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How to choose a wedding photographer: Professional vs. Amateur

a simple outdoor wedding ceremony

As you transition into that full-blown wedding planning mode, you realize that there is more to weddings and getting married than meets the eye. It isn’t just about walking down the aisle and saying ‘i do’. It is no secret that wedding planning can be daunting and costly. But yes, it will be the best day for you and one you will never forget. And one way to immortalize your beautiful wedding moments is to find the perfect wedding photographer for you and your wedding - to capture precious moments that you will cherish and cry over years from now. 

While looking for wedding photographers you might have come across a friend or a relative with a good camera who offered to take your wedding pictures for cheap (or even for free!). You might think that this is a great opportunity to save money for other items for the wedding. While we do understand that you want to save a lot of money on your wedding photographer and also not offend your friend or relative. But hey, if your friend is an experienced wedding photographer then by all means go ahead and accept their offer. Not only will you hire them for cheap, but they already know what you like and don’t like. 

We must acknowledge that a lot of ‘amateur’ photographers can capture some amazing photographs and sometimes ‘professional’ photographers can’t seem to deliver the quality that is expected of them.

But searching for a wedding photographer can be challenging than it seems - you have to think about what should you base your choice on, how do you choose, should you hire an amateur or a professional photographer, or should you look for cheap photographers?

We know that this is not an easy task and decision to make, this is why we wrote this wedding planning advice in choosing your wedding photographer for you to be more comfortable and confident in choosing your wedding photographer for your special day.  

How to choose a wedding photographer

Establishing a connection

Your wedding photographer should be able to connect with you, someone who cares about what you want and need during your wedding day. Someone who will sit down with you and talk face to face and discuss in detail your plans for them to visualize how your pictures will look like and most importantly to know if you like them not just as wedding photographers but as individuals. You will never find a good fit if you find someone through just text or email, and if you are using text or email to find your wedding photographer then you might as well hire any photographer at this point. 

Having multiple prospective photographers

You should have more than one ‘candidate’ to be your wedding photographer. This way you can find the perfect fit for you. Hiring the first one that you establish a connection with will only prevent you from finding a better-suited wedding photographer for your special day.

Do not hire based on price

There are a lot of photographers out there that are offering cheap prices and this should tell you that there is something that isn’t right about that when other photographers offer much much higher prices for their services (1). Several couples who hire someone based on cheap prices find out too late that they didn’t get what they expected. 

At the other end of the spectrum, high prices also do not indicate better pictures and experience. 

Hiring Free vs. Professional Photographers: 

Make no mistake, we have nothing against hobbyists and amateur photographers. In fact, every professional photographer started as an amateur, hobbyist, or even an assistant. Although it may not be such a bad idea to get a free photographer for your wedding, you should understand that it comes with considerable risks (2,3)

Here is the breakdown of why you shouldn’t hire your friend as your wedding photographer and just opt for professional photographers for the important occasions in your life such as your wedding.


outdoor wedding shoot

If they haven’t tried taking wedding photographs even as an assistant, chances are there will be several failures that you will see. Taking pictures of in a static and still environment is very different from documenting a dynamic environment where everybody is moving and moments continue to unfold one after the other with a lot of emotions to capture in a single room(4). It is very difficult to anticipate these moments and take moving shots like glances of the bride and groom or the tears of the guests and parents. This takes skill and a considerable amount of experience to be able to pull off. Amateurs will most likely miss a lot of these genuine and emotional moments.


Professionals always have the best equipment used for shooting weddings to make sure everything is captured with very good quality. Using the appropriate equipment at the right time is essential in wedding photography because you cannot ask people to re-enact the moments missed. Professionals also have assistants who work with them to make tasks lighter for everyone (4,5).


outdoor wedding shoot

Each wedding is different from each other and therefore should be treated as such. There will always be something special, and professionals know how to make these elements stand out, mixing it with their creative approach in taking photos - this will surely create an unforgettable moment (4,5). Professional photographers offer better creative portraits and pose for you to try.


After the wedding, all photos are reviewed by your photographer and then edited. They always make sure that every photo that will be sent to you is satisfactory and perfect. But this process takes a long time and will require a lot of patience from you. 


  1. https://mikeyostphotography.wordpress.com/2015/02/05/198/ 
  2. https://www.nadindunnigan-photography.co.uk/faq/amateur-wedding-photographer-vs-professional-wedding-photographer 
  3. https://www.diyphotography.net/pros-vs-joes-difference-between-amateur-and-professional-photographers/
  4. https://www.dodzki.com/blog/free-v-s-paid-professional-photographers/
  5. https://weddingdaypix.com/why-choose-a-professional-photographer-over-an-inexperienced-one/