Picture Perfect – Is it a brave new world or are you safer in the hands of a pro?

A great deal about weddings, and in particular, the planning process has evolved somewhat in recent years. In particular, technological advances spanning the last decade have impacted the way in which key knot-tying elements are delivered. The world wide web has brought us E-invitations. Digital music in our pockets has enabled DJ-less discos. But perhaps one of the most notable advances in our everyday lives is the accessibility of high-quality photography. Or, at least, the tools for the job…

Barring a few of the older folk and the little rascals running riot, skidding on their knees,it’s a safe bet that every guest at a wedding today is packing a camera capable of outstanding quality photos. Whether it’s a stand-alone camera or a smartphone, almost everybody is equipped with the necessaries to deliver professional quality pics.

And yet, to let these remarkable leaps in the standard of our pocket size tech intrude upon the turf of the professional wedding photographer has remained, to this day, almost taboo. Still, today, even the most tight budgeted couples will manage to pay their way into the diary of a professional when it comes to their wedding snaps. Only the brave will ditch the expenditure all together and go fully DIY.

 

The question we’re asking, and hopefully helping to answer for those at this particular point, is do you need a professional wedding photographer in 2019? The reality is that there isn’t a simple yes or no answer. There are varying options to consider…

 

Playing it safe

For total piece of mind, the tried and tested paid professional photographer is a safe bet. They’re fully qualified and you’ll have the opportunity before the big day to brief them on the exact photograph set that you want. As well as this, you know that high quality prints will be delivered quickly. In addition, an experienced photographer based in the same area as your venue will be familiar with all of the local venues.

Because of this, you can be sure that your snaps will be taken in the most picturesque areas of the grounds. The downside? The cost. A professional wedding photographer is one of the more expensive aspects of the modern wedding. It’s worth baring in mind though that you’re paying for their time. Maybe you’re only after stellar pictures taken during and immediately after the ceremony. If that’s the case, maybe the next option is for you…

 

Best of both worlds

So you’ve seen a few impressive shots posted on Instagram by a few of your guests and you’re confident that, armed with a dozen or so megapixels, they can point and shoot and capture the magic moments of your wedding day. But there’s still that nagging feeling that you should at least make absolutely certain that the formalities are captured, and captured well.

A pro snapper will take down a list before the big day, detailing precisely what photos are required, and of whom. If you can nail down a core set of required photos that you know can be organised and taken within a short time of the confetti being thrown, maybe you’re onto a winner. Getting your most important shots taken professionally whilst keeping the photographer there for a minimal amount of time will knock down costs significantly.

 

Who you know, not what you know

This certainly wont be an option for everybody, but most people will know somebody who owns the sort of camera that you won’t see poking out of the back of a smartphone. While they may not use said camera in their day job, you can bet that, unless they have more money than sense, they know a thing or two about how to use such an expensive piece of kit.

If this person is an acquaintance, maybe you’re looking at a slight discount. A close friend or extended family member, you could be into proper mates rates. When it’s your absolute bestie or a close blood relative, you may just have hit the jackpot of a free wedding photo set. But it’s still something of a leap of faith. No matter how impressive the camera is, if the owner isn’t a professional photographer, they’re not likely to be trained and accredited either. A big judgement call with the potential to save you a lot of cash…

 

The free-for-all

The final option throws caution firmly to the wind. Zero pounds, zero pence spent on photography, and no guests burdened with responsibility. It’s the approach of the seriously easy going couple. And it’s an option that hardly guarantees an album’s worth of quality wedding pics. And yet, going down this route offers curious and unique advantages. One photographer can only be in one place at one time. They’ll almost certainly miss some of the drunk uncle’s funniest antics. Your guests, however, are omnipresent. A smartphone-wielding army ready to capture the best moments of your day at the touch of a button.

And the technology they carry isn’t to be sniffed at. Modern phone cameras offer not only impressive functionality whilst used for photography, but also a range of after-touch features. On top of all this, there’ll be a certain organic quality to almost every shot. Social media gives you the chance to gather in all of the best snaps of the day. Without leaving the house. Create a hashtag for your wedding day, make sure your guests know about it and then see what delights/horrors await the morning after. All in all, this approach is a massive leap of faith. But if you’re all about living the moment while it’s there, and capturing it on film is just a bonus, then maybe…just maybe…It’s worth a roll of the dice…