A Word To The Wise…

about wedding photography. This morning, shortly after I got up and staggered mostly blindly to the coffee pot for my first dose for the morning, I put my daughter Miss Amazing on the school bus and sat down at the computer. After my routine email check, I moved off to one of my favorite resources for photography; a group I’m in on face book. At the very top of the news feed there I see an article entitled ‘Save on Your Photography Costs by Using Disposable Wedding Cameras’. (You can view the post here) Now, I assumed before clicking the link that this was going to be maybe about having your professional photographer only shoot the ceremony and posed portraits, then doing disposable cameras at the reception, or something, but was completely floored when I actually read the article and got what they were trying to say.

They’re trying to tell you to save a bunch of money, you should just SKIP the photographer totally. Instead, you should get disposable cameras and hand them out and give your guests a list of shots they should try for. You know, all the information you’d typically give to your HIRED WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER.

So, rather than go on a big, whole rant about why this royally ticks me off, instead, I’m going to share my story.

5 years ago, Mr. Wonderful and I were planning our big day, and back then I was no expert at photography, I just knew that we needed to have someone capture our big day. Enter, our photographer. A very close friend’s wife who was just starting out offered to do it, and we settled on what I would pay for. The plan was made; she would be with us for the rehearsal dinner, since her husband was in the wedding anyway, and then from the hair appointments in the morning, strait through the reception (where she was also a guest) and capture our big day.

The day of the wedding came, and true to her word, she was there first thing in the morning when we went to the salon. The day progressed, a whirlwind, as wedding days are, and before I knew it it was all over and we were heading to the reception.

(but not before the wedding party posed for a few captures)

Now, I would love to show you some of the beautiful, posed captures that my photographer got that day, but alas, I can not. Why, you might ask? Because there was no film in the camera for those captures. Unfortunately something that wasn’t realized right away, and by the time it was, it was full-dark out. (It gets dark pretty early in October….just in case you weren’t aware.) We had a great reception, and a TON of fun, and lots of people had cameras that day, so there are many flattering pictures, (and many, MANY more not-so-flattering ones) out there. The pictures of my cake are beautiful (specifically because my cake-topper rocked the whole wedding; check it out!)

and there are pictures of our first official dance as husband and wife, and the whole cake-cutting thing, but all in all, I’m more than a little sad, looking back on it, that there are no pictures from my wedding that I just couldn’t help but blow up HUGE for my wall. I felt like a princess on that day, sure, but now? Today? 5 years later? My dress is packed up, and the cake and wine are loooooooong gone, and I sit here with nothing tangible and beautiful to help remind me of that day. And that, friends, is terrible. Your wedding photos should be something that you look back on and smile, remembering the moments that you saved for all time, not something that you look back on and wince. If you have to skimp, skimp on the cake (because while a sheet cake might not be as pretty, it will probably taste better) or on the open bar, for obvious reasons.

Just a cautionary tale; you want to be able to remember every instant of your big day, because when it’s happening there is a lot you will miss, and the photographer is how you keep those memories fresh in your mind and close to your heart forever.

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6 Responses to A Word To The Wise…

  1. Bryan Webster says:

    I’m very sorry about your wedding day Sara and I can feel your pain! While not quite the same circumstances, we too, have no great images of our wedding day, and that is truly sad! We had to make a last minute change of plans on our wedding due to my mom becoming seriously ill and had no time to find a photographer! Your advice about hiring a professional is very well said and speaks volumes of truth!

  2. OMG- I am crying a little bit over this!! ( I might be a bit sensitive this week…) How sad!! I look at our wedding photos all of the time! Some of the best ones were taken by the photographer, but some of my favorites were just candids by friends, or family, or whomever. To not have those priceless moments captured is truly so sad. Yes, you will remember the day, but not to be able to share it with your children seem so unjust! A professional photographer is worth every cent for a very special day!!

  3. Sara, that is so incredibly sad. We did disposable camera’s for our wedding (we actually mailed some to everyone in our wedding party/family) so they could capture their travels TO our wedding and what they encountered while in our home town (most everyone traveled to our wedding). It was great getting them developed afterwards to see what everyone had done. We also placed them on the tables for people to have fun with. HOWEVER, we did have our professional photographer that did not just our posed pictures, but our fun/wacky pictures throughout the night. I completely agree with you that you need to have a professional there to capture those moments – and to be able to do something with what was captured!

  4. Diane Herr says:

    Oh yes I do so agree with you. Our story is much the same as yours we have been married almost 21 years now and I so wish I could show my children the pictures of that big day but sadly we have just a few outdoor pictures that came out. 8 rolls of film were used that day and if we have 8 pictures that is a lot. Skimp on other things not the pictures. I have a photo box full of pictures for each of the 20 years we have been married but not the wedding. I will be taking some classes at FMCC this fall to further advance my photography skills so not to miss any of those great shots of my family and friends. Please hire a professional for your big day photos they are worth every penny.

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  6. money says:

    This is a great post, thanks!

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