Why Hire a Professional Photographer for your Wedding

Highlander wedding

Let’s face it, you only get one chance to get it right.  Weddings can get pretty expensive, and especially so considering today’s tough economy. So if you’re getting married, it’s likely that you’re looking for any way to save money. And one of those ways some couples consider saving money is to have a friend or family member photograph their wedding instead of a professional wedding photographer. Heck, digital cameras are everywhere nowadays, and everyone is a photographer. But is this a good idea? Well, you are the only one who can decide upon that answer, but here are a few of the reasons why I believe that you should leave your wedding photography to a professional wedding photographer.

Wedding Images by bARNDOOR STUDIO.ca

Reason #1 To Hire A Professional Wedding Photographer – Experience: During a wedding day, many of the most important moments only happen once – like the exchange of the rings, the first kiss and first dance. And one of the main benefits you receive by hiring a professional wedding photographer is having their photography experience behind you to make sure that you will be able to show these moments to your grand-kids. These are not events that will happen again, or get replayed, so it is important to have a photographer there you can trust to document the shot – on the first try.

Reason #2 To Hire A Professional Wedding Photographer – Knows The Shots To Make: There are tons of photographs to make during the course of an 8-10 hour wedding day celebration, with some being more important than others. A professional wedding photographer will know those shots by heart (rather than having to look at a list) and ensure that all the important moments of the day are documented for you. This skill takes a while to develop and can’t be taught overnight, so if it’s the first time your photographer has shot a wedding, the photographer will likely miss a bunch of key shots.

Reason #3 To Hire A Professional Weddinng Photographer – Ability to Anticipate and Catch Split-Second Action: This somewhat goes hand-in-hand with the previous reason, but goes a step farther. Not only will a professional wedding photographer know the shots that need to be captured, but the professional wedding photographer will be able to anticipate the action, and put themselves in. 

Reason #4 To Hire A Professional Wedding Photographer – Posing & Coaching Skills: To shoot great portraits of couple’s, the photographer needs to have practised it many times. If you have ever had an inexperienced photographer take your picture, you probably felt stiff and not knowing what to do, likely because you didn’t receive much coaching. The inexperienced photographer may have been too overwhelmed with operating the buttons on the camera to make sure you were positioned in the most flattering way.the correct location for the best angle. Though weddings don’t move as fast as sporting events, they do move quickly and the photographer needs to be observant, ready, in the right place – with the right lens on at any given time. If any of these things are missing, your shot will be missing too.

Reason #5 To Hire A Professional Wedding Photographer – Lighting Skills: Advanced lighting skills are critically important to good wedding photographs. That’s because many of the venues where couples get ready or hold their receptions are very dimly lit, often times to create a special atmosphere. A professional will have the skills to shoot in even the darkest of light, where an amateur may struggle to get a usable frame or something in focus. Also, a professional wedding photographer often will have the skills to use “remote control” lighting where the light is coming off-axis from the camera, producing three-dimensional type photos. On the other hand, an amateur or friend would be confined to using harsh, straight on flash that creates an unflattering, photo-copy type look.

Reason #6 To Hire A Professional Wedding Photographer – Organization of Group Photos: This is an area where a professional wedding photographer can add value to your wedding photographs. These are important photos for many couples since weddings are often the only time the entire family gets together in one location. It can be very hard to successfully organize and arrange a large group of people if you haven’t done it before. Can you see everyone’s face? Are all the people there? And is the arrangement orderly and well constructed? And what about the people who have started drinking already and are feeling a little tipsy, distracted and are not following directions? Could your friend quickly put the groups together under these circumstances so everyone can get to the reception?

Reason #7 To Hire A Professional Wedding Photographer – Familiarity With Wedding Etiquette: During a wedding day, there are some things that a photographer just shouldn’t do, like walk right in front of the main aisle during the ceremony. Faux-paus like this won’t ruin your wedding, but they can raise your tension on an emotional day. A professional wedding photographer knows the “does and don’ts” throughout the day, and can make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible.

Reason #8 To Hire A Professional Wedding Photographer – Post Processing and Editing Skills: After a wedding, it is common to come home with several thousand images to import, sort, edit and then export. It takes a significant amount of time to do this, and a professional wedding photographer has a process for dealing with this many images at one time. Also, the professional wedding photographer is skilled in editing, and can make photos look their best in the digital darkroom from RAW image data, at the same time, making sure all the files are backed up in multiple locations so your wedding memories are safe and sound. How much do your wedding photos mean to you?

Reason #9 To Hire A Professional Wedding Photographer – Equipment: Nowadays, everyone has a camera. Even cameras with really high “mega-pixels” as is the buzzword for most consumer grade products. And most cameras capture nice pictures given the right lighting situation, or when people are standing totally still. But what if the light isn’t good? Or what if the people are dancing? Rather, professionals worry about things like auto focus abilities, ISO levels and noise capabilities. These are some of the factors that allow us to catch sharp photos, in very dark places, even without a flash (which isn’t allowed in many churches). In addition, there are big differences between consumer and pro lenses. While they look nearly identical, pro level lenses often let in 8 to 16 times more light than consumer zoom lenses. And that can be the difference between getting sharp, bright photos – compared to dark, blurry ones.

Reason #10 To Hire A Professional Wedding Photographer – Access To Pro Level Photo Labs and Album Companies: There is a huge difference in the quality of the photo books and albums a professional wedding photographer will have access to in order to showcase your wedding photos compared to a consumer. Nearly all of the premium album and print companies reserve their services to a professional wedding photographer, leaving amateurs with more automated, and less premium, albums and photo books.