Having photos or a video taken at your wedding derives from the need to capture, preserve and eventually enhance memories of your amazing day. But an interesting question that many couples may ask is whether they need to hire a specialist professional at all. Often, this decision boils down to whether you are happy to rely solely on your guests’ random photographs, or would prefer to seek out an experienced wedding photographer.

Some couples also like to think that they hate having their photograph taken.

Uncle Bob is a photographer!
You may have a family of photographic geniuses, or friends that love to be a little trigger-happy on their point-and-shoot, consumer-level cameras. Or you may even have someone in the family who shoots seriously and regularly, whether as a hobby or professionally. But would it be fair to ask any of them to take responsibility for photographing your wedding? In all of these cases, it would be wise to think your decision through carefully.

Quality
Consumer-level point-and-click cameras have evolved and improved by leaps and bounds over the last ten years or so. There are plenty of affordable cameras out there with huge ‘megapixels’ and fancy features, but putting it bluntly, photographs taken from these ‘toys’ can never match the quality of a professional photographer’s DSLR. A photographic ‘eye’ and the practised ability to artistically ‘frame’ a shot goes a long way too, qualities that all professional lensmen possess.

So if you are happy to have your wedding captured in a series of flat, colourless and badly-framed images, then go ahead, just rely on your guests’ pooled photographs.

Asking a relative
So you know someone who shoots professionally, or who can create stunning images – great. But if you decide to go down this path, there are a number of issues of which you should be aware.

Correctly, effectively and fully capturing the essence of a wedding is a full-time job, and most wedding photographers have barely a moment to themselves during their working time. If you are inviting a relative or close friend to take pictures at your wedding, then be aware that either you will be depriving them of the true experience of your wedding as a guest, or they won’t be able to dedicate a significant proportion of their time to taking the photographs. Alcohol and photography never mix well, so your family photographer won’t be able to enjoy a drink either.

The professionals 
Experienced professional wedding photographers have been in their trade for a goodly length of time. They simply know how weddings work, down to the finest detail. Photographing live and unfolding events takes a great deal of foresight, and correct and astute physical positioning, in order to get the best possible angle and take advantage of the optimal lighting situations. Professionals are detached from the mind-set of a typical wedding guest, always making sure they are ahead of what is happening throughout the day.

I hate having my photograph taken 
If you believe yourselves to be a non-photographically-orientated couple, then the temptation to skip hiring a photographer may be quite strong. You may also think that having your family or friends take your photo would be a less daunting experience. Not true at all!

A wedding photographer’s ‘engagement shoot’, if offered, is an excellent way to get used to being in front of the lens, away from the eyes of many. Good photographers also have the happy knack of interacting positively and constructively with the couples they work with, never encouraging them to stray out of their comfort zones, and generally helping them to relax.

Photography is a vital, indeed crucial, part of any wedding day. The importance of capturing the memories of this fleeting, monumental episode of your life properly should never be underestimated or overlooked. Many couples turn to photographically-inclined close family and friends, which can in some cases leave them with unsatisfactory results. Hiring a talented professional is the one sure-fire way of producing a consistent and visually stunning narrative account of your wedding day.