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Friday, February 07, 2014

Why should I hire a pro?

I have countless inquiries per year for weddings and sometimes I will run into these couples that had decided not to hire me, but have the infamous “friend with a nice camera” take their photos and they express their regret.  The most common reason for engaged couples not hiring a professional photographer is money.  It can be expensive to hire a photographer. But it can also be something that can be easily and relatively painlessly planned for.

We as photographers understand the economy… Heck we live day-to-day in it too, but want to help you achieve the goal of exceptional photos for your wedding! We have affordable packages but in any case, we try our very best to make the memories of your day totally within reach for you by offering different payment methods and payment plans

I would like to share some tips with you, regardless of which photographer you choose:

One of the first things you need to do after settling on your date is start and interviewing photographers.  Photographers fill up fast!

I completely believe that all couples should check to see that the photographers you are looking into are licensed in your state.  There are a MYRIAD of people calling themselves photographers on the internet & social media and you don’t need a business license to have a website or FB page.  If they are not licensed for business and they take your money, they are committing fraud. There is no accountability for them and you run the risk of never seeing your investment again. And Yes We are a licensed and a Tax paying business :-)
Ask if your photographer has insurance to cover any mishaps that could happen.  It is important to know that because if they do not have a business license, they cannot get business insurance. 

Meet with the photographers you are considering… This person will be with you side by side most of your day and you want someone there you feel you can click with… Not just you the bride but the groom, even the Moms and Dads.  Ask yourself, do we like this person? :-)

When it comes to wedding photography, one thing that doesn’t often get mentioned but I believe to be important is the skill of time management. I have shot weddings as short as a couple hours to all day events. The best use of the time allotted to the photography allows me to give my clients the best selection of beautiful images possible. While shooting on the wedding day, I need to keep an eye on the time, juggle it with changing weather, traffic, lighting, even late happenings… all to keep the day moving smoothly. I’d say it’s a matter of respect, for the couple, the caterers, and for the wedding guests, to have them back to the reception on time. As an amateur I found this completely stressful. As a pro I see it more like a fun challenge.

Using a friend/family member as a photographer (be it a pro or amateur) carries its own special set of considerations. A friend could have an insight into the couple from knowing them for so long, or a member of the family from simply being related. They might even understand certain nuances to different friend/family relationships better than an outsider would. The very first wedding I shot was for two of my best friends. I have never been so nervous – didn’t sleep a wink the night before. I had covered all the bases when it came to equipment and ideas, but I was worried something unforeseen might happen during the shoot that could affect our friendship. In the end, everything went great, and is one of the reasons I’m still shooting weddings 12 years later. But the risk of losing a friend because of a shoot going sideways is a lot to stomach. I’ve since found that for all the advantages of being a friend of the couple, being an outsider allows me to have a more impartial view. Family politics and friendship dynamics don’t negatively influence how I capture their wedding.

A wedding day is an amazing and dynamic experience that I feel so lucky to get to enjoy so many varieties of year after year. I am one of those people that get to proudly say they love what they do. Everything from the people, the stories, the places, and the emotions all make for wonderful and cherished memories. The close friends I’ve made through my work, the feedback that I get from couples, and the images that represent the miniscule slice of time, yet mean so much. Behind every image there is a story – from an outpouring of tears from a proud father, Silly bridesmaids making faces, Groomsmen doing crazy photos, to a flower girl admiring that gorgeous white dress. I am so lucky and so thankful for everyone I have met through the years.

If you’re still on the fence about hiring a wedding photographer, give me a call! More than likely, I have a way to fit the very best photography into your special day.

Stephanie /SJS


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