Wedding Photography - Pro or Amateur? by Dominic Lee, AMPA

Why book a professional wedding photographer

In days of film, many would-be photographers couldn’t cope with the long sleepless weekend waiting to see if the “Photos came out” and gave up on the career before they even got started.

The Digital camera was probably invented by a wedding photographer. Seeing the results instantly he or she can head home knowing they’ve got the job covered.

Suddenly there are thousands of wedding photographers where there used to be dozens.

As a result, a whole new style of wedding photography has emerged. I’m not talking about fancy words like “Reportage” which in fact has been around for decades, in the 70s & 80s it was called “Off the Cuff”.

And I’m not referring to the photographer turning the camera at an angle to make the image look “artistic”. Nor does taking thousands of photographs on motor drive constitute a job well done if they are just a bunch of “happy snaps” taken by a photographer who thinks your wedding is a fashion shoot.

I’m referring to a style which makes your jaw drop, takes your breath away, captures passion, love, emotion and includes the surroundings like it was all put together by a designer with you in the frame. And yet the photographer remains a subsidiary as opposed to the centre of attention on the wedding day.

It’s the kind of photography which makes couples who got married previously but messed up on their photography, want to do it all again.


So how do you find such a photographer?



Study several websites on wedding photography- American, Russian, British, Irish, everywhere & anywhere..  You will eventually find a style that excites you and then narrow your search to a local supplier who has that style.

Be prepared to pay for Experience, a keen amateur may cope well on a nice warm day with all the guests enjoying Champagne on the lawn but a true Pro will still produce stunning images even if your wedding is visited by a Hurricane. So ask your photographer to produce samples of work taken on dreadful days as well as gorgeous sunny ones.


The Recession:

Don’t be fooled by offers of a DVD with all the images so you can print them yourself. Any photographer who lets their work out to be “home printed” is more interested in Quick Cash than Quality Control. And while couples have great intensions of making their own album, they usually get as far as uploading their top 10 photos on Facebook, giving a few dreadfully printed copies to their parents and the rest end up lost amongst their CD collection.



Your parents wedding album probably looks as beautiful today as it did 30 years ago. And this proves that “simple” is the key.

Digital Magazine Style Albums have been around for over 10 years now and while many are spoiled by tacky special effects and cheap photography. This style of album really suits Digital; it can look absolutely amazing if it’s loaded with high quality photographs which are skilfully designed in a simple layout.

So if you are excited about photography, put the time into your choice and don’t skimp on the price. Remember when you wake up the next morning, your wedding album is the only thing you will have to show for all the money you spent on the big day, everything else will have been eaten, died, returned to the hire shop or destined for eBay.

Dominic Lee, AMPA

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