Updated: Mar 18
Amongst all the other elements of your wedding planning, if you are trying to decide if you should hire a professional wedding photographer or not YOU NEED TO READ THIS BLOG!
As you begin to realise the expense of a wedding, and try to cut back on some things to save your budget, you may be asking yourself “Why not use pictures taken by friends or relatives on their “smart phones” or “point n shoot“ cameras?” “Is it really worth the expense of hiring a professional wedding photographer or will a cheaper moonlighting, shoot and burn amateur be able to do the job just as well for a lot less money?”
Like most things in life, you get what you pay for. If I asked you to rate what kind of wedding you want 1-10 (1 being the worst ever and 10 being legendary) would you just go for a 5 - an average wedding? Chances are the answer is NO - so if you aim for an above average wedding, you will want above average photographs and video! That can mean paying above average price and certainly not a "cheap and nasty"! For so many reasons, hiring an accredited professional wedding photographer is worth every cent you spend and you wedding memories over your life-time are actually priceless!
A Soul Focus and Purpose!
You literally only get on chance on your wedding day to capture it. Things happen so quickly and some intimate moments occur in relative private to your guests, so if your are relying on them for your photographs your expectations need to be low and you can easily end up very disappointed. After all, they are guests at your wedding and everyone wants to enjoy the day and celebrate with you - not be distracted by the pressure of having to take photographs - especially when the are the only photos you will have.
Your professional wedding photographer will be the only vendor you spend your entire day with! Their whole purpose is to focus on you and your wedding and not miss a single moment or special detail. This will mean you wont be disappointed that a certain shot or moment was missed!
Unlike amateurs (who may call themselves professional) who are looking to make a bit of extra money in addition to their “real” job, accredited professional wedding photographers are trained, skilled and experienced in the genre of wedding photography and their soul focus and purpose is to get the best shots (posed and candid), in the best light, from the best angle, sometimes without you even noticing the camera.
A good wedding photographer will also have worked with you ahead of time on the schedule and timing for your day, and what kinds of images you want, who the important people are etc, so they will make sure that nothing gets missed. This takes the stress off the bridal couple and your guests which means you can just relax and enjoy the moment knowing we have it covered!
The alternative without a professional wedding photographer is the risking ending up not only with with less than stellar photographs and but neither you nor you guests relaxing and enjoying your day as you worry about taking photos. What is that worth to you?
Turning Moments into Memories - WOW!
Despite all the planning, costs and effort you put into your amazing wedding day, in reality it will be over in a heart beat. The cake will have been eaten, the flowers will wilt, the dress will get cleaned and stored, the music will have faded but you will want to remember it all for years to come. In fact much more than just having photographs of you as a couple for yourself, you will also want to share it with your friends and family and eventually your children and grandchildren.
Wedding photographs become family heirlooms through the generations and provide a legacy that documents a family history. Photographs enable us to tell and share our story with others, they connect us to our past, reminding us of people and places, letting us relive the emotions, thoughts and feelings of those moments - that’s why they are so special and powerful! Can you really trust them to a friend or amateur?
Professional Wedding Photographs Capture Emotions.
The Art of Wedding photography is not just in capturing the details and documenting the day, although that is of course part of what most couples expect and want. What they often don’t even think about is that their wedding photographs will let them relive the entire day over and over, as often and as many times as they wish for the rest of their lives! At West Coast Weddings we work from a story driven approach, that’s why all of our Collections include coverage from getting ready through to your reception. I design the ultimate wedding album that tells the beautiful love story of your wedding day that you can look back on and feel the moments all over again.
A professional wedding photographer has to not only be a technical expert to capture the image correctly, creatively and inclusively, but her true art is to capture the feel and emotion of the day and those fleeting, special moments in family history (the emotion of your father’s first look at you as a bride, the anxious groom waiting at the alter, the fleeting glance you exchange as you join hands in the ceremony etc) that deserve to be immortalised in print that are easily missed by the inexperienced. Do you want to be able to feel how you felt on your wedding day over and over again?
The Devil’s in the Detail. By working with you ahead of time, we know all the subtle nuances and special touches you have for your wedding - grandma’s earrings you borrowed that she wore to her wedding and so did your mother, the garter with the broach from the grooms mother, the little clock on the signing table that was a retirement gift to Granda who is watching from above). We have macro lenses that will capture these intricate details that will then never be lost in your family history.
Weddings are busy - you are the centre of attention and everyone will want a piece of you on the day - to talk, congratulate and share in your happiness. Lots of brides don’t find time to eat let alone remember all those details they want photographed and remembered.
Weddings are a huge investment in time, money and emotions, you want to remember and relive it in the quietness when it’s all over, taking in all the small details and moments that you were too busy to really take in on the day. This is where videography comes into its own, I can’t tell you how many brides are amazed to here their wedding vows in their film saying they were in a kind of daze on the day and didn’t really hear them properly until they saw their film and it all comes flooding back. One bride recently told me she watched it 15 times over and over and cried each time! Will your guests, or an inexperienced amateur photographer take the time to know all those little details so special to your wedding and be able to capture them properly?
Family History in Wedding Photographs
They say weddings and funerals provide rare opportunities for families and friend to all come together at once. No matter how close our family and friends are to us, life just gets in the way and it is almost impossible to bring everyone together at the same time. So your wedding is a rare and special time, when those you love and care about surround you in celebration and this shouldn’t be missed as a photographic opportunity in your family history.
We work with you in your Design Consultation to discover the types of photographs you like, the mood you want to capture, any special locations and who ae the important people you want photographs with.
When it comes to family portraits it can be like herding cats to get everyone together and all looking in the right direction! But that’s what a professional wedding photographer is experienced in and there for!
Of course these photographs can not only be for you, but can be special for them to remember your wedding day and that’s where “parent albums” come in - these are a duplicate of your larger album but in a much smaller size and make ideal gifts for parents, the bridal party or other special family members.
The Most Important Wedding Photos
We all have different tastes, values and priorities, so what is considered the most important photo to one couple can be totally different to the next. That’s why we focus in your Design Consultation on what is special and meaningful to you! So we can tell your story, your way.
At West Coast Weddings, we understand that the heart of an amazing wedding album is to tell your love story and include all those precious moments and details.
That said we find that here are some generalised “must have” wedding shots that most couples want:
The Bride getting ready, with their loved ones helping them put on that special dress that will turn them into a princess for the day. This often includes a “First Look” from her Father or Escort
The brides processional - when everyone stands up and the anxious groom waiting sees his gorgeous bride for the first time in her dress.
The groom and bride join together & share a “look” before taking their vows
The exchange of vows and rings
Signing the Register
The Proclamation of Husband and Wife
The first kiss and Mr and Mrs
The recessional, as you walk back down the Aisle, often fist pumping with excitement and joy as your begin your new life as a married couple
But Wait There's More…
Most weddings don’t end with the ceremony. Usually after there will be either general chaos congratulations or a formal receiving line - so an opportunity for candid photojournalistic shots. Usually after which there will be some formal group shots of the couple with their respective family groups, then some bridal party shots and finally some private portraits with just the bride and groom. Before you all end up in the reception your professional wedding photographer will have snuck inside whilst the immaculate decor is still perfect to take some detail shots before the guests pile in.
Beyond the traditional must have posed or directed shots (and these can be made fun and to look spontaneous and natural) candid photos can also be some of the best ones - especially at the reception.
Professional wedding photographers are always on the hunt and constantly watching and anticipating to capture those moment of true love and spontaneous emotion that occur. If they don’t happen naturally, they have the skills and expertise to invoke and create it. I had one bride who wanted a “First Look” with her dad but felt he was much too hard nosed and steely for it to be worth it. I convinced her to try it and I primed her Dad before hand - saying to him “She’s always been your little girl, and you have always been the number one man in her life up to now, from today onwards there will be a new number one man in her life, but she will always be your little girl….are you ready to see your daughter for the last time as a single woman?” I had him stand with his back to the door, I brought her in and stood them back to back so they could feel each other against them. I got them to hold their hands closest to the camera and coached them to turn around when I counted to three. The suspense was palpable in the room and when they turned into each other for the reveal her father broke down and cried. They were both crying and hugging - and I was shooting high speed the whole time. Her dad couldn’t believe he cried - but my experience told me he would! Nine months later her dad died suddenly and this bride contact me to tell and thank me all over again for giving her this beautiful irreplaceable moment with her dad. Although she was heartbroken at loosing her dad she was so comforted and grateful she had those photos and video that she would now treasure forever. She said she never really appreciated just how special they would become for her and the family.
Couples also want to be able to reflect on the decorative and sentimental elements of their wedding that they invested so much time and money deciding on - the flowers, the shoes, the rings, the cake, the centrepieces, the ambiance of the venue etc.
The Importance of Wedding Photographs.
Photographs freeze time and become family history heirlooms and legacies. They are the tangible evidence as to just how spectacular the event was and how happy every who attended was, and how much fun they had.
Professional wedding photographs will make you laugh, smile, cry and take your breath away for years to come, long after the sparkle of the day has vanished - they are totally worth every cent and there is no substitute!
If you would like to find out more about how West Coast Weddings professional photography and videography can help with your wedding give us a call on 0412 562 832 and we can arrange a totally obligation free Design Appointment for us to get to know each other better.