It’s what every photographer hears at least three times a year. “My uncle, cousin, fiancé’s good friend has this great camera and took some awesome vacation shots. They even took a photo class in school and were on the yearbook staff! We’re on a budget so we’re just gonna use them instead. Sounds great—until they get the wedding photos back! That’s when we hear:
“We ran out of time and didn’t hardly get any pictures.”
“There wasn’t any photos with my side of the family.”
“The pictures were all blurry.”
“The photos didn’t come out.”
“We look blue.”
“I look a mess.”
“We only got half of the reception.”
“The photographer just stopped and gave up.”

All that anticipation, not to mention money spent and so little record of your special day; it’s enough to break your heart.
What’s the difference between a friend or relative and a pro if they have the same camera?

Experience
Experience in knowing how to work with the camera in all situations, times of day, locations and lighting. All these elements change constantly in the course of your day. Experience in knowing how to make you look your best. Experience in organization of your friends and family groups to have the time to capture the photos you’re looking for. Just as your experience at your job makes all the difference in the outcome, your photographer’s experience makes all the difference in your once-in-a-lifetime photos.

If you are tempted to use that relative or friend to do a professional’s job, try this. Have your friend photograph you and your fiancé at your location at the same time the event is to take place. Remember they have generally 30-45 minutes to take every photo on your list. The results will speak for themselves. Don’t leave this unique, irreplaceable event up to amateurs!