Weddings By Tom: Do I NEED to hire a Professional Photographer for my Wedding?

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Supplier Takeover: Weddings by Tom

Before I start, I feel I should introduce myself; I’m Tom Langford of Weddings By Tom and I’m a professional wedding photographer. 

I’ve been photographing weddings for 10 years now, 5 of those as a full-time profession and have photographed over 200 weddings to date. 

I’ve been privileged enough to be asked by Tiffany (as her wedding photographer for next October) to write a few articles from a wedding professionals perspective on the whole journey picking a photographer through to the day itself and delivery of images at the end.

Do I NEED to hire a Professional Photographer for my Wedding?
I guess before we even talk about choosing the ‘right photographer’ for your wedding and styles of photography, we should look at whether you even want (or need) to hire a professional photographer in the first place... 

There’s no escaping the fact that weddings cost money, and so do good photographers.
 I fully appreciate that when you sit down to draw up a rough budget for your big day that £1500-2000 for a wedding photographer may seem steep; especially when most of your guests will be armed with camera phones and Uncle Bob will be bringing his SLR anyway. 

The point of this article isn’t to tell you have to pay thousands for an expensive professional at your wedding or the photos will be terrible. It’s more to point out all the things a professional can bring to your wedding above and beyond just taking photos:

It’s one thing to pose for a selfie with a group of friends on your wedding day, but another to have to rely on those selfies and snapshots to be the only photographic document of your wedding day.

Secondly, wedding days and alcohol go hand in hand. As the day goes on, those photos get blurrier with every glass of prosecco. To have someone on hand whose job is purely to stay sober, capture these moments and allow your family and friends to also enjoy these moments with you, as they’re not behind the camera ‘working’ on your wedding.

When you book a professional photographer, alongside a bag full of cameras and lenses, they also arrive with the experience of every wedding that they’ve been too previously and have knowledge to help make your day run as smoothly as it can. 

They’ll know (or have found out) what time the sun sets and in which direction so you can grab those dreamy golden photos at the right time, they know how a ceremony works and where  to stand to get the best photos. If it rain’s they’ll have a plan B, if it’s a winter wedding, they’ll have the knowledge to deal with low light of the day.

They’ll lead you through every step of the way, so you needn’t worry which photos they have and haven’t got as ‘they just know’. This means you haven’t got to worry and micro-manage your day, just focus on the fun!

This couldn’t be truer and is one of the most overlooked aspects when looking at the costs of photographers for your day. 

A good professional should be qualified, insured and equipped for every eventuality of your day. We don’t just have one fancy camera, we have multiples in case one breaks during the day. We have insurance in case of accidents and complex back-up systems so we don’t lose your photos to a corrupted memory card. 

Unfortunately, I receive far too many e-mails every year with requests for either re-shoots as they've been left without photos after entrusting a non-professional, or requests to edit/save badly exposed photos from their day as its all they have to remind them of their wedding.

There’s not many people on this planet that can honestly say they ‘enjoy’ being photographed and the last thing you want is feeling anxious on your happiest day with all the eyes on you and constant photography. A good photographer will have a great way of blending in and capturing your day without you realising, and when they are visible, make you feel really at ease with the whole process. 

Could you honestly say you’d feel the same about having your Uncle Bob doing your photos and having PDA’s infront of him and his camera for your couple photos?

When booking suppliers for your wedding, there's not many things that you’ll book that will last for years and years after the day; the cake gets eaten, the flowers wilt and your dress gets put in a box that goes in the attic. 

Your photos should allow those 12 or 14 hours that you spent months planning for to live forever in your memory. If you have left is memories, they’ll fade over time, but photos will keep those memories alive.

Don’t think of wedding photography (or any photography) as just another supplier for a wedding. You're entrusting that person to capture one of the most important moments in  your life, and allow you to relive it forever. 

Wouldn’t you want the best person you could get to do that for you?

Hopefully this has given you some food for thought if you were on the fence about hiring a photographer for your day. There are many of us to choose from, with a range of styles and catering to all budgets too. 

In the next article, I’ll talk about picking the right photographer for you and your day and the different styles of photography there are.

Until next time!
Tom x

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