Wedding Photographer David Hardwick Stourbridge Dudley West Midlands | Why use a professional

Why use a professional wedding photographer?
Amateur vs Pro?

Some couples find themselves having to make a decision between using a professional wedding photographer and a friend of the family. This may be due to a tight budget and is understandable, however this might not be such a good idea. Here I provide a list of reasons why you should really use a professional if at all possible.

Should I Book a Professional Wedding Photographer or Get a Friend to do it for Free? A Cautionary Tale… Click Here.
This is one of many horror stories. Please don’t take the risk, it need not cost a fortune.
Sorry to keep banging on about this but this but if you get the photography wrong then it is too late.
I don’t ever want to see anyone disappointed.

How to save money on wedding photography.
(I don’t think that anyone would actually do this)

You will need some professional equipment to ensure that you get the best results.
Fortunately there are a number of companies that will hire all the kit you need.

Most wedding are on a Saturday so you need the weekend hire rate.
Please check these prices they are correct as of 14th of February 2014.

Amounts in Pounds £

Weekend hire




Nikon D4



Camera Body

Nikon D4 Body

Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8G ED AF-S NIKKOR



General use lens


24 - 70

Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8G ED AF-S NIKKOR



Wide angle lens
Used for group shots


24mm to 70 mm F2.8 Lens

Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G AF-S ED VR II



Telephoto lens
Candid / Church


70 - 200 F2.8

SanDisk 32GB Extreme Pro 600X Compact Flash Card (two per camera)

15.83 x 2


27.00 x 2


Memory card

XQD Card

Nikon SB900/SB800 flashgun



Flash gun

Nikon SB-90 Flash






Total + VAT



Hire + deposit



we will need to spend £402.00 for the equipment but have to outlay £3,222.00 initially to cover the deposit.

This is for one camera set. Most wedding photographers including myself will carry two sets of the above equipment.
That is £804.00 not including any fuel or time to pick up the equipment.

Now all you need is someone with the experience of photographing weddings who is insured that knows how to work with large crowds and will work all day and all night.

After the wedding the kind friend or relative can spend two or free days editing the images for you for free.

Let us give our friend £20 for his petrol. This means that we have saved a whopping £26.

This bellow is a list of what a professional photographer has;

1. Experience
Professional wedding photographers will often cover up to 40 weddings a year. This gives them a lot of experience with different locations, lighting situations, types of wedding and so on. The family friend may be quite good at taking pictures but can they cope in a wide range of situations when under pressure? They might take good pictures on holiday but how does that relate to a wedding?

2. Skills
There is so much more to wedding photography than having a decent camera. A professional will usually have a greater knowledge of the camera's abilities and of photographic techniques. Not to mention their ability to work with people and to provide additional services such as album design, web display and so on.

3. Backup Equipment
Good professional photographers will always have backup equipment with them in case of breakdowns or accidents. The friend of the family may have one good camera but what if that fails?

4. Equipment Quality
Professionals will have invested a significant amount of money in their equipment. Not just the cameras but also the flash, batteries, tripods etc. Their aim is to get excellent quality results with reliable equipment.

5. Insurance
Professionals need to be insured for their photography business. Most will carry public liability and professional indemnity. This means that in the event of an accident or a failure to provide an adequate service you have some comeback. If a friend of the family caused a problem would you even be willing to take action against them and if so could they afford it?

6. Reputation
A professional photographer's reputation is at risk every time they cover a wedding. They have a strong incentive to do a good job, especially in the age of the internet where clients can quickly write bad reviews if they didn't get a good service. The photographer's reputation and therefore his/her livelihood is at stake. An amateur usually has their day job to fall back on.

7. Independence
With a photographer that is not related to you there is a more professional relationship. The photographer should be friendly and helpful but not too familiar. I have heard of photographers drinking and socializing with guests at a wedding but they should be there to do a job and be focused on that. If the photographer is a guest will they stay sober and be able to provide decent pictures later in the day?

8. Post Processing
A professional is likely to have more experience and skill with the post processing of the images as well as with taking them. This includes retouching skills as well as album design and print presentation.

9. Service
As the photographer is relying on your business for their living it is in their interest to provide good service before, during and after the wedding. This includes providing you with things like prints, CD's and albums in a reasonable period of time and helping you with decisions such as the type of album to get.

10. Album Design
One of the most important aspects of wedding photography today is the album design. This is a skill in its own right. Even if your family friend can take good pictures can they put them together into a creative and stylish album design? Will they be prepared to spend the time doing this work for you?

Thank you for taking a look at this list. I hope it has helped you decide whether to use a professional or not.


Your wedding photographs will last long after the big day is over, so don't leave them to chance and regret your decision later like this bride ....

"Sadly I only realised how important my wedding pictures were after the big day. I waited for months for images that I am now too embarrassed to show people"!

"My parting words are these. If you can afford a professional wedding photographer then please please please do so".

The following is from the website