Have you ever had the offer of Free wedding photography? This isn’t uncommon and it is normally a friend or a relative who has a nice camera and very good at taking general pictures. Sounds very tempting and what could possibly go wrong?
Just because your friend can do this doesn’t mean they will be a good wedding photographer
1. Cost is always a factor to consider especially if budgets are tight
There can be a temptation to ask a or accept an offer from a well intentioned friend who is a keen photographer and will do it for nothing or a few drinks on the day. So what could go wrong? In most cases I am sure everything works out fine, but you could get some very bad pictures, or worse still no pictures because of technical problems.
My advice is to STOP and before you decide you need to take a step back and ask yourself some questions:
- If there is a problem will I get any wedding photographs?
- What will I do if I do get some wedding photographs, but I can only use a few because the rest are out of focus or wrongly exposed?
- If the photographer has a problem and can’t make it to the wedding, what happens?
- Has this person ever photographed a wedding before?
- Does this person have a professional camera?
2. Wedding photography is a very specialised profession
Professional Wedding photographers spend many hours perfecting their craft, they buy professional equipment costing thousands of pounds. They have experienced most situations that can happen when photographing a wedding and they can adapt especially if the weather is bad. In addition they know the format of the day, where to go for the best pictures, plus they are used to organising people.
3. Professional wedding photography doesn’t have to be expensive
If you Google wedding photographers, you will find a big range in prices and it can be overwhelming. At the high end the prices are easily in excess of £2000 for the day. For that you will get an extra photographer, probably around 500 pictures and maybe a high end wedding album.
At the other end of the scale, you will find people like myself who provide a professional service without compromising on quality, for a much more reasonable price. You won’t get a second photographer or a high end album, but what you will get is great service and great pictures and value for money. I don’t believe in trying to sell things that people think they want, I much prefer to make recommendations and let my clients decide what is best for them.
4. Digital photographs need professional processing
Digital photography sounds simple, everyone has a point and shoot camera on their phone and they take great pictures of general scenes. Professional wedding photographers, however, usually have professional qualifications, understand light and how to control their cameras to get the best exposures and the best out of people. After the wedding the photographer will process the pictures, which are in a specialised format (that cheaper cameras and phone cameras are unable to use) import them into professional software and edit them to their style, which is what you were buying when you hired them. It is unlikely that a non-professional wedding photographer would be able to do this and it really does make a huge difference to the end result.
5. Online galleries and wedding albums
The time scale for being able to view wedding pictures can be as much as seven days after the wedding, depending on the workload of the photographer. Normally these are uploaded to a private area on the photographers website, where the bride and groom can view them and they can also give access to their friends and family. If a wedding album has been purchased, this will also be created online using specialised software. This is a time consuming and skilled process which again a non professional wedding photographer would be able to do.
After reading the above and you are happy to take the risk of a non professional wedding photographer and understand the final product would probably be pictures shared on social media and or a set of prints from a supermarket, then you must do it and I am sure everything will work out just fine. On the other hand for a modest investment, which after all it is an investment, you can hire a professional wedding photographer and be sure you have a truly stunning set of wedding pictures.