Are wedding photographers worth it?

photographer wedding

The importance of wedding photographers

Do you want to hire a professional wedding photographer for your big day? Photography is a must to save the moments of the wedding ceremony for a lifetime. In this guide, we will share why wedding photography is worth it and what are its creative alternatives.

When planning a wedding, budgeting for photography and videography can quickly raise eyebrows.

Certainly, many couples make time for wedding photography. Some couples might tap a friend or family member to shoot photos for free or a discount. There’s nothing wrong with hiring a photo booth or putting a disposable camera on every dinner table. Sometimes those make for the best candids.

When it comes to planning your wedding there are a lot of things to think about, consider and budget for. The list will seem endless, and you may not know where to start, yet when it comes to wedding planning, there are certainly a few things that should be your starting point and priority.

What About Wedding Photography?

In the not-so-distant past, DIY photography just wasn’t a good idea. Point and shoot cameras weren’t able to produce the high-quality prints that an SLR or medium-format camera could provide. Even if you had a relative with a good SLR camera, you still weren’t guaranteed good results. In the days of film, you had no way to preview the shots you were taking, and you were limited to how much film and processing you could afford. The best you could hope for was a handful of decent shots that made a “just okay” album. While some pictures were better than no pictures, there was nothing special about DIY photography.

Today, it’s a far different story. Thanks to technology, you can get beautiful, professional shots with nothing more than a smartphone! Ideally, you’ll have one or two “designated” photographers to get shots of your wedding. Even if you aren’t hiring a professional, it’s still a good idea to plan out your photography to ensure you get all the pictures you’ll need to tell the story of your wedding.

This is where it gets tricky. Although many people have DSLR’s or high-quality point and shoot cameras that allow them to take professional-level photos, good wedding photography is more than just taking good wedding pictures. In order to have a complete record of the day, you have to be sure you get all the right shots. This is a lot of pressure! For many people, wedding photos are something they simply don’t want to leave to chance. While they may be okay cutting cost on flowers, food or hiring a DJ, wedding photos are meant to last a lifetime. These are the primary reasons for hiring a pro.

So, should you hire a professional wedding photographer, or get a friend or family member to handle your wedding pictures? The answer is up to you and your budget. If you can afford a professional wedding photographer — do it. One common option is to hire a photographer for the minimum amount of time they are available. This generally means capturing the ceremony and the family photos typically taken directly after the ceremony. This is covered in about 2 to 3 hours. With this type of package, you won’t have coverage for pre-wedding photos, or most of the reception. You’ll want to be sure there are at least one or two people who can commit to taking these photos. Don’t assume that because you see people whipping out their phones or cameras, you’ll get the shots you want. Here are some tips to ensure that your DIY photos are everything you want them to be.

Get a solid commitment from someone that they will be there with their camera and will be taking photos for you. Be sure that they are able to take the photos, follow some direction and that they will get the photos back to you in a timely manner. If you have a friend or even a friend of a friend who is a budding photographer, they may appreciate the opportunity to hone their wedding or portrait skills. They may agree to shoot your wedding for free in exchange for a positive review or to use your photos in their portfolio, so be sure to ask around among friends and family.

Make a list of the shots you want to have. There’s nothing worse than going through all your photos only to realize the shot you wanted so badly just didn’t happen. Most wedding photographers have a worksheet you fill out that lets them know who you want photos of, and what pictures are the most important to you. For example, you may want a multi-generational wedding ring shot of you, your mother and your grandmother. You may have seen a fun, playful photo idea in a magazine you want to try out, or a shot of a special heirloom or a photo of all the cousins together, or a special picture of you and your best friend from high school. Whatever it is you want to capture, don’t assume that the person taking your photos will know that.

Scout out the location beforehand. This is another pro tip. Many photographers are familiar with local venues and are familiar with the lighting and where the best spots are for taking photos. It’s worth it to do this so that you can plan out your family photos and map out any photogenic spots you’ll want to use as backdrops for your shots.

DIY wedding photography can be done well. It does take planning, not just having your cousin show up at the wedding with his new DSLR.

Why Wedding Photography Is So Important

The most important part of a wedding is the couple, and that is what it is all about, and that is all that matters at the end of the day. However, when it comes to planning the big day you shall speak to a lot of suppliers, from florists, bridal boutiques, caterers, stationery designers, the list goes on, all these people will tell you how important it is to get it right. Getting the right flowers, having the best food, it is all about the dress, that is good, you want to work with passionate people, however, are these a priority when planning your wedding? Of course, they should be included, and I am not saying you should leave out any of these, but are they more important than wedding photography?

I read and hear about a lot of couples who only have a small budget left for their photography, couples who are struggling to find photography they like for their wedding coming up very soon, and couples who are not having a photographer as they just cannot afford one. These couples haven’t put very much importance on photography…

First off, your photographer will be planning with you for MONTHS, maybe even over a year! And on the wedding day, your photographer will be around you a LOT! I joke with brides I’ll be by your side more than your groom! Your photographer has a huge say in planning your timeline, capture the teary moments of your mom zipping up your dress, the one who shares in the joy of your first look, and the one that sees you first after you come down the aisle as husband and wife! It’s a BIG deal!

But they also can set the tone for the day! You want to know your photographer will stay positive, be kind to you, your bridal party, and your family, and will treat your loved ones how they deserve to be treated no matter the circumstances. Your photographer has more interaction with you and your loved ones than any other vendor on your day besides your planner! It’s a BIG decision!

But there’s another reason your photographer is worth investing in. Your photos will last decades into the future. Ten years after the wedding, many of the things from the wedding won’t be here anymore. But you’ll have your photos to treasure for a lifetime. You’ll be able to relive this day over and over with your pictures.

Also, a talented photographer will make the other investments even more valuable. Think about it this way. You say yes to the dress of your dreams, have the cascading bouquet you’ve always hoped for, and have never felt so glamorous with your hair and makeup perfect! Not to mention, you’re smiling more than you have any other day you can remember. But what if that emotion isn’t captured beautifully? What if you paid thousands for that dress, only to not love the pictures of it? What if the flowers you’ve wanted for years aren’t photographed well? A skilled photographer who matches your style will be able to provide you with beautiful images showcasing the money, time, and thought you put into your day!

The Benefits Of Hiring A Wedding Photographer

We have six important reasons why you Should Hire a Professional Wedding Photographer, so make sure you do and understand the value of photography. 

There Is More To Photography Than Just An Expensive Camera

In the same way, an artist uses a brush, a carpenter uses a hammer, and a writer uses a pen, these are just tools, it’s how the person uses it that produces amazing creations.

Just because they have all the bricks, tools and suppliers to build a house, would you trust a part-time builder with little experience to build your house? You would more than likely look for someone with years of experience, and a lot of happy and satisfied customers who would recommend them.

You want someone who knows how to use the camera, who has the experience of taking photos in different light, different conditions, composing different shots and executing it perfectly. The camera doesn’t do this, the photographer does this and has developed their skill and knowledge through years of experience and many hours of shooting. With this, you get consistency, not one or two stunning photos, but whole albums worth.

Once the photos are taken that’s not it, there is the editing, the cutting, the creation of an album, and there is more to it than just a camera. There is more to photography than just a camera.

An Amature Means More Work For You

A professional photographer will have years of experience capturing weddings, and they will know the shots to take, they will know where to be at that right time, they can be left to get on with their job in full confidence knowing they will be where you want them to be.

They will also anticipate what will happen. Next, they will know the flow of the day, and they will have already found the perfect place for those cute brides and groom shots, they will know the ideal location in the church with the perfect backdrop, your wedding day isn’t a photo shoot, it is a dynamic event with only one chance to capture those moments.

Hiring wedding photographer

Feeling At Ease

Weddings have both posed moments as well as action shots. You may have asked for some group photos and posed shots, you want to feel at ease, and a professional shall be able to make you feel comfortable and natural, not stiff and awkward, these moments are part of your wedding day, so they should be fun and enjoyable. This skill is something that comes from experience and having trust in them.

If you feel at ease then this will show in your photos, it will also mean you have more fun, feel comfortable and not worrying or stressing, it would be just like taking photos with friends where there is no pressure, just relaxed fun and beautiful natural photos.

What If…

What if…? What if the photographer falls ill, there is an emergency, their computer hard drive fails? The worst-case scenario is you have no photos of your big day at all! A professional photographer will have a plan B, and they shall have contacts to call upon, they will have backups of backups. An amateur may not have a plan B and may not be able to afford to back up everything, whereas a reputation is on the line for a professional.

It’s All You Have At The End

Once the wedding is over, there is then an excitement about seeing your wedding photos, a chance to relive it all again while seeing moments of the day you may have missed, expressions on photos, or a set of photos that show a moment in the day with your guests you may have missed.

When the big day is over, apart from memories all you have are photos, photos you shall treasure, photos you shall show to friends, family and grandchildren. Make sure these are positive memories and not a book that reminds you of how important photography is and how you wish you spent a bit more and hired a professional.

Hiring a wedding photographer isn’t a cost; it is an investment. 

At the end of the day your dress goes into the cupboard, the cake is eaten, and the flowers will die, decorations will be sold, and balloons will be popped. This is a harsh reality; the point here is that hiring a professional wedding photographer is an investment. You may not see it on the day, but after the wedding when you return from your honeymoon, and you get to see your wedding photos and album then you will know it was worth hiring and seeing the benefit of professional photography.

You Only Have One Chance

This is your wedding day, and hopefully, you will only be having one special day. You only have one chance to capture your wedding day, so make sure you trust and have confidence in your photographer.

The wedding industry is a busy and competitive market and the same can also be said when it comes to wedding photography, and there is a huge choice, different styles, different prices and packages, and different people. So once you have decided on a style and your budget, you will be able to narrow down who you would shortlist to capture your wedding day.

If you reduced the budget on your cake and cut a few corners to make some savings, hardly anyone would know, and they certainly won’t remember, after a week your cake will be gone. After your wedding you will have wedding photos telling a beautiful story holding lots of amazing memories, you will have this forever. Make sure you hire a professional wedding photographer.

All this planning is for one day only, one day you marry the partner you wish to spend the rest of your life with, one day you share this beautiful moment with all your family and friends that you love. Make sure you hold onto those memories and don’t look back and wish you had hired a photographer.

Photography isn’t about an expensive camera, and it is about capturing a story.

Remember you only get one chance when it comes to your wedding photos and after it is all over the photos are the one thing that will stay with you forever, ensure you hire the best wedding photographer you can afford and hire the best person to capture your wedding day. It is an investment that you will be glad you made years down the road when you look back through your wedding album reliving those special moments and emotions.

Wedding Photography is about unique moments, and it’s about being able to relive the day through beautiful photos, this is smiling at moments you didn’t even know, seeing the excitement and emotion on the faces of your family and friends, and, above all, having a story that you shall take with you forever.


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