I haven’t done a blog on wedding photography for a while and attending a wedding fair recently I thought it might be worth just outlining the advantages of having a professional photographer at your wedding.
There is no doubt that both the quantity of people getting married and the quantity of people prepared to splash out on a large wedding have greatly reduced over the last 10 years. At the same time the quantity of wedding venues have increased.
Add these two factors together and you end up with a market that is tripping over itself to get business. The sellers market of ten years ago has become the buyers market of today.
In the same way the professional photographer now being totally digital is competing with Uncle Joe who’s camera is equally as good as anything a professional might use. For the size of reproduction an image may be printed even the 20-30 camera phones at every wedding can produce the image quality acceptable to the general population.
So why would you need a professional photographer?
Two very simple answers, first, with it being a full time job and the likelihood of experience of several years minimum the professional should be able to come up with far better creative and beautiful pictures than Uncle Joe. The Professional will have knowledge of the venue most likely and know where best to place the happy couple to get the best lighting for both their romantic and group pictures.
Secondly, a good professional is going to make the day go smoothly. From the time the service is over to the time the couple sit down with their guests to the wedding breakfast a good professional photographer will smoothly organise the event so that a) the pictures of the groups are down quickly and efficiently and b) the romantic shots done with a flair for a beautiful image but again down efficiently so both the bride and groom can join their guests and get on with what the wedding is all about, having fun and sharing the day with family and friends.
Wedding photography is as much about the efficient skills of herding cats as it is creative imaging. It’s part performer, part facilitator and completely about being fun. No good happy pictures are taken by a miserable photographer!
So, if you are thinking of getting married and looking to cut corners to get the budget down give Uncle Joe a break, he might be good at taking sunsets or good views but do you really want to put him through the stress and responsibility of taking those wedding shots? After all he probably accepted the invitation to enjoy himself like everyone else.
If you need to cut the budget and something has to come off the photography then forget the wedding album. Cut the costs on the post production elements not the actual recording of the event. Have a disc of the images, just take your most favourite image and have it blown up for a wall mounted print that you’ll see everyday.
The wedding album gets a month or so of being shown around and then lies dormant for the rest of the first year at the bottom of the cupboard. Maybe to reappear for an airing at anniversaries.
Wedding photography is a fine art form and there is no doubt that a good photographer will take stunning images that you or Uncle Joe wouldn’t have even imagined. Respect the craft of the professional and don’t cut corners here because the chance of going back and doing it again is very unlikely.