When you are planning a wedding, or even a simply family or personal portrait, you can sometimes be tempted with free or low-cost photography by your well-meaning “friend with a camera”. When everything else costs so much, a little bit of money saved can seem wonderful, right?
But, what are you really getting when you take them up on the offer?
Sure, they may have a pretty good camera. They may have a good eye for a shot. They may even know a thing or two about using photo editing software. They may take some photos and, a little while later, you might get an email or a disk with all the photos on it.
That seems pretty stress free.
Is it really that simple, though?
When you are trusting your memories to your photographer, wouldn’t you want someone who can deliver quality, guaranteed?
The price tag on hiring a professional photographer often makes people think twice. After all, a few thousand dollars seems like a lot to pay for some photos. Consider this, though: there are a lot of things factored into that price-tag that the client doesn’t see.
Here are some of them:
- Photography equipment is expensive. Having the right equipment is necessary for a photographer, but it can cost literally tens of thousands of dollars.
- The benefit of their experience/education. When you hire a professional, you are getting the benefit of often many years of photography education and experience. They know their stuff, and it will show in their work.
- Their time. When you book a photographer, you have them for anywhere from 1 hour to an entire weekend. Photographers will often factor an hourly wage into their total cost. After all, this is their job!
- Top-quality customer service. A good photographer is as good with people as with camera equipment. Hiring a pro is the best way to ensure that your needs are met in a professional and courteous way, and that your session goes smoothly.
- They often have an assistant. A family portrait session is easy enough for the photographer to manage on their own. In a wedding, however, an assistant can come in very handy. As such, the price the photographer charges you may also reflect the wages they have to pay for their assistant.
- A Pro comes prepared. They will have a second set of equipment, along with plenty of extra storage media and batteries, in case something fails. Some wedding photographers have also taken to carrying little extra things, such as a sewing kit, first aid, toys for kids, an umbrella, and so on, just in case someone in the bridal party has a mishap, or the kids need to be kept happy to ensure a good experience.
- Hours and hours of post processing. When you hire a professional, they will take- at minimum- over a hundred photos. If a photo requires some editing before it comes to you, it can take the photographer anywhere from 5 minutes to several hours… just for one photo. Before you even see the results of their work, many hours will go into making sure that each photo is as perfect as it can be.
- A disk and/or prints. While photographers still provide prints if the client wishes, more often they are burning all the photos onto a disk so that the client can choose which ones they want to print.
So, as tempting as it may be go with the “friend who has a camera”, hiring a professional is really the best option. Then, you can be guaranteed to have an easy session, with an end product that you can cherish for years to come.