When it comes to capturing your memories, be it from a wedding, a family gathering, or your current professional identity, you only get one chance. Time’s funny in that way – it keeps moving forward, even if we wish we could pause and rewind it, if only for a little while. That’s why it is so important to invest in preserving your most important and cherished memories. If the opportunity slips by, that’s it.
Like we’ve said before, photography is for everyone, and it’s a difficult passion not to fall in love with. However, these three stories illustrate what can potentially happen when you entrust a non-professional to capture your most cherished memories.
From the very start, we knew that we wanted my best friend’s sister to photograph our wedding. I’d known both women since high school, and I’d seen the sister dabble with photography over the years. When she offered to be our wedding photographer, my fiance and I thought that it was the perfect opportunity to save a little bit of money while planning our special day.
She seemed like she was doing pretty well during the ceremony and reception. She was friendly with all the guests, and it appeared as though she was capturing all of the major moments of the day. It wasn’t until she emailed us our images afterwards that we realized just how many of those special moments had failed to have been preserved. Many of the images were blurry or dull looking, or else they captured scenes that had little relevance to my husband and myself. And while we did end up with a couple of decent posed images of our families, we only had a couple poor pictures of our actual marriage. After looking through the files she sent, we were sad to find that we didn’t even have a good, quality picture of the exchanging of rings or of our first dance as husband and wife.
We’ll always have our own memories from the day, but looking back, we both wish that we would have invested in a professional wedding photographer while planning our wedding. I’m super into scrap-booking, and sadly, with the images we received, I was unable to realize my dream of creating a beautiful collection of one of our most special days.
I’ve always been very close to my mother. So, when she got older and got sick, I knew it was very important to get my family – my husband and our two children – out to spend time with her as quickly as possible. During one of our final trips to see her, we decided that we wanted to have a family photo shoot to capture our enduring memories with one of the most loved members of our family. My college-aged daughter had a friend in the region we were visiting who was an amateur photographer and offered to take the pictures for us at a cost that was next to nothing.
We expected the day of the shoot to be full of laughs and warm comfort, but when we got there, the opposite sadly occurred. The photographer had very little knowledge about how to position and pose our family, leaving us all feeling a little confused and on edge. She spent a lot of the time fiddling with her camera, nervously laughing about how she was unsure exactly how all of the multiple settings worked. Rather than laughing with each other so that our candid interactions could be captured, we spent a lot of the day standing around, unsure how to pose and waiting for the photographer to figure out how to best take the images of us.
While the images we got in the end turned out decent, we now know that they would have been of a much higher quality if we would have hired a local professional to photograph our family. Furthermore, the expertise of a professional would have made our entire experience smoother and more enjoyable.
After graduating college, I was interested in establishing a personal brand as I began searching for job and career opportunities. One of my parents’ neighbors had a nice camera and had taken it into the mountains a few times to photograph fall leaves and winter trees. Since I didn’t yet have a solid job, letting him take my images for a low price seemed like a great idea.
The shoot itself went smoothly. We got along great and he seemed easy to work with and knowledgeable about what he was doing. It was only after I saw the personal branding images used by some other professionals after I got my own images back that I realized how sub-par mine had turned out. I guess photographers have ways of retouching and enhancing your photographs so that you look like the best possible you. Maybe he didn’t have the training, or maybe he didn’t have access to the software that professionals use. All I know is that, after researching other images, I realized that mine, in comparison, looked dull and unprofessional. Now, in order to run with the competition, I’m looking to get my personal branding images retaken by a professional photographer.