“…we’re actually just thinking of asking a friend to shoot the wedding.”
These words may seem fairly innocuous to you, but to me (Joey) they conjure a whole host of emotions – ranging from despair – all the way to knowing I’ll need to go and see a doctor to have my palm surgically removed from my forehead.
Before finally deciding on asking a friend to be your wedding photographer, please, please, run through the below list, as I outline the benefits to both having a friend photograph your wedding vs using a professional wedding photographer!
“FRIEND PHOTOGRAPHY” BENEFITS
1. COST –
(**note that I’ve not written “value” here**) Asking a friend to shoot your wedding will be cheaper than utilising the services of an experienced professional wedding photographer…
That’s all the benefits of ‘asking your friend to shoot your wedding’ that I can think of!
(Disclaimer: of course, this is a case-by-case decision, and your friend may well be training, second shooting at weddings, or building up a portfolio or business – that’s up to you to make sure you do your due diligence so that you know what you’re getting from the off, and a good place to start is below!)
PROFESSIONAL WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER BENEFITS
1. QUALITY –
Your friend may be an avid landscape photographer or a keen fashion photography enthusiast – I have no doubt you will have seen one or two pictures on their Instagram that you love! I am not here to say that your friend can’t take a good picture! What I am trying to say is that with a professional photographer, you will get consistently high quality photos throughout the whole of your wedding day.
None of this “can you do the confetti again, I had the wrong lens on” or the ceremony photos being all underexposed because the ‘light wasn’t good”. Professional photographers have seen all types of different scenarios and have the quality and experience to adapt at a moment’s notice. On a photographer’s website you can see gallery after gallery of great photos in all different conditions – but all consistently high quality.
2. EXPERIENCE –
Knowing where to be and when during a wedding day – and, more importantly, pre-empting those moments and being in the right place before it happens – ensures your photographer has the best chance of getting that key shot.
Shooting family photos week-in-week-out, means your wedding photographer knows how to make the process flow smoothly (and quickly!). Shooting in bright sunlight, candle-lit pubs and everything in between – prep, ceremony, couple pics, reception, family shots, speeches, cake cutting, partying… all of these parts of the day have all of their own challenges and intricacies that your professional wedding photographer will have the experience to handle.
3. PEACE OF MIND –
Back-ups, multiple cameras, dual card slots, insurance… are you still awake?!
I don’t blame you – not everything involving wedding photography is glamorous, but there are some fundamental steps required to ensure your wedding photos are safeguarded. Your wedding photographer will have all of this in hand, to the extent that you never need to worry about “what happens if…” …but relying on your friend who: didn’t bring a spare camera battery / has only got one lens / memory card is full… is a problem waiting to happen.
4. GUIDANCE –
Your wedding photographer is much more than a taker of photographs…
We are a calm presence who can help you through any hectic parts of the planning/day. Your wedding day is designed to be a fun-filled day, flowing from one part of the day to the next. We make an effort to get to know you ahead of the day, help you plan with timings or suggestions for when photos could be included to not break the flow of the day, bringing in experience from shooting tons of weddings before.
We are there with you in the morning, with your inner circle of family and friends. We are there with you for some relaxed pictures of just the two of you after the ceremony. We are there for you whenever you need us.
5. AVOIDS HUGE BURDEN AND PRESSURE ON YOUR FRIEND –
Your poor, poor friend.
I will admit it – before I started in wedding photography, I had no idea about the amount of work, experience, skills required to make it a success – both on the day and afterwards. Hours-upon-hours of work and years-upon-years of experience and skill. Not to mention that your friend won’t even be able to enjoy the day (…or they will enjoy the day and your photo set will miss some huge chunks!).
The other version of “we have a few friends who are great photographers and have said they’ll take photos for us” – just remember you could end up with multiple looks and styles to your photos, instead of a cohesive, story-telling collection of images. For many of our weddings we even have two photographers, dedicated to shooting the day – there are so many funny moments, interesting interactions, emotions, details to capture – putting that stress and pressure on your friend is asking more than a lot!
I could go on… this is just a small snapshot of a huge list of reasons – I’ve not even mentioned Equipment, Coverage, Editing, Albums…
The reality is that if you value having wedding photographs (which you must do to some extent – if you’re thinking of giving your friend such a huge responsibility) then the peace of mind and quality you get with a professional photographer is incredible value!
There’s a lot to absorb here, and it’s a bigger discussion than we can fit in a blog post, so if you have any questions leave a comment below or get in touch and we’ll be happy to give you any guidance we can!
We’re Krish and Joey, two photographers in London, UK shooting awesome people, places and vibes!!
info @ photographybykrishanthi.co.uk