Letting an amateur photographer take charge of your wedding pictures is an idea that many couples have tried out over the years, but it just never, ever proves to be a smooth move. Uncle Phil may take great pictures at family reunions and office parties, but there is a lot more to wedding photography than snapping photos. And, there isn’t much that can set off a family squabble more quickly than hard feelings over a botched job during one of the most important events in your life.
Professional wedding photography isn’t brain surgery, but it does take a great deal of talent, skill, knowledge and experience. Professional wedding photographers have spent years learning how to produce the stunning pictures every couple expects to see in their wedding album. And, they have invested a great deal of time and money in collecting the professional equipment necessary to do the job right.
The skills practiced by the seasoned professional wedding photographer go well beyond the technical knowledge of photography and lighting. They have a feel for which moments to capture and when they will happen. They have to know how to put people at ease in front of the camera and must be adept at posing people artfully. They must be skilled in diplomacy to get those group portraits arranged and shot on schedule without ruffling any feathers.
Then, once the wedding is over, those images must be edited and processed into the prints, albums, slide shows and various other items included in your wedding photography package. Your wedding photographer will spend as much as twenty hours on the processing involved in the average wedding shoot. Uncle Phil isn’t likely to have the equipment to do that processing, nor would he have the skill and experience necessary to produce professional quality results.
Your wedding pictures are no job for Uncle Phil, no matter how much he’d like to help out and save you some money. Fact is, you only get one chance to get it right when it comes to wedding photography, and making the most of that chance requires the skill of a trained professional. So, your best bet is to explain tactfully to Uncle Phil that, since he’s family, you would much rather have him celebrating with you than working so hard, so you’ve hired a photographer to let him off the hook.