Hiring A Photographer For Your Wedding
"Your camera takes really nice pictures" is something practically every photographer hears. The truth is, the images you see are more than just something a good camera captures. A professional photographer will not only have a great camera, but also a vision, experience, skills and software programs to provide you stunning pictures that you'll have of your wedding to keep for a lifetime.
Whether you are looking for a photographer for your engagement pictures, wedding pictures, or both, take a look at their work. If you like what you see, chances are you are going to be sold on what they can do for you. The rates that photographers charge vary and remember, you get what you pay for. There's a good chance you'll do some price checking and see what you can afford with your budget.
The hours that a photographer invests in your wedding and developing the pictures after your wedding are way more than you might think. I know this from talking with many photographers and the photography work that I've done. Capturing the images is just the beginning.
Uploading the pictures and then going through each one of them, one by one and editing numerous pics is very time-consuming. When editing images there is so much to do from adjusting the color, cropping, enhancing, adding effects and the list goes on and on with what is available in today's photo software. As excited as you are to get your pictures back from your photographer, allow them time to work their magic, so they can provide you with the type of service your wedding pictures deserve.
When you find the photographer that you are set on reserving for your wedding, get the date booked. If they are in high demand, chances are they will get booked early and you might miss your opportunity to have them as your photographer. Don't just picture them as your photographer, book them as your photographer!
Advice from a local photographer...
Here's a great piece of advice from local photographer, Chelsi Fri:
“When searching for a photographer, it’s best to not only find out how much they charge, but also their style, personality, qualifications and references. Check out their website or Facebook page and see if their style of photography is how you want your wedding day captured.
Most photographers have a consistent style of photography so it’s important to make sure you like how they pose their clients and edit their photos. Ask to see their work from previous weddings and check out their reviews on their Facebook pages.
Make sure the photographer offers an over the phone or in-person consultation, this will be the time that you can get to know them and their personality to make sure they will mesh well with you, your fiancé and the bridal party. It will also be the time to ask any questions you may have before officially booking." - Chelsi Fry of Chelsi Fry Photography
Here's a quote I recently read about a bride who chose a family member to take her wedding pictures:
"My biggest regret was not hiring a professional photographer and relying on a family member to take pictures."
Just because you have a cousin, uncle, aunt or friend who "has a nice camera," does not mean you are going have the same experience you would have with someone who is a professional photographer. A nice camera does NOT necessarily mean nice pictures.
Whether it's the lack of direction or experience that happens during the wedding or the "okay, at best" looking pictures, please seriously consider using a pro photographer. I've seen the people with the nice camera simply stand around and wait for something to happen, and even when something totally capture-worthy happens, they just stood there and watched it happen with the camera sitting in their hands...but not taking any pictures of it!! I am always impressed when true pros consistently and continually take pictures of so many moments. Most pros will also help with the cutting of the wedding cake and guide them along to help and get great pics.
Several years ago I was at a wedding and made the cake announcement, so the couple made their way to cake table. Shortly after they stood behind the cake, they had the "deer in the headlights" look and clearly needed someone to help direct them in what to do. The relative with a nice camera simply stood off to the side and was waiting for them to do something, offering no guidance at all. I saw what was happening and quickly went over to the cake table and helped them, otherwise who knows how long and awkward that would have been.
Another example of relying on someone who is NOT a pro was at another wedding I did one time and I felt so bad for the couple when I saw their pictures after the wedding. What was wrong with the pictures?? Well, several of them were out of focus, some of the family members and friends looked awkward or unsure of how to pose, the lack of quality was obvious and I'm quite sure there was zero editing done to the pics. Nothing was cropped out, the colors throughout the pictures (that normally is emphasized with software) was bland and it looked very clear that whoever did their pictures simply uploaded them directly from their camera.
This being said, do you REALLY want to trust someone who has a nice camera for your wedding?? True professional photographers use the best cameras, lenses, software AND have the EXPERIENCE with how to work the camera (trust me, the amount of settings and options today's cameras have available and the software is amazing!) So, do yourself, and your future self looking back at the pictures, a favor and hire a pro photographer. As for the other person who wants to take pictures of your wedding, let them know that they are welcome to take some extra pictures, but you're going with a pro!!