The Value of a Professional Photographer

One of the most difficult obstacles a wedding photographer faces in this day and age is convincing brides to hire a professional, versus hire a friend with a professional camera.  Nowadays with the equipment being more affordable, it seems like everyone knows someone with a professional camera.  We rarely go to a wedding where there isn’t at least one guest with camera equipment just as good as what we carry.

Professional photographers know what happens 99% of the time when a couple decides to not hire a professional, but the problem is by the time the bride and groom figure it out too, it’s too late.  You don’t get a do-over, and they are stuck with pictures that are very disappointing.  The root of the problem is that most couples have never had to hire a photographer before, so they really don’t know what to look for.  As a result, they end up focusing mainly on cost, instead of focusing on quality.  Janice and I know this from first hand experience, as we were guilty of the exact same thing when we got married.  We ended up hiring the first photographer we met with, because his prices were cheap, and his pictures looked better than what I could have taken (at the time) with my Sony point and shoot camera.  We learned the hard way how big of a mistake that was, which is why if you go in our home, you won’t see one picture from our wedding on the walls.  We literally couldn’t find one that was worthy of being printed.

I could go on for days explaining how a professional understands lighting, composition, and how to pose couples in a flattering way (skills that take years and tons of experience to master), but instead I’m going to ignore that and look at how basic professional editing can enhance a photo.  I’m going to show a few examples of some photos from our most recent engagement shoot of Ceciley and Cameron. The day of the shoot, it had just finished raining. It was very gloomy, and the skies were very grey.

1CAM0713-2This is what the shot looked like right out of the camera. While it’s not terrible, you can see how the colors are very flat, and it doesn’t really “pop”.

Here is the edited photo.  Notice how the sky is now blue, and the colors are much more vibrant.



This photos shows the gloomy sky, which results in images that need a little help to look professional.



Which photo would you rather have?


Here’s a few more before and after pictures:


Now none of these pictures are terrible.  However, your wedding is one of the most important days of your life, and photography captures these memories.  Down the road, you are going to be so happy you spent the money to have pictures that are better than just okay.  We’ve been in the wedding industry for over 10 years now, and we have never once heard of a couple regret spending money on a quality photographer.  However, I’ve lost count on how many times I’ve heard stories from bridesmaids and others about how they wished they wouldn’t have skimped on photography.  It pains us to hear stories of friend photographers shooting horrible photos, or even worse, losing the images.  It really does happen. Don’t let it happen to you.