Your wedding day is something you want to remember forever. Beyond the special memories you will keep, the photographs taken on the day represent a tangible and beautiful record of your special day. You will show these photos to friends and family – and maybe even your future children. Special memories. But how do you make sure they are also beautiful pictures?

Most people know someone who loves taking photos. Uncle John has a fancy camera, a pretty cool lens and lets everyone know he understands what Av means! And he’s just offered to take your photos. Still better, Uncle John will do it for free. All that money saved, compared to a professional photographer, and someone who knows the family already. What could go wrong?

Well, plenty.

There are a lot of reasons you should highly consider paying for a professional. Hiring a professional is one thing but hiring a professional with years of experience of actually taking picture at weddings is essential. First, check out their work. A professional wedding photographer should have a detailed portfolio for you to view. Not only does that illustrate their style but it will hopefully show how s/he just seems to be “in the right place at the right time” throughout the day. And does it without being a focal point or taking the attention away from anyone in the wedding party. That’s not an easy thing to do. The experience a professional brings to a wedding ensures that can predict those special moments even before they happen. That’s a sixth sense that pays huge dividends when that truly magical photo finds its way to your wedding album.

A professional knows about the technical aspects of taking a great picture. Maybe Uncle John does too. But the professional knows about blending in with the guests. You don’t want your friends looking back though their photos and thinking some random guy crashed the party! That experience pays off.

When you do start looking for a photographer you want to make sure they are approach things well. Look for the obvious signs. They should be easy to contact and very responsive. You shouldn’t feel weird or uncomfortable telling them exactly what you want. It’s your money, your wedding and you are the photographers client.

Those of you who are getting married in an unusual location need to be extra careful. Many wedding photographers have only experienced the very traditional church wedding. This may not sound important but take a beach wedding for example. Lighting on a beach is very different to a church. Weather is unpredictable and the cameraman needs to be prepared for that.

The professional will have a backup plan for any equipment failures. Does Uncle John? A professional will provide the photos in both digital and printed format, if you prefer. Does Uncle John? A professional will have a well planned “strategy” for the day, making sure you get the traditional formal pictures but also some wonderful informal moments. Does Uncle John?

Uncle John is great. He’s taken some great pictures of birds! And that picture of Mount Rainer was just amazing. So, let Uncle John help. In fact, let anyone with a camera take their shot. Ask them to give a wide berth to your professional wedding photographer so s/he can do their job. But let them snap away. Amongst the hundreds of pictures taken by guests, there could well be a lovely , well-framed, beautifully lit, well exposed picture. Enjoy it. And then add it to the much larger set of beautiful pictures your photographer took.

That’s what a professional wedding photographer does. And it’s worth every penny.

For more details, see here: