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An open letter to couples – why you should book a professional wedding photographer by Stuart Wood

If your couples are asking you why they should bother with a professional wedding photographer when they have friends and family who can do it for them – show them this!

This is an open letter for couples about their wedding photography by highly acclaimed photographer Stuart Wood – multi-award winning, Fellow of the BIPP and long time NAWP member.

“What is absolutely certain is that with the continuing proliferation of smartphones around the world, the amount of photographs being taken and the rate by which this increases continues to spiral upwards.

In 2017 it was estimated that something in the region of 1.2 trillion pictures were actually snapped by us all worldwide. How this amount is actually and accurately arrived at is not so easy to confirm, but what is also absolutely certain is that the rate that pictures are now being taken is only going to increase. 

The process of taking a photograph has never been easier. Simply point the lens on your phone at your subject, compose the image on your screen and press the button and literally within moments of posting on social media, your photograph can be around the world. 

The quality of these images continues to increase too, as is the ability of the current smart phone cameras to handle low light situations. How certain situations are now automatically rendered by our phones would have been completely unthinkable only a few years ago. 

So photography is easy then? Why should we even bother using professional photographers these days?

So why go to all the time, trouble and expense to hire a professional to photograph your wedding? Why not simply put the money saved into a better venue, more flowers, perhaps some fireworks, or perhaps one of the many and current faux fashion accessories out there that continue to swell the current ‘must-have’ wedding lists when ‘tying the knot’.
It is quite clearly and very literally your choice. 
But before you make such an important decision, take a few moments to consider the alternatives of getting this wrong. 

You may well know someone who is pretty good at taking pictures and have a really good Instagram page, but are they fully versed in the pictures that they must get at a wedding? Be aware that a wedding photographer needs to be more than capable at performing on the day as a fashion photographer, portrait photographer, landscape photographer and architectural photographer to name but a few of their roles.

Can your friend draw on years of experience at making the recording of your day seamless and fully understand how to achieve this? Do they understand how to light people, let alone the differences and benefits of the various lighting techniques that may well flatter women but not necessarily be so kind to men?

Remember also that with the possible exclusion of certain Hollywood ‘celebrities’, most people getting married are not overly experienced in doing so and therefore can unfortunately live to regret certain aspects of their inexperience, because unfortunately while we may get to rehearse the wedding service, this does not apply to the rest of the day. Oh, and regardless of how many other times that you may or may not get married again, you still only get one chance to get it right on your day.

Perhaps give a passing thought to the fact that with the possible exception of the wedding filmmaker, your photographer is the only supplier who’s product on the day is not actually tangible and will only be seen after the event. 
Which is probably and exactly the main point. When you get your pictures, they are yours forever. 

You see, our brains are only capable of remembering by three methods. If one of these methods is not available, the memory will fade and eventually be either archived or deleted from our consciousness.
One method is through severe joy or deep trauma when there is a highly emotional connection. Another is by repeating something over a protracted period of time.
And the only other way is through pictures. 

So your special day, every detail of which was SO anticipated for so long, is now done with. The beautiful experience of your venue is over. The exquisite flowers that were so perfect are now consigned to some landfill, the magnificent cake cut and devoured, the honeymoon suitcases unpacked and that wedding dress that was so perfect and so angst over is now packed away in the attic. 

What have you got left? The photographs perhaps?

Today and with the advent of handmade luxury albums with images wonderfully printed on laminated pages that will deter the stickiest of little fingers that may well enter the story later, we now have a product that if cared for, will last for generations, with fabulous photography that will endure the years and help you and your future families relive the fun, joy, emotion and love that you actually experienced on your wedding day. 
So you still want to place that so low down on your list? Really? “

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