The Indecisive Bride’s Guide to Wedding Photography

In the age of the ever-present smartphone, you’re sure to have countless photos and posts from your wedding day. In fact, if you don’t have countless photos and posts from your wedding day, I’d argue that it never really happened. That’s the spooky reality of social media. #Paparazzi.

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But in all seriousness, photography is one of the most critical elements of your celebration. When planning my own wedding, I initially waffled on the idea of hiring a professional. (This isn’t shocking, given that indecision is my absolute forte.)

In looking at our modest budget, we considered the following:

  • hiring a “budding photographer”

  • asking an artsy friend if she’d do it, or

  • enlisting my brothers for iPhone duty.

Boy, were those options flawed.

And girl, am I glad I hired a professional! Here’s why:

  • The budding photographer is always a gamble.

  • Asking your arty friends to “work” at your wedding can strain your relationship.

  • My brothers generally get drunk and abandon responsibility at weddings.

The truth is, hiring a pro is money well spent. If cash is an issue, cut the flowers, cut the limo – cut the cake! But don’t cut the photos. At the end of the day, the photographer is your sublime storyteller, and without them, your memories will fade into oblivion. Just like a wedding planner, employing an expert results in a product that you’ll treasure for-ev-er.

Hiring an amateur can go south, real fast. An amateur may not have back-up gear, lighting equipment or a second shooter. They’re likely inexperienced with editing software and they might not have the skill to command their subjects to assemble as needed. Bottom line: you won’t be stoked with your end result.

A professional, on the other hand, understands the flow of the wedding. As part of the event’s fabric, they know how to shepherd the wedding party, all while following the timeline and capturing the love. They can deal with raw emotions and ugly criers and they have a way of subtly making you feel like a movie star. Oh, and their end-product will be polished, creative and absolutely stunning.

If your budget is on the tight side:

Ask for the digital package. This means you are responsible for printing and framing, but it will save you cabbage.

Hire for a half-day. Ask your photographer if they’d shoot during certain hours only.

Request a payment plan. Most photographers will agree to payment installments and it never hurts to ask!

When prices seem steep, keep in mind the amount of time, resources, equipment, and post production effort that go into producing those pixelated memories. More importantly, picture your 80-something-selves looking back on those images in nostalgic delight. Well worth it!