FIRSTLY, I am not doing the blog to be mean, condescending or to hurt anyone's feelings. I'm also not writing this on the hopes that you will hire me to shoot your wedding. The reason I am writing this blog post is because I do not want you to be that bride who ends up with the story of how you got your images back from your 'photographer' and you were crushed, devastated, heartbroken, and/or any other synonym that describes a negative emotion. That being said, listen to me very vey carefully.
Do NOT hire your cousin, brother, mum, dad, friend or pet dog to shoot your wedding. Let me explain............
It's every photographers nightmare when a bride inquires about their services, they connect over a call/email or person and then after what seams to be the best consultation in the world, we get the email we all dread. "Hi there, but we have decided to let a family friend do our images". Let me just make something clear. We're not upset that you didn't get the business. Not even close. We are upset that your are choosing NOT to hire a professional.
This would be the same as walking into a five star restaurant, looking at the menu, and then saying to the waitstaff, " I think I'll just got to Mc Donald's instead.
There are a few reasons why this is a bad idea, but firstly let me share a story with you from a wedding I did a few months back. Like many of my couples, I will always book time out to make sure that we have a phone call to make sure that we could be a great fit for each other. And while on the call, I will normally ask if they would like me for morning prep. Most of the time, my couples are happy for this, and why shouldn't they be its part of their day. But every so often, I will get a bride that dosen't want me to be there in the morning. And it normally comes with " There will be enough people there in the morning to get images, don't worry ". This makes me want to cry inside, and the reason for this, is this.
This particular bride didn't want me for morning prep and unknown to the bride one of the bridesmaid's had sorted it so the brides grandma could be part of the morning. Now grandma wasn't well and it took a lot of planning for this to happen, but the reason grandma wanted to be there was because grandad ( who had passed away ) had sorted a gift box for this very day. Grandma was NOT going to miss this. As you can imagine, there were a lot of tears and emotion. Fast forward a few weeks and it was time for the bride to receive her images. A couple of days later, I get an email land in my inbox for the bride who was very upset. The email went a little something like this.
"Hi Jordan, thank you so much for my amazing images. You managed to capture the day how I've always visioned it, however there are no images from the morning prep with grandma, I'm gutted. Could you please send these across".
My heart sank, I know what was coming. After a two hour phone call with the bride she realised her mistake and remembered that her "friends" didn't capture anything. All them moments from that morning were gone. The real kicker to this story, is that three days later, grandma passed away. To this day, it still gets me and I only wished that the bride would have had me there for the morning. The lesson to this story if anything is, don't leave such an important day to friends with cameras.
We've also heard of the friend who had one to many drinks and didn't shoot ANY images during the reception they were supposed to be covering. When you don't have that client/vendor relationship then the lines can become blurred between what your photographer should and should not do and you just don't want that. A professional's number one job is to capture everything. Our soul purpose at being present at your wedding is to do everything we can to help you remember your day and when you don't hire a professional, there's no guarantee you'll get that level of dedication.
Secondly, you're friend just isn't going to be as good as a professional. In order to do what we do at even a decent level you have to be well-versed in posing, lighting, angles, perspective, dynamic range, and an infinite list of other things that your 'friends' just don't know. Contrary to the widely popular belief, having a ‘good’ camera is not a pre-requisite for trusting someone with the most important day of your life. The person behind the camera makes the magic.
Now, if your ‘friend’ just happens to be an actual photographer with a portfolio and experience to match then by all means, hire them. That’s a win-win situation for everybody right. BUT, if your ‘friend’ is just somebody who owns a decent camera and only takes pictures at your family reunion and the company Christmas party and their dog then you are potentially setting yourself up for the heartbreak of a lifetime. I know that’s not what you want, is it?
Now hang with me for one moment and ask yourself this question. Have you ever considered the idea that it might be in your best interest to pay a little bit more for your wedding photography? Of all the things that you pay for on your wedding day, not looking to a professional to hand craft the story of your wedding day is just not a good look. I mean, your photographer is literally the ONE person on the planet who is responsible for how you will remember your day. If you don’t think that’s serious then you’re doing yourself a disservice.
To sum things up, I am fully aware that there are some couples who simply don’t care about their wedding day photos. They view them as a necessary evil more than anything. That’s completely ok. BUT if you care about the memories of your wedding day and you really want photos that tell your story, then you must set your sights on hiring a professional. That's the bottom line.
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