Professional photographers for your wedding are not needed says Vogue

You don’t need professional photographers to capture one of the most important days of your life. At least this is what Vogue says! Yes, the magazine that more than anyone else lives on professional photographers to create the look and shape the trend messages, has sent out this shocking message. Amongst rings, honeymoon and the first dance, you should drop professional photographers from your list and rely on your guests’ snaps. Of course, it is not just the professional photographers who should get the sack; you should let go of the album as well, as Facebook is better suited to hold your memories.
Trust me, I did not see this coming from a magazine whose images are not only sourced from the “creme” of professional photographers, but that are reshaped and edited at no end. I strongly believe you should not follow Vogue’s advice, and these are the top 4 reasons why.

Professional Photographers carry the experience of capturing the “moment”

When you pay professional photographers to document your wedding, you are not investing in getting memories, but in the getting the right ones. Professional photographers who shoot many weddings know the ins and outs of covering such a unique event. The first kiss, those emotional moments that, even in 20 years from today, will still make your heart beat a bit faster, those beautifully framed moments are not something you do by mistake. Professional photographers know when to take them and how to take them.
Leaving your memories to your guests is something I strongly support, if those images are to be added to the professional ones; however, let me ask you how disappointed you would be if you would not get photos of:

  • you in your beautiful dress
  • first kiss you gave to your husband
  • your family emotional reaction to the “I do”

And it is not only about knowing what to do, but also knowing (and being allowed) where the magic really happens. Being in the middle of the crowd using a phone won’t be of any help if what you want to capture is your husband putting the ring on your finger! Oh, sorry, I forgot that Vogue dismisses rings as well… so 1900!

SOOC is for “Straight our of Camera”

How cool is that Instagram can apply funky filters to your photographs. It certainly does its trick, but sooner or later you will realise that a song vignetting and ten different presets won’t create a flowing visual experience. You will jump from extreme colours, various black and whites without being able to create something that will last the challenge of time, contrary to what Vogue does. The role of professional photographers is not just to capture a set of images, but also to make sure they look homogeneous in their colours and presentation. We spend hours colour correcting images, making sure that you will experience your day in a pleasurable way.

Prints are here to stay

There is no denying that digital is the future. From marketing to photographs the digital world is going to be more and more prominent in our lives; however, if you are looking for a unique way as keepsake for your memories, then a printed image is still the present, and this won’t change any time soon. Digital images are often buried deep into phones, lost in old computers or just vanished thanks to the last virus or simple mistakes.
You may tell me that it is easy to print a book from digital images, but our experience taught us that only very few people do that in the end, and only professional photographers can bring those images with the right tones, colours and composition in a book so to give you something you will look forward to browse every now and again.
Also, try framing a digital image taken with an iPhone on the wall. You can let us know how it goes!

Are you ready to bet on photos you cannot reproduce?

When we got married, we did not know many professional photographers specialised in weddings, at least where we got married in Italy. We did not gamble on our photos by not hiring professional photographers, but we did gamble by not investing a bit more and bringing one with us from London. As you may have read already, our small gamble did not pay off. At all.
Not only we do not have great photographs of our wedding, but when our mind wanders over there, a layer of sadness resurfaces. You see, it is not just the images, it is about memories. Professional photographers are expensive for good reasons: they are able to anticipate, capture and present those moments in a unique way!
What you have to remember is that that important day does not have the possibility to be lived once more. Once it is gone it is gone, and if your guests failed to capture the first kiss with their iPhones, that’s it.

What do you think? Professional Photographers for your wedding: yes or no?

Showing 4 comments
  • Joff
    Reply

    Hey Carlo,

    I think I understand where you are coming from. However, we recently moved and going through our wedding photos consigned the main album – 12 10′ x 8′ images + 50 6′ x 4″ to the bin. We digitised only 4 pics from our ‘official photographer’. OK we were married 37 years ago! For many people, their wedding day is the ‘best’ day of their life. It was a great day for me and my wife but in a different and more awesome way was the birth of each of our children. i could go on about other ‘best’ days of our lives!

    The Vogue article said, ‘If social media is not your thing, why not scatter some disposable cameras around the party and let your drunken guests go to town? You’ll end up with hilarious and candid pictures without the pressure of “likes.”’ Even scattering disposable cameras is old hat now – I remember being at a wedding doing that 10 years ago at least – but there were some fun pictures as a result.

    To be honest, if we were getting married again we would agree with Vogue about the wedding photographer and would be happy to receive the many photos taken by our guests. (That is being said with my brother-in-law being a a professional photographer who does a lot of weddings!)

    My problem with what I see of most wedding photographs is that they are ‘boring’ – including the so-called ‘creative ‘ ones. Despite the best intention of the photographer to ‘capture the moment’, so many sets of wedding photographs look the same – with wedding photographers vying for the latest ideas or sticking to the well-trodden path of the signing of register, the first kiss, dance etc…

    I guess that many people getting married want a ‘traditional’ wedding which includes ‘The Photographer’ – and at £75 an hour want great photographs. But here’s a fact – 50% of most 1st time marriages end in divorce, and many in the first 5 – 7 years – and so what is the real value of those photographs?

    I think boudoir photography offers something different. It captures a person – not just an event. You guys make beautiful pictures of wonderful people who, at the time you photograph them, are vulnerable and beautiful. In 30 years time (in my humble opinion), that will still be true. The images from a ‘perfect’ wedding day may not only get lost in the sands of time but for 50% of people may also be deliberately forgotten as the start of a painful relationship that ended in pain.

    So – I get where your disappointment has led you, but the pictures we have kept from our past have been the fun, non-professional, wonky, faded, ‘not looking our best’, ‘I can’t believe we did that!’ sort. Of course, 37 years of marriage does have a different perspective to those who are planning their great day!

    Thanks for your blog. I like your approach and appreciate your candour.

    With love and gratitude…

    • Carlo Nicora
      Reply

      Hi Joff,
      Thank you very much for your long comment, it is much appreciated!

      I perfectly understand where you come from, and I believe there are many points you touched in the comment. I will go to a couple of them.

      To me, photographs are memories. Sometimes they are good memories and sometimes they are bad. If your wedding ends up in a divorce, there is nothing a great photo can do; nonetheless, to me it is about having those 10/20 photos that matters. When we photograph weddings, we give hundreds of images, but we know that the important ones are a couple of dozens.
      Then of course there is the decision of who your wedding photographer is going to be. To avoid a boring photographer you need to pick carefully and find the one whose style suits yours and make sure s/he understands what you are really looking forward.

      My main point of disappointment is the source of all this: how can Vogue, who treasures its images more than anything else, dismiss photographers in such a way. It is like I said “Oh, you certainly don’t need a makeup artist, you can do it yourself”.

      By the way, thanks a lot for your comment on the boudoir, always appreciated! :)

      Ciao
      Carlo

  • John Colson
    Reply

    Being a wedding photographer, I won’t get into the argument of whether or not couples should hire a professional… it’s obvious which side of the fence I sit on! However, of the many ironies this story highlights, the one that sticks out for me is that Vogue is a Conde Nast publication… the same parent company that publish Brides magazine… a publication that are always calling me up asking me spend £000’s (yes, thousands) to advertise my photography with them!

    • Carlo Nicora
      Reply

      Hi John
      I completely understand where you come from. Yes, it has not been a very smart move from Conde Naste…

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