4 Differences between a Professional and Non-Professional Wedding Photographer

Getting married is exciting, especially for some of my wedding clients who have waited for more than 10 years for their wedding engagement ring. Some blokes just like to take their time. Now it’s a perfect time for you to pick your New Zealand wedding photographer, the one who will shoot and capture each moment that you will appreciate forever in pictures. We all know wedding photography is expensive, that can account for 10% of the total wedding budget. So it begs the question as to why not use a non-professional New Zealand photographer to reduce the wedding cost. There are always a handful of people starting out, or students at the like of UCOL to study photography.

Wellington wedding photographer at a rustic farm wedding Monique

It may be good to get a free wedding service free, but you should understand that there is a considerable risk when getting a friend’s service for free rather than getting a paid professional photographer.

I have prepared this list to help with reasons you shouldn’t get a free service while documenting a memorable event in your life like your wedding. Just to make it clear, I am writing this on my own experiences, so take it easy.

First—Wedding Photography Experience Matters

Wedding photography is a fast pace environment where things are constantly happening, with people going in and out of the scenes throughout the day. There are parts of the day where the wedding photographer can control the proceedings, and at other times, things must proceed uninterrupted. The experience that comes with a professional wedding photographer allows him/her to know where to go and be ready to capture the images, at the right time. We can anticipate what will come next, who to look out for, and just be prepared and on our toes, but in a controlled manner. I have heard horror stories of non-professional wedding photographers missing first kiss images, or the exchange of the rings, etc.

The wedding experience also allow us to deal with people in a calm and relaxing manner. It allows us to relate to everyone about the importance and joyfulness of the day. We don’t need to feel nervous or scared or anxious, as this can easily be felt by those around us.

Second—A Complete Set of Gears is Important!

Wedding cameras are not about the latest, the biggest, most expensive items. It is about having what I need to create the wedding images that I love to give to my wedding clients. Every wedding photographer is different in terms of how they view wedding days, what moments to capture etc. Some photographers might only use one camera and one lens for the whole day, but most would be having two sets.

For many of the non-professional or not quite so experience wedding photographers, you may find that they either have not such specialised gear, or that they literally have every camera and lens in the book, as they just not quite sure as to what lens would be good for parts of the weddings. I know sometimes I do have gear envy when I see someone one with all the latest gear. But then, I do often ask, why 🙂

Wellington wedding photographer with Ashleigh 1239_


Third— Perfect Wedding Documentation

Wedding photographers are essentially the creative recorder of your day, with their very own subjective and unique vision. They have their own special way to see the day, and do what they can to get the most out of the day, out of the bride and groom, out of the gear that they have, to ensure their visions shine through the wedding images, the vision that the clients would have shared and loved when they booked the photographer. And this is important. No wedding photographer can create unlimited number of styles and themes in their creative work. If you look at Instagram profile, or Facebook feed, or even their own website, you can easily feel the flow of the images, and a generalised theme that ties all the wedding work together.

For the non-professionals, they are still discovering their footing and their visions to how to see and capture the world. There will be plenty of certainty and experimentation on your day. This will probably come through the way they interact with you and how they organise the wedding day.

Lastly—Post Processing and Editing

Typically, a wedding photographer would take several thousand images for each wedding, especially in the modern digital age where the cameras are just so fast and advanced. As you can imagine, this is alot of images to work through, cull, edit, and deliver to clients, on time.

An efficient workflow is important to ensure that the images are protected, backed up, edited to give that same feel and vision that you have seen in the previous work of the photographer. The backup part is probably one of the most important steps that professional wedding photographers tend to care alot more than their counterpart. The fear of loosing images are our worst nightmare and we tend to do everything in our power to minimise the risk. At the end of the day, our wedding clients are our bread and butter, and our professional wedding reputation depends on the overal service that we provide to each and every wedding couple.

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Now, Choose a Professional Wedding Photographer

Choosing a wedding photographer is not easy.  If you will admire their work and see them as the best photographer in the world, however, if you are not comfortable around them, it will surely reflect on your photos. When discussing and meeting with a photographer, you need to feel comfortable and ease, just the same when you were talking with your closest companion at a coffee shop.

However, if you don’t feel secure, then contact with another person. If you are feeling like you are bidding farewell to a friend when you leave and felt like you could talk the entire day and night to them about your wedding, then that is an entirely acceptable sign they could be the one to capture your big day.

You are spending a lot of your money on photography. Subsequently, it would be best if you were comfortable with the person who is accountable for capturing all those special moments. You would prefer not to be stressing over what they are doing or have or haven’t done. You need to confide in them and let them carry out the responsibility they have long periods of experience.

It would help if you left with a positive feeling with no doubts. As before, you need to feel calm with them; however, trust your decision.

Your photographer should address any questions you have. They will put your mind at rest; even better, they ought to have already responded to every question you may have just in a vernal chat if they ask if you have any inquiries. If you struggle to consider whatever hasn’t secured, then that is a good sign.

They share the same passion with you.

You have been arranging your wedding and all those little details; you are energized and can hardly wait, telling everyone you meet. The wedding business is inventive and enthusiastic, and if you feel the excitement, enthusiasm, and admire your photographer for your big day, then it’s a great sign.

You would recommend them to others.

Even before they have to take a shot, you may want to recommend to your other friends who are also getting married. You have come away with no doubts about their work and how good they are that you would tell your friends about them.

As simple as it sounds, follow with your gut if you feel relaxed and at ease then so will your decision, if you have the slightest of doubts or something is bugging you, get in touch with them or meet up with them again to put that doubt at ease. They are there to help you, to feel confident in your decision, and enjoy the day with them.

Trust your decision.