Finding your wedding photographer – Does friendship and photography mix?
This is part 5 in our “Finding your wedding photographer” series
One of the ways many couples work a photographer into their wedding budget is to ask a friend to take the pictures. My fiancé and I are on a budget and we considered having a friend or family member take our pictures. However, Visual Photo Guide would advise against this for a number of reasons which we’ll look at in the fifth part of this seven part series.
Amateur isn’t professional
Unless your friend is a professional photographer with the training , skills and equipment to go with it, your pictures will not turn out the same as they would if they had been taken by a professional. Photographers don’t just point and click. They know the angles, composition, lighting, and how to you should hold your head so you don’t get a double chin.
Professionals have high quality equipment and assistants who keep them on schedule. When you hire them, you aren’t just hiring someone to take pictures but also their camera and lenses. These make a huge difference in the quality of your pictures. And not just the camera, but also their processing equipment. The quality of the paper and the processing equipment professionals use make a huge difference in the quality of the print. The colors are truer, the details are crisper, and the prints will last longer.
You’re photographer isn’t a guest
If your friend is serving as your photographer, they won’t be able to enjoy your wedding. Instead of being able to celebrate your wedding with you your friend will be working that day. While your other guests are watching you take your vows, your friend-photographer will be trying to capture the moment on film. While your guests are enjoying your cocktail hour, your friend-photographer will be off on a photoshoot with you and your wedding party. Your friend-photographer will watch very special moment through the lens of the camera, keeping them from sharing in it with you.
Your friend-photographer can’t sit with his date if he’s taking pictures. If your friend-photographer has kids, then either he’ll need to find a babysitter or have someone at the wedding watch them while he’s taking your pictures, which means their enjoyment is limited as well.. If you ask a friend to be your photographer then they are no longer a guest at your wedding.
Friends don’t boss friends
While most of us would think of the possibility that a bridezilla moment could damage a friendship, most good friendships can survive stressful situations. However, your pictures may not survive a lack of bossing from your friend-photographer. A good photographer tells you where and how to stand, how to hold your head, and will not not let you move until they have a good picture. A friend-photographer may not be able to take control on your wedding day out of loyalty.
If you pick your friend-photographer
These are the reasons my fiancé and I have decided to invest in a professional photographer that isn’t related to us. If the choice of choosing a friend to take your photographer is based on budgetary issues, check our article on how to have the pictures you want on a budget. If you choose to go with a friend-photographer despite Visual Photo Guide’s warnings, treat the agreement as though it were a professional you were hiring. Make sure you share the same vision and that your friend-photographer is clear on what you want. To ensure you don’t miss out on anything, do your research the same way you would if you had hired a stranger.