This is a topic that I thought could use some discussion. I've heard so many brides say they're not sure if they need to hire a photographer or not because ' Uncle Bob ' has a nice camera and he may take my wedding photo's for free! Or I'm thinking of hiring a wedding photographer, but I do have a cousin that has a really GOOD camera and she's wanting to get into photography!! I'm not kidding I hear this ALL the time. So I wanted to actually write a post on why this is not a good idea, and why every bride and groom deserve a professional wedding photographer! Also why I think bride and grooms should get a wedding album instead of JUST a disk with all the images.
First of all let's think back to your parents wedding.... do you remember any of their wedding photos? I remember ALL of my parents wedding photos.... why? Because they actually have a wedding album!! And they had their favorite wedding photo blown up and framed and hung on the walls of our home! I can describe in detail their wedding... Mom wore a big white hat that she absolutely hates now!! Lol... their colors were pink, Dad was very handsome, the best man ( my Uncle ) Wore an old pair of shoes instead of the ones Mom bought for him and they stick out like a sore thumb in all the photographs!! Haha Now how do I know these details so well?? Because I've seen them a hundred times! I've seen them a hundred times because they were on display.
Wedding couples back then almost ALWAYS got a professional wedding album from their photographer. Albums made by a professional, filled with prints made through a professional lab on professional paper, and bound in a book only available to professionals. Yes it's an outdated, old, aged album.... but I've enjoyed going through it SO many times!!
Now let's talk about couples that marry today. What if they choose to skip the wedding album. What if they think it's to expensive through their wedding photographer, or worse yet since Uncle Bob is taking the photos.... just think they'll create one themselves later on? I can tell you right now that 80% of the time that photo album never gets made! I think the bride fully intended to make one.... time just has a way of creeping up on us all and then 10 years later, they realize they still don't have a wedding album made or even enlargements hanging on their walls. How many pictures will their children remember? This is so sad! I want my little ones to grow up like I did.... getting a huge kick out of looking at how young my parents looked, how silly Mom's hat was and how horrible my Uncle's shoes were! : )
Today alot of couples think it's ' good enough ' to just let Uncle Bob shoot the wedding and get all the images on a disk. Here's the problem with this thinking... it's NOT true! It's simply NOT good enough! First of all a good camera does not make a good photographer, anymore then a good Scalpel makes a good surgeon or a good oven makes a good cook! You have to know how to use your tools, and when to use which tools and settings to get the right results. And I have heard story's from my brides sisters at the time of booking saying they decided to hire a professional photographer for the younger sisters wedding because they had a friend take hers and they were terrible! They missed shots that ' no one ' ( in her words ) would miss, they were blurry, none of them were edited and so forth. This is a day you can't redo!! Do you really want to risk not getting good photos, or possibly not getting some pictures at all to save a little money?
Now as far as getting your images on a disk, don't get me wrong... I think it's great to get the digital negatives, I sell them myself to my clients. Today couples probably get up to 1,000 images taken on their big day compared to a couple hundred at most when my parents were married. So I think it's wonderful for couples to get ALL their digital negatives from their day, after all they won't all fit into an album. I myself wouldn't hire a photographer that wouldn't sell me a disk with all the digital negatives of my wedding day. But what worries me is that with that option, alot of couples feel that's all they need and don't consider the consequences of ONLY getting a disk of all the images. I'm afraid they will actually end up with LESS then what my parents got.
Let's think about this... will computers still have disk drives in 2050? We all know with all the technological advances that are being made every year it's very doubtful. What if my parents had gotten their images all on the equivalent of an eight track tape.... how in the world would I see those images now? You know what never will become obsolete? Photographs! And I would like to say... not just any photographs! Not photos printed at a drug store. I'm talking about professional photographs, printed by a professional lab, on professional paper! Those are the kind of photo's you will find in the attic, it could be a hundred year old photo, but it'll still look good. And it'll still bring back the joy and memories it was made to preserve for a lifetime and more. Back in the day, photographs were printed on high quality paper and developing was a form of art. There were no machines that spit out pictures onto cheap paper with inexpensive ink. And they're even worse if the photo was made by Uncle Bob who didn't have the exposure right to begin with! I actually have to control myself to not go running from machine to machine in Walmart trying to stop the people getting ready to print their cherished memories there! : ) Lol that might be a little exaggeration, but seriously those machines create such crapy photos!!! Whatever they're charging, is too much, because those prints aren't worth the paper they're printed on! They will fade, they will curl, they will not stand the test of time, not even close!
Your memories are worth more then that! And what about your wedding photos?? They are worth a million times more then that! These aren't just snap shots from a vacation! These photo's are some of the most important photo's that will ever be taken in the history of your life! These images should be captured by a true professional, and then printed likewise by a professional and archived in a professional wedding album! You should trust no one but a professional to the task of printing you enlargements to hang on your walls for you, and your family to cherish for decades to come.
I know hiring a professional wedding photographer can be expensive. I know a professional wedding album is expensive. I know enlargements and canvases are expensive. Here's the thing they are expensive for a reason. A professional has had years of experience, schooling, training, and loads of different gear and equipment invested in. A professional wedding album is custom designed and printed on quality paper, and only the best products are used. Wedding albums are usually hand stitched, leather or suede bound and made just for YOU.
But of all the things you spend money on for your wedding, your wedding photographs are the ONLY thing that will increase with value over time. As the years go by, you'll be more then glad that you have them, I guarantee it! Especially, if you can have the experience of looking through them by flipping through a gorgeous custom designed wedding album, instead of sitting in front of a computer clicking through them.
So that's why it is SO important to hire a professional wedding photographer, and why I feel you should have a wedding album made by your wedding photographer. Don't do it just for you, do it for your children, do it for your grandchildren! It's a gift that will keep giving years and years to come to several different generations!
Again I know a professional wedding photographer can be expensive, and I know wedding albums are costly. Most photographers are willing to come up with a payment plan, and alot of photographers are now offering credit card transactions to make it possible for all bride and grooms to have the necessity of a professional wedding photographer. Instead of settling for Uncle Bob, and regretting it when it's too late!
I know wedding budgeting is hard! : ) I'm sure you've sat at the kitchen table crunching numbers WAY too many times. No matter your budget, I urge you to look at what matters most to you. Is it your wedding dress? Throwing the best reception party EVER? The meal for your guest? Flowers? Or is it remembering all those wonderful things for the rest of your life with beautiful, professionally captured photos? Flowers will fade and die, cake will be all eaten, your dress will only be worn once, the guests will leave.... and all you will have left is your wedding photos. Is it ok with you to NOT know for sure that Uncle Bob captured all those memories so you can relive your day over and over again?
I encourage you to not pick your photographer solely on cost..... but on what you feel when you see their work. On what style you would like your memories captured. On how much you trust them to capture everything that's important to you! And on how you get along with them, they are after all the one person other then your significant other that you will spend the most time with on that fabulous day! : )