A couple of weeks ago we asked if, in the days of ipods and readily accessible sound mixing equipment you still need to hire a DJ. The same question could be asked about professional photographers. Almost everyone carries a camera in their pocket these days and there are services that will turn those amateur photos in to videos or albums. So do you still need to hire a professional wedding photographer?
When my parents got married a family friend was supposed to do the wedding photos. Something went wrong and there are zero photos of my parents wedding. A lot of times when you read articles about why you should hire a wedding photographer they talk about situations like this and the idea that there's no "do-over" and how much you'll regret not having photos of the day. As much as I wish there were photos of my parents' wedding, I'm honestly not sure this is still a valid argument. With all the cameras around you will definitely have photos of your wedding.
But what will those photos be like? Will they be of the events and people you want photographed? Do you want a friend or relative with you taking pictures while you get dressed, or would you be more comfortable with a trained professional who knows how to avoid shooting you in your bra?
Do you want all 150 guests trying to take pictures while you're trying to say your vows, or would you like one person, placed in an ideal position to capture the moment without disturbing it?
When all of your guests are out on the dance floor do you want some hanging back to take photos, or would you like an observer to capture how much fun everyone is having?
What about after the wedding? Do you want to harass friends and family to send you all their photos (after you explain to Uncle Larry how to upload the photos to begin with)? Do you want to spend hours going through those photos, deleting the ones that give everyone red eye, figuring out how to edit the ones that look great, except for the dirty plates in the background, etc.? Do you know how to put together a wedding album to tell the story of your day? Are all your friends' iphone photos even high enough resolution to put in an album? Are any of the photos high enough quality and resolution to blow up and frame?
There are people who will look at these questions and think, you know, I'm ok if I just have a few snapshots from my wedding. To those people I say, ok, enjoy and spend the money on something else to make your day fabulous.
But if you want professional quality photos the only solution is to actually hire a professional photographer.