Stories from Your Wedding Friend - The Wedding Planner's Blog
With the costs associated with hiring a wedding photographer it's a tricky question and one worth asking yourself if you're on a tight budget, so should you hire a wedding photographer? Short answer in my opinion is yes absolutely and I will tell you why…
A good photographer will capture all the formal bits and images that you'd expect and request, but a great one will also capture the bits you don't think of, the reactions, the unexpected and the just plain gorgeous moments that an amateur or average one just isn't looking out for. They will move around and try to capture everyone, they may even come as a pair. Unlike a uncle who takes pictures, they won't just focus on the people nearest to them or just the ones they care about. They'll be looking for the best locations and sunlight/shadows. They'll get you to pose in ways that you wouldn't automatically think of, all with the aim to capture you looking your best.
If you want all your double chins on show and an un-coordinated mess then yes go ahead and just ask people to share their snaps, assuming they remember to take any. You might get a couple of good ones that you'd like to keep, which is great. I personally have a couple of pictures taken as my family were getting into position for the formal photos and I would lament losing them, but they aren't the ones that end up in picture frames.
You might have someone you know with a keen eye and a 'good' camera who you would trust to do the 'formal' ones but if they're also a guest they'll be wanting to sit with everyone else, not be milling about. And they likely won't be preparing for the next shot, checking the weather forecast, or have spare equipment/chargers/memory cards/lighting rigs. Not everyone has a great eye for photography or the best equipment to work in extreme changes in light conditions. A dull day will look flat on most standard mobile phone cameras but with adaptable camera settings (and the knowledge of how to use them!) a professional photographer can make even the greyest day look absolutely stunning.
The last point I want to make is a delicate one. If you don't like having your photo taken and think it'll be better to avoid it all together, there may come a time in the future when you wish you'd made the decision to have a photographer. Maybe not right away, but we all change over time and our relatives aren't around forever. Once the time has passed you can't go back; better to have those photos locked away for a rainy day than to regret not having any for the rest of your marriage. Just remember you don't have to have the whole 'getting ready' photos; it'll save you money if you hire your photographer for fewer hours). If you're not happy posing for pics, you could opt instead for a reportage style of photographer rather than formal; it'll be more comfortable. But whatever you chose, those moments from 'I do' to the group photos will be the ones you treasure.
Without a doubt shop around for the best deals and check out what your photographer is offering. Are they award winning, do they have testimonials, are they accredited? If an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is. If it seems too expensive ask how the price is made up; with many photographers you can negotiate in terms of albums, print and number of images (some posh albums can be anywhere up to £1200!). The best ones will often suggest doing an 'engagement' photo shoot and will sometimes include them as standard. This is part of a good practice, getting to know you, that will make you all feel easier on the day.