Do we need a photographer?

A very hard subject to advise people on - of course you want special memories captured of that special day, but ask anyone that has been married for over 25 year and they'll tell you that they have an album somewhere, but can't remember the last time they looked at it.
Styles of photos are very important - would you like formal family group settings with everyone standing facing the photographer, or the less formal reportage style where the photographer mingles with everyone during the day and snaps away quietly - or maybe a combination of the two? Do you need one or two photographers on the day? Take time to look at photos on their websites, meet them at wedding fairs, and ask for recommendations from people. Many photographers now offer an engagement shoot to get to know you and this really does help to break the ice, particularly if like me, you hate having your photo taken!
There are also a lot of conversations online in bridal and photography forums about having an 'Unplugged' wedding - asking your guests to refrain from taking photos and uploading them to social media, especially during the ceremony. If you are paying £1000+ for a photographer, you don't want all their photos to have guests in the frame with a tablet in their hand trying to catch the bride & groom!

So what to do? There is no right and no wrong as everyone has a different opinion on this - there are lots of options nowadays, so here are just a few...

1. Book the best photographer and videographer you can afford and have a fabulous record created of your special day. Remember, you get what you pay for - all these too good to be true cheap offers tend to be just that; a limited number of images and perhaps not the best quality. Technology is a wonderful thing and you can even have aerial views from a drone nowadays, so consider all the options before making a decision!

2.Find a local photography student or two that will give you all their images in exchange for the chance to practice their skill; nothing is guaranteed, you take the risk of maybe having good photos, maybe not.

3. Who in your circle of family & friends is a keen amateur photographer? Would they take photos on the day for you? One issue here is that they are no longer a guest and may find that this limits their enjoyment of the day as they are 'working'. Also they may have never taken wedding photos, so again it's a risk.

4. Rely on all your guests to take photos and share them with you - set up a Dropbox account, Instagram hashtag or similar and ask them to upload so you can access them - again, you are relying on amateurs with mainly phones and things can go a little wonky, especially after a little drink or two, but in saying that you can also end up with some amazing shots of friends enjoying being friends and sharing your special day :)
So think carefully, ask around, do your research and if you do plan on booking a particular photographer, book early as some can be booked a good year or two in advance!


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