The 3 Myths of Wedding Photography

Wedding Day in Jacksonville, FlI love photographing weddings. I always have.

What could be more touching and inspiring than to be a part of a couples most special day where they make the commitment of love to one another and share that with their friends and family.

Wedding photography isn’t for everyone. There is one or two things that happen to photographers- they photography one and fall in love with it or they absolutely can’t wait to never do another one. Photographers starting out often times get the idea that wedding photography is fast and easy money and you just go around and take a few pictures, hand the couple a DVD and that’s about all there is too it.

Unfortunately, that’s what a lot of couples think too. Which leads me to the 3 things many couples believe that simply aren’t true and put your day at risk along with having nothing but really bad wedding photographs.

So let’s talk about Myth #1- Anyone can take wedding photographs.

I have photographed well over 500 weddings (I have actually lost count so it probably is closer to 700). Each of those images I take are planned in terms of lighting, exposure, and composition. This skill didn’t happen overnight and has been the result of years of learning and years of viewing every image I have taken and seeing what I can to to improve on it.

Uncle Harry and his brand new DSLR and his field day at your wedding is probably going to result in nothing but a few “snapshots” that you end up with. None are going to be considered professional quality and you risk having little to tell the story of your wedding day.

Every wedding I photograph starts with getting to know a couple, finding out their style and vision of what they expect their photographs to look like. I also help them plan the flow of the day from start to finish and to plan the photographs they feel are important to them. I come prepared with every piece of equipment I might need in case of bad weather (the wedding isn’t going to be postponed due to rain!), and even have backups of everything should something break. I visit the venue before the wedding and walk through the various locations and check lighting and a thousand other things needed to give them what they are paying me to deliver- a wedding day memory that is more valuable tomorrow than today.

Myth #2- I can’t afford anything but the “cheap” photographer

Fact- you can’t afford to hire a “cheap photographer”!

One of two things are happening if you hire cheap for your wedding photographer:

1. They are brand new in photography and have a ton of learning to do. They are trying to learn with your wedding.

2. They photograph weddings on the weekends to make a little pocket money and really don’t have your best interest in mind, but more theirs.

I see so many brides that are more than willing to go over budget on everything else for their wedding and “go cheap” for their photographs. Not only that, I have been asked more times than I can count “can you fix my wedding pictures we got from this guy that isn’t even doing photography anymore”. There are far more people that will be out of their photography hobby that are pawning themselves off as professionals this year than you care to imagine. Chances are, your “cheap photographer” isn’t going to be around next year, much less 5 years. When the only thing someone has to compete with is price, then consider that they probably lack the necessary skills to professionally photograph your wedding day. Is that a risk you are willing to accept for the ONE single day of your life you want those memories preserved in your photographs?

Myth #3- “I only want a CD/DVD of my wedding photographs”

I can’t tell you how many couples have called me asking me for their photographs they HAD because they lost them or their disk is damaged. It was so bad a few years back, that I no longer offer “DVD only” weddings.

If your day is that special and that wonderful, I have to ask- “why would you risk losing them?” Is something this important worth never having them to view in a way that believe it or not, is the NOT the best way to truly preserve your photographs?

If you are going to go to the expense to actually have wedding photographs, then please, let your photographer create an album to preserve them. This “old technology” is something you can be assured of will get you the “ooooohhhh’s and aaaahhhh’s” from people who see them and you will shed tears every time you open it as well. Not only that, I have never had a couple ask me to “make me another album because I lost mine”. Yes, I have had to remake a couple due to disasters, but never because it was lost. I promise you too, that your children and grandchildren will have a far greater appreciation of your album than they ever will your DVD/CD that is soon going to be obsolete and perhaps even non-viewable in a few short years due to technology changes.

Please don’t reduce the meaning of your wedding day to another “digital age” image that you don’t care about. This is your special day and all the love and emotion should be captured and displayed in a way that has meaning and value in your life, not some “image on a computer screen” that is looked at once and forgotten.

All to often I also hear that “I want to print out my own pictures”. Trust me here, a true professional photographer is going to not let you do that. Most consumer labs take your images and basically butcher them and they are often times not going to last any longer than your DVD will last. As someone who does justice to your photographs, I know that there are many more steps involved in creating sharp, breath-taking photographic prints than just sending them to the lab. Buy your prints from your photographer and you will never regret the decision. More importantly, you have a better quality photograph and one you will cherish forever. I can show anyone the difference if they ask and in most cases, the results are astounding.

So now go shopping for your photographer and find someone who really does care about you and your wedding day. A full service, true professional photographer is going to operate a business, not a hobby, and provide you an experience that you will appreciate and love. Not only that, you have the assurance of knowing your images are going to be what you envision, and not just something you “hope you get” because you hired the right photographer.


Mike Yost is a Jacksonville, Fl. based wedding, family, and Corporate photographer. With over 35+ years behind the lens, Mike offers an experience for your photography needs that is caring, friendly, and at a level you will appreciate. His full service business offers the finest in printed images and albums that are cherished by his clients.

To Contact Mike, give him a text or call at 904-707-0875 .


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