Vogue is right, you don’t need a wedding photographer!



Do you actually need a wedding photographer?

Last week Vogue published an article ‘top 10 rules to break at your wedding’. One of which said “you really don’t need a wedding photographer“.

Of course the most striking thing about this is that, according to Vogue at least, you can cut corners on your wedding photography by not hiring a wedding photographer.  They spend $3 million every year ensuring they get the images to keep them at the top of the international style rankings.  

But.. actually they are right. You don’t need to hire a wedding photographer.  If  printed photographs are not that important to you don’t worry about it. Some may say you will regret it if you don’t, but if you only hire a photographer because others tell you, then are you really going to be at ease on the day?

Don't make sacrifices on your experience

My only advice would be that you shouldn’t make sacrifices on how you think you will best enjoy your celebration – whether or not you decide to hire a professional wedding photographer, whether you decide to ask uncle Robert or whether you actually decide not to have formal wedding photographs at all, it’s really all about you. 

Do consider what you want and what you're getting

If you’re going to go for any formal photography option there are three critical factors.  i) that they have a body of work to show you that you like. ii) that they are within your budget iii) you feel that they are a good fit in terms of their level of professionalism, qualification and experience.  Ultimately this means you feel comfortable.   If you choose a photographer on any one of these criteria in isolation and hope the other two will somehow fall into place, there’s a good chance you’re on the road to disappointment.   

But before you think I’m telling you to not to consider a professional photographer, I thought I’d set myself a test to find images from a real wedding that couldn’t have been captured by friends and family.

Let me introduce you to Suzi and Andrew

Let me introduce you to Suzi and Andrew who were married last May.  As you’ll see they had both put a huge amount of work into their day and I can tell you it was breathtaking.  From the first time we spoke they told me they wanted to share their day with family and friends and they thought of everyone.   My brief was to capture the day. Easy huh?!

Colourful marquee bunting

Taken on the morning of the wedding, four hours before the guests were due to arrive. When the festivities begin, all eyes are on the couple. As soon as your first guests enter the reception room all your effort involved in beautifying the venue is gone!

It’s a little sad that you put so much effort into the detail of the day and so few can enjoy it.    Of course, once it’s printed it’s there, recorded forever. Detail is everything! Your photographer will be looking for the detail. It’s the cement of your day.

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In 30 years, Suzi and Andrew will be able to share this with future generations.. Andrew will say. “We handmade that bunting” and Suzi will say.. “actually Andrew ‘no.. you didn’t do the bunting – you did the woodwork for each table“. And they’ll chortle…. and thank themselves that they can still remember the bunting and woodwork.


Authority to photograph

The ‘working’ photographer has an invisible authority in a wedding day and they need to know how to use it.  This comes from preparation, technical expertise and a degree of professional courtesy that comes with experience. 

Whilst discretion in a church service is a priority, by spending time with the priest beforehand we know what is going to work and where they want us to be.  Planning every little segment to ensure we get the images is a big part of the service. It’s only through planning we are able to ensure we capture the candid moments that tell your story.  

Nobody else got to see this moment on the day and I was folded into a corner of the church so no-one could see.

Wedding Photographer Kenmare Kerry Nick Cavanagh

As the couple leave the church as Husband and Wife, guests  follow them out. If you relied on guests to capture the image below they’d be leaving during the last hymn. Chaos!

Stopping cars?   Seriously folks, this isn’t one to leave to chance.  Chances are your guests have had a little liquid warmer before hand, do you really want them walking backwards on a road with a camera. It’s just daft. 

Special moments

After the meal, I like to invite the couple to spend 10 minutes or so taking a portrait.  No-one else is allowed to come along at this time. I count it as a serious privilege to be with the couple as they share their first moments where they can take a breath by themselves.  This quiet interlude is never pressured and for me is the best part of the day.   Classic wedding photography isn’t reactive, it’s planned and we all (myself and the couple) knew exactly what we were hoping to achieve here.

Candid shots

And finally.. 8pm
By this time EVERYBODY (apart from those working) is likely to be a little relaxed. Holding a camera in low light is hard enough, but when your guests have enjoyed two(?) glasses of champagne you might be advised to let the photographer be the person to capture your first dance.

So you see… whilst you don’t NEED a wedding photographer at your wedding, what you will get is a professional who knows what has to be done.  Your photographer is the only wedding service that you talk to before, during and after your day.  Choose them well, because photography isn’t easy. And the next time someone advises you against them, remember the bunting.

If you’d like to chat about wedding photography in a relaxed environment and without obligation, why not arrange an appointment to visit our studio in Kenmare?  We are inside the shopping centre and adjacent to Supervalu.    Appointments are available 7 days a week but do need to be booked. My promise is that you will be welcome and you’ll be glad you came.   Congratulations by the way!

You can call 0879 491 002 or email via this contact form.