Not everybody will find it important to document the big events of their life (the wedding, birth of your child, birthday parties…etc.) and that’s completely ok! We are not all the same! There are some people who like to preserve their memories and remember their life with perfect, polished and posed photos. And that’s ok too. Other people would just want to enjoy their life, so they let people around them, who love taking pictures, snap some photos. And they would even appreciate those kind of pictures much more than professional ones. For me and other photographers it’s hard to accept and understand why some people would value lower quality photos more than professional ones.
1, It’s too much money.
The budget is tight, and you want to spend the money on something more important (clothing, food, number of the guests, traveling, music…)
2, You don’t want to waste time posing for pictures and taking group shots.
You’d rather spend that time with loved ones, celebrating, having fun, chatting with other people, eating and dancing.
3, You are having a very small wedding.
Elopement, courthouse or destination wedding with just the two of you and some witnesses. And you don’t feel like there isn’t much to document and take pictures of.
4, You hate having pictures taken.
A lot of us feel uncomfortable having pictures takes. But some couples would be so afraid and intimidated about having a camera in their face, that they would rather just not have it.
5, Don’t know what to do with the pictures.
You are not sure how to used them, and don’t see the value or have a goal with those images. Like making an album or decorating the house with them.
Try to figure out what are you going to do with the photos. Do you need them for a specific goal? Make a pro/con list.
// I want to have some good photos with my grandparents, because I don’t know how long are they going to be around.
// It’s very important for me to have group pictures with my parents or with my family, who I haven’t seen for years.
// Everybody looks so pretty and dressed up, so this is a great occasion to have these pictures taken.
// Want to save some photos for my kids and grandkids, so they can see how mom and dad got married.
// Want to show some photos online to those who couldn’t be at the wedding.
Think about the future, not what you want right now!
Pictures really are for the future, and for memories to remember, right?!
Ask yourself these questions: Why would I want to have a photographer, what would happen if I don’t have one? How can I compromise? Are these going to be valuable to me in the future?
Let me share a couple of ideas with you:
If money is the problem, and you don’t have a budget for a photographer.
1, Once you find a photographer, ask them if they have some kind of payment plan. I offer monthly payment options for my clients, and I know how much easier that is for them.
2, Ask your guests to give you the photography service as their wedding gift. With Zola you can set up an online registry for cash founds, so you would essentially have your wedding photographer as a gift. Which I think is a great idea.
3, Find a very cheap photography student at your local high school or university who’s just starting out, looking to get some experience, so they don’t charge you as much. Or they are willing to work for free. Which is a good alternative, if you don’t have any money for a professional photographer.
But you need to be ok with some of the risks that you are taking by finding those kind of photographers. What if they don’t show up, do they have insurance and contract, what if the pictures turn out really bad, or they lose the files?! Anything can happen with professional photographers too, but usually they are more prepared and experienced. My advice if you decide to hire somebody who is a student or hobby photographer is to make sure they are really committed and excited for this opportunity! As long as you accept and understand these risks of hiring somebody unexperienced, then why not? It saves you money, and could be a really good experience for you.
4, You can ask somebody that you know. A guest or family member to bring their camera, or take pictures with their phone. Just make people aware that you’re not having a designated photographer. I’m sure you can find somebody who would be willing to take this task on, and be very excited to document this important day for you.
If you’re still thinking “there is no way I’m going to have a wedding photographer, I don’t care about documenting this event”. Let me help you see how valuable it’s going to be, just to have a couple of photos with your family and with the people who came to celebrate with you. Maybe right now you are tired and annoyed with all of the wedding planning, and you really don’t feel like standing in front of the camera smiling. But think about spending only two minutes out of your wedding day to take that picture. It doesn’t even have to be a professional photo. Just a quick snap with your phone can make a valuable picture. You never know when are you going to lose someone, or never see someone again.
1, Decide and designate who is going to take the pictures.
// A stranger you never met, somebody who signed up to come for free with their camera and take some pictures.
// Is it one of the guests, who wanted to bring their camera.
// Do you have a couple of guests, who said they will snap some photos and videos with their phone during the big day.
But be careful because guests get busy and distracted. They meet with old friends, sit down to eat, go dance, get drunk, so they kinda forget to take pictures. That’s why it’s always good to have a specific person, who promises to take pictures.
Don’t forget to thank those who help you out for free, make them feel appreciated!
2, Have a photo booth.Even if you don’t rent a professional booth, you can just set up a little corner where guest can take selfies.
3, Set up cameras and go-pros all over the venue. On your bouquet, drinks, chairs, tables. As people move around, you get different viewpoints of the wedding.
4, Unplugged weddings are popular, but without a professional photographer, you most likely are going to have a plugged wedding. So encourage your guests to snap pictures often: Set up signs at the entrance and tables, in the invitation. Give them a hashtag. Make scavenger hunt games, challenges and activities. Get disposable cameras for every table.
5, Sign up for some apps and services that help you collect photos from guest.
If you’re going to have hundreds of people taking pictures and video it can get complicated to collect them all. This way you are going to have everything in one gallery.
A few apps to check out:
–TacBoard (They also do live streaming. So all the photos sent in by your guest would be projected on the wall during reception.)
You can choose to have a separate photo shoot before or after the wedding. That way you don’t have to block that time out from the wedding day, and take time away from guests. It’s usually cheaper and you’re not that stressed and rushed. Go to the same location where you got married, or just find a completely different scenery. Dress up in your wedding outfit, or wear something else. Bring your family and friends to have those group photos, or book a session just for the two of you.
But remember! When looking at those photos later, you’re going to know that they were taken on a separate day, it wasn’t the actual wedding. If you’re ok with that, then it’s a perfect time to have some nice portraits to capture the connection and love between the two of you, and to celebrate the marriage.
If you’d like more ideas, grab my free E-Book where I’m sharing 6 tips on how to better photograph your wedding day.