We know it’s a tempting proposition: you have a friend who has a nice camera and is good at taking at photos and has offered to photograph your wedding at a very budget-friendly price. Weddings can be expensive and cutting costs always seems appealing. HOWEVER: if your wedding photo sand/or videos are important to you we highly encourage you to hire experienced professionals.
**There IS a caveat to this situation; if you have a friend who is also a wedding professional then by ALL MEANS hire them to work your wedding!! If they have a legitimate business then having a friend providing a service for your wedding can be extremely special.**
1. EMOTIONAL CONNECTION
The emotional connection you have with a friend, even if it isn’t a particularly strong one, could potentially keep you from asking for the things that you want and expect on your wedding day. It’s likely that you’ll feel like they are doing you a favor because they aren’t charging you as much as a professional would. Whether you realize it or not, your friend will have the upper-hand in the situation. We feel that it’s important to be able to make a financial investment into a profession who you feel like you have the right to ask things of (within reason, of course)! Wedding days are long. Sometimes we work 10-12 hour days! Are you going to feel comfortable asking a friend to document the entirety of your wedding? Or are you going to have to sacrifice your sparkler exit photos because you felt bad making your friend stay late? These are scenarios you are going to have to consider!
2. WHAT IF SOMETHING GOES WRONG?
This is one of the main reasons we discourage couples from having friends provide services photography & videography. Look, let’s be real, there are a lot of things that can go wrong when you’re dealing with that level of technology! You want to be sure that your wedding professionals have experience with the technology they’re using on your wedding day and that they’re able to troubleshoot in case anything goes wrong.
3. PRESSURE / FRIENDSHIP STRAINS
There are a lot of obstacles to working with a friend, especially if they are providing you with a service that in-turn saves you money. You will always feel like that person is doing you a favor and it can quickly become difficult to voice opinions. This point piggybacks off the previous point. There are so many things that can go wrong and if your friend does not have the ability to remedy the situation, it can create a lot of tension. These are very precious memories and to place them in the hands of a good friend is a very risky move for your friendship. We think it’s best to avoid this situation altogether and opt to
Often venues will require that your wedding vendors have business insurance. Venues only want qualified & protected vendors providing services on their property for a variety of reasons. A professional will have business insurance to protect themselves and others while they are working your wedding. It is also important that your photographer and/or videographer have a community that they can lean on if they find themselves needing a replacement. If your friend becomes sick and can no longer, are they going to know who to call for backup? Are they going to be able to find a same-day replacement? And if they do, is this personally even remotely qualified? We are a part of a local network of photographers and videographers comprised of over 700 wedding professionals! We have protocol for finding talented, qualified substitute photographers and videographer who are far more likely to deliver the same quality of work that we have promised you.
5. BACKUP SYSTEMS
Back-up systems are integral to any photography & videography operation. We show up to every wedding event with backups of everything; backup cameras, lenses, memory cards, tripods, etc! This level of preparation will only come with an established company who has invested in gear! It takes years to build a collection of equipment! Here’s another bit of insider information; memory cards get corrupted! It’s the truth. It happens. There is nothing we can do to keep it from happening BUT there are many things we can do to protect ourselves from losing files entirely. All of our cameras are set to record to two memory cards at once, making sure that there is a digital copy of everything we photograph. We also have enough memory cards to ensure that we don’t have to format anything until your photos & videos are safely delivered to you (and backed up on YOUR end)!