What you need to know
Although many people have DSLR’s or high-quality point and shoot cameras that allow them to take professional level photos, good wedding photography is more than just taking good wedding pictures. In order to have a complete record of the day, you have to be sure you get all the right shots. This is a lot of pressure! For many people, wedding photos are something they simply don’t want to leave to chance. While they may be okay cutting cost on flowers, food or hiring a DJ, wedding photos are meant to last a lifetime.
So, should you hire a professional wedding photographer, or get a friend or family member to handle your wedding pictures? The answer is up to you and your budget. If you can afford a professional wedding photographer — do it. One common option is to hire a photographer for the minimum amount of time they are available. This generally means capturing the ceremony and the family photos typically taken directly after the ceremony. This is covered in about 2 to 3 hours. With this type of package, you won’t have coverage for pre-wedding photos, or for most of the reception. You’ll want to be sure there are at least one or two people who can commit to taking these photos. Don’t assume that because you see people whipping out their phones or cameras you’ll get the shots you want.
Here are some tips to ensure that your DIY photos are everything you want them to be:
- Get a solid commitment from someone that they will be there with their camera and will be taking photos for you. Be sure that they are able to take the photos, follow some direction and that they will get the photos back to you in a timely manner. If you have a friend or even a friend of a friend who is a budding photographer, they may appreciate the opportunity to hone their wedding or portrait skills and may agree to shoot your wedding for free in exchange for a positive review or using your photos in their portfolio, so be sure to ask around among friends and family.
- Make a list of the shots you want to have. There’s nothing worse than going through all your photos only to realize the shot you wanted so badly just didn’t happen. Most wedding photographers have a worksheet you fill out that let’s them know who you want photos of, and what pictures are the most important to you.
- DIY wedding photography can be done well. It does take planning, not just having your cousin show up at the wedding with his new DSLR.