Invest in Your Memories Wisely

How many times have we heard ‘no it’s ok we don’t need a professional wedding photographer, my friend/uncle has offered to do our photography as a wedding present’?

It happened not so long ago to a friend of one of our clients.  Their daughter was getting married and our client recommended us for the wedding photography.  

An appointment was made to meet up.  Sadly, they cancelled on the morning of the appointment saying their friend had kindly offered to do their photography as a wedding present.

Oh dear, it's always difficult for us as professional photographers to respond to this as it looks like ‘sour grapes’ or greed!  So, our response is always ‘we're so sorry we won’t be sharing your day with you.  We wish you a lovely wedding day and many happy years together’.
To be totally honest that's not what we want to say at all!!   

We want to ask questions such as these…..
  • Is your friend a professional photographer?
  • Has your friend photographed a wedding before?
  • Do they know what to look for and where to stand in order to get the best photographs?
  • What happens if your friend is ill on the day, do they have a backup plan?
  • Does your friend have more than one camera – in case of break down?
  • Will your friend back up all images to ensure the safety of the images taken on your wedding day, before joining you for a few drinks?
  • So your friend has an excellent camera but the camera doesn’t know how to take pictures on its own!  It has to be set correctly to handle all kinds of light and dark!
  • And, actually, wouldn't your friend rather spend the day with you and your guests chatting and socialising and not with their face behind a camera?
Anyway I think you get my drift!

If we had been given the chance to chat to our clients’ friends, we could have advised them on what questions to ask their friend photographer!

The outcome was, sadly, not good - the couple waited months for their photographs and then when they received them they were bitterly disappointed!   

The bride told our client that her wedding day was ruined!

It rained on the wedding day and their friend photographer didn’t like getting wet.  Therefore, there were no pictures of bride arrival in the beautiful old Rolls Royce cars and all photographs had to be taken indoors and the friend was inexperienced with indoor light, so images were blurred or blown out with flash.

The moral of the story is please think very carefully when a friend or relative offers to do your photography – ask them the questions we would ask.  

It takes a very long time to learn any skill well and photography isn’t any different. 

Just like any other trade or skill, a professional photographer trains for many years and gains qualifications in order to become experienced and competent in their craft.

candle lit wedding all saints church
Candlelit wedding at All Saints Church Lymington - image taken using only the available light

Remember – after the day is over, the dress put away, the cake eaten and you are back to work after your honeymoon – you are left with your memories and your photographs. 

The number of times we have couples feedback to say 'our photographs and slideshow took us right back there to that day, thank you so much for wonderful memories'

A Cautionary Tale – Invest in Your Memories wisely.

Wedding Photography by Jan and Malcolm
Essential Images Weddings