Does your wedding photography really matter?
Of course you expect us to say yes, since we make our living photographing weddings. But before you simply click away, hear me out. When I got married almost ten years ago, I figured the photos wouldn’t matter much because I was also getting a video and friends would take pictures. After all, we have a lot of photographers in my family. I was wrong. In the last ten years, I can count on one hand the number of times we have taken out that wedding video (which by the way, was an actual video, not a DVD, so I no longer even have the means to play it!). However, our wedding album still frequently finds its way down from the shelf where it is prominently displayed whenever someone wants to talk about our wedding. Every friend getting married wants to know what our ideas were, and I love to share them because it was such a wonderful day.
Here’s the problem: because so many members of my family are photographers, no one wanted to work on my wedding day, so we chose a photographer we didn’t know who would give us the negatives when they were done.
Mistake number 1: I never bothered to look through her albums. I went online, looked at the 5 photographs she had on her website, imagined they represented thousands of similar photos, and signed a contract.
Mistake number 2: I did not request she attend the rehearsal. If I had, she would have known that the pastor did not want any flash photography during the ceremony. I’m not sure why that was important to him, but when a photographer can’t use their flash, they have to be prepared with a lot of fancy tricks in order to get you pictures that aren’t blurry or dark. This takes warning, preparation, and skill.
Mistake number 3: She was incredibly cheap. It should have raised a warning flag that she does not value her skill ability very highly when she was willing to shoot the whole wedding and give me the negatives (this was back before digital photography was as common) for less than $600.
Anyway, to make a long story slightly shorter, my photos were horrible, boring, dark, and out of focus. The only interesting poses she took were ideas other people had and requested she take. At one point a college friend posed everyone for a picture on his camera and she said “hey, that looks neat” and took a picture too. Every single ceremony picture was blurry or too dark. EVERY SINGLE ONE! We barely took any outdoor pictures, even though it was gorgeous outside that day. She never even took a picture of me with one of my brothers. When you only have two, it’s embarrassing to discover you missed one.
So please, even if you don’t choose Captured Emotions as your photographer, please take the time to choose someone who knows what they are doing. Your wedding album will come out again and again, and normally people put up wedding portraits on the wall. But , if you don’t have any good pictures to display, you can’t display them.