The Right Stuff
It is tempting when it comes to wedding photography to turn to a friend or relative who is handy with a camera. With technology today, odds are you know someone with a relatively high-tech camera. But keep in mind, it is not the camera that takes the photos. There are so many things that go into great wedding photography beyond simply a good camera.
A professional photographer has both the equipment, and knows how to use it. Think about it: YOU probably have a camera. Even if it’s a relatively simple point-and-shoot, do you know what all the functions on your camera do? Probably not. It is a professional photographer’s job to know exactly what his equipment is capable of, and to know how to make it do what needs to be done in all situations.
What if your outdoor ceremony has to be moved indoors? A professional photographer will not only have the knowhow and expertise, but will have the right equipment to best capture your precious moments. Your average amateur photographer in that situation might find themselves lost at what to do. Photography is a skill learned over time and you don’t want the person taking your pictures to not have that skill when it comes right down to it. We have all seen poorly shot photos, either too bright or too dark, too blurry or poorly exposed. The last thing any bride wants is an album full of regrets.
The fact is… Professional photographers do this all the time! It is their job to know just the moments to capture, without you having to tell them what is important to you. They know, not only that they have to capture the kiss, the cake cutting, the bouquet toss, but also that you’ll cherish forever that random hug with your high school best friend, that picture of the itty bitty flower girl crying because she’s tired, and that high-five between the groom and his best man. It’s capturing those moments that make a really great photographer, not just clicking the shutter every time something “important” happens and hoping they get something that turns out.
A professional photographer has another, often underrated quality: they won’t get distracted. Most of the time when you are counting on a friend or relative to capture your big day, they are guests of the wedding as well. They will get caught up in conversations with other friends and relatives, and miss your treasured moments. It’s not their fault. They are invited guests, and understandably want to take part in your big day as a guest. A professional photographer is at your wedding for the sole purpose of capturing your wedding to its fullest. Their only concern is to capture those little moments that might not seem significant at the time but will make for amazing memories later.
Another thing to consider when choosing a professional photographer is what they will offer you after the wedding. A professional photographer will sort through all the images they shot that day, pick out the very best ones for you, and then do a varying amount of editing to each of the images. Most of the time, the images you receive are very different (and better!) than the ones that came straight out of the camera.
A professional photographer will also often allow you the option of choosing various products to display your images after the wedding: wedding albums, large canvas prints, smaller parent albums, etc. A true professional will have great resources for creating these keepsakes: they certainly aren’t having your album printed at the local drugstore or photocopy place.
Something to be wary of when hiring your wedding photographer: there are many out there who may not be any more experienced than that friend or relative that offered to shoot your big day, but have given themselves the title of “photographer”. Always check past work and references of any photographer you consider, and make sure that they have a proper business license, insurance and a contract. The photographer’s contract will protect both you and your photographer. Any photographer who doesn’t have one is probably not worth your money. Just because a photographer has a website does not mean they have the experience to accomplish all that a seasoned professional will be able to do.
Professional photography may seem like a big expence. But can you put a price tag on your lasting memories? Great wedding images are something to be cherished and enjoyed long after the last guest has gone home. On the most important day of your life, isn’t it worth it to hire a pro to document every moment of your wedding day to perfection?