I often get asked is it really necessary to have a professional wedding photographer these days when smartphones have such good cameras and apps that can make your pictures look awesome. Or maybe Uncle Bob has offered to take some snaps for you on the day with his fancy new camera. Friends and family offer their services in good faith, but wedding photography is more than having a decent camera and an ability to take a good shot. It’s about having an eye to capture those special moments, to tell the story of your day – as well a s all the technical expertise.
When I am booked by clients to shoot their wedding, I am as invested in their day as much as they are. I can’t wait to take pictures of the preparations, capture that moment when family see the bride in her dress for the first time or catch the groom wiping a tear from his eye as his wife-to-be walks down the aisle. A professional will have scouted out the best places to take photographs and where the best light will be at a certain point in the day. The pictures that usually get the biggest reaction are candid moments I’ve spotted, when the bridal party or guests didn’t even realise they were being snapped. This is where a professional makes all the difference, we already know what shots we are looking for and make sure we get them. It’s why I love what I do.
Being a wedding photographer isn’t just about knowing how to compose great shots or make the best of the light and location. There are moments when I have to take control and organise lots of people for group shots, get guests to relax whilst they have their picture taken, even show people how to pose! Being able to communicate and get the best out of people so you have the best wedding photographs possible is a real skill that Uncle Bob may not be able to pull off. (Sorry Uncle Bob!)
I’m lucky that I’ve never had a wedding where equipment has failed but should the worst happen on your wedding day and a camera stops working, or a memory card crashes, I always have a Plan B. I carry extra equipment and have contacts I can call on in a real emergency.
Imagine walking down the aisle, the special music you chose is playing, the flowers adorn your venue, your husband-to-be is waiting nervously and everything looks perfect – but all you can see is a sea of people holding up their smartphones, looking into their screens and not at you! Smartphones are a blessing in our modern world, but can be a curse on your wedding day. You want your guests to be fully present in this once-in-a-lifetime moment. A professional photographer will know exactly where to stand to get the best shots as you make your way to your groom and capture people’s reactions on seeing you in all your finery.
I know couples who have been upset when guests take photos during the ceremony. It’s the most intimate and important part of the day, full of emotions, and can be ruined with well-meaning people who just want to get a picture of you both. Many brides and grooms ask their vicar, registrar or celebrant to ask guests to refrain from taking any pictures so that they can take in every moment of the ceremony they’ve been invited to attend.
Having a professional photographer at your wedding is a big investment, but it’s an investment that will give dividends forever, and be one that you will look back on without regret… And Uncle Bob can relax and enjoy the occasion without worrying he left the lens cap on!