They say pictures are worth a thousand words, and that sentiment certainly holds true when it comes to your wedding day. In the whirlwind of love and celebration, brides, grooms and marriers can find comfort and excitement in knowing that there will be photos to remember this day. Wedding pictures are more than just memories, though. They’re a way of commemorating the special moments that you may not be there for throughout the day, as well as honoring the outfits, decor, venue and flowers that you spent money and effort to make perfect.

It is relatively standard to hire a professional wedding photographer, but you may wonder why you shouldn’t just enlist your cousin who is a film major or trust your guests with disposable cameras to capture the event. As easy as it sounds to forgo a pro photographer, this is one wedding vendor you simply can’t go without! We rounded up the top benefits of hiring a professional wedding photographer:

1. They have experience

There’s nothing more valuable than the experience that a pro wedding photographer brings to the table. From their artistic and aesthetic know-how to the logistics of shooting in less-than-ideal weather, wedding photographers are veritable experts in capturing your marriage in a way that simply can’t be replicated. Regardless of their educational background or credentials, pro photographers come with knowledge and perspective that will help create the wedding photos of your dreams. What’s even better is if they have experience with LGBTQ+ weddings. Find LGBTQ+ inclusive wedding photographers in the Equally Wed directory.

2. They can offer variety

Between digital and film photography, there are dozens of methods that pro photographers can deploy to match your wedding aesthetic. Hiring a professional wedding photographer means you’re also getting access to their equipment and knowledge of how to properly use different methods. When searching for your wedding photographer, make sure to narrow your search by their preferred methods, depending on what types of wedding photos you’re looking for: Polaroids, hi-res digital pictures and various types of vintage film are all increasingly popular in vendor offerings.

3. You get quality images

Professional retouching and overall quality of composition are one of the most important aspects of a wedding photographer’s job. The time and energy required to produce a high-quality wedding album are enormous, and professional wedding photographers literally make it their job to get the details just right. From smoothing frizzy hair in getting-ready photos to ensuring that there is quality lighting for your newlywed portraits, pro photographers have the skills–and software–to bring your gallery to the next level.

4. It’s an investment

One of the main barriers that may stop a couple from hiring a professional wedding photographer is the cost. Yes, pro photography is expensive, but more importantly, it is an investment. You aren’t just paying for photos; you’re paying for the expertise and quality that come with hiring a pro. Your wedding photos capture every aspect of your wedding day so that you can remember and share the details for years to come, and investing in quality helps ensure that you will truly cherish those photos, without regrets.

5. They know what to expect on your wedding day

Thanks to their experience, professional wedding photographers can help you structure your wedding day schedule so you get all the shots and still get to really experience your day. From planning to receiving your wedding album, pro photographers can walk you through what to expect from them and help you arrange your schedule so that you can commemorate every moment while still being fully present.

6. They’ll guide you through what you want and need

At the start of your planning process, your wedding photographer can help you decide what type and what quantity of photos you want. At the end of the process, many wedding photographers have access or connections to premium printing options. Many marriers opt for digital albums, but with a professional photographer on your side, you can explore the latest options for printing and work together to put your album to good use as you decorate your home or prepare to send photo-finished thank you cards to your guests.

7. They help you stress less

With a professional photographer at your disposal, you’ll be able to stress less and celebrate more. Much like hiring a professional wedding planner or coordinator, having a pro photographer gives you space to really enjoy your day and trust that the details are accounted for. Knowing what to expect from your schedule plays a huge role in reducing your wedding day jitters, and your photographer plays a key role in helping in that department.

8. They help you be confident in front of the camera

One of the biggest concerns for brides, grooms and marriers is that they don’t know how to be comfortable in front of the camera. Wedding photographers are experts at guiding you through poses, prompting subtle shifts that can totally change a picture and helping you to feel at ease. Getting someone to relax and be themselves in front of a lens is a skill that only the pros have, and you’ll be thankful you had them to bring out the best version of yourself for your wedding photos.

9. Hiring a pro means less work for you

Directing an amateur photographer or crossing your fingers that your sister will get enough photos of the cake before the night is over? It’s too much work for you! Your only job is to get married, and having to fuss over capturing the day just isn’t worth it. Hiring a pro wedding photographer saves you time, energy and stress. Trust that you will be able to enjoy your day fully and enjoy the pics when you look back.

10. They love what they do!

Wedding photographers work hard and put a lot of effort into their craft. As many pro photographers will tell you, they do this because they love it! Hiring someone who truly enjoys capturing the love and joy of a wedding day is a great way to support an artist who is passionate about their work while also getting to collaborate with someone who will bring the thought and care that your wedding photos deserve. The Equally Wed heart is a trademark of Palladino Publishing, LLC.

Looking for LGBTQ+ inclusive and affirming professional wedding photographers? Start here.

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Featured image by Rita Labib