I remember when I started taking pictures, at first it was a great experience, I could take what I wanted when I wanted. If the results weren't very good it didn't matter. Then I took a job with a local newspaper and all of a sudden I had to deliver!
I had to go to sports events including football matches, where I was expected to get a picture of the ball going into the back of the net. How hard was that! I also went to book signings, openings of shops by local celebrities; the list goes on. It was terrifying. To make it even harder, unlike todays digital cameras, where I could shoot hundreds of pictures and hope I got a few good ones at no extra cost, I was using a film camera, which had a limit of 36 pictures per roll, not only did every picture need to be good; composition, exposure etc but I was never 100% sure until I got the film back from being processed which was usually a few days later. How times have changed!
The responsibility of delivering a quality picture every time was daunting. I have to admit that sometimes the results were not perfect, but the it was a superb time to learn the craft of photography under pressure and dealing with people to get the best out of them.
As my career progressed, I started doing wedding photography, which carries even more responsibility. This was still before digital cameras, so every picture had to count. The realisation that I had to get it right first time was a huge responsibility. I then studied photography over a four year period, to get a professional qualification. I then spent time working as an assistant photographer in London, then finally setting up my own studio.
So like myself, most wedding photographers will have a great deal of experience behind them, dealing with people, using their skills to get the best pictures and know the best places to take them. They have invested in high quality equipment, know it inside out and can cope with anything that comes at them, including days when it rains non stop!
Unfortunately, with today's technology, anyone can buy an expensive camera and believe they can take great photographs. The reality is that these cameras are basically computers with a lens on them and they take a great deal of practice and understanding to use them properly and what to do when things go wrong. This is why most professional wedding photographers will have at least 2 cameras, just in case one fails.
Just to add to this, a professional photographer will do their homework. Check the best locations in advance of the wedding day, know where the best light will be, look at the weather forecast, have a plan B in case it rains and finally have the ability to bring your pictures to life using computer software and deliver hi quality photographs for you to enjoy.
So when you hire a professional photographer, you are buying experience, which is priceless, and you can be confident that no matter what happens on the day, you don't have to worry as it will all be under control and you will get some great photographs.
Taking all of those things into consideration would you risk your wedding day to a non professional?