips and tricks to help with achieve the best photos!