If you want the images you expect from someone taking photos of you and your family, Here is something to think about when making a decision to hire a professional photographer or just having 'anyone' take your photos.
Granted - there are some cost savings that can come with getting a free photographer, friend or family member to photograph an important event in your life. But if your main objective is just trying to save money (while still expecting desired results) then this probably isn't your best move.
Employing an (Experienced - based on their portfolio and the kind of work they do) and (Professional Photographer - based on their investment in high-end equipment, work ethic, and guarantees) will definitely give you results that you would expect and photos with a difference that will be evident for all to see.
Check their work. Its not much good having a hobby photograher that takes photos of landscapes and buildings all the time do your family photos - just because they have a nice camera. Taking photos of people vs. places is a completely different art, one which takes experience to learn. Also having a personality to be able to make people at ease in front of the camera and knowing how to compose someone (or a group) of people in the shot - is nothing like taking photos of sunsets and mountains.
If your goal is to have a series of photos that you can really show off with pride, that will be life-long keep sakes - then getting a photographer that has extensive experience as well as an industry-standard fee is the best way to ensure you will have exactly what you expect.
With photographers the old saying 'you get what you pay for' is so true. Here are some of the top advantage is that you can get for hiring a professional photographer at the standard rates for your local industry:
Professionalism: Through many years of experience in planning a photographer will be at your event and ready to work. This means they know the ins and outs of planning wedding shots, creating quality event photography shots and more. It's this planning, knowledge and professionalism that helps you to get consistent results.
The Best Equipment: Professional photographers will have a steady income as well as a reason to consider upgrading their equipment to higher standards to offer their customers more and to improve efficiency in their business. By hiring a pro photographer you will get access to someone that uses the best equipment possible for lighting, shooting and editing. A single lens for a high end camera costs in excesss of $2500 and what you are getting for that money is the quality of the glass inside that lens - which is directly reflected in the sharpness and quality of your images.
Editing Skills: A relative or budget photographer isn't likely to spend hours editing your photos after your event. While this can sometimes add to the amount of time that it takes to get your photos back, editing photos can improve the final results and give you photo keepsakes that you can be very proud of.
(And for those that say "I don't need my photos edited..." - Then realize that every great photo has been re-touched in some way. Cameras do not have the DYNAMIC RANGE - that is - the ability to see the brightest and darkest spots in an image the way human eye can, and there will always be some variable that can be tweaked to make the image look more realistic and natural)
- Avoiding Mistakes: With careful planning and knowing how to set up the shot to capture ideal lighting you can see flawless photos which don’t contain mistakes like: Over exposed backgrounds and dark faces, Focus not correct, Images captured with unwanted objects in the background like poles, garbage bins or other people, drawing your focus away from the subject. Employing a professional will be aware of so many variables before pressing the shutter button that only experience can teach, and this will be evident in the end results. High end cameras have multiple card slots too - meaning your images are being recorded onto 2 cards at the same time, making sure there is a redundancy or backup plan in case of an equipment failure, and rest assured, this does happen. What would you say when the photographer says after your wedding or highly anticipated event, SORRY, I have had a little problem. You only have one chance to capture those images and a professional knows the important lessons an amateur doesn't.
Keep these important reasons in mind for employing a pro photographer at a fair rate and remember... Dont leave things to chance, do your homework.
Knowing those things you can rest assured you really do get what you pay for.