iPhone verses the Professional Photographer


Your wedding photos will be cherished keepsakes and heavily featured wall art or home decor for many years to come. But getting those beautiful photos can be expensive.

In our blogpost on if professional wedding photography is worth the cost we talk about all that goes into that often hefty price tag. We're in favour of getting great photos for your wedding day which more often than not means professional wedding photography, but not every wedding budget has the room for this.

So with budgets in mind (aren't they always!) we thought we'd suss out the ways to get great wedding photos without the professional price tag. After all, a camera phone is no substitute for a good photographer!

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A camera phone is no substitute for a professional photographer! 

1. Friends with a good camera

Maybe you have a friend with a good camera that takes great photos? It's tempting to ask a friend for a favour. This kind of favour will save you thousands of dollars and only cost you a case of beer and a thank you. It is, however, a gamble. 

The Pros:

  •  You will save money! This is money that could be spent on other areas of wedding, on travel or on a house deposit.

The Cons: There are a few...

  • Unless you've seen a portfolio of previous weddings, you have no idea what sort of photos you're going to get. A good camera and a talented photographer don't necessarily equal a good wedding photographer.
  • Without wedding photography experience, they may not understand what is involved in the day. An inexperienced photographer may miss key moments, come ill equipped or be so busy waiting for the perfect shot that they do not anywhere near enough photos. 
  • Your photographer may forget themselves and flip in and out of guest mode throughout the day.
  • The editing may not be what you were hoping for, and may take a whole lot longer than if a professional was doing it. After all, you're not really paying them for it!

Takeaway: Ensure that you have talked about what you want from your wedding photos and your friend on the day. Make sure that your friend is aware of not only your expectations, but also what is generally needed.

If your friend has never done a wedding before, make sure you yourself are aware of what you need on the day. In particular, think about key photos that you want. Have ideas about funny poses for the bridal party and any photo ideas that you definitely don't want. It's not enough to say, "we want a few nice photos of us together".

The workaround: Maybe ask a few friends who own good cameras to bring them along and take pics on the day. This way, with multiple amateur photographers (armed with plenty of guidance from you), you may get some great photos.

2. Hire a Beginner

Another way to save on your wedding photos is to hire photographer who is new to the wedding business. Someone who is building their business from scratch will be likely to charge a lot less than someone with years of wedding specific experience under their belt.

They are also just building a professional reputation so you don't need to worry about their care and comittment.

The Pros:

  • The cost will be low.
  • They will work hard to get great results and build their brand.

The Cons:

  • They don't have the experience of a seasoned wedding photographer.
  • They may not have all the professional gear that a more experienced photographer is able to afford.
  • They may back out at the last minute or suffer from stage fright. 

Takeaway: In our opinion this is a much safer option than asking a friend to do you a solid. Someone who is building their wedding photography business is going to really care about the quality of the photos that they produce. This is how they get their name out there! They will have done their research and probably also done their time as a second shooter or assistant to another wedding photographer. They will know what is needed and they will be determined to get some great pics. Your wedding will be a building block of their portfolio!

Workaround: Do your research!

Ask to see what work they've done, what photos they will plan and about their equipment. 

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You certainly won't get this kind of attention with a friend taking the photos!

Finally: Our Ultimate takeaway

There is no fixing a crappy photo once it's been taken. If you are taking the risk of asking a friend, try to mitigate that risk by doing your research and knowing what you want out of your wedding photos.

The less risky of the two options we have posed is to get someone who is just starting out in their business. But it will still be on you to do what research you can so that you are confident in booking the new starter.

But do remember: even if the photos aren't magical, your day will be. 

Stay tuned for our blog, Four Ways to get Great Wedding Memories with your Smartphone.

Special thanks to EnviraGallery for a inspiring and informing this blog.

Happy Planning!