You’re less than a year away from having your wedding? Then it’s time to choose your photographer! And here comes the tricky question:
Should you hire an amateur or a pro photographer?
A wedding is very expensive, therefore it is very tempting to prefer amateurs as they are CHEAPER. This said, saving money on the short term may turn out to be much more expensive in the long run. In other words, hiring an amateur has some cons you may not have thought of.
If you’re hungry to read more, here are 10 reasons to prefer a pro to a casual shooter:
1. A pro is consistent
For sure, amateur photographers might take a couple of great photos of you in a nice location under a beautiful sun. But what happens if it rains or if the party location is very dark?
No matter the circumstances, a pro is always prepared to shoot and deliver consistently good photos all day long.
2. A pro is reliable
Have you ever thought of your photographer losing some or, even worse, all of your wedding photos due to a technical failure? We tend to see photography only through the eyes of creativity. The truth is modern (digital) photography is also a lot of IT. Have you ever thought of the consequences if your photographer’s camera fails, if his/her memory card fails, if his/her computer fails at home?
If I speak for myself, I always shoot weddings with 2 cameras = if one of them dies, I’ll still have one.
On top of this, each of my cameras simultaneously saves every photo on 2 memory cards = if one card fails and accidentally deletes some photos, I’ll still have a copy on the second card.
Last but not least, once I go home, my whole work is saved 3 times : on my computer + an external hard drive + the Cloud.
Obviously, all of this material has a price – which you, the client, will indirectly pay for – but when it comes to preserving your most precious memories, better safe than sorry!
3. A pro is much more than a shooter
Getting married is a complete experience which should be complemented with pro services. For sure, an amateur might be able to take good photos of you. And that’s it!
A pro will always go the extra mile and offer you extra services, like sending you photos in various formats (for printing + for your social media), or creating premium photo albums for you and your loved ones.
4. A pro is a true multi-talent
An amateur may have a solid portfolio made of holiday landscapes and photos of his/her dog. That may be it.
Shooting a wedding is a very versatile exercise which includes shooting a lot of details (objects, food, decoration), venues (ceremony and party buildings, open air areas) and above all people and emotions…
Speaking of emotions, as simple as it looks, pros will probably make better couple photos than amateurs, as they will guide you through different couple poses with confidence and make sure you will feel comfortable and look great.
Pros will also be able to create compelling candid images whereas amateurs will prefer shooting selfies and group pictures on the run. Sure, the latter will reflect your guests having fun, but they will lack any candid emotions.
5. A pro is your secret helper
Sometimes it’s good to trust an “expert”. While amateurs may be asking you all the time what you want during your wedding, pros know what they have to do.
First, because they will meet you before the wedding and discuss all the details.
Second, because they know how to behave on D-day and do their “job”. As such, a pro photographer is an asset which will help you keep on track with your schedule.
6. A pro brings you peace of mind
Sometimes it’s reassuring to know that everything is fixed on a written contract. This paper can really save you in case something extraordinary happens:
- in case there’s a legal argument between you and the photographer. Nobody wants this but it’s best to be prepared for the worst case scenario.
- in case of an accident. Imagine if your photographer asks you to step back a bit and you accidentally fall down the stairs. Who will pay for your hospitalization?
- in case of Force majeure. Imagine if your wedding is planned while there is a Covid-19 pandemic and the photographer won’t accept to pay you back.
When you sign a contract with a pro photographer, you also sign for an insurance which will address all of the above mentioned potential issues.
Again, reliability should not be an option.
7. A pro saves you time
A big difference between a pro and an amateur comes when it’s time to deliver the photos. Most of the amateurs will send you ALL of their photos – good or bad, sharp or blurry, well-exposed or not – and let their client sort them out. When you know you can shoot a couple of thousands photos during a wedding day… Good luck for sorting out the best out of it!
A pro only delivers the BEST shots, sorted out, retouched and ready to be printed on quality paper.
Would you like to sort the best x hundreds pictures among thousands?
8. A pro can’t afford to deliver crap
Being a pro is not just a slogan. If you fail as a pro to deliver good photos, you risk your whole reputation, especially in the age of social media. A bad review on Google Business, Facebook or Yelp can truly harm a business.
If you fail as an amateur, you will just lose potential friends.
9. A pro is like jamón ibérico*
I acknowledge it: the most expensive camera / photographer doesn’t automatically mean the best photos on Earth. Still, I do think that the price point reflects a certain quality.
An expensive jamón ibérico from the local butcher is obviously not in the same league as wet-cured ham from Aldi… In the end, you get what you pay for!
What do you think of so-called pros who shoot a whole wedding day for let’s say 400€? 🙄
* I apologize in advance to all vegans and vegetarians for this comparison
10. A pro is cheaper by all means!
To sum up, even though a pro seems more expensive at first sight, it is eventually way cheaper than an amateur. A pro will not only save you time and stress, (s)he will guarantee you keep quality memories of this unique day for the rest of your life.
Now if you are convinced and you would like to meet me and discuss your future wedding photos, feel free to visit my wedding page & contact me here. 😉
Cover photo credit: Jamon Iberico by Ajay Suresh – cc-by-2.0 – from Wikimedia
Brussels-based professional photographer, specialized in Events (B2B ; weddings, baptisms…) + Portraits + Architecture. I offer my services in all Belgium and the nearby countries.