Is It a Good Idea to Let A Friend Photograph Your Wedding?
Is your friend a professional photographer? If so, then absolutely! If not…then seriously think about this. We know we said this on Planning + Prosecco, but we recommend really asking yourself how important your wedding photos are to you. To some, the experience is the most important thing and not necessarily the photos that come after. We are all about living in the moment, but at the end of the day, the photos (and video) are the only tangible things you will have to remind you of those amazing moments (other than each other, of course!).
Why Should I Use A Professional Photographer?
Professional photographers, particularly those who specialize in weddings, understand the flow of a wedding day. They know there are so many different things that need to happen and many different people involved. They are pros at working around hair and makeup schedules, wrangling wedding parties (yep, even that drunk groomsman who’s ready to party before the ceremony has even started). The photos take up more time on wedding day then almost anything else, so it’s good to have someone that knows what they’re doing and can make sure you guys stay on time. If the photo timeline gets off, you could find yourself faced with the choice of finishing all the photos you wanted or eating dinner. Or dancing. And you know you want that time on the dance floor.
Light is a tricky tricky thing when it comes to getting good photos and it takes someone with serious knowhow to produce beautiful photographs even in the ever changing spaces of a ceremony and reception. They can easily switch from that ceremony in broad daylight (knowing how to deal with the shadows brought on by harsh sunlight) to the dimly lit dance party reception (guys, you know nobody wants to be dancing with all the lights ablaze). Your photographer is there to make you look good and they’ll do all they can to accomplish that.
They Do It Like It’s Their Job!
Because it is, duh. 😉 But really, professional photographers are serious about their craft and delivering a product that will knock your socks off and transport you right back to those moments you want to remember forever. It is in their best interest to make sure you are comfortable and having fun. They are there to capture all of the important events like toasts, your first dance, cake cutting and your dad letting loose on the dance floor. They also know to photograph all those little details you agonized over like the perfectly paired appetizer and cocktail combo, your gorgeous invitation suite or your hand drawn escort cards.
I am sad to say that we have seen and experienced some amateur photographers who truly did not have the couple’s best interest at heart. We’ve seen them forget flash batteries or extra SD cards. We’ve seen them grow tired and decide they’ve shot enough for the day when the reception has only just begun. We’ve seen them unconcerned or oblivious to those precious moments that mean the world to a couple and instead be more concerned with getting another glass of wine or being on the dance floor.
These are worst case scenarios for sure. And no, we’re not trying to scare you. Or maybe we are…just a little. We want to make sure you get the beautiful photos you deserve on wedding day. Fifty years from now, that is what you will show to your grandkids, right? Here’s the thing: if your friend is an amateur photographer and you just absolutely LOVE their photos and trust them completely, then go for it. Everyone starts somewhere and your friend might truly have an amazing talent. In that case can we just recommend one final thing? Please, please get a contract! Even if you’re besties, you both will appreciate defining the lines of what is expected that day so that there are no hurt feelings in the end.
Do Your Research
Make sure to do your research when choosing who will photograph your wedding. Each photographer has a unique artistic style so you want to make sure you like theirs and that it’s something you’ll still like in the years to come. Get to know them a little bit as well – you will spend more time with your photographer on wedding day than anyone else so you want to make sure you vibe well together. If they make you uncomfortable then chances are you will look uncomfortable in your photos. Don’t be afraid to ask for a full wedding gallery from them either, when reviewing their portfolio. Their blog will be a showcase of all their favorite and best shots, but you can view a whole gallery to get an idea of their process and how the capture a whole wedding day.
I know I said this before, but other than video (if you choose to have it), the photos are one of the few tangible things you will get to keep from your wedding day. They are definitely an investment, so make sure you know where they fit in your personal list of wedding priorities so you can find the photographer that will be the perfect fit for you.
Were you happy with your wedding photographer?