When I got married on April 2, 2004 my mom said that I HAD to have a professional photographer. Out of everything else that is the ONE thing she wanted me to have. It wasn’t until I really got serious about wedding photography did I understand exactly where she was coming from. Don’t get me wrong I have had a passion for photography my entire life but I just didn’t quite understand what she meant. Now that I photograph weddings I understand 100% what she meant.
Your wedding day is a once in a lifetime experience. Yes some people will get married more than once but each wedding is different, each wedding only happens once. It is something that cannot be recreated or redone, there is no exact replica of a wedding. This one day for which you spend countless hours making sure every detail is perfect: The dress hunt, the flower shopping, the decorations; all of which you spend hours upon hours thinking and dreaming and planning for YOUR wedding day. Not to mention the guests that come to your wedding, your friends and your family. Who knows what will happen tomorrow but for that one day it is all about you and the one you love.
Weddings are something celebrated and cherished. When your wedding is over your guests go home, your flowers die (even preserved flowers never look exactly the same), your decorations get put away, your tux gets returned and your dress usually gets put into a box and over the years your memories fade. Of course there are certain things you will always remember, but will you remember exactly how your bouquet looked? How your hair and make-up made you look like a model? The smile on your grooms face when he first sees you walk down the isle? Will you be able to remember what all of your guests wore and how everything was set up. Chances are you wont.
So much happens on your wedding day I often hear brides tell me they were so busy that all the time they spent into their wedding they hardly got to just sit back and relax and enjoy their day. So when everything fades what is left from your wedding day? Your photographs. Many people decide to cut back on photography thinking that their friend or uncle can just snap some pics and that will be good. They think that they can save a little bit of money by not hiring a professional, maybe they have a friend who does it as a “hobby” and they think that is good enough. Chances are you will always regret this decision. Will your friend know exactly the pictures to take? Will he/she capture all of the little details that you put so much time and effort into making your wedding beautiful? Do they have the equipment and skills to make sure that your wedding is captured beautifully?
I understand that wedding photography can become quite costly but the fact of the matter is that your pictures are the ONLY thing that you will have to look back on and be able to remember every detail. The pictures you have from your wedding really do mean so much. My mom did not have a professional photographer at her wedding, instead she had a friend who had an interest in photography take her pictures. Her friend had professional equipment but he didn’t understand how to use his equipment and my mom has always regretted not hiring a professional. The fact of the matter is anyone can own a professional camera but unless you know how to operate it and unless you understand what goes into making a beautiful photograph then you won’t be able to have consistent results.
I often hear people comment to me “your pictures are so nice what camera do you own?” That’s like me going up to a pianist and saying he plays beautifully what piano does he have. So when it comes to your wedding day you have to ask yourself, do you want just anyone to be responsible for taking those lasting memories for you or do you want someone who has had experience and knows what they are doing? Yes chances are you will be paying for that experience and it may seem like a lot at the time, but the pictures you have from your wedding are the memories that you will have to look back on for the rest of your life, they are what you will pass down to your children and to your children’s children. I encourage everyone to really think about your wedding day and how you want to remember it.