Why its important to use a professional wedding photographer
Why you should be using a Professional wedding photographer for your wedding day
These days it seems that there are so many photographers out there and it can easily overwhelm you. Many people end up deciding on the cheapest option because let’s face it weddings are expensive. And photography is photography right? There’s not that much to it. As long as they can record the big day I will get the photos I want. Well, this is where the thinking is very wrong.
There is a lot more to professional photography than meets the eye. A professional wedding photographer especially is under so much pressure to deliver the best possible photos. The kind of quality that you need to capture all the important bits of your wedding day can only come with years of experience as a wedding photographer as well as a much deeper understanding of what photography is all about. It goes way beyond having a decent camera.
The advantages of using a professional wedding photographer
- Experience is key. Weddings – as mentioned – are high pressure for a photographer. But if you have a photographer with a lot of experience they can guide you into planning your day so that you get the most out of your wedding photographs. But more importantly, they can adjust to situations where things start to go wrong, as they so often do on a wedding day. They can also warn you when it’s about to get completely beyond the control. For instance, if you are running out of time for your couple photos.
- You only get one shot at your wedding photography. There is no going back and redoing the shoot. A professional wedding photographer knows this and also knows how to ensure that all the details are in your story and nothing is missed. It is so important to get this right. I have so many couples coming to me after their wedding for a couple shoot because their wedding photos were a mess. It’s a bit of a consolation prize really as nothing will bring back the memories of your special day.
- Professional photographers know how to balance the time. They know how much time is needed to capture all the aspects and should be able to ensure that you aren’t spending hours and hours taking photographs while your guests are waiting for you. That said it’s important to have at least half an hour with the bridal couple for their wedding photos. But it should be kept within reason.
- A good wedding photographer won’t make it about them. This is your wedding day and your vision. The photographer should be able to listen to what you want and do their best to make that a reality. They might discuss the different challenges you might face, but ultimately they should strive to give you the kind of photos you are looking for.
- They can take control of the situation. This is especially important during family photos and getting ready. Pro photographers can give good direction which takes the pressure off the bride.
So how do you know you are choosing a professional wedding photographer?
The first step is to look at a photographers work. Not just a portfolio but full wedding edits. This is after all the result that you will be paying for at the end of the day. The raw material is the most important thing. Some photographers might lure you in by adding so many things to their wedding photography packages. photobooks, canvasses, extra prints, different edits on the same photos, etc. This is all ok but generally is a marketing tool and its better to choose quality over quantity.
Even if you don’t have all of the extras in the package you can still do this at a later date. But the actual photos you cant replace later. So try not to get lured in with all these extra bits and pieces, and be realistic – if it looks too good to be true believe me it generally is.
You can also ask your potential wedding photographer what experience they have. Treat it like a work interview. Think of situations during your wedding day that could be difficult such as the family photos and ask them how they go about it. If they are any good they will have a strategy in place and will discuss this with you rather than “winging it” on the day.
Equipment is not the most important thing but it is still important. All cameras do have limitations and the entry-level cameras have more so than the better or “full-frame” range. That’s not to say that your photographer should have the best equipment available, but they should have decent enough equipment to handle tricky lighting situations as well as have back up equipment in case something goes wrong. I don’t expect you to know much about the cameras but do ask if they have equipment that can handle low light situations – and do they have previous work to show you to back that up.
For more on choosing your wedding photographer, you can read this article.
Choose a photographer who’s work you really love. There are plenty out there in a realistic budget who have so much to offer. And there are so many different styles.
But you can see whether it’s quality you will be happy with more or less straight away if you look at a full shoot. Also, find someone you get along with and who is more interested in making your wedding day special for you. This is someone you can talk to about what you envision.
Also check out this article which gives some great tips on how not to choose a wedding photographer