When planning a wedding we can can sometimes be overwhelmed by budgets and endless suppliers and ideas. In my experience some things cannot be compromised or cut back and one of those things is wedding photography. Memories of your day that can’t be replaced. Something to look back on. Priceless moments captured.
When I first married back in 1994, wedding photography was a completely different set up. It is much more advanced and professional now (thankfully) as my own experience was a disaster. Read more here >>> Is your Wedding Photographer the Right One For You
David Stubbs is a full time professional wedding photographer based in Manchester but photographs wedding all over the UK. He photographs around 50 weddings a year at many of the top wedding venues.
His documentary style is all about capturing moments as they happen, allowing you to enjoy your day and he has compiled a list of reasons for our Beautilicious 40 Bride readers highlighting why you should hire a professional wedding photographer rather than be tempted to choose a family member.
10 Reasons why you should hire a professional wedding photographer
First of all I would like to introduce you to Uncle Harry. Uncle Harry is someone referred to regularly by professional photographers. Everyone has an Uncle Harry, they may not be called Harry, and they may not be your uncle, but everyone has one. Uncle Harry is the man who has always enjoyed taking photos, he might have bought an expensive camera for £500 or more, he has taken lots of nice family photos in the past, his holiday snaps looked superb and he’s always keen to impress.
Couples getting married are often tempted to ask Uncle Harry to photograph their wedding, after all, he will do it cheaply, or maybe for nothing. A professional wedding photographer cannot compete with the price, but here are ten reasons why you should hire a professional wedding photographer, and not be tempted to give Uncle Harry the responsibility of capturing the happiest day of your lives.
Every true professional has Public liability and Professional Indemnity insurance. It is there, just in case. Many wedding venues insist that all wedding suppliers have insurance before they are allowed to operate at that venue. Most professionals have never needed to claim from their insurance, but they have it. Uncle Harry does not.
9. Computers and storage
Have you considered what happens to your photos after your photographer leaves your wedding? Firstly the photos are recorded onto professional memory cards that are safe from becoming corrupt. Your photos are then stored on a computer hard drive AND an external hard drive AND a second external hard drive which is stored away from photography HQ, just in case of fire or theft. Many professionals now also use cloud storage as a back-up (online). A professional understands how important these photo files are, eventually every hard drives WILL fail, but your photos are safely backed-up.
8. Professional equipment
Uncle Harry may have a brand new ‘big’ camera that cost £500 or more. But the truth is it just isn’t good enough to photograph weddings. In order to capture moments as they happen, in the hardest conditions (dark church or very bright sun for example), a professional camera and lenses are essential. A good professional will have around £10000 to £20000 of camera equipment at their disposal on your wedding day. Andy Defrain from The Shawshank Redemption did manage to escape from Shawshank prison using only a rock hammer, but it would have taken him much less than 20 years to do so if he used something just a bit bigger and better.
7. Back-up equipment
A camera bag with a £3000 camera, 6 x £1000 lenses, £300 flashes and £1000+ of other photography essentials is important to do the job well. But what if the camera’s shutter freezes, a lens is dropped on the floor and smashes, a flash over heats and burns out? A professional wedding photographer has a back-up of everything! Yes, everything! Technology does go wrong, but it’s not the end of the world if it does… if you have a back-up! Does Uncle Harry have a back-up? Well… yes, but is his iPhone really going to cut it?
A surgeon has trained for years, becoming incredibly good at what he does, medicine is his passion, he knows what to do in every situation that is unexpectedly thrown at him, he has the right tools for the job and you have faith in him. Would you let Uncle Harry perform an operation on you because he has bought a cheap scalpel and watched a few episodes of Casualty? Certainly not! Although your wedding photographs are not a life or death situation, they are going to be your treasured memories for the rest of your lives. Hire a professional who has years of experience, who has the right tools, who has the skill level to perform in every situation that is thrown at him. Someone who does not break under pressure, who remains calm when something does not go to plan and someone who is passionate about every aspect of what they do.
5. Quality of work
A photographer is an artist. An artist who interprets what they see, and captures moments in a way that has such an air of quality about it. Can you differentiate between a professional image and a snap shot? Of course! The colours are brighter, the black and whites have depth, the subject is sharp and clear, the background will be uncluttered or blurry out, what you see is a true moment or memory of your day; the photo is also fun, interesting or emotionally charged. Uncle Harry simply cannot create photos the way a professional can. Professional equipment aside, a true wedding photographer is an artist who creates superb photos by having a trained eye.
Having a set of wonderful wedding photographs on your computer or iPad is great, but as technology progresses further, years down the line your digital photos might not be compatible. Imagine if you were married 20 years ago and your wedding photos were on floppy disk? A wedding album is strongly recommended. Something you can hold, cherish and to show people for the rest of your lives. Professional wedding photographers offer professional wedding albums. Albums that have the highest quality images, that are often hand bound using quality materials. Care and attention has gone into designing the album for you in a way that represents the story of your day. Professional albums stand the test of time. They will still look good in many years to come, the spine won’t fall apart and your photos will be presented in the best way possible. The best wedding albums are only available to professionals.
3. Professional Service
A professional wedding photographer makes a living from photographing weddings. Their mortgage payments depend on regular bookings. It is in their best interest to give you the very best service possible from the moment you first contact them, to the time your wedding album is handed to you. Couples that are over the moon with the service provided will tell others about their experience. Uncle Harry might be family or a friend, and he might be committed to doing a good job. But with a professional you are drawing upon years of experience, who knows what the next step is, you have confidence in what they are doing and a professional will go out of their way to ensure you are 110% happy from start to finish.
2. Liaising with other suppliers
When you plan your wedding, you are almost certainly going to be hiring other wedding professionals- the venue, DJ, band, florist, hair and make-up artists. On your wedding day everyone works closely together to ensure that your day runs smoothly without a hiccup, and that you have the best day possible. As the person who spends the most time with you, communicating with your family and guests regularly, the photographer is an integral part of that team. A professional has the skills to communicate effectively with other suppliers to ensure your day runs as smoothly as possible. Your professional photographer might just know what to say to your vicar to persuade them to let you have photographs taken during the service. The confidence to liaise with your venues coordinator to decide that now is the best time to cut the cake. A professional photographer understands weddings, they have photographed hundreds of them and should contribute to your day overall. Uncle Harry will be too concerned with technical issues, taking the cake photos over and over again because it’s just not coming out right and will unlikely be able to play any part of this essential team role.
1. Memories for a lifetime
It’s a famous saying, but after your wedding day the cake will have been eaten, the flowers will wither and die and the band will stop playing, but your photographs last forever. As the days, months and years go by; the memories of your special wedding day will fade. Will Uncle Harry have captured every important moment? Will he have captured the looks, the emotions, the details and the stories of the day? Maybe some, but not comprehensively and certainly not with any artistic flare. A professional wedding photographer is a professional for a reason, because they love what they do, they are good at every aspect of it. They are providing you with something you will still be cherishing in many a year to come. You will forever look at your photos with a huge smile, do not compromise when it comes to your wedding photography.
If you buy an Aston Martin, it doesn’t make you James Bond. Would you entrust Uncle Harry to protect Queen and country? No! Then don’t entrust in him to capture those important memories of your most special day.
To view a wedding photographed by David Stubbs, previously featured on Beautilicious 40 Bride - click image below
“All our features are aimed towards our readers being Brides Over 40. (40 plus brides). Rather than calling these fabulous ladies ‘mature Brides‘ we call them ‘Beautilicious Brides’ who are marrying later in life, whether it be a first or second time wedding or even a celebration ceremony for renewing vows”
(Janet – Creative Director at Beautilicious40 Bride)