Is it worth it to hire a Professional?

by Thomas Cole

So you’re getting married. You want to make sure that your special day is preserved for all time. One day, when your memories of that time begin to dim, you will have your photos to bring it all back, allowing you to relive even the small details. How can you arrange this?

Perhaps, you think, a professional wedding photographer would be a good way to go, so you go online an check out a few. You’re shocked! These people want how much to shoot your wedding? Just to snap a few picture? You have friends with good cameras and a guy you know, who has a really nice digital SLR camera, has agreed to shoot your entire wedding for a few hundred bucks. What should you do?

That’s your call. I was at a wedding, not long ago, where the couple got some friends with higher end point-and-shoot cameras to shoot their wedding. What they thought of the results, I never heard. Depending on what you want, you might even be happy with collecting snapshots from friends and relatives and making an album from that.

The important thing is to know what you’re getting. No matter how good a deal you think it is, the fact remains that you usually get what you pay for.

Look at pictures online like in the wedding and portrait gallery on this site. See what the professionals can offer you. If you think anyone can take pictures like that, think again. What a professional wedding photographer has to offer goes far beyond having a nice camera.

Consider this for example. You hire a $500.00 shoot-and-burn photographer the cover your wedding. He shoots your wedding and hands you a disk full of pictures. If you want an album, you need to make it yourself. You may be fine with that, even knowing that there’s a world of difference between one you make and one designed by a professional. What about post-processing? Will he have taken the time to edit all those pictures before handing them to you? He might have but for that kind of money, probably not. Consider the pictures below.

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The Before picture is right out of the camera. Because the light from the door fooled the camera into underexposing the shot, it’s essentially a picture of the view outside that door. The After picture, though by no means a masterpiece, is still a big improvement, a moment captured for the album. If the before picture was all you had, would you know how to fix it, assuming you had the software, the time and the inclination? Now multiply that by a disk full of pictures, most of which will need at least some post-processing to look acceptable. When it comes to all the little extras a professional will give you, aside from better, more consistent image quality, that's just the tip of the iceberg.

You might get someone who is serious about becoming a professional wedding photographer and will give you much of that extra value for cheep in order to gain the experience. But if you’ve hired a person with a nice camera who's just looking for a way to make some extra money on the side, you’ll probably live to regret it.

Here in Saskatchewan we are a thrifty lot. The people of this province have been through some tough times and know the value of a dollar. We also tend to undervalue things. Ten or twenty years from now, you won’t miss that extra money you spent on your wedding photography by hiring a serious professional. Your wedding is not something you can do over. If you decide to go the cheep route, you will miss the pictures you won’t have.