“…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.
Having a personable professional photographer to support you through the day is beyond valuable!
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
Earlier this week I hopped on a train with friends to head to the beach. In the middle of wedding season. Leaving behind buckets of work to do. On a Tuesday.
And this is how I justified it;
-We work weekends, so a Tuesday is really our Saturday.
-If I don’t schedule time for fun, I’ll just fill the time with work – a little nugget that was drummed into us by Jaye Cole at Snap’s Business Bootcamp. So, you see, going to the beach actually makes me more efficient (it does, it really does).
-Who doesn’t love fish and chips dipped in tartare sauce and sand. And ice cream.
-And wandering through soft sand and dipping toes in the cool sea. Ahhhhh beach life *sigh*.
-The most important reason: my wedding photographer friends have become such a big part of my life; during the week we generally work on our own, with often long, quiet days in front of the computer (that’s right! It’s not all beaches and ice creams!!). It’s become fundamental to our business, and to me personally, to surround ourselves with people that understand our work and the lifestyle that creates, and through the powerful – and incredible – Snap family we can support each other.
-Why the hell not!! You only live once, right…those edits will still be there when I get back.
And it was one blissful Tuesday.
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You’re probably familiar with the ‘I got my first camera when I was 7’ story…but I REALLY DID!!! Just kidding.
The details of my early photographic life are vague but I have fond memories of going into the Boots in Winchester town centre and putting rolls of film in with the lab, paying £2.99 for the 24-hour turnaround (or £4.99 if I was feeling flush and desperate to see the photos!). When you got the film back, you’d get a little wallet of prints and the strips of cut negatives to go with them. We’d hold them up to the light and try and figure out which was which, for reprints to share with family and friends.
This is really starting to sound like a ‘back in my day’ story, but things really are different now! Life moves at lightning speed and every second of your life can be captured in photographs if you’re not careful. You click, look, click again, change something, click again…click click click. It becomes a constant strive for perfection when life just isn’t perfect.
I adore shooting weddings now but my original love was for just ‘life’ photography. The real deal. The ins and outs of day to day life, things you forget but for that dusty photograph you dig out years later. With the pace and chaos of digital photography, I wanted to slow things down and went back to shoot some film, just for fun. I picked up an old Canon EOS-1V from eBay and stocked up on some Portra 400 rolls in the disneyland for photographers, B&H.
Over a few months, I’d take out this little camera and take a photo, maybe two. Not ten or twenty or a hundred. Another few months passed with these rolls of film sitting on my shelf, patiently waiting to be brought to life. Finally I got around to sending them off and, a week or so later, an email popped up from UK Film Lab saying my scans were ready; all of this was such a different processing experience to the many years before, and the digital iPhone/iPad/social media ‘now’ world we’d become accustomed to. Suddenly, allowing time to breathe life into the photos seemed a complete luxury.
I can’t even begin to put into words the experience of looking at these photos for the first time. If you’ve seen the film Ratatouille you might know the scene near the end (spoiler alert!!) where Ego has a taste of the ratatouille and is immediately transported back to loving memories of his childhood home. Well, for me, looking at these photos – each and every one – took me back to a point in time, just earlier this year, and a special memory. Because each click of this film camera was a thoughtful, considered photo taken. Not one of many: just one. Just that split second; that light; that reaction. Not that they’re all perfect, far from it. But they mean something to me, they tell a story of the seconds surrounding that moment. And I’m so very grateful to have these happy memories. And yes, a slice of cake is a very happy memory in my world!!
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One of the contentious topics around wedding photography is on the subject of group photos. Should you bother having them? How many? If you prefer reportage photography, is it ‘breaking the rules’ to have some family photos included?
In the build up to your wedding day, the breakdown of your wedding photography can sometimes be overlooked, but an important aspect of your day is setting aside some time for a few portraits of just the two of you, as well as a few family portraits. These are often extra important for mum, dad and grandparents, but over time they will become more precious to you too. It’s not often we gather all our family and friends together, dressed up smartly and gloriously happy to be celebrating together, so a captured photograph of you together will become a valuable heirloom for years to come.
Usually group photos occur most naturally during the drinks reception following your wedding ceremony, and your photographer will likely enlist the help of a trusted usher or bridesmaid to gather the necessary guests together for each photo. The difficulty with this part of the day is rounding up guests, while they are chatting happily with a glass of champagne in hand, to brave the – often less desirable – weather and stand in line for a group shot. However, there are steps you can take in advance to make this part of the day as efficient and enjoyable as possible:
1) This part of the day can take some time depending on the number of pictures you would like, so do have a think in advance about which group combinations you would like, and prioritise them. Various factors can delay this part of the day (most likely not being able to source the required guests at the right time!) so if time runs over you risk missing out on some important shots. Having the discussion early will ensure you have planned in enough time with your wedding venue for the drinks reception, to get all the group shots you would like. If any are overlooked you can also get some lovely relaxed, impromptu group photos later in the day, which make a nice change from the more formal photographs.
2) Providing your photographer with a detailed list in advance of your day (i.e. relation to bride/group and specific names) of requested groups will make the process much more efficient, and will allow more time for you to enjoy your drinks reception with your guests! It also helps to share this list in advance with your chosen usher/aide. Your photographer can guide you on how long the group session could take based on the number of groups you would like, and we make sure we go through this in advance of your wedding day so we are all clear on this part of the day.
3) Families can be complicated and, if there are any sensitive family relations that need to be carefully considered, do let your photographer know in advance so you can plan together the best solution for the group photos.
4) Similarly, if there are any special requirements (e.g. a guest who is unable to use stairs) please do let the photographer know so they can take this into consideration when arranging the photos including these guests.
5) And the best advice we can give you for the group photos: relax, enjoy it and have some FUN!