Why You Need a Photographer

I’m not a photographer. I can snap a decent photo and recognize that you shouldn’t leave miles of space above people’s heads, but taking truly good photos that are hang-on-the-wall worthy really is an art form.

Depending on your level of patience and/or craftiness, there are many things you can DIY for your wedding. Great photography is not one of them. Different people have different priorities – if you’re good with handing everyone old school reel-and-click disposables or relying on Instagram and cell phones, then that’s fine! But if you know that you’ll be disappointed that every single photo of you and your now spouse features closed eyes or awkward mid-sentence faces, then budget to hire a professional.

Side note: I am, however, a fan of also inviting your guests to politely join in on a hastag or service like WedPics. It just seems like a bad call to completely rely on the crowd sourced method.

Reasons why:

  1. Your photographer has done all of this before. Yes, your special day is unique and no two couples are alike, etc., but be real – unless you’ve come up with some new way of getting hitched, then your photographer has followed the basic wedding format many times. He or she can even advise you on when it’s best to take certain photos during the day/night. You’ll appreciate someone who can take charge.
  2. You do not want to be the one that has to constantly harass your family/wedding party to quit socializing and line up for the portrait already. Let the photographer handle it – as mentioned, he or she has done all this before and can wrangle all the crazy for you.
  3. Just because your social media savvy friend can apply a nifty Instagram filter does not mean that she knows good lighting, composition and all of the myriad factors that go into producing great photos. The photographer does.
  4. Do you have thousands to spend on a really, really good camera and ancillary equipment? Professional cameras and lenses make a BIG difference. Yes, point-and-shoot digital cameras and phones are ubiquitous and crazy sophisticated these days, but that doesn’t mean they have the capability to take professional-level shots.
  5. You will be bummed if you miss out on photos you wanted. By talking with your photographer and giving him or her a “must have” and “would be nice” shot lists, then you can rest easy knowing it’s covered.
  6. Photo editing. No one is saying your photographer should go fashion magazine-level crazy on your pics in Photoshop, but subtle editing is a good thing. (Personal side note: I am a giant klutz and burned the bejeezus out of my left hand on the oven. This is a lifer scar. Our lovely photographer edited it right out on closeups of my hand/ring during our engagement shoot. I was very thankful. Since then I have added burns to my right hand and right arm, just to keep her on her toes.) It's not always about you, either – lighting, color and all sorts of things can be slightly tweaked so your photos look as good as possible.
  7. If you’re anything like me, you get stiff and weird when someone’s taking formal photos. A good photographer can put you at ease, get you relaxed and figure out exactly how you look best.
  8. Everything is curated, put on a disc and/or uploaded to a site. Believe me – sifting through all the photos from a photoshoot takes for-ev-er. Plus, you really don't want to see them all. Even great photographers can catch you at soul crushing levels of awkward. Your self esteem will thank you.
  9. You can focus on you, your partner, your loved ones and the day. Delegating is the key to sanity when planning big events, and having the pressure of “I-need-to-capture-every-moment” lifted off your shoulders is a big deal. Your photographer’s got it. Put down your camera/phone and be in the moment without a screen between you and everyone else.
  10. A professional will have a backup should some emergency or calamity prevent him or her from attending. Always ask "what's plan B?" when interviewing a photographer (same goes for an officiant).


Categories: Planning