Like many of you, I identify as a Broke Millennial™. And when you’re a Broke Millennial (or just a Broke Human) in the process of planning a wedding, looking at the cost of certain wedding components can leave you feeling overwhelmed. Sure, some of it you can either work around or throw out entirely. But other pieces of the wedding puzzle feel a lot less optional… like wedding photography.
Don’t get me wrong… I’m not here to say that photographers are taking advantage of you and your vulnerable bank account. Far from it! The cost of equipment, the time put in on your actual wedding day, and the hours upon hours of selection & editing before you see the finished album MORE than justifies the hefty price tag. Professional photographers know what they’re doing, and they deserve fair compensation for their labour.
That being said, professional photography services are still financially inaccessible for a lot of people. This is why some spouses-to-be choose to crowdsource their wedding photos by letting their guests act as their photographers: It doesn’t come with the same cost, and you still end up with photos to look back on.
Is crowdsourcing your photos worth it? Ahhh, it depends. It depends on your priorities, your guests, and what you’re looking for at the end of the day.
Here’s a brief inventory to help determine if crowdsourcing your photographs is a good idea for you:
– Crowdsourcing wedding photos is cheap. It’s often free.
– You get a lot of photos. Like, a lot. If quantity is the name of the game, you’re set!
– Photographing the event can easily be turned into a fun activity, game, or project for your guests. This is great if you have a lot of creative types at your wedding: The guests have a great time, and you could end up with photos shot in a variety of styles.
– You photos won’t be edited. Or if they are, they likely won’t be edited well. You probably won’t have the same high-quality photos you would get from a professional photographer.
– Depending on your guests and your ability to communicate, they may be more interested in taking photos of themselves than of you and your partner(s).
– If your guests are overly concerned with taking pictures, they may not be truly present during the festivities.
– Crowdsourcing your photos means an exponentially higher chance of low-res photos, bad angles, and unflattering pictures of you and your loved ones.
– You risk your photos ending up on social media. If you’re into this idea: Great! If you’re a more private person, or if you just don’t want bad pictures of you on the internet: This may be a problem.
Yes, the list of cons is a little longer. Of course it is. Professional photographers exist for a reason! Not everyone can capture the important moments in your life as well as they can. But if photography isn’t a priority for you, or if the pros outweigh the cons in your particular case, then crowdsourcing your wedding photographs might be the perfect solution for you!
If you’re still unsure, consider asking your preferred professionals if they offer sliding scales or custom packages. You may be able to hire your photographer for a few hours instead of a full or half-day, or you may be able to request unedited photos instead of fully edited ones. As always, be open to accepting “No” for an answer. Every professional wants to produce work that they can stand by, and not everyone will be comfortable with a smaller-scale arrangement.