FAQ section 9

9) Photography and Video

9.1) Do I have to hire a professional photographer?

This is a personal decision. There are, of course, pros and cons of hiring a professional photographer:



9.2) Should I have disposable cameras on the tables?

Disposable cameras can be a fun way for your guests to amuse themselves, and you may get some memorable photos out of them. They work better with brighter lighting. This is not a substitute for hiring a professional photographer or having a friend or relative with a good camera take pictures. An alternative to disposable cameras is to buy regular 35mm film and cheap 35mm cameras for people to take pictures with at the reception; this will provide better picture quality. Some people ask their guests to bring their own cameras and provide 35mm film for the guests to use. The problem with this idea is that many guests prefer to take pictures for their own use, as well as pictures for the couple to have, and asking them to use their own cameras to take pictures for you will probably deprive them of the ability to take pictures for themselves.

You should appoint someone, such as a friend or relative who has asked if there's anything they can do to help, to collect the cameras at the end.

9.3) Should I have a wedding video made?

This is again a personal decision. Some people really enjoy having a video of their wedding. Others find it sits on a shelf and collects dust. Only you can decide which group you fall into.

People who like video often give the following arguments:

People who don't like video often give these arguments:

Some people argue that wedding video is a waste because the videotape will degrade over time. While this is true, there's no reason to think that you won't be able to transfer it to a more stable medium later. People also argue that 50 years from now, there won't be VCR's, so you won't be able to watch it. Again, if it's important to you, you can always have it transferred to the new medium when VCR's become obsolete. So, while you will have to devote a little time to preserving your video, you can expect that if it matters to you, you'll still have the recording (though probably no longer on videotape) in 50 years.

The technology for creating printed pictures from video is improving all the time, making this a possible way to augment the pictures from your photographer.

9.4) Should I hire a professional videographer?

Obviously, you will get much better results if you hire a competent professional than if you have Aunt Susan bring her camcorder. However, that doesn't mean you necessarily need to hire a professional. You should consider:

One thing that may help you decide is to watch various wedding videos; perhaps friends and family have amateur and professional videos you could watch. The professional videographer you are considering should be able to show you some of the videos s/he has done.

Some particular advantages of good professional video are greatly improved sound and lighting, as well as better overall picture quality. Competent professional videographers have better equipment than amateurs, know how to take advantage of the available light, and have experience coming up with creative solutions to eliminate intrusiveness.

When evaluating video, in addition to the picture quality, pay careful attention to the sound, an aspect many people don't pay attention to until they're disappointed in the sound of their own videos.

You should also know that there are big differences between the style, philosophy, and ability of different videographers. If video is important to you, it could be quite worthwhile to speak with several different videographers and see their sample videos. If you have particular concerns, you can probably find a videographer who has experience working within the constraints you have.

The contents of this document are copyright 2004 Sonja Kueppers. Do not use without permission.

Last Modified: May 15, 2004