OK, so as professional photographer myself, it’s likely that I’m going to be biased on this point. Let’s put that on the table right at the start.
However, over the years I’ve heard lots of stories of people getting friends and family to cover their wedding because
- they have a nice camera
- they take great pictures of landscapes
- they fancy being a photographer and need to build their portfolio
It’s quite often that folk are then disappointed with the results. Weddings are one-off things – you can’t go back and do them again if you don’t get the photos right the first time so my advice would be – don’t chance anything you’re not 100% confident about.
Not to big myself up, but weddings are hard to photograph and I trained a LOT to get good at them. As a photographer, you’re dealing with changing locations, lighting conditions, people doing their own thing and a schedule that rolls along whether you’ve finished taking your photos or not. It’s a specific skill set that relies on knowing what to expect, being able to plan in the case of surprises, managing people on the day and make it look easy so people don’t feel stressed. On top of that, you have to pose and light on the fly to create the images.
Group posing (good group posing) is a skill to create the most pleasing shapes. Some amateur and new photographers can feel uncomfortable in front of crowds (I literally used to have nightmares about this part of the day when I started out) and so they can neglect to look at the little details that give the finished images that final polish. They may also look to the couple for guidance on the day more than someone more experienced.
If you’ve got a friend or family member who has offered to take your images, it can be difficult to say no but my advice would be to give them specific tasks – such as capturing reportage images or focusing on capturing the backdrop of the wedding. Your professional photographer will do that too but then you have someone experienced creating the key anchor shots of the day,
Actually, unless you have really specific plans for the evening, I don’t recommend having a professional photographer there after your wedding breakfast so that can be a great time to let friends takeover the photography. Folk almost always want to relax and start the party so don’t want to take part in formal photography. There really isn’t a whole lot extra that a professional photographer can offer you if you aren’t planing to set time aside for something specific so if you’re looking to save on your budget, this is a great place to do it.
There are always articles about wedding hacks that save you money, but my advice would be to be wary of skimping on professional photography. Your photos are the memories that you will want to enjoy for the rest of your lives together.
I offer two wedding packages so you can tailor your coverage to what suits you – one from the ceremony through to your wedding breakfast and one that also includes bridal party preparations – and both include a fully edited image gallery on memory stick.