People sometimes spend years imagining what their wedding will be like, so when you finally get engaged and have the opportunity to plan the big day, the process can be filled with lots of excitement.
However, you may quickly realize that planning a wedding is instead…erm…expensive – far more costly than you may have initially thought. In the age of student debt, mortgages, and car loans, people don’t want to tackle another heavyweight expense. So you wonder – where should you cut costs to try and minimize the expense? We all know that you’re going to spend more than you expect on the perfect dress, and you have to have your dream venue. In the wake of financial stress brought on by wedding planning, couples often opt to cut their expenses by slimming down their photography budget. After all, a good professional wedding photographer can cost a few thousand dollars, and that’s no chump change. So instead, couples sometimes choose to hire an amateur student-in-training for a couple hundred, or better yet, their friend or a family member has one of those flashy DSLR cameras so that they can photograph the wedding for free!
It seems like a great idea at first. While it may lighten the financial burden a bit, you could end up devastated a month later when your uncle Bob sends you the photos. They are blurry, dark, and ultimately not how you envisioned the sole tangible memories of your day. So if you’re struggling under the financial weight of your wedding, and you’re considering cutting costs by hiring an amateur or allowing your cousin Stephanie to photograph your wedding, please do yourself a favour and read ahead to learn why you should invest in a professional wedding photographer. Of all the reasons to hire a professional wedding photographer, the most important is that your wedding is one of the most significant milestones of your life. Don’t leave your wedding photos to chance!
This fantastic day may even be the moment Mark Twain meant when he said, “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born, and the day you find out why.” It’s possible that getting married somehow helps you find your true purpose. Do you agree? Many do, and because this day is so important to them, they go the extra budget mile and hire a professional to capture their moments in as polished a fashion as possible. Let’s be honest: you can’t help but be a little sceptical that service with that high price tag could suitably be done correctly by a friend. So let’s ask some questions. At Vines of the Yarra Valley we have compiled a list of the Best Photographers in Melbourne to help you choose who captures your magical day.
Do you need the services of a professional crew on your big day? What exactly does a wedding photographer do? How much do you have to spend for his or her services -plus the pictures – to end up with a genuinely outstanding photo album? These are more-than-practical questions to ask as you contemplate getting hitched. So now, let’s talk.
Table of Contents
- 1 Reasons Why You Should Hire a Professional Wedding Photographer
- 1.1 High-Pressure Situations
- 1.2 Portraits and Posing
- 1.3 Lighting Obstacles
- 1.4 Work With a Skilled Wedding Warrior
- 1.5 Editing
- 1.6 There Is More to Photography Than an Expensive Camera
- 1.7 An Amateur Means More Work for You.
- 1.8 Feeling at Ease
- 1.9 What If…
- 1.10 It’s All You Have at the End
- 1.11 You Only Have One Chance
- 1.12 Professional Prints of Your Wedding Day Are an Absolute Must!
- 1.13 A Professional Photographer Will Make a Plan
- 1.14 A Professional Photographer Has Training
- 1.15 A Professional Photographer Looks Out for Your Best Interests
- 1.16 A Professional Photographer Will Give Your Undivided Attention
- 1.17 Professional Photographers Always Edit Their Shots
- 1.18 A Professional Photographer Will Create a Professional Wedding Album
- 1.19 A Professional Photographer Uses Professional Equipment
- 1.20 A Professional Photographer Provides Insurance
- 1.21 A Professional Photographer Is Your Pro, Not Your Guest
- 2 Invest in Memories
Reasons Why You Should Hire a Professional Wedding Photographer
While going the cheaper route may be alluring, there are many reasons to invest in hiring a professional photographer for your wedding day.
Attending a wedding as a guest can be a fun, carefree, and exciting experience. However, working at a wedding can be a different story, especially as a wedding photographer. Many of those critical moments you want to be captured happen within a mere few seconds – the exchanging of rings, the first kiss, the bouquet toss, and the cake cutting.
All of this makes wedding photography an extremely high-pressure job because if you miss the perfect shot of that first kiss, it’s gone forever. It’s all too easy to forget that special moment – and do you want to hold a grudge against your cousin Stephanie for the rest of your life because she missed your first kiss?
Wedding photographers are skilled, trained professionals who have experience handling the immense pressure of the job. This allows them to stay cool, calm and collected during the events to capture every moment better.
Portraits and Posing
Not everyone is comfortable in front of a camera lens, and while you may feel a little more at ease having a friend or family member take photos of you, it can still be difficult for some people to loosen up a bit in the spotlight. Discomfort is almost always reflected in the images, and that’s not exactly how you want to remember your wedding day.
Professional photographers are used to working with couples who aren’t the most comfortable in front of the lens. There’s nothing wrong with being camera shy, but that’s why we’re here to help loosen you up so you can have fun during the experience.
Skilled wedding photographers always have a few tips and tricks up their sleeves to help couples relax and have fun with their photoshoots.
It’s so much more than simply telling you to stand and smile at the camera – the right wedding photographer will make you forget that there’s even a lens pointed at you in the first place.
Weddings don’t always come with picture-perfect lighting situations. Often held in the evening or late afternoon, reception hours usually call for dimly lit rooms with strobe lighting or open night skies.
An on-camera flash is no match for these kinds of lighting situations. Chances are you’ll either end up with grossly unexposed photos or harsh, blown-out subjects.
Professional wedding photographers are well versed in working in less-than-ideal lighting situations – they come equipped with extensive lighting equipment that will likely include multiple off-camera flashes, lighting stands, and even umbrellas (no, not for blocking out inclement weather.)
This ensures that even during those dark reception hours, you’ll still have beautiful, well-exposed photos.
Work With a Skilled Wedding Warrior
Picture this: your cousin is shooting your wedding. But in a rush from the getting-ready location to the ceremony site, she couldn’t find parking and thus missed the bride being walked down the aisle. Then, she happened to be standing to the side during the first kiss, so in the resulting photos, all you see is the back of the groom’s head.
Wedding photographers know how to navigate the chaos of wedding day timelines and know precisely where they need to be and when. As practised artists of the craft, they know how to position themselves to capture the perfect shot.
More importantly, they know they need to arrive early and constantly prepare for the worst (because chances are, things rarely go exactly according to plan on your wedding day). They’re master improvisers because they’ve had plenty of experiences in which something has gone wrong on a wedding day (whether the veil tore, the groom is late, or it’s raining cats and dogs), and they’ve had to react quickly.
And what’s possibly most important – because they have experience in these sorts of situations, they’re there to calm you down when you start to get stressed about timeline discrepancies or unaccounted for obstacles.
Your photographer is like your day-of ally, a skilled wedding day warrior who can problem-solve and act quickly.
Believe it or not, the heavy lifting of wedding photography comes after your wedding. Photographers spend most of their time editing in advanced software programs like Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop.
Professional photographers edit for colour, exposure, detail, and more. Airbrushing that pesky zit off the bride’s chin and photoshopping out that garbage can in the background of your portraits all comes with a good day’s work for a wedding photographer.
Editing a wedding can take up to 40 hours of work, depending on how many photos you have to sift through. When you work with a professional, you receive a complete set of seamless wedding photos that flow together.
There Is More to Photography Than an Expensive Camera
Similarly, 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 fantastic 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 make your house? You would more than likely look for someone with years of experience and many happy and satisfied customers who would recommend them. Check out our extensive list of Wedding Photographers in Melbourne to help capture your special moments.
This article, ‘I Regret Not Hiring a Professional Wedding Photographer ‘, tells us why you should think twice about using a family member or friend to capture your special day.
You want someone who knows how to use the camera, who has the experience of taking photos in different light, different conditions, composing various shots and executing them flawlessly. The camera doesn’t do this; the photographer does this and has developed their skill and knowledge through years of experience and many shooting hours. With this, you get consistency, not one or two stunning photos, but a whole album’s worth.
Once the photos are taken, that’s not it; there is the editing, the cutting, and creating an album; there is more to it than just a camera. There is more to photography than just a camera.
An Amateur Means More Work for You.
A professional photographer will have years of experience capturing weddings; 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 complete confidence, knowing they will be where you want them to be.
Hire a Professional Wedding Photographer
They will also anticipate what will happen. Next, they will know the flow of the day; they will have already found the perfect place for that cute bride 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.
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, this will show in your photos; it will also mean you have more fun, feel comfortable, and not worry or stress; it would be just like taking pictures with friends where there is no pressure, just relaxed, fun, beautiful natural photos.
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; 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 everything up, 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 images, or a set of pictures 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.
Your dress goes into the cupboard, the cake is eaten, and the flowers will die, decorations will be sold, and the 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 a professional photographer.
You Only Have One Chance
This is your wedding day, and hopefully, you will only be having one particular 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. The same can also be said when it comes to wedding photography; there is a vast choice, different styles, prices and packages, and other people. So once you have decided on a type 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 unforgettable memories, you will have this forever… Make sure you hire a professional wedding photographer.
Professional Prints of Your Wedding Day Are an Absolute Must!
The answer to the first question – do I need a pro – is a resounding, unequivocal Yes! Professional prints of your wedding day are an absolute must. You’ll look back on this day with the fondest of feelings, and you want the photos to match. Not having pictures that you’re proud to show to others and most likely also display in your new home just might leave an emotional scar that will haunt you half of forever.
Sad to say, it’s not the equipment that counts. Not just any Tom, Dick or Harry with a way-cool camera can genuinely do justice to this job. So if you think the job title Wedding Photographer is merely an “on the day” arrangement, give that a little more thought, please.
A Professional Photographer Will Make a Plan
Your photo pro will have a sit-down with you for an initial consultation. They’ll make notes on your plans so that they’ll know precisely what you want to be captured on film. After that, there’ll be emails and texts and probably phone calls to boot. A trusted professional will do everything it takes, not just to get the job done but to get it done right.
A Professional Photographer Has Training
Here’s a quick question that not everyone asks: What makes a wedding photo a true professional? The answer: Training. While not all photographers take formal classes, they most certainly apprentice. If your photographer tells you, “I’ll bring an assistant,” that means he’s teaching someone else his trade. Not just how to work the camera, but how to stage the shots, and the lighting, and how to know that the bride’s train needs fluffing and that the groom’s trouser legs should be straightened and not sticking to his socks.
Wedding couples are notoriously picayune and with good reason. You may well change your mind a few times, not just before your day but during, and a true pro knows how to roll with the photographic punches. He’ll not only juggle positioning of your entourage for the best possible pose, but he’ll also graciously honour Aunt Flo’s on the spot request for a photo alone with her favourite nephew (your new husband), and the portrait won’t look rushed.
A Professional Photographer Looks Out for Your Best Interests
In many ways, a good wedding photographer is very much a wedding coordinator, and their opinion does matter. Why? Because the most critical aspect of his or her job is to look out for your best interests. They’re professionals, and their service is much, much more than just a person clicking a camera. This is how they make their living. And not just on weddings, though that often represents the bulk of the earnings, on professional portraiture in a studio, which often includes headshots for lawyers and doctors and other business professionals, maybe even professional actors, to whom it’s crucial to come across looking fabulous on film. So when they tell you, “lift your chin,” or “bring your right shoulder forward, please,” it’s because they’ve honed their eye via studio work and don’t have to think twice about the minuscule adjustments that will make you look amazing.
A Professional Photographer Will Give Your Undivided Attention
You have your photographer’s UNDIVIDED attention!
Your photographer will also be by your side every moment of his or her contract. Whether you ask for ceremony-only then wedding party portraits right after, or if you want him to work the entire reception, except a couple of reasonable breaks, he’ll be on the ball, busily snapping away.
Professional Photographers Always Edit Their Shots
And they’ll show you during your day! Wedding photographers always edit their shots. From the myriad photos taken, he or she will spend time sorting through to find the best version of each pose to show to you. It used to be that they didn’t know if a shot was good or bad until they developed the film. Nowadays, with digital cameras, they can see the digital album right away to see if everyone was smiling – and had their eyes open – or if your flower girl suddenly made a face that was not oh-so-cute-and-charming.
A Professional Photographer Will Create a Professional Wedding Album
Once you choose your final post-wedding pix, your photographer will take another day or two and create your album, most likely based on the template you selected from the samples he or she showed you at the initial consultation. Often there’s a book for each set of parents, too, as well as formal poses requested by your wedding party that they want in a frameable size.
A Professional Photographer Uses Professional Equipment
It’s no easy task, but it’s worth it because a real pro will also have taken your pictures with the highest quality camera he or she can afford. It’s not unusual to see a camera in his hand, another around his neck and one more on a tripod for formal still shots of your group. Then he’ll bring lights and umbrellas, spare batteries and his entire case of lenses. Good cameras and accessories don’t come cheap, but if your photographer is a real pro, he’ll have plenty of work so that he can invest in and maintain top-quality equipment.
Still, it’s not just the value of the camera that counts. It’s the sharpness of your professional’s eye so that there’s a near-perfect version of every pose. It’s also not just remembering that you wanted thus and so body arrangement, but that he or she is beyond gracious to your guests, even under pressure to get everything done in the time you’ve paid for. No competent wedding photographer shoots in auto mode!
A Professional Photographer Provides Insurance
Wedding photographers also offer a version of insurance that even the most trusted friend can’t provide. If and when something goes wrong, who is supposed to fix it? Your photographer! But if he doesn’t come through for you, the contract you signed will protect you. No, you can’t go back and recreate the moment, but you will get some or all of your money back if there’s a severe photographic disaster. Your contract may even stipulate that you can show up at a later date and re-do one or two portraits.
A Professional Photographer Is Your Pro, Not Your Guest
That’s a lot of work. And no matter how much your friend loves you, your friend is still your guest, and you don’t want to make your guests “work your wedding.” It’s just fine to take him or her up on the offer to bring that fancy Nikon and take candids of your best buds wasting time, or the sweet moment happening in the hallway that your professional either doesn’t have time to see or doesn’t know to snap because he doesn’t know your people’s personalities. Your friend may also eventually get tired and want to have fun, but your pro will commit to being on the ball from the first click of you in your gown, ’til the very last moment you wave goodbye.
Invest in Memories
When the day is over, the cake is gone, and the guests have all gone home, the only thing left of your day together (apart from your new union) will be the photos – the moments of joy and happiness preserved in stillness. With this in mind, you should always invest in a professional photographer that will be able to capture your wedding day in the way you want to remember it. Looking for the best Wedding Photographer in Melbourne? Check out our ultimate list here.
When it comes down to it, you’re not just investing in photos, you’re investing in memories; and being able to look back on the moments of your wedding day – the look on the groom’s face as the bride comes down the aisle, or the precious, quiet moment that the rings are exchanged – is truly priceless.