I love my camera, its my pride and joy, and I’ve been saying that for years with each new camera I get! Fact is, I am now using a professional camera, rather than one that just looks like it. I can roll up at a wedding and know exactly what I can expect from my camera, and can guarantee I will take better pictures than any of the guests there. The fact is though, we all had to start somewhere, and yes I started with a consumer level DSLR, sure it took great pictures and it helped me learn, and yes it can also take some good pictures on its automatic settings too.
The difference between me and another wedding guest with the same camera, is not just about my pictures looking better, its about the knowledge too. I have spent more time reading, researching, practising and problem solving than I care to think about. I don’t mean to make it sound like a chore, quite the opposite, I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t enjoy it, but now I have the knowledge and experience to guarantee taking not just good, but great pictures. I know where to stand, when to stand there, and which setting to have the camera on. I know what lens to use and how I can edit the image on the computer afterwards, all before I have even pressed the shutter! I also know what brides like to see in their album, and how to make them relax in front of the camera.
So in a time of technology taking over the world, where my camera phone is almost as good as what my first digital camera was, its a concern that so many people are thinking they can “have a go” at wedding photography! Yes a nice camera will take nice pictures, a really good camera may get a few really good pictures (if you’re lucky enough!) and sure a bride and groom who have asked a mate may be happy with “some” of the images that a standard consumer level DLSR from Argos, or Comet can take… but they will also be devastated that you messed up the cutting of the cake as it was so dark, and that none of the group photos came out as the sun was in the wrong place, and that everything in the church was blurred. Its a couples big day, it costs thousands of pounds, even on a small budget, the dress costs maybe a months wages in some cases, if not more, and the suit, well that’ll will end up going back to the hire shop, so why would a couple sacrifice all those memories by trying to save a bit of cash on someone who doesnt really know how to use the big posh camera with the big posh lens that he bought with his bonus, that makes his mates call him David Bailey? Why would he think he even had half an idea of what wedding photography was about? Most weddings now are running on budgets of anywhere from £10,000 to £20,000 for the majority of couples, and typically wedding photography has always been about 10% of the budget. But lately we are starting to see ashift, and if you are going to spend all that money on one day, aren’t you going to want to remember it all in years to come when the dress has spent years gathering dust in the loft, the kids are all grown up, and the photos are all you have left? In a recent survey, nearly a quarter of brides interviewed believed they had not spent enough on their photography, but at that point its too late. Many brides aren’t fussy about the quality as they just want to get the pictures on facebook.
Let’s just remember though, that a wedding day (for the most of us I hope) won’t be repeated, and once those memories are gone, they are gone forever. A good photographer on the other hand, will not just save those memories, but may even help create a few and will make them last a lot longer than facebook ever will!