So you’re engaged to that special someone and now it’s time to start planning for the big day. One of the first things you’ll want to do after securing a venue for your wedding is to retain the services of a professional photographer. as anyone who has been married before knows, weddings can be expensive. According to a 2007 Wall Street Journal article1,
Americans spend $160 billion annually on their weddings, [and in 2006], the average cost was $27,852, well over half the median annual income in U.S. households.
Wow and, according to Martha Stuart Weddings2, approximately 10 percent of your wedding budget should be allocated towards wedding photography. so why should you or any other bride/groom be spending so much money on a photographer for one day of your life?
Let’s take a look at what defines a wedding photographer.
Photographer – one who practices photography ; especially: one who makes a business of taking photographs.
Photography – the art or process of producing images by the action of radiant energy and especially light on a sensitive surface (as film or a CCD chip).3
Taking photos sounds pretty simple. Point the camera, say cheese, and press the button. so why not allow Uncle Jim and your friends to photograph your wedding? They all have cameras and surely between everyone there will be some good photos, right? well, the answer is yes and no; Yes they all have cameras and yes there will be some amateur photos taken at the wedding that are acceptable, but do you really want to leave capturing such an important event to chance?
So what does a professional wedding photographer do differently or better than your guests with cameras?
Professional wedding photographers.
oInvest in expensive, high-quality camera/editing equipment (which means you get superior images);
oCarry duplicate (secondary) equipment, in case of equipment malfunction;
oHave a strong understanding of the wedding flow (knowing what happens next before it happens);
oCapture beautiful, artistic images from every segment of wedding – creating a group of images that tell a complete story, from start to finish;
oConduct research on wedding locations;
oUndertake extensive planning/scheduling for wedding events;
oDevote extensive time to photography training & education;
oAbsorb the stress of a wedding in stride;
oMaintain control of wedding events w/ a positive attitude, without influencing wedding events;
oUsually work in teams, with a 2nd photographer and/or assistant;
All of the aforementioned actions separate a professional from the camera-toting guests at your wedding. Professional photographers depend on satisfied clients to refer future work to them for their livelihood and therefore take the wedding business very seriously. They meet with the bride/groom months in advance of the wedding for input, visit the wedding/reception locations, prep their equipment, secure assistants/2nd shooters and more to prepare for a single wedding. All the preparation combined with industry knowledge and experience allow a professional photographer to arrive on wedding day and seamlessly execute beautiful, artistic photographs – while a chaotic wedding may be simultaneously unfolding.
If you Google: Wedding Photography Horror Stories4 lots of terrible tales appear about how photos were ruined, weddings were ruined, etc. but many of these horror stories are easily preventable. The bride is late because she was in a fender bender, the groom has a hangover and won’t come out of the restroom, the mother of the bride is stressed, the maid of honor is drunk, the ring bearer is a no-show, exes are not getting along, one of the bridesmaids is upset and refuses to participate, a fight just broke out, one of the tuxes for a groomsman is missing, the limo driver is lost, and the list goes on for things that can (and frequently do) go wrong at a wedding. a professional wedding photographer handles it all in stride, not getting caught up in the emotion or distracted from the task at hand, which is making beautiful memories using a camera.
So why should you pay so much to have a professional wedding photographer cover your wedding? Because for such an important event you can’t afford not to do so
1. Wall Street Journal Online – article: SB118496836459673467.html
2. Martha Stuart Weddings Online: wedding-photography-basics
3. Merriam-Webster Online
4. Google Search: Wedding+Photography+Horror+Stories