4 Reasons Why You SHOULDN'T Hire Your Friend or Family to Shoot Your Wedding

WE GET A LOT OF INQUIRES FROM POTENTIAL COUPLES THAT END BY SAYING

"Thank you, but our friend/family member has just offered to shoot for us so we're going to go with them". It's hard to compete with family or friends so we don't generally put up a fuss, and we're sure that many couples have their list of reasons for asking or allowing them to do it, but in all honesty it can be frustrating for not only us, but photographers in general, to hear time and time again. 

After receiving our most recent "our friend is going to shoot for us" email we decided to sit down and talk about it. Out of that conversation came these 4 top reasons on why you shouldn't hire your friend or family to shoot your wedding for you- continue reading below for more!

1. A PROFESSIONAL IS A PROFESSIONAL FOR A REASON

We've been there, done that. Seriously. Everyone has to start somewhere, we get that- we had to too, and we're so thankful for all of the couples who took a chance on us on our first season! Before getting into wedding photography though, all of us went through a 4 year intensive program at Sheridan College and we all walked away with our BAA's in Photography. Prior to weddings we all have shot various events, worked with clients, pre and post-processing, deadlines, contracts, we know our cameras inside out, have worked and continue to regularly work with different lighting situations (indoor, outdoor, harsh light, overcast, off camera flash, strobe lights) the list can go on and on.

2. IT'S A 2 MAN JOB

Photographers don't include a second shooter to simply have an excuse to up their packages, or so they can bring a buddy along for the day. 2 photographers for a wedding day are absolutely needed. So much happens throughout the day, beginning to end, and since it's impossible for 1 person to be in 2 spots at once, we devise plans for every location that we're at to ensure that absolutely everything is covered at all times, and nothing is missed.

In the evening, when things begin to unwind and are a bit more casual- where you think 1 photographer would suffice- we use each other to take breaks. When speeches are happening throughout dinner we like to take turns rotating between every 2-3 speeches so we can both have a bit of down time, and more than 2 minutes to refuel and have dinner before we're both back out onto the floor for dances, bouquet toss, and cake cutting. It's no easy task.

Beyond coverage having 2 people shoot for you ensures there's security should one person have to back down from shooting. We're luck to be a team of 3 meaning that if 1 person is unable to make your wedding *knock on wood* we readily have someone else who's available and ready to jump in. If 2 people still can't make it, then 1 of us will shoot alone; we've all photographed weddings, events, engagements, you name it, by ourselves!  

3. PHOTOGRAPHING YOUR WEDDING IS MORE THAN JUST YOUR WEDDING DAY

Will there be an engagement session as well, or will they simply be photographing your wedding? What will photo delivery be like? Prints? A photo book? We'll soon be finishing our third season in the wedding world (a lot shorter than so many of our peers) but we can already say that we have switched printers once, changed our mail packaging more times than I'd like to admit aloud, and researched, poured money into and tested quality, heirloom books that will last generations- will your friend or family member be providing the same? What about photo editing? What will their turn around be- will you be lenient and relaxed about it, or will there be an agreed upon deadline?

Hiring your photographer for your wedding day means keeping up with you months and weeks before your wedding day to see what's happening, being with you for 6, 8, 10, even 12 hours on your wedding day, and then spending weeks afterwards working on your photos, prints, and book. It truly is not a 1 day task.

4. THERE'S A BIG DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WORKING AT AND ATTENDING A WEDDING

While many of your other friends and family will be relaxed, enjoying their time together and celebrating, your photographer family member or friend will not. They'll be working. They'll be on their feet most of the day, have to stop conversations half way through, and overall will not be having the same expereince at your wedding, as other guests.

Although this makes wedding photography sound like the most horrid job in the world, there truly isn't any other event that we love more! The big difference between hiring professional photographers and your family member or friend is that we don't know your family- we won't be upset because we didn't get to sit down and catch up with people we haven't seen in years. We are always absolutely thrilled to spend the day with you and celebrating you! Having been on both sides of working at a family wedding we can tell you very easily: please let your friends and family be guests at your wedding!