Why get an expensive professional photographer? (Updated for 2020)
One thing that never ceases to surprise (and, yes, even shock) engaged couples is the cost of wedding photography and videography. Many start the wedding planning process assuming that a professional photographer or a videographer would not cost more than a couple of hundred dollars, only to find out that the actual price is several times higher than their original estimate. Many couples then get discouraged and seek alternative means of capturing their wedding day memories (for instance, by asking one or more of their friends to take pictures throughout the day).
That is usually a huge mistake! Why, do you ask? Would you not get the same quality pictures if you got a really great digital camera and handed it to a guest or family member to take pictures throughout the day? Well, as you can imagine, you generally get what you pay for. Yes, anyone with a digital camera can point-and-shoot to take pictures, but what "anyone" may not be able to do is create a composition and tell an emotional story with the right use of light, color, contrast, and angle.
We at WeddingVenture.com are often asked how important wedding photographer at the wedding is. We say it's the most important item on your list. If you're paying for all these things, don't you want to have the best memories of that day (and khhmm... all the money you spent)?
Professional photographers do have a ton of experience specifically with weddings, so they know what specific moments during the wedding ceremony or wedding reception to look for, what backgrounds to choose based on your wedding color, how to arrange people in your photographs, and what will look great on camera in general.
When you ask a professional photographer to take your wedding photos, you can be sure that that person will focus on you and the wedding 100% of their time (after all, they are paid to do that). If, on the other hand, you ask one of the guests to be your dedicated photographer they are sure to miss some of the important moments simply because they will get distracted by your wedding (talking to other guests, eating, flirting with your single bridesmaids/groomsmen, etc.).
The bottom line is, there are ways to save money when planning a wedding (in fact, WeddingVenture.com has a ton of tips and tricks on saving money while planning a wedding). Generally, however, wedding photography is not one of the items where we would advise you to skim. Remember, that years from now, after the food you've eaten is long gone, you no longer fit in your dress and no one can remember where your ceremony and reception even took place, your wedding pictures and wedding videos will be the only reminders of the biggest day of your life.
To get you started, we have compiled a great list of local wedding photographers recommended by past brides: