Picture this. You have been dreaming about getting married your whole life, especially ever since you met this boy. He finally proposes and you get to wedding planning right away, you want to get married as soon as possible! It is hard for you to wait another minute! You pour your heart and soul into crafting a special day that represents you and your love, you pick out the perfect dress and you hire all of your vendors. You spend so much time addressing and stamping all of your invitations, you want all of your loved ones and friends to witness your best day ever marrying your best friend! The day finally comes and it is all you could ever imagine. You make a promise to love and cherish him forever. When he makes his promises he looks you right in the eye and you begin to tear up. This is definitely the happiest moment of your life. You two share your first kiss as husband and wife and you are elated! You walk down the aisle together and the party to celebrate your love begins. You have the best night dancing away with your best friends and family. Your uncle busts down on the dance floor while your sweet nieces try to teach Grandma a line dance. The night ends and your heart is so full. You want to relive this day forever. You cannot WAIT to see the photos.
Fast forward a couple weeks and your "wedding photographer" informs you that he accidentally destroyed all of your photos. There is only one photo that is salvageable, and it wasn't of the most important moments of the day. Your heart is utterly broken. How can you relive this day when you are older and begin to forget? How can you show your kids...your GRANDKIDS?!
Okay okay, that's enough. Is your heart racing? This actually happened to my parents. This is a true story. Can you imagine?! My parents were so young and they didn't have a lot of money so they cut some corners and just had a friend shoot their wedding. Much to their dismay, it didn't go well. The photographer ended up traveling and took their wedding film through an x-ray at the airport and ruined almost every photo that was captured that day.
(Photo to the left was the one salvageable photo from their photographer. Photo on the right was from a guest's disposable camera)
Peace of mind. That is the biggest value of hiring a Professional Photographer, but there is so much more to it! Here are 4 reasons why hiring a professional is worth every penny that you invest.
1. Predictable Product
Do you have a favorite franchise? Maybe Starbucks or maybe Chick-fil-a? Every time you go to your favorite franchise, no matter what location, you know exactly what to expect. If you order the same thing every time you go, you know that it will taste, smell, and look the same no matter where you are. A tall medium roast black coffee at the Starbucks in New Hampshire will taste the exact same at the Starbucks in Florida. It is predictable. We know exactly what we are getting, time and time again. This is a value point in professional photography. If you look at a professional photographer's galleries and social media...you should know exactly what you will get after you book a session with them and receive your images back. There should be no surprises! There should be a consistency throughout all of the images. You know for sure exactly what type of product you will receive in your delivered gallery.
2. Flattering Angles
Professional photographers have a huge knowledge base of body tricks. Simple adjustments that will make you look your best. They know how to accentuate features and how to diminish others. It is all about the angles. You know all about this if you have ever taken a selfie! Don't you find yourself moving around your phone's camera trying to find the best angle to make yourself look best? Mmmhmm. If you want to look like the best version of you, hire a professional.
3. Authentic Emotion
Creating a visual representation of how you feel does not just happen. Gentle coaching is necessary. Professional photographers know how to bring out those emotions on your face and through your body that you want so badly to capture on camera. Love, joy, intimacy, silliness, passion, peace...all of those need a bit of coaching to make them come across through a still image. You need a coach, an encourager, a hype girl...you need a professional photographer.
4. Peace of Mind
We come full circle. Above all else, you want to make sure your memories are kept safe. Please heed the warning of my parent's wedding photography debacle. After many years, and many lessons, I back up my client's precious images in THREE places. As soon as I get home from an event I offload all of my images on a hard drive that is kept in a fire-proof safe. That's step 1. Step 2 is when I cull (select) images that I want to edit, then I place those onto a separate hard drive. After editing images I move to step 3 which is uploading them to an online gallery. IN ADDITION, I do not delete the memory cards until after all of the images are uploaded to the online gallery. For weddings, I also have my second shooter's memory cards full of images from your day that I do the same exact process for. So many levels of protection. What happened to my parents will not happen to my clients.
How do you find a Professional Photographer!?
Compare their work against itself. Do you see consistency? Ask them how they generate authentic emotion in their clients. Ask them how they keep your images safe. Take their answers and contrast them with the 4 points above. Then you will know!