Should I Hire a Professional Photographer for My Wedding?
Everyone knows planning a wedding is expensive. That’s no secret! Yet, while you think that you may be saving money by getting family or friends to help you out with some of the services you would otherwise hire out, it’s safe to say its a short-term gain. For many couples, the first thing that comes to mind when saving money is hiring a friend or family member who is a really good amateur photographer to take their wedding photos.
I mean, how hard is it to take a photo, right? Wrong!
Taking wedding photos is actually more complicated than you think and goes so far beyond clicking a button. Similiar to any other wedding vendor you may be thinking of hiring, they are experts for a reason. Your wedding photographer, if you hire a good professional one, is shooting weddings EVERY. SINGLE. WEEKEND during wedding season! That means they are constantly and consistently practicing their craft.
As our final article in our Photo and Video Summit, we asked Hudson Valley wedding photographers to share their thoughts on hiring a professional wedding photographer. You may be surprised by what they have to say…
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Erica Leman of Sweet Alice Photography says, “When planning a wedding, I think it is absolutely normal to try to save money wherever possible. Weddings are expensive! It’s common to want to try to save a few dollars where you can, and so the idea of potentially asking a friend to take care of your wedding visual needs is often presented. However, while some minor items can be swapped out for less expensive options, photography and videography shouldn’t be one. When hiring a professional photography or videography vendor, you are basically, first and foremost, paying for peace of mind. When hiring these types of individuals, you are hiring them not only for their talent behind the camera but also for their dedication to your wedding; the assurance that they will be at your wedding, prepared and on time; their insurance backing; their skills as an editor; and their experience in the industry and with weddings, in general. Weddings are not days to take lightly, and hiring a trusted vendor over a friend is always a better choice.”
Hire a wedding photographer based on passion
“Friends should be your guests,” says Doug Madden of Duetimage Photography… “Unless your friend has a great passion for photography and photographing you. If that sounds like the friend you have in mind, then, by all means, have him or her shoot for free. Seriously. Because that’s what a pro brings to the table. Passion for the craft, passion for the equipment, passion for making great imagery for their clients. If you sense a lack of passion on the part of your friend, or even a pro, then you should look elsewhere for your photographer. Otherwise, you’re likely to regret it.”
Hire a wedding photographer based on proven results, not just hope
A wedding is an uncontrolled, once in a lifetime event,” says Lynette Romero of Pioneer Media. “Even if your friend has a creative eye and a good camera, they are missing real-life experience. A professional videographer will excel when difficulties arise, because of their EXPERIENCE. Difficult lighting? Less than perfect sound setup? Huge bridal party? Makeup and hair running late? These hurdles can happen on any wedding day, and you don’t want your “photographer friend” learning on-the-job at your wedding. A pro will come to your wedding with proven solutions, backups, and contingency plans.
Editor’s Note: This is the last of the The Ultimate Wedding Photo & Video Summit – a weekly series where the Hudson Valley’s top wedding photographers and videographers share their insights on the most commonly asked questions about wedding photography and videography. This is not a sponsored post.
Featured Photo Credit: Pioneer Media