I get asked all the time if I do Wedding and Event photography. Yes, I do. But I do them in a fairly limited way as I don’t advertise in the really expensive venues to get in front of brides and potential clients, and so I rely mostly on word of mouth about that part of my business.
Most people don’t understand that the wedding photography business has gone through a sad reinvention in recent years. So many couples are selecting low end photographers on price, and the results are “good enough”, or so they think before they see the results. Sadly, most couples won’t find out if the person were “good enough” until it’s too late.
Low end photographers may or may not be able to photograph your event professionally – from equipment to understanding of light to even how they conduct themselves in your venue (I’ve seen some crazy places a photographer will go in a church or during a service to get a photo!). But as budgets get tight, it seems easy to say the photographer isn’t as important as there are so many people with cell phones and their own cameras. And yes, the number of iPads being held up during a service is mind boggling…and looks crazy in photos too!
It’s sad that folks are more interested in the blurry, underexposed candids that come out of a cell phone than they are of images that could render them in the (literally) best light possible on the most important day of their life. And it’s also sad that so many of the next generation will be looking for the images of their parents wedding day and not find anything where they can even distinguish who is who except for the one wearing the long dress. If they can even find the images – because who knows where the cell phone images will end up?
Yes, I’m harsh here. I personally did what many brides and grooms are doing today. I didn’t pay for a professional photographer for my wedding day. I spent the money on a DJ, on alcohol, and food for my guests. In the end, I gave the money to my guests and not to myself. Because I had a family member take photos and of course, they were a guest too. So we only have about 30 images from the day, and the ONLY one I have of my husband and myself that could even remotely be considered a “formal” picture is underexposed and blurry. And what now? Well, thirty years later it’s only a faded 5×7 and a sad one at that.
So don’t spend it on your guests. They don’t need a favor, and a bow on the chair isn’t important to anyone. The images from your day, every one of them from your aging Uncle Joe that may not be here next year, to you and your new spouse looking amazing, and your dances with your parents…every one of them should be a guaranteed memory that won’t fade away.
Trust a professional with the most important day of your life. It does NOT have to cost $5,000 or even 10,000 for the photos, but it is reasonable to spend $2-$3 for the photos of your most important day…and know that you have them no matter what. If the camera breaks, the lens drops, the memory card fails, the flash quits. A professional will have backups. If the sun isn’t perfect, a professional will still light you so you can see yourself in the image and you will look amazing. And a professional will NOT push their lens into your minister’s face, lay down in the church aisle, or make excuses for why they didn’t get the images you wanted.