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Why you should hire a professional photographer for your wedding.

Updated: Apr 8, 2021


South Coast Pictures have been photographing weddings in Portsmouth and the surrounding areas since 2007. Having expanded into photo booths as well in 2015 we've helped hundreds of couples get the most from their big days.

To answer any questions you have, or to see how we can help you, please click here.



Hello, it's Simon again from South Coast Pictures.

Now if you're anything like us you've started planning your wedding, and you've spoke to probably the venue, the caterers and maybe a couple of others and the prices they've quoted you has made your head spin. So the first thing your thinking is how can I cut back these costs?

So tonight I'm going to talk to you briefly about why cutting a photographer is really not the best idea you could have.

Ok so let's cut to the chase. Photographers are, or at least can be expensive, but trust me what you get for your money is a lot more than you think you do. Not only is there the few hours on site capturing the images you want, it is the trust, experience of being able to do it properly, first time, in a way that you will love the images for years to come.

Also you don't see most of the work that goes on preparing the images for a wedding. I think I spend about 25% on site on the day, the rest of the time is all in the background doing research, site visits, editing, putting everything together, so you do get a lot more. And even on the day we're not just photographers- We know weddings inside out and backwards, we can help guide you where to be, when to be there. We can help call your guests across, we can liaise with the venue for you, we can even be dress fluffers if you need us. So as you can see we're very adaptable.

The second point, photographers are not guests. We have certain privileges which means that the registrar, or celebrant doesn't expect us to be sitting in a seat, behaving ourselves. We're allowed to wonder around, we're allowed to have the camera out, alright some don't allow flash but some do. If your guests tried that I'm pretty sure who ever was running the ceremony would get annoyed pretty quickly- as would you guys. You try and come down the aisle and you can't see your feller because there is 6 people trying to take a photo in the aisle. It just doesn't work.

Also we understand we're there for work, guests are there to enjoy themselves. You won't find us (or many of us anyway,) standing at the bar, having a beer and not paying attention to what's going on around us. We know we're there to work, we're watching what's going on, we're seeing what your guests are up to, we know what's happening time wise, so you'll never miss a moment with a proper photographer.

Also whilst we're talking about proper photographers, there's a lot more to photography than just having a good camera. Yes, Uncle Bob may have a top of the range camera, yes, he may love photographing holiday snaps or wildlife or what ever he does, but does he know weddings? Does he know where to be, what's going to happen next? Can he spot the random moments that happen at every wedding? Probably not. Will he be in the way, will he get on your nerves, will he know how to organise a group, will he know the best positions, the best lighting, to capture images that you want to hang on your wall for years to come? Now he may do, but lets be honest the photos I took when I first started this, what 13 years ago now, are no where near the quality I do now. Experience plays a massive part in what you get.

The finally reason I think you should have a professional photographer for your wedding is most of us only plan to do it once. There is no 'Oh lets just re-do that,' 'Lets line up the vows again.' You only get one chance at the reaction and of the emotion of the day, and if you have a photographer or no one to capture that- its gone, there is no second chances.

So like I say, I understand I'm a little bit bias to this whole debate, so I wanted to share with you a few discussions I've had with people at other wedding fayres, other guests at weddings, things like that, who have decided to cut corners with their photographers and to a more or less extent regretted it.

Firstly I was talking to a lady who's partners friend took the photos all day. Again nice camera, but he spent all day hanging with his mates and the groom, so all the photos they got back were of the groom and the groom's family, them skylarking around, There was very few of the bride, the bridesmaids, I remember she had none of the dress at all, all because they'd got a friend to do it.

I remember talking to a couple who had done the disposable cameras. Put those out around the tables, given them to certain guests, hoping for a more casual, relaxed approach by letting their guests do it. Not only did this cost them an absolute bomb to get the photos developed, they ended up with about 1 roll of nice photos. Everything else was people messing around, couple of the kids got the cameras and held it the wrong way round, so they were taking pictures of their eyes instead of what they were actually looking at. There was also one camera, where the whole roll was just two people- I assume it was a kid got it and pictured their mum and dad, but literally every photo was the same two people, and there was nothing there really they could use for their memories.

There was someone I was talking to, who chose not to have a photographer at all. They got married young, trying to save costs, it was only a small ceremony so it didn't seem like a massive thing at the time. However now they've been married 30-40 years, got kids, grandkids, they've got nothing to show for the day, just stories, and they regret not having those pictures to be able to back that up.

Finally, I was talking to a couple who had their guests take the photos. So everyone was allowed their phones out, and I think to be fair the registrar wasn't particularly keen on the idea, so all the photos they got of the service was taken from the seats. No one could move around, there were no up close photos. Pictures of the day people were taking photos that they wanted, not necessarily what the bride and groom wanted, so they missed several key shots, key groups, things like that. And also when they, (they have a lovely Facebook gallery admittedly of random stuff) but when they tried to print them, of course they're all taken on phones, so the size of the images weren't big enough to do anything with. I think they ended up making a collage of a load of pictures and putting them on about an A3 sized bit of paper in the end, but they wanted wall art, and cameras- no matter how good the phones are getting nowadays, they still can't really produce that, not to any proper quality.

So these are a few things I've been speaking to people through over the years and pitfalls they've told me about, so I'm just passing this onto you, to make sure you don't make the same mistake, don't regret it because like I say, we only want to do this once- if you're lucky enough to do it as a vow renewal or something, then great, you get a second chance but not many of us want to go through this stress too many times.

If that sounds, hopefully that's changed some of your thoughts, at least if you are looking to save money then look in other areas, but if you want to drop us a message, chat, talk about what we've said, anything like that, hit the message button or comment on it below and we'll be in touch.

Speak soon!

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