The DJ Perspective: Why does our perspective matter? Because we see it all, we have access to all the venues, we see the food, the flowers, photos and we see the looks on our clients face. We’ve been to hundreds of weddings and events, we know what works and what doesn’t. This series is about sharing that information with you so you can avoid common event planning pitfalls and head straight to your dream wedding.
Why Your Wedding Photographer Is More Than Just A Photographer
We regularly come across clients who are a little shocked by the prices of good, experienced photographers, and start going down the route of friends, family or even working amateur photographers. But if I’m to be honest, when you tell us (and by us, I mean any experienced wedding service provider) we cringe a little on the inside.
Don’t get me wrong, we’re not saying the person you are considering is not a great photographer, it’s not that at all, but on your wedding day, you need so much more from your photographer than a nice photo.
So what makes a professional, experienced wedding photographer worth the big bucks?Preparedness
Your professional, experienced wedding photographer is ready, they are ready for everything, they have spare everything. They have batteries and spare batteries, memory cards and spare memory cards and they make back ups of back ups and lock things in safes. They do EVERYTHING and then some to make sure your photos are safe.
And they are ready, we find them sipping coffees in their car (sitting with their spare everything) because they are early. When we’re about to ask them if they’re ready to do speeches, or cake or the entrance, we stop and just give them a thumbs up, because they’re already in position.
Experienced wedding photographers have not been to 10 weddings they have been to hundreds, they know what you’re going to do before you do, and they’re ready for it. They’ve seen everything that can possibly go wrong and they’re ready to turn it in to an opportunity.
They Have Local Knowledge
Experienced wedding photographers know how, when and where to get your amazing location shots. If your ceremony & reception are in separate locations, they are bound to know a gorgeous place on the way where you can get your dream shots. They will know the little under cover nooks they can take you if your plan a gets washed out, and they know when the best light is.
Confidence is Key
Confidence is important. Your photographer isn’t just there to take candid snaps, most clients still want at least some family pics or table shots/couple shots. Your photographer needs to have the confidence to get groups of people organised quickly, both after the ceremony and at the reception – and it’s harder than you think.
It makes an incredible difference to the bride and groom to have a photographer who can have ten tables photographed with the bride and groom within 10 minutes quickly between the bridal party entrance and the entrees while everyone’s seated, compared to the photographer that can only get two tables done in that time. Either entrees get pushed back (which means meals are sitting to go cold and you lose dancing time at the end) or the bride and groom spends the first two hours of their reception jumping up and down between courses while we try and locate the rest of the guests sitting at each table, rather than relaxing and mingling.
The Need For Speed
Speed matters here. Wedding photography is photo journalism. Your photographer doesn’t have the liberty of styling you, checking the light and taking a few shots to get it right. Your first kiss at your ceremony, is a moment, they either get it or they don’t – there’s no second chances, you need someone who can snap a pic in whatever circumstances and light are available and have it turn out right the first time, otherwise you’re going to miss the magic.
Time is Money
I know how much your spending on your wedding, and I know you think you’re going to save money by having a friend or an amateur photograph it. I get it. But it just doesn’t work out that way. Time moves quickly, 2 hours seems like ages to get those location shots, but take out 30 min for your ceremony, then family shots at location, travel time, etc, your photographer needs to keep your family, friends and bridal party in line and moving, otherwise you will be back at your reception rushed and late.
What happens when you get back to your reception half an hour late? Back at the reception we are waiting for you, we have to make the decision whether to let the guests in the room without your photographer getting room shots (this means you never get to see the first impression your hard work and hard earned money looked like before the tables are covered in bags, beers and crumbs.) Or your guests are left outside.
Meals are then pushed back half an hour – and usually sit and dry out in that time, and while we work hard to catch up that time for you, if we can’t catch that time up, everything stays behind, and you either lose the time at the end of the night, or pay the venue and the dj to stay back, which usually costs more than what you saved from the photographer in the first place.
The Bottom Line
Having a professional, experienced wedding photographer ensures that the pace is kept all day, from getting ready in the morning til the formalities are over. You will have a great relationship before, during and after the wedding. You will have photos you love, of a relaxing day you enjoyed.