Are you thinking about hiring a wedding Photographer ?
These days it seems like everyone has a ‘photographer’ in their family or set of friends. Or in the very least someone with a digital SLR that loves photography. Hiring this person to photograph your wedding might be appear as a less expensive option, it may end up costing you more in the end with regret, worry and sadness that you will never have the photos you dreamt.
I would like to start off with a little story I remember as if it was yesterday. I walked onto the Now Sapphire Resort and met the groom Peter in the lobby. Normally, I meet the groom in his room, however, this was a particularly small wedding of less than 10 people, so Peter was happy to come and meet me at the front. As we walked back to his room and had some great conversation about Canada, his stay at the resort and other small talk that allowed us to create a bond and understanding of each other. Then when we got back to his room, he started to change into his suit so I could get some images of him getting ready. I remember it as if it was yesterday. He was looking in the mirror and said; “I need to tell you a story. I hired you because I found my co-worker crying in her cubical one day.” Obviously I was confused but inquisitive. He then went on to tell me that his co-worker had a destination wedding as well. Her package included the resort photography company. Furthermore, her friend who owned a digital SLR said that she would take photos as well as she was a budding photographer. She like the few photos her friend showed her and the photos from the photography company did not look too bad, so she decided to have her friend and the photography company photograph her wedding.
It was after her wedding and she had seen her photos from her friend the night before and did not like any of them. She said no one directed her on how to pose. No one helped her with ideas of what to do for the photos. And even the images of the ceremony were all at odd angles where she did not like the way she looked. She was incredibly sad because she had invested so much time, effort and love into her wedding and now nothing to remind her of that great day. Actually she had photos that ruining her beautiful memories of that day. Peter said his co-worker was incredibly sad and immediately he knew that he did not want this to happen to his fiancé. Yes, our prices were much more than Peter was expecting to pay, but by seeing his co-worker so visibly upset, he knew that investing in a good professional photographer was the right thing to do.
It also made me realize that in the past 10 years I’ve learned a lot. I’ve learned how to control a group of 30-100 people. I’ve learned how to talk to people so they feel comfortable in front of the camera. I’ve learned how to make getting your photograph taken fun. I’ve learned how to get great skin tones in any environment by keeping the temperature of the light the same. I’ve learned how to expose each image to perfection so you get a great skin tone and that beautiful blue ocean in the background. I’ve learned how to position people in the shade so that they have even skin tones and minimize wrinkles and/or blemishes. I’ve learned how to position a woman so she looks her best. I’ve learned how to shoot in RAW for best results. And most important, when I go to a wedding I have a shot list of about 200 images in my head. From shooting the details, getting ready, ceremony, family photos, bridal party photos, couple photos and through to the reception I have tens of must have images in all of these sections of your day. This type of experience is not easy to come by. It means photographing hundreds of weddings. It means reading blogs, attending seminars and even teaching others. It means truly being dedicated to your craft and doing everything you can to make sure you do your best for your clients every day. And that’s what you get when you hire a professional photographer.
Of course hiring a professional photographer is not for everyone. For some it’s simply not possible within their budget. For others, photos might not be important and I respect that. But if photography is important to you please give it some thought as to how much it will cost you in regret, worry and sadness if you don’t have images that you are proud of from your day. An experienced wedding photographer can only photograph one wedding per day and depending on how his or her studio is set up, they can only edit so many images and therefore can only photograph so many weddings per month. So when you find someone you think is right for you, I strongly suggest booking that person as soon as you can
And more importantly, I learned a lesson that day. A less I will never forget as I remember leaving his room and walking to his finance’s room being struck by the feeling that what I do is truly important. I’ve had couples excited and appreciative about my work. I’ve had mothers of brides thank me and tell me for capturing such beautiful memories. But that day, to have a guy tell me that what I do is important really gave me a feeling of worth I had not felt before. I believe we all have this hidden bit of doubt within ourselves that maybe we are not good enough or maybe what we do doesn’t really add to the world. But that day really helped me own the fact that what I do is important and valued. It’s a day I am truly grateful for and has made me do my best to ensure I always give my 100% at every wedding.