With digital SLR cameras becoming less expensive and improving in quality, a lot of couples are leaning towards choosing a friend or family member with a nice camera to photograph their wedding in order to save some money. Before you make a decision, please consider some of the following reasons for hiring a professional wedding photographer:
A professional wedding photographer will usually photograph many weddings in a year. Because of this, they have a lot of experience with a variety of venues, lighting situations, different wedding styles and more. The friend or family member might be good at taking pictures at a family get together, but can they photograph under pressure, or handle awkward lighting situations? Your wedding will only happen once; you put in so much time planning the details including your dress, your flowers and decorations. The best way to preserve all of this is with an experienced, professional wedding photographer, they know what to capture and to make sure and capture all of these things that are important to you. A professional also has the experience to organize and direct people for group pictures, and experience to capture the emotion, moods and spontaneity that make up your wedding day.
With cameras getting better and better, it is easy to forget that there is skill behind taking a good picture and turning it into a final product. A professional photographer should have a good understanding of their equipment; they know how to set for different light, or how to get certain creative shots because of the correct camera settings. On top of that, a professional can provide additional services such as album design, online galleries, prints, slideshows and more.
Quality professional photographers carry backup equipment so that if something fails on your once in a lifetime day, they are prepared to handle it…usually without you even knowing. Your friend or family member may have a great camera, but what happens if there is a problem with it on your wedding day?
Professional photographers spend a lot of money making sure that they have good, quality equipment. They place an emphasis on quality results with reliable equipment. Does your friend or family member have the right lenses, lighting and equipment for photographing a wedding? Do they have extra batteries for their camera, or their flash in case they run out of power half way through your day?
Many professional photographers carry insurance to protect themselves (and you) in case something goes wrong. If a friend or family member causes a problem, could you take action against them, or could they afford it?
A professional photographer pays his or her bills with photography, if they were to do a subpar job, word will quickly get around and destroy his or her reputation. A family member or friend will have their day job to fall back on even if something happens and your pictures are poor, or not everything is captured. It is the responsibility of the professional photographer to provide quality service and products in order to ensure your happiness, a friend or family member may not feel the same sense of urgency or need for quality assurance.
When you choose a photographer that is not related to you, there is a far more professional relationship. The photographer should be an objective observer of your event, and possibly the only sober one remaining at the end of the night. Family members and friends want to be able to enjoy your wedding and may not think twice about photographing under the influence, but it can mean disastrous results for your once in a lifetime pictures. If you have a friend or family member photograph your wedding, the person is dividing their attention between capturing your wedding day and being emotionally involved in your special day. A professional photographer should be 100% committed to photographing your wedding day.
Professional photographers will have experience with retouching and post processing in addition to photographing. Most professional photographers have a multi-step process that ensures the best exposure, white balance and color in addition to artistic retouching options, professional looking albums and other photographic products.
One part of wedding photography that is very important to most couples is their album. Album design is a skill in its own respect. Taking pictures that will perfectly tell the story of your wedding day, and then displaying them in a gorgeous album design is a service that your friend or family member may not be able, or want to offer.