We all have a friend that decided to save money on their wedding by not hiring a professional photographer. After all, we all know 102,940,404 people with a "nice camera" so why hire a professional when Uncle Steve takes "nice pictures?" I was one of those people that decided to try to save money. Do I hate my photos? By no means! Is it my biggest regret about my wedding? Yep.
So many of my potential clients are wrestling with this very question. Is it really worth the investment? I'm here to tell you: YES. Yes, it is. Your photos are the one thing that you get to keep forever from your wedding day (besides that lovely spouse of yours) so my (biased) opinion is that your photography should be the biggest chunk of your budget, and the biggest decision you make while wedding planning.
Here are the biggest benefits of hiring a professional:
1. Professionals are equipped. Sure, uncle Steve can get a great portrait during golden hour, but how does he plan to take photos when the available light is minimal? A great professional photographer will have a plan for every scenario. Getting married in a catholic church that doesn't allow flash? They will have a camera with super amazing low-light sensitivity. Is your reception basically a beautiful cave? They'll have an off camera flash that lights it properly. Whoops! The photographer dropped their camera. That's ok, they have backups of everything!
2. Professionals plan for the worst case scenario. These days most people shoot digital cameras. Which are AMAZING. But technology fails. Your professional will most likely shoot a camera with a dual memory card slot, just in case one memory card fails. They'll triple back up your photos when they get home, just in case their computer dies, or their external hard drive explodes. They'll bring back up EVERYTHINGS, just in case. And they'll be ready for anything, because they've seen everything.
3. Taking beautiful photos isn't easy. Otherwise I'd be out of a job, and no one would need a professional. So much goes into getting the perfect shot. Lighting, equipment, settings, camera angle, body angles, coaching ability, composition, the list goes on. These are things that develop over time through research, classes, and lots of experience.
4. They have a plan, a process, and they will educate you on how to nail your photos. Between informational planning guides, questionnaires, face-to-face meetings, emails, and coaching, you will be treated as a valued individual, and you will get photos that you will cherish forever. Nothing will be missed. Everything will go smoothly. You'll have no regrets.