‘I regret not Hiring a Professional Wedding Photographer’

How did you go about planning your big day?

We decided we wanted to marry on the first anniversary of us starting to go out with one another. We knew from the start that we wanted a quiet wedding – just our closest friends and family. Unfortunately I fell ill and we had to cancel the wedding. In some ways that was a good thing. Our small intimate wedding had grown in to something we didn’t want due to parental pressure. We finally got married 3 years after we met and we were able to plan the wedding we wanted. We chose the date nearest to the anniversary of us meeting. We booked the registry office first – and we were able to request to be married by a family friend that made the wedding ceremony extra special. We then started to look for places to have a meal for after the ceremony when Ian’s sister offered her house. We booked a local caterer to provide a buffet style meal with lots of our favourite foods. Ian’s Mum had been a wedding cake maker in her youth and she offered to make us a 3 tier cake.

Family offer in good faith, but what I have realised is that wedding photography is more than having a good camera.

How did you go about splitting up your budget?

We wanted to keep costs low – we didn’t have much spare cash and the money we did have we both felt we would prefer to spend on the honeymoon. We didn’t have a specific budget – we bought what we liked but we ended up spending about spent equal amounts on the dress, suit, and food. At the last minute I decided to have flowers for myself, my matron of honour and 2 bridesmaids. They cost more than my dress!

At the time what was the reasoning for leaving out hiring a professional wedding photographer?

Because we were having a quiet wedding we thought that a wedding photographer wasn’t really necessary – that somehow it was extravagant for a small wedding . We also thought it would be an added expense and that the money could be put towards other costs and our honeymoon. And then when my brother (who was a keen amateur photographer) offered to take photographs the thought of having a professional photographer never entered our minds again.

At what point did you regret not having a wedding photographer and how did it come about?

I was disappointed as soon as I saw the photo’s after our wedding. There were so few photos that I felt I could put in a picture frame – many were blurred – or people had their heads cut off – the lighting was all wrong! Since I have become a wedding supplier I have been following the wedding blogs and every day I see the most wonderful wedding photos and I so wish that we had employed a wedding photographer to capture our special day.

What advice would you give to others thinking of using a friend or family member to capture their day?

DON’T! Friends and family offer in good faith but what I have realised is that wedding photography is more than having a decent camera and an ability to take a good shot. It’s about having an eye to capture those special moments, to tell the story of your day – as well as all the technical expertise.

What Issues did you have with your photos?

  • Out of focus
  • Over exposed – washed out photos
  • The posed shots often have distractions in the background – like a garage nearly coming out of my head (as seen above).
  • I realise now that even with reportage type wedding photographs you have to have an eye for the shot. My brothers more ‘candid’ shots have all got people pulling funny faces or people half off the photo. They don’t look ‘natural’, they just look bad!
  • There are no lovely creative shots that you see so often now – the one’s that make you go ‘wow’.

What tips would you give to couples planning their big day and deciding how to spend their budget?

Your photo’s last a lifetime – they will bring you endless pleasure over the years to come, long after the food is consumed, the drink has been drunk and the flowers faded. It is totally worth budgeting for a photographer – if money is tight I would definitely skim money from other areas to ensure you can have one. Hire the best wedding photographer you can afford.

If there is one thing I regret about my wedding day, it is not having had a professional photographer – please don’t make the same mistake, if that wasn’t enough check out this article on 5 Reasons Why you Should Hire a Professional Wedding Photographer.

Keith Marrison