In case you are wondering, in this photograph the orange multi-coloured thing is a kite surfer! This couple were so brave. We went on to the beach after their meal, before their first dance, and just had such a fantastic 20 minutes with them, got some fabulous images.
“I’m just going to get a friend to take our wedding photographs.” Because your friend has a really good camera? And that photograph of the sunset he/she took on holiday last year was just fabulous? So yeah, just let them take the photographs of one of the biggest days of your life, right?
I am sure you would expect a professional photographer, whose continued survival in the business depends on people coming to me to take their photographs, to disagree. And I do. For lots of reasons. But it may surprise you to know that the main reason is not about me. Its about the loss of opportunity to capture something special, to create a moment that will be there for a grandchild or on a silver wedding anniversary. I shoot a limited number of weddings a year, and mix my wedding work with studio, landscape and fashion / model work. So this is not about me trying to up my workload. It is about making sure that a couple engage a professional photographer, a proper professional. (Of course, I am not refusing work, so if you like my style please contact me, I may be available for your special day!)
Start by going and reading comments from others. Scottish Wedding Directory has a fantastic range of articles on how to select a wedding photography professional, has a forum where brides to be can exchange information and ideas, and also has a directory of advertisers ( and yes, you will find me in there, along with at least 200 “competitors”!)
In a recent issue (SWD, October 2012) Natasha Rademehr spent a day with a professional photographer, and came up with just some reasons why you should choose a professional, rather than ask your Uncle with the good camera:
Photographers have an artist’s eye. They instinctively know which angles and poses are most flattering and will make sure you look as amazing in your pictures as you do in person.
A broken camera is a photographer’s worst nightmare – and yours if its your wedding day. But if you hire a professional, they will always have at least one back-up (tip: ask your photographer how many camera bodies they carry on a shoot. I carry 4, or rather my assistant does. tip: make sure your photographer works with an assistant.)
You might worry about the weather on the day and how it will affect the photographs, but a pro won’t. They are incredibly resourceful and will research the venue beforehand so that they can come up with a plan for both good and unfavourable weather. (I carry studio lights so if we have to we can setup indoors, this is not ideal but sometimes necessary, this is Scotland after all.)
Most photographers do a combination of reportage-style photos (candid shots) and portraits/formals. But if the idea of posing for a photo gives you the fear, don’t worry; a skilled professional will be able to gently direct you to produce shots look really natural, rather than stiff ( I regularly get asked if I can just take some relaxed informal shots like the one in a sample album. I almost always reply “that was set up, thats a pose, but it was fun!”)
I have shot a lot of weddings, coped with a couple of crises, have a bit of experience about what works and what doesn’t. I will turn up prepared and ready to work all day for you, with spare equipment, endless enthusiasm and good humour, professional indemnity insurance and ideas I have discussed with you beforehand. Please, please, please choose a professional photographer, and have a wonderful day with memories that last a lifetime.
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