Friends or relatives as wedding photographers
Most brides are trying to shave their wedding costs and would still like the fairytale wedding but at a budget price. They will happily pay hundreds for “the Perfect Dress”, probably thousands for the venue and food, but will baulk at paying for a professional photographer because, “My uncle’s got a nice camera” or they know a friend of a friend who “takes quite good pictures”. But let’s look at a few facts. The dress will be worn once and either put in a box and never see the light again or end up on eBay after the honeymoon. The cake will have been demolished at the reception and all that cost will be a distant memory, apart from the headache of paying off the credit card bill. The only thing that will still be around will be the photos. Think about this; does buying a state of the art food processor turn you into Jamie Oliver? Does buying a set of oil paints and brushes automatically make you a Grand Master? Of course not, so why do people think that buying an expensive camera will make them a brilliant photographer? The camera is only a tool in the same way as an electric drill is a tool. It is the knowledge and experience of the person using that tool that makes them proficient in using it. Yes, the friend or relative has got a nice camera but does he really know how to use it to get the best shots of the day? It’s more than being competent with a camera. To photograph the most important day of your life takes a lot of skills. A good professional wedding photographer does a lot more than just take a few snaps of the day. * It is a given that they will have professional equipment and know how to use it instinctively. * They will have a full set of backup equipment in case of technical problems. * They should also have professional insurance to cover you in the case of lost or unusable photos on the day. * They will have undergone extensive training and experience in the skills needed to pose the guests and happy couple to get the best possible images from the day. * They might be a member of one of the recognised professional wedding photography societies, (SWPP, BIPP or MPA) and have been accredited by them. * They will know how to use the light to capture those poses without ugly shadows falling in the wrong places. * They will know to scan the area to avoid ugly backgrounds in the pictures. They have the skills to do all that and keep the day flowing. How will your friend or relative cope when things go wrong? What will they do when it’s pouring with rain and are faced with 100 or so guests that will have to be photographed indoors? What about camera breakdowns? Do they have the experience to pose groups of people and ensure that important guests are not missed? In addition to their photographic skills are the myriad other tricks that their experience has taught them:
- How to tie a bow tie, which side the buttonholes should be pinned on.
- The fact that buttoned up jackets can get scrunched up when the groom and best man put their arms around each other.
- They will probably have an emergency sewing kit with them for the last minute snags that occur with the dress.
- They have to have the skills to pose people and get lots of people to understand where to stand for the group shots.
They have done all this many times over so they know which order things happen in so can be ready and anticipate when things should happen. They will probably have to become the master of ceremonies to get the wedding party to the right places at the right time. Last, but by no means least, is that after the wedding the professional photographer has the necessary skills to make the pictures they took on the day look stunning and the ability to create an outstanding album of those images that you will be proud to own and show off to your family and friends. Yes it all is a lot more expensive but no more so than the dress, the cake and the disco. If you want to cut costs, go for the village hall, a dress made from your mums old curtains, catering by the local supermarket and music from your beat box. It doesn’t quite have the same romance though, does it?