Before you think, “Ashley, you’re a photographer—of course you’re going to think photography is worth the splurge,” hear me out. This isn’t about convincing you to spend more than you can. Not everyone wants to invest in a professional photographer, but not everyone gets why it’s valuable to invest in a pro. If at the end of this post you still want to ask your cousin to shoot your wedding, go for it. But you should know what’s at stake first.
- It’s the only tangible
Sure, you may keep a memento here or there—your grandmother’s pearls, your dad’s cufflinks—but as far as keepsakes you’ll look at every day, photos are it. They’re it, ladies and gents. The only tangible of the best day of your life. And that’s not a cliché; it’s literally the most love-filled day you’ll ever experience, surrounded by virtually every person that matters to you. Plus, they’re the keepsakes your children and grandchildren will hold on to, too. So, do you want to relive it through your cousin’s amateur eye and shaky hand? Or do you want to entrust a pro with capturing every fleeting moment of the day with perfect composition and timeless editing?
2. We actually know how it all works
And I’m not just talking about our cameras. As wedding photographers, we know how the day works—maybe even better than your wedding coordinator! After photographing over 200 weddings, I know where to be when to capture every little detail, from the look on his face as you walk down the aisle to his hand in the small of your back when you’re dancing your first dance. (Cue Aerosmith’s “I don’t want to miss a thing” because you won’t have to.)
3. Professional prices include a lot
In the 8 to 10 hours of coverage I offer my couples, I capture everything from getting ready in the morning (gals and guys) to dancing your feet off at night. I always tow extra equipment with me *just in case,* and I backup photos during dinner to be extra safe. I’m on my feet even when you’re not, and I’m always thinking about what’s coming next so I’m in the right place at the right time. I’m changing cameras, lenses and settings faster than you can blink, setting up lighting, staging details and making it all look easy (it’s not). I don’t always get to eat dinner, so I pack snacks so I don’t get Level 10 hangry on you or your guests. And even through the waterworks of the day, I hold it together enough to capture perfectly composed, focused shots. And then I spend hours and hours editing them to perfection. Would your cousin do the same?
4. We’re you’re other wedding coordinator
Don’t get me wrong, there are some boss wedding coordinators out there who know how to manage your big day without question—but it never hurts to have another set of hands helping you coordinate. I can’t speak for all photographers, but I’m that girl—the one who communicates with your vendors, helps you plan your timeline, pins boutonnieres to the boys, tames your fly-aways, and generally has her eyes on every little detail while your coordinator manages the big picture.
Professional wedding photography may not be for everyone—but it would be a shame to think it’s not for you because the numbers seem intimidating. There is so much education, skill, experience, planning, execution and attention to detail behind those numbers. Plus, when you work with me, a lot of surprises, cocktails and fun along the way.