Although a friend who enjoys snapping selfies with his or her smartphone camera can be fun to have on vacation with you, this skill shouldn't automatically translate into you deciding to hire him or her as your official wedding photographer unless the friend has significant experience doing this job. Sure, it might be tempting to use a friend as a cost-cutting measure and avoid the process of shopping for a photographer, but doing so puts you at risk of being dissatisfied with the end result—and that's something you might have trouble accepting for years. Still not convinced? Here are three reasons why hiring a pro is your best bet.
Photography Involves Being Assertive
Having a keen photographic eye and snapping impressive shots while on vacation is a whole different ballgame from organizing a wedding party into an official portrait that will hang on the your wall. Professional wedding photographers have experience with not only the technical side of their business, but also the personal side—and are skilled at taking charge and organizing each element of the shoot. Someone without experience might lack the confidence to step to the forefront of the wedding venue to snap a breathtaking photo or take charge when the wedding party doesn't know how to stand properly. An experienced professional, meanwhile, knows that doing so is part of the job and has extensive experience making these assertive decisions.
It takes someone with ample expertise to deliver high-quality results in changing settings. At an outdoor wedding, for example, the bride and groom's faces can be shaded under a tent but have their bodies backlit by a glaring sun. A professional will not only know how to deal with this situation, but will also have experience and knowledge of the best angles from which to shoot and the right gear to deal with nature's challenges. Professionals have seen virtually every wedding scenario that would otherwise baffle an amateur and know whether it's best to make a quick lens change or scramble to catch the moment from another angle.
Grace under Pressure
There's little doubt that shooting a wedding can be a stressful affair for the photographer, who has to make rapid adjustments to capture once-in-a-lifetime moments forever. A professional knows how to work quickly and calmly to deliver the best shots from each moment, rather than spending too long to set up one shot and running out of time. Whether it's a bridesmaid's fluttering hair on a windy day or a groomsman who doesn't enjoy smiling, a professional wedding photographer will not only notice these issues, but will also deal with them efficiently and calmly to ensure the shots turn out perfectly.
The best way to keep your special memories alive is to hire a professional photographer to capture them as they happen. But after working with hundreds of professionals over the years as a special events planner, I know first hand that not all photographers are created equally. Some can really focus in on their human subjects to capture emotion that comes right out of the photos, while others are more attuned to making the surroundings in a photo stand out like a 3D feature. So I figured that I could help people who are looking to hire a photography find the best possible fit for the occasion that is going to be documented. Learn the right questions to ask, find out what types of skills to look for, and figure out what tools and resources are needed to capture all the details of your special event.