Why should I hire a professional wedding photographer?
"Anyone anywhere can take an amazing photo at any time. It simply makes sense to teach iPhone how to take a great picture rather than teach people how to be expert photographers." As I was scrolling through the new iPhones 5S features, I wasn't sure what to think about this. Part of me wanted to be insulted, indignant, even resentful. Like. I work really hard to be an expert photographer and now anyone with an iPhone can be just like me!? But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that this is a very good thing.
In 1888, the founder of Kodak coined the slogan, "You push the button, we do the rest". The idea of making photography simple and available to the general public has been around since the beginning of photographic history. In the past 125 years, household photography has only become more and more popular and accessible. Now days, most people has a camera on their cell phone…. and a pretty good one at that. When you can do something for yourself, and get decent results, what's the point of hiring a professional?
For the same reason that I own an oven, but I still go out to eat.
Yes, 98% of the time, I cook my own meals. Sometimes, I even use copycat recipes and mimic some of my favorite fancy restaurant meals. They taste pretty good, and I'm so thankful that I have the technology and resources to be able to do this on a daily basis. But, on a special occasion, I'm still going to go to the restaurant. Because I want to sit down, be waited on, and enjoy the experience of a professional serving me in a way that no one else can.
In the same way, it's fantastic that technology allows us to capture the majority of our daily lives. Moms can capture the everyday occurrences of their kids and friends can photograph each other easily and with equipment that gets better and better every day. And this is an exciting, fantastic thing. I'm so happy that technology allows us to take pictures of everyday life… pictures that are going to be precious to us and our children in 20 years. But on special occasions, there is still great value in hiring a professional. Someone who can serve you by providing an experience and results in a way that no one else can.
It's true that advancements in technology are making photographers work harder to be better at our craft and stand above the average person with a nice camera. But that only means that we're better photographers, and our clients get better images. Which is a good thing.
Besides, pushing a button and getting a properly exposed image is still only the beginning. Technology and even understanding how to use it well is only the ABCs of photography. Far harder is telling a clear, beautiful, and emotional story… even in less than ideal situations. Far harder is dealing with the pressure, time limits, and stressful situations of a wedding day. Far harder is communicating with a bride for over a year, giving her constant advice, and just being there for her when everything becomes overwhelming. There's so, so much more that goes into this than being able to take an amazing photo.
Because not everyone who owns an oven is a great cook.