A wedding is a special moment – something you’d love to cherish and remember forever. Inevitably, you’d want it to be the best and would leave no stone unturned to ensure it is a memorable event. So, should you hire a family member or friend to document the event?

Well, the answer might differ according to the situation. If money is not a big concern, it is better to hire a professional photographer to cover the event, even if you have a friend or family member who is good in photography. Here are some reasons for choosing a professional for your wedding:

A professional will give you undivided attention

One of the major reasons in favour of hiring a professional is the fact that he/she will give the event her undivided attention. Once they commit to cover the event, they’ll show up, no matter what. In addition, he/she will exclusively cover the event. Your family member or friend might have other duties and might miss important moments.

Experience counts

A family member or friend could be handy. However, the professional brings experience and specialised knowledge to the task. Having covered many weddings, he/she will be better equipped to record the day’s proceedings in the best way. Candid shots or not, he/she will offer it all. Moreover, he/she will know what to expect and how to handle it. In addition, a professional photographer is more likely to get all the shots perfect, even under low light conditions. So, you can rest assure that the first dance or the cake cutting, which normally happens in low light will be covered perfectly.

Results matter

Wedding photography is not only about recording the special moments of your life. A lot of the work happen post shoot too. While a family member or friend could snap great pictures, he might not be so efficient when it comes to post-shoot edits and packaging. A wedding photographer will have the right tools, including the best software to give you the best results. Furthermore, he is specialised in his craft and can give you a better result in less time.

Specialised equipment

professional photographer covering your event with all necessary equipment like:

  •    Two or more camera bodies (one main camera to shoot, others to be used occasionally or as  backup)
  •    A fast wide-angle lens
  •    A fast telephoto lens
  •    A spare lens – preferably a wide angle as backup
  •    Two speed lights (flashes) and extra set of batteries
  •    Enough memory cards including backups

On the other hand, your family member or friend might not have these specialised equipment to cover the wedding. You wouldn’t want your friend/family member with a brand new DSLR to consider your big day as an experiment and come up with not so great result, would you?

No risk of strained Relations

If you hire a friend or relation and something go wrong, chances are high, your relation with your friend or the family member will be strained. When working with a professional, the chances for this are less. If at all something goes wrong, you have the liberty not to hire the same person again and to claim damages. The chances of holding a grudge are less. Moreover, if you’re not happy with your results and you can tell him without worrying about ruining the relationship. Furthermore, in the event of things going wrong, you might be compensated monetarily, which is not the case if you hire a family member or a friend.


As friend/family, you’d want them to be a part of the ceremony and enjoy the wedding. You’d rather have them in the frame with you enjoying your big day than leaving them out of all the fun, right? Moreover, how will you draw the line between his role as a friend/family and photographer? For instance, have you discussed with them whether they will be shooting all day? When will they get a break? Do they come under your guest list as a part guest and part photographer? If yes, chances are they’ll have a great time at the bar (after all, it’s the wedding of a dear friend/relative) and may not be in a state to cover the rest of the events.

In short, your friend or family member, despite being a keen amateur photographer with an SLR, is no match for an experienced professional photographer. The latter’s skill set and specialised experience to work in all conditions, in addition to the equipment required to shoot competently under all lighting situations, gives him a huge advantage over the former.

To sum up, the only times you can consider a friend/family member to cover your wedding would be:

  •    If they are professional wedding photographers
  •    If you are really tight on budget and want to save some money