Shout out to our Guest Blogger, Rebekah! Love her budget-friendly tips. Check out her blog here.
Using a Non-Professional Photographer
For budget reasons, I decided to use a non-professional photographer for my engagement pictures and wedding pictures. For those thinking of taking the same route, here are some tips:
I use “non-professional” in the sense that the photographer you choose may have a high tech camera and editing experience, but they don’t necessarily do photography as a full or even part-time job. Maybe they do it as a hobby, or they are thinking about getting into the business, but either way they haven’t done to many wedding photo shoots before.
In my case, my cousin was willing to take photos and edit them for free! I just had to accept the minimal experience level. So, in order to get great pictures, I had to do a couple things.
Scout out locations. Usually professional photographers will have a few go-to places they like to shoot at. However, if you have a non-professional, you will probably have to find places yourself. This doesn’t have to be hard to do- keep your eye out for friends and family who have recently gotten married and see where they got their pictures taken. Chances are you can go there too. I ended up picking a park in the mountains as well as a botanical garden area for my locations.
Research positions. Professional photographers will know how to position you for pictures, and will probably have several poses already in mind. A non-professional probably won’t. So I researched dozens of wedding photos and had a list ready to go when we had our photo shoot. Some of them worked out, and others didn’t, depending on what we had to do to recreate the examples I found.
Go in the evening or on a cloudy day. Professional photographers have fancy shades and instruments to help make lighting perfect, whereas a non-professional won’t. Evenings and cloudy days help do the work for you to reduce shadows and glare.
Figure out ways to make each other laugh. It’s hard to hold a genuine smile on your face for several hour photo session, so get creative in helping each other smile! My fiancé and I had a thumb war at the beginning of our engagement session to help us loosen up.
Let others know what I needed them to do. For group photos at my wedding, I had a mental list of all the different groups of people I wanted photos with (ex: bride and groom’s parents, best men, bridesmaids, groom’s siblings, etc). I let everyone know that I would be calling out group names before every picture and everyone who fell in the category would need to gather round. This helped our group photo session go very quickly. My one regret is that I didn’t pick a shaded location for the group photos.
So there you have it! Using a non-professional photographer can still lead to beautiful photos, and it definitely is easier on a wedding budget.