As you begin to plan your wedding, you will likely have people who love you begin to step up in a variety of ways. From Aunt Martha who loves to bake cakes, to your friend from middle school who works on flower arrangements on the weekends, it’s important to be planful about how and when to rely on loved ones for help. In this blog, we share the reasons you shouldn’t have a friend be your wedding photographer.
One of the common ways that friends often try to lend a helping hand is in the area of creative services, like photography. The type of assistance offered might range from someone who literally just has a smartphone, to someone who takes portraits as an after-work side-hustle.
5 Downsides of Using a Loved One as Your Wedding Photographer
1. Things could get complicated with your relationship if the photos don’t turn out the way that you want. While it seems like saying “yes” to their kind offer could be good for your friendship, there are risks. If you aren’t pleased with the outcome of the photos they take, there will be unmet expectations, hurt feelings, and potentially even bitterness. If your friendship is important to you then it’s not worth the risk.
2. The quality won’t be what you expect. Even if your friend has a nice, professional-status camera, it’s unlikely that they will be able to deliver on the quality that’s required. It isn’t just about the type of camera, but there’s a skillset to ensure that the right accessories and settings are used to meet the requirements of the surrounding environment.
3. The quantity won’t be what you need. It can literally take thousands of photos to have enough to choose from to narrow down to the best deliverables. No matter how experienced your friend is, it takes a lot of experience shooting weddings to be able to quickly capture the quantity that will set your wedding album up for success.
4. They might not be able to navigate potential pitfalls. What happens if the timeline gets thrown off track, if the lighting isn’t as expected, or what if it rains? Things that are unexpected are bound to happen, and they might not be prepared to handle them.
5. They don’t get to enjoy being a wedding guest. This is actually pretty important! If this individual is someone who you are close with, you will likely want them to be in front of the camera (versus behind it.)
While it’s a nice gesture for them to offer, we hope it was helpful to better understand the top 5 reasons you shouldn’t have a friend be your photographer.
5 Upsides of Hiring a Professional Wedding Photographer
On the other hand, here are reasons why we’re ‘Team Pro’ (and it’s not just because it’s what we do!) Here are the upsides of hiring a professional—which will further reinforce reasons you shouldn’t have a friend be your wedding photographer.
1. You get access to potential promotions and packages with other services (like videography.) With companies like Joy Photo and Video, we offer both photography and videography. This means that we’re able to customize packages to meet the needs of your dream wedding vision, as well as offer special promotions—like a free engagement session for couples in Texas!
2. Professional photographers will coordinate with other wedding pros. It’s often underestimated how important it is for your vendors to be able to work well with one another. We have a network of pros who we work closely with, from makeup artists to wedding caterers. When it comes to things like planning timelines or coordinating the details of the big day, you will greatly benefit from a photographer who is well connected and able to partner closely with others who are helping to execute on your vision.
3. They will have experience. There are often very quick moments that need to be captured (like a first kiss) without a lot of time to do so.
A pro will be able to act fast enough (under pressure) while staying in bounds of the desired quality. And quality doesn't just mean a high-resolution photo...this includes a stylistic point of view. There’s also value in working with pros who have expertise in your local area, like familiarity with the wedding venue that you select. This means they’ll have more of a comfort level—no getting lost on the way, or getting surprised with difficult lighting that they weren’t expecting.
4. You are paying for a service, so it’s guaranteed that you will get the final images. When you partner with a professional, it’s typical to enter into an agreement which outlines things like payment terms and expectations of timing. You are going to be so excited to see your wedding photos and it’s up to the photographer to deliver them on the timeline that you’ve agreed upon. If you’re paying for a service, it’s more likely that your wedding photo editing and delivery will be prioritized.
5. They will have options for digital and physical wedding albums. At Joy Photo and Video, we offer packages which include digital galleries, physical albums, as well as prints, so that you will get exactly what you need.
While the intentions are appreciated, we hope that this was helpful for you to better understand the reasons you shouldn’t have a friend be your wedding photographer. If you’re interested in our wedding photography services, we provide the following:
Dedicated Bridal Consultant
Timeline, Planning, Shotlists
All day coverage
Proposal, Engagement, Getting Ready, First Look, Ceremony, Reception, Send Off, Anniversary
Candids, Portraits, Guests, Decor
Digital Gallery, Physical Albums, Prints
Delivery in 4-6 weeks
Packages range from $2,500-$4,500+ for both photo and video. Our work is nationally recognized, award-winning, and most important: bride recommended. Read a compilation of reviews for Joy Photo and Video from real Joy couples here.
The Joy Team