Thursday, May 5, 2011

Why hire a Pro when a friend offers to shoot your wedding for free?


It is an interesting question isn’t it?

We hear often enough that” a friend of a friend wants to become a professional photographer so they have said they will shoot our wedding for free!”

They want to build up their portfolio with images so they offer to photograph your wedding for free! In other words they want to practice being a wedding photographer at your wedding and at your expense.

So why should you pay a professional for something that you can get someone else to do for free?

We have had numerous phone calls from Brides in tears because their wedding images are horrible, out of focus, shadows cast across faces, heads cut off and the shot that was never even taken. They all want to know if we can fix it?  Sometimes we can,  but Photoshop work is very expensive.

While the marriage of the couple is very important, the people that were special enough to be invited are also important.  What of the guests that travelled such a long way to be a part of this special day? Most weddings turn into family gatherings, often family members haven’t seen each other since the last family wedding. Those are opportunities lost if care isn’t taken to document them properly.

When I think of the important events in my life, my wedding day is way up at the top of the list. It is a day I cherish and remember and look back on when days aren’t so bright and sunny, maybe when I am feeling a little down. Same with the pictures of my children. I want images that will stand on their own, not requiring a lot of colorful editing to hide all the mistakes that were made. I want images that are created and made by someone who works at his or her craft not just plays at it.

One thing I often wonder about is what do you do when someone who isn’t a professional ruins your wedding photographs? Not much you can do  from what I can gather. You can’t “recreate” the day. Do you even tell the person? More than likely it’s something you will never forget about and it will always be a negative experience that represents your wedding day.

What about the digital retouching? Are they working with calibrated monitor’s? Do they have the right software in order to do even the most basic of color correction? As with film, digital files need to be processed. They don’t come out of the camera a finished product they need attention just like film did.

As someone who has photographed 100’s of weddings I have the experience and the equipment to handle anything that a wedding day can throw at me.

When you look back at the photographs that are meant to last your life time,  meant to be shared with your children and their children and all you really have to remind you of just how beautiful the day was will it be worth it then? 

One thing is for certain just because a professional wedding photographer makes it look easy doesn’t mean it is.



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