Beyond the Lens: Warning...Wedding Photo Devastation

With every bride comes a budget. And with every budget (large or small) comes areas of sacrifice. While you are the only one who will be able to determine how your budget is divided, there is one items far too many brides sacrifice and that is photography. While I have never had a bride come to me and say, "I am going to take out photography so that I can have a bar" I have heard this phrase far to many times..."I have a friend who is great at taking photos and he is willing to do them for free for our wedding!"

I am sure your friend takes beautiful photos, but has he ever captured a wedding? Your photos may turn out beautiful but is that something you are willing to risk?
"Saving a couple thousand on a wedding photographer may seem like a good deal until the potential aftermath where there are no good photos to remember your day by." (Theresa, Theresa Bridget Photography)There is not going to be any way for you to reenact the wedding, unless you are willing to throw yet another $10,000 wedding. In which case, that was the reason your aren't hiring a professional wedding photographer in the first place, right??

So in order to show you the importance of not hiring a friend to take your wedding photos, we decided to bring a friend along with us on a shoot. And yes, she can take some beautiful photos...some beautiful non-wedding photos, that is :)

Here she is ----------------------------------------------------------->>
(check back tomorrow for a behind-the-scenes look!)

Before we get started, I want to get one thing straight..."Both the professional and non-professional images were taken with the same camera and lens; a top grade canon wedding camera and l series lens. And both were edited in light room." Yes, Theresa sent me this information via email and I copied and pasted it directly onto this blog post - I know nothing about cameras so I wanted it straight from the professional's mouth!

Most of us are not models...

And in addition to that, many of us are a little camera shy. Well, at least I am! You should've seen me at this shoot...I didn't know a single thing about where to put my hands, when to smile and when not to smile. And I've already been married! Believe me, it was an improvement from my engagement photos and wedding day so I know there are plenty of you out there that are a little nervous about the posing part of your wedding photography.

And your photographer is there to pose you as well! I am not referring to putting you in awkward poses that look like poses, but placing your hands and eyes and lips and feet in places that look natural and can depict your love for each other. But because your friend has never shot a wedding, unfortunately, he is not going to be able to help you out. So you better do some practicing in the mirror and studying before your wedding day!

What happens when the sun goes down?

Remember on Monday when I talked about editing night time photos? This is exactly what I was talking about! But in addition to the editing, your friends are most likely not going to have the equipment to capture those night shots. "We have professional grade flash equipment and know how to use it, so we were able to create the bright image you see compared to the dark image." (Theresa, Theresa Bridget Photography)

I know you're thinking it so I will answer it for you...yes, these two photos were taken within 20 seconds of each other. So we aren't just trying to trick you :)

An inconsistent story told...

"Just because a person can take a great landscape image, does not mean they can take a portrait. Posing and getting skin tones right is a practice that takes time to develop." (Theresa, Theresa Bridget Photography) Being a wedding photographer is more than just snapping shots of the beautiful bride. It is the art of telling the story of love and allowing others to truly see this love in a series of still images. So just because I can click the button on the camera and I can find a beautiful background, doesn't in any way, shape, or form mean that I can take a stunning photo.

Still not convinced?

Alright so your photographer friend has professional lighting, like the exact same lighting equipment Theresa used on this shoot, and he knows how to use it! His expertise is models so he definitely knows how to pose a model if needed. So there is no reason I can't have him as my free wedding photographer, right?


Here are four more reasons why you shouldn't hire a friend to be your wedding photographer...hopefully these will have you convinced!

    1. What is going to happen to your friendship if your photos don't come out well?
    2. Will you ever forgive yourself if you hate your wedding photos?
    3. Something will go wrong at every single wedding so you want a professional there who knows how to handle these 
       crazy situations.
    4. How many cameras does your friend own, just in case one breaks? Can anyone say, "sand in the lens"?

Is a $100 photobooth more desirable than a $1000 photobooth? Trick question - the photobooth has nothing but terrible reviews, all of which say they never showed up. Now which is more desirable to you? Receiving photos you don't want to look at is the same thing as paying for a photobooth that never shows up.

"A wedding is a big event, brides and grooms spend a lot of money, time and effort making the day perfect, it is important to have quality memories to preserve the day. Having a professional photographer will give you quality photos." (Theresa, Theresa Bridget Photography) There is a difference between price and value. Value is the price you pay for the services you receive so it is not always beneficial to pay less for less. Find a budget that works for you and search for the photographer that will be able to provide you the best value for what you are paying.

You are going to have a wedding to remember, so make sure you choose a photographer who will preserve those memories for you.

I believe that photography is one of the most important aspects of anyone's wedding day. Your cake will be consumed, your flowers will wilt, and your dress will be put away deep in the closet to be hidden until you have kids who want to see it. But despite everything else that doesn't stay with you, your photos do. These are the images that will sit in a beautiful album on your coffee table for each visitor to look through. These are the images that your children, grandchildren, and maybe even ancestors will look at one day, laughing at how silly that gown and hair do are. These images will last a lifetime.

"Beyond the Lens" is a collaborative series helping brides make the most of their wedding photos - the do's, the don'ts, and the absolute musts.

Theresa Bridget PhotographyLove and Lace Bridal & TailorDevon Duff Makeup Artistry