A Shoot-Out

Thirty Cameras VS One Good Professional Photographer

It was not unlike a scene from one of those famous John Wayne movies where the townspeople start pulling out guns and taking pot shots at the lone gunman strolling into the middle of town. This day was like many others, the sun was setting on a pleasant fall Arizona wedding and all appeared calm except for the growing crowd surrounding the decorated pastry at the center of the room.  All at once thirty cameras of all shapes and sizes were pulled from their holsters as family and friends of all persuasions began shooting at a cake covered bride and groom.


Most of the cameras were phones and blackberries with an assortment of point and shoot options dotting the horizon.  In the middle of the explosion of flashes that peppered the air like fireworks it became obvious that a few guests had some heavy hitting camera gear.  As fast as lightning one guest after another broke out their consumer level (SLR) Single Lens Reflex, cameras while just on the edge of the room in the shadows lurked a wily eyed professional.  She was dressed all in black and had reflexes like a ninja and skin burned by the ceremony sun.  This photographer was a hired gun who meant business as she stood alone peering out through her zoom lens and firing off ten shots per second into the ecstatic crowd of merry makers.  This was no ordinary wedding photographer, this was a pro!


With the growing enthusiasm for technology and the lowering prices in digital photography everyone seems to be getting into the photography game.  Where once only trained professional photographers could submit to Newspapers and Magazines, now media outlets are recruiting citizen journalists/photographers.  Not to be left behind many well meaning brides are starting to recruit their friends, family or novices who own a camera, to capture their wedding day’s most important memories.  Because of this growing trend we must ask this important question.  Does having a great camera make you a great photographer?


The answer to this is a resounding no! Unfortunately for the consumer there are very few legitimate ways to spot a fake as most normal people are not trained to know the difference. Because of this many tears have been shed over dinner recounting the botched wedding pictures. The common sentiment seems to be that if I knew then what I know now it would be different.


But let it be known that in the hands of a seasoned professional even a throw away camera bought at Walgreens can and should yield amazing results.  For it is not the camera that makes the photographer but the personal vision and experience that will bring about results.  On the contrary an amateur photographer with the best intentions and expensive equipment still may not have the technical training and the photographic eye necessary for covering an important wedding.

A word to the wise, find a professional photographer who has mastery of both the technical and creative techniques. Research and find visual storytellers and make an investment in your memories.  The time you take and resources you spend to hire and work with a great professional will be worth its weight in gold when you have timeless images.  When it comes to your wedding photography you want the best eyes looking through the best equipment capturing the best of you!


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